Timesaving with Social Clarity

14 An Error of Omission or Commission

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While writing this book (TCR), the author also works on the book Thumoslang Guide to Blockchain & Cryptocurrency for Beginners (BCB). Around lunch on the last Saturday of June 2022, he wrote BCB’s Chapter 5, When Nickantony First Discovered Charlie Shrem.

After that, Nick learned something new from a YouTube video. Hours later, he shared with Alec Mustafayev how Nick internalized the new knowledge, explained below. The experience involves errors of omission and errors of commission.

What is an error? How is it different from a mistake? Nick expressed his answers by proposing a handful of new Thumoslang thumbnail definitions.

  • Correct; that means, conforming to standards.
    • This thumbnail is a new definition; the author proposed it today by registering it with the Thumoslang database.
  • Error; that means, unknown incorrectness.
    • This definition is also new today.
  • Mistake; that means, unintentional error.
    • In February 2021, it was the lack of carefulness.
  • Correction; that means, mistake removal.
    • This definition has stayed the same since February 2021.

The following sequence of new Thumoslang thumbnail definitions should explain errors of omission.

  • Record; that means, recallable information.
  • Omission; that means, the lack of recording.

Accountants committed an error of omission when they failed to record a necessary transaction. Doctors committed an error of omission when they failed to act as a reasonably prudent doctor would in the same case. Investors committed an error of omission when they failed to invest as a reasonably prudent investor would in the same market condition.

The following sequence of Thumoslang thumbnail definitions should explain errors of commission.

  • Authority; that means, assigned power.
    • This definition has stayed the same since March 2020.
  • Commission; that means, authority engaged.
    • This entry is a new definition today.

While waiting for the bus, later on, Alec and Nick discussed the newly proposed Thumoslang thumbnail definitions. Alec asked many questions about them and challenged a few. In the end, Nick newly proposed thumbnails passed Alec as Nick’s first gate of quality control for Thumoslang.

“If I commissioned you to do a piece of artwork, I engaged my authority,” explained Nick at one point in the conversation.

“Why did you consider these new thumbnail definitions?” Asked Alec minutes later.

“I saw a video earlier,” said Nick. “In the video, Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway talked about his mistakes.”

“I’ve made all kinds of bad decisions that have cost us billions of dollars. They’ve been mistakes of omission rather than commission,” explained Buffett. “I don’t worry about not buying Microsoft, though, because I didn’t understand that business. And I didn’t understand Intel. But there are businesses I did understand–Fannie Mae [was] within my circle of competence. I [decided] to buy it, but I didn’t execute. We would’ve made many billions of dollars. But we didn’t do it.”

Nick made many errors of omission in his first year trading cryptocurrencies. He bought 406 units of Solana for $27 each at 4:45 AM one day. Within nine hours, he sold them all for $28 each. The cause was not FOMO; it was FOLA! The fear of missing out did not apply in this case. What Nick had was the fear of losing all.

“FOLA is the main reason for my error of omission,” Nick told himself. “Get out of crypto now if you believe any of the top three–Bitcoin, Etherium, and Solana–will collapse to zero in your lifetime.”

“That’s a big error of omission,” explained Nick. “When you get in and out too quickly, you’re not investing.”

Ten days later, a unit of Solana was $42. If Nick had sold his purchase ten days later instead of ten hours later, he would have a better story to tell.

“How would you apply this knowledge to leadership instead of investment?” Asked Alec.

“Interesting idea,” said Nick.

“Thank you,” said Alec.

“I know. How about this,” said Nick. “six months ago, you did not step up to lead a group, but months later, you regretted your decision to let another member take the lead. That’s an error of omission; you did not commit to lead. Furthermore, you authorized the other member to lead. However, you had neither the time nor the experience to make things happen for the group. That’s an error of commission, I guess.”

“I see,” said Alec.

In many conversations, such as the above, Nick comes up with another handful of thumbnails. Several may pass the test of time; several may not. The more he interacts with other people, the more opportunities he has to test and improve Thumoslang thumbnail definitions. It did not take long for his team members to consider him a walking dictionary. The team’s growing power of language is the key to their ever-increasing productivity.

Nick can’t wait to discover people who might be able to help him with these intellectual exercises. How could he involve students of philosophy and the like in the development of Thumoslang?

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