Arab Today, arab today luck what it means and why it matters by ed smith
Last Updated : GMT 13:34:22
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Luck: What it means and why it matters by Ed Smith

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Luck: What it means and why it matters by Ed Smith

London - Arabstoday

For something we generally welcome, luck gets an extraordinarily bad reception from our political and social masters. To dour Yorkshire cricketers of the Geoffrey Boycott variety, luck is what you need if you haven’t got proper batting technique. Victorians bought self-help manuals almost as much as the Bible and were taught that bad luck was what was visited on the deservedly indigent and feckless. Strands of Thatcherite thinking in the Eighties loudly echoed those sentiments. The golfer Gary Player’s famous dictum that the more he practised, the luckier he got says it all: successful people write their own narratives of graft and perseverance on the way up. To admit luck would be an invitation to bosses, or team selectors, to discount hard-earned talents. Even for the clergy, acknowledging that we have no control over some events might be admitting to a higher power than God. Ed Smith’s fascinating tour of the way we interact with luck forces a reassessment of the nature of success and opportunity. And he is excellent on the sinister conclusions one might draw from some of the worst of the bootstrap-pulling brigade. “[Bad luck] is a clear sentence of guilt on everyone who encounters misfortune,” whether that be from cancer, a hurricane, or for that matter, a Holocaust. Smith sets out to say this is absurd. There has always been a thrilling role of luck in our lives. Winston Churchill was almost mown down by a car in 1931 in New York. Had he died at the age of 57, history would have judged him largely as a failed politician. Margaret Thatcher, Smith says, was able to run for the leadership of the Tory Party only after the front-runner, Keith Joseph, gave a disastrous speech over which she had had no influence. There are other factors behind success than graft. Class as determined by accident of birth often dictates political or business success. And Smith sticks up for geneticists in the debate of nature against nurture. In a clever passage, he explains that sporting prowess has reached the point where all top sportspeople are nurtured the same way and must now be more reliant on genes alone to beat each other. In the old days, success came to the first to stop having a pint and a fag at half time. Smith is no fancy polemicist but he is a treat, like a celebrated after-dinner speaker, because of his unique CV. This clear writer has captained Middlesex cricket club and played for England. When he talks of friends’ experiences to illustrate his points, his friends are the current England cricket captain, and numerous other people at the top of their fields. The byways of cosy inquiry are pleasant to travel in his company. Good anecdotes and contacts do not make for intellectual rigour, however. Smith mixes freely points that are made scientifically and those made by the man-in-the-pub. For someone prepared to trawl obscure websites for American football data, he is surprisingly off-kilter with generalisations such as: “Globalisation has affected sport more quickly and more deeply than almost any other sphere.” Try telling that to the Greeks, or the customers of Lehman Brothers. Smith’s narrative, in which he places luck time and again at the centre of world-changing events, takes account only of the old-fashioned historical method that ignores economics and other trends in favour of the forceful individual and personality. Without Napoleon, no Trafalgar. Without Thatcher, no miners’ strike. Yet someone else would have taken on the unions, or picked a fight with the British. For us inconsequential humans, luck is a crucial determinant of the course of our individual lives, but the broad sweep of history will be adjudged more or less the same by our successors. Smith charmingly relates how he met his future wife on a train neither of them were supposed to catch. But if he hadn’t, he might have met her somewhere else, or married someone different. Either way, he would still doubtless be making someone a charming husband, full of inquiry and anecdote and great at winning debates in the pub.

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today luck what it means and why it matters by ed smith Arab Today, arab today luck what it means and why it matters by ed smith

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Prepares to present her new collection

GMT 14:29 2017 Monday ,20 February

Prepares to present her new collection
Arab Today, arab today Tourism shows signs of recovery

GMT 09:59 2017 Monday ,20 February

Tourism shows signs of recovery
Arab Today, arab today Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"
Arab Today, arab today 11 family members dead in rebel push

GMT 07:57 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

11 family members dead in rebel push
Arab Today, arab today To probe sexual harassment claims

GMT 10:08 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

To probe sexual harassment claims

GMT 15:04 2017 Wednesday ,04 January

Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ becomes German bestseller

GMT 23:50 2016 Thursday ,08 December

UAE is helping the Arab world read more books

GMT 11:07 2016 Monday ,07 November

Sheikh Zayed Book Award announces first longlist

GMT 10:03 2016 Thursday ,13 October

A new illustrated book compares Beirut and New York

GMT 08:55 2016 Sunday ,25 September

Chinese Book Fair kicks off in Kathmandu
View News in Arabic - Culture: مراجعة كتب
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Kidogo provides childcare for underserved

GMT 20:24 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Kidogo provides childcare for underserved
Arab Today, arab today 63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby
Arab Today, arab today London to tax old cars

GMT 14:06 2017 Friday ,17 February

London to tax old cars
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today Nissan enhances sales in most markets

GMT 14:08 2017 Monday ,20 February

Nissan enhances sales in most markets
Arab Today, arab today Competes Sweden and Germans by S90

GMT 22:36 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Competes Sweden and Germans by S90
Arab Today, arab today Ahmed Fahmy stresses he did not ignore singing

GMT 06:34 2017 Sunday ,19 February

Ahmed Fahmy stresses he did not ignore singing
Arab Today, arab today Teach monkeys to recognize themselves in mirror

GMT 20:41 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Teach monkeys to recognize themselves in mirror

GMT 21:11 2017 Saturday ,18 February

Egypt to hold first session of Arab film festival

GMT 06:50 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Tragic fluctuations of Bakhtiari's life revealed

GMT 19:10 2017 Friday ,17 February

Hats, scarves add beauty to women

GMT 10:26 2017 Tuesday ,14 February

Emergency UN meeting in Harare

GMT 23:29 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Home built on sand castles-style costs $8m

GMT 14:51 2017 Monday ,20 February

Ways to acquire presentation skills

GMT 19:16 2017 Friday ,17 February

Aziz House ready to host the tourists

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 12:39 2017 Monday ,20 February

newest smartphone another winner for Huawei

GMT 13:16 2017 Tuesday ,14 February

First fashion model with Down syndrome
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday