Tag: Failure

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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(The following is a commencement address that I will never give, because I will never be invited to) Dear Graduates, More

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Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill More

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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.

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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. More

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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.

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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.

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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 More

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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. More

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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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My life is filled with failure.   More

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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.

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I just ranted on Twitter. I defied their 140 character rules and spewed forth a rant about Oregon politics. What’s wrong with it? Let’s start here. Republican Senatorial candidate Monica Wehby is everything that the pundits say will be a winner. She’s moderate. She’s a doctor who’s against the ACA. She’s a she. She’s moderate […]

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