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It's only those who do nothing that make no mistakes, I suppose. Options
Daemon
Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2010 12:00:00 AM
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It's only those who do nothing that make no mistakes, I suppose.

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)
redsxz
Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2010 2:37:59 AM
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Had to read Heart of Darkness for class recently and I loved it. Brilliantly written, engrossing and conveying some profound psychological truths. As for this quote, I would say it refers to the universal nature of folly permeating thorough mankind. It is debatable as to the extent of nothing. I coukd no nothing about my homework and yet it would still called be a mistake. As to such I think even the absence of something is a mistake.
Angus
Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2010 2:41:30 AM
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Yes, doing nothing is often a mistake.
Luftmarque
Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2010 3:26:45 AM

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Angus wrote:
Yes, doing nothing is often a mistake.

But that's not the point Conrad was making, which is more along the lines of "nothing ventured, nothing gained." That those who fear mistakes more than they want to accomplish something may end up doing nothing at all. So, while your statement seems true enough to me, it is off the mark as a paraphrase of Conrad's.
Lani
Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2010 3:46:10 AM
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Angus wrote:
Yes, doing nothing is often a mistake.

A mistake is an action which produces an unwanted result...
So, doing nothing cannot be a mistake. Is it inferior or not to mistakes ?
I think, it's relative. Think
pedro
Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2010 4:45:29 AM
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Relatives are quite often mistakes
Angus
Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2010 5:33:55 AM
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To Mark ... I was not paraphrasing Conrad. I was agreeing with redsxz in denying the validity of the quote as some kind of insightful deep truth. In fact, I believe the words "I suppose" suggest Conrad understood that old saws like "Nothing ventured, nothing gained" are banal ...

To Lani ... semantics is a slippery slope. It is easy to posit a a situation in which inaction is not only a choice but ultimately proves to be the wrong choice ... a mistake.

Lighten up, guys. I get it. My life includes too many episodes of equivocation that perseverated until opportunity was lost.
Joseph Glantz
Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2010 6:13:18 AM
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Lani wrote:
Angus wrote:
Yes, doing nothing is often a mistake.

A mistake is an action which produces an unwanted result...
So, doing nothing cannot be a mistake. Is it inferior or not to mistakes ?
I think, it's relative. Think


Thus the words "I suppose."
Carmelo
Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2010 6:15:10 AM
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It's only those who do nothing that make no mistakes, I suppose.Applause

Doing nothing, if voluntary, is a mistake because of our human nature and the known psychological and physical problems with the sedentary life-style.

The only possible “benefit” with choosing to do nothing, is that we can easily become legends in our own minds – another mistake.

So, in a real sense, it is better to do anything constructive, even if it turns out a mistake.
Think
Hupomone
Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2010 6:16:09 AM
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"I know nothing, I see nothing, and I say nothing!"
"Is that chocolate?" -Schultz
MarySM
Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2010 8:11:08 AM
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My philosophy is that when we stop making mistakes it is because we have stopped learning. Therefore I hope I never stop learning and making mistakes in the process.

I agree with Mr. Conrad.
cmzeno
Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2010 8:12:19 AM
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Lani wrote:
Angus wrote:
Yes, doing nothing is often a mistake.

A mistake is an action which produces an unwanted result...
So, doing nothing cannot be a mistake. Is it inferior or not to mistakes ?
I think, it's relative. Think


Both statements are truly wise thoughts, although somehow antagonic. It all depends on the conveient context.
However, let's face it - unless famous people say such words of wisdom, they're just some dull platidudes/truisms.

And btw: there's a Romanian proverb that says exactly the same thing: "He who does not work is never mistaken".
Since it's a proverb, well, it is surely hundreds of years older than Conrad said it.
Sorry, English is not my native language, so bare with me...
TALBUIXE
Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2010 10:01:40 AM

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Due to some live examples I have lived, doing nothing is often the way some people go stairs up and achieve the power.

Maybe it is a skill. I don't know.
Carmelo
Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2010 1:34:20 PM
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LANI said:

"A mistake is an action which produces an unwanted result...
So, doing nothing cannot be a mistake."

Not so, Lani. If you are drowning and I choose not to throw you a rope, that is a mistake. What separates me from an animal if I do nothing, watch you struggle, and you die?
RuthP
Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2010 1:57:51 PM

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Lani wrote:
Angus wrote:
Yes, doing nothing is often a mistake.

A mistake is an action which produces an unwanted result...
So, doing nothing cannot be a mistake. Is it inferior or not to mistakes ?
I think, it's relative. Think

I'm not convinced. Eh?

I am standing on a street corner. Suddenly, a car traveling down the street veers and heads straight for me. I do believe I'm making a mistake if I do nothing and fail to move out of the way.
DarkMoon
Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2010 4:15:43 PM

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“It's only those who do nothing that make no mistakes, I suppose.”

That’s why sometimes my colleagues and I make fun and say that only the one who does nothing at work, makes no mistakes. ;-)

Speaking seriously, I think that J. Conrad's quotation is true. Mistakes are a part of a human nature. We all are learning the life lessons that way, sometimes seriously painful, indeed. There is no progress without learning.

I might be wrong, though I suspect that an expression 'I suppose' used at the end of a quotation might be written a bit teasingly. It's just my thought.
Ellenrita
Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2010 4:23:04 PM
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To see if the centre holds (Yeats), Joseph Conrad went right into the center of darkness and lived to tell the tale. He was extraordinary. I think that the daring of youth is where to find oneself, the centre. When older we have to much experience to do this,because it is a dangerous feat. Lately I've been doing nothing and I use age as an excuse. If my choices of late unusually turn out all right it is because I am hiding for awhile. It is our nature to walk on the wild side/chaos when young and full of idealist hopes. I liked when Jimi Hendricks said "I got some tire tracks on my back" and so do I. We are back to fate and destiny. I'm somewhat proud that I went out to and found many people places and things. But the man who worked for 30 odd some years and raised a good family can also be even more proud. I am confused but about to meet life again and chance with all its surprises or I will just fade out. This I guess is Philosophy and there are not all the answers to be found. We are lucky to have the liberties we do. I think I am going to go back to "Peanuts" by Sholtz, for philosophy. I'm lost now and gotta get found again. Sorry for this ramble folks.
Praine
Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2010 4:28:38 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/3/2009
Posts: 10
Carmelo wrote:

LANI said:

"A mistake is an action which produces an unwanted result...
So, doing nothing cannot be a mistake."

Not so, Lani. If you are drowning and I choose not to throw you a rope, that is a mistake. What separates me from an animal if I do nothing, watch you struggle, and you die?


How is that a mistake? If she did not learn how to adequately swim, and she's venturing dangerously close to the water, that's her mistake, not yours.
Maggie
Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2010 4:30:09 PM
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Joseph Glantz wrote:
Lani wrote:
Angus wrote:
Yes, doing nothing is often a mistake.

A mistake is an action which produces an unwanted result...
So, doing nothing cannot be a mistake. Is it inferior or not to mistakes ?
I think, it's relative. Think


Thus the words "I suppose."


Actually, sometimes doing nothing IS doing something - that is IF you CHOOSE to do nothing as apposed to taking an action. By doing nothing you have made a choice - which is doing something.

Now my head is starting to spin.
Angel
redsxz
Posted: Saturday, May 1, 2010 7:11:23 AM
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Praine wrote:
Carmelo wrote:

LANI said:

"A mistake is an action which produces an unwanted result...
So, doing nothing cannot be a mistake."

Not so, Lani. If you are drowning and I choose not to throw you a rope, that is a mistake. What separates me from an animal if I do nothing, watch you struggle, and you die?


How is that a mistake? If she did not learn how to adequately swim, and she's venturing dangerously close to the water, that's her mistake, not yours.


Not a direct mistake perhaps but if you could see that woman die and not have your morality shaken, then perhaps your mistakes are internally concealed.
macksam
Posted: Sunday, May 9, 2010 1:40:47 AM
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His supposition is all wet.
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