Why Everything Sucks

Internet Histories

26.06.2010

Why Everything Sucks


A young George and Paul 
rehearsing in The Cavern in January 1963.

Derek Powazek:

In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell argues that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master anything. The Beatles played for 10,000 hours before they really became The Beatles. Before that, they were just another band with potential. Suppose Gladwell is right and it really does take 10,000 hours to master something.

The Internet [is] the biggest no-experience-required open mic night ever created. It connects us all, whether we’ve put in 10,000 hours or ten. Just think about the millions of people on the internet, each in their own timeline of learning something new. Most people will never get to 2,500 hours. They’ll never not suck. It’s not personal, it’s just math.

So that’s why the vast majority of everything on the internet sucks. Only a small percentage of all the people online will ever be vaguely good at whatever it is they’re doing.

But here’s the thing: I think this is beautiful. People are out there, trying new things, learning the hard way, and sharing their experience. That gives me hope. I’d rather have an all-inclusive network that everyone can contribute to than a network that’s closed to everyone who isn’t perfect. How else will anyone ever learn to do anything?

And here’s the really interesting part: What if The Beatles had the internet? Sure, we would have had to endure their early sucky years, but they would have been able to learn from everyone else as well.


 

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