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May 14, 2012


Bud Byrd

In our society many accept, embrace their good fortune as an earned asset. I was gratified to read your reporting of serendipity as a primary player in your highly successful academic experience, work career and life itself.

As you rightly state, good fortune is oftentimes a (if not the) determining factor in the success in life that many enjoy. Conversely, bad fortune similarly destroys the ability of others to eke-out any level of hope or success from whatever pathways they may take or be forced into.

William Boyd in his 1998 novel “Armadillo” coined 'zemblanity' as the antonym to serendipity. He defined zemblanity as: the occurrence of unhappy or unfortunate events by chance; an unintended but unfortunate result of an action.

As I look around at the more or less success that each of us enjoys or tolerates, I can't help but wonder at the loss of genius that permeates our society based solely on the back of missed opportunity. It is sad to think that many times we loose to chance an Edison, a Lincoln, a Jobs, a Gates, a Churchill, a Roosevelt, a Buffet, a Watson simply because the hidden genius was suppressed by the environment born into.

As the human race moves into its future, we must develop all of the raw talent bestowed onto our planet, else humankind will cease its forward move and follow to extinction the pathway of the dinosaur.

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