Robert St. Amant <email@example.com> wrote:
| This reminds me of an anecdote I ran across in Simon Blackburn's book,
| _Think_: In talking with a concert pianist, a fan says, "You are so
| lucky to have so much talent!" The pianist responds, "And the more I
| practice, the luckier I get." The same probably applies to Feynman,
| who seemed to work hard at a lot of things.
I can't seem to find (or even Google) the reference, but someone once
talked about three ways people look at "luck" -- blind, energetic, and
practiced -- describing the differences this way:
Blind: "You know, it's *possible* that an airplane might fly over
my house and just at that moment a cargo door might pop open
and a suitcase full of money might fall out and fall through my
roof into my living room, so I'll just sit here and wait for it."
"You know, I lost a dollar the other day -- probably fell out of
my pants as I was making change, and it's likely that other people
have lost money, too, so if I spend all day walking up & down the
sidewalks looking in the gutters & corners & doorways, all over
town, I'll bet I can find some of that money."
A famous golfer [insert favorite name] was playing with a friend
when he got stuck in a sand trap just short of the hole. Taking
out his 9-iron, he looked very carefully at the lie & the hole &
the wind, and effortlessly wedged the ball up and out onto the
green, where it rolled for a bit before neatly dropping into
the cup. His friend turned to the famous one's caddy and said,
"Wow! What a lucky shot!" The caddy replied, "Yeah, it was.
And it didn't hurt that he practiced it about a hundred times
p.s. I'm also reminded of the following definition from the
"HipCrime Vocab" by Chad C. Mulligan (a character in John Brunner's
novel "Stand On Zanzibar"):
Coincidence: What happens when you weren't watching
the other half of what was going on.
Rob Warnock, PP-ASEL-IA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
627 26th Avenue <URL:http://www.rpw3.org/>
San Mateo, CA 94403 (650)572-2607