Failing Gracefully

Rather than crash, try failing gracefully. If you can’t do 100%, your next option is not 0%. There is (literally, mathematically) an infinite number of numbers, and therefore options, between 0% and 100%. 1

Helicopter Rescue at Guiltback Mountain

OCHR (Other Choices Helicopter Rescue) @ Guiltback Mountain

There’s 90%, there’s 70%, there’s 50%, 30%, 25%, 10%, 1%, 0.01%, 0.00001%, 0.0000000001%, 0.0000000000000000001%. And you’re like, “that doesn’t count”. Doesn’t it? It’s a number. Surely we count with numbers, not flippant three-word putdowns?

Your options are not “suck it up and do it this painful way” and “do nothing”. Those are certainly two of your options, but to simply say they “are” your options is like saying that the contents of that glass of water in front of you “is” the ocean. There’s more where they came from; there are other choices.

There are other choices. Choices you’ve never even considered. Choices no one’s ever even heard of. Or imagined. Or if they did imagine them they immediately said some dumb sheet like “that doesn’t count” and talked themselves out of a genius idea.

How do you think this website came about? I took what I liked from other people, threw out what I didn’t like, made up some crazy stuff on my own and just mixed it altogether like a smoothie, then I add lots of sweetener in the form of bad jokes to mask the fact that it’s probably not that good; that’s how this game is played. 2 And anyone who tells you otherwise, even me, is either lying to you or misinformed themselves. That, or they’re just saying what’s most convenient for them: I know; I’m a jerk; I do it all the time.

So you  didn’t do your reps today. Yes, yes, bad you, slap on the wrist. There’s a helicopter standing by, waiting to take you off Guiltback Mountain and its name is “other choices”.

In dumbed-down movies, robots invariably blow up and catch fire (in that order) as soon as one tiny thing goes wrong. The thing to realize is…them robot movies ain’t about robots.


  1. And, indeed, between 0% and 1%
  2. No one gave me permission; I took it. They’d have had me taking classes and watching Ghibli anime (shudder); they’d have had me do as I was told. I don’t know about you, but I have trouble following good advice that’s boring, let alone bad advice that’s not only boring but also clearly doesn’t work and is only being given because almost everyone’s been brainwashed into believing it. I’m looking right at you, Japanese classes.

  5 comments for “Failing Gracefully

  1. January 26, 2013 at 02:23

    Guiltback Mountain: Where language cowboys f*** themselves.

  2. Erik
    January 26, 2013 at 02:31

    Yeah I’ve been experiencing this lately with getting back into the swing of college. Sometimes I’ll do like 2/3 of the reps one night and the remainder 1/3 before going to school. Or other times I’ll just do as many as I can so the review count for the next day isn’t as high as it would be if I stopped. I’ve been trying to think of ways of avoiding future situations where my reps don’t get done than worry about reps I didn’t do in the past and at the very least it doesn’t feel as bad.

  3. Kaiwen
    January 29, 2013 at 06:54

    If you use frozen fruit or ice, it’s cold enough you won’t taste anything and even weird, healthy things like spinach become palatable because you don’t notice.

    That metaphor wasn’t as successful as I would have liked.

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