Thursday, August 23, 2007

Blogging as a chance to be wrong

One of the things that I appreciate most about blogging is the chance to be wrong... Say I forget to mention a relevant body of research literature or I misquote survey question wording or overlook an obvious interpretation of a finding (all things that have happened) it's not a big deal. Usually someone will kindly point out the mistake & I learn and go on.

Basically, blogging is a low-cost place to make mistakes.

I need this because, gasp, I make plenty of them. As such, this quotation resonated with me:

"When someone is honestly 55% right, that's very good and there's no use wrangling. And if someone is 60% right, it's wonderful, it's great luck, and let him thank God. But what's to be said about 75% right? Wise people say this is suspicious. Well, and what about 100% right? Whoever says he's 100% right is a fanatic, a thug, and the worst kind of rascal."

(From James Sire's Habits of the Mind 2000, attributed to an ancient intellectual in Galacia, Spain).

3 comments:

S.S.Stone said...

I'm probably right 60% of the time making me wonderful..but how does that balance out with my "thinking" that I'm 100% correct all the time? A wonderful fanatical rascal? ;)

neat post Brad!

Jerry said...

As a writing instructor, I'd think about it more as prewriting--testing out ideas to see which ones have wings. Or maybe it's one end of the continuum that includes conference presentations, articles, and books at the other end.

Brad Wright said...

Very funny Sarah... a wonderful rascal! You're clever.

I think that you're right, Jerry, that blogging is a way of testing out ideas. It's nice because it produces feedback too.

P.S. congrats on your publication.