The OF Blog: Sturgeon's Inverse

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sturgeon's Inverse

Theodore Sturgeon seems at times to be more well-known for the so-called Sturgeon's Law (90% of anything is crud/crap, depending on who you ask) than he is for his own fiction these days among the general reading audience, but can such a statement be taken literally?

I suspect not, as one would have to take into account selection bias (I know what I like and I am pre-disposed toward buying certain types of books, thus increasing greatly the likelihood that I would enjoy any book that I choose to read), among other factors. But even if we were to accept that 90% crap/10% good ratio, what happens when the selection approaches infinity? Would that mean that if someone were to keep reading, that s/he in the course of a lifetime would be exposed to such a wealth of good things that would be overwhelming to imagine at once?

But enough of the idle speculation. What are some of the discoveries you've made recently that would fit in the "good" category? Doesn't have to be just fiction. For example, I'm currently listening to Bob Dylan's just-released CD, Together Through Life, and while differing quite a bit from his earlier records, this is just good stuff for me, full of passion for life in the music, lyrics, and singing alike. Perhaps there's something you're currently digging that another will investigate and end up loving?

2 comments:

Elena said...

Strangely, I was just thinking about this (although not in terms of Sturgeon's law) with respect to the movies I review. I try to say at least a bit about all the movies I watch, and I was thinking how few I've given truly bad reviews on. But I think self-selection has a lot to do with it, as you suggest.

Still, one that was a surprise (in a good way) to me that I just saw was The Brotherhood of the Wolf. It's a french film from 2001, and while the CGI of the beast is dated, the rest is really good. Great filming, awesome costumes and sets/locations (seemed very authentic to the year, which was 1764 or thereabouts), and an interesting premise. I was expecting it to be a werewolf movie (description is about a hunt for a wolf-like beast ravaging the countryside) but it's not.

Oh, and, 10% of infinity is still infinity. :)

The Witchfinder said...

I attended a concert with the band In Gowan Ring a good while ago, and they have not left my rotation since. They're of the neo-folk persuasion, and have proudly picked up the torch left by artists such as Nick Drake and Changes.

A couple of songs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAx6EMjeGuk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkWcs2EeTII

 
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