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 […]

Smiling intensity among scientists is related to greater scientific achievements (new study)

“Using a sample of 440 scientists from a social networking site for researchers, multiple raters coded smile intensity (full smile, partial smile, or no smile) in publicly available photographs. We found that scientists who presented a full smile had the same quantity of publications yet of higher quality” See: Lukasz D. Kaczmarek, Maciej Behnke, Todd […]

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 randomness as to which of a scientist’s publications will have the most oomph

Despite common belief (and some earlier research on the question) that success tends to come early for scientists, a scientist’s single most successful publication is likely to occur at any point in the sequence of papers that she or he publishes. That’s the gist of a new study. The study explains that people in general tend to produce […]

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 […]

Mathematicalistic Analysis of Broadway Collaboration Success

A 2005 study tried to use math techniques to analyze who was (and who will be) successful in building broadway shows: “Collaboration and Creativity: The Small World Problem,” Brian Uzzi [Northwestern University] and Jarrett Spiro [Stanford University then, INSEAD now], American Journal of Sociology, vol. 111, no. 2, September 2005. The authors analyzed the small […]

Ig Nobel winner Lehman Brothers “escapes bankruptcy”

Lehman Brothers, a company that shared the 2010 Ig Nobel Prize in economics, has made a spectacular rise into imminent oblivion. A Reuters report in the Oman Daily Observer tells the new details: Lehman escapes bankruptcy NEW YORK — One-time financial powerhouse Lehman Brothers emerged from bankruptcy and is now a liquidating company whose main business […]