Mistakes & Recoveries

Quick Reminder

I highly recommend to first read the guide on how to study summarizations from this website, as it is importantly important for me that you will learn the most from this treasure trove.
Hope this helps you, and telling your friends about the website is never bad!!

The Psychology of Mistakes | Insights from the Cognitive Sciences

relativity of wrong:

it’s a series of essays written by Isaac Asimov who argued that since every theory is to some extent wrong, the difference between theories is how relatively wrong they are. A good example would be comparing the flat earth theory to a perfect spherical earth theory. both are wrong, but earth is much closer in shape to a perfect sphere hence that theory is less relatively wrong.

thinking of past mistakes:

people dwell on their mistakes because they tend to impact our perception of the world more than our successes, and so shape how we view the world and constructs our self concieved limits. this can be fixed through self acceptance and self forgiveness.

fragile egos:

we make mistakes,and refusing to admit them means you most likely have low self esteem, since you need to defend the past mistakes. this means you have fragile ego and a small pp

the way you react to them:

mindset influences how you react to a mistake. if you believe that intelligence is fixed, you’re less likely to learn from your mistakes, compared to if you think it’s malleable. if you believe you learn from mistakes, you’re more likely to.

not really related but there’s a book called “the magic of thinking big” which talks about this entire set with more detail.

western and eastern learning:

in western education, the result is what matters while in the east it’s the process. that’s why asians succeed more. asians put emphasis on overcoming the struggle while westerners regard the struggling students as less qualified. asians put emphasis on hard work instead of natural-born intelligence,which motivates them to work harder

freudian slips:

also called parapraxis, these slips are saying things you didn’t mean to say. a test on these slips done by freud dried to find if there’s a sexual meaning for them, so he put some students near a hot lab assistant and others near a professor and told them to read words made to cause slips, and he found out the slips near the lab assistant were more sexual. by trying to hid their sexual desire they ended up showing it, in the white bear problem (if you’re asked to not think of a white bear, you’ll most likely think of it). but other researchers found out that it was because of confusion between letters or with similar meanings.

women and men are judged differently:

the patriarchy judges women and so they are judged more harshly than men. she did a research where she written scenarios with someone making a mistake, but swapping it with men and women. in those studies she found out women were judged more harshly. the results weren’t repeated in later studies, so it’s officially considered cringe.


SDT Diagram

it’s a theory based on how we react and detect signals. above are the terms for every situation in signal detection.

Type I error = false positive = false alarm

Type II error = false negative = miss

Everyday Mistakes

everyday mistakes list:

chewing too much gum. sleeping on your stomach , doing sit up, using resistance bands, using a wooden chopping board, putting avocados in the refrigerator, sticking with default wifi settings ,avoiding credit cards, rinsing immediately after brushing, painting the room before putting furniture, keeping babies awake throughout the day, using the sun to dye hair, storing chocolate in the fridge, wearing a white tshirt to prevent sunburns, not working legs, doing a lot of hot showers are all mistakes you should avoid.

pocket dialing:

calling someone by mistake from the pocket

accidental reply all:when you click on reply all on the mail, which will make it reply to everyone in the conversation.

email storm: the result of too much accidental reply alls

sleep calling/texting: calling/texting someone from sleep. also called parasomnia

closing without saving:

as it says, can destroy a long day of work, though autosave options exist in both microsoft office and google docs.

succumbing to phishing:don’t listen to nigerian princes.

insecure passwords:

When passwords are insecure, people can hack you more easily. since most people use simple passwords (like 1234 or their birth year) hackers can just the common passwords database to access a huge chunk of our data and accounts

not backing up:

when you lose your phone and you didn’t move the data to somewhere safer ( either the cloud or your computer) you lose it.


stop spending,either through credit blockers or organizing and writing the list of expenses and revenues


the same as above,though instead of impacting you at all times like overspending, undersaving hits the most when you need the money (either for an apartment, college education or medical insurance if you’re american).

credit card debt:

same as above, as well as not taking up useless loans

poor diet:

tracking calories and nutrition

reckless driving:

put alerts to notify when driving too fast


set reminders to work

Epic Mishaps of History

battle of karansebes:

a friendly fire incident in the austrian army during its war against the ottomans. 2 groups in the austrian army mistaked one another for the ottoman army and so fought against each other, which allowed the ottomans to capture the city of karansebes. the polish hussars camped near the town and bought alcohol from local gypsies. than some infantrymen crossed the river and wanted some of that beverage, so they fought over it . some of the austrians than chanted “turks!” so the hussars fled with most of the infantrymen. some of the officers than said “halt”,which they thought meant “allah” so they fought more and killed each other, thus forcing the austrians to retreat from karansebes or the ottomans to take.

great emu war:

WW1 veterans got land in western australia to farm, with wheat crops being encouraged after the great depression. than 20000 emus came and started attacking the farms, so now machine guns were used to get rid of them . in 1932 3 australian soldiers with 10000 ammunitions started killing the emus on their machine guns, but only 200-500 emus got killed. so it was a failure and australia lost the war. instead of doing a “war”, the government simply gave bounties to people who’ve shown they killed emus.


it means “ignore” or “treat with silent contempt” in japanese, the japanese used these words when asked to surrender, so the US nuked them , thinking they ignored when they were in reality withholding comments

napoleon’s retreat from moscow:

napoleon invaded russia with an attempt to take russia. but because russia is massive he had supply line problems, which although they used to be solved by raiding the army, the russians simply ensured their lands to be ravged before napoleon conquered them .the winter also prevented napoleon from taking russia, and so he lost.

charge of the light brigade:

a failed charge done in the crimean war that failed because of miscommunication, which caused them to instead of charging into removing captured turkish guns, to fight against an artillery battery that they stood no chance against, so high casualties with no gains. lord tennyson later wrote a poem about the charge

wounded knee massacre:

the americans massacred the lakota, who resided in the south dakota preservation. it was fuelled by a native religion called the ghost dance that believed that whites will soon leave the americas because jesus and dances. so the natives tried to do one of the ghost dances, and the americans, fearing that the natives use the religion as a basis for a rebellion, attacked and massacred them.

battle of changping:

in warring state china after the collapse of the zhou dynasty. between qin and zhao. after a 2 year stalemate and siege it ended with a qin victory. the zhao used zhao kuo as general, despite him being a terrible one, while the qin used bai qi who was one of the best. so the qin won.

spanish armada:

a fleet of 130 ships made to conquer england,sent from spain. the english won because they had better and faster ships that could outmeneuver the spanish. also some of the spanish ships weren’t armed and their crew wasn’t fully equipped. and also there was bad weather which was a major cause of the spanish armada’s failure.

battle of adwa:

the Ethiopians defeated italy in 1896 and so kept their independence. they won through repeatedly charging the italians ,until using their reserves to finish.

aaron burr conspiracy:

aaron burr killed alexander  hamilton so now he’s hated. so he tried to get the lousiania territory and the western states to secede from the union and be ruled by him. it failed because general wilkinson he relied upon told the whole thing to jefferson, who destroyed his plans.

nixon bugging:

the nixon administration bugged everyone in the white house because of soviet paranoia. they feared those officials could be soviet spies.


the creator of mcafee antivirus, the multimillionaire than liquidated some of his properties in 2009 to fend people off of him, which worked. he then moved to belize, started an antibiotics company there, got raided byv the cops for supposedly making meth despite not having meth there. he then supposedly killed a 52 year old man named gregory faull who was his neighbor. he was found in guatemala and faked a heart attack to flee them and got deported to florida. he there found his wife, a former prostitue named janice dyson. he was found to drunk drive in tennesee where he lived,and he developed an NFC ring that supposedly made your phone unhackable. he was eventually arrested in spain for tax fraud by the IRS,and was found dead by suicide in his cell chamber. the funny thing is that he posted a tweet not long before the incident where claimed that if he were to be found death by suicide, it was because someone else killed him and framed it as a suicide.

psychology of stupid mistakes:

3 types of action that cause mistakes:

1.overconfidence in skil,also called the dunning kruger effectl

2.impulsive acts

3.lapses of attention

halifax explosion:

a disaster in halifax, nova scotia where a french ship with lots of explosives collided with a norwegian vessel, thus causing the biggest boom before the atomic bombs and disrupted the american supply chain,


the number 4 reactor went out of control in a test, which caused a fire and an explosion that released radioactive elements to the atmosphere. when the russians invaded ukraine they took over chernobyl during the failed attempt at taking over kiyv, but as that failed, it is now in ukrainian hands.

the titanic:

because of wanting to go through a more cheap journey, the captain took the ship on a journey that lead to them going through an area full of icebergs. there’s a movie about it starring leonardo dicaprio.

tenerife crash:

2 boeing passenger jets collided the spanish island of tenerife in 1977, which cause a lot of people to die. it happened because of miscommunication problems.

challenger explosion:

the challenger was a spaceship that included the first teacher in space, christa mcauliffe. the explosion happened because of a leak that occured when the challenger rose up and didn’t survive the severe cold

new coke:

in an attempt to re-brand coke as a newer drink, coka cola CEO roberto goizueta tried to experiment with the brand by making coka cola sweeter, and replace the original brand. the people despised it, while it started with a small minority of haters it grew to encompass the majority of drinkers,so the original taste was reinstated,but with corn syrup instead of sugarcanes. In the marketing campaign for new coke, coka cola tried to innovate and used a computer generated presentor called “max headroom”. max headroom became a national celebrity, even releasing his own songs and getting refrenced by eminem in his song “rap god”. in 1987 someone managed to hack into WTTW channel 11 in chicago, illinois while interrupting a broadcast of doctor who. he used a costume of max headroom, and thus the incident is known as “the max headroom incident”, which is unsolvable to this very day.  

ford pinto:

the first subcompact vehicle produced by ford. the fuel tank tended to explode when colliding, as well as it being in the back of the car.  so it was seen as a mistake. however subsequent analysis showed that it was as safe as other 1970’s cars built at around the same time.

galaxy fold:

a foldable phone released by samsung, but it had some problems, such as when people tried to get rid of the layer connecting the 2 parts, thinking it was a screensaver

google glasses:

originally an experiment with AR that proved useful with its usage among surgeons and autists, the glasses failed because they looked funny. the early users were called “explorers”.

apple maps:

apple’s equivalent to google maps. it failed because of lack of detail, lack of data that google had while apple didn’t.

windows phone:

discontinued smartphones released by microsoft that ran windows. there was a duopoly so no success. discontinued after 2017

Counting Errors | Mistakes in the Judicial System

harmless error:

when a judge makes a mistake that the court didn’t find damaging to the case ,it’s considered an harmless error.


alice woolly belives that when judges make moral mistakes, they’re wrongful. when judges treat the complainant in a way that treats them unfairly (such as asking them of their sexual history to illicit disgust),they’re wrongful.

changing public values:

since publi values, and the values of the court are changing, stuff like same sex marriage or affirmative action change as the population of the justices and the population of the US changes,and so do their opinions.

new dna evidence:

189 people who were sentenced to death were exonerated since 1973. most exonerations were done to blacks and a lot of them happened in florida.

scott v sanford:

in 1857 dred scott, a slave of dr john emerson, who then moved to lousiania along with his new wife. emerson suddenly died and he became the property of his wife irene. scott tried to purchase his freedom but irene refused. so they sued irene for unlawful enslavement and for them being actually free citizens, since they moved to a free state for some time. the court ruled against them in the beginning for a technicality, and then ruled against them once again in 1854, though they were technically freed in 1853. scott eventually won his freedom in 1857, but then died to tuberculosis a year later.

rivonia trial:

the trial where the leaders of the ANC were arrrested and were sentenced for terrorism for life. they were eventually freed in 1990, and mandella ended the apartheid regime.

Mistakes in Medicine and the Sciences


it was used as a cure until the late 19th century. it was popular because hippocrates believed that a lot of diseases were caused by a lack of balance between the 4 humors of the body: blood, phlegm,black and yellow bile. so the way to solve the lack of balance was by removing blood. the roman physician galen later expanded on this idea and made it more popular. it was done either through venesection or through arteriotomy. sometimes leeches were used too. even george washington did bloodletting, which is what killed him since he lost 25% of his blood in the process. in the late 19th century it was found that bloodletting is bad, and so it was stopped.

frontal lobotomy:

popularized as a cure for mental illness, lobotomies included removing brain parts with icepicks. as expected it was ineffective and turned some into comatose and changed the personality of others.

stripping the nobel from the discoverer:

portugese physician egas moniz discovered lobotomies supposedly work, and now there’s a movement to take the prize away from him. medical techniques are changing and becoming better, so discrediting the past will happen to us too eventually.

shoe store x rays:

when we discovered their potential to show bones, x rays were started to be used in shoe stores in order to show how the shoe fits the foot. than we discovered it was cancerous and scraped the idea

radioactive cosmetics:

marie curie discovered radium, and since it was shining and cool beauty products started to use it. it was taken as pills to solve erectile dysfunction and hair loss, and was put in cosmetics, such as the product of the london based radior, though most of these products were french. the french tho-radia also helped it become popular. and than it was disocvered it was cancerous. the product wasn’t popular in america because it was expenisve and people didn’t belive it would be there.

insulin shock therapy:

patients were injected with a lot of insulin (which is the hormone that allows for the processing of sugar in the body, that people with diabetes can’t produce) to cure mental illness. this would put them in a coma. it was proven unsuccessful, and was used to cure schizophrenia.  it also got popular because it looked effective, not because it was.

cocaine enhanced medicine:

in the 20th century cocaine was used in a lot of drugs and supposed cures, mostly as a stimulator. it’s still used today as anasthesia.

10 shocking mistakes:

cringe cnn compiled a list that includes:

1.treating the wrong patient

2.leaving stuff inside the body of the surgery patient, after the surgery has been complete.

3.a nursing home patient was found inside a closet, and she got there when she had an alzheimer episode

4.fake doctors

5.ER waiting gae

6.air bubbles in blood transfusion

7.operating the wrong body part

8.infection infestation

9.confusing between a chest tube and a feeding tube since they look similar

10.waking up during surgery.

are mistakes inevitable:

it’s an article about how doctors who made a mistake that killed a patient deserve support and empathy.

incorrect results:

false positives and negatives can happen (relates to SDT), and can be prevented by double cheking.

He Who Gaffes Last

obama gaffes:

obama in a gaffe referred to the midwest voters and republicans as antipaths who cling to religion and guns.

brainwashing stations:

liberal candidate cheryl thomas resigned from the canadian elections because she said mosques are brainwashing stations and that the holocaust survivors are oppressors

scott morrison:

a picture of the australian PM shown him with 2 left feet because of photoshop problem. scott morrison didn’t know the picture was edited in the first place,and he joked about his editors not editing somewhere else. scott morrison was also crticised about handling a sexual misconduct scandal in the australian parliament, as well as not accepting afghan refugees.

moon jae in:

he’s the president of korea and in a meeting in malaysia he greeted the locals with good afternoon instead of good evening. the malaysians didn’t really care about it and actually appreciated the fact that he was trying to learn their language, but his oppostion at home hated him for it.

pope francis:

he greeted children and then a woman grabbed his hand, so he slapped her hand while trying to free his hand from her. he apologised in st. peter’s square on new years day, and also condemned violence against women at the same time.

michael dukakis and the tank:

a campaign ad showed the governor of massachusets michael dukakis (who was a republican) riding a tank. the ad turned out to be unpopular because it showed dukakis in a goofy way. and so democrats used the ad to bash the bush presidency

dean scream:

howard dean ran in the 2004 democratic primaries, and in an iowa speech he screamed funnily. this was the 1st political meme that cost him his career.

cnn gaffe:

they showed the image of vladimir putin instead of jihadi john when talking about isis,which caused a funny. the reason for that was technical difficulties.

chicago tribune wrong winner:

the polls said dewey would win truman in the 1948 elections, but they were wrong and truman won. as a result the tribune said dewey won when the opposite happened. a few days later truman took a picture with that paper to mock them.

taxonomy of gaffes:

1.factual error gaffes-when there’s a mistake on a fact

2.out of context gaffe- sounds good in context, but outside of it it’s cringe

3.kinsley gaffe- when a politician accidentally tells the truth

4.hot mike-when the gaffe is about a state secret acquired through international “eavesdropping”

5.undisciplined surrogate-when they admire the other side

6.narrative gaffe- when it’s about constructing a false narrative


beto o’rourke posted a story that included him getting his teeth checked while interviewing his dentist. it was made as an attempt to seem hip and cool. it worked for him, and it generally works for young congressmen and women.

gaffe management study:

the more you hate a political leader, the more likely you are to remember his gaffes, because everyone has selective attention.

But Can a Droid Underestimate?

the first bug:

the term bug originated when a bug entered a computer in 1947 and so disrupted its behaviour, thats also the origin of the term “debug”.

mars climate orbiter:

nasa’s mars climate orbiter burned in the atmosphere because the engineers didn’t convert from imperial to metric. this turned it into a classic example of the need to double check everything.

ariane 5:

the ESA launched a rocket named ariane 5 that exploded when it was on its first voyage. it was caused because of a loss of guidance and because of the 32 bit integer limit

therac 25:

it’s a radiation therapy machine that kills cancer cells with mass exposure to xrays. but it killed instead cured because of a software bug that caused the xrays to be more powerful than they should be.


it’s a software system blamed for the Ethiopian airline and deadly lion air crashes. boeing recommends only a 30 minute self study course for pilots on the program and it was made a compnesation system for the failures of the boeing 737 max

tesla autopilots:

a tesla model s crashed in 2018 into the back of a fire truck. no one was killed, and the driver didn’t steer on his own for 13 minutes.


the original pokemon game included a glitch character named missingno. if missingno is forced into appearing the game might be damaged. it appears when a placeholder pokemon isn’t found to fill a point.


it was believed that the year 2000 will cause computer systems to glitch ,which will cause a collapse of civilization because engineers used only double digit codes for years. governments invested billions of dollars fearing the coming apocalypse, only for nothing to really collapse, except a failure that was controlled in a japanese nuclear reactor and a glitch in one german bank.


an abnormal condition of a component or equipment that may cause failure. in power systems it means an unintentional short circuit.

not meeting the desired objective


difference between desired and actual behaviour of a system. in coding they are mostly split between runtime errors (which are errors that happen when the program is being run), syntax errors (or errors caused by using the wrong syntax in programming, such as not ending a line of code with ; in c# or having typos) and logic errors (which are errors where the program is run fine and isn’t terminated, but it leads to a different result than what’s intended thanks to a fault in the program’s logic)


process of fixing bugs. it’s also a mode of running the program that allows for checking lines of code specifically and allowing the program to send logs to the system, which than can be used to understand where the problem is.

logic error:

bug in the program that doesn’t cause termination, but leads to a different unintended result thanks to a fault in the program’s logic. a common reason for a logic error is causing an infinite loop or using the same variable name in multipl instances.


unintended behaviour of a program/game.


bug that doesn’t cause a crash, and the player can profit from it. so the most common error that causes glitches is a logic error.

race condition:

when behaviour of an electronic system depends on uncontrollable events, or sequence and timing


logic error that’s caused when a loop is run more or less times than desired

software testing:

running the software in order to debug it.

systems where we know of inputs and outputs without knowledge of the mechanisms

white box:

systems where we know of the internal workings, but not of inputs and outputs

unit testing:

when testing smaller parts of the application, like the search function in a site as opposed to the site as a whole

it’s not a bug, it’s a feature:

german scholars found out that one in 3 bugs aren’t really bugs but potential features. the catchphrase was used in other aspects, such as weed induced memory loss

error fares:

mistake fares are when an airline agency less a ticket for less than they intended. it’s also called error or glitch fares. it can happen because of human errors, technological errors, communication problems, differences in currency rates, and route specific charges. they stay for hours at most. you should book directly from the airline

Is it Too Late Now to Say I’m Sorry?

volkswagen apology:

i can’t access the video, however they simply admitted for their mistake but senators claimed that the company probably knew for a long time of their mistake,so the apology should be taken with a grain of salt

non apologies:

 when public figures apologize, they have a tendency to do it in a way that shifts blame to others and minimizes accountability. that’s called a “non-apology”. it makes us respect them less if we notice such a case. an actual apology makes us respect them mor, but since it may hurt a politician’s reputation by admitting to the mistake, most politicians don’t do that.

lance armstrong doping:

lance armstrong was an american famous cyclist who used performance enhancing drugs to cheat in his competitions. in an oprah video he talks about his main problem with his apology, to who he owes it.

trudeau blackface:

in 2001, just trudeau wore a blackface costume to the school he worked at in an arabian nights costume party. he champions social justice so it’s funny and hypocritical of him. he apologized for it and the incidents were mostly forgotten.

nut rage:

cho hyun ah is a korean businesswomen and the VP of korean air, that threw a rage fit over being served nuts in a bag by one of the flight attendants, and so refused that the flight would take off. cho was forced to resign from the company and recieved a 5 month prison sentence for obstruction air flight. she tries to take control over a firm called hanjin group,which is owned by her brother.

sagolene royal:

he’s the french minister of ecology, and she claimed that nutella is bad for climate change and deforestation. she was forced to apologize for her mistake,and she caused a small diplomatic tweet war with the italian minister of ecology as a result of the scandal.

james gunn:

he was fired because of racist past tweets, but because of fan support and his apology he was reinstated as the director of guardians of the galaxy. more is written in the history section.


a south african TV company that used to run propaganda for the apartheid regime in the 90’s. they apologized but some people think it wasn’t enough.

grigory rodchenkov:

he ran the russian national anti-doping lab, and in 2016 he was interviewed in the NY times and whistleblowed on how the russians fake doping results. he apologized to all of the clean athletes.

stephen harper:

the komagata maru incident was when indians tried to immigrate to canada but were denied from being entered,and were then arrested in india. the canadian PM apologized for the incident later.

UNI of wisconsin race:

in a homecoming video of winsconsin state university everyone was white. and this made black people mad because 0 representation. so they put token black people there. then it was discovered that the university almost entirely white so they were mad again.

tokenism article:

tokenism is when you only make a symbolic effort to do something. it’s used the most in attempts to bring diversity,and it fails miserably. a good example would be a movie with a POC/woman/LGBTQ+ character that was written so poorly, since said character was only added in to make the story more diverse, and thus increase profits.

cancel culture:

people are mad because of cancel culture. and so cancel culture is explained through the context of the clip, how recently you became popular, and its place in the broader “culture wars”. cancel culture is a set of behaviours where people “cancel” (or attempt to destroy someone’s career, livelihood or social status) because of past misdeeds, be them criminal charges or an old racist joke.

cancel culture 2019:

cancel culture got popular in 2019, and it has become a part of a fear that past jokes and things you said an result in you getting fired.

Concluding Questions

movie bloopers that got in the movie:

1.don corleone stroking a cat

2.steve carrel getting waxed

3.heath ledger’s joker clapping sarcastically

4.rocky runs through a market while someone throws him an orange

5.the 2 towers in lord of the rings

6.ms doubtfire getting covered in ice

7.indiana jones straight shooting the villain in the lost ark

8.peter dropping the orb in guardians of the galaxy

9.thor hangs his hammer in the dark world

10.han solo replying to leia “i know” instead of “i love you too”

11.”my name’s forrest gump” line

12.robert downey Jr. eating snacks

13.anna hathaway taking a tumble in the princess diaries

14.dicaprio had his arm cut in django unchained

15.hannibal lecter hissing

16.”i am king of the world” line in titanic

17.supects cracking up in the usual suspects

18.jim carrey’s face on eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

19.r lee erney being sgt. hartman in full metal jacket

20.johnny and baby crawling toward each other in dirty dancing

21.dustin hoffman farting in rain man

22.al pacino falling over a trash can in scent of a woman

23.the rock said a funny thing in fast and furious 6

24.daryl hannah shatters the window of the van in blade runner

25.mathew banging his chest in wolf of wall street

26.nick the greeks breaks the coffee table with a juice glass in lock stock and 2 smoking barrels

27.houston we have a problem line in scream

28.tom hanks picking up the gurney in the ‘burbs

29.aleen responding in the other guys

30.plate throwing scene in american beauty

nur sultan bloopers:

a wsc refrence inside the wsc material where joga throws an alpaca

18000$ pokemon card:

it’s a 1st edition charizard with a misprint.  

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