I do think it's odd we live in a universe where people can design a simulation model and not realize they are just playing, but instead present the results as if they are serious conclusions. Nothing wrong about playing, and what begins in play can often turn into something of value. I am a huge fan of joking around. But you have to know when what you arrived at isn't a serious result.

Not arguing over the main thesis of the article about the role luck (or just factors outside your control) plays, which I agree on.

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As another commenter noted, the simulation has flaws thus any conclusions drawn from it are flawed. And as the article noted, if a person believes we live in a universe ruled by God, events are not necessarily random. Not saying God necessarily intervenes in anyone's success or failure, but He may be a factor at times.

And ambition plays a role not just talent. A person having mediocre talent but great ambition may well accumulate more external markers of success than another person of greater talent.

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Great subject, but the study quoted in the Wall Street Journal article sounds like nonsense. Computer simulations have built-in assumptions that can determine the outcomes.

In this case, running into bad luck cuts your success in half, while running into good luck doubles your success. Note that these numbers were chosen so that one bad luck and one good luck cancel out.

What if the simulation had bad luck cut your success by 20%, while good luck increases your success by 25%? (Again, one of each cancels out.) Then luck will have much less effect than in the first simulation.

The question that really needs to be answered is: What should these numbers be to match real life outcomes? And in real life, does one stroke of bad luck exactly cancel out one stroke of good luck? And are there factors beyond talent, like resilience, that would make a stroke of bad luck less costly for one individual than another?

Sorry, but this really is all nonsense. The assumptions determined the conclusion.

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“But we should at least use our knowledge of this to keep us humble about the extent to which our successes and accomplishments are a result of our own hard work and genius.“

Absolutely. And, of course, and equally important, the flip side is also true: We should be wary of attributing lack of success to insufficient hard work or talent.

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It wasn't luck that won Ben Bernanke the Nobel. It wasn't skill either. Apparently you can mismanage the economy to create the worst financial crisis in history and still win a Nobel in Economics.

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