On the risk of failing to put failure in its place

Robert Kunzman‘s earnest TEDX talk “Putting Failure In Its Place” does not fail to emphasize the success of the study “Talent vs. Luck: The Role of Randomness in Success and Failure,” which won the the 2022 Ig Nobel Economics Prize for its authors, Alessandro Pluchino, Alessio Emanuele Biondo, and Andrea Rapisarda. Here’s video of Kunzman’s […]

A Prospect of Success by Purposely Failing the 97th Time

Walking, a lottery, failure, frenzy, the number 97… this study has all of those, and perhaps other things as well: “Failure is Also an Option,” Antoine Amarilli, Marc Beunardeau, and Rémi Géraud, and David Naccache, in The New Codebreakers, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2016, pp. 161-165. The authors report: “The Nijmeegse Vierdaagse is the world’s most […]

A British fascination: parachute failure

Britain continues to be fascinated with parachute jump failure. Here are two examples, one new, one old: “How to survive a parachute failure“—BBC News, 2018. and “Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma related to gravitational challenge: systematic review of randomised controlled trials” —British Medical Journal, 2003. (Thanks to IanVisits for bringing the new […]

Talent vs Luck: the Role of Randomness in Success and Failure [research study]

Are successful people better than people who did not achieve success—or are they to a large degree lucky? This physics-based analysis looked into that tangled question: “Talent vs Luck: the Role of Randomness in Success and Failure,” Alessandro Pluchino, A. E. Biondo, and Andrea Rapisarda, arXiv:1802.07068v1, February 20, 2018. The authors, at the University of […]

A man who drank too much iced tea

Iced tea can be medically dangerous, if consistently consumed copiously. A new study supplies evidence to that effect: “A Case of Iced-Tea Nephropathy,” Fahd Syed, Alejandra Mena-Gutierrez and Umbar Ghaffar, New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 372, April 2, 2015, pp. 1377-1378. The authors, at Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System and the University of Arkansas […]

Emotional intelligence does but does not predict success in med school

The conclusion reached in this study seems to rather contradict the study’s headline: “Emotional Intelligence Predicts Success in Medical School,” Nele Libbrecht, Filip Lievens [pictured here], Bernd Carette, Stéphane Côté,” Emotion, epub Nov 11 , 2013. The authors, at Ghent University and the University of Toronto, explain that: “Emotional intelligence did not predict performance on […]

To fail by looking at all ‘failed’ technology as failure

Maggie Koerth-Baker writes in BoingBoing:  “How the Refrigerator Got its Hum” is an article written by science historian Ruth Schwartz Cowan [pictured here]. It was published in 1985, in a book called The Social Shaping of Technology. The article traces the development of the refrigerator and the story of why we use electricity, rather than natural […]