I don’t know which of the people I follow on Twitter drew my attention to the tweet that contained the quote that follows, a tweet which has been hanging around on my hard drive ever since I encountered it, but whoever it was, thank you.
There’s probably some computer trickery by means of which I could have straightened this out, but regulars here know that computer trickery is not a great strength of mine, and in any case, here at BMNB you get what you pay for. So, here is the quote, curves and all:
The tweeter who tweeted this, Daniel Negreanu, tells us that this is an excerpt from a commencement speech to a graduating middle school class, given at some time or other, somewhere in America, by someone called John Roberts. There is a bit of discussion below about who this particular John Roberts might be (anyone?), but basically, this is the only thing I have heard by or about him. This quote was in its turn quoted in The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure, by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff. That being where the curvy graphics came from. A photo presumably.
This is the kind of thing I used to put on my now long defunct Education Blog. Maybe I should start doing more of this kind of thing.
I especially like what he said about luck.