Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Lucky: Regarding the lucky/good choice, a reader writes:
My take on the expression in various specific situations:

- Love: True
- Relationship: False
- Sex: False
- Poker: False
- Roulette: True
- Lottery: True
- Career: False
- Family: False

Hmmm. I noticed I only said "True" for things it's impossible to be
"good" at!
If this is typical, then we would rather control our own fate whenever possible. But people don't really behave that way, do they. We have plenty of influence over our health, but often eat, drink, and smoke things we shouldn't. The reader's right that it's impossible to be "good" at love, but being good at handling relationships probably leads to finding love. At least the odds would be in favor of it.

What people really want is to be lucky at things which they aren't any good at. I have a horrible time trying to calculate odds on the spot, so I hope I'll be lucky at cards. But I have the patience and attention to detail needed to analyze NFL matchups, so please don't let chance interfere, since that's all that can beat me.

But the question presumes we can only be lucky or good, not both (as our Powerball winner ably demonstrates). But someone who recognizes their strengths and weaknesses can put themselves in situations where they have an advantage and avoid those where they are dependant on luck.

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