Do You Believe In Genetic Luck? - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-23-2020, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Do You Believe In Genetic Luck?


No I don't mean being born with good genes. And I don't mean being born into wealth. I mean if luck was a genetic element. For some people it feels like everything works out for them when they try it, and they always somehow get on the right course. Even if something is going hard for them, something else will happen just in the nick of time to save them.

For me on the other hand, everything I do ends up in failure. You know how people say '' oh you just didn't work hard enough ''. Well for me, even if I work hard, its useless. Something is bound to make all my hard work reduntant.

This is just an allegory. But if I was playing golf, and my trajectory was just perfect for a hole in one....at that exact moment a squirrel will run past the hole and knock my ball away. Stuff like that always happens to me.

According to the scientific rules of probability, all of this should be nonsense. There should be no such thing as luck. Luck is just when probability goes right. So everyone should be experiencing the same amount of luck. But it really doesn't feel that way for me.
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post #2 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-23-2020, 12:31 AM
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I don't believe in luck as some kind of spiritual thing which I think is what you're getting at. I think it's a combination of genetics, wealth, being in the right environment at the right time, knowing certain people, random chance etc.

I am pretty bad at everything I try though yeah like I can compare others results for the same amount of work/quality etc. Outside of being bad at everything I do though I wouldn't say I have bad luck. Things have mostly stayed the same level of crap for a while now. I expect that will run out eventually though.

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post #3 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-23-2020, 03:43 AM
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For me on the other hand, everything I do ends up in failure. You know how people say '' oh you just didn't work hard enough ''. Well for me, even if I work hard, its useless. Something is bound to make all my hard work reduntant.

This is just an allegory. But if I was playing golf, and my trajectory was just perfect for a hole in one....at that exact moment a squirrel will run past the hole and knock my ball away. Stuff like that always happens to me.
This is my life. My basement issues are a perfect example of it. But some of the stuff that happens "coincidentally" seems so curiously "apt" that it feels like it's part of some kind of cosmic joke. I find it hard to believe sometimes that there isn't a malicious god up there intentionally tormenting me, making sure that everything happens in just the right way to produce the worst possible outcome. It doesn't feel "genetic" to me so much as supernatural. This has been going on all my life. My luck is so bad that when I used to know people they used to comment on it, and I stopped playing games of chance because I would always roll/spin/draw remarkably badly. To the point where I actually started to believe I had telekinetic powers.

I think, realistically, that what we call "luck" can be reduced to a combination of "bad outcomes", "interpretation", and "response". I don't agree that "everyone should be experiencing the same amount of luck." When we talk about luck we're not usually talking about the million inconsequential flips of the coin, which do tend to even out over time, but the few significant occasions where the flip of the coin mattered in an uncharacteristically important way. If there are, say, a dozen really important moments in a person's life that determine their destiny, then it's possible for someone to get heads or tails every single time. In that sense, some people do have more bad/good outcomes than others. That's bound to happen for purely statistical reasons, because "bad outcomes" will be on a bell curve like everything else.

People who have more bad outcomes than others tend to describe ("interpret") their experience as "bad luck" and the more than statistically average good outcomes of some other people as "good luck" (we pay no attention to the hordes in the middle with middling luck). By contrast, people who have more good outcomes than others tend to describe ("interpret") their experience as "hard work" or "intelligence" and the more than statistically average bad outcomes of others as "laziness" or "stupidity". (It seems too tempting for most people not to take credit for everything good that's ever happened to them.)

What muddles things is the "response" part. If you really believe things are always going to end in disaster, you tend to behave differently than if you believe you can take control of your life (ie. change how often bad things happen to you vs good things). You get cynical, discouraged, or otherwise "negative". You collect all your misfortunes and string them together in a depressing narrative guaranteed to make people regret sitting next to you at a party.

This behavioral difference creates the optical illusion that unlucky people create their own misfortune and lucky people create their own fortune. I say optical illusion because people who have been unlucky but then get a lucky break have a change of attitude and stop appearing in the unlucky category and people who have been lucky but get a bad break have a change of attitude and stop appearing in the lucky category. So we always see misfortune correlated with certain attitudes and behaviors that people frown on and good fortune correlated with attitudes and behaviors that people esteem: the people who are still unlucky are still unhappy and the people who are still lucky are still happy and it all looks like their attitude has something to do with it; as if the attitude isn't a byproduct of their good or bad experiences. No amount of hard work or careful planning can prevent something terrible from happening and destroying everything you've built. And sometimes people get everything handed to them for no reason at all.

Ofc, I can simultaneously believe (rationally) that my luck could turn at any moment because everything is random without it affecting at all the conviction I have that things will continue to turn out the worst possible way because God hates me.

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post #4 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-23-2020, 04:38 AM
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I believe in determinism, so I think luck is just the factors we can't/don't account for. Apparently, true randomness occurs only at the quantum level, and I fail to see how it affects my life or the outcome of anything I do.
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post #5 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-23-2020, 09:59 AM
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I don't think anyone is inherently lucky, as if luck is a trait a person can have. However, having the right genetic makeup or being born into the right socioeconomic situation can make you appear lucky as you will be more likely to live a privileged life. These individuals will naturally encounter more fortuitous events and be better equipped to take advantage of them.

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post #6 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-24-2020, 04:36 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by truant View Post
This is my life. My basement issues are a perfect example of it. But some of the stuff that happens "coincidentally" seems so curiously "apt" that it feels like it's part of some kind of cosmic joke. I find it hard to believe sometimes that there isn't a malicious god up there intentionally tormenting me, making sure that everything happens in just the right way to produce the worst possible outcome. It doesn't feel "genetic" to me so much as supernatural. This has been going on all my life. My luck is so bad that when I used to know people they used to comment on it, and I stopped playing games of chance because I would always roll/spin/draw remarkably badly. To the point where I actually started to believe I had telekinetic powers.

I think, realistically, that what we call "luck" can be reduced to a combination of "bad outcomes", "interpretation", and "response". I don't agree that "everyone should be experiencing the same amount of luck." When we talk about luck we're not usually talking about the million inconsequential flips of the coin, which do tend to even out over time, but the few significant occasions where the flip of the coin mattered in an uncharacteristically important way. If there are, say, a dozen really important moments in a person's life that determine their destiny, then it's possible for someone to get heads or tails every single time. In that sense, some people do have more bad/good outcomes than others. That's bound to happen for purely statistical reasons, because "bad outcomes" will be on a bell curve like everything else.

People who have more bad outcomes than others tend to describe ("interpret") their experience as "bad luck" and the more than statistically average good outcomes of some other people as "good luck" (we pay no attention to the hordes in the middle with middling luck). By contrast, people who have more good outcomes than others tend to describe ("interpret") their experience as "hard work" or "intelligence" and the more than statistically average bad outcomes of others as "laziness" or "stupidity". (It seems too tempting for most people not to take credit for everything good that's ever happened to them.)

What muddles things is the "response" part. If you really believe things are always going to end in disaster, you tend to behave differently than if you believe you can take control of your life (ie. change how often bad things happen to you vs good things). You get cynical, discouraged, or otherwise "negative". You collect all your misfortunes and string them together in a depressing narrative guaranteed to make people regret sitting next to you at a party.

This behavioral difference creates the optical illusion that unlucky people create their own misfortune and lucky people create their own fortune. I say optical illusion because people who have been unlucky but then get a lucky break have a change of attitude and stop appearing in the unlucky category and people who have been lucky but get a bad break have a change of attitude and stop appearing in the lucky category. So we always see misfortune correlated with certain attitudes and behaviors that people frown on and good fortune correlated with attitudes and behaviors that people esteem: the people who are still unlucky are still unhappy and the people who are still lucky are still happy and it all looks like their attitude has something to do with it; as if the attitude isn't a byproduct of their good or bad experiences. No amount of hard work or careful planning can prevent something terrible from happening and destroying everything you've built. And sometimes people get everything handed to them for no reason at all.

Ofc, I can simultaneously believe (rationally) that my luck could turn at any moment because everything is random without it affecting at all the conviction I have that things will continue to turn out the worst possible way because God hates me.
I feel the exact same way. Like my life is one big joke. There have been instances where I've felt like I've received divine signals to do something, only for it to turn to **** in the last minute. Almost as if I'm being teased with happiness, and then told that it's not for me.
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post #7 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-24-2020, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Persephone The Dread View Post
I don't believe in luck as some kind of spiritual thing which I think is what you're getting at. I think it's a combination of genetics, wealth, being in the right environment at the right time, knowing certain people, random chance etc.

I am pretty bad at everything I try though yeah like I can compare others results for the same amount of work/quality etc. Outside of being bad at everything I do though I wouldn't say I have bad luck. Things have mostly stayed the same level of crap for a while now. I expect that will run out eventually though.
What I was getting at was that for some people, even if they are in the right environment, things will still mess up. Like its in their destiny to fail.
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post #8 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-24-2020, 04:46 AM Thread Starter
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I believe in determinism, I so I think luck is just the factors we can't/don't account for. Apparently, true randomness occurs only at the quantum level, and I fail to see how it affects my life or the outcome of anything I do.
I like determinism too but there are soo many situations in life where its pointless because you only get one chance to make it.
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post #9 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-24-2020, 05:37 AM
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What I was getting at was that for some people, even if they are in the right environment, things will still mess up. Like its in their destiny to fail.
OK well it happens yeah but I don't think I believe in destiny exactly. Like there are still reasons it happens. Unless we're in a computer simulation. I could probably believe that.

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post #10 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-24-2020, 06:04 AM
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Apparently, true randomness occurs only at the quantum level
There is no scientific consensus that this is true, if by true randomness you mean an acausal event.

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According to the scientific rules of probability
There's no such thing.
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post #11 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-24-2020, 06:27 AM
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There is no scientific consensus that this is true, if by true randomness you mean an acausal event.
This is the concept I was referring to. He has to go all the way down to subatomic particles to claim that physics aren't deterministic and that "some kind of free will" therefore exists. Which I still can't relate to my everyday life in any way, but I'm neither a physicist nor a philosopher.

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post #12 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-24-2020, 07:33 AM
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This is the concept I was referring to. He has to go all the way down to subatomic particles to claim that physics aren't deterministic and that "some kind of free will" therefore exists.
As far as I'm concerned, Michio Kaku is Deepak Chopra of physics. Yes, he has legitimate background in theoretical physics where he is respected and is considered to be competent within his own field but, outside of it, he might as well be selling crystals. His assertions about free will and consciousness are nothing but speculation outside of his field, which is why he cherry picks science to make it fit his preconceived ideas. Not only that but he repeatedly blurs lines between pseudoscience and science, which often lands him in deep water with his critics.

To get back to your post, the question of determinism is only challenged on the level of quantum mechanics (QM), outside of it the consensus is that physics is deterministic. Our understanding of determinism hinges on how we interpret QM data. Those who favour Copenhagen interpretation, for example, fall on the indeterminist side. But there are multiple interpretations that are wholly deterministic. Kaku simply abandons the fair and principled pursuit of science by dismissing the latter interpretations entirely in favour of pop-sciencey sound bites that sell better than the hard 'No one knows.'
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post #13 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-24-2020, 10:14 AM
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My dad often shakes his head and says I was born with bad luck but for every stroke of bad I've had I can point to one that was good. No one I know has luck embedded in them. And if there are people like that, aren't they going to be ill-prepared for upheaval, tragedy or loss when it inevitably occurs. Couldn't you argue that all the good luck they had was actually bad luck because they didn't have any bad luck practice? If luck is genetic than science would have to prove to me, beyond doubt, that it is.

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post #14 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-24-2020, 10:42 AM
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Some has worked as Eugenists. Trying to create the perfect genes... in good or evil ways...
There is a lot of work being put in transhumanism, though I wouldn't get into their eternal life narrative......
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post #15 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-24-2020, 03:06 PM
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Where I'm from we're generally brought up to be superstitious, historically that's pretty well known, store up good karma if you can, you never know when it might come in handy.






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post #16 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-24-2020, 03:30 PM
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It would also depend on the circumstances and what safety nets one can have if they are facing trying times. How we express them during the process (ex; onset of some mental illnesses due to traumatic events because of a higher probability due to family having the same predisposition) is really up for debate that comes down to nature vs nurture. Some things I do believe such as intelligence and how we are set up to either fit under the mole of how we show our intelligence (such as standardized testing) is unfortunately a probability that some people are easily better at than others.

Of course this is all subjective. Even among experts it is mostly subjective and mostly based on observational studies that average based on a group of individuals following a set of criteria on how they express different circumstances.
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post #17 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-27-2020, 07:54 AM
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No I don't mean being born with good genes. And I don't mean being born into wealth. I mean if luck was a genetic element. For some people it feels like everything works out for them when they try it, and they always somehow get on the right course. Even if something is going hard for them, something else will happen just in the nick of time to save them.

For me on the other hand, everything I do ends up in failure. You know how people say '' oh you just didn't work hard enough ''. Well for me, even if I work hard, its useless. Something is bound to make all my hard work reduntant.

This is just an allegory. But if I was playing golf, and my trajectory was just perfect for a hole in one....at that exact moment a squirrel will run past the hole and knock my ball away. Stuff like that always happens to me.

According to the scientific rules of probability, all of this should be nonsense. There should be no such thing as luck. Luck is just when probability goes right. So everyone should be experiencing the same amount of luck. But it really doesn't feel that way for me.
who knows. but I've been on the worse end of things for several decades now.

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post #18 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-27-2020, 01:29 PM
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You know how people say '' oh you just didn't work hard enough ''. Well for me, even if I work hard, its useless. Something is bound to make all my hard work reduntant.
What's an example of something you worked hard at that ended up in failure?
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post #19 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-27-2020, 01:42 PM
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I used to believe I am possessed by a demon/by the devil. I still think something weird is going on.
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post #20 of 59 (permalink) Old 11-27-2020, 02:37 PM
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I used to believe I am possessed by a demon/by the devil. I still think something weird is going on.
Maybe not fully possessed that takes a big commitment, but evil spirits do like to feed of the energy of people that are more open or vulnerable : /






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