Skip to comments.** Life 'Accumulated Error' ?
Posted on 12/17/2012 11:07:25 AM PST by virgil283
Sipp makes the case that life is accumulated error. Lots of truth in that. Even small errors in facts, in choices, in judgement, build on each other and you eventually you can have a mess that you drag along with you. It's difficult in life to start on a clean slate. In Maritime Academies, they always teach the famous case of the cargo ship leaving NY harbor headed for Brazil in the 1960s. After a day at sea, the ship beached itself on Fire Island on Long Island, NY. The autopilot, as today, was controlled by a gyro. When a gyro malfunctions and drifts, everything checks out and agrees with the malfunctioning gyro. When the ship hit the beach, the crew had no idea where they were. Degree by degree, over three watches, the ship had made a 180. .....
There is a long and boring explanation of accumulated error regarding mathematics, science, and especially lately, economics and climate prediction. We need not trouble ourselves with that here, as we begin with our eyes glazed over from hunching over the tablesaw. No need to keep basting them.
What we are referring to is well known to the man who must measure over and over again. If I measure a foot with a ruler, and make a mark, and then measure again from that mark, and then again for a while, certain dreadful things can begin to happen. First, after about 36 tries, I'll be outside, and it's snowing, and I don't want to go there. But more to the point, if I am making an error -- say, the ruler is a little off --and then I continue remaking that error, while using my last erroneous point to start making my next mistake, things can get really bad, really quick. I said "can" get bad, but that's just an expression. They "do" get bad, and you get fired or not paid, and so forth. And the table you made lists to port. What's happening?..... . . .
Good point. Thank-you for posting.
I had not thought of it in that way and I still won't but it is an interesting perspective.
Life provides an almost unlimited number of error correcting opportunities along life's highway.
Errors result when deviations from a standard occur. By comparing the deviations to the standard, the amount of error can be determined. This is true whether you are measuring a length of rope, an ounce of gold, a law, or a life.
A persons standards provide the reference for all life style choices. A person can be no better or worse than their standards. In simple terms, "garbage in will yield out".
And no helmsman on watch bothered to compare the compass course with the autopilot heading? That would seem to be a twice a watch or even hourly duty!
Of course, when I served helmsman duty half a hundred years ago, there were no autopilots on board.
The position of stars, the sun and moon would be wrong. This means that they relied solely on the gyro. Stupid.
Accumulated error is due to stupidity.
Aviation accident investigations refer to an “error chain”.
There are many instances in a flight that result in an accident that, put together can be called the error chain.
If the chain is “broken” by the pilot or pilots questioning “what is happening to my airplane” and resolving the question there will be no accident. If not, we read about it in the newspapers.
Indeed, life is the same as a flight from “A” to “B”, you get to “B” by breaking many potential error chains.