Monday 16 October 2023

LUCKY in life, lucky in love

"Winning the genetic lottery", By MIdjourney AI

The NYT’s famous writer-friend told her ‘dumb luck’ helped put him over the top. Mega-investor, Warren Buffet said he won the ovarian lottery. That goes for anyone born in Scandinavia.

Eki loves music and movies. His scientist parents encouraged him to follow his own path. I saw a cute guy in the Nice railway station. Then again on the train to Paris. I sat across from him. After a while, I asked where he was from. He said ‘Finland’. And asked me to lunch. A rainy day, a speeding train, a wine-fueled lunch, the rest is...

If bad luck hits, do what Nietzsche says: “Face life as you find it, defiant and fearless”. But if a good fluke falls your way, with eyes-wide-open, grab it. Luck takes pluck. 

Sources: New York Times, internet, personal experience 

Next week:MOVIES: long, longer, longest, ZZZZZZZZZZZ 

Note: The above video by one of my all-time favorite Youtube science education channels, Veritasium, is a pretty good look at the role luck plays in success. Of course, he is not alone, the subject has been studied in a more formal scientific way, for example in a paper called "Talent vs Luck: the role of randomness in success and failure", and the finding is, to quote the authors:

In particular, we show that, if it is true that some degree of talent is necessary to be successful in life, almost never the most talented people reach the highest peaks of success, being overtaken by mediocre but sensibly luckier individuals.

So yes, it's largely down to luck, random chance. And it indeed does start with the genetic and socio-geographic lottery. Where and to which family you happen to be born weighs the dice heavily right off the bat. I consider myself lucky, I won the lottery just by being born as a somewhat healthy, white heterosexual male, in Finland, to an academic family that supported my life choices, even when they were different from what my parents chose. Now that I'm also middle-aged, it's pretty much the most privileged place in the social hierarchy there is. I couldn't be less oppressed even if I tried, and I'm very much aware that it is not in any way my own accomplishment, but rather just luck.




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