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"Never trade luck for skill."

Discussion in 'General' started by Concave, Jan 27, 2017.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Calaban Junior Engineer

    Here is another example of engineering luck being better than skill:

    You are building a prototype. Testing it out, trying to make it better, when suddenly, accidentally, and luckily; you've discovered an amazing new mechanical technique you never expected before and are now the amazing inventor of something your skills at building had nothing to do with, yet are workshop famous as a result!

    That form of luck has no % of probability beforehand. It was the amazing "Blind Luck". Like the kid who wanted to make a catapult game for himself with Python coding, and luckily is now the Angry Birds millionaire. :)

    So never discount Luck. Or.. Clang forbid Trade it for anything else.
  2. MadMax Trainee Engineer

    I don't know. I'm almost certain that it all comes back around to efficiency.

    Logically, you can always achieve the same result rather you got there with luck or if you got there with raw skill. The guy that made the discovery with dumb luck has not achieved anything more than the guy that made an equivalent discovery through a concerted research and development effort. Therefore; there is no need for luck if you already have the competencies to succeed - which is what everyone else seems to be hitting on.

    With that being true, Occam's Razor applies: The best solution is always the one that is the most efficient. With all other things being true, the guy that was successful because of happenstance did a better job simply because he exerted less effort in realizing his goal. That; to me at least, is why you would not want to trade luck for skill.
  3. Veritas Apprentice Engineer

    I said luck is a qualitative descriptor, not that it has them. The simplest way to say it would be how @MadMax did: statistics define aggregate possibilities, luck is that random (yet influenceable) determinant of what your individual results in a probabilistic event are. Unicorn is a fantastic creature, which means it has a tangible form that you can define and picture in your head, regardless of its unverified existence. Divide by zero = undefined (but logically approaching infinity).

    Not once have I said that luck is an innate attribute. Never have I said that some people are inherently luckier than others. What I am saying is that luck is a qualitative term used ex post facto to describe circumstances that at the time were well beyond any individual's influence. If those situations aren't "luck-based" then please elaborate on what they are and how, because none of them are deterministic and thus rely ultimately on some chance (which is, you know, relying on luck). I completely agree that luck isn't "the thing to have" because you can't, it merely describes the swirling of events that chain react in convoluted ways to produce a result.

    Finally, while this may seem a bit illogical, I'm willing to throw luck in alongside the likes of God, karma, fate and the like. It is something that has been used to explain why certain things happened, but ultimately is a concept that cannot be proven or disproven, because there is no level of detail you can achieve in any legitimate, logical discourse that will definitively prove one side right or wrong.

    Sorry, I never was a big fan of vorpal blades because the trigger rate was only 5% :( (regardless of your crit rate in 3.0+, not sure about 2.0 AD&D). Now if you have a 15-20/x3 Curveblade, then we can talk. :tu:
  4. Calaban Junior Engineer

    Maybe thats the genius of the quote: it is an annagram.. of a sort.

    You could read it as "Never give up good luck"

    But you could also read it as "Never give up skill for luck"
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Concave Apprentice Engineer


    That makes sense, Vegas markets the concept of "luck". It is the primary driver of what keeps the 99% coming back for a chance at that 1. Gambling means money, money represents resources and human effort. When the cards are laid down, that motion can potentially yield great quantities of resources. It is something for relatively nothing (the initial bet).

    But the statistic shows that the vast majority of people who have ever participated in an economy (exchange resources/labor) have never been rewarded for laying cards on a table.

    Or tossing dice.

    These motions are brief movements of the wrist and arm. This activity is the polar opposite of the swing of a hammer, push of a heavy cart, packing a box, sitting in a truck 12 hours a day, pouring over documentation for new software 70 hours a week.

    The captain of the Titanic was aware, through personal interaction and newspaper coverage alike, that he was at the helm of the "strongest, most unsinkable" ship in the world.

    There is a chance, random or carelessness, that hubris caused the Titanic to sink. A fraction of the thousands of crew members may have normally been summoned to monitor the way ahead, from the bow, and in turn relay back to the bridge the conditions ahead. If suspicious waters, hold wait for fog clear or return to safer waters.
  6. halipatsui Senior Engineer

    The quote is that way because you can relatively easily obtain skill while there is no way to obtain luck
  7. FoolishOwl Junior Engineer

  8. Carrion Senior Engineer


    actually Napoleon did when promoting people to general rank.

    the quote is. Yes Yes i know he is good but is he lucky.

    --- Automerge ---

    actually it was the media of the day which proclaimed it to be "unsinkable" something Harrland and Wolfe never claimed despite the many for the day modern design aspects to make it LESS likely to sink. . it was officially billed as the most luxurious. and in comparison to other great liners of the day it, and the Olympic and Britannic were actually a bit of a slow poke with no chance of winning the Blue Ribband.
  9. SpecFrigateBLK3 Senior Engineer

    Ugh. Luck is a name for the set of statistically unlikely outcomes. It's not a vague concept, it's a name. Trying to figure out the circumstances leading to that statistically unlikely outcome is a study in causality and semantics.
  10. Calaban Junior Engineer

    Or a study in the Quantum Uncertainty manipulations of a conscious mind "Observer" on the fabric of reality and probability (#DefyTheOddsPlaceboEffect)

  11. SpecFrigateBLK3 Senior Engineer

    And now we enter the semantics portion of our program where I argue that your Heisenberg-inspired Quantum Incrrtainty is a split hair of causality, and then invite you to further the semantic discussion by elaborating on this effect. :p
  12. Ghostickles Senior Engineer

    If you quote an anonymous person is it really a quote?
  13. SpecFrigateBLK3 Senior Engineer

    I would imagine that to be like quoting someone with an alias. You're still quoting, just with an imprecise/inaccurate attribution.
  14. Ghostickles Senior Engineer

    for fun...
    isn't an inaccurately attributed quote considered a misquote, and there fore not a quote?
  15. Calaban Junior Engineer

    Causality is a humanocentric term. Particles and wave functions and Forces care not what caused or will caused an action... there is -after all- only "right now". There is no "will it" or "was it" in the real universe.

    Our Monkey wet-ware minds only remember the past, and predict the future. Giving us some hold-over notion of "time" and "directions of Time" and "alternatives" that simply never exist outside of that wet-ware.

    But to get back on topic: Luck can be summed up in a deeply meta-aware way as a Rick and Morty quote I wanna get a t-shirt of:

    or, if you wanna get a bit more philosophical/quasi-creator-ist about luck, you can consider why Sandor Clegane (The Hound) will never die in Game of Thrones: If the Gods of that world see what we viewers see, its easy to determine why they would want to keep him around, and why he is so... lucky:

    [warning: TV-MA! Hound know some bad words]
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  16. EnjoyCoke Trainee Engineer

    Some day you'll be in a situation where all the skill in the world won't save you from that incoming meteor.
    But out of nowhere a clueless janitor trips over a cable and pours hot coffee down the catwalk.
    This coffee melts a bit of ice that was keeping your ship's CPU from functioning. Now it works, and you can dash out of the way of that incoming meteor.
    Because of luck.

    That's how it's meant. End of. /thread.
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