We are sick. Infested by a new type of cancer these days. It’s called excellency and it eats up humanity slow but steady.
Nothing is more divergent then excellency and humanity. This weekend I were reminded by this fact again and so I’m writing to you about my thoughts.
Let’s start to bring you up to date.
I had to do some practical programming exercise for university, nothing really difficult. It wolfed down time, though. Then there appeared some problems and bugs. Full of fear if I could solve the problems I started to realize.
If I can’t solve these problems, I would get no reward. No result, no points. Even if I invested a lot of time and effort in this project. If something goes wrong, if I make terrible mistakes, no one seems to be interested. The result has to be excellent. Nothing else is counting.
To ban the mistake is a mistake itself
Implicit it’s not allowed to do mistakes. If you do, you ran out of time. So no reward. But we are humans! We do mistakes and we do so above all in apprenticeship. Is it wrong for us to do so? How could we even assume that making mistakes could ever be wrong. Still it’s part of humanity.
If we assume that nature is excellent in it’s own way. Why are humans making mistakes then? Because we can only define our world by our mistakes.
We only can try things. We will never know about something before we tried it out. After trying we review if it was a mistake or not. Still we can’t assume that we are doing right - it’s a matter of definition!
Perhaps the mistake is humanities most powerful tool to categorize and understand the world. Why is it forbidden to make mistakes then?
Compliant, non-creative and stagnant
After all I managed to solve the problem and reached the requested “excellency”, but the terrifying pressure was nothing that I want to feel again. Especially because it decreased my creativity in a grossly efficient way.
If we develop a fear for making mistakes we will probably become compliant, non-creative and stagnant beings.
I love computer science. I love life, nature and also humanity, but it makes me really, really sad to be reminded of the fact, that some of use are ate up by this cancer called excellency.
Any thoughts of your own?
Feel free to raise a discussion with me on Mastodon or drop me an email.