Nov 4 2009   4:17PM GMT

Downtime goes error-free

ComputerWeeklyStaff Profile: ComputerWeeklyStaff


Downtime is indebted to Pulitzer prize winner Joseph Hallinan for writing the book on mistakes, why we make them and how to avoid them. It is called Erronomics, no doubt a tribute to the earlier Freakonomics, which showed why drug dealing is poorly paid, unless you are the boss. Downtime hopes that the title of Hallinan’s book is not in itself a mistake.
But Downtime thought that readers would be more interested to know how to avoid mistakes. The rules are:
1. Make a list. And check that your heart surgeon uses one too, because it cuts their error rate 47%.
2. Guess twice; your second is likely to be better.
3.Write it down. The palest ink is more reliable that the strongest memory.
4. Get more sleep. Your decision-making capacity is better with a blood alcohol level of 0.05% than after 17 sleepless hours.(That does not mean what you hope it means.)
5. Do less. Multitasking is error-making.

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  • Nick
    This published in your 10-16 November issue along with an article about Google inventing a town called Argleton and you mentioning a heartless place called Welling Garden City...

    I thought perhaps a deliberate spelling mistake but it was alongside other such towns correctly spelled. Slough for example.

    For future reference you could have used Google maps to help you correctly spell Welwyn Garden City, and whilst I could agree that it has no pulse, I would have to say that it has a beautiful heart.

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