Friday, August 14, 2009

Reverse imitation of yourself

When you see a mistake, you can get smarter by way of reverse imitation. Learn to do the opposite.

This apply to our own mistakes. We can take notice and decide to do the opposite.

It requires stamina and wit.
Stamina, to accept that we did a mistake. And instead of self-defending, getting smarter for next time.

Wit. 1) maybe it is not a mistake. It is tricky to know which actions are smart and which are not. Sometimes, what seems stupid has some reason.
2) Not every mistake has to be avoided. Our ability to act wisely is limited, and we ought to "manage" ourselves in a smart way. Not just correcting every mistake. Sometimes it is overwhelming.


T. said...

There seems to be a tendency to weave an endless web of rationalization to vindicate an initial error. Taking notice and doing the opposite sounds broadly reasonable. But one caveat may involve paying attention to context of the correction. What action is smart and what is not is sometimes context dependent. The second caveat is to avoid overlearning from perceived mistakes. Moreover, opposite action may not be appropriate, as it may constitute an overreaction. No action at all may be preferable to overtaxing one's bounded human rationality.

Yechezkel Zilber said...

all right. thanks!