Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Making mistakes

When I was in the 4th grade, I took a pair of my shoes to be re-soled.  I had only 1 when I got there.  My parents were amazed that a fairly bright kid could carry two shoes and nothing else and not notice that he had dropped one.  Besides being amazed, they were angry.

"I don't make mistakes" - Information technology professional over the phone to me.

Sometime about 1963, I grabbed a 5th grader who had just thrown a pencil.  I was angry and doing that was a mistake.  

Sometime in the 80's, I pushed a very sturdy man.  Again, anger.  I don't remember why I pushed him but I do remember that he did not move one millimeter from my shove.  That was a mistake, too.

After even thinking of mistakes, I want to displace, groom, buy, find something else that is distracting and enveloping, just like the apes groom to distract themselves.

Possibly little steady mistakes, such as giving candy to the baby, may cost more in a relation than a big mistake made only once.

There are lies, mistakes and disagreements.  I am lying when I say I am writing this in the Korean language.  I am not lying if I believe I have a natural ability to write Korean and am exercising it now.  You and I will probably disagree about my chances of winning a Korean poetry contest.

A group of friends used Kathryn Schulz's book "On Being Wrong" as a basis for discussion.  I like that book, partly for its subject matter and partly for the way it surprised me in a Colorado bookstore.  It was one of those times when I perused a bookstore for good books and then downloaded the book through the air onto my Kindle.  Academics and other bookish types like to be right so a book on being wrong caught my eye.  Here is a link to a web page of comments and snippets from her book:

https://sites.google.com/site/kirbyvariety/highlights-by-me-and-others-from-being-wrong-by-kathryn-schultz [sorry, her last name has no "t"]

Despite strong interests in not being wrong, she and others have some lovely things to say about human progress depending on being wrong repeatedly while being able to recognize error and change.

Kathryn Schulz has a fine TED talk.  Look up TED and search for her or for "wrong".  She confesses she was wrong about this "Chinese" character:

Popular Posts

Follow @olderkirby