Reading about archaeologists hunting for Egyptian Pharaoh tombs, I came across this phrase:
Despite the advance of science, discoveries like this are often a variable combination of luck and serendipity.
What? (I thought) How is that meaningful or useful statement? What does it mean to be more lucky than serendipitous, or vice-versa? Then I thought about it some more, and it made a ton of sense, in ways that I mostly don't need in my everyday life.
I guess, when what you do is look for exceptionally rare fragments of ancient civilisations that may or may not be buried somewhere, you end up with a very nuanced version of thinking about what the universe fortuitously throws you. Like a musician needs to discern qualities in sound that I can't even hear, you would need to finely slice types of fortune, and have a precisely defined vocabulary to discuss it.
Archaeologists have 60 words for "luck".