We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Thursday, December 4. 2008
Is "success" luck or pluck? Volokh considers Gladwell's book.
Luck or pluck? Well, we all know that we make our own luck...but bad luck is never our fault. I think it's one of those black-and-white pseudo questions, like Nature vs. Nurture. Life is more complicated than that, and everybody has his own definition of success in a free country. And everybody fails, to some degree, in meeting his life goals whatever they may be.
(My life goals happen to be to have a relationship with God, to be honest and honest with myself, to be close with my family and to give them a hand when needed, to read lots of books, to pay my hefty bills, to have some pals I can count on, to have a pleasant and civilized environment to live in, to make some efforts for the things I care about, and to have some good recreation - which includes guns, horses, golf, Scotch whiskey, ceegars, and posting on Maggie's - among other things. That's about it. I am a happy and frequently unhappy product of my culture. Saving the world is above my
Some people equate being rich (defined how? Some would term me prosperous, and some not) as success. I do not. Anyway, Wilkinson also takes a look at Gladwell and income inequality. One quote:
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Recalls an earlier post on the topic of luck being a by-product of effort, either physical or mental effort, rather than some random set of circumstances over which we have no control. Wife shared that one with me because I was in dire need of an attitude change. Thank you!
On the subject of wealth being an indicator of success - I have a priest who makes no money, except what is required to live. He is, by pomo measures, not orking at a very “high-value profession”. (Who even encourages their kids to become priests anymore?) By measures of the spirit he is very successful. He heals people through prayer, he inspires people through his homilies, and when I do not feel like making the effort to go to Mass, but I do either because Wife convinces me to or I just do the right thing, his words and the readings that day speak directly to me. That is success with no monetary indicator.
Golfers know that luck is a direct result of hard work and skill. Sure, the weekend hacker will have an occasional lucky bounce out of the woods, but the Woods of the world will have many seemingly luck bounces as a result of hours and hours of practice, practice that develops the skills necessary to get the ball into an area where "lucky" things are more inclined to happen.
Life is similar to a game of five-card draw. We have fate, and we have free will. Fate determines the hand we are dealt; through free will we determine how we will play that hand.
Of course, if you are born with an ace in your hand you can trade in four cards instead of three!
You're right --poker reality is life reality --same with baseball --both are sublime reconstructions of the game of life.
Okay. I read the quoted part five times. One of us is retarded and I don't think it's me.
The best part about being rich is freedom from other people.
I always thought that being rich ment being healthy. An ounce of luck is better than a ton of gold! Health is better than wealth. I hope you are safe and healthy. Ciao una bella!!
I gave a question to my seniors about what you said:
'Which would you rather have: a) Wealth b) Good health c) Beauty?'
One or two out of 26 picked 'b'. We had some fun talking about it ultimately realizing that 'a' and 'c' meant nothing without 'b'. They were pretty funny rationalizing their choices with - well, if you are beautiful you can make money, or funnier, if you are wealthy and ugly people will still want you. :)
don't forget yoof. yoof is almost a reciprocal of 'wealth' --in that, yoof = potential = possible foocher wealth, and nobody else your age has made any of it yet either --so ya can't be behind da coive yet.
later, after you retar and are thus retard, you can become a stock marquette trader. Then, wif most of yer foocher behind ya, THEN you can be behind the fricken goddam curve
Oh, Meta ... I so agree about "freedom from other people..." My husband and I were talking about our experience in 2001, when Tropical Storm Allison flooded our little house, and we had to move to an apartment for five months while it was being repaired. The thing we missed the most was privacy -- privacy on our own property, the right to do exactly what we wanted to, when we wanted to.
For the past 11 months, while our new storm sewers were being installed, the street repaved and all the accompanying hoo-hah, we pretty much lost that privacy and self-determination in our own house, and oh, how I missed it. There was an 8-day period there when people on our block couldn't take our cars out to go shopping for groceries. The 'street people' said we could walk over other people's lawns to the cross street and get a taxi. Umm -- sure, that'll work, if you don't fall down on uneven ground and you're willing to stand at the corner for half an hour in 95 degree heat while you're waiting for the taxi. We chose to stay home and eat soup until we could get our own car out.
So, yes indeed, having privacy and self-determination makes you feel rich, even if you aren't.
Despite all the gloom and doom talk going on about our country sinking to its demise, this statement of yours is the truth and will win the day no matter what:
"self-determination makes you feel rich,"
I don't think Americans are as willing as some seem to believe to give that up without one hell of a fight. Well said.
I am very grateful for the frequent links I get from this excellent blog. So I hope it's not churlish of me to note for future reference that my last name is spelled "Wilkinson". Thanks!
Obviously, BD, you have never shaved with the Wilkinson Sword blade. Speaking of which, wonder why a narrow escape is a "close shave"? Gotta be a connection somewhere. Maybe that 19th century barber running that straight razor over your jugular (gulp).