[FoRK] [tt] Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

Joseph S. Barrera III j3 at barrera.org
Mon May 28 10:31:34 PDT 2012


On 5/27/2012 9:00 PM, Stephen D. Williams wrote:
> https://chronicle.com/article/Next-Time-Fail-Better/131790/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en
> May 6, 2012
> Next Time, Fail Better
>
> David Cutler for The Chronicle
>
> By Paula M. Krebs

Seeing David Cutler's name there was really confusing until I eventually 
brought up the original web page and saw that "David Cutler for The 
Chronicle" was a photo credit and thus Cutler was probably not *that* 
Cutler.

> Perhaps of all the humanities, the creative arts come closest to valuing failure. Poets and painters don't expect to get it right
> the first time. That's the idea of workshopping as a pedagogy, right? Still, there's a real difference. I'd be willing to bet that
> most creative writers bring a piece of work into a workshop secretly hoping it's a success. Sure, they know they need help on
> aspects of their story or poem, but that's not the same as failing.
>
> A computer program that doesn't run is a failure. A program that produces no usable data about the text it was set up to analyze is
> a failure. Why don't those failures devastate the developers? Because each time their efforts fail, the developers learn something
> they can use to get closer to success the next time.

This is a bit of a false dichotomy. A program that fails to compile or 
produces an incorrect answer isn't a "failure". It's something that 
needs to be fixed (edited!). That's why such occurrences don't devastate 
developers.

- Joe



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