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Thursday, June 24, 2010


I'm trying to do some detailed work. I have to create a bunch of files with settings of currents and magnet strengths, and then load these values into a model of the machine and calculate quantities based on tracking particles through the machine.
I'm realizing that I have an approach where I assume that everything I do I might make some mistakes. If I focus really hard, I can make fewer mistakes, but this is exhausting, and its hard to think creatively while doing this. So I try to set up my systems so that they are tolerant to making mistakes. This means that there are checks later on, and reviews where I can catch the mistakes I make.
I think that other people don't work this way with this kind of work. They are more careful, they don't make many mistakes, and once things are checked, they leave things as is for fear of messing it up.

This to me is another aspect of "the mess". Its an area, where in order to turn something not into a mess, I have to work much harder than I normally would. If it were not a mess, and I had no problems with the systems in place, then I could just work in my concentrated mode, not make mistakes (or very rarely), and get a lot more done. Since I allow myself to make mistakes, then I have to change the system itself in order to accommodate this, or else face the consequences of making mistakes and looking bad as a result.