Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Luck for logic

  1. Jan 26, 2007 #1
    How does luck motivate your logic? Here I define luck as superficially irrational reasoning approximate to rational thought.

    Although one's immediate answers may be less accurate when influenced by luck, luck allows one to explore otherwise unconsidered yet pertinent possibilities. Logic, when followed to its end, may miss the human quality of emotional exploration. Such uncertainty, alongside logic, can extrapolate to formerly unknown science.

    Under stress, luck often manifests as logic. Contrawise, what first appears as luck usually reveals a basis in logic. Luck is a human adaptation where myriad factors can be considered immediately in a speculative heuristic, but overseen with superstition.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 4, 2007 #2
    I believe a lot of human "reasoning" is based on guess and intuition. When the answer arrived at by guess or intuition is then shown to be logically correct, or is verified by emprirical data, then we might call this "luck".

    Nothing wrong with this as far as it goes. But in the absence of both logical and empirical verification, any guess or intuition is simply that - a guess or intuition (and thus may simply be wrong). It only becomes a "lucky guess" once it has been verified by either logic or emprical data, or both.

    Best Regards

    Moving Finger
  4. Feb 16, 2007 #3
    When playing games or gambling a lot of gamers will often get a gut feeling and act upon it. Some professional poker players have said that they listen to their gut feelings and never go against them. Is this luck or is it intuition or prescience?

    I have ofter heard professional game players say that they would rather be lucky than good.

    Is luck just superstition or is it another facet of reality that we can not explain, measure or account for scientifically? All that is not scientific is not superstition. As has been said here so many times in the past; "There is far more beneath the stars, dear Horatio, than is dreampt of by philosophers."
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2007
  5. Feb 16, 2007 #4
    Loren, I cannot relate to your definition of "luck". For me, luck is not "irrational thinking", it is a material event (effect) that results by chance, and not as a result of merit. Chance events (luck) have a very clear basis in logic (probability theory), and I cannot agree with your suggestion that chance events (luck) are a human invention. Chance events as mutations to DNA molecule are critical in continued process of evolution of life (need to add natural selection to bring reality to the process), thus one could say that life itself derives from luck (chance). And, why did matter win out over antimatter in formation of our universe--I think luck involved. But, when it comes to humans, I would rather be good at a task, than lucky at a task, because I rationally realize that to live my life, not by my efforts, but waiting for luck events to occur at a low probability, would be an irrational behavior. Do you think Tiger Woods would "rather be lucky than good" at golf ? Of course not, not for the long term. But perhaps on a single bad golf shot made better by act of "luck" (oh look--my ball hit the tree and landed on green), Tiger would agree that luck added value to the bad.

    So, it would seem that it may be logical to consider that:
    being bad at a task + lucky = being good at a task
  6. Feb 17, 2007 #5
    Rade, you made me think that luck itself defines isolated, singular events, whereas probability involves two or more related events.
  7. Mar 3, 2007 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I think a strategy which attempts to solve problems by trying random solutions can be a logical approach to solving a problem.
    If i'm in a locked bedroom and the solution is in the kitchen, i won't be able to reach the answer to the problem until i figure out how to unlock the door. Or, alternatively, if i have no door, and the kitchen cannot be reached from my current location, then reaching the solution by starting from my bedroom can be very difficult or impossible.

    If a random approach enables you to jump from the bedroom to the kitchen following no logical path, then the random approach can be the most logical strategy to follow.

    I can say that chance, or educated guessing, plays a role in my approach to problem solving. Though i don't expect to be able to arrive at a solution by chance alone, chance can get me in a position where i am able to get to the kitchen.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2007
  8. Mar 17, 2007 #7

    It's useful to bear in mind however that none of this is uniquely human, there is nothing in here that could not be modeled in a machine, and none of this necessarily leads to the conclusion that genuine randomness (ie genuine indeterminism or stochastic behaviour) actually exists in our universe.

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook