Breaking News
Blog

Studying failure is a great way to learn, or maybe not

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
rpcy
User Rank
Rookie
re: Studying failure is a great way to learn, or maybe not
rpcy   9/1/2010 5:57:47 PM
NO RATINGS
Read the book "Better" by Atul Gawande. He recounts how the medical field has progressed (or not), by fanatical attention to systemic errors. Surgeons get together weekly at many hospitals for candid sessions on what happened and what should be changed as a result. As engineers we don't often do that, at least not between companies. And sometimes when we do we make the opposite mistake: overly fixated on what did not go perfectly, which we try to improve on at the risk of breaking much more important things that DID go well. In the end, if you aren't making mistakes, you aren't trying hard enough.

prabhakar_deosthali
User Rank
CEO
re: Studying failure is a great way to learn, or maybe not
prabhakar_deosthali   8/31/2010 2:42:52 PM
NO RATINGS
I think, calling your past actions as mistakes in itself is a big mistake. Any person who wants to achieve something or create something new looks only forward and on his way forward when he gets stuck he just revises his path ( of action or thinking ) to reach his final destination. For him all those diversions are experiences and not the mistakes. Studying the mistakes people made ( like why Hitler lost the second world war) makes only interesting reading but may not help President Obama in his fight against global terrorism. He will have to think totally afresh, keep revising his strategies ( what we call as make mistakes) and go forward. In no way Hitler's experiences are going to hep him! Like when Edison failed 10,000 times while making an electric bulb, he called those as 10,000 ways of how to not make an Electric bulb ! If today as an engineer I want to invent something I must be prepared to make new mistakes!

Test_engineer
User Rank
Rookie
re: Studying failure is a great way to learn, or maybe not
Test_engineer   8/27/2010 1:24:19 PM
NO RATINGS
I've just bought 2 books " The mistakes of Einstein" and " Hitler's Scientists". The contents of the first were surprising (You wouldn't think that Einstein would fail in anything - but he did many times; still, he learned from the experience). The second book was unsettling and disturbing. The Nazi atomic bomb project was probably Hitler's biggest mistake. His denounciation of "Jew Physics" in the 1930's allowed the Allies to gain the know-how to construct the first nuclear weapon. If there's anything like a "good mistake" this is it!

VincePG
User Rank
Rookie
re: Studying failure is a great way to learn, or maybe not
VincePG   8/22/2010 2:06:32 AM
NO RATINGS
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. Thomas Edison

Dan Mitten
User Rank
Rookie
re: Studying failure is a great way to learn, or maybe not
Dan Mitten   8/20/2010 5:44:04 PM
NO RATINGS
Rich Krajewski, I'm with you on that!

phoenixdave
User Rank
Rookie
re: Studying failure is a great way to learn, or maybe not
phoenixdave   8/18/2010 9:29:49 PM
NO RATINGS
I guess I would point to India, China, Vietnam to name a few, as examples of countries and people who are being pulled out of "third-world" status due to technology. People in rural areas have benefited by new job opportunities. And the youth of the countries see opportunities that their parents could never have foreseen when they were the same age. Providing the right technologies, those that will benefit the population, is critical.

Paul.Koenig
User Rank
Rookie
re: Studying failure is a great way to learn, or maybe not
Paul.Koenig   8/18/2010 8:54:57 PM
NO RATINGS
New York times http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/17/technology/17fail.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

IqbalSingh.Josan
User Rank
Rookie
re: Studying failure is a great way to learn, or maybe not
IqbalSingh.Josan   8/18/2010 8:12:48 PM
NO RATINGS
In my opinion, technology has the power to lift masses out of poverty. That is how our civilization has progressed so far. So, the statement that kids in third world countries do not need laptops, is a big mistake. Every effort needs to be made to learn from the failures, such as those mentioned in this post, and from lessons learned, technology solutions need to be aligned with the needs of impoverished people, with full accountability of the leadership involved. We could begin with baby steps and work hard to let it grow to a movement. Regards. Visit us at uspurtek.com

truant
User Rank
Rookie
re: Studying failure is a great way to learn, or maybe not
truant   8/18/2010 12:39:48 PM
NO RATINGS
Kids in 3rd world countries don't need laptops. They need water, food, stable republics to live in. Mrs. Gates realized that and took Bill on a tour that woke him up to this fact. That's why the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pulled out of this technology flap and started working on real solutions to the ACTUAL problems facing 'the 3rd' world. Malaria, Cholera, Education (basic reading and writing skills), work ethic, civics, these are the foundations upon which your laptop thing could grow. Golly, they don't even have electricity, let alone good cell service. Take a tour through Africa, see what I mean. Then come back to the usa, sit in your fancy car and see if that $6 at starbucks every AM really sounds like such a great idea, when you could educate a village for a month or buy a gallon of DDT for that (read Mark Levin, and you'll get the DDT quip). Wow...

kdboyce
User Rank
Rookie
re: Studying failure is a great way to learn, or maybe not
kdboyce   8/17/2010 10:18:57 PM
NO RATINGS
Nothing involving people is risk free. Taking risks risks failure, as well as creating success. Without risks, society and all that we have would be far more limited. Never underestimate the power of a fanatic for anything. I do advocate looking down the long road for possible problems and trying to mitigate them up front. Sometimes those problems will stop a project for fear of a possible, but unsure, outcome. No one knows the future for sure. Only hindsight is 20/20 vision, and then only if it is driven by facts and not agendas. That's where the learning occurs.

August Cartoon Caption Winner!
August Cartoon Caption Winner!
"All the King's horses and all the KIng's men gave up on Humpty, so they handed the problem off to Engineering."
5 comments
Top Comments of the Week
Like Us on Facebook

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed
Flash Poll
Radio
LATEST ARCHIVED BROADCAST
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.