Sturgeon’s Law

March 27, 2013 - 4 Responses
Theodore Sturgeon

Theodore Sturgeon

In a rare case of a favorite quote being by an actual human being and not an anime cat-girl or Wolverine, “Sturgeon’s Law” is named for science fiction author Theodore Sturgeon, who most modern geeks haven’t read because he didn’t write books about the New Jedi Order. The naming and content of Sturgeon’s Law are prime “Um, Actually” territory, but for our purposes the law is thus:

90% of everything is crap.

Sturgeon intended it to shut down condemnation of the science fiction literary genre in the 50s. Upset that critics were pointing to the absolute dregs of the offerings, Sturgeon was pointing out that every genre has a majority of garbage within it, and a small percentage that’s actually worthwhile. By focusing only on the crap, critics were unfairly targeting the quality material, which was both deceptive and unfair.

Sturgeon makes a good point, and his “law” is worth keeping in mind. In capable hands, Sturgeon’s Law is a reminder that there’s a lot of chaff in any area to sift through before you get to the wheat. But we’re not talking about capable hands, we’re talking about geeks. And geeks, naturally, have perverted Sturgeon’s Law.

Geeks invoke Sturgeon’s Law as an excuse, not a defense. When they use it, it’s usually in the context of someone pointing out the flaws of something the geek likes. “Yeah, this comic isn’t great,” the geek will say, knowing he’s going to continue buying and probably complaining about it, “but 90% of everything is crap.” In this context, instead of noting that one should seek out the rare good material, the geek is comforted by the fact that it’s okay for this thing to be junk because most stuff is. Instead of providing a sort of signpost to other, better material, the “crap” is somehow upgraded into “good enough”.

A shrug and Sturgeon’s Law suddenly becomes the opposite of what the author intended. “Yeah, whatever, it’s junk, but most stuff is, so that’s fine.” instead of, “Yeah, this isn’t very good. I’d really like to get to the better material.” It’s an excuse to continue being the sort of lazy, passive consumer most geeks are (and take pride in being.) Since limiting yourself only to genre offerings that are actually worthwhile takes effort and means you might not see Go-Bots vs. Sectaurs on opening night, better to simply recognize that there’s better stuff out there and hope it somehow eventually places itself in front of you.

(You can even take the extreme route, pioneered by nerd loves of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and The Room and declare that it’s the crap you want, but usually ignoring the logical conclusion that even if that’s the case, there’s still only at most 10% that’s going to be “worthwhile” crap, and once again just passively consuming whatever is offered.)

It lets them gorge themselves on garbage while at least pretending to have some level of quality control, so geeks LOVE Sturgeon’s Law!

The Apocalypse

February 27, 2013 - 3 Responses
They typical geek on day two of the apocalypse.

They typical geek on day two of the apocalypse.

We’ve made the point time and again that the social group geeks most closely represent are Evangelical Christians. One of the points of similarity is how much both groups are looking forward to the end of the world. Evangelicals have their Rapture fantasies and geeks have The Singularity. Both events await freedom from ugly mortal shells, sparing of the true believers, and lots and lots of apologies from those who gave those believers grief.

Most geeks, however, prefer the other type of Apocalypse, the kind where everything goes to hell and the living envy the dead. Whether it be nuclear, ecological, or zombie, one outcome is guaranteed: the geek will thrive while others perish. Somehow in the geek’s mind, a person who is lost if electricity goes off for 15 minutes will successfully navigate a post-apocalyptic planet. Apparently the geek’s particular talents are, on a daily basis, hampered by the rules of society. Should society suffer a catastrophic collapse that renders its rules null and void, the geek will shine.

Perhaps the geek will be a warlord, ruling with an iron fist in the burned out shell of a land that once reviled him. Perhaps he’ll be a hero, defending those hapless souls less prepared than himself and getting praise from those who once reviled him. Maybe he’ll just be a lone drifter, walking the wastes, spoken about in hushed, reverent tones by those who once reviled him. Whatever the outcome, he’s going to look cool, have lots of guns (and a samurai sword), and command respect while the weaklings who need “social rules” to keep them in charge suffer.

What’s even more interesting when comparing the Christian and geek end-of-the-world scenarios is how “rebuilding civilization” never enters into it. Once the world falls, that’s it, it’s going to be like that from now on. And that’s how it should be, because the world is being punished, punished for rejecting Jesus or Joss Whedon. It had a chance, didn’t take it, and now this is what it gets. And only those with the knowledge, the ones who paid attention, and who prepared will prevail. They alone will rise above, while everyone else merely bemoans a fate both inescapable and deserved.

They get nanobots or guns, and either one will do, so geeks love The Apocalypse!


February 20, 2013 - One Response


How do you make a geek continue to buy a comic book he was thinking about dropping? Simple: tell him it’s going to be cancelled soon. No matter how much he didn’t like it before, if he was about to drop it completely he’ll now buy the remaining issues because then he’s got a complete run.

Completion is the whip that scars the geek’s back. Consumption is what determines one’s standing in the geek community, and the thought that there might be something out there that someone else has and he doesn’t is possibly the most existential threat a geek faces.

For the geek, existence implies necessity. If a thing I like exists, then it’s a thing I must have. Never mind if it adds nothing, or if I already have several things almost exactly like it, it’s a new one and it’s there, so I have to get it. Completion is the alchemical marriage of Collections and Accuracy, and is essential to the Hierarchy.

Existence implies necessity, which in turn implies (as always) entitlement. Making a bonus card for this game I own not only means I have to get it, it means the producer is obligated to make sure I can get one. It’s not fair if someone else has something I don’t, rendering a game I previously liked and was satisfied with “incomplete” and now indelibly tarnished. Even if the bonus card is worthless and he’d never play with it, the geek won’t be happy unless one sits in his box doing nothing.

Of course, the opposite doesn’t apply: if something is limited and the geek does have one, then whoever doesn’t just needs to stop whining and be as good as he is at acquisition. Many angry words have been written about Kickstarter “exclusives” that later turned out to be available for just any old loser with money to pick up, making the ones belonging to those who got them first “worthless”.

For people marketing to geeks, completion is a boon. Why release something in one part when you can make it in more? Why sell a quality item when you can seel a substandard one and keep “improving” it for people who will keep re-buying it? Why not keep futzing with Star Wars, since the people who complain the loudest about it will still feel obligated to pour money into it?

A way to justify pointless consumption AND keep score? No wonder geeks LOVE Completion!

Schedule Change

March 24, 2009 - 20 Responses

Due to increasing commitments in other areas, Stuff Geeks Love will not be updating regularly for a while. We will try to have at least one post a week, but please don’t hold us to that.

It’s not for lack of material.

Please add us to your RSS reader of choice so that you don’t miss an update, and thank you for your continued readership.


March 20, 2009 - 2 Responses

Geeks enjoy thinking that their lives are unfathomably complex entities that no mere mortal could possibly unravel. Therefore, they are always looking for ways to make it more efficient.

Thanks to websites such as Lifehacker and 43 Folders, they can now spend a few hours each day finding new tips and tricks to help them save up to a few minutes each day.

But it’s not just about saving time, it’s about improving your life. Once you’ve hidden the sidebar clutter in GMail you’ll wonder if you even qualified as a sentient being before doing so. (Tomorrow’s tip: how to make your life better with GMail labels!) You’ll laugh at the tiny ants beneath you as you stride above them like a colossus, no longer having to read YouTube comments. With every day bringing worse and worse news about the economy and stories of people facing monumental losses, you’ll not need to fear your life becoming an ungodly hellhole where you sometimes have to take your hand off of your computer mouse.

"That's exactly what I need, but do you have a far more expensive one?"

"That's exactly what I need, but do you have a far more expensive one?"

Of course, most of this is, as is so often the case with geeks, an excuse to buy shit, preferably electronic shit. How can you possibly remember the one night a week that the Sarah Conner Chronicles comes on unless you get some electronic gadget to remind you? And while you already have a phone, shouldn’t you upgrade to one that can also scan barcodes and see how much cheaper whatever you’re standing in front of is if you buy it from Amazon? Even if you’re going to go all low-tech and use actual paper to make notes on, you’ll want to make sure that paper is bound into an authentic Moleskine notebook, the bound paper of choice for spoiled pretentious hipsters everywhere.

Now that you have the ideas and the goods, it’s time to start multitasking! Not only is every moment that you’re not doing Something Important a waste, but it’s even more of a waste than moments when you’re doing only one Important Thing. Hence the geeks who are listening to their music while Twittering when out to eat, or programming their Tivo while commuting to work, or watching TV shows on their iPhones while waiting in line to buy a better iPhone. Nothing’s more dangerous than a geek left alone with his own thoughts, so it’s vital he have at least three different modes of sensory input aimed at him at all times.

All of this combines to form the most streamlined, efficient, ubergeek known to man. With all of this knowledge and power at his disposal, he commands respect and awe as he simultaneously watches the latest episode of Lost AND purchases anime online, while Twittering about doing so and not having to pick up his hand from the mouse. This is the next generation of humans, who will make the rest of us obsolete through their deft manipulation of their environment.

Anything that allows geeks to do several worthless things with electronics at the same time gets a thumbs up from them, so geeks LOVE efficiency!


March 17, 2009 - 15 Responses

pigheadEvery geek community goes through a phase where all the members become completely enamored of bacon.

Every geek community going through this phase will act as though they are the first and only ones to make this declaration of love.

As evidence that they can take anything and make it insufferable, geeks LOVE bacon!

Destroying Humor

March 13, 2009 - 17 Responses

Geeks like to think of themselves as wacky and zany people who nobody knows what crazy thing they’ll do next because they’re so chaotic and random! They’ll be the first to tell you that they have a great sense of humor and are always cracking up their friends and making the norms think they’re insane. Of course, this is all relative.

As we’ve discussed, most geeks seem to think humor consists solely of reciting things they saw on television or movies, regardless of context or audience. We’ve also seen how some geeks think that nothing’s funnier than the thought that someone who actually couldn’t care less would be appalled by whatever the geek is reading, which is why Johnny Ryan can pay his bills.

There is a third type of geek, however, and this is the one with absolutely no sense of humor whatsoever. Literally. Any attempt they make at humor is done as though they once heard the definition of the word recited to them over a walkie-talkie by someone reading it phonetically. In the best attempts one can sometimes discern the trace elements of humor in the sample, and in the worst attempts the recipient of the “joke” is merely baffled. Since so many geeks are little more than high-functioning autistics, it’s not surprising that some should have such a poor sense of humor. It is also surprising how many geeks who regularly trade in sarcasm can’t seem to recognize it when it’s aimed at them, unless it’s directly pointed out.

Unfortunately this will not stop them from not only making “jokes” but also “helping” others with their jokes. They will read something funny on a blog or website and then decide to improve it in the comments. There are several ways of doing this:

why-so-serious1) Restating the joke completely. It’s unclear why this would improve it, but you can bet that if you have a gag involving a fireman wearing red suspenders to keep his pants up, at least one geek will show up to suggest that he use the suspenders to assist in the keeping up of his pants.

2) Restating the joke with only one element slightly changed. In the example above, another geek will ask if the fireman’s blue suspenders also keep his pants up.

3) Making the joke go on longer (Type A). This is often seen in the case of a brief parody of something. The geek will come in and attempt to extend the conceit on longer (because, after, more is always better and nothing should ever end!). While they may stumble across an angle the original writer didn’t think of, they will inevitably make the entire affair run on to such an extent that the original writer will have every regret he wrote the thing in the first place.

4) Making the joke go on longer (Type B). This geek will see a list of ten things, described as a list of ten things, and then point out that the writer “forgot” items eleven and twelve.

5) Making the joke more “accurate” (Type A). This geek will fix the joke by correcting some trivial detail that the writer ignored on purpose, oblivious to the fact that while the correction may make the joke more “factually accurate”, it also ruins whatever was funny about it in the first place.

6) Making the joke more “accurate” (Type B). This geek completely missed out on the idea that what he read was a joke and will feel inclined to point out everything about the piece that is outright wrong or “highly unlikely”. While he might be amusing to others present, he himself has been betrayed by his utter lack of humor.

7) Relating the joke back to himself. This geek is unable to see how anything could be funny or interesting unless he’s involved, and therefore will use this opportunity to relate a tale about himself which may, if you’re especially lucky, even be remotely tangential to the topic at hand.

8) Offering suggestions. Even when the original writer asks his audience for other examples of whatever he is pointing out, this geek rises to the occasion by providing items that are not at all what was asked for, but are nevertheless “funny” because they’re a reference to something else.

9) Meme-ing it up. Whether it’s Chuck Norris, Lolcats, All Your Base, or something similar, this geek has never seen an Internet joke he doesn’t think is hilarious. For him, any joke can be improved by somehow shoehorning in whatever the flavor of the month is. This also applies to previous jokes by the same writer. Just because the original author is ready to move on to different things doesn’t mean his audience is!

Not only will none of these make the original joke any funnier, but they’ll also be joined by the other geeks who will be suggesting the addition of MST3K and Kids in the Hall references, turning the entire event into a dismal unfunny swamp. The nature of humor is to subvert expectations, but geeks always demand everything be exactly as they expect it to. Reading comments on humorous articles is a loser’s game, and even writing such articles is pretty much a task only for the brave or foolish.

It may not be as funny but dammit, they can’t let this ignorance of Buffy chronology go unchallenged, and that’s why geeks LOVE destroying humor.


March 10, 2009 - 47 Responses

High school was a tough time for your typical geek. Between weekend long D&D marathons, hacking military and business computers, and being mercilessly beaten and humiliated by more popular, athletic kids, it’s a wonder they managed to find the time to go to class. Granted, only one of the above things ever actually happened to any of them, but geeks like to pretend that they were horribly victimized while in their adolescence by those of their peers with the foresight to get some exercise once in awhile.

Luckily for the geek, there’s a quick and easy way to displace all the pent up anger and humiliation that pretending to be someone else’s whipping boy: pick on someone else! As we’ve already seen, lording your geek superiority over another geek can be useful in establishing your place in the pecking order amongst other geeks, but that lacks the usefulness of an engaging us/them dynamic. Picking on the mundanes would be the natural first choice of a geek, but doing that would give the lie to their self-professed “underdog outsider” status. For the geeks there’s a group ready-made for them to despise, and that’s gays and lesbians.

It may seem surprising that geeks would gravitate towards a knee-jerk antipathy to gays and gay rights, but it’s worth remembering that American culture, as a whole, still has not become comfortable with the idea of homosexuality, and the middle-class, white, right-libertarian tendencies of the geek are well documented. There is no realistic other option for a group for them to feel superior to. Race-based antipathy is socially frowned on and would only draw attention to the overwhelming white-ness of geeks, and it’s hard to feel like an outsider when you’re essentially The Man. Gender-based antagonism only reduces the likelihood of a geek finding a woman desperate enough to have sex with him, as despite the frequent geek complaint to the contrary, chicks really don’t dig jerks.

It may also seem surprising that geeks would gravitate towards homophobia because so much anti-gay sentiment is rooted in Judeo-Christian ideology, and your typical geek is trying very hard to distance himself as much from that system of religion as possible. But in that strange, cross-over world of American politics, where people who vote Republican because Jesus loves little babies become convinced that Jesus hates climatologists who discuss global warming as well, geeks gravitate strongly towards the right-wing Libertarian ideologies of Ron Paul and Ayn Rand. They believe that technology is the answer to all problems, and that no government regulation or taxation or copyright legislation should be allowed to stand in the way of that technological utopia. And as that crowd includes a more than representative example of “natural law” thinkers and those who fear that, for example, legalizing gay marriage will create a strain on the health care industry because of the millions of straight people who will enter into fake gay marriage for insurance benefits, a good amount of only tangentially based in reality anti-gay thought creeps into the geek’s world-view.

I may be a horrifying psychopath, but at least I'm not GAY!

I may be a horrifying psychopath, but at least I'm not GAY!

The actual form that the geek’s homophobia takes can be quite varied, however. The most frequent form is the fetishization of lesbianism. To the geek, lesbians are only “real” to the extent that they are able to titillate the geek, a fact that the producers of syndicated fantasy shows such as Star Trek and Buffy the Vampire Slayer are happy to exploit for an annual goose to the ratings. But almost as common is the dread of the male body that many geeks exhibit. From worrying over the suggestion of male genitalia in comic books to shifting uncomfortably in their seats anytime a male actor is unclothed in a film, the geek’s initial reaction is to loudly proclaim “Gaaaaayyyyy!” lest anyone briefly suspect that he himself is turned on by what he’s seeing. Occasionally film-makers will even go that extra step and include the snigger inducing gay joke themselves, thus saving their audience the trouble.

This sniggering response to anything that could even be remotely seen as gay is what gave rise to the unrelenting hilarity of the nonstop “Brokebat Mountain” jokes that arose on the internet after the casting of Heath Ledger as the Joker was announced before filming for The Dark Knight began. That it took the death of Ledger for geeks to realize that the jokes weren’t funny is a testament to the lengths they’re willing to go to for the sakes of maintaining their disapproval of both gays and humor. (It’s also not a little ironic that now his depiction of the Joker is considered “iconic” by fans and became the number one geek costume of last Halloween.)

Should the question of actual anti-gay discrimination come up, the geek will be the first to adopt a “blame the victim” attitude. After all, a woman who identifies as a lesbian in her gamer profile is clearly asking for it, as sexuality should have no place in video gaming. Just ask “LadiesMan69” or “LuvsTitties.” Clearly, gays and lesbians are asking to be discriminated against. If they weren’t, why would they ever let anyone know about their failure to live up to the manly, heterosexual ideal of the geek?

A group of people more hated than themselves? Small wonder geeks LOVE Homophobia!


March 6, 2009 - 6 Responses

Geeks like to think of their society as being off limits to just anyone, seemingly unaware that a club doesn’t count as exclusive unless other people actually want to join it. Nevertheless, geeks are constantly coming up with ways in which other geeks need to “prove” their devotion to the scene. This is partly because, as we shall explore later, geeks are of the opinion that there is a Great Chain of Geek Being and as long as there’s someone on a lover level than themselves, they’re doing okay. But mostly this is due to the fact that geeks are in a constant pissing contest with each other over who is a better fan.

Some geeks prove their commitment through the amount of money they’ve spent, amount of trivia they know, number of lines they can recite, number of items in their “collection”, and so forth, but for the average fan, well beneath this level of investment, these are losing propositions. His goal is not to prove that he can run with the big dogs, but that there are at least some smaller dogs than himself.

Hang on, I'm sure I've got SOMETHING here you haven't read.

Hang on, I'm sure I've got SOMETHING here you haven't read.

Thus, the geek will construct a list of requirements and declare them essential for even the most basic fan. Why, unless you’ve read the books, seen the movies, watched the episodes, own the action figures, or played the games on his list, you really can scarcely consider yourself a fan at all.

Such a list is almost always constructed the same way. First there will be the “no brainer” entries that anyone would come up with. This is to establish the solid foundation of the list. Then there are a few items that might be a little more difficult for a mere dilettante to achieve, but which should prove no problem to anyone expending some energy. There should be a couple of newer and more controversial entries on the list to provide some discussion and weed out those who are only coasting on past achievements. And then, finally, you get to the guillotine, the item on the list solely included to make sure that the geek makes the cut and some other geek doesn’t. Ideally it should be something terribly obscure so that he can’t get called out on its inappropriateness.

In addition to the fact that the geek will paint the line just high enough so that he’s tall enough to ride but that guy isn’t, he also gets the benefit of having painted the line in the first place. Obviously this automatically makes him something of an authority on the matter, cementing his upper-level spot in the hierarchy even further.

Other areas of non-geek fandom do this to some extent, of course. The sports fan who tailgates at the games and holds season tickets is seen as more devoted than the guy who just catches the game on TV. The woodworker who has a lathe and drill press in his garage is seen as more “hardcore” than the guy just building the occasional birdhouse. But nevertheless, if those two sports fans met in a bar, they could happily discuss their favorite team, and the two woodworkers would also recognize each other as two of a similar kind. It’s highly doubtful that sports fan number one would ridicule sports fan number two and call him “not a true fan” because he hadn’t watched one particular game twelve years ago. The second woodworker wouldn’t roll his eyes and snicker if the first one admitted never having built anything with pine. Yet one geek will instantly dismiss another geek as a poser based on a single item the superior one feels his inferior lacks.

Once a geek has thrown a list of prerequisites at you and you’ve hit the guillotine item, your only chance to save face is to hope that his list is “hopelessly flawed” and you can find the obvious missing item or, even better, an unobvious missing item that will seem obvious once pointed out. If you can somehow get the entire list declared null and void, you won’t have to admit that you’ve never seen Buckaroo Banzai and listen to the mocking laughter of others.

Geeks never stand taller or prouder than when they’re standing on the head of an inferior geek, and that’s why geeks LOVE prerequisites.

Explaining to Companies Why Giving Stuff to Them for Free is Excellent Business

March 3, 2009 - 14 Responses

This weekend there was a great disturbance in the online geek community. The LiveJournal group “Scans Daily” was suspended for violating one of LJ’s few rules that don’t involve stories about Harry Potter characters having sex with each other.

This community was known primarily for two things: posting scans of current (and older) comics, and then bitching about what happened in them. Rumor has it that the cause of the shutdown was one comics creator finally getting fed up with people both ripping him off and ripping on him and decided to put a cork in this thing once and for all.

Naturally, this immediately caused great consternation and outrage among the folks doing the scanning and bitching, who replied with the geek’s usual calm, reasoned discourse:

Dear Peter David,

When I tell you ‘Die In A Fire’, I do so because I don’t want to use sex as an insult or phrase revolving around my disgust and anger with you. Fucking is fun, and it shouldn’t be used to tell people to go deflate their heads. Also, rape is serious and also shouldn’t be used to go tell people to deflate their heads.

Now I’m going to imagine you happily roasting to bits in a fire (LIKE BACON)- cause really, my personal fantasy tv, isn’t something you can censor (though you can complain). Much like I can complain, but can’t censor your skanky race and gender issues.

To hear the Scans Daily people talk, you would think that every one of them was buying multiple copies of every comic posted there, and thus filling the coffers of the comics companies to overflowing with their patronage. Which makes it perfectly reasonable to ask: if this is the case, why scan them? Just talk about the comic you all purchased right there in front of you for reference.

Look at me! I'm a grassroots marketer!

Look at me! I'm a grassroots marketer!

But instead there is geek outrage because The Man has shut down this bastion of free speech, this grassroots organization, this bunch of people all knowingly violating copyright but feeling that not only should it be okay for them to do so, but that they are entitled to it and should be thanked by the comics companies for doing it.

After all, goes the argument in the second comment of this MetaFilter thread about the event, comic books cost too much. So really, when you think about it, this is all Marvel and DC’s fault. Comic books are pricey, so we revert to the standard rules of Capitalism: it’s okay to steal something until the price comes down to the point where consumers will deign to pay for it. (See also: music.) The next argument in the thread states that the “Big Two could try not being so awful and gimmicky” which drives the point even further that this is a failure on the parts of the comics company. If the comics weren’t so terrible, I would buy them instead of relying on copyright violation to find out what happened next in Thor.

The main argument being put forth by the SD-fans is that this “try before you buy” outlet got more people to buy more comics than didn’t. By shutting down Scans Daily, they argue, you are shutting down the only way people have of discovering new titles, or even comic books in general, because remember, this is LiveJournal, and for most people there, the Internet outside LiveJournal is a vast, uncharted wasteland peopled solely by Langoliers and possibly hoodoo spirits. The fact that there are plenty of places online where you can find out about what’s going on in comics — as well as get plenty of preview pages — is unknown to those who don’t venture outside LiveJournal, even though they refer to those sites in their defense because they don’t understand the difference between a company releasing five pages as a preview to a news site and some geek with a scanner offering up half a book on his own.

These two arguments — that the material is too expensive and low in quality and that also these scans increase sales — are coming out of the same mouths despite their obvious contradictory nature. In essence the SD crowd is attempting to threaten the comic companies with an ominous, “Terrible business you’ve got here. Wouldn’t be a shame if anything happened to it.”

The geeks are now trying to convince the comics companies that it’s in the companies’ best interests to let them do whatever they like because otherwise they’re alienating their fanbase and “being dicks”. This is similar to the arguments made for Napster a few years ago except in one major way: the music industry wasn’t the shambling, amateurish mess that the comics industry is. It’s not so easy to tell if the loss of Scans Daily patronage would affect the comics companies. After all, is a wino in an alleyway really much better off if the lice are removed from him?

Nevertheless, the geeks will continue to try to threaten the comics companies into letting them have the product for free, and in fact have already moved to a new site for doing so. They can continue scanning half of each new issue of Batman and then complaining that DC are a bunch of dickless morons because they won’t give Stephanie Brown a memorial case in the Batcave while all the time wondering why DC doesn’t thank them for doing so.

Does it make sense? Of course not, but geeks LOVE explaining to companies why giving stuff to them for free is excellent business!