Lucky Bunk

If some people are luckier than others, then the concept of luck is nonsense. It means there’s some other factor at work rather than random chance. My friend is extremely “lucky” for example. Whether she’s rolling real or virtual dice, she rolls whatever she needs to win. Quite simply, she expects to win and does. It’s not a fun process to play against her in a game of chance. And yes, she’s found several four-leaf clovers over the years.

Whereas she expects to win, and frequently does, I expect to lose and get what I expect too. It seems as though expectation is the determining factor behind outcomes. This means that luck/chance/randomness isn’t an actual functioning mechanism. Chance is a fictional concept we adopt to make games seem more exciting. “Oh boy, maybe I’ll win!! But maybe I’ll lose!!! Hehe! So thrilling!!!” The most exciting entertainment we consume always has some sort of surprise element.

So for the purpose of our own entertainment we conveniently forget that outcomes align with our expectations, we pretend that chance is real. But realize: we have deep-seated long-term expectations as well as shallow short-term ones. This means: if you’re a die-hard pessimist for example, endeavors will typically fail despite any current wish for something to work-out in your favor. Outcomes are based on a culmination of expectation rather than a quick “I hope I win this time!”.

And the conclusion is this: you are getting exactly what you expect from life. There is no luck, good or bad. If you’re a loser, it’s because you expect to be a loser. How can you alter this trend? Change your expectation. Expect the best, get the best. The people that seem luckier are simply expecting a better life and they’re receiving it. And whenever a great expectation isn’t met, just plow-ahead expecting an even greater outcome.

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More Anti-Randomness

Just to belabor the point a bit more: true randomness is not a thing. Even in computer-programming, randomness is only ever approximated, typically using a pseudo-random computational method. And beyond that, randomness is usually constrained even further by a set of rules — for instance, if a music-playlist was truly random, there’s a chance you’d hear the same song five times in row (random is random) — but instead, there are constraints in place that disallow a song to be repeated before all other songs in the list have been played.

So the random things we believe are happening are not really random — we’re being tricked into feeling as though randomness exists. Why? Because surprises are fun. If you could predict all the actions of your opponent, you’re no longer playing a game, you’re dancing a choreographed routine. Why is “random” even an option on music-playlists? Obviously because we enjoy it when our routine varies — we enjoy experiencing the element of surprise.

Similarly, the circumstances we experience in life are well-designed surprises, not randomness at work. Randomness is birds regularly flying into your head, buildings collapsing unexpectedly, meteors crashing into your car, your oven exploding, your knee joint now bending the opposite way, clouds forming into the shape of your mom, your great-great grandfather attending your graduation, electricity shooting out of the socket — yet we don’t really experience randomness — do we.

What we experience are surprises that conform to a certain set of constraints. Narratives can’t happen in a world comprised of pure randomness — yet where do we so often find ourselves — but deeply involved in narrative after narrative. Narratives are literally the opposite of randomness, they’re manufactured stories that utilize well-designed surprises to entertain and delight. There is just no denying that this world is a cleverly crafted work of fiction. And that’s a good thing, because true-randomness sucks.

Random Lie

The funny thing is, people are always acting by faith. In a truly physical world where randomness exists, relying on ANY future occurrence is an act of faith. Driving to work or school — are the buildings going to be open today? In a random world, anything can happen. Will your form-of-transportation reach its destination? Who knows. Meeting for a lunch-date? For the most part you assume the restaurant and the other person will be there. Planning a vacation months in advance? In a random world, how is that even possible? Think of all the things that need to align for that to happen! When throwing dice, rolling a 6 for 5 times in a row doesn’t make getting another six any more or less likely — random is random.

So many people just do things with the hope that things will work out. Going to college assumes that you’ll make it through all four years and then it assumes you’ll find a lucrative career in your chosen field. Many people move with the hopes they’ll settle into a new and prosperous life in a different location — they’ll find a steady income, friends, and fit right in. So much of what people do is faith based. And if that’s the case, then there’s no way in hell that this is an actual physical reality in which circumstances happen by chance.

I’m just amazed how clueless I was. For so many years, I believed the world to be chance-based. And because of that, I assumed NOTHING. Will the school be open today? I honestly didn’t believe it until I saw people walking in. Will the car get me there today? I honestly thought there was a possibility it wouldn’t. Will my lunch-date be there today? I honestly thought no, until the moment they sat down in front of me. But life wasn’t random, everything seemed to keep following along on a prescribed path — yet I was scared because I thought random-chance was real.

It should have been obvious to me — if you simply look around you’ll notice that society is not built around chance. If it was, people wouldn’t be driving 80mph in multi-ton metal machines within inches of each other. Of course I was anxiety ridden — ANYTHING could happen at ANY time!! But I was living a lie — for whatever reason I believed in randomness and rejected any idea that suggested otherwise. Well, it sure made for an exciting time at least! A sedentary and solitary time, but exciting none the less!

It’s tough to live life while maintaining a fear-based belief system — lemme tell ya. I’ve always disliked roller-coasters, but it turns out I was choosing to ride one EVERYDAY. But I’m over it now. And just to be clear, seemingly random things happen — yes. But truly random? No. In computer programming for instance, true randomness isn’t even a thing, it’s only approximated. The unexpected things we experience are more like well-designed surprises, not randomness. All these narratives we find ourselves within wouldn’t exist if life was truly random.

Random Chance

For almost two decades I’ve watched my friend perform well in chance-based games. Dice, cards, spinners, computer-based, it doesn’t matter. If I dare play against her, she beats me big-time. She seems to have an ability to influence randomness in her favor. It’s a fairer fight when we play strategy-based games — but she’s good at all types.

We were playing a non-strategic dice-based game the other night that had the potential to go on endlessly, but it didn’t. While I sat there rolling useless number after useless number she kept rolling the numbers she needed. The game ended quickly. Huh? I thought random chance and probability distribution are supposed to be real things.

But for the last twenty years I’ve witnessed this: she’s lucky and I’m not. I asked her about it, and she told me that before she rolls she visualizes the exact outcome she needs. Me, I just roll and get whatever I get. Is it true though, that expectations manifest actual results? Whatever the mechanism, she’s highly skilled at achieving her desired outcome within these game-playing scenarios.

I’ve always viewed success in life as stemming from random chance and luck — some people are blessed with opportunities while others aren’t. But perhaps outcomes aren’t so accidental — perhaps expectations shape circumstances. This outlook seems to imply that aspirations influence life. And it seems true that those of us wandering through life without direction get exactly what we wish for: nothing.

If that’s the case, then it’s not randomly generated circumstances that make for a miserable life — it’s bleak expectations that generate miserable circumstances. Therefore, we should concentrate on altering our expectations, modifying our thoughts about life and how it works. To change the external, we must first imagine what it is we want to see.

Drop of Drama

Noticed spot on ceiling, ignored it. Few days pass, noticed larger spot on ceiling, poked it. Wet, hmm, roof leak. Measured location within room, went outside. Measured approximate location on exterior, noted vent pipes exiting roof near internal leak location. Taped phone to long pole, recorded video, found nothing peculiar, but view limited.

Went outside again, measured necessary height for potential ladder. Male approached from across street, offered pressure-wash service for house exterior. Introduced himself, had the same first name. Mentioned roof leak, said he’d take care of it. Went to store, bought leak sealant. Had exterior washed, needed it. Had sealant applied, said he found obvious hole, nail missing on flange.

Seemed odd: rarely in front yard, rare to see solicitors, rare for offer of unrelated service, rare to meet same first name, rare to have roof leak, and don’t like heights or ladders. Had to accept offer.