January 22, 2008

Why some of you really do have bad luck....

It's a statistical improbability that you have bad "luck", that bad things will inevitably happen to you just because.

However, since there are so many people on Earth, it's also a statistical probability that many of those people will actually experience something akin to having an unfair share of bad luck.

Let's say that each year in your life contains one (on average) highly impacting event. This event could wind up being a positive or negative thing. Statistically, this means that over the course of 30 years, only 1 person in about a billion will have all 30 events turn out to be negative. It's highly unlikely that this will be you, but...there are over 6 billion people on the planet, so it's likely that at least six people experience such bad luck.

So, six people on the planet are walking around with extremely bad luck, and that doesn't even cover the variants. If you consider 29 negative events out of 30 extremely bad luck (and I do), then you will accept that there are even more people walking around with extremely bad luck. And so forth. In fact, I'd say anyone who experiences bad luck around 75 to 80 per cent of the time can go in the "I have the right to complain" pile.

And I don't know how many people that is, because I don't want to review my combinations and polynomials or whatever this kind of problem would be. But some of them could be you. I'm so sorry.

Incidentally, this article blew my mind. Such a simple solution to a problem I deal with whenever I have time:

How to organize your LEGO bricks for efficient building

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