The Role of Luck in Life Success Is Far Greater Than We Realized


The results of this elucidating simulation, which dovetail with a growing number of studies based on real-world data, strongly suggest that luck and opportunity play an underappreciated role in determining the final level of individual success. As the researchers point out, since rewards and resources are usually given to those who are already highly rewarded, this often causes a lack of opportunities for those who are most talented (i.e., have the greatest potential to actually benefit from the resources), and it doesn’t take into account the important role of luck, which can emerge spontaneously throughout the creative process. The researchers argue that the following factors are all important in giving people more chances of success: a stimulating environment rich in opportunities, a good education, intensive training, and an efficient strategy for the distribution of funds and resources. They argue that at the macro-level of analysis, any policy that can influence these factors will result in greater collective progress and innovation for society (not to mention immense self-actualization of any particular individual).

Luck matters.

Somebody actually attempted to quantify this.  Read the article and judge for yourself.


Put The Phone Down…

And keep your hands where I can see them.

Use of computer games was found to be negatively related to all personality and mental health variables: self-esteem, extraversion, narcissism, life satisfaction, social support and resilience.

The use of platforms that focus more on written interaction (Twitter, Tumblr) was linked to depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms.

In contrast, Instagram use, which focuses more on photo-sharing, was linked to positive mental health variables.

Go here for a link to the actual German study.

Read about Teenage Suicides here.

Seriously, put the damn phone down.

The Fragile Generation –

Must read.  HT naked capitalism.

Source: The Fragile Generation –

We’ve had the best of intentions, of course. But efforts to protect our children may be backfiring. When we raise kids unaccustomed to facing anything on their own, including risk, failure, and hurt feelings, our society and even our economy are threatened. Yet modern child-rearing practices and laws seem all but designed to cultivate this lack of preparedness. There’s the fear that everything children see, do, eat, hear, and lick could hurt them. And there’s a newer belief that has been spreading through higher education that words and ideas themselves can be traumatizing.

How did we come to think a generation of kids can’t handle the basic challenges of growing up?

A few years ago, Boston College psychology professor emeritus Peter Gray was invited by the head of counseling services at a major university to a conference on “the decline in resilience among students.” The organizer said that emergency counseling calls had doubled in the last five years. What’s more, callers were seeking help coping with everyday problems, such as arguments with a roommate. Two students had dialed in because they’d found a mouse in their apartment. They also called the police, who came and set a mousetrap. And that’s not to mention the sensitivity around grades. To some students, a B is the end of the world. (To some parents, too.)

To be or not to be (a tree)

This post is neither an endorsement nor a specific request.  With all of the things I have to think about I now have to decide whether or not I want to be a tree after death.

Memo to Self and To Do List Adds

  1. Decide whether or not to become a tree.
  2. Revise will.
  3. Inform spouse and children of my wishes.
  4. Review advance health care directive to see if it includes watering instructions.

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? – The Atlantic

Source: Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? – The Atlantic

Step away from the phone slowly and keep your hands where I can see them.

Check out the following quote from a celebrity interview.

I heard you deleted the Internet from your phone. And that you deleted Twitter and Instagram and e-mail. No way that’s true, right?
It is! Whenever you check for a new post on Instagram or whenever you go on The New York Times to see if there’s a new thing, it’s not even about the content. It’s just about seeing a new thing. You get addicted to that feeling. You’re not going to be able to control yourself. So the only way to fight that is to take yourself out of the equation and remove all these things. What happens is, eventually you forget about it. You don’t care anymore. When I first took the browser off my phone, I’m like, [gasp] How am I gonna look stuff up? But most of the shit you look up, it’s not stuff you need to know. All those websites you read while you’re in a cab, you don’t need to look at any of that stuff. It’s better to just sit and be in your own head for a minute. I wanted to stop that thing where I get home and look at websites for an hour and a half, checking to see if there’s a new thing. And read a book instead. I’ve been doing it for a couple months, and it’s worked. I’m reading, like, three books right now. I’m putting something in my mind. It feels so much better than just reading the Internet and not remembering anything.

Orthorexia Nervosa: When ‘Healthy’ Eating Turns Dangerous

The condition also overlaps with obsessive compulsive disorder, obsessive compulsive personality disorder, and somatoform disorders. During the session, two case reports were presented. The first patient was a 72-year-old white Buddhist nun who presented with extreme weight loss. “You get afraid of eating because you don’t know what it’ll do to you,” said the patient in a video clip. “Eventually I was afraid to do anything, so I did nothing.”

Source: Orthorexia Nervosa: When ‘Healthy’ Eating Turns Dangerous

Some time ago I developed a fear of what would happen to me if I stopped drinking alcohol.  So I did nothing.