The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

13 April 2007

Or maybe it was someone else

Lynn, on the subject of being wrong:

Almost everyone hates being wrong. Even when we have been shown, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we are wrong, most of us still resist. I'm no different; I certainly hate being wrong. (Not that I'm admitting I'm ever wrong, mind you.) I have no doubt that there are situations in which even Adam Savage would hate being wrong. But his typical, genuinely happy, reaction to being wrong on Mythbusters started me thinking.

Discovering that you have been wrong means that you have learned something new, that you are a little bit less ignorant than you were before discovering that you were wrong. That's something to be happy about. Discoveries are not always pleasant, of course. Sometimes they force us to make huge, and uncomfortable, mental adjustments. That, along with the feeling of shame about being wrong, is why we hate to be wrong.

I doubt these thoughts will make being wrong any easier — for me or anyone else — but maybe it's something we should remind ourselves of on those occasions when we are forced to face up to being wrong.

Which is why I strive never to be wrong at work, and confine my questionable ideas and fuzzy thinking to this space. (Lynn, of course, is right about this. I think.)

Posted at 12:28 PM to Almost Yogurt


I have no doubt that there are situations in which even Adam Savage would hate being wrong.

I've seen him and Jamie in a couple of arguments where Jamie finally just told him to go eat a cookie.

It seems to work.

Posted by: McGehee at 7:09 PM on 13 April 2007