The adage perfect is the enemy of the good, and its friend worse is better are well established. They have a pearl of truth, and pearl of evil in them.

The pearl of truth is well known – by aspiring toward perfection, one would make a mistake in skipping over the “good enough”. This is a good thing to keep in mind, yada yada yada.

The pearl of evil hits me frequently too. This one works by someone quoting the idea “worse is better” in order to rationalize a lousy solution to a critic. “You can’t have perfection — so put up with this.”

My pet peeve of the moment though is not from vocational sources, but from my own house. When we moved in, the previous resident left some good and some crummy appliances behind. One of them had to be replaced by them outright, before closing – it was so bad. Of course, you can predict what happened next: they bought the crappiest, cheapest replacement that they could. (We might have taken a more active approach in this part of the transaction, but oh well.)

So now, we have three bits of machinery that perform, well, lousy. But they’re not dead yet, and so we lack the urgency to get a replacement of an appropriate quality for our home. Sure, we can’t have perfection, but we can’t seem to have something good enough either. We’re sort of stuck with lousy.