On mistakes

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I am human. I make mistakes. I did so yesterday in the video that we put outin the video that we put out. Instead of saying that proportional representation required the creation of larger constituencies, I said the first-past-the-post did. I did not notice it until the video video was out, when others drew it to my attention. I immediately posted a narrative correction, pointing out the very obvious mistake. I thought that was good enough.

Several commentators disagreed. In every case the theme was similar. The point they made was that I do, inevitably, have critics on the web, and they might jump on such mistakes and use them to suggest that I really do not know what I am talking about. I get that point. I think it might have reasonable in times gone by, when I might well have agreed with them.

On reflection, however, I decided to leave the video on the platforms where I shared it . Firstly, that was because the mistake was acknowledged. It's hard to really create capital of an acknowledged mistake.

Second, these TikTok orientated videos are not meant to be the ultimate answer to any question. Just like no blog post is intended to achieve that goal these are parts of an ongoing narrative. I think the world sees such content in that way.

Third, my critics will have a go at me even if I get things right. As a matter of fact, blogs ,tweets and other material saying that I am wrong is put out pretty much every day for those who want to believe it.

Fourth, soon if someone wants to make a video of me saying pretty much anything it will be possible for them to do so using AI, and apart from the fact that I will not have put it out it will be very hard to differentiate it from the real thing.

Fifth, perfection is the enemy of the good. If I spent forever trying to eliminate every typo on this blog the amount of content would go down considerably and my enjoyment from doing so would entirely disappear. Despite the fact that I sometimes am apparently unable to spot glaring errors, and have an occasional tendency when using the iPad to make really awful mistakes, the traffic has survived and, based on what they tell me, is the envy of many a publisher who would like returns equivalent to those I enjoy for the effort and cost expended.

Sixth, people were watching, liking and discussing the video and that seemed to be of benefit. Plus, I was out all day and had no alternative material to offer.

Seventh, it's a lesson learned. Just as this morning's video has some typos in the transcript ( which is normal almost everywhere as they are AI generated), mistakes happen. And we are only just over a week into this experiment in terms of putting material out.

It has been a massive learning curve. Thomas has worked phenomenally hard and has risen to the challenges, including a demand for speed whilst encountering new issues almost continually, and somehow we got well over 100,000 views in that week. I am pleased with that.

We've tried two cameras, and the iPhone is better. Now we need to master it in more environments. The intention is to make way from the desk sometime.

We have tried three microphones and there are strengths and weaknesses. This is a complicated area.

I never thought I would use a sound mixer, but I have.

We have learned a lot about lighting and avoiding glare in my glasses.

I now know why you wear make up when making video, because a little cuts down weird lighting reflections a lot. Oddly, no one seems to notice it if I forget to wipe it off either, so we must have got the balance about right.

And we've learned to reject what we've made. More attempts have been abandoned than got finished, by some way. We are trying to do well.

That said, we will definitely do better. The focus will be on getting the captions more accurate next. And yes, of course we will try to avoid obvious mistakes. More care will be taken. I/we get the message. But, so far I think the experiment is proving to be worthwhile.

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