Like it or not, “luck” can have a lot to do with the outcomes of our efforts. Apparently random sequences of events beyond our control can determine the success of our endeavors, for good or ill. The most carefully planned and industriously executed plans can come to naught, or worse, in the sudden confluence of … More ”Luck” and Discovery
It’s never too late to have another try. Life, business, and polar discovery can all be described as an ongoing chain of decisions, each devolving from the results of those that have gone before. Sometimes an unanticipated upset overtakes and dooms even the best-laid of plans. But as some of the explorers’ life stories can … More Inspiration, Will, and Forethought
While holding a book event for “When Your Life Depends on It” yesterday, I was asked to talk about some of the bad decisions that were made. A very short, unqualified answer could be: “There are no bad decisions, only bad results.” Decisions quickly made under extreme circumstances in the face of sudden unforeseen hardships … More Re: What About the Bad Decisions?
The two conferences previously mentioned (the SouthPole-sium v3 and the meeting of the Shackleton Appreciation Society) with their hopefully biennial convocations each have a social and educational value far in excess of their modest cost. Although neither—relatively informal as they are—will add much luster to your academic portfolio, you may well learn as much from … More On the Value of Informal Antarctic Conferences
Two Antarctic Conferences in one week. The timing could not have been better. The first to be scheduled was Rob Stephenson’s “SouthPole-sium” in Oslo, the third biennial meeting of like-minded Antarctic aficionados. Sixty-six of us—authors, scientists, veterans of the ice, book collectors, and most importantly by now, old friends and new—convened at the Fram Museum … More “When Your Life Depends on It: Extreme Decision-Making Lessons from the Antarctic” International Book Launch: Oslo, May 13, 2017
—from the diary of Thomas Orde Lees— “18 August: The menace of last night materialized this morning, for we are thickly beset by the accursed ice, and it stretches in every direction further than the eye can see. It is a rotten day. The brightness has gone from the sky and snow comes from it … More Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, Elephant Island, August 18, 1916: “. . . we are thickly beset by the accursed ice. . .”
—from the diary of Thomas Orde Lees— “17 August. A sudden drop of 15deg in temperature should be expected to produce a sensation of cold, but quite the contrary is the case, for the sun shines brightly and the air is dry, and so it feels warmer than when it is twice as warm by … More Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, Elephant Island, August 17, 1916: “Limpeting proceeds apace. . .”