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(CBC)   Out, Liar: The story of how 10,000 hours of practice is not going to turn you into Yo Yo Ma   (cbc.ca) divider line 50
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2692 clicks; posted to Geek » on 27 Aug 2014 at 2:29 PM (17 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-08-27 10:57:08 AM  
It also depends how you practice. Practice should be HARD. Not repeat the same easy section for an hour, but repeat a hard section over and over until it sounds perfect, until you can do it 10 out of 10 times consistently. Which in some cases can be quite physically and mentally challenging.

I've played the cello for more than 25 years (lately not very much) and let me tell you from personal experience, if you aren't practicing regularly AND practicing the right way, you'll never improve to a master level, let alone get through a difficult piece without some passages sounding like chickenscratch.

Same goes with chess. Unless you are playing better players than you and learning stuff from a book, you probably won't improve much. If you ask me, if the work you do mentally exhausts you, you're probably doing something right.
 
2014-08-27 11:13:11 AM  
It wasn't a rule, it was that dipshiat journalist Gladwell's ridiculous hypothesis. God that book was farking terrible.
 
2014-08-27 11:36:17 AM  
Practice doesn't make your best stuff great, it makes your worst stuff above average.
 
2014-08-27 11:44:20 AM  
Clearly you've never seen me masturbate.
 
2014-08-27 11:56:25 AM  
Practice does not make perfect.  Practice makes permanent.  If you do it wrong 10,000 times, you'll be really good at doing it wrong.
 
2014-08-27 12:06:37 PM  

bdub77: If you ask me, if the work you do mentally exhausts you, you're probably doing something right.


Similarly with physical exercise. I don't think anybody who does squats with just the bar every day and curls with 5 pounds weights would ever say "Hey, why am I not getting stronger, I lift for an hour a day, every day?"

You have to push your limit and exceed your competence in order to improve. If you're able to consistently do it right, time to move on to something you suck at and do it until you stop sucking.

moothemagiccow: It wasn't a rule, it was that dipshiat journalist Gladwell's ridiculous hypothesis. God that book was farking terrible.


Also this. Pop psychology is taking a something that is generally applicable and making sound like a fundamental truth. It isn't absolute, but practice tends to make you better, go figure.
 
2014-08-27 12:38:15 PM  
Dammit, and I was on hour 9,997 of cello practice. 3 farking hours from proving my girlfriend wrong, but no, and now she's gonna be all smug for God knows how long.
 
2014-08-27 12:53:07 PM  

moothemagiccow: It wasn't a rule, it was that dipshiat journalist Gladwell's ridiculous hypothesis. God that book was farking terrible.


He only spent 5,000 hours writing it. His second book will be much better.
 
2014-08-27 02:13:59 PM  

moothemagiccow: It wasn't a rule, it was that dipshiat journalist Gladwell's ridiculous hypothesis. God that book was farking terrible.


THIS.

Talk about tripe.  I get the main point of his thesis being timing and time, but twards the end it just devolved into mindless drivvel.
 
2014-08-27 02:24:47 PM  

Mr. Coffee Nerves: Clearly you've never seen me masturbate.


s.mlkshk.com
 
2014-08-27 02:39:55 PM  
Its like they used to say about black athletes, "He's got natural ability." As if the guy didn't bust his ass practicing every day, as every player does. Well, maybe not Manny.
Just kidding, love Manny.
 
2014-08-27 02:40:32 PM  

nmrsnr: Similarly with physical exercise. I don't think anybody who does squats with just the bar every day and curls with 5 pounds weights would ever say "Hey, why am I not getting stronger, I lift for an hour a day, every day?"


^^^

In "Pumping Iron", Schwarzenegger, Ferrigno, and many other bodybuilders comment on the same theory/attitude: when you're working out, for the first 50% of the reps, you're maybe making 5% progress. the next 45% is another 10% or so- the VAST majority of the "progress" made during a workout is during those last few reps when you're pushing yourself hard, you're already tired, and you feel like your arms are going to fall off. One of the many reasons trainers/lifters are always pushing for "just one more come on you can do it".

If practice isn't hard, it's not training anything, other than repetition.
 
2014-08-27 02:52:01 PM  
See, the thing about practice, if done correctly, is that it can make you the best X you can possibly be.  But there will always be people, all other things being equal, that will have more ability to do X than the average person even with the same amount and type of training.
 
2014-08-27 03:04:25 PM  
Meet the new self-help.
Same as the old self-help.

Gladwell peddles things that people like to hear, there's no mystery as to why he's popular.  He uses self-help standards of research and equates small scale studies with the population in general and it fails to compute.  Wifey drug me to one of his speaking engagements.  He is a nice, affable fellow.  But his "advice" set off my bullshiat detector.  This will be a fun time, bringing up this study in my household.
 
2014-08-27 03:07:01 PM  

bdub77: It also depends how you practice. Practice should be HARD. Not repeat the same easy section for an hour, but repeat a hard section over and over until it sounds perfect, until you can do it 10 out of 10 times consistently. Which in some cases can be quite physically and mentally challenging.

I've played the cello for more than 25 years (lately not very much) and let me tell you from personal experience, if you aren't practicing regularly AND practicing the right way, you'll never improve to a master level, let alone get through a difficult piece without some passages sounding like chickenscratch.

Same goes with chess. Unless you are playing better players than you and learning stuff from a book, you probably won't improve much. If you ask me, if the work you do mentally exhausts you, you're probably doing something right.


Honest regular self-assessment is a factor as well.  If you do not have any talent, then an infinity of practice will not make much (if any) difference.  If you have reached your peak, there may be nothing to gain from further practice (or at least at that junction in your life).

I_Am_Weasel: Mr. Coffee Nerves: Clearly you've never seen me masturbate.

[s.mlkshk.com image 330x186]


Some people are more of the "hands-on" type so. . .(was I referring to the original poster or your response?  only the Shadow knows)
 
2014-08-27 03:24:15 PM  
www.therundown.tv
 
2014-08-27 03:24:55 PM  
Turning Asian is overrated.  Especially vis-a-vis the penis.
 
2014-08-27 03:26:12 PM  

Mr. Coffee Nerves: Clearly you've never seen me masturbate.


If 10,000 hours of practice worked I'd be the worlds greatest lover several times over
 
2014-08-27 03:36:26 PM  
You can be good at anything you choose to be.  Practice endlessly and it will come

You can't be great without some inborn talent.  (And the crapton of practice as well)
 
2014-08-27 03:38:19 PM  
This is the guy that considered the beatles and steve jobs as outliers in our society?

no ass...I'm an outlier.  and i'll die that way
 
2014-08-27 03:43:31 PM  

Glockenspiel Hero: You can't be great without some inborn talent.  (And the crapton of practice as well)


Agreed, inborn talent and other stuff you are born with is super important. I mean you can spend half your life in a swimming pool, but if you are the wrong body type you will never be as good as Michael Phelps.

I was watching the internet show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffe. Aziz Ansiri in his episode made an interesting comment about stand up comedians that applies to just about anything. He basically said to be a big star you have to be lucky, talented and work your ass off.
 
2014-08-27 03:44:04 PM  
I think practice works best as a filter.  If you can't be bothered to practice something then it all but guarantees you'll never be good at it.

I look at the work of some actors and it's obvious they don't spend time improving their acting during their entire career.  Yet other actors may start terrible, on tv, but eventually do amazing work.  Why? They worked on improving.
 
2014-08-27 03:57:06 PM  
Practice also can tell you things.  One of these things is: I really suck at this.  Sometimes, this message is not heard, or filtered out, or discarded because "if only I can do 10,000 hours more of this I won't suck."  Isn't continuing to do this... something akin to the definition of insanity?
 
2014-08-27 04:02:19 PM  
I don't recall if Gladwell defined it in his book, but the article never really defined the term "practice". Practice isn't just doing the activity. Practice is purposeful. Practice is focused. Practice is deliberate. Otherwise, it's just masturbation.
 
2014-08-27 04:04:32 PM  
well the definition of "perfect" is pretty damn subjective in everything but maybe mathematics

time spent practicing is basically refinement, if you're building a new skill or experimenting then really how you practice is far more important - things like being critical and knowing what to aim for personally as well as being willing to throw stuff you've learned in the trash and start over are way more important than simply hours

mechgreg: Agreed, inborn talent and other stuff you are born with is super important. I mean you can spend half your life in a swimming pool, but if you are the wrong body type you will never be as good as Michael Phelps.


sports is a classic example where "at the right time and place" is often as important as any inherent talent or ability, it's the reason people have difficulty comparing athletes from different eras, even one's ability to be great in a certain era depends on who they're competing with, the rules at the time, the equipment, the knowledge about the sport, etc.

but none of that matters because sports has a great equalizer in "winning" as a quantifier for greatness
 
2014-08-27 04:28:33 PM  
Yo

Yo

Ma?
 
2014-08-27 04:29:26 PM  
the best part is when you have zero interest in the cello or practicing on it.
 
2014-08-27 04:33:19 PM  
A Million Years of practice would make you even a better Cello player.   just ask any specialized Insect.    but can you compose/write Music?????   what?  they didn't teach you that in Finishing School???

Musicians are Trained.
Composers are born.
 
2014-08-27 04:36:04 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Practice does not make perfect.  Practice makes permanent.  If you do it wrong 10,000 times, you'll be really good at doing it wrong.


thisx 10000
 
2014-08-27 04:37:39 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Practice does not make perfect.  Practice makes permanent.  If you do it wrong 10,000 times, you'll be really good at doing it wrong.



lolzz.     Musicians are Trained. Composers are Born.
 
2014-08-27 04:42:55 PM  
What this study did not tell you is that Practice will help you bring in the Dollars.  even if you don't ever become famous or sought after or "great".

and THAT is what it really is all about, Folks.
 
2014-08-27 05:26:04 PM  

Linux_Yes: What this study did not tell you is that Practice will help you bring in the Dollars.  even if you don't ever become famous or sought after or "great".

and THAT is what it really is all about, Folks.


10,000 hours of posting on Fark has not made you any better at it.
 
2014-08-27 05:45:21 PM  
I'm not sure if it's the same thing, but I go by the idea that it takes 20 years of doing something as a full-time job before you master it (and a good guideline when choosing what to do for a career!). My fiance is a musician and I've been desperately trying to drill this into his head, because he thinks music (and everything) should be easy. It will be. If you DO it.

I've also learned to not just call it practice. There's various ways. Yeah, you can do scales, but you can also get with a group of buddies and have one guy just start calling out keys. And I completely agree regarding education; the more I "studied" the worse my grade on a test was.

/helped to have near eidetic memory though. I could simply "read" the answer out of the book in my head. I have no idea if this is an innate ability, or some technique I've come upon independently that I'm unaware of.
 
2014-08-27 06:41:56 PM  

Snarfangel: moothemagiccow: It wasn't a rule, it was that dipshiat journalist Gladwell's ridiculous hypothesis. God that book was farking terrible.

He only spent 5,000 hours writing it. His second book will be much better.


Can't outsnark this. Well done.
 
2014-08-27 06:43:49 PM  
According to Gladwell, black people simply "love basketball" more than white people do. Racist!
 
2014-08-27 07:56:38 PM  

doyner: moothemagiccow: It wasn't a rule, it was that dipshiat journalist Gladwell's ridiculous hypothesis. God that book was farking terrible.

THIS.

Talk about tripe.  I get the main point of his thesis being timing and time, but twards the end it just devolved into mindless drivvel.


I didn't think it was *that* bad, just more of an over-long magazine article than a comprehensive look at the topic.

If you want a few better takes on the topic of success, I'd recommend reading Mindset and The Talent Code.
 
2014-08-27 08:12:37 PM  
www.wrestlingwithpopculture.com
Obscure?
 
2014-08-27 08:17:52 PM  
I'm seeing a lot of Gladwell hate in this thread.  Why?

Us non-fiction readers like a beach read every now and then.  There's nothing wrong with writing an introductory book on a topic as opposed to a peer-reviewed in-depth analysis.

Can we go back to focusing our hate on the wannabe-intellectual hipsters that act like you couldn't possibly have heard of this book, because they've just read it, and clearly they're so much smarter than you?  Bear in mind, Gladwell didn't invent these people.  He just separates them from their money.

/thread reminds me of my historian friend who goes into a white-hot frothy rage at the mere mention of Simon Schama.
//good times
 
2014-08-27 09:06:54 PM  
If it turns me instead into Jack Benny....fine, then I can be 39 years old for the rest of my life.
 
2014-08-27 09:47:56 PM  
I think he pretty clearly states that 10,000 hours won't *turn* you into a world class anything, but rather that these world class talents didn't happen by accident.
 
2014-08-28 01:12:31 AM  

hammettman: Gladwell peddles things that people like to hear, there's no mystery as to why he's popular.


He always uses phrasing like "we're told X, but actually..." although we're never explicitly told X by anyone, and he doesn't bother to cite anyone spouting X. It sounds like he's challenging conventional wisdom, but he's just knocking over his own strawmen and tricking the reader into thinking they're being let in on some big secret.
 
2014-08-28 01:47:43 AM  
That's not what the 10,000-hour rule said. You can never discount raw talent.

David Epstein thoroughly explores the connection between natural talent, genetics, and hard work in his book The Sports Gene. He's a great writer and it's a fantastic read.
 
2014-08-28 07:32:45 AM  

moothemagiccow: hammettman: Gladwell peddles things that people like to hear, there's no mystery as to why he's popular.

He always uses phrasing like "we're told X, but actually..." although we're never explicitly told X by anyone, and he doesn't bother to cite anyone spouting X. It sounds like he's challenging conventional wisdom, but he's just knocking over his own strawmen and tricking the reader into thinking they're being let in on some big secret.


Not saying Gladwell is some kind of messiah but to be fair, this issue is self-correcting.  If you personally as the reader never hear X, then you may have no interest in what Gladwell has to say next.  But those who have heard X probably will.  If enough people have heard X, then the books will sell well, which they do.  Even if the people who have heard X already figured X was bunk, they might want to hear another person's take on it if it's interesting enough.  He's not a journalist reporting poll results.
 
2014-08-28 09:09:54 AM  

dittybopper: See, the thing about practice, if done correctly, is that it can make you the best X you can possibly be.  But there will always be people, all other things being equal, that will have more ability to do X than the average person even with the same amount and type of training.




This. Conversely I can have all of the innate intelligence and talent to be the best X in the world but if I never practice, I may not be the worst X in the world, but I surely won't live up to my potential to be the world's best X.
 
2014-08-28 09:15:06 AM  
Gladwell answers:
There is a lot of confusion about the 10,000 rule that I talk about in Outliers. It doesn't apply to sports. And practice isn't a SUFFICIENT condition for success. I could play chess for 100 years and I'll never be a grandmaster. The point is simply that natural ability requires a huge investment of time in order to be made manifest. Unfortunately, sometimes complex ideas get oversimplified in translation.
 
2014-08-28 11:19:53 AM  

bdub77: It also depends how you practice. Practice should be HARD. Not repeat the same easy section for an hour, but repeat a hard section over and over until it sounds perfect, until you can do it 10 out of 10 times consistently. Which in some cases can be quite physically and mentally challenging.

I've played the cello for more than 25 years (lately not very much) and let me tell you from personal experience, if you aren't practicing regularly AND practicing the right way, you'll never improve to a master level, let alone get through a difficult piece without some passages sounding like chickenscratch.

Same goes with chess. Unless you are playing better players than you and learning stuff from a book, you probably won't improve much. If you ask me, if the work you do mentally exhausts you, you're probably doing something right.


The first page says,
More than 20 years ago, researchers proposed that individual differences in performance in such domains as music, sports, and games largely reflect individual differences in amount of deliberate practice, which was defined as engagement in structured activities created specifically to improve performance in a domain.

The paper is saying exactly what you are saying is WRONG!
 
2014-08-28 03:29:17 PM  

mr0x: The paper is saying exactly what you are saying is WRONG!


Yeah, but I wouldn't get too excited about what the paper says. It's complete shiat. The data is open-source, and I suggest people go look at it. (There's a handy summarization spreadsheet.) We're talking about a tiny amount of data that has been extrapolated into la-la-land.

For instance: the article talks about "games" and cites chess as an example. Well, the ONLY game with any coverage in the research is chess. (Plus one Scrabble club's annual data.) Ther is no coverage of video games, card games, board games. You can't extrapolate about all "games" from just chess. It's asinine. But that's pretty small potatoes compared to the other overreaching parts of this study.

The data about how valuable study is on "real world tasks" is also complete shiat. It's based on looking at how well some kids do in college intro courses. How much did they say they studied? How did that affect their grades? The end. And since this was a survey study, it just used data from other people's studies. There's no way to tell how many of those kids were seriously studying, how many were hung over, how many were flat out lying.

I wouldn't be upset about this if they didn't call this a "comprehensive study." They looked at chess, a couple of college sports, and college weeder courses. And not a whole lot else.

And this right here? Not defensible:

Macnamara cited one study looking into chess masters. One person received chess master status after 3,000 hours of deliberate practice. But another had not achieved that status until he had had over 23,000 hours of deliberate practice.

This seems like almost deliberate misreading of the study. The study was based on how many hours somebody practiced in a chess club, which they called "deliberately practicing". Turns out, though, that you can also "practice" chess on your phone, anywhere, anytime. That's not "deliberate practice", though, so it wouldn't count toward the bullshiat that they wanted to spew.

I'm not saying 10,000 hours is right. I'm saying nobody has shown anything conclusive about anything in this field. And as Gladwell is quoted as saying in the article, it does seem to be a rough approximation of the needed target.

This article got press because the university's PR department was able to spin it as anti-Gladwell and make a story out of it. But frankly it's just run-of-the-mill mediocre survey analysis, of a tiny amount of data, with no value to anybody but other researchers (who might use it to find stuff to do actual research about).
 
2014-08-28 04:34:35 PM  

mr0x: The first page says,
More than 20 years ago, researchers proposed that individual differences in performance in such domains as music, sports, and games largely reflect individual differences in amount of deliberate practice, which was defined as engagement in structured activities created specifically to improve performance in a domain.

The paper is saying exactly what you are saying is WRONG!


Which is garbage on any kind of quantitative basis. I can deliberately practice a piece for 30 minutes, but if i don't know how to really practice hard a section of that piece for improvement in the first place, that practice will not be a waste of time per se but it will be mostly a waste of time. It would be VERY difficult to capture that real data.

I would in fact argue maybe only a third or half of that time is needed if properly practiced. 10000 hours is a LOT of time, 3 hours a day consistently for a decade. -- An hour for 30 years. --
 
2014-08-28 05:55:10 PM  

Captain Wingo: mr0x: The paper is saying exactly what you are saying is WRONG!

Yeah, but I wouldn't get too excited about what the paper says. It's complete shiat. The data is open-source, and I suggest people go look at it. (There's a handy summarization spreadsheet.) We're talking about a tiny amount of data that has been extrapolated into la-la-land.

For instance: the article talks about "games" and cites chess as an example. Well, the ONLY game with any coverage in the research is chess. (Plus one Scrabble club's annual data.) Ther is no coverage of video games, card games, board games. You can't extrapolate about all "games" from just chess. It's asinine. But that's pretty small potatoes compared to the other overreaching parts of this study.

The data about how valuable study is on "real world tasks" is also complete shiat. It's based on looking at how well some kids do in college intro courses. How much did they say they studied? How did that affect their grades? The end. And since this was a survey study, it just used data from other people's studies. There's no way to tell how many of those kids were seriously studying, how many were hung over, how many were flat out lying.

I wouldn't be upset about this if they didn't call this a "comprehensive study." They looked at chess, a couple of college sports, and college weeder courses. And not a whole lot else.

And this right here? Not defensible:

Macnamara cited one study looking into chess masters. One person received chess master status after 3,000 hours of deliberate practice. But another had not achieved that status until he had had over 23,000 hours of deliberate practice.

This seems like almost deliberate misreading of the study. The study was based on how many hours somebody practiced in a chess club, which they called "deliberately practicing". Turns out, though, that you can also "practice" chess on your phone, anywhere, anytime. That's not "deliberate practice", though, so it wouldn't count toward the bullshiat ...


It's OK to say "I don't like the results of the experiment".
All the mental gymnastic to discredit is kinda painful of read (though you obviously put time and effort into it).

Anyway, everything is conjecture anyway. There is no way to tell how many hours someone needs. So, you might become Bruce Lee level of awesomeness with 1000 hours of fighting practice in a remote temple in China but we'll never know, will we?
 
2014-08-28 05:57:53 PM  

bdub77: Which is garbage on any kind of quantitative basis. I can deliberately practice a piece for 30 minutes, but if i don't know how to really practice hard a section of that piece for improvement in the first place, that practice will not be a waste of time per se but it will be mostly a waste of time. It would be VERY difficult to capture that real data.

I would in fact argue maybe only a third or half of that time is needed if properly practiced. 10000 hours is a LOT of time, 3 hours a day consistently for a decade. -- An hour for 30 years. --


Yeah, and there are teenage singers and musicians who have obviously not practiced 10,000 hours but have parents who are music teachers.
 
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