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The Courage to Screw Up: Why DIY Is Good for You

May 30, 2010, 07:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mark Frauenfelder)

"As the editor-in-chief of the do-it-yourself magazine Make, I've met scores of dedicated makers. They come from all walks of life -- rich, poor, young, old, male, female, religious, atheist, liberal, conservative. They're as varied as the things they make: kites with cameras, homebrew biodiesel, treehouses with ziplines, cigar box guitars, remote-control lawnmowers, automatic cat-feeders, high-altitude water rockets, robotic blimps, worm composting systems, stylish plywood furniture, pinhole cameras, experimental surfboards, solar water heaters, portable drive-in movie projectors -- there's no limit to their aspirations. And while no two DIYers are alike, in general they're an upbeat and friendly group that shares a special trait: the courage to screw up.

"Being able to accept, even embrace, your mistakes is far from easy. In school, we learn that mistakes translate into bad grades. This unfortunate lesson gets burned into our brains, and we go through life shunning challenges that might end in failure. But DIYers not only accept the inevitability of mistakes, they welcome them, because they know that mistakes are a source of inspiration and the most effective way to learn. The latest research in neuroscience supports this idea."

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