Sometimes you are just wrong.

On Twitter a few days ago:

@swardley I have a simple philosophy on this: if people aren't telling you you're doing it wrong, you've failed.

The context for that comment does not really matter—it is a sentiment I see expressed fairly regularly by "change agent" types. What I find troubling about this kind of stuff is what often seems to be the implied corollary, that if people are telling you that you're doing it wrong, then you have succeeded.

The former statement may or may not be true. It can, at least, serve as a reminder that if you are going to fail, you should do it fast and do it publicly so that you and those around you can learn something.

The latter sentiment, however, in no way follows from the first and is outright dangerous. It is what makes every crackpot cast her or himself as Galileo, bravely standing up to the forces of the mindless status quo. It is the engine that allows the crazy conspiracy theorist to instantly convert every critique or objection into further evidence of the conspiracy.

Sometimes you are just wrong.

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