Tag Archives: pac-man

I can’t stop thinking about Bush

Alas, for most of you who clicked this post based on the subject line, disappointment will be your friend. This post is political. (The subtle hint was the capital B in Bush.)

A website that is full of hot air tried to convince me recently that Obama is the undisputed king of debt or something to that effect.

So I did a little experiment.
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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?

Angry Pac-Man pie tries to eat my free time – wocka wocka

Distribution of hours in my life in a normal week

Less than half of life is spent doing what I choose to do

Working full time sometimes leaves me feeling a bit dreary. I was feeling like I never had any time for me. Like I told my wife last night, it was 5:15pm when I finally sat down at my computer. It was the first moment all day when I was actually doing something I chose to do. So I decided to check out a normal work week from a mathematical perspective.

There are 168 hours in a week. (That is 7 days times 24 hours.)

I assumed eight hours a day devoted to the category of “sleep.” That’s 40 hours there or about 23.8 percent of the entire week.

Next I calculated the category called “work.” Since I’m full time that’s 40 hours a week. I’m also including in that category my half hour lunch, or another 2.5 hours. (I don’t really count that as free time.) I also included 2.5 hours each for getting ready for work and commuting. That brings the work category up to 47.5 hours a week or about 28.3 percent of the entire week.

Everything else I lumped into a category called “other” which ended up at 80.5 hours a week or about 47.9 percent of the entire week.

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