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What's Luck Got to Do with It? by Joseph Mazur

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The Professionals

Luck Becomes Measurable

On one nice Trick depends the gen’ral Fate,An Ace of Hearts steps forth; the King unseen,Lurk’d in her Hand, and mourn’d his captive Queen.He springs to Vengeance with an eager Pace,And falls like Thunder on the prostrate Ace.—Alexander Pope, Rape of the Lock

In rational moods we envision fate as a random, aimless, unmanageable power that causes luck to turn positively or negatively in the interest of an individual or a group. We may envision Fortune turning her wheel, making use of nature’s tools ...

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