Affordances is the key for me. Rather than force your way through, look for openings that are suitable and engage then. It’s not luck, good or bad. Its having the ability to see the opening (affordance) and going through at the right time (again, affordance but with “timing”).

Affordances is the key for me. Rather than force your way through, look for openings that are suitable and engage then. It’s not luck, good or bad. Its having the ability to see the opening (affordance) and going through at the right time (again, affordance but with “timing”).

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while i don’t do poker, I do that. I try to keep my intuition training in top order so that I can just “know” the optimum answer. Results in fewer and fewer mistakes. Takes a lot of consciously thinking through in my off times, but when it’s “go time”, the intuition should be ready.

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Ah, but believing in one’s own good luck or one’s own bad luck skews their decision-making, resulting in more good or more bad luck.

Belief’s a powerful thing and affects our decision making capabilities

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Under lab conditions, sure. Real world conditions though can’t always be tested properly. Lab conditions are actually the artificial environment and when it comes to people – people behave differently when men / women in white lab coats are testing them using a hypothesis whose instruments are symbolic of a mathematical formulation of “luck”, such as decks of cards and such.

Well done science tries to avoid a lot of that but lab conditions itself are part of the problem. Hence, there’s also real world studies. Some of hem can be narrowed down by statistical analysis but even THEN, finding equivalences between people isn’t always so simple.

But I’m always wary of too-simple attempts to simplify humans. Scientists can get cocky at times, especially data scientists.

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For myself, I watch the areas where I’m a “little superstitious” and try to remove them. It’s not always easy to spot in one’s self but if you keep an eye out, you can find it.

Some superstitions are based on home-grown science: Observation, repetition, asking others, attempting to remove bias, forming a consensus opinion. This leads to confidence in the superstition, just as similar procedures lead to confidence in the science.

This doesn’t mean science is superstition or superstition is science, but it would be neglectful to not notice where they overlap.

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Also, I don’t mean to imply “if it’s not science, it’s superstition”. I think there are things that science is either doesn’t do well or doesn’t do at all. For example, science does poorly on subjective matters because by defintion, it attempts to remove the subjective. But what if a science wants to study subjective from subjectivity? Rules have to be bent or broken and won’t necessarily hold up to standard standards of the sciences. So, there’s some areas that it can’t penetrate because its methodology forbids it.

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Nothing magical about things being rational.

Also, the distinction between confirmation and confirmation bias can be a very difficult distinction to make, even within the sciences themselves. For all the safeguards in place, confirmation bias happens in the sciences. We’re humans doing this work after all.

Anecdotes are not always useless. It depends on the field. For example, in medicine, anecdotes are EXTREMELY useful.

You’ve heard of Case Studies?

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One flaw many people make when talking about the sciences is:

a) treating all of the sciences as “Science”
b) picking one particular field within the sciences as “the real science” – often Physics – relegating “the others” to a lesser status
c) attributing almost mystical properties to The Scientific Method as if that’s all that’s done in the sciences.
d) ignoring the realities in the practices of the sciences, which are often messy and ego-driven and not always the last bit rational and yet, can result in useful pragmatic findings.

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Well they have to be tempered with experience and with consultation of peers.

Medicine is interesting in that it’s often not repeatable. Some events are singularities and that’s just how it goes. Not everything is given to repetitive patterns, especially when the subject (the human, the human’s experiences which led them to that point, and their genetic makeup) is perhaps one of the most complex phenomenons any scientist has ever come across.

Thankfully, there’s enough common medical situations that doctors are trained to deal in averages. But the case studies are important because unlike statistics that are not life-and-death, the outliers cannot be discarded, even when they are singular events.

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I’m not arguing “for” non-scientific things nor really against them for that matter. But I wanted to be sure to give an honest picture of the sciences: Not all things can be reduced. Sometimes the sample size *is* 1 and its results no less valid even with the lack of repetition.

Biology is a good example of this.

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I worked in the pharmaceutical industry for a few years. [Schering-Plough, Kenilworth NJ, when it existed :P ] – although I worked in business information, + then IT as a Systems Analyst, still I had plenty of contact with scientists [I was a temp there a few times prior, once as a secretary to a group of scientists who were working on stage II + III trials… didn’t like being a secretary but enjoyed eating lunch with the scientists].

Anyway, I was talking about Doctors that work on individual patients. I should have been more clear.

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but man if you want to talk about market driven science, lol. While I was in the systems analyst position, they had reached stage III trials for their own “viagra” drug. Everything about it was perfect in the other stages – it was a sure fire win.

Then human testing came alone.

Surprise! It barely beat placebo. You believe you’re gonna get a boner, you’re gonna get a boner and the pill, despite activating all the proper mechanisms, all the computer modeling, all the rat studies showing it to be super effective…

…it was equivalent to placebo.

They had to scrap it.

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The reason why placebo is so effective as a standard test to measure against is *because* placebo is one of the most effective medicines that exists. It’s VERY hard to beat placebo.

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Oh the viagra worked. Rats were getting bones like crazy!

So were the people.

But since this is for people and not for rats, if their viagra couldn’t do better than their belief that it works, they couldn’t justify (legally) marketing it as more effective than belief.

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But it’d be a great rat boner product. For all I know they reformulated it for rats. But people need something that can beat their belief in pills.

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Right. But my point is: here is a product (yes, I’m giving you an anecdote – or a Case – a singularity that I can only imply is repeated elsewhere) – that was effective physiologically. It activated the NO bubbles properly, made the rats rise to the occasion. Worked for the people too.

But while rats can’t believe in a pill (well maybe they can with training), people can believe in a pill (which we also do by training come to think of it).

Disbelief in a pill can reduce the medicinal effects as well : it’s the flip side of things. If someone decides that a pill will not fix them, they can significantly reduce the effectiveness of the medicine. Their belief in it ‘not working’ sets mechanisms in the body that block the effectiveness.

This is why marketing is so critical for medicine. The people have to believe in it. The people have to believe in the pharmacist. They have to believe the companies are making products that are effective.

It’s actually quite fascinating.

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I believe that the processes of the sciences have barely begun to tap what’s here. At the end of the 19th century, many belileved we’d reached the ‘end of science’. But we hadn’t. Same as now. We’ve just begun. Much more to explore.

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Use word substitution. Luck is equivalent to happenstance which is equivalent to randomness. If you attribute something to randomness or chance, you are attributing it to luck.

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I think it’s more intellectually honest to stay agnostic about luck. “There’s no proof of its existence or non-existence”. Or “Science has nothing useful to stay about it at this time except that we have not observed it.”

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Belief in bad luck causes people to become more anxious resulting in unfortunate circumstances.

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Ok, I’ll change the question:
Is serendipity controllable or able to be influenced?

I’ll change-up the question again:
Is there truly such a thing as “random” or is random a convenient fiction?

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What is the difference between: “Chance”, “Luck”, “unlikely events statistically determined to occur”, “random”?

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Where is the locus of control in each case?
Random has an outside locus of control and is not predetermined.
Luck has an outside locus of control and is not predetermined.

Random and luck are equivalent.

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“Chance favors the prepared mind”. Always loved that quote.

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“Chance” is one those magickal features of the sciences. Much reliance upon it being a blind, agnostic demigod

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Perhaps luck is unattributed experience. Could be as simple as that.

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There’s that chance / randomness magick again. Will of god, blind will of chance, “the universe decides the outcome”, not much difference.

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So much easier to take the scientifically agnostic position rather than the hardline “no” position:

“without evidence to confirm or deny, we have no position on the matter”.

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It’s simple There’s a lack of evidence to confirm or deny, therefore we have no position.

Just leave it at that and move on to other things.

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Don’t pin this on the human brain. Of course you can have no position. It’s called “I don’t know”.

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I consider a good scientific position is one that remains open to possibility while acknowledging the inability to confirm.

That’s all that has to be done.

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Anything further, it gets political.

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“We cannot confirm based on the evidence provided. We do not know.” Does that satisfy both certainty and knowledge? That’s the third time you brought up that dichotomy.

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Or: “We know that the evidence provided and the testing we subjected the evidence to, did not confirm the hypothesis presented.”

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ok, thank you. I just found myself put through an annoying set of 20 questions at the mere mention of being agnostic. I got good at answering them but they were SO predictable.

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While not denying the possibility of the existence of luck, at this time we have not discovered sufficient evidence to consider it existing.

I don’t see the need to move on to whether or not someone is ‘theistic’ or ‘atheistic’ about luck.

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I see no reason for the certainty to even be a part of it. It should be enough to state that there’s insufficient evidence to confirm it.

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Certainty (disbelief -> belief spectrum?) is a subjective statement is it not? That’s fine in deduction. But science is inductive, no?

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Adding a subjective opinion based upon a certainty value clouds the scientific process by placing a subjective deduction onto what is supposed to be an objective, inductive process.

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[which is why I call it “adding politics into it” – taking a position of certainty / belief in areas where it does not belong.

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I was under the impression that “gnostic” was knowledge. “agnostic” was “I don’t know”. “atheist” was certain that does not. “theist” was certain that does.

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