November 3

Extreme Biology

Saturday’s Big Idea

Today's Big Idea: Serendipity

It may seem like an odd thing to consider the idea of serendipity right now, considering how unlucky so many people are who lost their power or their homes, or even loved ones. However, many of us are indeed lucky, and ought to be grateful for our good fortune.

It's not just luck or a "happy accident" in every instance. Serendipity is something that can be created, Tony Tjan argues in today's lesson. How can you create your own luck? The first step is self-analysis. What type of person are you? What are your personalty traits and what strengths do those suggest? Answering these questions will go a long way to increasing your "serendipity quotient," which may not save you from the random violence of a storm, but can help you position yourself for success in the 21st century. 

  1. 1 How to Create Your Own Luck
  2. 2 The Calculus of Risk-Taking
  3. 3 Can We Control Our Luck?
  4. 4 Luck and The Researcher: Kahneman...
  1. How to Create Your Own Luck

    How to Create Your Own Luck

    Tony Tjan says that luck has a lot to do with optimism. For instance, how long can you maintain a positive opinion about a new idea after someone is introduced it to you? If you entertain the notion that this idea may work for an entire day, Tjan says you are close to a "Zen Buddha state."

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  2. The Calculus of Risk-Taking

    The Calculus of Risk-Taking

    Every choice we make involves calculating the risk versus the reward, but if we mistake luck for skill, as was the case on Wall Street, these calculations become meaningless.

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  3. Can We Control Our Luck?

    Can We Control Our Luck?

    How free will and randomness intersect, and how working on ourselves could help events work out in our favor.

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  4. Luck and The Researcher: Kahneman's Path to Prospect Theory

    Luck and The Researcher: Kahneman's Path to Prospect Theory

    Today, I don’t want to write about Kahneman’s work or his invaluable contribution to the study of decision making and the workings of the human mind, but rather, about something much more general: his approach to research.

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