Tag: Failure

Quote of the Day: On Making Progress


“Anyway, it’s hard to iterate though when people are on every mission. You can’t just be blowing stuff up ’cause you’re gonna kill people. Starship does not have anyone on board so we can blow things up. It’s really helpful.” – Elon Musk

The Starship test did not get as far as second-stage ignition. That does not mean it was a failure. Rather it was the first step in testing — using a test to destruction test philosophy. The main goal of the test was to get it off the launch pad and not to get it into orbit. All components in the test were intended to be discarded. Both the first and second stages were early versions of the hardware, which had been replaced by better designs. Rather than scrap them, Musk opted to use them in a launch test. (In fact, newer versions of the two stages already exist, to be expended in the next rounds of tests.) Hardware (even launch pads) can be replaced. Time and lives lost cannot.

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If you’re knocked down 7 times, Get Up 8. I can hear myself uttering that line to students each semester. We are all quite familiar with failure; most of us have lived it. Failure is a part of life. Lessons learned from failure are so important to me, I teach them to college English classes. […]

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Join Jim and Greg as they break down the latest polling on the Senate race in Nevada which has Republican Adam Laxalt ahead of incumbent Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto. They also shake their heads in response to news that Frank James, the suspect in the subway shooting in Brooklyn, was on the FBI’s radar as recently as 2019. This incident is only the latest in a string of cases where the perpetrator was known to the agency before they committed violent actions. And after two weeks, it is obvious that CNN+, CNN’s new premium streaming service, is a pathetic failure with an average viewership of only 10,000 viewers a day.

Failure Is the Only Option


As I watch the work of the Biden Administration unfold, I can’t help but wonder if there is an overarching and hidden lesson that we are supposed to learn. Does anyone remember a time when any administration has made so many disastrous decisions in just over one year? It’s as if we are supposed to learn from all these outcomes that the US has failed, and will continue to fail, at every level.

Here is a partial list of the devastating results of their policies: lack of response to the Russian threat; meaningless response to China; ineptitude of Kamala Harris; gas prices; re-emergence of energy dependence; withdrawal from Afghanistan; shortages in supply chain; colluding with media; chaos at the border; inflation now over 8%; crime; war on parents; empowering Iran; damaging our relationship with Israel.

Again, it’s just a partial list. (Feel free to add more in the comments.)

Join Jim and Greg as they cover the causes of skyrocketing prices at the pump and the Biden administration’s failure to take necessary measures to bring them down. They also wonder if President Biden regrets picking Kamala Harris to be his Vice President as she continues to embarrass herself on the national stage – this time by comparing Bloody Selma to recent voting law changes in some states. And despite attending a church service, a Brooklyn congregation was treated to a 20 minute speech by disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on things that should be cancelled before him.

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.

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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.

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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.