What does it mean to be lucky? Does luck even exist? Is the world really all about chance or fate, or maybe the world is a lot more rational and determined than we think and the issue is that we don’t understand as much about the world as we think.

This is the start of an informal paper on luck. For now, it is mostly simply a list of related terms and concepts. To be continued, but this is the start.

I see a short list of a cluster of related terms or concepts:

  1. Luck
  2. Chance
  3. Fate
  4. Will
  5. Randomness
  6. Probability
  7. Statistics
  8. Accident
  9. Variability
  10. Determinism
  11. Causality

And more. In fact, a subsequent section provides an extended list of terms which relate in some way to luck.

Words and phrases related to luck

  1. Accident
  2. Accidental
  3. Against — Run up against
  4. Ambiguity
  5. Amulet
  6. As you sow, so shall you reap
  7. Attitude
  8. Attitude — Negative attitude
  9. Attitude — Positive attitude
  10. Bad luck
  11. Ball bounces — Way the ball bounces
  12. Beginner’s luck
  13. Being in the right place at the right time
  14. Best-laid plans — The best-laid plans of mice and men
  15. Beyond our control
  16. Bias
  17. Blessing
  18. Break, breaks
  19. Bump into
  20. Card — Pick a card, any card
  21. Cards — In the cards
  22. Cause
  23. Causal
  24. Causality
  25. Caution
  26. Certainty
  27. Chance
  28. Chance — Take a chance
  29. Chance — Taking a chance
  30. Chance — Taking chances
  31. Chance encounter
  32. Chance on
  33. Chance upon
  34. Charmed
  35. Choice
  36. Choice — Good choices
  37. Coin — Flip a coin
  38. Coincidence
  39. Come across
  40. Come upon
  41. Competition
  42. Confluence of events
  43. Consequences
  44. Contingency
  45. Contingent
  46. Contradictory
  47. Control
  48. Control — Beyond our control
  49. Cookie crumbles — Way the cookie crumbles
  50. Corruption
  51. Corruption — Fix is in
  52. Could happen, may happen, might happen, should happen, shouldn’t happen
  53. Coup
  54. Create
  55. Crop up
  56. Cryptic
  57. Cup
  58. Curse
  59. Cursed
  60. Dame Fortune
  61. Danger
  62. Dark — Shot in the dark
  63. Dart
  64. Dart — Throw a dart
  65. Destined
  66. Destiny
  67. Determinism
  68. Develop
  69. Dice — Does God play dice with the universe?
  70. Dice — Roll of the dice
  71. Dice — Roll the dice
  72. Discovery
  73. Distribution (probability, range)
  74. Divine providence
  75. Divine will
  76. Does God play dice with the universe?
  77. Doom
  78. Easy
  79. Efforts — Personal efforts
  80. Element of uncertainty
  81. Encounter
  82. Enigma
  83. Error — Trial and error
  84. Events — Confluence of events
  85. Eventuality
  86. Everything happens for a reason
  87. Expectations
  88. Expectations — Rational expectations
  89. Fate
  90. Favor
  91. Favorable outcome
  92. Fix is in
  93. Fix is in — corruption
  94. Flip a coin
  95. Fluke
  96. For no good reason
  97. Forecast
  98. Foreordain
  99. Fortuity
  100. Fortune
  101. Fortune — Dame Fortune
  102. Fortune — Good fortune
  103. Fortune — Lady Fortune
  104. Fortune — Wheel of fortune
  105. Four-leaf clover
  106. Free will
  107. Full upon
  108. Future
  109. Gamble
  110. Game of chance
  111. Gift of the gods
  112. God’s plan
  113. God’s will
  114. Godsend
  115. Good choices
  116. Good fortune
  117. Good luck
  118. Good reason
  119. Good reason — For no good reason
  120. Handwriting on the wall
  121. Happen
  122. Happen upon
  123. Happens — Shit happens
  124. Happenstance
  125. Hard
  126. Hard luck
  127. Hazard
  128. History
  129. History — Past as prologue
  130. Hope
  131. Horseshoe
  132. Imagine
  133. In my stars
  134. In our stars
  135. In the cards
  136. In your stars
  137. Incidental
  138. Increase your odds
  139. Indeterminate
  140. Inexplicable
  141. Influence your future
  142. Inscrutable
  143. Invent
  144. Jeopardy
  145. Jinx
  146. Judgment
  147. Judgment — Bad Judgment
  148. Judgment — Good Judgment
  149. Just my luck
  150. Karma
  151. Kismet
  152. Lady Fortune
  153. Lady Luck
  154. Leg-up
  155. Lick — Just my luck
  156. Lot
  157. Luck
  158. Luck — Lady Luck
  159. Luck of birth
  160. Luck of the draw
  161. Lucked out
  162. Lucky
  163. Lucky shot in the dark
  164. Lucky stars
  165. Magic
  166. May happen, might happen, could happen, should happen, shouldn’t happen
  167. Might happen, may happen, could happen, should happen, shouldn’t happen
  168. Materialize
  169. Miracle
  170. Misfortune
  171. Mistake
  172. Mystery
  173. Natural consequence
  174. Negative attitude
  175. Obscure
  176. Odds
  177. Opportunity
  178. Past as prologue for the future
  179. Peril
  180. Personal efforts
  181. Pick a card, any card
  182. Plan
  183. Plan — The best-laid plans of mice and men
  184. Portion
  185. Positive attitude
  186. Predestination
  187. Predetermination
  188. Prediction
  189. Predilection
  190. Preordained
  191. Preordination
  192. Probability
  193. Prosperity
  194. Providence
  195. Puzzle
  196. Quantum fluctuations
  197. Rabbit’s foot
  198. Radioactive decay
  199. Random walk
  200. Randomness
  201. Rational expectations
  202. Rationale
  203. Read your palm
  204. Right place at the right time
  205. Right place at the right time — Being in the right place at the right time
  206. Risk
  207. Roll of the dice
  208. Roll the dice
  209. Roulette — Russian roulette
  210. Run into
  211. Run up against
  212. Russian roulette
  213. Serendipity
  214. Shit happens
  215. Shit outta luck (SOL)
  216. Shot
  217. Shot in the dark
  218. Shot in the dark — Lucky shot in the dark
  219. Should happen, shouldn’t happen, may happen, might happen, could happen
  220. Simulation
  221. Speculate, speculation
  222. Spin the wheel
  223. Stab
  224. Stars — In my stars
  225. Stars — In our stars
  226. Stars — In your stars
  227. Stars — Lucky stars
  228. Statistics
  229. Stub toe on
  230. Stumble into
  231. Stumble on
  232. Stumble upon
  233. Success
  234. Superstition
  235. Take a chance
  236. Taking a chance
  237. Taking chances
  238. Thrive
  239. Throw a dart
  240. Trial and error
  241. Trip over
  242. Uncertainty
  243. Uncertainty — Element of uncertainty
  244. Uncertainty about causality
  245. Unexpected
  246. Unexplained
  247. Unknown
  248. Unlucky
  249. Variability
  250. Venture
  251. Wager
  252. Wall — Handwriting on the wall
  253. Way the ball bounces
  254. Way the cookie crumbles
  255. What goes around comes around
  256. What’s past is prologue
  257. Wheel of fortune
  258. Will
  259. Will — Divine will
  260. Will — Free will
  261. Windfall

Luck as a value judgment

Chance seems more a synonym for raw, mathematical probability. What is the chance? That question seems more an inquiry as to what might happen rather than an attempt at a value judgment of any outcome.

Probability vs. statistics

Is luck a physical reality or a social and mental construct?

Good question. Worth pondering.

Is there some underlying, foundational phenomenological mechanism that drives chance and luck, or was Einstein right to suggest that God does not play dice with the universe?

Notes

  1. Impact of uncertainty and ambiguity on society as a whole.

Freelance Consultant