Acknowledging and Apologising For an Error

I have come to realise the need to acknowledge a major error on this blog. Errors will occur, of course, but when they occur it is important to admit them and to own them, to make amends to the extent that is possible.

Where is my major blog error? I don’t think i’ve made it. Yet. But I will.

I’m pretty damn careful, if only out of concern for self-preservation: being strong and public with my criticisms, there is no shortage of out-of-joint noses sniffing for any mistake I might make.* But if I haven’t yet screwed up it is still inevitable that I will. And when I do, I hope I will have the integrity to acknowledge it.

Unlike ACARA. And AAS. And AMT. And AMSI. And VIT. And VTAC. And VCAA. And VCAA. And VCAA. And VCAA. And VCAA. And VCAA. And VCAA. And VCAA. And VCAA. And VCAA. And VCAA. And VCAA …


*) This occurred with me and Burkard. Given who the critic was, I am of the opinion we responded appropriately.

14 Replies to “Acknowledging and Apologising For an Error”

  1. Sung out loud, your last two lines sound like a Status Quo song (YouTube clip has NOT been uploaded).
    Theres a very simple process that anyone working in retail knows (or used to know, back in the good old days):
    Admit when youre wrong. Apologise. Ask how you can make up for it.
    Generally speaking, people who follow this process are respected even more (provided of course that they dont need to use it like a Status Quo song).

  2. Hi Marty. I pointed out the error in the NHT Methods 2022, Exam 2.MC Q15. The examiner’s report makes NO MENTION of the error; no acknowledgement and no apology. As I see it, you will NEVER be able to determine just exactly how much important exam time was wasted trying to figure this question out. OK, a smart student trained in exam technique, would probably give up after 1 or 2 minutes but NOT necessarily. Or they would have simply earned the point performing the ‘too-cute’ incorrect calculation expected. This state of affairs is absurd. Why not get professionals to proofread your exams? PS You did admit your error when trying to understand this problem; thanks for that!

    1. Hi, rob. Your use of “you” is confusing, but I assume you’re (justifiably) having a go at VCAA, not me.

      The MCQ you mention is indeed absurd, and is included in the Methods Error List. To be semi-fair, NHT is a Mickey Mouse add-on, to which VCAA never pays much attention; the NHT reports are always token. But when an NHT question is stuffed up, there’s obviously a professional and ethical obligation to acknowledge the stuff-up.

      1. Plenty of students use the NHT exams as part of their exam prep. And as youve previously and correctly alluded to, plenty of teachers use the NHT exams to inform their teaching (including ‘ideas’ for questions on assessments including SACs) (and learning?). They may be Mickey Mouse add-ons but their influence cannot be taken lightly.

          1. Marty thats an interesting position (but I understand it). I wonder what weight other teachers and students give them? I would wager that most see ‘VCAA Maths Exams’ and will give them as much weight as the november exams (whatever ‘giving them weight’ means. Importance?) Some might even think (wrongly) theyre a crystal ball to the November exams.

  3. “We have yet to be able to answer all our problems. The answers we found only raise a whole set of new questions. In some ways, we feel we are as confused as ever, but we believe we are confused on a higher level and about more important things.”
    Posted outside the mathematics reading room, Tromsø University

  4. Imagine if you hadnt goofed. Youd be driving taxis instead of blogging. Its an ill wind that blows (or sniffs) no good. I looked at the links but couldnt figure out whose nose was sniffing (hidden by a handkerchief I suppose).

      1. Youre footnote: This occurred with me and Burkard. Given who the critic was, I am of the opinion we responded appropriately.

  5. Marty, I did not realise that you too had written about taxicab numbers in Vinculum in 2008 and 2009. A colleague and I also wrote about them in Vinculum 2015. We missed your earlier paper. I apologise.

    1. Well, Burkard and Marty culpa. But the twat who lorded it over us for our error was even more culpa.

      1. Thats the one – the twat. I couldnt figure out who it was from the links in youre footnote.

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