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Does anyone still think that Gladwell isn't talking out of his ass the vast majority of the time? I find that more interesting than any topic he could possibly think he knows enough about to comment on.
Nassim Taleb gives him a great takedown in Black Swans. Basically he's our great 21st century pseudo-scientist. It sounds like he knows what he's talking about and his little essays are sharply and poignantly written, but poignant BS is still BS.
There's no way that Christian Okoye for instance spent anywhere near 10,000 hours on specific football related tasks.
"...in Silver's book he moves Gladwell in to the "noise" file..
His original point in Outliers, which he restated very well in the linked article, is that success in a cognitively demanding field isn't a function of talent or hard work, but a combination of the two, plus a fair amount of luck.
In the Gladwell link, he writes this:
No one succeeds at a high level without innate talent, I wrote: “achievement is talent plus preparation.” But the ten-thousand-hour research reminds us that "the closer psychologists look at the careers of the gifted, the smaller the role innate talent seems to play and the bigger the role preparation seems to play."
I don't understand why people fixate on the 10,000 hour rule and debunking Gladwell. His original point in Outliers, which he restated very well in the linked article, is that success in a cognitively demanding field isn't a function of talent or hard work, but a combination of the two, plus a fair amount of luck.
As I mentioned in the high jumper example last week, I'd imagine hammer throw is something an athlete falls into after they've failed to be elite at weightlifting, shotput ... and maybe football and wrestling ... so even if they only started throwing the hammer relatively recently, that doesn't mean they haven't put in 10,000 hours of practice. Many skills are transferable of course -- across sports, across professions -- so all the time put in practicing those skills with the idea of being something else count.
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