2009-04-02 Issue138

By Lester Davis,2014-09-06 11:38
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2009-04-02 Issue138...

    ÌâÄ??ºISSUE138 - "Only through mistakes can there be discovery or progress." ×ÖÊý?º633 ÓÃÊ??º00:33:01 ÈÕÆÚ?º2009-4-2 23:01:32

    When we come to the assertion that "Only through mistakes can there be discovery or progress", it is natrual for us to associate it with the famous saying "failure is the mother of success" ,which is so venerated that widely accepted by generations of people as an ever-lasting maxim. From the dialectic perspective, ironically, Unlike the latter assertion, the former one seems to oversimplify the relationship between committing mistakes and pursuing success for its merely focusing on the superficial appearance of committing mistakes without launching an earnest and cautious analysis on the radical key lying in the reason of mistakes which might be the hugest obstacles hampering us on the way of chasing success.

    Unfortunately but true, no one in this world is so smart and clairvoyant that can avoid all the unknown failures and latent mistakes automatically. Consequently, it is almost inevitable to mistakes, no matter the slight ones or the lethal ones, during the process of striving for discoveries and success due to the limitation of the personal abilities as well as the degree of the social development. For instance, Yuan Longping, venerated as the "father of hybrid rice" by Chinese people since his brilliant discoveries to a large extent, alleviate the high pressure on the food supply for 1.3 billion people in China, savors bitter fruit of mistakes and failures for hundreds of times during his research since the blank in the relevant academic field makes it impossible to obtain support not only from the knowledge but also from experience. That is the explanation why the exploers of human beings who breaks the limitation of knowledge and lay the foundation for the the further development of certain field, deserve the highest reputation and recognition from the public and the society.

    However, if we blindly overemphasize on the appearance of making mistakes without considering and concentrating insightfully on how to solve these problems or whether they are on the right way to success, the bliss of reaping the benefits of success might be only exist in a beautiful dream. For example, human beings would get lost in the endless doom-loop if the historical documents inherited from our predecessors only record like this:"1888, Jack fails to calcultae a math issue..." and people nowadays continue these documents to their descendants. Furthermore, let us come to a vivid analogy, assuming the ultimate success in discovery and progress is a vector, which not only has its magnitude but also direction. If we are on the opposite way against to the direction of success, the more effort we pay the longer distance between where we stand and our goal. And these mistakes and directional failures will become the bane of all the human beings.

    While on the other hand, through assimilating the essence of the past and developing continuely on the foundation lay by our forefathers, it is unnecessary for us to repeat the mistakes they made and to undergo the same process of striving for the final result.

    Knowledge and experience, accumulated for generations provide human beings with the unique insight that enable us to carefully avoid a huge amount of mistakes and as a result make possible the well-being of the a academic field and the human race as well. Further, in some specific circumstances, no mistakes is permitted to be commited for the sake of the security of human lives and the whole project, such as the program of launching a spaceship. By concluding the experience and knowledge as well as trying their best to avoid all the mistakes, human beings realize the dream of exploration of the outer space.

    In sum, when confronted with the mistakes that should have been avoided individuals should never take it for granted that they are on the right access to discovery or progress but should sincerely introspect themselves and discover the extact reasons lying beneath.

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