Making good mistakes

Brain Pickings... Dennett..
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So when you make a mistake, you should learn to take a deep breath, grit your teeth, and then examine your own recollections of the mistake as ruthlessly and as dispassionately as you can manage

Summary

“If you are not making mistakes, you’re not taking enough risks. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before" Debbie Millman.

Brain Pickings  5/29/13
Maria Popova

Intuition Pumps: Daniel Dennett on the Dignity and Art-Science of Making Mistakes

“The chief trick to making good mistakes is not to hide them — especially not from yourself.”

“If you are not making mistakes, you’re not taking enough risks,” Debbie Millman counseled“Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before,”…. Daniel Dennett, one of our greatest living philosophers, offers a set of thinking tools — “handy prosthetic imagination-extenders and focus holders” — that allow us to “think reliably and even gracefully about really hard questions” — to enhance your cognitive toolkit. ……

Though most of his 77 “intuition pumps” address concrete questions, a dozen are “general-purpose” tools that apply deeply and widely, across just about any domain of thinking. The first of them is also arguably the most useful yet most uncomfortable: making mistakes.

Dennett echoes Dostoyevsky (“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others.”) and offers the key to making productive mistakes:

The chief trick to making good mistakes is not to hide them — especially not from yourself. Instead of turning away in denial when you make a mistake, you should become a connoisseur of your own mistakes, turning them over in your mind as if they were works of art, which in a way they are. … The trick is to take advantage of the particular details of the mess you’ve made, so that your next attempt will be informed by it and not just another blind stab in the dark.

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