Learning Curve

 

Serendipity

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The meaning of Serendipity -Serendipity is the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely.

The story behind Serendipity-  The Three Princes of Serendip

In ancient times there existed in the country of Serendippo, in the Far East, a great and powerful king by the name of Giaffer. He had three sons who were very dear to him. And being a good father and very concerned about their education, he decided that he had to leave them endowed not only with great power, but also with all kinds of virtues of which princes are particularly in need."

The father searches out the best possible tutors. "And to them he entrusted the training of his sons, with the understanding that the best they could do for him was to teach them in such a way that they could be immediately recognized as his very own." 

When the tutors are pleased with the excellent progress that the three princes make in the arts and sciences they report it to the king. He however still doubts their training and summoning each in turn, declares that he will retire to the contemplative life leaving them as king. Each politely declines, affirming the father's superior wisdom and fitness to rule.

The king is pleased, but fearing that his sons' education may have been too sheltered and privileged, feigns anger at them for refusing the throne and sends them away from the land.

The lost camel 

No sooner do the three princes arrive abroad than they trace clues to precisely identify a camel they have never seen. They conclude that the camel is lame, blind in one eye, missing a tooth, carrying a pregnant woman, and bearing honey on one side and butter on the other. When they later encounter the merchant who has lost the camel, they report their observations to him. He accuses them of stealing the camel and takes them to the Emperor Beramo, where he demands punishment.

Beramo asks how they are able to give such an accurate description of the camel if they have never seen it. It is clear from the princes' replies that they have used small clues to cleverly deduce the nature of the camel. Grass had been eaten from the side of the road where it was less green, so the princes had deduced that the camel was blind on the other side. Because there were lumps of chewed grass on the road the size of a camel’s tooth, they deduced they had fallen through the gap left by a missing tooth. The tracks showed the prints of only three feet, the fourth being dragged, indicating that the animal was lame. That butter was carried on one side of the camel and honey on the other was evident because ants had been attracted to melted butter on one side of the road and flies to spilled honey on the other. 

As for the woman, one of the princes said: "I guessed that the camel must have carried a woman, because I had noticed that near the tracks where the animal had knelt down the imprint of a foot was visible. Because some urine was near by, I wet my fingers and as a reaction to its odour I felt a sort of carnal concupiscence, which convinced me that the imprint was of a woman’s foot."

At this moment a traveller enters the scene to say that he has just found a missing camel wandering in the desert. Beramo spares the lives of the Three Princes, lavishes rich rewards on them and appoints them to be his advisors 

 

Famous quotes on Serendipity

             In the field of observation, chance favours only the prepared mind." Louis Pasteur  

 

             "I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way." (Franklin P. Adams, 1881-1960)  

 

             "Serendipity. Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you've found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for." Lawrence Block  

 

             "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!', but 'That's funny…'" Isaac Asimov  

 

             "In reality, serendipity accounts for one percent of the blessings we receive in life, work and love. The other 99 percent is due to our efforts." Peter McWilliams  

 

             "Serendipity is looking in a haystack for a needle and discovering a farmer's daughter." Pek van Andel  

 

             "Serendipity is putting a quarter in the gumball machine and having three pieces come rattling out instead of one—all red." Peter H. Reynolds  

 

             "--- you don't reach Serendib by plotting a course for it. You have to set out in good faith for elsewhere and lose your bearings… serendipitously." John Barth, The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor  

 

             "Serendipity is the art of making an unsought finding." Pek van Andel (1994) 

 

             "Serendipity is the faculty of finding things we did not know we were looking for." Glauco Ortolano (2008) 

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Inspirational Quote of the month

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

- Dr. Seuss

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Life Skill Tips of the month

Harness your creative power

Think logically and then laterally. Sometimes the most creative idea start from a logical analysis and then expand it laterally, look at all variations and think outside the box. Keep an open mind, do not restrict your viewpoint, never discard any ideas and avoid people who are negative.

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