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Jared Alesi's picture

What is luck? Do you think it's a real thing? And if you think it's real, what does it mean to you?

I've personally always been of the opinion that luck is just how things turn out based on factors we can't possibly control. For example, bad luck is when the picnic you have planned goes poorly because of a thunderstorm. Good luck might be when you guessed on a question on your latest exam and got it correct or what have you.

But what do you think luck is, if it exists at all? I'm curious to know what you all think about it.

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CyberLN's picture
Hi Jared! Good to see you,

Hi Jared! Good to see you, laddie! Hope all is well with you.

Luck is just a word that folks like to apply to what happens in their lives. Humans seem to wallow in pattern seeking so want ‘reasons’ for things.

I prefer that great bit of philosophy ”shit happens.”

Jared Alesi's picture
Well that's kinda the crux of

Well that's kinda the crux of it, isn't it? Shit will happen whether you like it or not, and whether you want it to or not. But say that this shit happens, and by no intentional interference of your own and no skill or prowess that you might possess, the shit happens in such a way that you benefit. Is that good luck? Of course it's entirely happenstance, but are luck and happenstance one and the same? I guess if that's the case then there's no need for the word luck.

I think though that some people are wont to believe that luck is actually a force of sorts that might have some intent or will of its own. Luck is something that can be in your favor not by chance but by design. More of a teleological explanation for the whole thing (which I'm sure I don't need to tell you that I think it's bunk).

Either way though, the common thread remains that luck seems to be out of one's hands, for better or worse.

rat spit's picture
When I play Yahtzee with

When I play Yahtzee with people in psychiatric institutions - and believe me, I’ve seen them ALL.

Now. When I play Yahtzee sometimes I’m the winner and other times I’m the loser.

I shake those dice and I evoke the Goddess of evil darkness to make the roll a good one. And then I SLAM those dice onto the playing surface.

And it’s all a matter of perception. If you get a Yahtzee, then you’re incredibly lucky. But it’s completely fabricated. The dice, the context - if the parameters weren’t in place, you wouldn’t feel as though a Yahtzee was a lucky throw.

But some people know how to evoke the Goddess of the Evil Night - “Lady Luck”.

She hangs out at Casinos and preys upon new comers “beginners luck”. Then that evil bitch takes her power away - just when you’ve started to think you’re on a streak of “good luck”.

All arbitrary, my friend. Superstition and mental fabrication. The enticing thing is that successful patterns emerge from the parameters and variables - and we are wonton to believe that we have something to do with it - when it’s all arbitrary statistics.

But I do believe that sacrificing a goat to the highest Evil can improve your luck. Much in the same way eating raw Tiger Penis will increase virility.

Randomhero1982's picture
Luck is just what humans

Luck is just what humans simply use to describe a favourable scenario/situation... it's as simple as that.

Even more so when it is a long shot, odds wise.

Cognostic's picture
RE: LUCK - Simple

RE: LUCK - Simple fluctuation in the law of averages. (Long time poker player. There is no luck. The law of averages always comes around.)

RE: LUCK - That moment in time where being prepared and opportunity meet.

Tin-Man's picture
Jared! How the hell are ya,

Jared! How the hell are ya, young man? Always nice to see you around here... *grin*...

Interesting topic. Got the gears in my noggin spinning, because I've never given the term "luck" very much thought. It's just always been a word that gets tossed around casually in conversations with very little true significance attached to it. Such as, "I thought I was gonna be late to work, but lucky for me traffic was light and all the lights were green on my way in today." Or on the other end of the spectrum, "After all this time, I was finally going to sell the house. But noooo... Because the guy buying it lost his job the day before we were to do final signing. Yeah, just my kind of luck." Funny.... It IS a rather "arbitrary" word, isn't it?... *chuckle*... Does it have any true significant meaning(s), though?... *scratching head*... Eh, I somehow doubt it. Seems to me to be more of a "space filler" for us to lend "purpose/reason" to things that happen due to "pure" random chance (if there is such a thing) and/or the law of averages (as Cog mentioned). As is indicated by all the countless religions in the world, Man does not like "The Unknown." Everything MUST have a reason, regardless of how inane or baseless the reason that is assigned.... *shrugging shoulders*... *chuckle*... (Just an observation.)

David Killens's picture
"Luck" is what we assign to

"Luck" is what we assign to future events that have an uncertain outcome.

Once the outcome has been decided, we can now state whether it was good or bad luck involved in the outcome. At this point human psychology can intrude, and we can develop a negative or positive viewpoint on the subject.

LogicFTW's picture
@OP by Jared Alesi

@OP by Jared Alesi

I do not believe in "luck." Like how many people believe in luck. But! in a perhaps contradictory manner, I do believe I can "make my own luck."

Luck is another one of those "concepts" humans have made to try and describe and organize an unknown world around them. Now we have statistics, where we can take seemingly random events and based on pattern assign numeric values to odds of things occuring that can be somewhat useful especially if we have large amounts of data points to refer to that can be useful in future predicting and planning.

This is where "make your own luck" comes in. I been "lucky" that I have never been mugged. However I can make my own luck by:
1. avoiding being flashy with valuable items people like to steal.
2. avoid areas/scenarios where mugging is more "likely" to occur.

This sort of stuff is regular everyday quick calculations all of can and should do in every area of our lives.

Of course believing in some sort of active "god" throws a wrench in any of this. If people believe they can change their luck/fortune by simply praying to god, then the step of "making your own luck" gets in many ways eliminated. I work in cyber security as incidence response mostly these days. Quite often I come across folks that want to blame things on bad "luck" but with that attitude, they did not take the necessary steps before the "bad luck" occured to harden themselves from attack.

rat spit's picture


Are you saying people are more likely to get mugged in Mexican neighbourhoods? Because that’s both racist and offensive.

Tin-Man's picture
@Rat Spit Re: "Are you

@Rat Spit Re: "Are you saying people are more likely to get mugged in Mexican neighbourhoods? Because that’s both racist and offensive."

It is racist and offensive ONLY if you are carrying a Chihuahua that keeps repeating, "Yo quiero Taco Bell."

LogicFTW's picture
@rat spit

@rat spit

Um what? You say a lot of stuff in a sort of "tongue in cheek humour" so I am hoping that is what you are doing here. Even in sarcasm accusing another of saying racist stuff that they did not say at all I think is in poor taste.

I said: "avoid areas/scenarios where mugging is more "likely" to occur."

Where/how did you get Mexican neighborhoods out of that?

rat spit's picture
Okay, FTW - it was in poor

Okay, FTW - it was in poor taste, I’m sorry. I was trying to be absurd.

Obviously it’s an absurd leap to bring up Mexican neighbourhoods from what you wrote. So, yes. Humour. But I apologize if I offended you.

LogicFTW's picture
Apology accepted, like I said

Apology accepted, like I said I assumed you said it in humour, I just wanted to make sure it is clear to any reader, because these forums and myself do not tolerate racism.

Cognostic's picture
@Tin Man: WTF Are you

@Tin Man: WTF Are you psychic or what??? Carrying a Chihuahua and asking the Chiquitas, "Yo quiero Taco Bell." is my pickup line! WOW... That's amazing!

dogalmighty's picture
Our dog ate a bag of four

Our dog ate a bag of four taco bell soft tacos and two cheesy chili burritos from the front seat, while we went into the convenience store to get some water. That was decidedly unlucky.

Tin-Man's picture
@doG Re: Taco Bell thief

@doG Re: Taco Bell thief

...*cringe face*.... *long slow whistle*... Yikes! I bet that puppy was hating life the next day.... *chuckle*... Puppy dog be like, "Yo necesito EL BANO! AHORA!.... Y algun hielo para mi culo!"

dogalmighty's picture
LOL tinny

LOL tinny

Sheldon's picture
Luck is random events being

Luck is random events being perceived by humans as having a fortuitous or personally beneficial outcome.

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