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90% of Everything is Crap

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On July 25, 2013 @ 7:15 am In Philosophy,Quantitative,Rules | Comments Disabled

sturgeons-law [1]
Source: Mental Floss [2]

 

 

As someone who has spent his fair share of time debunking nonsense, I love the elegant way Theodore Sturgeon trashed this anti-SciFi trope in the March 1958 issue of Venture:

“I repeat Sturgeon’s Revelation, which was wrung out of me after twenty years of wearying defense of science fiction against attacks of people who used the worst examples of the field for ammunition, and whose conclusion was that ninety percent of SF is crud. Using the same standards that categorize 90% of science fiction as trash, crud, or crap, it can be argued that 90% of film, literature, consumer goods, etc. are crap. In other words, the claim (or fact) that 90% of science fiction is crap is ultimately uninformative, because science fiction conforms to the same trends of quality as all other art forms.”

Excellence is rare, stupidity abounds,

 

 

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Mental Floss [2] notes the following trivia: “First, as you can see above, Sturgeon himself termed this “Sturgeon’s Revelation,” however, accidents of history (and the OED) turned it into Sturgeon’s Law. There actually is a “Sturgeon’s Law,” and it is: “Nothing is always absolutely so.” Second note — Sturgeon is the basis for Kurt Vonnegut’s recurring character Kilgore Trout.”


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[1] Image: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/sturgeons-law.png

[2] Mental Floss: http://mentalfloss.com/article/51049/11-wacky-laws-named-people

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