Better to be wrong than boring.
As humans, we often berate ourselves over our mistakes and failures in life. A broken glass. A lost ticket. A missed opportunity. Collectively, we are on a never-ending quest for perfection, where any sign of human error is to be tweezed out, eliminated and stamped out into oblivion.
But to err is human. And in this current reign of technology, to continually err in every possible way is our only hope for resistance.
The future is already written on the wall. There is only one direction that the technology ramp is headed — up. Faster, smaller, cleaner, quieter. From cameras to computers, whatever specs a chip or machine has, it can be improved by 2x, 4x, 8x, 16x and so on.
But this trajectory of progress is boring and predictable. A series of minutiae improvements does not equate to innovation. It is merely a generic consumer product releasing yet another overhyped upgrade. True innovation skips generations — it is iPhone 4, with its front-facing camera igniting the domination of the selfie and iPhone 8, with wireless charging and no headphone jack ushering us into a world without wires. Anything in between is circle-jerking noise.
Fundamentally, errors tell us what is going wrong, and where to go next. So if you want to make a big leap in life, it is better to fail big first. You would then have figured out what not to do again.
Failure is in our human design and it is a feature not a bug. It means that you actually did something. So hardwire failure into your journey, and make room for all the downs. After all, success is but the end result of a series of multiple failures.
And even if you never reach the nirvana of success, you will always stay human.
A failure event is an invisible bind that connects us to each other. When we fail, and spectacularly so, we draw attention from others. It is an alarm call. This is why some children become stuck seeking negative attention when it appears that the only way to get a parent’s attention is by failing. And so the negative reinforcement cycle begins.
We only notice something when it is wrong.
In a not-so-distant dystopian future surveilled by robotic machines, anomaly detection is human presence. An act of resistance is then to be bad data: click random ads to confuse algorithms, conduct erratic surfing habits, swop phones with someone else, black yourself out randomly.
In the phantasmagoria of perfection, failure is the only truth.
If you have reached this far, do consider giving a clap (or 50) to keep me going.