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(Scientific American)   The role of luck in life is far greater than acknowledged, extending to whether this gets greenlit   ( blogs.scientificamerican.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, success, Person, The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, Distributor, Wealth condensation, Simulation, Individual, Average  
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1734 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 Mar 2018 at 2:55 AM (32 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2018-03-05 01:13:31 AM  
Basically, if you weren't given the opportunity to be born rich, you're SOL.
This is a shocking revelation, somehow.
 
2018-03-05 02:29:32 AM  
Put more simply, talent doesn't help if life makes you its biatch. Like a flower, talent blooms if it's given everything it needs to grow - and our current system rewards a few lucky mediocre people over many much more talented.

Not really all that surprising, the real news is we will now take the data that shows precisely how to let everyone succeed and choose to ignore it because fark you that's why.
 
KIA
2018-03-05 03:13:41 AM  
This is actually a fascinating article for many reasons.  Thanks for submitting it, submitter!  Also, thanks to the admins for putting it out there.

FTFA: "even a great talent becomes useless against the fury of misfortune."

So... we are actually breeding for luck.  Niven and Pournelle were right all those years ago.
 
2018-03-05 03:59:28 AM  
Better lucky than good.
 
2018-03-05 04:08:29 AM  
I'd hate to know what my life would have turned into had I been more unlucky than I already am. As it is, it's been one hell of a road to travel.

The world rewards ass-kissers and yes-men. I'm not one of those people. I'd love to be one of those people, sitting on a pile of money and not giving two farks cause "I got mine". I can't bring myself to do it and when I've tried in the past I've been called out on it.

What's the point in being 'good' and talented and being a hard worker if you're never comfortable financially, have no fun things to look forward to and bills that are merely the basics with no extravagance to speak of?

To be able to screw people over and not care seems like a better position than constantly screwing myself out of things because someone may question my integrity.
 
2018-03-05 04:35:58 AM  
Yep.  There's this farce that says, that anyone can be wealthy, and that all it takes is hard work.  But if that were the case, all the day laborers hanging around Lowe's and Home Depot would be rich men and women, every one of them.   Me, I think it doesn't come down to what you can do, but rather who you know, and your proximity to cash.  Once you have enough cash, you can hire the best in the business a-la trump, and merely ask them to perform to make you money.  You don't have to get involved at all.  Money exerts a gravitational force that attracts more money.  That's just how it is.  Now, start with little to nothing, and you have none of that force to exert.  Donald, in contrast, he was given all his daddy's money, and more importantly, the already large support structure in place to support a wealthy lifestyle.  Donnie could have been a successful businessman if he were born, say, a macaque, instead of a human.  Although to be entirely fair, I doubt a macaque would market steaks in The Sharper Image.
 
2018-03-05 04:57:02 AM  

Unikitty: I'd hate to know what my life would have turned into had I been more unlucky than I already am. As it is, it's been one hell of a road to travel.

The world rewards ass-kissers and yes-men. I'm not one of those people. I'd love to be one of those people, sitting on a pile of money and not giving two farks cause "I got mine". I can't bring myself to do it and when I've tried in the past I've been called out on it.

What's the point in being 'good' and talented and being a hard worker if you're never comfortable financially, have no fun things to look forward to and bills that are merely the basics with no extravagance to speak of?

To be able to screw people over and not care seems like a better position than constantly screwing myself out of things because someone may question my integrity.


Every day some schmuck gets way more than they deserve. That schmuck should be you!
 
2018-03-05 05:42:19 AM  
Interesting article. I've had different shares of good and bad luck in different areas. Primarily I have an ability to read, listen, understand, memorize, and recall, which is great for getting through both education and daily work. I don't feel I did anything to earn this, I just had the good luck to be born with the genes which might enable it. That isn't necessarily to say I did well in school, as I could have done far better. In fact I got lazy because passing exams was easy for me when little effort was required in most subjects.

On the other hand I have the bad luck to be painfully introverted. Being social is the most difficult part of my life to the point that dealing with people I know like coworkers and family is merely stressful, and dealing with strangers is emotionally/mentally exhausting, so networking is more or less impossible and every job interview starts with an automatic snake eyes roll. On the other hand, I had the good luck of impressing my employer early in my career and that has taken me to a decent position with decent pay. That only goes so far, however, and at this point on the career ladder you either succeed in the interview or you fail to be promoted.
 
2018-03-05 05:50:24 AM  
This reminds me of a recent experience.

I saw Herbie Hancock in concert just last week. He was, well, Herbir Hancock. His touring band now is more modern and funky. They played a few old songs from the Headhunters period, some new tunes too. Everyone was good... But they weren't spectacular. Just good. Very good, but not great. Not one of them stood out as spectacular, not even Herbie. This band performed before a full concert hall, thousands of people.

A year ago, I saw McCoy Tyner. The guy has serious health issues affecting his brain and is very shaky, but when he touched the piano... Whoa. The air in the room transformed. His touring band was all excellent - I can't remember everyone but Gary Bartz was on sax. Only after hearing Herbie in concert did I think this, but McCoy Tyner is technically better than Herbie by a fair margin. This band performed in a full nightclub, probably a couple hundred people.

Lastly, I saw Barry Altschul about 3-4 years ago. He was incredible. Every member of his 3 piece was incredible. It was one of the best concerts I've ever been to. This band performed in a not totally full performance space at a college, in front of maybe 50 people?

Maybe this says more about musical taste than luck and success, but it strikes me Herbie could easily find a better sax player. Not necessarily one that also works as a producer, but probably. My first real jazz teacher was a much better sax player, and I only heard him play a couple times - he's an unknown dude in a medium sized city where the only people who know him are, well, people who know - musicians. But he was not successful to that degree, for some set of reasons. Yet this dude on stage with Herbie was that successful.

It made me wonder if I just have odd taste, but thinking about this article, luck definitely played a role. Putting Barry Altschul and free jazz aside, McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock are in their respective positions not entirely due to talent.
 
2018-03-05 06:48:36 AM  
I <3 Monte Carlo methods.
 
2018-03-05 06:56:23 AM  
Luck? Get it? Weyhey!
Luck! Sounds almost exactly like fu...

- Lady Whiteadder, "Beer", Blackadder II

Which sums up my attitude of luck nicely too
 
2018-03-05 07:15:26 AM  
What it does is knock the legs out from under the whole capitalist meritocracy concept.

The whole idea of "If you're bright enough and work hard enough you will be successful." and its corollary; "If you're not successful, obviously you're not bright enough and didn't work hard enough." Have now been disproven.

Highly progressive tax rates and  Universal Basic Income other social measures that "punish the rich" are in fact quite fair, because they are only rich because of dumb luck (at best).
 
2018-03-05 07:34:35 AM  
 
KIA
2018-03-05 07:47:22 AM  

brainlordmesomorph: What it does is knock the legs out from under the whole capitalist meritocracy concept.

The whole idea of "If you're bright enough and work hard enough you will be successful." and its corollary; "If you're not successful, obviously you're not bright enough and didn't work hard enough." Have now been disproven.

Highly progressive tax rates and  Universal Basic Income other social measures that "punish the rich" are in fact quite fair, because they are only rich because of dumb luck (at best).


Actually, the study seems to demonstrate that talented people tend to maximize lucky breaks while untalented people don't.

I wonder if that also mitigates unlucky breaks. Hmm. I mean, anyone can get hit by a drunk driver. I dont think talent would mitigate that, but talent might have been enough to produce income sufficient to afford a car with side-impact airbags. So maybe it might indirectly have the same effect. Worth thinking about.

If true, talent does still have some advantages. Also the author's comment about talent growing over a career *may* be true if a person continues to invest in themselves. This may go a ways to explain how older workers still maintain their jobs in such a competitive environment.
 
2018-03-05 07:56:46 AM  
I should send this to my mother. She came from a terrible family but eventually got a masters to become a nurse practitioner. She's now very bitter as she sees, in her words, "those lazy S.O.B.s" getting government handouts while she works so hard. And if she could pull herself out of a terrible situation, then everyone should be able to. To her, if you work hard, you will be successful and the unsuccessful, they are just lazy and worthless.

I don't think she has ever considered that luck played a big role in escaping her past life.  Even though she sees hard workers with very little and from similar backgrounds, they still aren't working hard enough. She doesn't consider that if she had just one hiccup along the way, she probably wouldn't have received her education and would not have succeeded the way she has. If she would have gotten sick at just the wrong time, she might have had to drop out of college and all would have been lost. She met just the right people along the way that helped and supported her. She was lucky to be born in a country where those opportunities existed. Still to her, it wasn't luck but only hard work. And to her, she deserves much more and others deserve even less.

I readily admit luck played a role in my life. I was born a white, middle class male in the US. Education was available and I had a family the supported education. Noone close to me ever got sick or died at a critical time. I didn't need to get jobs to support myself while in undergrad and medical school. Noone questioned me when I said my goal was to be a physician. I just had to not stumble along the way. Not many are this lucky.
 
2018-03-05 08:00:34 AM  

KIA: Actually, the study seems to demonstrate that talented people tend to maximize lucky breaks while untalented people don't.


WHAT?!
That's not what the article I read said. In one sim, the most successful person was substantially less talented than the least successful person, the ONLY difference was luck.
 
2018-03-05 08:07:32 AM  
In my personal experience, any great achievement is a combination of luck and skill.

The skill is being in position to take advantage of the luck.
 
2018-03-05 08:44:27 AM  

adamatari: This reminds me of a recent experience.

I saw Herbie Hancock in concert just last week. He was, well, Herbir Hancock. His touring band now is more modern and funky. They played a few old songs from the Headhunters period, some new tunes too. Everyone was good... But they weren't spectacular. Just good. Very good, but not great. Not one of them stood out as spectacular, not even Herbie. This band performed before a full concert hall, thousands of people.

A year ago, I saw McCoy Tyner. The guy has serious health issues affecting his brain and is very shaky, but when he touched the piano... Whoa. The air in the room transformed. His touring band was all excellent - I can't remember everyone but Gary Bartz was on sax. Only after hearing Herbie in concert did I think this, but McCoy Tyner is technically better than Herbie by a fair margin. This band performed in a full nightclub, probably a couple hundred people.

Lastly, I saw Barry Altschul about 3-4 years ago. He was incredible. Every member of his 3 piece was incredible. It was one of the best concerts I've ever been to. This band performed in a not totally full performance space at a college, in front of maybe 50 people?

Maybe this says more about musical taste than luck and success, but it strikes me Herbie could easily find a better sax player. Not necessarily one that also works as a producer, but probably. My first real jazz teacher was a much better sax player, and I only heard him play a couple times - he's an unknown dude in a medium sized city where the only people who know him are, well, people who know - musicians. But he was not successful to that degree, for some set of reasons. Yet this dude on stage with Herbie was that successful.

It made me wonder if I just have odd taste, but thinking about this article, luck definitely played a role. Putting Barry Altschul and free jazz aside, McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock are in their respective positions not entirely due to talent.


This. I'd never really considered it before I saw this little nobody just wreck everyone's face:

Susan Boyle - Britains Got Talent 2009 Episode 1 - Saturday 11th April | HD High Quality
Youtube RxPZh4AnWyk

Since then it's become a minor obsession of mine thinking about how much we may be missing in terms of raw human talent. Just because we've filled the world with reasons why you can't or you shouldn't when we should be doing our level best to burn down every barrier to human acheivment we can find.

It's easy to find examples of this in the arts because they draw so much attention, but how many unheralded talents might be lurking in any particular avocation simply because they weren't supported or lucky enough to make the right connections?

How many people like Boyle are out there? How many like J.K. Rowling? It's hard to come up with examples that aren't in the arts, but even Barrack Obama has an unlikely as hell story. Considering he wouldn't be president if Jeri Ryan's ex hadn't been such a pervert.
 
2018-03-05 08:44:48 AM  
The harder I work the luckier I get. You can't win if you don't buy a ticket.
 
2018-03-05 08:54:00 AM  

brainlordmesomorph: KIA: Actually, the study seems to demonstrate that talented people tend to maximize lucky breaks while untalented people don't.

WHAT?!
That's not what the article I read said. In one sim, the most successful person was substantially less talented than the least successful person, the ONLY difference was luck.


Indeed. The biggest takeaway for me was that providing a more even baseline of resources allowed more people to overcome any bad luck and make use of their talents.

That means we now have history and math telling us steeply lopsided resource allocation is bad for the human race. Maybe in 200 years or so we'll start to get the hint.
 
2018-03-05 09:06:08 AM  
Honestly the last ones get closer to the idea that to improve chance of an interview, make your name appear to be more like it is a white dude applying. Hence, middle initial, easy to say, and masculine. For example, use Jerry instead of Jerome helps for jobs.

There's a sociology paper on this. Basically, AA applicants were more likely to get phone interviews by using a version of the names that appeared Caucasian and removing any awards that referenced being a minority
 
2018-03-05 09:14:11 AM  
There is no such thing as "luck."
Only probability of events.
"Luck" can only be given the attributes of good, bad, or neutral in hindsight.
 
2018-03-05 09:38:35 AM  

mr lawson: There is no such thing as "luck."


For the purposes of this study, "luck" was simply shorthand for having a majority of positive random events vs a majority of negative random events.

I don't think they were implying any kind of supernatural power is involved.
 
2018-03-05 10:01:01 AM  
Without high enough Luck, you can't take Critical Banker or Better Criticals, plus your shots/crit ratio is gonna suck.

/I thought this was on the Geek tab?
 
2018-03-05 10:02:20 AM  

bloobeary: Basically, if you weren't given the opportunity to be born rich, you're SOL.
This is a shocking revelation, somehow.


WRONG!!!
I grew up, dirt poor on a farm in the middle of nowhere. I paid (cash) for community college in my teens and worked early in the morning so I could go to night school. I got zero handouts from my family or anyone else.

Was published at 25
Had my Sr Engineer title at 28
Was a millionaire by 30
Bought my 3rd house at 35

A strong work ethic will get you everywhere you need to go in this world, no matter where you came from.
 
2018-03-05 10:13:30 AM  

badcommand: bloobeary: Basically, if you weren't given the opportunity to be born rich, you're SOL.
This is a shocking revelation, somehow.

WRONG!!!
I grew up, dirt poor on a farm in the middle of nowhere. I paid (cash) for community college in my teens and worked early in the morning so I could go to night school. I got zero handouts from my family or anyone else.

Was published at 25
Had my Sr Engineer title at 28
Was a millionaire by 30
Bought my 3rd house at 35

A strong work ethic will get you everywhere you need to go in this world, no matter where you came from.


I hope you don't actually believe that? What if you just weren't as smart? Genetic lottery, lead paint in your house as a child, accident?

The reason we should be humane is that we aren't equal or have the same luck and skill. But a person's value is not merely measured by their market value or skills they've accumulated or talents they have. If we believe that it is, we're saying some deserve to suffer for traits not chosen by them, like being less intelligent or disabled or having high melanin or being born into the wrong house in the wrong country or going to the wrong school. Because the conditions that allowed you to gain skills are not chosen by you and your ability to realize and take advantage of those opportunities is more complicated that just your free choice.

At that point, we can either admire Steve Jobs and Elon Musk as saints for being rich or we can just believe in a bastard god and that everyone gets exactly what they deserve on this earth because he made it that way.
 
2018-03-05 10:18:55 AM  

badcommand: bloobeary: Basically, if you weren't given the opportunity to be born rich, you're SOL.
This is a shocking revelation, somehow.

WRONG!!!
I grew up, dirt poor on a farm in the middle of nowhere. I paid (cash) for community college in my teens and worked early in the morning so I could go to night school. I got zero handouts from my family or anyone else.

Was published at 25
Had my Sr Engineer title at 28
Was a millionaire by 30
Bought my 3rd house at 35

A strong work ethic will get you everywhere you need to go in this world, no matter where you came from.


You were lucky.

There are people with a stronger work ethic than even you possess that were never enlightened to opportunities because: reasons.
 
2018-03-05 10:20:54 AM  

adamatari: badcommand: bloobeary: Basically, if you weren't given the opportunity to be born rich, you're SOL.
This is a shocking revelation, somehow.

WRONG!!!
I grew up, dirt poor on a farm in the middle of nowhere. I paid (cash) for community college in my teens and worked early in the morning so I could go to night school. I got zero handouts from my family or anyone else.

Was published at 25
Had my Sr Engineer title at 28
Was a millionaire by 30
Bought my 3rd house at 35

A strong work ethic will get you everywhere you need to go in this world, no matter where you came from.

I hope you don't actually believe that? What if you just weren't as smart? Genetic lottery, lead paint in your house as a child, accident?

The reason we should be humane is that we aren't equal or have the same luck and skill. But a person's value is not merely measured by their market value or skills they've accumulated or talents they have. If we believe that it is, we're saying some deserve to suffer for traits not chosen by them, like being less intelligent or disabled or having high melanin or being born into the wrong house in the wrong country or going to the wrong school. Because the conditions that allowed you to gain skills are not chosen by you and your ability to realize and take advantage of those opportunities is more complicated that just your free choice.

At that point, we can either admire Steve Jobs and Elon Musk as saints for being rich or we can just believe in a bastard god and that everyone gets exactly what they deserve on this earth because he made it that way.


You sound like the type who's just intelligent enough to mow my lawn. I'll let you know when I have an opportunity available.
 
2018-03-05 10:21:39 AM  

badcommand: WRONG!!!
I grew up, dirt poor on a farm in the middle of nowhere. I paid (cash) for community college in my teens and worked early in the morning so I could go to night school. I got zero handouts from my family or anyone else.


Forget  "handouts" some teenagers work to help support their parents.  You could afford school!  Good for you. And without sounded racist, can I assume you are relatively melanin deficient?

No one ever counts the advantages they had.
 
2018-03-05 10:23:05 AM  

Unikitty: You were lucky.

 
2018-03-05 10:29:40 AM  

brainlordmesomorph: badcommand: WRONG!!!
I grew up, dirt poor on a farm in the middle of nowhere. I paid (cash) for community college in my teens and worked early in the morning so I could go to night school. I got zero handouts from my family or anyone else.

Forget  "handouts" some teenagers work to help support their parents.  You could afford school!  Good for you. And without sounded racist, can I assume you are relatively melanin deficient?

No one ever counts the advantages they had.


My dad is from Trinidad and is as black as the dirt. I have lots and lots of melinin and wouldn't trade it for anything.
I don't mind racists and I'm pro hate-speech, I want people to be able to speak. I think the best disinfectant for that nonsense is daylight.
If people hide their stupidity they take away my ability to avoid them. My time is valuable.
 
2018-03-05 10:38:15 AM  

KIA: brainlordmesomorph: What it does is knock the legs out from under the whole capitalist meritocracy concept.

The whole idea of "If you're bright enough and work hard enough you will be successful." and its corollary; "If you're not successful, obviously you're not bright enough and didn't work hard enough." Have now been disproven.

Highly progressive tax rates and  Universal Basic Income other social measures that "punish the rich" are in fact quite fair, because they are only rich because of dumb luck (at best).

Actually, the study seems to demonstrate that talented people tend to maximize lucky breaks while untalented people don't.

I wonder if that also mitigates unlucky breaks. Hmm. I mean, anyone can get hit by a drunk driver. I dont think talent would mitigate that, but talent might have been enough to produce income sufficient to afford a car with side-impact airbags. So maybe it might indirectly have the same effect. Worth thinking about.

If true, talent does still have some advantages. Also the author's comment about talent growing over a career *may* be true if a person continues to invest in themselves. This may go a ways to explain how older workers still maintain their jobs in such a competitive environment.


it's more that you have to be lucky and score the opportunity to use your talent. Harrsion Ford was a carpenter until he made cabinets for some nobody named George Lucas.

There's also time periods to consider. Once upon a time, killing a hundred guys with a club would have earned you fame, respect, and your own plot of land and workers. Today just doing it once can earn you life in prison.
 
2018-03-05 11:01:38 AM  

brainlordmesomorph: mr lawson: There is no such thing as "luck."

For the purposes of this study, "luck" was simply shorthand for having a majority of positive random events vs a majority of negative random events.

I don't think they were implying any kind of supernatural power is involved.


First, I am glad you recognize that no supernatural power is involved. There seems to be some that do.
Anyways, The main problem I have with this "study" (scary quotes for effect) is that it assumes a normal distribution between good luck and bad.
That is incorrect.
Our choices we make in life greatly determine the probability of encountering different type of events. Those choices, though, do come with opportunity costs. Some are small while some are large.
But we do still have the choices.
Chose wisely.
 
2018-03-05 11:02:19 AM  
I'm a white male, a demographic frequently described as having a leg up on everything . This is, of course, BS. My parents worked very hard to get me born. Dad, alone, I think he put 2-3 minutes of sweaty work in, maybe.
 
2018-03-05 11:09:42 AM  

mr lawson: brainlordmesomorph: mr lawson: There is no such thing as "luck."

For the purposes of this study, "luck" was simply shorthand for having a majority of positive random events vs a majority of negative random events.

I don't think they were implying any kind of supernatural power is involved.

First, I am glad you recognize that no supernatural power is involved. There seems to be some that do.
Anyways, The main problem I have with this "study" (scary quotes for effect) is that it assumes a normal distribution between good luck and bad.
That is incorrect.
Our choices we make in life greatly determine the probability of encountering different type of events. Those choices, though, do come with opportunity costs. Some are small while some are large.
But we do still have the choices.
Chose wisely.


Thanks for posting this, it is relevant to my life in a serendipitous way.
 
2018-03-05 11:13:29 AM  
Free will is an illusion so there really isn't much sense in changing how society works, since it's all random chance anyway.
 
2018-03-05 11:24:14 AM  

TheManofPA: Honestly the last ones get closer to the idea that to improve chance of an interview, make your name appear to be more like it is a white dude applying. Hence, middle initial, easy to say, and masculine. For example, use Jerry instead of Jerome helps for jobs.

There's a sociology paper on this. Basically, AA applicants were more likely to get phone interviews by using a version of the names that appeared Caucasian and removing any awards that referenced being a minority


Blake works better than B'Lake
Jaqueline better than Ja' Queline
and Aaron not AA-Ron
 
2018-03-05 11:39:17 AM  

badcommand: bloobeary: Basically, if you weren't given the opportunity to be born rich, you're SOL.
This is a shocking revelation, somehow.

WRONG!!!
I grew up, dirt poor on a farm in the middle of nowhere. I paid (cash) for community college in my teens and worked early in the morning so I could go to night school. I got zero handouts from my family or anyone else.

Was published at 25
Had my Sr Engineer title at 28
Was a millionaire by 30
Bought my 3rd house at 35

A strong work ethic will get you everywhere you need to go in this world, no matter where you came from.


Assuming you aren't just trolling...

You were lucky to be intelligent enough to do all the above.  You were lucky to be in good health to be able to work and go to school at the same time.  You were lucky to be in a time and place where upward mobility was even possible.  And so on.
 
2018-03-05 11:48:36 AM  

2chris2: badcommand: bloobeary: Basically, if you weren't given the opportunity to be born rich, you're SOL.
This is a shocking revelation, somehow.

WRONG!!!
I grew up, dirt poor on a farm in the middle of nowhere. I paid (cash) for community college in my teens and worked early in the morning so I could go to night school. I got zero handouts from my family or anyone else.

Was published at 25
Had my Sr Engineer title at 28
Was a millionaire by 30
Bought my 3rd house at 35

A strong work ethic will get you everywhere you need to go in this world, no matter where you came from.

Assuming you aren't just trolling...

You were lucky to be intelligent enough to do all the above.  You were lucky to be in good health to be able to work and go to school at the same time.  You were lucky to be in a time and place where upward mobility was even possible.  And so on.


No, you are making assumptions. My health completely failed when I was in my late teens, I've had 2 major spine surgeries. I make the upward mobility possible by my willful choices, those like me have done the same. I could have been born anywhere and at anytime and I would still be killing it at life.
 
2018-03-05 12:04:56 PM  
So science guy decides that applying scientific principles and doing research to sort out the whole causation vs correlation thing is just too hard.  So instead of doing his job writes a BS paper about it's all just dumb luck. Then proves he's correct buy getting his unscientific sciencie paper publish thus becoming a success despite sucking at science.
 
2018-03-05 12:06:14 PM  

RottNDude: mr lawson: brainlordmesomorph: mr lawson: There is no such thing as "luck."

For the purposes of this study, "luck" was simply shorthand for having a majority of positive random events vs a majority of negative random events.

I don't think they were implying any kind of supernatural power is involved.

First, I am glad you recognize that no supernatural power is involved. There seems to be some that do.
Anyways, The main problem I have with this "study" (scary quotes for effect) is that it assumes a normal distribution between good luck and bad.
That is incorrect.
Our choices we make in life greatly determine the probability of encountering different type of events. Those choices, though, do come with opportunity costs. Some are small while some are large.
But we do still have the choices.
Chose wisely.

Thanks for posting this, it is relevant to my life in a serendipitous way.


errr...you are welcome...i guess ;-)
 
2018-03-05 12:25:22 PM  

badcommand: 2chris2: badcommand: bloobeary: Basically, if you weren't given the opportunity to be born rich, you're SOL.
This is a shocking revelation, somehow.

WRONG!!!
I grew up, dirt poor on a farm in the middle of nowhere. I paid (cash) for community college in my teens and worked early in the morning so I could go to night school. I got zero handouts from my family or anyone else.

Was published at 25
Had my Sr Engineer title at 28
Was a millionaire by 30
Bought my 3rd house at 35

A strong work ethic will get you everywhere you need to go in this world, no matter where you came from.

Assuming you aren't just trolling...

You were lucky to be intelligent enough to do all the above.  You were lucky to be in good health to be able to work and go to school at the same time.  You were lucky to be in a time and place where upward mobility was even possible.  And so on.

No, you are making assumptions. My health completely failed when I was in my late teens, I've had 2 major spine surgeries. I make the upward mobility possible by my willful choices, those like me have done the same. I could have been born anywhere and at anytime and I would still be killing it at life.


I'm sorry you feel that way.
 
2018-03-05 12:25:35 PM  

casual disregard: Interesting article. I've had different shares of good and bad luck in different areas. Primarily I have an ability to read, listen, understand, memorize, and recall, which is great for getting through both education and daily work. I don't feel I did anything to earn this, I just had the good luck to be born with the genes which might enable it. That isn't necessarily to say I did well in school, as I could have done far better. In fact I got lazy because passing exams was easy for me when little effort was required in most subjects.

On the other hand I have the bad luck to be painfully introverted. Being social is the most difficult part of my life to the point that dealing with people I know like coworkers and family is merely stressful, and dealing with strangers is emotionally/mentally exhausting, so networking is more or less impossible and every job interview starts with an automatic snake eyes roll. On the other hand, I had the good luck of impressing my employer early in my career and that has taken me to a decent position with decent pay. That only goes so far, however, and at this point on the career ladder you either succeed in the interview or you fail to be promoted.


There is a book called "how to make friends and influence people". I suggest you research it.
 
2018-03-05 12:40:52 PM  
I like how they have Jocko Willink as the article photo. One of his ideas is what he calls "Extreme Ownership," which I will mention without having read his stuff or knowing much about it. But my take on at least part of what I imagine the concept is would be something like...

A lot of things in life will be dysfunctional. Some of those are fully out of your control, some of those are fairly well in your control (or appear to be without going into freewill issues), and some seem to be out of your control, but under closer inspection, are more under your control than you'd like to think. It doesn't matter. Assume as much responsibility for the situation as you can.

So one example... You're having problems with your wife or kid. Maybe they are acting unreasonably - even as judged by an impartial observer -  and creating problems. It doesn't matter. Rather than blaming them, you analyze your own behavior. There may have been things that you did that were imperfect that helped lead to the situation. Then you take on the responsibility for repairing your own faults and then in light of that, move on to repairing the situation.

Or maybe you have a team member at work who isn't performing well. Maybe an impartial observer would agree that it is the deficiency of the other team member or team leader causing the problem. It doesn't matter. Maybe you weren't doing everything you could to contribute to their success. You take on the responsibility where possible to improve the conditions for them, the team, and you to succeed, despite the primary locus of the problem.

Or maybe you were born into a situation where you lacked some advantages or fortune turns against you at some point. It doesn't matter. You don't blame the lack of advantage or misfortune for you being on the path that you are. You note that you probably haven't taken full advantage of what you do have and you make sure you work to put yourself and those around you in the best position to succeed.

Of course, there are  different levels of analysis on the issue.

- There is you - and your response to the knowledge that life can be capricious and you are subject to forces that will often not seem fair or understandable. At this level, the best outcome for yourself, your family and your society will likely be for you to take on as much responsibility to improve whatever situation you are in, regardless of where blame or fortune lies.

- There is the response of society at various levels which has to factor in chance, the laws of nature, and the quasi-laws of effect such as the Pareto Principle when coming up with decisions on how to structure the society. Here, concepts like mercy and fairness and motivation and effectiveness and judgment have to be balanced in a way that the society believes will work.
 
2018-03-05 01:15:09 PM  

badcommand: bloobeary: Basically, if you weren't given the opportunity to be born rich, you're SOL.
This is a shocking revelation, somehow.

WRONG!!!
I grew up, dirt poor on a farm in the middle of nowhere. I paid (cash) for community college in my teens and worked early in the morning so I could go to night school. I got zero handouts from my family or anyone else.

Was published at 25
Had my Sr Engineer title at 28
Was a millionaire by 30
Bought my 3rd house at 35

A strong work ethic will get you everywhere you need to go in this world, no matter where you came from.


I feel lucky that I don't know you.
 
2018-03-05 01:38:27 PM  

jgilb: badcommand: bloobeary: Basically, if you weren't given the opportunity to be born rich, you're SOL.
This is a shocking revelation, somehow.

WRONG!!!
I grew up, dirt poor on a farm in the middle of nowhere. I paid (cash) for community college in my teens and worked early in the morning so I could go to night school. I got zero handouts from my family or anyone else.

Was published at 25
Had my Sr Engineer title at 28
Was a millionaire by 30
Bought my 3rd house at 35

A strong work ethic will get you everywhere you need to go in this world, no matter where you came from.

I feel lucky that I don't know you.


Yet you will expend the time and energy to reply to my post. Jealousy is an ugly emotion, it doesn't look good on you.
 
2018-03-05 01:56:15 PM  

badcommand: bloobeary: Basically, if you weren't given the opportunity to be born rich, you're SOL.
This is a shocking revelation, somehow.

WRONG!!!
I grew up, dirt poor on a farm in the middle of nowhere. I paid (cash) for community college in my teens and worked early in the morning so I could go to night school. I got zero handouts from my family or anyone else.

Was published at 25
Had my Sr Engineer title at 28
Was a millionaire by 30
Bought my 3rd house at 35

A strong work ethic will get you everywhere you need to go in this world, no matter where you came from.


You were lucky enough to be born without any major physical or mental impairments to hinder your work or education then ?
 
2018-03-05 02:07:21 PM  

billog: badcommand: bloobeary: Basically, if you weren't given the opportunity to be born rich, you're SOL.
This is a shocking revelation, somehow.

WRONG!!!
I grew up, dirt poor on a farm in the middle of nowhere. I paid (cash) for community college in my teens and worked early in the morning so I could go to night school. I got zero handouts from my family or anyone else.

Was published at 25
Had my Sr Engineer title at 28
Was a millionaire by 30
Bought my 3rd house at 35

A strong work ethic will get you everywhere you need to go in this world, no matter where you came from.

You were lucky enough to be born without any major physical or mental impairments to hinder your work or education then ?


static.independent.co.ukView Full Size
 
kab
2018-03-05 02:28:38 PM  
People cling to the fairy tale that the successful get where they are solely on talent alone, and that timing, circumstance, etc never ever play a part in it.

After all, admitting that something outside of your own control might influence your life in a positive way means you can't take credit for it yourself.

badcommand: WRONG!!!
I grew up, dirt poor on a farm in the middle of nowhere. I paid (cash) for community college in my teens and worked early in the morning so I could go to night school. I got zero handouts from my family or anyone else.

Was published at 25
Had my Sr Engineer title at 28
Was a millionaire by 30
Bought my 3rd house at 35

A strong work ethic will get you everywhere you need to go in this world, no matter where you came from.


See what I mean?
 
2018-03-05 02:37:54 PM  

kab: People cling to the fairy tale that the successful get where they are solely on talent alone, and that timing, circumstance, etc never ever play a part in it.

After all, admitting that something outside of your own control might influence your life in a positive way means you can't take credit for it yourself.

badcommand: WRONG!!!
I grew up, dirt poor on a farm in the middle of nowhere. I paid (cash) for community college in my teens and worked early in the morning so I could go to night school. I got zero handouts from my family or anyone else.

Was published at 25
Had my Sr Engineer title at 28
Was a millionaire by 30
Bought my 3rd house at 35

A strong work ethic will get you everywhere you need to go in this world, no matter where you came from.

See what I mean?


You clearly missed my comment above "I could have been born anywhere and at anytime and I would still be killing it at life.".
 
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