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Thread: Lucky or not?

  1. #1
    sakura_hana is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    Default Lucky or not?

    "Our estimate of the importance of luck is inherently biased: we know when we benefit from luck, but in the nature of things cannot asses how often bad luck deprives us of the chance of making what might have been an important discovery."
    So let's "challange" this view:

    Let's say we have on one hand a person who wins a prize in a lottery.
    On the other hand, a person who, by chance, finds a lottery ticket that turns out to be the winning one.
    Are both persons lucky? To what degree? One could say the first person PUTS herself in the way of the wnning prize, thus enlarging the candidacy for good fortune and and leting all the rest as a matter of mathematical probabilities.

    "Nearly all successful scientists have emphasized the importance of preparedness of mind, and I want to emphasize that this preparedness of mind is worked for and paid for by a great deal of exertion and reflection. If these exertions lead to a discovery, then I think it would be inappropriate to credit such a discovery to luck ."
    SO anyway, do you guys believe in luck?
    And if you do, then what is the opposite of luck? Merely the absence of it ? Or is it "bad luck"?
    Last edited by sakura_hana; 12-01-2008 at 05:14 AM.

  2. #2
    MadDogMike is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    I don't believe in luck, just chance.

  3. #3
    sakura_hana is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    Chance = luck.
    Luck is just chace that had a good result imo.

  4. #4
    Stuyvesant is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    Most of the people I know at are 'lucky' are pretty happy cheerful people. They tend to get excited about good things happening and tend to play down the bad stuff. Makes them seem luckier than they are.

  5. #5
    Urameshi-sama is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    Interesting questions...
    SO anyway, do you guys believe in luck?
    And if you do, then what is the opposite of luck? Merely the absence of it ? Or is it "bad luck"?
    I do believe that people can be in situations where they are lucky, unlucky, or neither. I'd say luckiness is where something favorable occurs for you while being statistically improbable and mostly out of your control, while unluckiness would be the converse. The 'neither' case occurs when something good or bad happens to you that is statistically probable. As a whole, I think individual situations can be considered a zero-sum game when considering luck. But, in the context of your entire life, it's unlikely that anyone is especially lucky or unlucky.

    Let's say we have on one hand a person who wins a prize in a lottery.
    On the other hand, a person who, by chance, finds a lottery ticket that turns out to be the winning one.
    Are both persons lucky? To what degree? One could say the first person PUTS herself in the way of the wnning prize, thus enlarging the candidacy for good fortune and and leting all the rest as a matter of mathematical probabilities.
    Both people are lucky, considering that either scenario involves the person getting a winning ticket despite horribly unfavorable chances. I think the former person does have a marginally higher chance of winning the lottery by the logic you used (where the ticket purchase improves his mathematical chance of getting the winning ticket). If the situation involved more personal choice in the outcome (since winning a lottery is generally mostly outside one's control), then there can be more of a claim to personal responsibility for the success rather than luck, but this scenario makes both possibilities a result mostly of luck since there were few defined personal choices made.
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  6. #6
    sakura_hana is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    ^ I agree with you there.

    But then..
    I believe you are familiar with the often told story of how newton discovered gravity. You know, by observing an apple falling from a tree. Some poeple blame it on luck. Or was it his genius?
    If it was luck, then how would you define it in this case? The apple? Was luck the fact that he had that spark of genius? Considering how many persons have seen an object fall to the ground, I'd say one has to understand luck to be able to grasp it. This "preparedness" of mind that the author talks about.

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    Terasiel is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    As a person who never gets physically hurt, but never seems to have a good day. Ever.

    Yeah, I'm going against my non-religious beliefs and saying luck exists; but not Karma.

  8. #8
    Raszagal is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    I like to use the word "lucky", but I actually dont believe in a thing like luck. Like, if there is a charm somewhere giving luck to people, who own it. Luck isn't real, its just a word we use when something happens that defines logic.

    I dont believe in karma either. I do however believe in that if we make bad choises, bad things happen, but that doesnt mean its karma, its just commen sence.
    Last edited by Raszagal; 12-01-2008 at 02:08 PM.

  9. #9
    irecinius is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    You may call it luck if you will, but this is mere the "unknown" factor of the chance

    For example, I lost single handed 22 times in a row at coin toss..
    Its 50% chance to win, nothing more nothing less. but then how the hell could I lose that many times?

    Guessed it wrong? What are guesses? What we account on the unknown factor of a probability of the desired outcome.

    So if you have the wrong factor, you lose..

    Ex. A horse race, it's a "guess" game..
    Now if you knew that the horse number 3 is taking steroids!
    You would go with #3...

    sure a METEORITE, Could kill your horse mid race.. call divine punishment if you will... but its all on the probabilities...

    I don't know, do I believe?
    Not all the time..

    Except when I'm losing bad, then getting angry at some divine force/ higher power, does seems to calm me down a bit.. ^^

  10. #10
    Urameshi-sama is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    Quote Originally Posted by sakura_hana View Post
    I believe you are familiar with the often told story of how newton discovered gravity. You know, by observing an apple falling from a tree. Some poeple blame it on luck. Or was it his genius?
    If it was luck, then how would you define it in this case? The apple? Was luck the fact that he had that spark of genius? Considering how many persons have seen an object fall to the ground, I'd say one has to understand luck to be able to grasp it. This "preparedness" of mind that the author talks about.
    So you want to address achievement vs luck?

    I think that all achievements are at least partially contingent on luck, but that luck alone cannot yield achievement. For the situation you mentioned, a quote from the boxing manga Hajime no Ippo comes to mind (Yes, I did quote a manga for support): "There's no such thing as a lucky punch." The quote basically says that a boxer who manages to turn around a boxing match by knocking out their opponent with a punch that normally wouldn't land didn't pull it off just out of luck. The boxer must have constantly been looking for the chance to fight back and must have had the insight to notice the opportunity to turn the match around to be able to capitalize on the mistake his opponent made. In other words, preparation and perseverance allowed the boxer to capitalize on the luck that came his way.

    The fairytale concerning Newton falls under the same category, since it was Newton's unique insight and prior thought processes on gravity that allowed him to solidify his idea on it from this apple fall.

    Even so, neither my example nor yours suggests that anyone has to understand luck to use it. Rather, hoping/expecting for luck to eventually occur and being prepared to act accordingly when that happens seems to yield more success.

    Oh, and my usage of luck is synonymous with chance. I have no religious association with the word whatsoever either.
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