The idea of error-friendliness takes in the ideas of production of errors, tolerance of errors, and the «friendly» cooperation between these two aspects for the exploration of new opportunities.
- Christine von Weizsäcker

So this is brilliant. The notion that a system needs errors in order to evolve. It’s a balance between the amount of errors, and the power of a system to deal with these errors that allows that system to be flexible in exploring other options, and thus makes that system better set to evolve. Sort of brings in my original notion of resilience – the ability to adjust to severe change – in relation to error. It very much backs up my thesis hypothesis that experiencing errors can help teach a person to become more flexible and resilient.

I don’t want to get too broad, as my goal now is to narrow down, but this does bring up the topic of evolution and the role that error plays in the process. There’s a great case from the New Scientist on the relevance of biological error in evolution. A genetic mutation protected the Fore, a cannibalistic tribe from Papa New Guinea, against kuru – a brain disease passed on by eating human brains.

Making me want to get the word zombie somewhere in my thesis title.


“A measure of resilience is the magnitude of disturbance that can be experienced without the system flipping into another state or stability domain.”
- Holling, C. S. and Gunderson, L. H. (Eds.) (2002) Panarchy. Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems. Island Press. Washington. p50