Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Good Enough is Bad

Seth Godin has posted another provocative essay titled: The seduction of "good enough"

Here's how it begins...


But here's the deal: almost everything is lousy.

Sure, it's way way better than it was. Sure it's a miracle.

But is anything as good as it could be?


... here are my two big ideas to start:

1. Humans tend to work on a problem until they get a good enough solution, instead of a solution that's right.

2. The marketplace often rewards solutions that are cheaper and good enough, instead of investing in the solution that promises to lead to the right answer.




"Hate your blog, then improve it."

We have to learn how to hate things, hate how they are.

See what they could be.

What they could be, but aren't,
because of what they've been made to be.
We generally do nothing unless we absolutely love and crave, or hate and attack.

Hate a problem so much, you actually get up and do something about solving it.

Hate war so much, you try to be peaceful and encourage others to be gentle, even to ants of the sidewalk.

Hate politics so much, you try to model for others how to question and think for oneself.

Everything is less, far less than what it could be.

This includes you, me, everyone and everything.

Even our lofty ideals are either boring, deliberately absurd, or quarantined and sequestered from present reality.

The war against mediocrity is the same as the conflict with other dysfunctionalities. It is endless and more difficult each day.

But fight we must.

Mediocrity, the "good enough", is always bad.

Would you want a "superior" surgeon, or merely one that is "adequate" and "competent", or simply claims to be "qualified"?

Would you want supremely safe food and water, or would you tolerate "moderately safe", or even "somewhat questionable"?

Constantly improve your blog.

your blog represents you.

you see you in the blogmirror.

Keep enhancing, focusing,
increasing the brilliance
of your blog,

improve your blogging:

thus your thinking, which
equals your mind, i.e.,

your self, that which bears
your name, represented in
signatures, your life,

that energy you have on loan
for a little while.

[signed} Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate



carrie said...

ah. i drink at the well.

Chris Ritke said...

Well, there's the 80-20 rule/law/whatever: it takes 20% effort to do 80% of the work and then another 80% effort to do the last 20% (could also be 90-10, somewhere in there anyway).... hm.

steven edward streight said...

What do you do when the well runs dry?

happylittlebunny said...

So I would presume that giving 100% effort 100% of the time is rather pointless, as that would leave no room for improvement?

steven edward streight said...

If you can put forth 100% during 100% of the time, yes there would still be room for improvement.

The quality, smartness, and intensity of the effort can be improved.

100% effort 100% of the time, meaning aside from sleeping, eating, bathing, walking, working, playing, etc.?

It's not so much 100% effort 100% of the time...

...as it is true authentic sincerity all the time, and increasing one's expertise and value to readers, having something worth posting, frequently.

It's not about workaholic over-achiever obsessive-compulsive slavery to deliberately fantastical ideals and lofty dreamy illusions.

be come do

carrie said...

when the well runs dry i become very very angry at the well, until i realize that anger at inanimate objects really only comes back on me. but then, maybe there are no inanimate objects. or maybe there are no animate objects. it is a never-ending cycle, but what i am saying is that the well will never run dry because the source is ever-self-replenishing if you know how to tap in.

steven edward streight said...

Yes, the well of unconscious and non-personal impulses, imagery, and ideas will not run dry.

There are two schools of thought:

(1) creativity is limited (materialist mediocrity school)

(2) creativity is infinite (immaterialist mystical school).

I subscribe to the infinite creativity idea.

We are in an infinitely diverse and intricate universe. There is no end to what can be painted, written, said, sung, symphonized, poetized, sculpted, embroidered, etched, drawn, sketched, etc.

The well is never dry, we are just, for some reason, unable or unwilling to try a new approach.

Many geniuses have remained productive into their 90s and beyond.

Music, literature, art, they just keep producing because they are dedicated and they love what they do.

I bet most 90 year old geniuses keep at it without caring about the praise or contempt of audiences and critics and social circles.