Nothing too exciting has been going on recently, but Eriq, Mike W., Andy, and I played a board game
on Saturday and I was having terrible luck with the dice. When a player rolls the dice, one side of one of the dice has an "X" on it, resulting in a "miss." None of the other dice rolled can ever have an "X" on them, and there will always be only one die that has an "X". Therefore, every roll a player makes has a flat 1/6 (or 16.67%) chance of missing. Mike W. was tracking everyone's rolls for fun and for a while I was at an even 50/50 distribution of misses to hits. At one point, I even had more misses than hits. So anyway, Mike W. commented that I was having terrible luck, and I used a quote from The Dark Knight
and said, "I make my own luck." I was just trying to be funny, but it raised the question of whether or not people can influence their "luck" by how they think.
When I was younger, I always thought I had terrible luck with everything. It always seemed to me that I would lose all games of chance (card games, etc.) regardless of what I did. My parents always told me that thinking positively would make me luckier. And it always pissed me off. From a logical standpoint, I see the concept of "luck" being defined as any situation in which the outcome is uncertain and also cannot be influenced by anyone. To keep things on track, I won't get into the whole Chaos Theory discussion - that's for another post. Anyway, for example: I'd consider rolling a die to be based on luck because I don't know what I'm going to roll, and no one can influence what I roll. If someone can influence the outcome (using weighted dice or some kind of rolling trick), then the situation ceases to be luck-based and is now based on the skill of the person influencing the outcome. At least, that's what makes sense to me. So, the idea that thinking positively makes one "luckier" seems like complete rubbish to me. It's true that thinking positively can make one try harder in situations perceived as being luck-based, but the very fact that one can influence the situation (by thinking positively or trying harder) means that it is no longer based on luck, but on the skill of the person influencing it.
So then the argument shifts into whether or not luck-based situations even exist. Some might argue that all situations can be influenced by people, no matter what. I guess I don't really have any way to refute this, but it just doesn't seem to make sense to me that thinking positively would make me roll better results on a set of dice. I'm not using any particular skill at rolling, nor am I "trying" to roll a certain outcome, so how could my thoughts influence anything? Besides, if trying to roll a certain way is considered cheating, shouldn't trying to "think" my way into rolling better also be? Isn't the idea to have the outcome be chance rather than skill?
I think the saying is intended to convince people not to give up in situations that appear to be luck-based at first glance. And I can agree that it might work for that, but I simply do not see how thinking positively can influence a situation that one has zero control over. Is it spirituality? Psionics? Force of will? Aliens? What do "you people" think? And if you respond that thinking positively can influence one's "luck", you're getting blocked from the site.