The Success of Failure

version

Well-known member
Reading the stuff on Recapitulation theory and Spinal Catastrophism in Fanged Noumena the other day had me mulling over the value of reading debunked or highly unlikely ideas; stuff like Goethe's theory of colours. You don't read Gibbon on Rome or Goethe on colour if you want "the facts" these days, but they're still read and taken seriously in some respects. Why? Where did their failures succeed? Could they have succeeded in this way had they not failed in their original intentions?

I remember reading something about Anthony 'Shake' Shakir describing every piece of music he makes as a failed experiment. Always liked that.

goethefarbkreis1810.jpg
 

version

Well-known member
I suppose the only way failure can really be avoided is by doing nothing or by doing things with no specific outcome in mind. If you just come up with something and people are into it, use it or whatever then that's success to some degree. Once you set out to explain something specific or provide some sort of factual account then you're setting yourself up for failure.
 

version

Well-known member
Someone like Land I find interesting as even his admirers admit he didn't have much of an impact within philosophy. Does this make him a failure? Does the influence on various artists counter it in any way?
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Thread could also be about Dido Harding and the countless others who have recently made totally catastrophic and extremely public failures and then been punished with a promotion. I know it's not at all what you mean but where is the £37bn? It's just gone forever with nothing to show for it and the people responsible just roll on without batting an eyelid...
Tell us about Goethe, how wrong was he? Did he get the chance to realise that he was wrong? How did he react to that realisation? Did he try and brazen it out, was he tormented by failure, did he throw his work in the bin and set fire to it? Was he able to get up and dust himself off and try something else in that field or another? I bet that he didn't completely ignore everyone that he had massively let down and then expect to be made head of the NHS....
I also find something quite interesting just in failure itself, regardless of whether it does later somehow lead to success. Not just your common or garden failure of the kind that we all have to deal with every now and again, I'm thinking of the truly colossal life-defining failures and the horrifying moment when it becomes apparent.
For example I'm thinking Scott finally reaching the pole only to see Amundsen's flag already there... that awful feeling as you grasp that your life's mission has failed, that you have lost irrevocably with no chance of reprieve, do-over or best out of three. How does one continue from there, I wonder how much that abject failure sapped their will to survive on the return journey.
Edit: though I don't mean to take over the thread of course so probably just ignore what I said.
 

catalog

Well-known member
what was goethes theory of colour?
I can't remember the theory but I know he got the science wrong, or based it on science that later changed.

Those recapitulation theories are brilliant. Darwins theory of evolution by natural selection is what won out, but there were loads of variations for a good span of time.

All the also rans are important so you understand there were other options. Things could've turned other ways.

I think about this with regard to stuff like eg a rectangular screen as the cinema, telly, phone. I got told by someone that we prefer it cos our eyes sit side by side and we evolved for horizon scanning, but is that why it's the persistent format?

And the one about how dinosaurs have been depicted wrong for years and are more likely to have been like birds, rather than like lizards, that's brilliant.
 

catalog

Well-known member
Yeah, I was thinking about that as I wrote it. It's like a proper nineteenth century way of looking at things, the ur-theory for that century.

"er, well, we can find a fault with everything else, so this'll do..."
 

version

Well-known member
The grand failures inspire a certain awe; @linebaugh was talking about Tenet in those terms recently. That this huge film by a huge director billed as 'saving cinema' turned out to be such a spectacular mess. The Heaven's Gate debacle springs to mind too. Apocalypse Now was ultimately a success, but part of the legend is the absolute chaos of the shoot.
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
Jerry Sadowitz is a figure who did it with comedy. Never took the easy route and you never see the cunt, but he’s deadly and has masses of sleight of hand card tricks that change the rage mood entirely. Glasgow at its best
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
The grand failures inspire a certain awe; @linebaugh was talking about Tenet in those terms recently. That this huge film by a huge director billed as 'saving cinema' turned out to be such a spectacular mess. The Heaven's Gate debacle springs to mind too. Apocalypse Now was ultimately a success, but part of the legend is the absolute chaos of the shoot.
That's another thing again, the huge gamble that teeters along the edge for the longest time, threatening to collapse in on itself and destroy everyone in range, but which ultimately achieves escape velocity at the last instance and instead creates a whole new olympiad of heroes with their own ready made myths.
That is one thing i always find unsatisfying in those underdog team films. When the million to one shot gets to the final against the evil team and for the best drama it is deemed that the final has to have the highest possible stakes, total victory or total defeat, thus somehow the final itself is presented as a dichotomy between victory meaning impossible success beyond the wildest of dreams.. or defeat which would mean that the good guys are revealed to be the disgraceful bunch of shameful losers that everyone thought they were at the start except somehow even worse. But how can that be possible when they have already qualified for the final and thus proved themselves at least the second best team?
 

linebaugh

Well-known member
The grand failures inspire a certain awe; @linebaugh was talking about Tenet in those terms recently. That this huge film by a huge director billed as 'saving cinema' turned out to be such a spectacular mess. The Heaven's Gate debacle springs to mind too. Apocalypse Now was ultimately a success, but part of the legend is the absolute chaos of the shoot.
have you watched it yet? even craners seen it
 

catalog

Well-known member
i watched tenet a few days ago. same sort of thing as inception but i did prefer it to inception just cos leo was a bit much in that. once you accept that it doesn't make sense, you can just get on and enjoy all the stunts.
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
Got to the switcheroo fight sequence where the reason for the time slip is exposed and turned it off

Something smug about these films, they don’t know their own limits which pushes them into the absurdly mundane (that’s me just being a cranky old fuck)

And Kenneth Branagh’s Russian deserves a shout out for most cliched accent/vocal performance for some time, wtf Ken

Sorry, but they’re nearly all gash
 

catalog

Well-known member
it felt like a bond film to me. this international feel, with no big name actors really. and the acting is so wooden it starts to become something else. i thought it was a gimick at first, but it seems to be part of what hes doing i dunno
 

version

Well-known member
The Room's a good example of the success of failure; so terrible it's become a sensation with a book and a film about it.
 
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