An Opinion on Practice

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caribe
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An Opinion on Practice

Post by caribe » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:50 am

Rather than being the result of genetics or inherent genius, truly outstanding skill in any domain is rarely achieved with less than ten thousand hours of practice over ten years' time

"For those on their way to greatness [in intellectual or physical endeavors],
several themes regarding practice consistently come to light:

1. Practice changes your body. Researchers have recorded a constellation of physical changes (occurring in direct response to practice) in the muscles, nerves, hearts, lungs, and brains of those showing profound increases in skill level in any domain.
2. Skills are specific. Individuals becoming great at one particular skill do not serendipitously become great at other skills. Chess champions can remember hundreds of intricate chess positions in sequence but can have a perfectly ordinary memory for everything else. Physical and intellectual changes are ultraspecific responses to particular skill requirements.
3. The brain drives the brawn. Even among athletes, changes in the brain are arguably the most profound, with a vast increase in precise task knowledge, a shift from conscious analysis to intuitive thinking (saving time and energy), and elaborate self-monitoring mechanisms that allow for constant adjustments in real time.
4. Practice style is crucial. Ordinary practice, where your current skill level is simply being reinforced, is not enough to get better. It takes a special kind of practice to force your mind and body into the kind of change necessary to improve.
5. Short-term intensity cannot replace long-term commitment. Many crucial changes take place over long periods of time. Physiologically, it's impossible to become great overnight.

"Across the board, these last two variables - practice style and practice
time - emerged as universal and critical. From Scrabble players to dart players to soccer players to violin players, it was observed that the uppermost achievers not only spent significantly more time in solitary study and drills,
but also exhibited a consistent (and persistent) style of preparation that K. Anders Ericsson came to call 'deliberate practice.' First introduced in a 1993 Psychological Review article, the notion of deliberate practice went far beyond
the simple idea of hard work. It conveyed a method of continual skill improvement. 'Deliberate practice is a very special form of activity that differs
from mere experience and mindless drill,' explains Ericsson. 'Unlike playful
engagement with peers, deliberate practice is not inherently enjoyable. It ...
does not involve a mere execution or repetition of already attained skills but
repeated attempts to reach beyond one's current level which is associated with
frequent failures.' ...

"In other words, it is practice that doesn't take no for an answer; practice that perseveres; the type of practice where the individual keeps raising the
bar of what he or she considers success. ...

"[Take] Eleanor Maguire's 1999 brain scans of London cabbies, which revealed greatly enlarged representation in the brain region that controls spatial awareness. The same holds for any specific task being honed; the relevant
brain regions adapt accordingly. ...

"[This type of practice] requires a constant self-critique, a pathological restlessness, a passion to aim consistently just beyond one's capability so that daily disappointment and failure is actually desired, and a never-ending resolve to dust oneself off and try again and again and again. ...

"The physiology of this process also requires extraordinary amounts of
elapsed time - not just hours and hours of deliberate practice each day,
Ericsson found, but also thousands of hours over the course of many years. Interestingly, a number of separate studies have turned up the same common
number, concluding that truly outstanding skill in any domain is rarely achieved in less than ten thousand hours of practice over ten years' time (which comes to an average of three hours per day). From sublime pianists to unusually profound physicists, researchers have been very hard-pressed to find any examples of truly extraordinary performers in any field who reached the top of their game before that ten-thousand-hour mark."

Author: David Shenk
Title: The Genius in All of Us
Publisher: Doubleday
Date: Copyright 2010 by David Shenk
Pages: 53-57

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Post by anticlmber » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:06 am

my buddy always harps that 10.000 hr rule.
so art, do you think that it is then possible for anyone to improve no matter what?

the thought being, (per my friend) that is why kids become good, they have put in that 10,000 hrs while they were growing and forming. i think its because they have that sort of free time to dedicate to 3-5 hrs of practice.
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Post by caribe » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:16 am

Kids can more easily put in a greater % of their lived experience in practice at whatever because they are so young.

In any case this message is pretty positive for anyone with commitment. It says investment is rewarded.
anticlmber wrote:my buddy always harps that 10.000 hr rule.
so art, do you think that it is then possible for anyone to improve no matter what?

the thought being, (per my friend) that is why kids become good, they have put in that 10,000 hrs while they were growing and forming. i think its because they have that sort of free time to dedicate to 3-5 hrs of practice.

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Post by Brentucky » Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:43 pm

Practicing sounds like even more work than reading your whole post. I quit.
efil lanrete... i enjoy the sound, but in truth i find this seductively backward idea to be quite frightening

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Post by Izzy » Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:25 pm

Awesome post, very motivational.
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Post by krampus » Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:28 pm

can you condense the original post into two or three sentences so the rest of the posts make more sense
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Post by der uber » Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:42 pm

Image

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Post by Saxman » Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:16 pm

Wasn't this already hashed out in another thread?
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Post by pigsteak » Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:54 pm

still no guarantee of ever climbing 5.14..or 5.13 for that matter....
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Post by the lurkist » Fri Jul 23, 2010 7:01 pm

we get it caribe. you want to break into 5.11. Keep up the hard work.
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Post by Clevis Hitch » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:06 pm

Its true that three to five hours a day following your passion will make you the best in whatever you do . I just can't figure out how to make six figures by being the worlds best masturbator. :mrgreen:
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Re: An Opinion on Practice

Post by Barnacle Ben » Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:09 pm

caribe wrote:Rather than being the result of genetics or inherent genius, truly outstanding skill in any domain is rarely achieved with less than ten thousand hours of practice over ten years' time

"... truly outstanding skill in any domain is rarely achieved in less than ten thousand hours of practice over ten years' time (which comes to an average of three hours per day). From sublime pianists to unusually profound physicists, researchers have been very hard-pressed to find any examples of truly extraordinary performers in any field who reached the top of their game before that ten-thousand-hour mark."
First, I think Saxman is correct that this topic was raised in another thread. Second, I'm not necessarily directing the following at caribe, as he has not stated his own opinion of the research he quoted.

With that said, I think this whole 10,000 Hours mini-phenomenon is a bunch of bullshit. It's a bunch of facially plausible, if not terribly informative, research being shrink-wrapped into feel-good pop-psychology.

You have to ask yourself: why is this seemingly obvious information being propagated and made into self-help books?

It seems like the proponents of this 10,000 Hours thing want to 'suggest', without explicitly 'stating' that if you practice real hard, your dreams can come true!!! But they know, at least somewhere in the back of their minds, that that's a logical fallacy:
caribe wrote:Rather than being the result of genetics or inherent genius, truly outstanding skill in any domain is rarely achieved with less than ten thousand hours of practice over ten years' time
The 'rather' in the above statement is the logical fallacy. The 'rather' implies a mutual exclusivity where there is none. In other words, the fact (or proposition) that truly outstanding skill requires (x) amount of practice is not mutually exclusive of genetics or inherent genius as a factor. Just because truly outstanding skill in any domain is rarely achieved with less than ten thousand hours of practice does not prove that truly outstanding skill doesn't also require genetics or inherent genius. The 10,000 or however many hours is a necessary, but not a sufficient, factor.

a dicto secundum quid ad dictum simpliciter

Basically, yes, you probably have to put in 10,000 or so hours of calculated practice to be great at something. But that doesn't mean that just because you put in 10,000 hours of practice, you're going to be any good at it.

The odds are overwhelming that no matter how much you practice, you will never be as good at climbing as Chris Sharma, you will never be as good at golf or fucking random hookers as Tiger Woods, you will never be able to paint like DaVinci. Fuck those self-help books. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't practice or try to be great at something, it just means you shouldn't expect to be the next Sharma.

The only thing left at this point is for me to leave you with several Fight Club quotes, as I like to do from time to time:
We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.
You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else.
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Post by ynot » Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:19 pm

8 paragraphs to tell me, practice makes perfect. for real?
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Post by Rotarypwr345704 » Sat Jul 24, 2010 12:06 am

Well caribe, I agree with what you posted. Long story short I spent 12 years practicing my craft as a musician, went to college on a full ride for music to get a music performance degree to get out to get a job as a professional musician. Very tough job to attain. And during the latter years of high school and all throughout college I put in at least 4 hours a day when the horn was to my face.

So Barnacle Ben, if you do the math, yes I logged around 10,000 in the roughly 12 years. But those 10,000 hours were as caribe mentioned in his first post, with great attention to detail and making myself better everytime I picked up the horn. I didn't play just to hear myself play.

So if everytime you do something, you strive to make yourself better at it, there is no reason why at some point you can't be really really good at it. We always use to say: Practice doesn't make perfect, it makes permanant.
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Re: An Opinion on Practice

Post by Clevis Hitch » Sat Jul 24, 2010 12:10 am

Barnacle Ben,

I just want to point out:

That caribe quoted some lofty sources.

You dismiss his statement as "pop-culture"

You mumble some shit in latin.( I think you did this to try to show how smart you are- better luck next time)

You then have the Audacity to throw out some quotes from a hollywood movie! The epitome of POP-CULTURE!!!


I really hope that you were just trying to see if we were paying attention because if this is the real way you think. You're gonna have to give up the house and move into a shed because you are a real TOOL
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