Building on Mistakes

I’ve been thinking about what to post that’s apocalypse-themed, and realized that there’s something meta to comment on:

When people said that today would be the end of the world, they made a mistake.

That part’s obvious. (And if it’s not, uh, I don’t know what to tell you.) However, something more is going on. People built on that mistake to create many things:

  • Books on Mayan prophecy
  • General interest in an ancient culture that died out
  • Movies like 2012 (which was fun disaster porn)

Most mistakes should be corrected, especially when dangerous. But science often means seeing a mistake happen and that becoming a research vector. Art also comes from seeing a mistake happen about building on it. Of course, it’s best to know, at least in the case of science, that a mistake is a mistake. But still, mistakes can serve as inspiration.

My post about schiffgeists was about building on a mistake to create something new. Much of game design comes from making a mistake in rules and seeing the result of that to be really interesting.

So, let’s celebrate this day of building art upon mistakes. Think about what mistakes you’ve made or seen that have caused you to create something new, rather than just complain about or correct them.

– Ryan