Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Essential Guide to Luck

This from Bill:
I put an update on facebook, recently, and wanted to comment on it.
Yesterday at the grocery store, I saw a book entitled “The Essential Guide to Luck.” I feel pretty lucky, I saved $10 by not buying it. I’m beginning to see the potential for a whole series:
·         How to plan for the unforeseeable.
·         Seeing the bright side of fatalism.
·         Denial—How to be unencumbered by Reality.
·         The Lottery—Investment strategies for the Hopeful.
·         How to Gain Weight without even Trying!
So, why did I find this funny? Because, for luck to truly be luck, it must be completely random. Therefore, one cannot write a guide about it. That’s why I suggested the sequel: “How to plan for the unforeseeable.” This made me think, because engineers try to predict the unforeseeable all the time. People who build toaster ovens must ask themselves, “What would happen if someone stuck their tongue in this thing?” Even though it seems obvious to most of us that that would be a bad idea, the engineers must ask the question. That led me to a famous quote by Louis Pasteur. I thought it was “Life favors the prepared mind.” But, that is an evolved (albeit astute) version of the quote. The real quote was “In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind.” It has been shortened to: “Chance favors the prepared mind.” Or, “Fortune favors the prepared mind.”
So, maybe one can write a guide to luck. Unfortunately, the “Guide to Luck” in the grocery store had a bunch of pagan symbols all over the cover. So, I don’t think that book was about preparing the mind. Nonetheless, I can still benefit from the wise insight of Louis Pasteur.

Two other great quotes from Louis Pasteur (the guy who taught us to pasturize milk):
"The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. I pray while I am engaged at my work in the laboratory. "
"Blessed is he who carries within himself a God, an ideal, and who obeys it: ideal of art, ideal of science, ideal of the gospel virtues, therein lie the springs of great thoughts and great actions; they all reflect light from the Infinite."

1 comment:

Dave said...

I saw the facebook quote and showed it to Kelly. I'm looking forward tot the series :-).