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Luck? Fortune? Again, no.

Good comment/question by Jeff on "Luck Doesn't Exist" -


I’ve thought about this a good bit as well, and I think you and I have quite a few similar thoughts on this topic (and others based on your reply above about “Everything is my responsibility”).

I’m not sure I want to enter the fray here, because as you and others have tracked down, there are semantic blurs regarding “Luck”. One has to distinguish between the Magical Thinking version of luck and the other. I’d wager that those siding with the Magical Thinking version don’t really have a clear understanding of the factual world of mathematical probability.

More semantic blurring is evident when one considers the common casual usage of “lucky” without literally believing in the Magical Thinking definition. It is often used (you could argue incorrectly) as a simple expression of appreciation for one’s situation.

Roughly What You Deserve

On Tynan

Back when I was gambling professionally, it seemed like everyone had an opinion on which casino was rigged. I never really thought that, but I also didn't really think that I was winning as much as I was supposed to. To test this, I recorded every single session I played for over a year. Guess what? I was within a fraction of one percent from where I was supposed to be statistically. I learned that not only were the casinos not rigged, I wasn't very good at mentally aggregating lots of independent events.

I think that in real life, we all have a natural inability or unwillingness to accept that we generally receive what we deserve. Before I get into this, though, I'll say that it definitely isn't true all of the time. I offer the idea here just a useful tool and framework, not to pass judgement. For example, I know people who have lost close family members, people who have been raped, and people who have been affected by other horrible things. I don't think that they deserve those things or earned them in some way. I think they're an unfortunate side effect of the chaos and variance of life, which is otherwise a good thing.

When I was around twenty, I knew for a fact that I would become rich by the age of twenty-five. Twenty five was really old and I knew that I was special, so it made perfect sense to me that I'd be rich by then. I put in a moderate amount of effort, and made moderate progress towards my goal, but didn't really even close. When I turned twenty five, I was at least a little bit surprised that I wasn't a millionaire yet.

I'm still not a millionaire, but I'm not surprised about it anymore. I've seen people work harder than me and work smarter than me and become rich. I've seen the dedication it takes, and I've seen how that compares to what I have typically put in.

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