Tag: Failure

Railguns Fried, Fizzle Before the Fourth of July

 

U.S. Navy image of railgun prototype firing

Military.com reports the Navy has finally ended the railgun program. What caught my eye was a reference to other services’ abandoned futuristic weapons. What each had in common was strong support over many years from the military-industrial complex: a uniformed proponent, Congressional support, and defense contractors. I started my military career in the 1980s just as the Sergeant York air defense gun system collapsed under spectacularly bad testing results, so can sympathize.

San Francisco Is Pure Hell

 

It is a bit of a cliché to say that San Francisco is a hellhole.

I remember reading in conservative blogs back in the mid-2000s about gay pride parades in the Castro district in which men would masturbate out of windows and on to passersby as part of the procession. When I moved down there in 2008 and worked for the Business section of the San Francisco Examiner, I remember walking through Van Ness and seeing a big, thick, and unmistakably human turd right there on the sidewalk.

On Quitting

 

Lazy author’s note: One of the effects of membership in this site is that I have written down a lot of things that I otherwise would not have. Many of these thoughts remain in editing limbo. The intent is to post my great wisdom and reap the internet points, but a side effect is that I have accidentally created a bit of journal that I have never before managed to convince myself to write. I wrote this back in the spring of 2018. I decided not to change much. There are no conclusions here, just thoughts. I’ve added a few notes in bold italics for updates and clarity. And because I like bold italics.

I joined Ricochet after I had been visiting the site for several years. The reason I had not joined earlier was that I had nothing to say. If I had a question or comment on a post, somebody else had already voiced it. All I had to do was scroll through the comments and wait and somebody did the work for me.

Dispatch from Washington State: Doubling Down on Failure

 

Here are some news items from the State of Washington and the City of Seattle; please note that the state and city are run by Leftists through and through.

First, items relating to the pandemic.  Two weeks ago, our Dictator closed all state restaurants for inside dining, closed gyms, and reduced capacity allowed at all indoor retail establishments, including grocery stores for a 4-week period.  This was a response to “surging coronavirus cases” in the state.  Please also note that the Dictator is issuing these rules from his desk, with no input from the elected state legislature.

Quote of the Day – Dare to Fail Greatly

 

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. – Robert F. Kennedy

Yes, the man who said this is Bobby Kennedy, a man disliked by the right and who should be distrusted by the left. (Robert Kennedy worked for Joe McCarthy and at the time apparently liked the work.) But when someone is right about something, pay attention, perhaps especially if you dislike the person.

Member Post

 

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill This attitude is one reason Churchill achieved greatness. He was a man who experienced both the triumph of high achievement, and the bitterness of failure while daring greatly. Preview Open

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It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs […]

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When I started my PhD program, it was sold as a 4.5-5 year process with an MA in hand, which I thought seemed long, but since I was offered a full scholarship and a full stipend as an assistant, that was fine. I met my wife during my first semester, though not at school. She […]

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From Wealth and Poverty: A New Edition for the Twenty-First Century, by George Gilder: Comfortable failure will always and inevitably turn to politics to protect it from change.  Just as declining businesses turn to the state, people and groups that shun the burdens of productive work and family life will proclaim themselves a social crisis […]

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Fail Fast, Fail Often

 

shutterstock_24567307There is a paradigm in software (and other engineering disciplines, I suspect) called “fail fast.” On first encounter, it sounds odd. Why fail fast? Don’t we want to delay failures? Of course, the context drives the design; and far too often, in software, one deals with a increasingly complex system that comprises of many moving pieces. So, sometimes, if something fails, it’s much better to know about it sooner than later, so it can be addressed. Jim Shore wrote the best article on the advantages of failing fast to my knowledge, here. He says:

Some people recommend making your software robust by working around problems automatically. This results in the software “failing slowly.” The program continues working right after an error but fails in strange ways later on. A system that fails fast does exactly the opposite: when a problem occurs, it fails immediately and visibly. Failing fast is a nonintuitive technique: “failing immediately and visibly” sounds like it would make your software more fragile, but it actually makes it more robust. Bugs are easier to find and fix, so fewer go into production.

I find parallels between my software experiences and my life. I often notice what works in one paradigm has uses in others and — in many cases — I want my experiences to be “fail fast.” In other words, I want to know sooner rather than later if a new product will be successful, if a new business relationship will work, if a new idea will manifest, etc.

Member Post

 

It’s not about failure vs success. It’s understanding that you cannot succeed at everything.  There’s just not enough you in the universe. You have to make the hard choices as to what will succeed and what will fail, or those choices will be made for you. Preview Open

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The Last Possible Good Failure

 

shutterstock_90261658I’d probably make a lousy prostitute, I concluded. Time to swallow my pride and move back home. 

It wasn’t my parents’ fault. Almost always, children have to be taught to be less whiny, not more. Virtuous parents rightly hold up stoicism as a model for their children’s behavior. Most problems you face at any given moment will eventually go away if you simply toughen up. Unbending persistence in the face of pain is the key to ultimate success.

Except when it isn’t. Looking after my respiratory problems – which, after all, could be life-threatening – would have been enough for any parent. When I began having funny aches in my bones, too, my parents said, “It’s just growing pains. Have another banana.” Or, “Walk it off.” Or, “You must’ve slept on it funny.” They said this day in and out for years. And I took their advice like a good girl, stifling whining and backchat, day in and day out for years. Eventually I got sick of bananas, though much addicted to long walks by myself, especially in chilly weather, when the numbing ache of the cold obliterated other sensations.

Success in the Home Can Compensate For Any Failure

 

shutterstock_116828941Failure was the ever-present backdrop of my childhood, but not my failures. My Dad excelled at failure.

He was born on January 1, 1923, and weighed in at 13 pounds. Everyone plans and dreams on New Year’s Day and—true to his birth date and his enormous size—Dad was a lifelong planner and dreamer with a can-do spirit. He was an excellent student, amiable, loving, and, in his youth, very handsome. Unfortunately, he was far better at planning and dreaming than executing his plans. He had a lot of mechanical ability. These days, he would have gone to college and perhaps become an engineer, but he was born on a farm in Idaho at a time when hardly anyone went to college. Young men became farmers like their fathers.

When he came of age, he and his three brothers purchased a farm dirt cheap out on the Idaho desert. And yes, it was dirt cheap because it was mostly dirt and sage brush. There were aquifers beneath it for water, though, and the soil was perfect for growing famous Idaho potatoes. The brothers built houses, dug wells, cleared away the sagebrush and planted their fields. Before long, they divvied up the land among them.

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Time is short so I’ll get right to the moral of the story. Why failure? Is failure real or is it an imposter, as Rudyard Kipling wrote, in his poem If? This excerpt from that poem is installed over the Wimbledon players’ entrance to Centre Court: “If you can meet Triumph and Disaster Preview Open

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In the summer of 2012, I fell out of love with Conservatives. It was that summer that Professor Rahe was predicting a Romney landslide. It was that summer that my Ricofriends called me a nattering nabob. It was that summer that it became clear to me that Conservatives are delusional losers. Preview Open

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I am on the on-deck circle for the Failure series. I thought seriously of using this as my failure post, but decided that was not quite fair.  So, tomorrow will see a post written by me.  However, this is the best summation of failure and its consequences I have ever read. Incidentally, this was one […]

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What can I say? Check with me about once a week and I’m sure at some point in the previous seven days, I can say I legitimately felt like a failure. And yes, it’s happened this week. It happens frequently. It became rather acute back when I was unemployed a little more than a year […]

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Florence Foster Jenkins, Patron Saint of Persistence

 

There are two opposing strains in American conservatism. The scolding, risk-averse strain likes nothing more than to remind people – especially young people – that no one is a special snowflake. In fact, you’re probably a bigger failure than you think you are. And no, you most likely shouldn’t follow your dreams.

The other strain recognizes the importance of risk taking and admires risk-takers (or at least admires them when they succeed). This is the strain that delights in pointing out that big government crushes big dreams. The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen, the less scope there is for the big dreamers of the world.