Monday, November 26, 2007

External Factors

Horatio Alger's IQ - Matt Yglesias

I'm not quite sure if I completely agree with Yglesias on the proposition that the majority of events in your life are completely out of your control. As much as people like to think of history as a tale of the macro society and civilization, it is also a tale of the personal and individual. Many factors go into each moment and some are in the realm of your control and some are not. You can detail to a great degree which is which but ultimately you don't really know until after it has happened. Hence the reason why even experts are poor predictors of the future. It's the future and it hasn't happened yet. I'll go to my grave remembering Hunt Tooley proclaiming to one of his classes in '89 that the Berlin wall will not fall in their lifetimes. That's just the nature of history and its relation to the individual. Randomness and luck are always options.

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