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Why are we afraid to make mistakes?

I recently saw this article and found the following paragraph: "In science, you make your mistakes in public. You show them off so that everybody can learn from them. This way, you get the benefit of everybody else's experience, and not just your own idiosyncratic path through the space of mistakes."


While i'm not sure that all scientists share their mistakes so that others can learn form them, i was wondering why we're afraid to make mistakes at work, for instance? Is it because we are told that mistakes are not tolerated? Could it be our education, from our family and school, that mistakes should be avoided at all cost or hidden when they happen?

Topics: failure mistakes

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  • Jun 9 2013: In India making a mistake is grave crime. You are expected to be super perfect from the day you are born.Making a mistake has many consequences , you may get blacklisted in the society.
    • Jun 9 2013: Wow, this is atrocious, Santokh! How did you cope with this impossible expectation?
    • Jun 12 2013: That is not true Santokh. Please refrain from generalizing what happens in your neighbourhood.
      • W T 100+

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        Jun 12 2013: You know Kedar, with all the atrocities happening in India, the rapes and the mob attacks on Christians, I think perhaps that in Indian society there needs to be a widespread education on what exactly constitute a mistake.

        Sometimes, from what I have seen and read, just walking out your front door on any given day, might be a mistake.
        • Jun 13 2013: I would like to reply the same. Don't generalize what happens in your neighbourhood. It is always strategy of racist people to see through eyes of races even though there are other reasons for an incident.
          My experience of living in India does allow me to believe your opinion. I have stayed in USA, Europe & India. Everywhere we can see people of all kind. If you wish, I can list down atrocities, child molestation done in religious places of other countries & mob attacks on minorities in other countries. Our duty is to condemn bad things in society without being judgmental about a particular society.
          Also India is not toptic of discussion here. we should debate in another forum about it.
      • W T 100+

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        Jun 13 2013: Kedar, thanks for your reply.
        I too have lived in many countries like you.
        I know many individuals who live in India personally.

        What I meant to say with my comment, and it is not a generalization to speak facts, is that sometimes, innocent individuals who go out into their neighborhood, suffer at the hands of others in a way that is not common in other places.

        In most places around the world, you are free to leave your home and go to the place of worship of your choice without fear of being stripped and beat with cane sticks.

        If I have brought you any discomfort please accept my deep apology, it was not my intention.

        I harbor no judgmental feelings towards Indians in general or any other cultural group, but I can see where the way I worded my comment above comes off this way. I wrote fast, and made poor choice in words.

        Thank you for reading my comment Kedar.
        By the way, my name is Mary.
        • Jun 13 2013: Thank you Mary for being considerate about my views on Santokh's statement.
      • W T 100+

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        Jun 14 2013: You are welcome Kedar.
        I hope to read some interesting comments from you in the future around the TED site.
        Be Well.

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