[The philosophers] say that it is misery itself to live in folly, to err, to be deceived, and to be ignorant. On the contrary, however, this is what it is to be human. I cannot see why they call this kind of life miserable when it is the common lot of all men to be born, brought up, and constituted in such a way.  

—Erasmus

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We’ve all done it: hollered a confident “hi, Mark!” to a guy named Greg; slipped up and called our sixth grade teacher “Mom”; snuck up on our sister from behind and delivered a pinch, only to realize she was a stranger.   These kinds of gaffes are simultaneously the most mundane and most embarrassing of mistakes. More people than I can count told me stories like these, all of which ended with the speaker expressing the fervent desire to vanish. As one such person put it, “The only thing you can say in these situations is, ‘Sorry, I just had a brain biopsy.’”