“If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try, Again!”

As usual, Shirky makes important points in his book Here Comes Everybody and chapter ten is no exception. The chapter is basically about how failure can be a good thing. How can failure be a good thing? Why, because it teaches you lessons of course! Or according to Clay, it makes the risk of failure the next time smaller; especially when you’re dealing with a large amount of people (Clay’s favorite thing to talk about). Personally, I found the “lowering the cost of failure” section the most boring and difficult to read. This is not to be taken personally; it was because I found it to be super technical and I am probably the least techie person in the history of ever. I know two technical terms and they are Microsoft and Apple. 

I deduced that the section was mainly about Lexis – not Lexis that’s a car – it’s about Linux which is apparently some software thing that’s super important but I had never heard of. But Linux is cool because it was essentially created by a bunch of people coming together to create something awesome. Dare I say, like our own group projects? I believe the point that Shirky was trying to make was that because so many different people were working on the program, it made the idea of failure seem less threatening because if the program failed the blame would be on a large group of people versus on one individual. I agree with this and I think you can clearly see the example in things like Wikipedia. Plus from personal experience, I know it often feels safer taking a risk when someone else is taking the risk along with you. For example, if you decide to participate in a limbo contest in front of a bunch of strangers, you feel better when your best friend agrees to participate too. I think this can definitely be applied to our group projects. We’re all working on the project together and at the end all four of our names will be on it and that makes it all feel a little less stressful because if it’s absolutely wretched all the blame can’t be placed on one person. Thus, my friends, it makes failure cheaper and something that us broke college students can afford.

My favorite part of the section was the part about community and how the author and the engineers from AT&T argued over technical support. That part I understood well and it made me smile. It’s nice to think that there are people in the world willing to give their time and knowledge (for free!) for the benefit of others that are equally passionate about something.  Again, I think we can spin this right back ‘round to our group project. All four of us are dedicating our time and energy into creating something unique in an area that we are all interested in. I think it is important for us to keep this thought in sight and to remember that giving peoples travel stories the chance to be heard and creating research through them is something awesome and could potentially put a smile on someone’s face just like the AT&T story did for me. We should also remember that TK Zine was created in only 48 hours…


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