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January 22, 2015



I would hope most people reading a blog like this already know this.

Again I think the analogy used is not helpful. Coin tosses are, given a "fair" coin, decided by chance.

The wider context of your post yesterday was that "we don't know how lucky we are". None of this maps into what is happening in the UK.

There is no coin. Politicians are buying votes of the main older voting block by pumping house prices thereby enacting an inter-generational wealth transfer which keeps the core vote happy in spite of the fact that the UK is collapsing.

None of this is happening by chance. The chosen vehicle of influence is land because land matters. If they pumped tulips now nobody would care. With land they have us other a barrel.

I think when it comes to economists getting a foothold on anything of any relevance to the world is very hard. The pull of the abstract is so strong for you.

An Alien Visitor

Luck clearly plays a huge role in how much you own.

However, let us separate out how much you own from what skills you have, i.e. let us not link these 2 things.

Under the above assumption, the problem I have with your line of thinking is that people who have better skills, are better trained provide better outcomes. So while luck plays a part in life investing in people abilities enriches us all. So we shouldn't view success through the prism of how much you own but what abilities you have and how those abilities contribute to the well being of all. Let luck take care of itself.

Obviously someone may be highly skilled in enabling rich people to avoid taxation, those skills should be eliminated.

So while luck cannot be got rid of, let's not pretend we can't contribute to outcomes.


Human beings are great at pattern making - it is one of the reasons we are by far the dominant species on this planet. The issue is that we seek patterns EVERYWHERE. As social apes, we also anthropomorphize everything, because out default is dealing with other human beings. This is why people will curse out a machine and accuse it of ill feelings towards ourselves, when the very thought is patently absurd. So we view the universe as being like a person, with intent, and that intent is discernible through patterns. Randomness is not a welcomed idea at all. It denies us "understanding."


"This is why people will curse out a machine and accuse it of ill feelings towards ourselves, when the very thought is patently absurd."

Speak for yourself. Many people may do this but in a jokey and ironic way. You actually sound like you may have some kind of illness, if you in all seriousness shout at machines and believe they wish you ill will.

David Ballard

In sn't "over rating causality and under rating randomness" usually an example of not understanding the relevant causality?


theOnlySanePersonOnPlanetEarth - I think you take SIS too literally. I'm a programmer so understand how dumb computers are yet also anthropomorphise on occasion.


"Speak for yourself. Many people may do this but in a jokey and ironic way."

What a terribly ironic screen name you have. And sorry, but the behavior of people getting angry at and physically assaulting machinery is sufficiently documented and remarked upon for your claim to fall flat.





lower middle class

If I can't pick a winner, I will choose 'all'. Thank you index ETFs!


"What a terribly ironic screen name you have."

Obviously not if you believe many people, in all seriousness, think machines bear them ill will!

If you actually, in all seriousness, accuse, for example, a toaster or computer of bearing you ill will you need professional help. And seriously, the mental health profession would agree with me. I did hear of a schizophrenic who believed time machines were blocking his route to the bathroom.

derrida derider

The Person Formerly Known as Sane is clearly unfamiliar with the Basil Fawlty school of car maintenance (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mv0onXhyLlE)


I agree that luck is a huge part of what makes the wealthy wealthy, contra many conservatives. But it's a huge non-sequiter to think this implies redistribution, contra many liberals.


derrida derider, that was a fictional comedy character and not a real person. And even if it was it would not be normal behaviour!

Now you and SIB may believe your toaster is out to get you, just don't think that applies universally!

My screen name is getting more relevant by the day!

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