Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

A Public Service Announcement Regarding Sturgeon’s Revelation

with 6 comments

Sturgeon’s Revelation is not actually a natural law. Just because Theodore Sturgeon once remarked that ninety percent of everything is crud does not make it so. It is true that excellence is rare in all fields. However, that does not mean that ninety percent of everything is crud; we might just as plausibly claim that any field follows a bell curve and the majority is not crud but – worse – the mediocre or the adequate. Equally, there is no reason not to believe that these internal ratios of quality might vary between fields. It is not at all implausible to suggest that some fields are more likely to produce crud than other.

If you quote Sturgeon’s Revelation, you have not played a trump card. You have not stated anything profound or even meaningful, nor have you provided any sort of rebuttal. Think twice.

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Written by Martin

10 March 2010 at 09:12

Posted in genre wars, sf

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6 Responses

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  1. Meh. 90% of your blog posts are crap.

    :)

    Peter Hollo

    10 March 2010 at 09:45

  2. 90% of anything is not as good as the best 10%. Wow.

    Rich

    10 March 2010 at 11:53

  3. (I know that’s a mischaracterisation of what he actually said, but probably not of what people mean when they quote him.)

    Rich

    10 March 2010 at 11:54

  4. Peter: well played, sir!

    Niall

    10 March 2010 at 14:13

  5. […] is judged on the 90% of dross.” I’ve said before that people need to remember that Sturgeon’s Revelation isn’t a natural law and I think that applies here too. I don’t think what Mark is […]

  6. […] say that 90% of everything is crud. Now, I have complained about Sturgeon’s Revelation before. It is, in a word, balls. I know, I know, someone is wrong on the internet, so what? But the […]


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