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View Full Version : Debunking of 10,000 hours theory



Angela
22-08-19, 17:22
Or, practice does not make perfect. Just practicing for 10,000 hours is not going to make you a great violinist. GENETICS, otherwise known as INNATE TALENT, is a huge factor, and more practice isn't going to substitute for it.

I always knew Gladwell's book was total baloney. Finally someone checked his stats, and they're bogus.

Meanwhile, of course, he did real harm with this book and his speeches and seminars, all while lining his own pockets, of course.

See:
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/10-000-hours-theory-debunked-practice-doesnt-make-perfect-after-all-qwqsh6bgg?shareToken=687f38df7da54d57397ef89e7c687 a48

Stuvanè
23-08-19, 19:31
Or, practice does not make perfect. Just practicing for 10,000 hours is not going to make you a great violinist. GENETICS, otherwise known as INNATE TALENT, is a huge factor, and more practice isn't going to substitute for it.

I always knew Gladwell's book was total baloney. Finally someone checked his stats, and they're bogus.

Meanwhile, of course, he did real harm with this book and his speeches and seminars, all while lining his own pockets, of course.

See:
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/10-000-hours-theory-debunked-practice-doesnt-make-perfect-after-all-qwqsh6bgg?shareToken=687f38df7da54d57397ef89e7c687 a48


Thank goodness some scientists report a minimum of common sense even in research.


It reminds me of the case of the Bach family: for 200 years the lineage was professionally devoted to music, everyone had at home some parent or relative with whom they could be expertly initiated into instrumental practice, surely everyone practiced daily for several hours and yet for one series of fortunate contingencies (good DNA and individual abilities, historical period, possibility to attend and meet renowned masters) the greatest of them in absolute was Johann Sebastian.
His first teacher was his older brother, suspected, however, of nurturing a form of jealousy or rivalry towards that little boy who was so overbearingly gifted

Angela
23-08-19, 20:17
Thank goodness some scientists report a minimum of common sense even in research.


It reminds me of the case of the Bach family: for 200 years the lineage was professionally devoted to music, everyone had at home some parent or relative with whom they could be expertly initiated into instrumental practice, surely everyone practiced daily for several hours and yet for one series of fortunate contingencies (good DNA and individual abilities, historical period, possibility to attend and meet renowned masters) the greatest of them in absolute was Johann Sebastian.
His first teacher was his older brother, suspected, however, of nurturing a form of jealousy or rivalry towards that little boy who was so overbearingly gifted

Even if you're born into a family of musicians, the "gift" is not going to be distributed equally. Then, there is practice and all the other things to consider, as you mentioned.

If you happen to marry someone who is tone deaf, as I did, then all bets are off. No, all Italians can't sing. :)

It works the same way with sports ability. I danced ballet for years, did gymnastics, but I was hopeless at actual sports. My son is like me, although I made sure he learned to swim, play passable tennis etc., and ski, which he does like.

My daughter, like my husband, never encountered a sport she couldn't master easily and quickly, even the ones, like golf, which she hates.

When it comes to music, however, although she has a lovely voice, she plays instruments purely by rote, can't play by ear, unlike my son, who used to just memorize whole pages of sheet music for the piano, trombone and guitar, and all by sound. He barely glanced at the page.

We're all different, and all the practice in the world isn't going to turn one person into another person.
When she got older she'd go right from softball practice, still wearing her gear, to get her nails and toes done for dances. :)

https://imgur.com/MFu0Tz9

https://imgur.com/MFu0Tz9

bigsnake49
24-08-19, 22:04
While the 10,000 hour thing does not apply in some professions where you need talent, talent without practice is also pointless. My daughter has an excellent musical ear and can pick up an instrument and can figure how to play a few tunes on it in couple of days, same as my father. But then she gets bored and does not want to practice and learn.
I think that the 10,000 hour rule applies to regular type jobs like engineering, law, etc. 5 years(x2000 hrs/year) is the minimum that you can start trusting somebody professionally. Are they at their peak? Absolutely not. But at five years they have enough experience so you can take off the training wheels.

Angela
24-08-19, 22:14
There are a lot of people who don't have the math aptitude to be an engineer no matter how much they practiced, and, trust me, there are a lot of people who don't have the verbal skills to be an attorney. That's why so many of the latter flunk out of law school.

bigsnake49
24-08-19, 23:00
There are a lot of people who don't have the math aptitude to be an engineer no matter how much they practiced, and, trust me, there are a lot of people who don't have the verbal skills to be an attorney. That's why so many of the latter flunk out of law school.

For both professions, you need to go to school before you can become an engineer or a lawyer. Then you have to take a test (EIT for engineers & Bar Exam for lawyers) before you practice. An engineer after so many years can take the PE Exam and become a professional engineer. Meanwhile he needs to practice under the watchful eye of a PE for a period of years, usually 4. While lawyers do not have such a time requirement most join either a law firm of experienced attorneys, join the state or US attorney office or the public defender's office. Most people would not hire a lawyer of less than 5 years experience.

Plenty of attorneys don't need the verbal skills of a trial attorney. They can do estates and trusts, real estate, tax, personal injury, etc. The reason that most flunk out of law school is the amount of work that is required.

davef
24-08-19, 23:22
If you have enough talent you can master a skill with enough practice and talent does affect how quickly you can improve at something (or whether you improve at all). I can never be a lawyer bc I'm a slow reader and getting through legal docs would drive me crazy and I waste energy getting my eyes to focus on each word and not skip a word (which they like to do).

I do very well when it comes to analytical thinking so I can easily mold myself into an electrical engineer if i had the money and time for more schooling due to my math skill but I feel happy as a software developer. It's fun and requires a lot of analysis, just like math etc

Angela
25-08-19, 00:18
For both professions, you need to go to school before you can become an engineer or a lawyer. Then you have to take a test (EIT for engineers & Bar Exam for lawyers) before you practice. An engineer after so many years can take the PE Exam and become a professional engineer. Meanwhile he needs to practice under the watchful eye of a PE for a period of years, usually 4. While lawyers do not have such a time requirement most join either a law firm of experienced attorneys, join the state or US attorney office or the public defender's office. Most people would not hire a lawyer of less than 5 years experience.

Plenty of attorneys don't need the verbal skills of a trial attorney. They can do estates and trusts, real estate, tax, personal injury, etc. The reason that most flunk out of law school is the amount of work that is required.

Sorry. That's just not how it works from my experience. I wasn't talking just about the skill you need to think and speak on your feet as you do in trial work, whether it's criminal or civil. It doesn't matter what kind of law you do, it's all about language and using language. Tax law, real estate law, estates and trusts, it's all about the meanings of words, how to use words to create the intended effect, as in a will or trust or contract of any kind, and how to interpret words in statute, case law, you name it.

Have you ever taken the LSAT, the exam for entrance into law school? There's not a fact in there, nothing that you can study for or prepare for in any way. It's just page after page of cases in some mythical jurisdiction X, and then reams of questions about it. If you're not good with language and don't have a logical, precise way of thinking you'll fail. Even if you get in, you can easily fail.

It's not apocryphal that law school professors tell their students to look to the right and left, and at least one of them won't be there next year. Sometimes the attrition rate is even higher. You can spend all the hours of the day and night in the library, as most do, trust me, but it won't help if, as Davef says, you can't read quickly and absorb abstract concepts quickly. The sheer number of pages of case law you have to read each day to prepare for classes is staggering. You also can't just read the cases; you have to be able to analyze them to get the essential logic plus the supporting detail, and, when it's your turn to stand up in class and be grilled, and I mean grilled, by the professor on the case, with him twisting your words and the logic, you have to be able to give a good account of yourself. I've seen twenty six year old men break down and cry under grilling like that. It's not like med school. In law school they treat you like a new recruit at boot camp and can make you wish you were never born. It also doesn't matter how great you are at memorization, because to a great extent it's really not about that. It's about, as they say, "thinking" like a lawyer.

Then there's the Bar exam, one for each state you want to practice in. The attrition rate is very high there too. I know people who have had to take it two or three times. I think Michele Obama took the Illinois Bar three times and never managed to pass it.

Other professions are difficult as well. I know getting higher level degrees in engineering and math is no picnic for some people. With good math and visual skills it's doable. I don't know if, even with lots of practice, I would have been able to do it. It certainly would have been harder for me to do it than it was for my brother, whose skills in those areas are far better than mine.

Everyone has different gifts. You have to find yours and then put in all the hours of practice to completely master it.