Error and Today

Usually when we think about error we think about something negative. Error is disruptive, it creates limitations and it strays away from the norm. This week’s readings provide a different view on error, a more positive approach that examines how error actually is important to everyday life.

Mark Nunes talked about how today’s network society is grounded by a logic of maximum performance. This logic of maximum performance implies the dream of an error free world, a world that consists of 100 percent efficiency, accuracy and predictability. The human need for only obtaining the correct and right information destabilizes and places error in the position of evil. Why is it that we look at error as something bad.? Why is it that humans feel a desire for a world that is black and white and why is it that an escape from the norm and from the predictable is such a bad thing?

As described in the “Subversive use of Theory”, we as humans need to start moving towards thinking more deeply. The main task today is to prevent the narrow production of experts, which has evolved, to some extent, from the ideas about error and the way error is viewed in society. Nunes instead describes error as a way in which failure, glitch and miscommunication provide creative openings and lines of flight that allow for reconceptualization of what can or cannot be realized within an existing social and cultural practices. By deviating from what is right and what is wrong, viewing error in this way allows for the deep thinking that is talked about in the “Suberversive use of theory”. Error can actually provide a new point of view and it is the errors and the wrongs that make more of a statement then what is right.

This notion of error is consistent with the glitch manifesto as written by Rosa Menkin. The glitch manifesto views these errors and breaks as a way to make a statement and create something new. Instead of looking at what’s wrong and what is an error as being something negative, it can actually open our eyes to something beautiful.


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