Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Carefulness must accompany caring

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Errors happen. That is inevitable. Mistakes abound.  New media have fact checkers, writers have proofreaders, weight lifters have spotters, and so on. Nobody is perfect.

So why do so many errors that are avoidable remain undetected?  I have compiled a gathering of those I have seen while I have had a camera with me (see here). I have limited my collection to printed media, either hard copy or digital. No audio or video here. The picture below I have not included in my collection because I have not yet convinced myself that it is an error. It might have been the intention to write "french fries" while showing mashed potatoes.

What amazes me is that each of these is (was) made by more than just one person. Perhaps just one made the initial error, but the non-detection of it makes others equally responsible, if not more so.

Note I do not call them careless errors. Carelessness implies that one just doesn't care, and, not being a mind reader, I cannot make that claim in any of these cases. Who knows whether or not the initial mistake was called by indifference. However, the failure to rectify the mistake is a sign of indifference. In each case (except the automobile photo) a business either saw the error and did not care about it, or was careless in not. (The automobile photo I place in a different category since the sign was inside the car over a couple weeks while its owner was home and had actually moved the care once or twice.)

These items become newsworthy as they indicate a sense of complacency, which brings to mind Thomas Edison's quote “We shall have no better conditions in the future if we are satisfied with all those which we have at present." We have to jump start our culture and society into being more careful, not just more caring.

Albert Einstein said “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.
Samuel Johnson stated "It is more from carelessness about truth than from intentionally lying that there is so much falsehood in the world."

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