I’m an old man and I’ve known many troubles, most of which never happened.

–Attributed to Mark Twain

Randomness’s Large Role in Life



NYTimes: Psychologist Daniel Gilbert makes the argument that uncertainty – not knowing what misfortune will come – makes people more unhappy than misfortune itself. Do you find that to be true?

Leonard Mlodinow: It does seem to be true of my own psychology. Also, I find that what’s most important, whatever happens, is how you deal with it. And once something bad actually happens, you can start that process, and bad can eventually even turn into good.

You might be able to predict your future in the short term, but the longer you look ahead, the less likely you are to be correct. In my own life, many things that seemed to be very bad at first actually had good consequences.

an understanding of the role played by chance has taught me that one important factor in success is under our control: the number of at-bats, the number of chances taken, the number of opportunities seized.

–Leonard Mlodinow
What are the Odds
New York Times