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scrutney

sturgeon's revelation

sturgeon's revelation (commonly referred to as sturgeon's law) tells us that 90% of everything is crap.
movies, books, furniture, democrats.
you name it.

a friend of mine and i were discussing this last night and yes, alcohol was involved.

my contention was; that if 90% of everything is crap and 100% of crap is crap, then that throws the numbers off.

his contention?; in the test group (everything) only 90% of it was crap and this indeed, included crap itself.

my rebuttal was that once you isolated the 10% of the good stuff (the non-crap) that by the very nature of sturgeons law, 90% of that test group was...crap.

i went on to say that; if you took all the crap in this world (real honest to god crap) and put it outside his apartment...we would have a pile of 100% crap.

then if we went out and isolated everything else under sturgeon's law, 90% of that would be crap.

add the 2 together and we would have (i'm not good at numbers) substantially more than 90%.

my friend posited that if you look at crap as a pizza and you take out a 10% slice (which we both acknowledged as a non crap slice)...there you are...that's it...a 90-10 split...crap/non-crap.

i went on to opine that, of the 90% proven crap pizza, only 90% of that was crap and of the 10% perfect pizza, 90% of that was crap.
and what we had was 2 piles of diminishing crap, shrinking down to subatomic particles of, well....crap.

his rebuttal was that i was full of crap.
i responded that only 90% of me was crap and that sturgeons law was demonstrably false anyway, because it contains 6 words:

"ninety percent of everything is crap"

of those 6 words, only one of them is crap, the word "crap".

so in reality, only about 16 and a smidge percentage is effectively crap.

q.e.d.

at this point his wife stormed out of the room, mumbling something about, "i don't need this crap."

so...who's right?
bieramar

Your buddy is right (as is your spouse); which leaves you left in the wrong; that sinister location of ginger-headed leftists who historically challenge the imperial wisdom of those on the right. ?
Your logic is analogous to making a journey between point 1 and point 2. ?
You leave pt. 1 and walk 90% of the distance to pt.2; then do it again, i.e., walk 90% of the distance, and again, and again. You can never get to pt.2.

a = total distance.
b = 90% of the total distance.
c = 10% of the total distance.
Those values are never duplicated, as the next journey, while keeping the same percentage is of a shorter total distance. ?

a1 = total remaining distance.
b1 = 90% of remaining distance.
c1 = 10% of remaining distance.
The "law of diminishing returns."
The logic of crap is different.

There is only one "everything;" 100% = x.
90% of which is crap = y.
10% of which is non-crap; good = z.
The x, y, and z values remain unchanged in regard to the "everything." 10% by definition is not "everything."

It IS, as you argue, 100% of non-crap/good, but 100% of any given part of "everything" remains less than the original whole.

Consider a pie = 100%.
Cut into ten pieces, with nine of them sprinkled with crap = 90%.
One good non-crap piece remains = 10% of the whole pie, but 100% of the one piece.

Each time you take a bite - 10% of the one piece - it tastes good. ?As the 90% of the piece which remains good, unadulterated by crap. ?

Sturgeon's revelation applies to the original whole "everything," not to the separate parts of the whole "everything."

The "law of diminishing returns" does not apply.
scrutney

i'm not arguing the mathematics...and i concede that you are right about the diminishing returns part...(hell, i'd have conceded that, last night but...where's the fun in that?)

but i am arguing the semantics of the thing.

there is a certain percentage of crap in this world. real honest to god, smelly, nasty crap.

and it's a quantifiable amount.

and 100% of it is crap.

so, either that has to be taken out of the equation or it has to be added back into it.

remember that sturgeon was talking about art, literature, everything in the real world including, one must assume, crap.

but 100% of crap is crap.
which means that a lesser percentage of everything else is, in reality crap.
unless you take the quantifiable crap out of the equation and add it back in later.
in which case, more than 90% of everything is crap.
ergo sturgeon has to be incorrect.

or did i just do too many mind expanding drugs in the 70's? (90% of which must be assumed to have been crap)


puc reducks

Scrut wrote:
"or did i just do too many mind expanding drugs in the 70's? (90% of which must be assumed to have been crap)"


I can't comment on your final sentence (above) because I am certain that 90% was NOT crap.  *grin*  You would not have tolerated that inadequacy in those substances.

As for the rest...  It's like looking into a mirror, into a mirror, into a mirror, ad infinitum.  Gets so that you KNOW the image/crap is there, but it's so infintesimal as to be unrecognizable.

Does that help?   Very Happy

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