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The Expert Mind 395

Vicissidude writes "Teachers in sports, music, and other fields tend to believe that talent matters and that they know it when they see it. In fact, they appear to be confusing ability with precocity. There is usually no way to tell, from a recital alone, whether a young violinist's extraordinary performance stems from innate ability or from years of Suzuki-style training. The preponderance of psychological evidence indicates that experts are made, not born. In fact, it takes approximately a decade of heavy labor to master any field. Even child prodigies, such as Gauss in mathematics, Mozart in music, and Bobby Fischer in chess, must have made an equivalent effort, perhaps by starting earlier and working harder than others. It is no coincidence that the incidence of chess prodigies multiplied after László Polgár published a book on chess education. The number of musical prodigies underwent a similar increase after Mozart's father did the equivalent two centuries earlier."
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The Expert Mind

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @02:27AM (#15917096)
    Never mind, the slashdot hive mind is ready and waiting for you!

    Mod points at the ready .....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @02:37AM (#15917132)
    ...In my opinion, I just can't see this kind of post getting very far in life.
  • by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @02:47AM (#15917159) Homepage Journal
    By the tender age of 10, I was regional champion couch potato.

    In another 10 years I'll be a world-class Slashdot Humorist. Obviously, I'm still working on that one.
  • by rs79 ( 71822 ) <> on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @03:48AM (#15917290) Homepage
    "our lifetimes would not suffice to learn all of music theory."

    Nonsense. You clearly don't watch enough MTV. You can learn enough to be a gaziilionare - look at them jokers that's the way you do it - in about 2.7 minutes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @03:49AM (#15917293)
    When Apple announced their Mac mini last week for US$499, it caught my eye. Wanting to buy/build a small PC for my already cramped breakfast bar, I started pricing out similar PC hardware. The results startled me. It was very difficult to price a PC as small (6.5" x 6.5" x 2") as the Mac mini with comparable equipment cheaper than the Mac mini. Indeed, most of the configurations I found were more than the humble $499 of the Mac, often much more. To match price I often had to configure with a much bigger shuttle-style case. What computers are currently on the market to compete with this? When my wife asks for the 'cute little Mac', what PC can I buy instead that will take up as little space and do as much for the same price (or less)?
  • by shmlco ( 594907 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @04:52AM (#15917459) Homepage
    "Nor will a privileged imbecile be able to govern a nation."

    We're doing the case study on that right now...
  • by YttriumOxide ( 837412 ) <yttriumox@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @06:15AM (#15917664) Homepage Journal
    I'm not sure I can agree (with you, or the article), and for the exact opposite reason.

    I am, as a matter of fact, extraordinarily talented. I'm also extraordinarily lazy. I excel at a variety of fields including a very specialist field that I work in. I refuse to study though and have done ever since school. I cheat my way through every test of rote memorisation that I can, and don't need to study at all to do very well in things that interest me. In no way have I studied anywhere near as much as most comp sci graduates, but I'd give any "non-gifted" graduates a good run for their money in logic, programming and other things that comp sci focuses on.

    Now, this entire post may sound like I'm just being egotistical, but the point of the post is that I'm lazy, and yet I'm talented, so I seem to be the classic example of evidence against the points made.
  • by I(rispee_I(reme ( 310391 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @07:09AM (#15917804) Journal
    I guess I just don't like the idea of someone being 'better' than me. If someone trains, or works harder than me, that doesn't make them better, just a harder worker, which I don't mind.

    Unless, of course, you place value upon a strong work ethic, in which case they're still 'better' than you. :)
  • by kfg ( 145172 ) * on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @08:59AM (#15918236)
    By the way, its spelled Juilliard.

    You are, of course, correct. Mea Culpa. I can't spell worth crap, but I do generally try to make the effort for proper nouns.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @02:38PM (#15921516)
    "I have also done 'offhand' experiments by giving five people $20 to learn something, and clearly one of the 5 proved 'more talented' than the rest."

    Uhh, why does this sound like you got five hand jobs from hookers and only came on one of them?

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."