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I have a theory that everyone is born with the same amount of luck, but it gets distributed unevenly. Some people have their best lucky days in childhood and run out of good fortune by the time they enter the job market. Others struggle early on and strike it rich later in life. Call it the Magic Johnson Effect. He had the perfect life and then contracted HIV. Or take most famous politicians or celebrities; their highs are almost perfectly matched by their lows. Even lottery winners tend to attract tragedy. It is as if the universe is trying to smooth out things.

You also know people who have never had a truly great year or a truly horrible one. They coast along at average.

There is no science to support my theory of luck distribution, but the anecdotal evidence is abundant. Take for example all the world leaders who spent some time in jail, either before or after hitting the big time. Or consider all the musicians who had lines of groupies and then died in a plane crash. Is it all a coincidence?

Yes. Or else our so-called reality really is a computer program.
 
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0 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 4, 2008
Scientists are increasingly trying to apply the law of thermodynamics to biological phenomena, and who knows, this may be an example. If "luck" follows this pattern than it is logically random. This would mean that some people are "blessed" their entire lives and others are screwed for the same period, but the majority fall increasingly towards the middle, consistent, but not identical to Scott's observation.
Of course being screwed is always relative to one's environment. Think about Africa!
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 4, 2008
Looks like somebody has been reading this link...

http://www.simulation-argument.com/

Are we all living in a simulation? As an atheist myself, I was struck by this paper in one profound way... if you replace 'posthuman simulation operator' with GOD, you have a workable proof of the existence of 'God'.
 
 
Sep 4, 2008
And then there are people that have absolutely painful and tragic lives. I am happy for you that you have had enough good fortune that you can compose and post an entry like this.
 
 
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Sep 4, 2008
What about the people that are born in a poor country, lead horrible lives until they are 35, then die of leprosy? WHAT ABOUT THEM?!
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 4, 2008
What's creepy is that yes, Scott did write about this before, because it's all I thought about all day today.
I got a ticket this morning, on the way to work. Cars in front of me, cars behind me, all going the same speed.
I get pulled over and get the ticket. Saw the cop on the shoulder, but couldn't really slow down because the guy behind me was on my ass...but apparently that doesn't matter. To pull me over, the cop almost merged into me, forcing me to swerve and almost hit a school bus...again, doesn't matter.

So if Mr. Adams is right, I will be ruler of the universe some day
And if you mention this comment, you get your own island
First come, first serve...no one wants to be stuck with Easter Island
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 4, 2008
And how does that apply to Mike Jagger?
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 4, 2008
Think about all of the "cool" people in high school that now have miserable lives, while many of the "nerds" are now enjoying the good life.
 
 
Sep 4, 2008
See my previous post for reference:

Why did your blog censor the word cir cum stances? Is it because it has that C U M word in it?
 
 
Sep 4, 2008
The !$%*!$%*!$%*! in life and the "lucky" things that come our way do not give life meaning.
What I'm saying, is you could win the lottery or contract a rare fatal disease, but could miss the purpose of life entirely.
You should look to another way to value life than chance or !$%*!$%*!$%*!.
-Mene Tekel
http://mandatorychaos.blogspot.com/
 
 
Sep 4, 2008
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User Name: Ipwnyou Sep 4, 2008
You've posted this before.
I think it was a very long time ago but you have.
But if you look at people who live in places like darfur, they have crappy lives from the beginning to the end.
------------------------------

Luck has nothing to do with the quality of someone's life, only the relative differences between people. Say militants come in one night and randomly kill 10 people, you weren't one of them. That's luck. So even though the 100 people in the village that didn't get killed have a hard life and could be killed the next time, they benefitted from luck that night.
 
 
Sep 4, 2008
We each have some good and some bad luck. Equal amounts? I don't think so.

I've had what seemed to be terrible things happen to me that led me down a path to some of the best things. How could we have compassion or wisdom if we did not experience some "bad luck"?

Seems too much "good luck" early on can develop the kind of character flaws that naturally gravitate toward "bad luck" later on. Witness many rock stars or spoiled rich kids.
 
 
Sep 4, 2008
There was a great line in the movie Under Siege 2. Luck favors the prepared mind.
 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 4, 2008
You've posted this before.
I think it was a very long time ago but you have.
But if you look at people who live in places like darfur, they have crappy lives from the beginning to the end.
 
 
Sep 4, 2008
Luck, as it is described, would have to be a natural distribution. Any inherently random event would have to follow a normal distribution over the population, but also over a person's life, which would make it a 3 dimensional distribution. Therefore some people will always be lucky, and some people will always be unlucky, and some people will be a mix, but knowledge of past events would have no bearing on the future.

 
 
Sep 4, 2008
Oh no. What would happen to Michael Phelps?
 
 
Sep 4, 2008
Your luck with your restaurant must be the current balance for your success with the Dilbert comic. If Dilbert continues in its success then I have one word for you DUCK.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 4, 2008
This is actually a popular Chinese folk belief. When my grandparents see poor childless old people, they would say that they have used up their luck early on. It is why some people become vegetarians (consider suffering compared to meat) in order to squeeze the luck to other areas. Some people would deliberately go through ordeal, like being a temp-monk in Thailand for a month, so that the luck will be shifted or prolonged.

This theory certainly works out with the Rap scene. Look at how well Lil Wayne is doing after jail.
 
 
Sep 4, 2008
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User Name: Slap D Monkey Sep 4, 2008

You're right. It all evens out in the end.

Bad luck - your son gets expelled from school for pulling a prank
Good luck - he doesn't get arrested for that prank

Bad luck - your teenage daughter gets pregnant
Good luck - she knows who the father is

Bad luck - your wife is mad at you
Good luck - she is not talking to you

Every cloud has a silver lining.
----------------------------------------------------------------

So who was lucky here?
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,415722,00.html

 
 
Sep 4, 2008
Actually, there is scientific evidence for this observation, its called Regression towards the mean (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regression_toward_the_mean - I know, its a wiki link, you can look it up in more scientific places too). Essentially, anyone who is at an extreme from the norm (for example, extremely lucky) is statistically more likely to approach the mean over time. Statistically speaking then, over time everyone will end up with the same amount of luck.
 
 
Sep 4, 2008
Scott,

I have been feeling very lucky for the past 2 days.
Your comic strips are loading up so fast, I can't believe it. Usually I would hit strips and then go about doing some other work to return after a couple of minutes to view them.
Now its like instant gratification. Awesome job to the programmers who resolved this. Thanks.

WinSome
 
 
 
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