Serendipity it’s a peculiar state of mind that any human being can experience. It may help you to understand what it is, if you think of Isaac Newton. The story goes that while he was sitting under an apple tree – quite predictably, we would say, as his father was an English wealthy farmer – a falling fruit struck him on the head: from such a simple event the scientist put forward his theory on gravity.
Some three centuries after Newton’s “Principia Mathematica” I was struck too by an event, though a much less revolutionary one for humankind. Having enjoyed a year-long scholarship in Egypt, I had soon after prepared and submitted for a quick reading to my tutoring Professor at Venezia Ca’ Foscari University, my pre-thesis: “Infitah: the new Egyptian economic policy”. Well, he ran through the paper in utter silence – it was only four pages long – then said: “It’s ok, though you have put a sort of journalistic approach to data analysis. However, go on with your work!”
The day after I submitted my “Principia Chronicae” to the “Sole24Ore” economic newspaper’s desk and the Chief Editor immediately deemed worth publishing it in its entirety, filling half of the third page: I had discovered that I had a special sense of smell for the news. The next week, after the publication, I was already chasing other news: since then I have never stopped perusing peculiar cues. You can see the English version of one of my best article, appeared on ItaliaOggi, at the following link: “English wine“, while the pdf file of the original article in Italian can be viewed here.
In the frontpage picture of my website I’m the fourth from left at the New York Newsday’s newsroom. The colleagues behaved graciously: even if I was just a guest, I was invited to contribute in devising what kind of headlines had to be chosen for next day’s edition.