Posted by: notdeaddinosaur | January 13, 2015


Dumb luck.

Turns out most cancers are probably the result of random mutations. Bad luck; nothing more. Sure, things like smoking don’t help, but, if we’re being honest, isn’t it always among the first questions we ask when we hear someone has cancer? Talk about adding insult to injury to blame the victims of plain dumb luck.

Blind luck.

When you stop to think about it, just about everything of any importance in life comes down to luck. Born American; born white; born affluent. #WhitePrivilege is real. The lasting advantages in life from a first-rate education, paid in full? Largely luck. How much credit to take? Intelligence enough to make the most of all the opportunities; hopefully with humility enough to recognize the relative role of luck over any intrinsic merit. Think about it: if medical schools only take 10% of qualified applicants, then for every MD graduated there are nine other folks out there who could have done it too; maybe better than those who did. Why me? Why not them?

Sheer dumb, blind luck; nothing more.



  1. Dumb luck, yes, but there is also intelligent luck. It often takes some intelligence to recognize good luck when it comes your way and to make the most of it. It is far easier to recognize bad luck when it arrives and then it takes intelligence, and more, to deal with it so as not to let it devastate you.
    For example: when you have the good luck to meet the right person to become your partner for life, be intelligent enough to recognize that it is the right person, and should then something terrible happen to that person, use all your inner and outer resources to cope with that situation.

  2. Interesting. We are both lucky ducks, quack quack….😊


  3. “It often takes some intelligence to recognize good luck when it comes your way and to make the most of it.” — very well said. I think we are lucky because we weren’t born in a village in a 3rd world country. We are lucky that we could get the education. We are lucky if we’ve never experienced hunger. My parents did – during the Second World War in Russia. My father says that when you hear your little brother crying into the night from hunger, you are ready to do anything just to get some food. But yes, lots of stuff is just bad luck. My never-smoking mother’s lung cancer was this — a random mutation (EML4-ALK) that occurred at some point in her life for no apparent reason. When she was dying, in a hospital, the nurse was very surprised that my mother has never smoked, when I mentioned a mutation, she immediately assumed it was inherited even though my mother was 75. I think many people don’t get that some mutations just happen…. EML4-ALK is acquired not inherited.

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