Pac-Man legends of the fall

Image Credit: Some internet denizen who is not me

Not to get too deep or anything, but if you think about it, Pac-Man is nothing more than a graph. A pie chart, to be precise.

His source data is approx. 80 percent yellow and 20 percent nothing. Hey, that’s just like the brains of most human beings. Coincidence? I think not!

80-20. That’s interesting. For some reason these numbers seem to come up a lot. For example, in a business meeting, 20 percent of the participants usually do 80 percent of the talking. This is also known as a monumental waste of time.

I’ve also heard 80-20 described as a rule in business meetings. This has to do with the fact that 80% consensus on a difficult issue or problem is fairly easy to achieve, but the law of diminishing returns kicks in when attempting to deal with the remaining 20%. Thus, if this is your jargon, the 80/20 phrase can become a signal to the group that impasse has been reached. “I think we’re at 80/20,” the moderator might say. “Let’s move on.”

There is even something called the Pareto principle (also known as the 80-20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) which states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Back in 1906 the inventor of this principle noticed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the people and that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas. (Source: Wikipedia.)

Wow. Who knew that Pac-Man had such depths? And here I thought he was just a drunken mindless idiot.

Since what I mainly do in life is sit around and think about stupid useless shit, I decided to try to come up with a list of as many Pac-Man style graphs as possible and celebrate the 80/20 in my own life. Assuming that Pac-Man is a pie chart, here are possible legends:

  • 80% boss, 20% wife
  • 80% work, 20% free time
  • 80% pain, 20% pleasure
  • 80% bills, 20% discretionary
  • 80% litter box, 20% purring

Can you identify any 80/20 examples in your own existence?

8 responses

  1. Deborah the Closet Monster | Reply

    I’d pictured parenting would be 80% me issuing order, 20% my son asking me to do things. Flip those numbers and you’ve got the truth!


    1. Heh! I think the world of parenting must be replete with many examples of 80-20. Go Pac-Man, go!


  2. 80% fur, 20% carpet – my house at the moment. Vacuum broke. Urg.


    1. LOL. I feel that pain when I sweep the kitchen. The broom then needs a fur detox.


  3. 80% husband being truly negative, 20% husband raging in negativity
    80% me doing chores, 20% husband pretending to do chores
    80% husband blogging, 20% husband tweeting (sometimes visa versa)
    80% husband trying to be funny, 20% me laughing


    1. Luckily we all know you’re just kidding, right? 🙂


  4. […] a little graph of the results. Hey, look! Pac-Man returns for a sequel! It’s not an exact 80-20, but close enough. It seems that Bush wanted more than his 20 percent. So I call this the […]


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