May 2008

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I'm so happy your not my surgeon.


I'm so happy your not my surgeon.



Scott, It is time you started a new religion. You are a Messiah.

Lior Haner

I'm also a believer of this rule, though I couldn't have put it in so many words (maybe with about 20% extra effort). But I think being happy isn't only about perfectionism but also about optimism ( ).


I get that way when I'm drunk

Kevin Kunreuther

Why do I get the sinking dread that our elected (and unelected) leaders follow the 20% rule?


Yeah, you're right. all I'm expecting from my surgeon is that he does the job at 80%. Or my car mechanic when he is working on my brake. Who needs 100% braking capacities anyway.


You're right! The problem is that my 80% of effort is probably equivalent to 40% of another person's, so would that affect my ratio? Maybe I'd have to be a 7/5.. I'd give 140% every time! Okay, well maybe mine is not 40% of another person's, because that kind of person would probably not even understand fractions. like the darn people who cut my pizza! does anyone else have that trouble??? one slice will be 1/3 of the pizza, and there will be two slivers which would barely feed my hamster.

I see what you're saying though, and agree with your point. I had a similar situation.. I was writing my graduation speech yesterday, and decided to go to a party instead of working on it for the rest of the afternoon. It was good enough as it was, and people liked it. It could have been better, but I had such a fun time instead of agonizing over it... 80% is the way! Although I'd really like the person who (possibly in the future) did my spinal surgery to go the extra mile and make sure ALL the nerves are connected to the right space :P. *tries to pick out a pack of gum.......sorry sir, i did not mean to break your biscuits*

comrade chakra

Hey Scott...say the guy who pay's you gets it right 80% of the time (and 80% of his errors see getting UNDERPAID)...

Will that make you 80% happy leading you to say 80% of the time 'its good enough',
I'll bet 80% chances are, you will not.

jeff m

For surgery, I'd rather want an accomplished surgeon who thinks it'd tap 80% of his potential, than a new surgeon who it'll take 100%. A person always working on 100% is more likely to make mistakes. A surgeon needs to know what is possible, you might need two surgeries to accomplish all tasks needed. One has to weight the risks of having one under anesthesia and opened up. If your only options are a surgery that will tap the given surgeon's ability, say some extra prayers. At the same time, I'd hope that the surgeon isn't making other surgeries more complicated than they have to be, especially for the point in time an urgent complicated surgery is needed.

I guess if we are going to apply the 80% rule to the 80% rule, we could come up with a more precise rule, but in the end is the extra work really needed? It's a better rule to reflect and mediate on. Everyone is pulled in many directions, we really need to figure out what is really adequate, that gives us the ability to also give time to other important areas.


Hey, I feel your comic strip is actually AWESOME. The drawing style is just right to convey that deadpan style of delivery that works so well with your humor. Keep rocking, Scott!

larry horowitz

So does that mean when you were looking for a wife you found someone who fit the bill about 80% and that was good enough for you? Does she know that?

Hey, for just one day, could you draw a comic at 100% so we can see what you're really capable of? When I used to read the comics in the newspaper I would marvel at the artistry of "The Hulk" and "Spiderman". I remember admiring the drawings far and above the episode.


How about 61% rightness?



I disagree. You just know what it's important to focus on. The artwork in your comic strip may be 80% of what it could be, but the humor is not. If your comic strip only had 80% of your humor, you wouldn't have the success you've had. You just know that you get better pay-off focusing on laughs than on artwork. Same with the blog - you know that the people don't read you for spelling and grammar, they read for the ideas. I doubt you make 80% effort in the areas where it counts. Maybe 95% or even 90%, but not 80%. 80% is for when the stakes aren't that high.

Christopher Edwards

Right before I graduated a year ago, I did a group project with this guy. He didn't like me very much because I was an "80% worker". He said I would never amount to anything because I had problems completing anything... But I think he didn't like me because I was able to balance so many different things in my life, whereas, the only thing he worked on all the time was school. The great thing was that most classes are marked on curves, so if I got an 89% overall and he had a 99%, I'd still get the same A he did, hahaha. Take that!

Greg T.

Pareto's Law at work!


I shoot for 100% most of the time, and I am a stressed, angry, bitter wreck. So there you go.

Of course, the average quality still ends up at 80%, because I get so stressed that one of five projects ends up with 0% quality.


I'm hoping this week you'll post about the terrorists who planned to blow up JFK airport setting off a chain of explosions that would obliterate the United States as we know it.

It was said that "the suspects are alleged to have expressed an intention to attack targets, but lacked the financing, training and means to do so."

What a fascinating aspect of terrorism law. So if someone planned to mine some dark matter from the nether regions of outer space, and send it in the mail to the white house (which is why we still need stamps and post offices) to cause a red dwarf black hole to suck in the president and his cowardly cat. And that person did research by renting a DVD of something slightly related ... they could get life with no chance or parole?



Believe it or not, I was just thinking something like that. Like when you set different goals, they pull one of those percentages out of you consistently and you have to experiment with yourself. When I was in high school, I was a 50%er because I would always aim for ok unless someone proved it was worth it to do more or they really needed me to do more. But the problem with being a 50%er is, it seems the majority of people aim for about 30% unless it's something that they know is going to make them look good, then they aim as high as they can go after behaving in a way that 'appears lazy' to me. Thus driving me crazy. I guess because I have trouble relaxing due to a crappy upbringing and now schizophrenia.

Bruce S

A wise person referring to software standards one said, "Progress really gets made once you decide that crap is good enough." Pretty much the same idea.

jerry w.

I'm a sound mixer, I work on the set of crappy little movies that no one will ever see, recording dialogue done so poorly that I'd almost be doing a favor to the actor by not hitting the record button.

Most days, it's all I can do to make it up to the 80 percent quality mark you talked about, and try not to caught in the tractor beam of the craft service table. Or flirt with the make up artist.

And yet, even though I could do that extra 20 percent better, everyone is happy with what I turn in at the end of the day because there are so many others working that do the same job that I do without ever coming close to my 80 percent level.

Somehow, I'm not too happy about this. Well, except for that make up artist and the craft service table. I'll be back in a while with some red vines and a Pepsi. Get you anything?


Anyone who has done some elementary reading on Eastern Spirituality knows that it is an intellectual discipline to hold back. Why, even in medicine, when we are holding our hand still, we need to use a degree of restraint so we do not slip and kill the patient during a surgical procedure.

In order to memorize all the body parts, we need to have restraint and get our sleep, and good nutrition, in order to be receptive to the knowledge.

Why, it's the very principal of function in graphic design, which is employed widely throughout animation and cartooning these days, although not with nearly as much restraint as it could be. So much out there has been polished and refined so much it just loses it's spark.

Billy B

It was good enough for me.

And I agree with you on the spelling and grammar, mistakes are make with monkey minds so why get too worked about it? And the word smiths and their bullshit? They make mistakes also.

Yup, good enough for me.
Billy B


I like the rawness.

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