He had always existed, from the time of the Epic of Gilgamesh , where he appears as Enkiddu , the wild-but-good man who lives with animals. Another instance is the untutored-but-noble medieval knight, Parsifal . The Biblical shepherd boy David falls into this category. The association of virtue with withdrawal from society — and specifically from cities — was a familiar theme in religious literature.
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And yet what the Muse commissions is vulnerable to the basic flaw of all human intuition. “The confidence people have in their beliefs is not a measure of the quality of evidence but of the coherence of the story that the mind has managed to construct,” Nobel-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman wrote in exploring how our minds mislead us . By the same token, the degree by which our inspiration invigorates us need not be indicative of the merit of the art it produces. Auden articulates this with elegant wit:
Everyone wants to succeed in life. But what causes some of us to be more successful than others? Is it really down to skill and strategy; or something altogether more unpredictable? This book is the word-of-mouth sensation that will change the way you think about business and the world. It is all about luck: more precisely, how we perceive luck in our personal and professional experiences. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the markets we hear an entrepreneur has vision or a trader is talented, but all too often their performance is down to chance rather than skill. It is only because we fail to understand probability that we continue to believe events are non-random, finding reasons where none exist. This irreverent bestseller has shattered the illusions of people around the world by teaching them how to recognize randomness. Now it can do the same for you.