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Solomon Marcus

Romanian Academy

Solomon Marcus

MISTAKES AND FAILURES: THEIR HIDDEN POSITIVE ASPECTS
 
                                Solomon Marcus
                                Romanian Academy
                              solomarcus@mail.com
 
  Mistakes are the price we have to pay in order to make possible creativity. They may occur at various levels: computational, syntactic, semantic or pragmatic. Threre is a lack of balance in the way we cope with them. While most attention is focused on computational and syntactic mistakes, less attention is paid to semantic and pragmatic mistakes. We point out that
  1) Many pioneering works in mathematics and in computer science include mistakes, some times benign, other times malign mistakes:
  2) Many bold new ideas and new fields of research were born in the process to try to bridge the gap resulting from the appearance of some mistakes
  3) Failures may hide further successes:
  4) Ignorance of semantic mistakes is a symptom of a wrong representation of the very nature of mathematics and of computer science. Correctness and meaning are equally important in both math and computer science:
  5) Pragmatic mistakes are the most obvious and perhaps for this reason we don't observe them.
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