The Mars helicopter's scary sixth mission

The helicopter's sixth mission almost went down in disaster.

Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech
  • The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter was out on a photo-taking mission when it started to act strangely.
  • It kept changing its speed and tipping back and forth.
  • A single error threw its entire navigation system into confusion.
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Desire success? Start asking dumb questions.

In a world afraid of embarrassment, asking dumb questions is a super power, says Tim Ferriss. It takes a secure intellect to risk looking silly, but the rewards are there for the taking.

Chris Sacca is very good at asking dumb questions, says Tim Ferriss – and Ferriss means it as a compliment. Years ago, Sacca got an entry-level job at Google and invited himself along to executive meetings where, once people got used to his strange presence, he started asking dumb questions, chiming in with the obvious things that no one was bringing up. "He's created some incredible breakthroughs in investing as a result of that," says Ferriss. In a world where everyone is afraid of looking stupid, a lot of basic improvements and ideas get missed for fear of embarrassment. Through several anecdotes amassed during the writing of his new book Tools of Titans, Ferriss makes a case for being more intellectually secure in yourself so that you can raise your hand without fear, ask a dumb question, and actually become smarter. And in Sacca's case, wealthier. Tim Ferriss is the author of Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers.

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