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Peak: Secrets From the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson, Robert Pool
Some genetic factors may influence a person’s ability to engage in sustained deliberate practice—for instance, by limiting a person’s capability to focus for long periods of time every day. Conversely, engaging in extended practice may influence how genes are turned on and off in the body. The last part of the book takes everything we have learned about deliberate practice by studying expert performers and explains what it means for the rest of us. I offer specific advice about putting deliberate practice to work in professional organizations in order to improve the performance of employees, about how individuals can apply deliberate practice to get better in their areas of interest, and even about how schools can put deliberate practice to work in the classroom. While the principles of deliberate practice were discovered by studying expert performers, the principles themselves can be used by anyone who wants to improve at anything, even if just a little bit.
That forced us to rethink how we were presenting deliberate practice—in essence, to come up with a new and better mental representation of how we thought about it and how we wanted others to think about it. It soon occurred to us that the role of mental representations held the key to how we wanted to present deliberate practice. Initially, we had seen mental representations as being just one aspect of deliberate practice among many that we would present to the reader, but now we began to see them as a central feature—perhaps the central feature—of the book. The main purpose of deliberate practice is to develop effective mental representations, and, as we will discuss shortly, mental representations in turn play a key role in deliberate practice. The key change that occurs in our adaptable brains in response to deliberate practice is the development of better mental representations, which in turn open up new possibilities for improved performance.
In particular, deliberate practice is informed and guided by the best performers’ accomplishments and by an understanding of what these expert performers do to excel. Deliberate practice is purposeful practice that knows where it is going and how to get there. In short, deliberate practice is characterized by the following traits: Deliberate practice develops skills that other people have already figured out how to do and for which effective training techniques have been established. The practice regimen should be designed and overseen by a teacher or coach who is familiar with the abilities of expert performers and with how those abilities can best be developed. Deliberate practice takes place outside one’s comfort zone and requires a student to constantly try things that are just beyond his or her current abilities. Thus it demands near-maximal effort, which is generally not enjoyable. Deliberate practice involves well-defined, specific goals and often involves improving some aspect of the target performance; it is not aimed at some vague overall improvement.
Apple II, bounce rate, Byte Shop, Cal Newport, capital controls, cleantech, Community Supported Agriculture, deliberate practice, financial independence, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, job satisfaction, job-hopping, knowledge worker, Mason jar, medical residency, new economy, passive income, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, renewable energy credits, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Bolles, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web application, winner-take-all economy
Step 4: Stretch and Destroy Returning to Geoff Colvin, in the article cited above he gives the following warning about deliberate practice: Doing things we know how to do well is enjoyable, and that’s exactly the opposite of what deliberate practice demands…. Deliberate practice is above all an effort of focus and concentration. That is what makes it “deliberate,” as distinct from the mindless playing of scales or hitting of tennis balls that most people engage in. If you show up and do what you’re told, you will, as Anders Ericsson explained earlier in this chapter, reach an “acceptable level” of ability before plateauing. The good news about deliberate practice is that it will push you past this plateau and into a realm where you have little competition. The bad news is that the reason so few people accomplish this feat is exactly because of the trait Colvin warned us about: Deliberate practice is often the opposite of enjoyable.
If you can figure out how to integrate deliberate practice into your own life, you have the possibility of blowing past your peers in your value, as you’ll likely be alone in your dedication to systematically getting better. That is, deliberate practice might provide the key to quickly becoming so good they can’t ignore you. To successfully adopt the craftsman mindset, therefore, we have to approach our jobs in the same way that Jordan approaches his guitar playing or Garry Kasparov his chess training—with a dedication to deliberate practice. How to accomplish this feat is the goal of the remainder of this chapter. I want to start, in the next section, by arguing that I’m not the first to have this insight. When we return to the stories of Alex Berger and Mike Jackson, we find that deliberate practice was at the core of their quest for work they love.
“I hope I can look back ten years later and say the same about what I’m writing now.” In Alex, we see exactly the traits that Anders Ericsson defined as crucial for deliberate practice. He stretched his abilities by taking on projects that were beyond his current comfort zone; and not just one at a time, but often up to three or four writing commissions concurrently, all the while holding down a day job! He then obsessively sought feedback, on everything—even if, looking back now, he’s humiliated at the quality of scripts he was sending out. This is textbook deliberate practice: And it worked. It allowed Alex to acquire career capital in a winner-take-all market that’s notoriously reluctant to hand it out. We see a similar commitment to deliberate practice in Mike Jackson’s story. In each stage of his path to becoming a venture capitalist he threw himself into a project beyond his current capabilities and then hustled to make it a success.
97 Things Every Programmer Should Know by Kevlin Henney
A Pattern Language, business intelligence, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, database schema, deliberate practice, domain-specific language, general-purpose programming language, Grace Hopper, index card, inventory management, job satisfaction, loose coupling, Silicon Valley, sorting algorithm, The Wisdom of Crowds
Chapter 22. Do Lots of Deliberate Practice Jon Jagger DELIBERATE PRACTICE IS NOT SIMPLY PERFORMING A TASK. If you ask yourself, "Why am I performing this task?" and your answer is, "To complete the task," then you're not doing deliberate practice. You do deliberate practice to improve your ability to perform a task. It's about skill and technique. Deliberate practice means repetition. It means performing the task with the aim of increasing your mastery of one or more aspects of the task. It means repeating the repetition. Slowly, over and over again, until you achieve your desired level of mastery. You do deliberate practice to master the task, not to complete the task. The principal aim of paid development is to finish a product, whereas the principal aim of deliberate practice is to improve your performance.
Improve Code by Removing It, Improve Code by Removing It, Improve Code by Removing It, Improve Code by Removing It You Gotta Care About the Code, You Gotta Care About the Code, You Gotta Care About the Code, You Gotta Care About the Code Google, Fulfill Your Ambitions with Open Source, Make the Invisible More Visible Gregory, When Programmers and Testers Collaborate, When Programmers and Testers Collaborate, When Programmers and Testers Collaborate When Programmers and Testers Collaborate, When Programmers and Testers Collaborate, When Programmers and Testers Collaborate, When Programmers and Testers Collaborate Guest, Learn to Say, "Hello, World" Learn to Say, Learn to Say, "Hello, World" guru myth, The Guru Myth, The Guru Myth, The Guru Myth H hard work, Hard Work Does Not Pay Off, Hard Work Does Not Pay Off, Hard Work Does Not Pay Off Henney, Comment Only What the Code Cannot Say, Comment Only What the Code Cannot Say, Comment Only What the Code Cannot Say, Test for Required Behavior, Not Incidental Behavior, Test Precisely and Concretely, Test Precisely and Concretely, Test Precisely and Concretely Comment Only What the Code Cannot Say, Comment Only What the Code Cannot Say, Comment Only What the Code Cannot Say, Comment Only What the Code Cannot Say Test for Required Behavior, Test for Required Behavior, Not Incidental Behavior Test Precisely and Concretely, Test Precisely and Concretely, Test Precisely and Concretely, Test Precisely and Concretely Hohpe, Convenience Is Not an -ility, Convenience Is Not an -ility, Convenience Is Not an -ility Convenience Is Not an -ility, Convenience Is Not an -ility, Convenience Is Not an -ility, Convenience Is Not an -ility Holmes, You Gotta Care About the Code Hopper, Don't Rely on "Magic Happens Here" Horstmann, Step Back and Automate, Automate, Automate Step Back and Automate, Step Back and Automate, Automate, Automate Hufnagel, News of the Weird: Testers Are Your Friends, News of the Weird: Testers Are Your Friends, News of the Weird: Testers Are Your Friends, Put the Mouse Down and Step Away from the Keyboard, Put the Mouse Down and Step Away from the Keyboard, Put the Mouse Down and Step Away from the Keyboard News of the Weird: Testers Are Your Friends, News of the Weird: Testers Are Your Friends, News of the Weird: Testers Are Your Friends, News of the Weird: Testers Are Your Friends Put the Mouse Down and Step Away from the Keyboard, Put the Mouse Down and Step Away from the Keyboard, Put the Mouse Down and Step Away from the Keyboard, Put the Mouse Down and Step Away from the Keyboard Hunt, Don't Just Learn the Language, Understand Its Culture, Don't Repeat Yourself I IDEs, Step Back and Automate, Automate, Automate, The Unix Tools Are Your Friends automation, Step Back and Automate, Automate, Automate Unix tools, The Unix Tools Are Your Friends IDEs (Integrated Development Environments), Know How to Use Command-Line Tools, Know Your IDE IEEE floating-point numbers, Floating-Point Numbers Aren't Real, Floating-Point Numbers Aren't Real, Floating-Point Numbers Aren't Real incremental changes, Before You Refactor installation process, Deploy Early and Often, Deploy Early and Often, Deploy Early and Often installing software, Install Me, Install Me, Install Me interfaces, Make Interfaces Easy to Use Correctly and Hard to Use Incorrectly, Make Interfaces Easy to Use Correctly and Hard to Use Incorrectly, Make Interfaces Easy to Use Correctly and Hard to Use Incorrectly interim solutions, The Longevity of Interim Solutions, The Longevity of Interim Solutions, The Longevity of Interim Solutions internal DSLs, Domain-Specific Languages interprocess communication, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time invisibility, Make the Invisible More Visible, Make the Invisible More Visible, Make the Invisible More Visible J Jackson, Your Customers Do Not Mean What They Say, Your Customers Do Not Mean What They Say, Your Customers Do Not Mean What They Say Your Customers Do Not Mean What They Say, Your Customers Do Not Mean What They Say, Your Customers Do Not Mean What They Say, Your Customers Do Not Mean What They Say Jagger, Do Lots of Deliberate Practice, Do Lots of Deliberate Practice, Do Lots of Deliberate Practice, Make the Invisible More Visible, Make the Invisible More Visible, Make the Invisible More Visible Do Lots of Deliberate Practice, Do Lots of Deliberate Practice, Do Lots of Deliberate Practice, Do Lots of Deliberate Practice Make the Invisible More Visible, Make the Invisible More Visible, Make the Invisible More Visible, Make the Invisible More Visible Java, Distinguish Business Exceptions from Technical, Encapsulate Behavior, Not Just State, The Golden Rule of API Design, Know Your IDE, Test for Required Behavior, Not Incidental Behavior, Write Small Functions Using Examples K Karlsson, Code Reviews, Code Reviews, Code Reviews Code Reviews, Code Reviews, Code Reviews, Code Reviews keeping a sustainable pace, Hard Work Does Not Pay Off, Hard Work Does Not Pay Off, Hard Work Does Not Pay Off Kelly, Check Your Code First Before Looking to Blame Others, Check Your Code First Before Looking to Blame Others, Check Your Code First Before Looking to Blame Others, Two Wrongs Can Make a Right (and Are Difficult to Fix), Two Wrongs Can Make a Right (and Are Difficult to Fix), Two Wrongs Can Make a Right (and Are Difficult to Fix) Check Your Code First Before Looking to Blame Others, Check Your Code First Before Looking to Blame Others, Check Your Code First Before Looking to Blame Others, Check Your Code First Before Looking to Blame Others Two Wrongs Can Make a Right (and Are Difficult to Fix), Two Wrongs Can Make a Right (and Are Difficult to Fix), Two Wrongs Can Make a Right (and Are Difficult to Fix), Two Wrongs Can Make a Right (and Are Difficult to Fix) Klumpp, Two Wrongs Can Make a Right (and Are Difficult to Fix) L Landre, Encapsulate Behavior, Not Just State Encapsulate Behavior, Encapsulate Behavior, Not Just State languages, Don't Just Learn the Language, Understand Its Culture, Don't Just Learn the Language, Understand Its Culture, Don't Just Learn the Language, Understand Its Culture layout of code, Code Layout Matters, Code Layout Matters, Code Layout Matters learning, Continuous Learning Lee, Learn to Say, "Hello, World" Lewis, Don't Be Afraid to Break Things, Don't Be Afraid to Break Things, Don't Be Afraid to Break Things Don't Be Afraid to Break Things, Don't Be Afraid to Break Things, Don't Be Afraid to Break Things, Don't Be Afraid to Break Things libraries, Choose Your Tools with Care Lindner, Let Your Project Speak for Itself, Let Your Project Speak for Itself, Let Your Project Speak for Itself Let Your Project Speak for Itself, Let Your Project Speak for Itself, Let Your Project Speak for Itself, Let Your Project Speak for Itself LISP, Distinguish Business Exceptions from Technical logging, Verbose Logging Will Disturb Your Sleep M Marquardt, Learn Foreign Languages, Learn Foreign Languages, Learn Foreign Languages, The Longevity of Interim Solutions, The Longevity of Interim Solutions, The Longevity of Interim Solutions Learn Foreign Languages, Learn Foreign Languages, Learn Foreign Languages, Learn Foreign Languages The Longevity of Interim Solutions, The Longevity of Interim Solutions, The Longevity of Interim Solutions, The Longevity of Interim Solutions Martin, The Boy Scout Rule, The Boy Scout Rule, The Boy Scout Rule, The Boy Scout Rule, The Professional Programmer, The Professional Programmer, The Professional Programmer, The Single Responsibility Principle, The Single Responsibility Principle, The Single Responsibility Principle The Boy Scout Rule, The Boy Scout Rule, The Boy Scout Rule, The Boy Scout Rule, The Boy Scout Rule The Professional Programmer, The Professional Programmer, The Professional Programmer, The Professional Programmer The Single Responsibility Principle, The Single Responsibility Principle, The Single Responsibility Principle, The Single Responsibility Principle mentors, Continuous Learning Mercurial, Put Everything Under Version Control Meszaros, Write Tests for People, Write Tests for People, Write Tests for People Write Tests for People, Write Tests for People, Write Tests for People, Write Tests for People Metaphors We Live By, Read the Humanities Meyers, Make Interfaces Easy to Use Correctly and Hard to Use Incorrectly, Make Interfaces Easy to Use Correctly and Hard to Use Incorrectly, Make Interfaces Easy to Use Correctly and Hard to Use Incorrectly Make Interfaces Easy to Use Correctly and Hard to Use Incorrectly, Make Interfaces Easy to Use Correctly and Hard to Use Incorrectly, Make Interfaces Easy to Use Correctly and Hard to Use Incorrectly, Make Interfaces Easy to Use Correctly and Hard to Use Incorrectly Miller, Start from Yes, Start from Yes, Start from Yes Start from Yes, Start from Yes, Start from Yes, Start from Yes monitoring, Verbose Logging Will Disturb Your Sleep, Verbose Logging Will Disturb Your Sleep, Verbose Logging Will Disturb Your Sleep Monson-Haefel, Fulfill Your Ambitions with Open Source, Fulfill Your Ambitions with Open Source, Fulfill Your Ambitions with Open Source Fulfill Your Ambitions with Open Source, Fulfill Your Ambitions with Open Source, Fulfill Your Ambitions with Open Source, Fulfill Your Ambitions with Open Source multithreaded problems, Resist the Temptation of the Singleton Pattern, Resist the Temptation of the Singleton Pattern, Resist the Temptation of the Singleton Pattern singletons and, Resist the Temptation of the Singleton Pattern, Resist the Temptation of the Singleton Pattern, Resist the Temptation of the Singleton Pattern MySQL, Large, Interconnected Data Belongs to a Database N Nilsson, Thinking in States, Thinking in States, Thinking in States Thinking in States, Thinking in States, Thinking in States, Thinking in States Norås, Don't Just Learn the Language, Understand Its Culture Don't Just Learn the Language, Don't Just Learn the Language, Understand Its Culture North, Code in the Language of the Domain, Code in the Language of the Domain, Code in the Language of the Domain Code in the Language of the Domain, Code in the Language of the Domain, Code in the Language of the Domain, Code in the Language of the Domain Norvig, Do Lots of Deliberate Practice O Ølmheim, Beauty Is in Simplicity, Beauty Is in Simplicity, Beauty Is in Simplicity Beauty Is in Simplicity, Beauty Is in Simplicity, Beauty Is in Simplicity, Beauty Is in Simplicity open source, Fulfill Your Ambitions with Open Source, Large, Interconnected Data Belongs to a Database, Read Code P pair programming, Pair Program and Feel the Flow, Two Heads Are Often Better Than One parallelism, Message Passing Leads to Better Scalability in Parallel Systems, Message Passing Leads to Better Scalability in Parallel Systems, Message Passing Leads to Better Scalability in Parallel Systems Pascal, Floating-Point Numbers Aren't Real, Know Well More Than Two Programming Languages Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time Pepperdine, The Road to Performance Is Littered with Dirty Code Bombs, The Road to Performance Is Littered with Dirty Code Bombs, The Road to Performance Is Littered with Dirty Code Bombs, WET Dilutes Performance Bottlenecks, WET Dilutes Performance Bottlenecks, WET Dilutes Performance Bottlenecks The Road to Performance Is Littered with Dirty Code Bombs, The Road to Performance Is Littered with Dirty Code Bombs, The Road to Performance Is Littered with Dirty Code Bombs, The Road to Performance Is Littered with Dirty Code Bombs WET Dilutes Performance Bottlenecks, WET Dilutes Performance Bottlenecks, WET Dilutes Performance Bottlenecks, WET Dilutes Performance Bottlenecks performance, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time management, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time Philosophical Investigations, Read the Humanities Plato, Beauty Is in Simplicity polymorphism, Missing Opportunities for Polymorphism, Missing Opportunities for Polymorphism, Missing Opportunities for Polymorphism Poppendieck, Do Lots of Deliberate Practice PostgreSQL, Large, Interconnected Data Belongs to a Database process bottlenecks, Code Reviews professional programmers, The Professional Programmer, The Professional Programmer, The Professional Programmer profiling tool, Use the Right Algorithm and Data Structure project management, Learn to Estimate Prolog, Know Well More Than Two Programming Languages R RDBMS systems, Large, Interconnected Data Belongs to a Database, Large, Interconnected Data Belongs to a Database, Large, Interconnected Data Belongs to a Database readability of code, Beauty Is in Simplicity, Convenience Is Not an -ility, Domain-Specific Languages, Prefer Domain-Specific Types to Primitive Types Reeves, Testing Is the Engineering Rigor of Software Development refactoring code, Before You Refactor reinventing the wheel, Reinvent the Wheel Often removing code, Improve Code by Removing It, Simplicity Comes from Reduction repetition, Do Lots of Deliberate Practice, Don't Repeat Yourself practice, Do Lots of Deliberate Practice process, Don't Repeat Yourself repetitive tasks, Step Back and Automate, Automate, Automate response time, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time, Interprocess Communication Affects Application Response Time return code, Don't Ignore That Error!
After that, the people who excel are the ones who work the hardest. There is little point to deliberately practicing something you are already an expert at. Deliberate practice means practicing something you are not good at. Peter Norvig explains: The key [to developing expertise] is deliberative practice: not just doing it again and again, but challenging yourself with a task that is just beyond your current ability, trying it, analyzing your performance while and after doing it, and correcting any mistakes. And Mary Poppendieck writes: Deliberate practice does not mean doing what you are good at; it means challenging yourself, doing what you are not good at. So it's not necessarily fun. Deliberate practice is about learning—learning that changes you, learning that changes your behavior. Good luck
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport
8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, business climate, Cal Newport, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, David Brooks, deliberate practice, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Nate Silver, new economy, Nicholas Carr, popular electronics, remote working, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, statistical model, the medium is the message, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, winner-take-all economy
Reason #3: The Work That Evening Downtime Replaces Is Usually Not That Important The final argument for maintaining a clear endpoint to your workday requires us to return briefly to Anders Ericsson, the inventor of deliberate practice theory. As you might recall from Part 1, deliberate practice is the systematic stretching of your ability for a given skill. It is the activity required to get better at something. Deep work and deliberate practice, as I’ve argued, overlap substantially. For our purposes here we can use deliberate practice as a general-purpose stand-in for cognitively demanding efforts. In Ericsson’s seminal 1993 paper on the topic, titled “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” he dedicates a section to reviewing what the research literature reveals about an individual’s capacity for cognitively demanding work.
This brings us to the question of what deliberate practice actually requires. Its core components are usually identified as follows: (1) your attention is focused tightly on a specific skill you’re trying to improve or an idea you’re trying to master; (2) you receive feedback so you can correct your approach to keep your attention exactly where it’s most productive. The first component is of particular importance to our discussion, as it emphasizes that deliberate practice cannot exist alongside distraction, and that it instead requires uninterrupted concentration. As Ericsson emphasizes, “Diffused attention is almost antithetical to the focused attention required by deliberate practice” (emphasis mine). As psychologists, Ericsson and the other researchers in his field are not interested in why deliberate practice works; they’re just identifying it as an effective behavior.
Cork, Ireland: Mercier Press, 1948. “the development and deepening of the mind”: Ibid., 13. Details about deliberate practice draw heavily on the following seminal survey paper on the topic: Ericsson, K.A., R.T. Krampe, and C. Tesch-Römer. “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance.” Psychological Review 100.3 (1993): 363–406. “We deny that these differences [between expert performers and normal adults] are immutable”: Ibid., 13. “Men of genius themselves”: from page 95 of Sertillanges, The Intellectual Life. “Diffused attention is almost antithetical to the focused attention required by deliberate practice”: from page 368 of Ericsson, Krampe, and Tesch-Romer. “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance.” Details on the neurobiology of expert performance can be found in: Coyle, The Talent Code.
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink
affirmative action, call centre, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, deliberate practice, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, George Akerlof, Isaac Newton, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, knowledge worker, performance metric, profit maximization, profit motive, Results Only Work Environment, side project, the built environment, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs
MOVE FIVE STEPS CLOSER TO MASTERY O ne key to mastery is what Florida State University psychology professor Anders Ericsson calls deliberate practice a lifelong period of . . . effort to improve performance in a specific domain. Deliberate practice isn't running a few miles each day or banging on the piano for twenty minutes each morning. It's much more purposeful, focused, and, yes, painful. Follow these steps over and over again for a decade and you just might become a master: ¥ Remember that deliberate practice has one objective: to improve performance. People who play tennis once a week for years don't get any better if they do the same thing each time, Ericsson has said. Deliberate practice is about changing your performance, setting new goals and straining yourself to reach a bit higher each time. ¥ Repeat, repeat, repeat .
Type I Insight : Finite players play within boundaries; infinite players play with boundaries. Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else BY GEOFF COLVIN What's the difference between those who are pretty good at what they do and those who are masters? Fortune magazine's Colvin scours the evidence and shows that the answer is threefold: practice, practice, practice. But it's not just any practice, he says. The secret is deliberate practice highly repetitive, mentally demanding work that's often unpleasant, but undeniably effective. Type I Insight : If you set a goal of becoming an expert in your business, you would immediately start doing all kinds of things you don't do now. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience BY MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI It's tough to find a better argument for working hard at something you love than Csikszentmihalyi's landmark book on optimal experiences.
Mastery begins with flow optimal experiences when the challenges we face are exquisitely matched to our abilities. Smart workplaces therefore supplement day-to-day activities with Goldilocks tasks not too hard and not too easy. But mastery also abides by three peculiar rules. Mastery is a mindset: It requires the capacity to see your abilities not as finite, but as infinitely improvable. Mastery is a pain: It demands effort, grit, and deliberate practice. And mastery is an asymptote: It's impossible to fully realize, which makes it simultaneously frustrating and alluring. Chapter 6. Purpose Humans, by their nature, seek purpose a cause greater and more enduring than themselves. But traditional businesses have long considered purpose ornamental a perfectly nice accessory, so long as it didn't get in the way of the important things. But that's changing thanks in part to the rising tide of aging baby boomers reckoning with their own mortality.
Moonwalking With Einstein by Joshua Foer
Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Berlin Wall, conceptual framework, deliberate practice, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, mental accounting, patient HM, pattern recognition, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking
I might also mention that this works as an excellent idea-generator and constitutes sound afternoon entertainment.” 171 lesser skaters work more on jumps they’ve already mastered: J. M. Deakin and S. Cobley (2003), “A Search for Deliberate Practice: An Examination of the Practice Environments in Figureskating and Volleyball,” in Expert Performance in Sports: Advances in Research on Sport Expertise (edited by J. L. Starkes and K. A. Ericsson). 172 trying to understand the expert’s thinking at each step: K. A. Ericsson, et al. (1993), “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” Psychological Review 100 no. 3, 363-406. 172 working through old games: N. Charness, R. Krampe, and U. Mayer (1996), “The Role of Practice and Coaching in Entrepreneurial Skill Domains: An International Comparison of Life-Span Chess Skill Acquisition,” in Ericsson, The Road to Excellence, pp. 51-80. 172 repeatedly flashed words 10 to 15 percent faster: Dvorak, Typewriting Behavior. 173 have a tendency to get less and less accurate over the years: C.
But Ericsson and his fellow expert performance psychologists have found over and over again that with the right kind of concerted effort, that’s rarely the case. They believe that Galton’s wall often has much less to do with our innate limits than simply with what we consider an acceptable level of performance. What separates experts from the rest of us is that they tend to engage in a very directed, highly focused routine, which Ericsson has labeled “deliberate practice.” Having studied the best of the best in many different fields, he has found that top achievers tend to follow the same general pattern of development. They develop strategies for consciously keeping out of the autonomous stage while they practice by doing three things: focusing on their technique, staying goal-oriented, and getting constant and immediate feedback on their performance. In other words, they force themselves to stay in the “cognitive phase.”
In other words, they force themselves to stay in the “cognitive phase.” Amateur musicians, for example, are more likely to spend their practice time playing music, whereas pros are more likely to work through tedious exercises or focus on specific, difficult parts of pieces. The best ice skaters spend more of their practice time trying jumps that they land less often, while lesser skaters work more on jumps they’ve already mastered. Deliberate practice, by its nature, must be hard. When you want to get good at something, how you spend your time practicing is far more important than the amount of time you spend. In fact, in every domain of expertise that’s been rigorously examined, from chess to violin to basketball, studies have found that the number of years one has been doing something correlates only weakly with level of performance.
8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, call centre, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, game design, hive mind, index card, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, popular electronics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, traveling salesman, Walter Mischel, web application, white flight
Imagine a group class—you’re the one generating the move only a small percentage of the time.” To see Deliberate Practice in action, we need look no further than the story of Stephen Wozniak. The Homebrew meeting was the catalyst that inspired him to build that first PC, but the knowledge base and work habits that made it possible came from another place entirely: Woz had deliberately practiced engineering ever since he was a little kid. (Ericsson says that it takes approximately ten thousand hours of Deliberate Practice to gain true expertise, so it helps to start young.) In iWoz, Wozniak describes his childhood passion for electronics, and unintentionally recounts all the elements of Deliberate Practice that Ericsson emphasizes. First, he was motivated: his father, a Lockheed engineer, had taught Woz that engineers could change people’s lives and were “among the key people in the world.”
Anders Ericsson et al., “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” Psychological Review 100, no. 3 (1993): 363–406. 27. “Serious study alone”: Neil Charness et al., “The Role of Deliberate Practice in Chess Expertise,” Applied Cognitive Psychology 19 (2005): 151–65. 28. College students who tend to study alone: David Glenn, “New Book Lays Failure to Learn on Colleges’ Doorsteps,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 18, 2001. 29. Even elite athletes in team sports: Starkes and Ericsson, “Expert Performance in Sports: Advances in Research on Sports Expertise,” Human Kinetics (2003): 67–71. 30. In many fields, Ericsson told me: Interview with the author, April 13, 2010. 31. ten thousand hours of Deliberate Practice: By the age of eighteen, the best violinists in the Berlin Music Academy study had spent an average of over 7,000 hours practicing alone, about 2,000 hours more than the good violinists, and 4,000 hours more than the music teachers. 32.
Even elite athletes in team sports often spend unusual amounts of time in solitary practice. What’s so magical about solitude? In many fields, Ericsson told me, it’s only when you’re alone that you can engage in Deliberate Practice, which he has identified as the key to exceptional achievement. When you practice deliberately, you identify the tasks or knowledge that are just out of your reach, strive to upgrade your performance, monitor your progress, and revise accordingly. Practice sessions that fall short of this standard are not only less useful—they’re counterproductive. They reinforce existing cognitive mechanisms instead of improving them. Deliberate Practice is best conducted alone for several reasons. It takes intense concentration, and other people can be distracting. It requires deep motivation, often self-generated. But most important, it involves working on the task that’s most challenging to you personally.
Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines by Thomas H. Davenport, Julia Kirby
AI winter, Andy Kessler, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, business intelligence, business process, call centre, carbon-based life, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, conceptual framework, dark matter, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, follow your passion, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, game design, general-purpose programming language, Google Glasses, Hans Lippershey, haute cuisine, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, inventory management, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter Thiel, precariat, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, speech recognition, spinning jenny, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Works Progress Administration, Zipcar
His quest for a universal theory of expertise spans, as his faculty page at Florida State University notes, domains as varied as “music, science, golf, and darts.” For him a decade is more or less required not because of the number of information chunks one must encounter but because it takes that long for a motivated learner to log 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice.” In his most cited paper, he and his colleagues sum up the results of their careful analysis: “Individual differences, even among elite performers, are closely related to assessed amounts of deliberate practice. Many characteristics once believed to reflect innate talent are actually the result of intense practice extended for a minimum of 10 years.”5 Are there any shortcuts? A famous quote from computer scientist Alan Kay—“The best way to predict the future is to invent it”—suggests there might be at least one: You could pioneer a new field.
“Unusual and Highly Specialized Practice Areas,” New York City Bar, http://www.nycbar.org/career-development/your-career-1/spotlight-on-careers/312-unusual-and-highly-specialized-practice-areas. 4. See, for example, Michael J. A. Howe, The Origins of Exceptional Abilities (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1990). 5. K. Anders Ericsson, Ralf Th. Krampe, and Clemens Tesch-Romer, “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” Psychological Review 100, no. 3 (1993): 363–406, http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/blogs/freakonomics/pdf/DeliberatePractice(PsychologicalReview).pdf. 6. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention (New York: HarperCollins, 1996). 7. McKinsey Global Institute, “Disruptive Technologies: Advances That Will Transform Life, Business, and the Global Economy,” May 2013, file:///C:/Users/jkirby/Downloads/MGI_Disruptive_technologies_Full_report_May2013%20(2).pdf. 8.
Let’s assume, then, that you are going to be stepping aside in your own work—letting computers take over easily codified work and doubling down on your noncognitive strengths. First: Avail yourself of whatever training in this realm your company offers—and take the learning process seriously. Beyond that, how will you build such skills for yourself? Mainly in two ways: by learning from mentors, and by engaging in self-reflective, deliberate practice. Ryan McDonough is, today, the general manager of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns (although he’s more familiar to us from the decade he spent in the Boston Celtics organization). Basketball, it might surprise you to learn, is one of the hottest areas right now for applying analytics and McDonough is known as an analytics-oriented guy. “It’s changed how we scout players in the NBA,” he told a reporter, “changed how we look at guys for the draft.”
3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, attribution theory, augmented reality, barriers to entry, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, deliberate practice, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filter Bubble, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, index card, index fund, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, popular electronics, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs
And one of the best online sources for quick biographical information on each of these men is compiled by researchers James Fieser and Bradley Dowden, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (blog), http://www.iep.utm.edu/ (accessed February 15, 2014). 38 adventure stories often adhere to a template: The comprehensive text on the hero’s journey is Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (Princeton University Press, 1972). 38 Research from Brunel University: There has been much discussion about the role of practice versus talent since Dr. K. Anders Ericsson of Florida State University showed how “deliberate practice” can produce experts in sports and cognitively complex fields like chess, in spite of (and as a necessary supplement to) natural talent. (Malcolm Gladwell popularized Ericsson’s findings as the “10,000 hour rule” in his excellent 2008 book, Outliers: The Story of Success.) Further research on chess players, in particular, has showed that in addition to deliberate practice, training with a great coach increases students’ competition performance: Guillermo Campitelli and Fernand Gobet, “The Role of Domain-Specific Practice, Handedness and Starting Age in Chess,” Developmental Psychology 41, no. 1 (2007): 159–72.
He says that, like C.K., we can spend thousands of hours practicing until we master a skill, or we can convince a world-class practitioner to guide our practice and cut the time to mastery significantly. Research from Brunel University shows that chess students who trained with coaches increased on average 168 points in their national ratings versus those who didn’t. Though long hours of deliberate practice are unavoidable in the cognitively complex arena of chess, the presence of a coach for mentorship gives players a clear advantage. Chess prodigy Joshua Waitzkin (the subject of the film Searching for Bobby Fischer) for example, accelerated his career when national chess master Bruce Pandolfini discovered him playing chess in Washington Square Park in New York as a boy. Pandolfini coached young Waitzkin one on one, and the boy won a slew of chess championships, setting a world record at an implausibly young age.
Tice, “Making Choices Impairs Subsequent Self-Control: A Limited-Resource Account of Decision Making, Self-Regulation, and Active Initiative,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 94, no. 5 (2008): 883–98. 164 doubled Apple’s mouse market share: Neil Hughes and Kasper Jade, “Magic Mouse Helps Apple Double Share of Market in 8 Weeks,” Apple Insider (blog), December 29, 2009, http://appleinsider.com/articles/09/12/29/magic_mouse_helps_apple_double_share_of_market_in_8_weeks. 164 “1,000 songs in your pocket”: “Apple Press Info,” Apple, http://www.apple.com/pr/products/ipodhistory/ (accessed February 17, 2014). 167 kids who are tenaciously: Focused kids win spelling bees over kids with higher IQs, according to Angela Lee Duckworth, Teri A. Kirby, Eli Tsukayama, Heather Berstein, and K. Anders Ericsson, “Deliberate Practice Spells Success: Why Grittier Competitors Triumph at the National Spelling Bee,” Social Psychological and Personality Science 2, no. 2 (2010): 174–81. 167 simplicity as “the ultimate sophistication”: This quote is attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, though the attribution has never been validated by an original source. According to Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs was fond of the quote and it was an early Apple slogan.
The Talent Code: Greatest Isn't Born, It's Grown, Here's How by Daniel Coyle
Along with his colleagues in this field, Ericsson established a remarkable foundation of work (documented in several books and most recently in the appropriately Bible-size Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance). Its central tenet is a Gibraltar-like statistic: every expert in every field is the result of around ten thousand hours of committed practice. Ericsson called this process “deliberate practice” and defined it as working on technique, seeking constant critical feedback, and focusing ruthlessly on shoring up weaknesses. (For practical purposes, we can consider “deliberate practice” and “deep practice” to be basically the same thing—though since he's a psychologist, Ericsson's term refers to the mental state, not to myelin. For the record, he is attracted to the idea. “I find the correlation [between myelin and skill] very interesting,” he told me.) Along with researchers like Herbert Simon and Bill Chase, Ericsson validated hallmarks like the Ten-Year Rule, an intriguing finding dating to 1899, which says that world-class expertise in every domain (violin, math, chess, and so on) requires roughly a decade of committed practice.
., “Cognitive Functions Correlate with White Matter Architecture in Normal Pediatric Population,” Human Brain Mapping 26 (2005), 139–47; E. M. Miller, “Intelligence and Brain Myelination: A Hypothesis,” Personality and Individual Differences 17 (1994), 803–32; and B. T Gold et al., “Speed of Lexical Decision Correlates with Diffusion Anisotropy in Left Parietal and Frontal White Matter,” Neuropsychologia 45 (2007), 2439–46. A sampling of Anders Ericsson's work on deliberate practice can be found in Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006), which he coedited with Neil Charness, Paul Feltovich, and Robert Hoffman; Expert Performance in Sports (Champaign, Ill.: Human Kinetics, 2003), which Ericsson coedited with Janet L. Starkes; and The Road to Excellence (Mahwah, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1996). A fine overview can also be found in his article, coauthored with Neil Charness, “Expert Performance: Its Structure and Acquisition,” American Psychologist 49, no. 8 (1994), 725–47; and in Michael J.
A fine overview can also be found in his article, coauthored with Neil Charness, “Expert Performance: Its Structure and Acquisition,” American Psychologist 49, no. 8 (1994), 725–47; and in Michael J. A. Howe, Jane W. Davidson, and John A. Sloboda, “Innate Talents: Reality or Myth,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (1998), 399–407. Not quite as crucial, but nevertheless entertaining, is the fact that deep practice also works with other species (myelin is myelin, after all). See W. S. Helton, “Deliberate Practice in Dogs: A Canine Model of Expertise,” Journal of General Psychology 134, no. 2 (2007), 247–57. CHAPTER 3: THE BRONTËS, THE Z-BOYS, AND THE RENAISSANCE Juliet Barker's The Brontës (New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 1994) does an outstanding job of covering the biographical ground. See also Ann Loftus McGreevy, “The Parsonage Children: An Analysis of the Creative Early Years of the Brontës at Haworth,” Gifted Child Quarterly 39, no. 3 (1995), 146–53, as well as the illuminating analysis of the Brontës, George Eliot, and Charles Dickens in Michael J.
How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman
affirmative action, Atul Gawande, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, fear of failure, framing effect, index card, iterative process, medical malpractice, medical residency, Menlo Park, pattern recognition, placebo effect, stem cell, theory of mind
See "Problems for clinical judgment: Eliciting an insightful history of present illness," Canadian Medical Association Journal 164 (2001), pp. 647–651; "Problems for clinical judgment: Obtaining a reliable past medical history," Canadian Medical Association Journal 164 (2001), pp. 809–813. Studies of expertise have been greatly advanced by K. Anders Ericsson, and the interested reader is directed to "The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance," Psychological Review 100 (1993), pp. 363–406; "Deliberate practice and the acquisition and maintenance of expert performance in medicine and related domains," Academic Medicine 79 (2004), pp. S70–S81. Geoff Norman is another leader in this area, and he recently reviewed how doctors can improve their skills in Geoff Norman et al., "Expertise in medicine and surgery," in The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance, ed.
In revisiting the reasons for missing the diagnosis of aspirin toxicity, he pinpointed that he did not define what "a few" meant. Alter is now an expert in emergency medicine, and that level of performance comes from listening to feedback and understanding past mistakes. This is consistent with the studies of Ericsson and Norman referred to previously: K. Anders Ericsson et al., "The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance," Psychological Review 100 (1993), pp. 363406; Geoff Norman et al., "Expertise in medicine and surgery," in The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance, ed. K. Anders Ericsson et al. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 339–353. A physician considering which test to order is aided by a knowledge of its predictive value, and this is one instance where Bayesian analysis works well, so long as there is a solid database about how the test performs in populations with the specific symptoms or findings on physical examination.
The illustration of the heart is adapted from Enchanted Learning, LLC. www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/anatomy/heart/labelinterior/labelanswers.shtml. The story about the medical meeting where cardiologists voted is derived from my interview with Dr. James Lock. Lock's perspective on what is needed to achieve a high level of expertise in cardiac catheterization and other procedures is supported by the work of K. Anders Ericsson et al., "The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance," Psychological Review 100 (1993), pp. 363406; Geoff Norman et al., "Expertise in medicine and surgery," in The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance, ed. K. Anders Ericsson et al. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 339–353. For those interested in learning more about fetal distress and how the aspiration of meconium can injure the newborn, see Michael G.
The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good by Robert H. Frank
carbon footprint, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, clean water, congestion charging, corporate governance, deliberate practice, full employment, income inequality, invisible hand, Plutocrats, plutocrats, positional goods, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rent control, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sealed-bid auction, smart grid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, winner-take-all economy
More typically, however, many of the ten thousand hours that eventually become the foundation of expertise are ones people would have been all too delighted to spend doing something else. As Ericsson and his co-authors note, truly effective practice time is actually quite demanding: 148 CHAPTER NINE You need a particular kind of practice—deliberate practice—to develop expertise. When most people practice, they focus on the things they already know how to do. Deliberate practice is different. It entails considerable, specific, and sustained efforts to do something you can’t do well—or even at all. Research across domains shows that it is only by working at what you can’t do that you turn into the expert you want to become.10 In short, getting really good at something is difficult. It demands considerable patience and determination.
See Conservation Reserve Program culture, in human behavior, 24 curve, grading on, 11, 23–24, 41–42, 211 Darwin, Charles: economists’ influence on, 16; as intellectual father of economics, 16–17; and market failures based on individual 231 versus group interests, 22–23, 30, 40–45, 85, 138; on population density, 85; on positional versus nonpositional goods, 72–74; on relative performance, 8–9, 21, 23–24; versus Smith, on competition, 7, 17–18, 211–12. See also natural selection data, regulations as, 75–76, 208 decision leverage, of CEOs, 151–52 deficit(s): aversion to, as argument against economic stimulus, 3; misconceptions about, 13; reduction of, through taxes on harmful activities, 14–15 deliberate practice, in development of expertise, 148 Denmark, lack of corruption in, 56 deontologists, 94–97 Digital Research, 144 Director, Aaron, 89 directory assistance, 114–15 Domenici, Pete, 81–82 Dubose, Ronald, 58–59 Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), 113 economic downturn of 2008, 52–55; consumption in, 53; government role in recovery from, 2–3, 53–55; savings rates in, 78; unemployment in, 2, 53–55 economic efficiency.
Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing by Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman
Asperger Syndrome, Berlin Wall, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, Edward Glaeser, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, game design, Jean Tirole, knowledge worker, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, phenotype, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, school choice, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Steve Jobs
Wolf, & Clemens Kirschbaum, “Stress on the Dance Floor: The Cortisol Stress Response to Social-Evaluative Threat in Competitive Ballroom Dancers,” Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, vol. 33(1), pp. 69–84 (2007) Rohleder, Nicolas, Correspondence with Author Rohleder, Nicolas, Interview with Author Strahler, et al. (2010) supra Expertise and 10,000 Hours: Adler, Amy, Interview with Author (2011) Ericsson, K. Andres, “The Influence of Experience and Deliberate Practice on the Development of Superior Expert Performance,” In: K. Anders Ericsson, Neil Charness, Paul J. Feltovich, & Robert R. Hoffman (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance, ch. 38, pp. 683–703, New York: Cambridge University Press (2006) Ericsson, K. Andres, Ralf Th. Krampe, & Clemens Tesch-Römer, “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” Psychological Review, vol. 100(3), pp. 363–406 (1993) Gladwell, Malcolm, Outliers: The Story of Success, New York: Little, Brown & Co. (2008) Syed, Matthew, Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham & The Science of Success, New York: Harper (2010) 3.
To be successful, you have to be able to perform when it counts. You have to be able to handle that pressure. You need to not wilt in the competition. We wanted to know—what makes someone good at that? What the ballroom dancing study tells us is that the stress of competition doesn’t go away with experience. The inescapable conclusion is that years and years of practice are not, automatically, enough. In addition to the deliberate practice, success also depends on how well people compete. It hangs on how well they handle that psychoendocrine stress response, manage it, and even harness it. What we’ll learn later in this book is that everyone has that stress response, but we can interpret it differently, which drastically affects our performance. Ten years of practice may make you an expert. But even then, it just gets you in the door.
Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business intelligence, carbon-based life, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, declining real wages, deliberate practice, discrete time, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Downton Abbey, Drosophila, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google X / Alphabet X, informal economy, invention of the printing press, inventory management, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, Network effects, open borders, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, pez dispenser, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, transcontinental railway, Vannevar Bush
The challenge in an age of universal education was to simulate the adaptability of the tutorial without having to hire a personal Aristotle for every student. This is what Suppes had been working on in his education lab. “The computer makes the individualization of instruction easier because it can be programmed to follow each student’s history of learning successes and failures and to use his past performance as a basis for selecting the new problems and new concepts to which he should be exposed next.” Suppes also understood that deliberate practice was integral to education, something that would later become a key part of Ericsson’s theory of expertise. Learning is work, a deliberate process of strengthening neural connections to the point where they operated automatically, creating a framework for understanding new information and freeing up mental capacity for learning more. The challenge, then, was giving each individual student the right kind of practice, work that would help him move from where he was to where he needed to be.
“The magnitude of the problem of evolving curriculum sequences is difficult to overestimate: the number of possible sequences of concepts and subject matter in elementary school mathematics alone is in excess of 10100, a number larger than even generous estimates of the total number of elementary particles in the universe.” He also knew that information technology could help find meaning in that complexity. There is a concept in psychology called “response latency”—the elapsed time between stimulus and response. For certain kinds of activities that have benefited from thousands of hours of deliberate practice, your neural connections are so strong that response latency is almost zero, such as when you see and recognize the word “encyclopedia.” When students answer questions on a computer, the machine can measure response latency down to the millisecond. It can tell whether you understand something automatically or have to devote precious mental energy to figuring it out. A great many aspects of human-computer interaction can be recorded and saved digitally, for tens or hundreds or thousands of students simultaneously, with perfect accuracy.
They will be less able to rely on the inherited privilege of being born into the right family and social class to move ahead. Rational education will be unforgiving in many ways. The academic standards that emerge from global learning communities will rise to the achievement of the most capable and dedicated students in the world. There won’t be any room to hide or slack off. There is not now and there never will be a substitute for the deliberate practice necessary to gain real expertise. The higher-learning organizations of the future will give students the right kinds of hard work to do, and they will recognize that work by awarding credible evidence of accomplishment. But they won’t do students’ work for them. What parents can do is to help their children build the intellectual and emotional tools they will need for these demanding and rewarding tasks
SuperFreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
agricultural Revolution, airport security, Andrei Shleifer, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, call centre, clean water, cognitive bias, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, disintermediation, endowment effect, experimental economics, food miles, indoor plumbing, John Nash: game theory, Joseph Schumpeter, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, market design, microcredit, Milgram experiment, oil shale / tar sands, patent troll, presumed consent, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, urban planning, women in the workforce, young professional
“But there is surprisingly little hard evidence that anyone could attain any kind of exceptional performance without spending a lot of time perfecting it.” Or, put another way, expert performers—whether in soccer or piano playing, surgery or computer programming—are nearly always made, not born.* And yes, just as your grandmother always told you, practice does make perfect. But not just willy-nilly practice. Mastery arrives through what Ericsson calls “deliberate practice.” This entails more than simply playing a C-minor scale a hundred times or hitting tennis serves until your shoulder pops out of its socket. Deliberate practice has three key components: setting specific goals; obtaining immediate feedback; and concentrating as much on technique as on outcome. The people who become excellent at a given thing aren’t necessarily the same ones who seemed to be “gifted” at a young age. This suggests that when it comes to choosing a life path, people should do what they love—yes, your nana told you this too—because if you don’t love what you’re doing, you are unlikely to work hard enough to get very good at it.
THE BIRTHDATE BULGE AND THE RELATIVE-AGE EFFECT: See Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt, “A Star Is Made,” The New York Times Magazine, May 7, 2006; K. Anders Ericsson, Neil Charness, Paul J. Feltovich, and Robert R. Hoffman, The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance (Cambridge University Press, 2006); K. Anders Ericsson, Ralf Th. Krampe, and Clemens Tesch-Romer, “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” Psychological Review 100, no. 3 (1993); Werner Helsen, Jan Van Winckel, and A. Mark Williams, “The Relative Age Effect in Youth Soccer Across Europe,” Journal of Sports Sciences 23, no. 6 (June 2005); and Greg Spira, “The Boys of Late Summer,” Slate, April 16, 2008. As explained in a footnote to this section, we originally planned to write a chapter in SuperFreakonomics on how talent is acquired—that is, when a person is very good at a given thing, what is it that makes him or her so good?
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
Albert Einstein, Clayton Christensen, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, microcredit, minimum viable product, North Sea oil, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs
Rao Laxmi, and Sumantra Chattarji, “Functional Connectivity from the Amygdala to the Hippocampus Grows Stronger after Stress,” Journal of Neuroscience 33, no. 38 (2013), abstract, www.jneurosci.org/content/33/17/7234.abstract. 8. Edward M. Hallowell, Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People (Boston: Harvard Business Review Press, 2011), 125. 9. Ibid., p. 113. 8. SLEEP 1. K. Anders Ericsson, Ralf Th. Krampe, and Clemens Tesch-Romer, “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” Psychological Review 100, no. 3 (1993): 363–406, http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/blogs/freakonomics/pdf/DeliberatePractice(PsychologicalReview).pdf. 2. Charles A. Czeisler, “Sleep Deficit: The Performance Killer,” interview by Bronwyn Fryer, Harvard Business Review, October 2006, http://hbr.org/2006/10/sleep-deficit-the-performance-killer. 3. Ullrich Wagner et al., “Sleep Inspires Insight,” Nature 427 (January 22, 2004): 352–55.
3D printing, Black Swan, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Clayton Christensen, crowdsourcing, deliberate practice, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, future of work, Google Glasses, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, Paul Erdős, Paul Graham, recommendation engine, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Y Combinator
Delighted that the sketch should be so beautiful, simple and yet capture the very essence of her character she asks Picasso whether or how much she should pay him. “$5,000, madam,” he says. “But it only took you minutes to draw!” she complains. “Madam,” he says, “It took my whole life.” In other words, you have to do your time. Ten years if you’re an apprentice to Jiro Oro. According to one rule of thumb, made famous by Malcolm Gladwell, 10,000 hours of hard deliberate practice is what it takes to become world-class in almost any field. And by the end you become so good at things it seems easy. As the golfer Gary Player wryly observed: “The more you practice, the luckier you get.” The 10,000 hour rule applies just to those people who become so elite (and therefore famous) they can be known by just one name. Tiger, Mozart, Venus, Picasso. For musicians it means they learn the language of music – the stride piano patterns of Fats Waller, the guitar riffs of Django Reinhardt or the violin sequences of Nigel Kennedy – so intimately that music becomes as natural and familiar as a spoken language.
If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Happy? by Raj Raghunathan
Broken windows theory, business process, cognitive dissonance, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, fundamental attribution error, job satisfaction, Mahatma Gandhi, market clearing, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Phillip Zimbardo, placebo effect, science of happiness, Skype, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Thorstein Veblen, Tony Hsieh, working poor, Zipcar
Csikszentmihalyi, Optimal Experience: Psychological Studies of Flow in Consciousness (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1992). have to master that domain: As made popular by Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers, researchers agree that, in general, it takes about ten thousand hours (or about ten years) of practice to master a domain; K. A. Ericsson, R. T. Krampe, and C. Tesch-Römer, “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” Psychological Review 100(3) (1993): 363. Note, however, that there are exceptions to this general rule; see B. N. Macnamara, D. Z. Hambrick, and F. L. Oswald, “Deliberate Practice and Performance in Music, Games, Sports, Education, and Professions: A Meta-analysis,” Psychological Science 25(8) (2014): 1608–18. flow doesn’t . . . come at . . . cost of another’s: This reason was mentioned to me in the interview that I did with Professor Csikszentmihalyi, which can be accessed at https://www.coursera.org/learn/happiness/lecture/hMLNh/week-2-video-7-why-flow-en hances-happiness.
(The video can be accessed by Googling “Mihaly thinking allowed.”) Not only is the myth of “the depressed lonely creative genius” just that—a myth—it turns out that creative people are also more responsible than we typically think they are; see M. Csikszentmihalyi and J. Nakamura, “Creativity and Responsibility,” in The Systems Model of Creativity (Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, 2014), 279–92. calls “grit”: A. L. Duckworth et al., “Deliberate Practice Spells Success: Why Grittier Competitors Triumph at the National Spelling Bee,” Social Psychological and Personality Science 2(2) (2011): 174–81; A. L. Duckworth et al., “Grit: Perseverance and Passion for Long-Term Goals,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 92(6) (2007): 1087; for related—and very insightful—thoughts, see S. Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles (New York and Los Angeles: Black Irish Entertainment LLC, 2002).
Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Clayton Christensen, data acquisition, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, fear of failure, Google Earth, haute couture, impulse control, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, life extension, Maui Hawaii, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, risk tolerance, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Walter Mischel, X Prize
“If you remember the 1980s, you probably weren’t skiing” was a once popular saying whose sentiment still rings true—but it’s not exactly the ideal backdrop for “deliberate, well-structured practice.” Put differently, deliberate well-structure practice is a rigorous, compliance-based approach to mastery. It means you crawl before you walk. It doesn’t mean Laird Hamilton surfing Pipeline at age four, or Danny Way in the deep end of the pool at the Del Mar Skate Ranch by seven. In broader terms, deliberate practice is also how we train genius these days. It’s factory athletics. It’s Kumon math tutoring, Baby Einstein, Suzuki violin, et al. But it’s also the world McConkey walked away from that naked day at Vail. He turned his back on the factory, yet somehow still went on to become Superman. Finally, the trouble with marshmallows. In 1972, Stanford psychologist Walter Mischel performed a fairly straightforward study in delayed gratification: he offered four-year-old children a marshmallow.
But once the sensation seekers jump on the flow path, they don’t need to delay gratification to achieve success—gratification becomes their path to success. “I’m doing what I love,” explains McConkey. “And if you’re doing what you want to do all the time, then you’re happy. You’re not going to work everyday wishing you were doing something else. I get up and go to work everyday and I’m stoked. That does not suck.” The lesson of the musicians, meanwhile, is that 10,000 hours of deliberate practice is the only sure way to acquire real expertise. But are we certain? A quick shorthand for learning is the more emotionally powerful an experience, the more chance the details of that experience get moved from short-term storage into long-term memory. Both flow and high-risk situations produce extremely powerful emotional experiences. “As a result,” says high-performance sports psychologist Michael Gervais, “athletes in flow in death-facing situations likely gather more relevant data and code it more efficiently.
(Chunks are familiar patterns or units of information.)† That knowledge becomes part of the routine cognitive processing that occurs during various activities, from playing chess to Scrabble to badminton to the violin. Charness says I’m building the ability to make expert decisions. I’ve moved beyond “maintenance practice,” or simply playing a lot of Scrabble, which is what hobbyists do (and what I did on my living room ﬂoor early on), to “deliberate practice,” what Charness calls the “technical, draining, attention-demanding” work that can only be conducted in short sessions, a maximum of three to four hours a day in the case of writers and musicians. In a pioneering study in 1973, Herbert Simon and William Chase of Carnegie-Mellon University concluded that attaining an international level of expertise in chess requires about ten years of preparation, and they suggested it was no different in other domains.
I ﬁll my words notebook with plays I’ve missed, not to punish but to learn. Page by page, it slowly becomes a tapestry of linguistic randomness. ACAROID (105 lost points), COAGULA, OXIDASE, the chance to turn BLACK into BLACKOUT. I write down SODOMITE, which would have worked when MOODIEST didn’t. EXODOI? A plural of EXODOS (a concluding dramatic scene). Most of the words or racks I botched may never materialize again. But so what? It’s all part of the deliberate practice about which Neil Charness schooled 312 ❑ Word Freak me. WOOPS means to vomit. A RIVIERE is a necklace of precious stones. MONGO is a low-quality wool. There are three bingos in EGIMNPR: IMPREGN, PERMING, and GRIPMEN. The rack EFIPRST contains only one seven, PRESIFT — not PREFITS*, as I’d tried. I write down every unfamiliar word starting with Q, and every word starting with AIR, SEA, and ROSE.
Alfred Russel Wallace, Arthur Eddington, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, British Empire, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, deliberate practice, double helix, epigenetics, fear of failure, fundamental attribution error, Henri Poincaré, hindsight bias, Isaac Newton, iterative process, James Dyson, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Lean Startup, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, Silicon Valley, six sigma, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, Wall-E, Yom Kippur War
When you make a poor move, you are instantly punished by your opponent. Think of being a clinical nurse. When you make a mistaken diagnosis, you are rapidly alerted by the condition of the patient (and by later testing). The intuitions of nurses and chess players are constantly checked and challenged by their errors. They are forced to adapt, to improve, to restructure their judgments. This is a hallmark of what is called deliberate practice. For psychotherapists things are radically different. Their job is to improve the mental functioning of their patients. But how can they tell when their interventions are going wrong or, for that matter, right? Where is the feedback? Most psychotherapists gauge how their clients are responding to treatment not with objective data, but by observing them in clinic. But these data are highly unreliable.
(Catmull), 207 creativity and innovation, 182–213 as act of synthesis, 199 brainstorming and, 196–97 connectivity and, 199, 204 as context-dependent, 201–2 discipline and, 205–6 dissent and criticize approach to, 197, 200–201, 207, 209 Dyson on creative process, 192–95, 196, 198, 202 education system and, 211–12 environments conducive to, 200–201 and multiples, 201–2 at Pixar, 207–10 as response to problem, 195–200 Crew Resource Management, 30, 39 Criminal Cases Review Commission, UK, 117 criminal justice system, 65–71, 114–21, 282 parole decisions and, 118–19 randomized control trials (RCTs), lack of, 158 reforms and, 115–17, 118–21 Scared Straight program and, 150–54, 159–67 trial by jury and, 118, 119 wrongful convictions (See wrongful convictions) criticism, in creative process, 197, 207, 209 cults, 71–73, 74 culture, 11, 13 aviation and, 20, 25–27, 58 of blame (See blame) health care and, 16, 49–50, 53, 54–55, 57, 58–59, 105–6 of openness, 229–31, 234–35 cumulative selection/adaptation, 128–29, 130, 292 Cuneus, Andreas, 201 cycling, 171–73, 178, 179 Daily Beast, 166 Danziger, Shai, 118–19 Darwin, Charles, 201 data, 37 Dattner, Ben, 233 Dawkins, Richard, 128–29 deception, 87, 88 decision making, 11 Deep Blue, 134 Dekker, Sidney, 13, 227, 239 deliberate practice, 47 denial cognitive dissonance, as response to, 74 failure and, 18, 71 in prosecutorial responses to exonerating DNA evidence, 78–83 Diehl, Alan, 27, 28, 29, 30 Disch, Joanne, 10 discipline, 205–6 disclosure, 16, 25–26, 88–89 disposition effect, 101, 264 dissent and debate, in creative process, 197, 200–201, 207, 209 Divine, Jamie, 184 DNA evidence, 68–71, 77, 79–83, 84, 120 dogmatic tradition, 277, 278 Dorman, R.
What happens if they don’t laugh at my jokes.” Your task is not to feed your anxiety with this type of talk, but to change it into “I can do this. I will follow my rehearsed plans. This is manageable.” 4. Arousal control via diaphragmatic breathing. Calm your brain’s fear center with slow, deliberate breaths with slightly longer exhales. Slower rhythm (rather than deep breathing) is helpful for fear management. 5. Deliberate practice. Practice your beginning, identify challenging concepts, and practice, practice, practice—out loud. These techniques work, and I use them myself as well as with clients. They are powerful and will prove useful in scenarios other than presenting. Chapter 3 Connect with Punch, Presence, and Projection 93 Wow! eBook <WoweBook.Com> Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage.
Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy by Robert H. Frank
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, attribution theory, availability heuristic, Branko Milanovic, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, experimental subject, framing effect, full employment, hindsight bias, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop, income inequality, invisible hand, labor-force participation, labour mobility, lake wobegon effect, loss aversion, minimum wage unemployment, Network effects, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Thaler, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, side project, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, ultimatum game, Vincenzo Peruggia: Mona Lisa, winner-take-all economy
For a comprehensive discussion of this tendency, see George Ainslie, Pico-economics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. 14. Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney, Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, New York: Penguin, 2011. 15. Roy Baumeister, quoted by Kirsten Weir, “The Power of Self-Control,” Monitor on Psychology 43.1 (January 2012): 36. 16. K. Anders Ericsson, Ralf Krampe, and Clemens Tesch-Romer, “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” Psychological Review 100.3 (1993): 363–406. 17. Attribution theory in psychology attempts to explain how people use information to arrive at causal explanations for events. 18. Bernard Weiner, Achievement Motivation and Attribution Theory, Morris-town, NJ: General Learning Press, 1974. 19. Daniel H. Robinson, Janna Siegel, and Michael Shaughnessy, “An Interview with Bernard Weiner,” Educational Psychology Review (June 1996): 165–74. 20.
Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, brain emulation, Brownian motion, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, cosmological constant, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deliberate practice, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Flynn Effect, Freestyle chess, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Isaac Newton, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, reshoring, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Yogi Berra
Chapter 10: Relearning Education For figures on K–12, see Stephanie Banchero and Stephanie Simon, “My Teacher is an App,” The Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2011. The point about stronger incentives for innovation I owe to Alex Tabarrok. On the Emporium model, see Daniel de Vise, “At Virginia Tech, computers help solve a math class problem,” The Washington Post, April 22, 2012. On spelling bees, see Angela Lee Duckworth, Teri A. Kirby, Eli Tsukayama, Heather Berstein, and K. Anders Ericsson, “Deliberate Practice Spells Success: Why Grittier Competitors Triumph at the National Spelling Bee,” Social Psychological and Personality Science, published online October 4, 2010, doi: 10.1177/1948550610385872. On Jesse Kraai, see Scott Kraft, “Chess Players Making Right Moves at Younger Ages,” the Los Angeles Times, May 10, 2011. On more general progress with prodigies, see Jonathan Wai, Martha Putallaz, and Matthew C.
The Eureka Factor by John Kounios
Albert Einstein, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, Flynn Effect, Google Hangouts, impulse control, invention of the telephone, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Necker cube, pattern recognition, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, theory of mind, Wall-E, William of Occam
Even if future research does support the idea that differences in cognitive style are due to physical asymmetries in the brain, this doesn’t mean that even those individuals with the most asymmetric brains are forever locked into one style of thought. Just because one hemisphere may be dominant doesn’t mean that the other one is totally submissive. As we’ve seen, the hemispheres contribute to thought by working together seamlessly. One’s genes may influence the size and thickness of brain structures, but intensive use or training—what cognitive psychologists call “deliberate practice”—can modify the brain. Perhaps how people tend to think causes such differences in brain structure. If so, then training could change aspects of hemispheric dominance. In sum, even if cognitive style is determined by one’s brain anatomy and genes, that doesn’t imply that one’s experience and training have no effect. Morton and Rafto’s findings of hemispheric asymmetry are discussed in B.
The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr
Airbnb, Andy Kessler, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, business process, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, High speed trading, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, natural language processing, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!
Dreyfus, “Intelligence without Representation—Merleau-Ponty’s Critique of Mental Representation,” Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 1 (2002): 367–383. 29.Marcus, Guitar Zero, 103. 30.David Z. Hambrick and Elizabeth J. Meinz, “Limits on the Predictive Power of Domain-Specific Experience and Knowledge in Skilled Performance,” Current Directions in Psychological Science 20, no. 5 (2011): 275–279. 31.K. Anders Ericsson et al., “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” Psychological Review 100, no. 3 (1993): 363–406. 32.Nigel Warburton, “Robert Talisse on Pragmatism,” Five Books, September 18, 2013, fivebooks.com/interviews/robert-talisse-on-pragmatism. 33.Jeanne Nakamura and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, “The Concept of Flow,” in C. R. Snyder and Shane J. Lopez, eds., Handbook of Positive Psychology (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2002), 90–91.
The Boy Who Could Change the World: The Writings of Aaron Swartz by Aaron Swartz, Lawrence Lessig
affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, deliberate practice, Donald Trump, failed state, fear of failure, Firefox, full employment, Howard Zinn, index card, invisible hand, John Gruber, Lean Startup, More Guns, Less Crime, post scarcity, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, semantic web, single-payer health, SpamAssassin, SPARQL, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, unbiased observer, wage slave, Washington Consensus, web application, WikiLeaks, working poor
The conclusion that follows, the NYTM notes, is that “when it comes to choosing a life path, you should do what you love—because if you don’t love it, you are unlikely to work hard enough to get very good. Most people naturally don’t like to do things they aren’t ‘good’ at. So they often give up, telling themselves they simply don’t possess the talent for math or skiing or the violin. But what they really lack is the desire to be good and to undertake the deliberate practice that would make them better.” † The quote is from Wikipedia where, indeed, the other facts are drawn from as well, the idea having been suggested by Stephen Jay Gould’s essay “Mozart and Modularity,” collected in his book Eight Little Piggies. ‡ I’ve always thought that this was the reason kids (or maybe just me) especially disliked history. Every other field—biology, math, art—had at least some connection to the present and thus kids had some foundational knowledge to build on.
When to Rob a Bank: ...And 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-Intended Rants by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, feminist movement, food miles, George Akerlof, invisible hand, loss aversion, mental accounting, Netflix Prize, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, pre–internet, price anchoring, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, Richard Thaler, security theater, Ted Kaczynski, the built environment, The Chicago School, the High Line, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs
Or maybe he’s just maximizing revenue. After all, he is an economist by training. 10,000 Hours Later: The PGA Tour? (SDL) Last spring, I jokingly (okay, maybe half jokingly) wrote about my quest to make the Champions Tour, the professional golf tour for people over the age of fifty. In that post, I made reference to the ideas of Anders Ericsson, who argues that with ten thousand hours of the right kind of deliberate practice, more or less anyone can become more or less world class at anything. I’ve spent five thousand hours practicing golf, so if I could just find the time for five thousand more, I should be able to compete with the pros. Or at least that is what the theory says. My scorecards seem to be telling a different story! It turns out I’ve got a kindred spirit in this pursuit, only this guy is dead serious.
Albert Einstein, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, business process, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, financial deregulation, financial independence, Flynn Effect, George Akerlof, Henri Poincaré, hiring and firing, impulse control, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, loss aversion, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Monroe Doctrine, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, school vouchers, six sigma, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Walter Mischel, young professional
Mozart played a lot of piano at a very young age, so he got his ten thousand hours of practice in early, and then he built from there. The latest research suggests a prosaic, democratic, even puritanical view of how fantastic success is achieved. The key factor separating geniuses from the merely accomplished is not a divine spark. Instead, what really matters is the ability to get better and better gradually over time. As K. Anders Ericsson of Florida State University has demonstrated, it’s deliberate practice. Top performers spend more hours (many more hours) rigorously honing their craft. As Ericsson has noted, top performers devote five times more hours to become great than the average performers devote to become competent. John Hayes of Carnegie Mellon studied five hundred masterworks of classical music. Only three of them were published within the first ten years of the composer’s career.
Trend Following: How Great Traders Make Millions in Up or Down Markets by Michael W. Covel
Albert Einstein, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, backtesting, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, Clayton Christensen, commodity trading advisor, correlation coefficient, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, diversification, diversified portfolio, Elliott wave, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fiat currency, fixed income, game design, hindsight bias, housing crisis, index fund, Isaac Newton, John Nash: game theory, linear programming, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, market microstructure, mental accounting, Nash equilibrium, new economy, Nick Leeson, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, South Sea Bubble, Stephen Hawking, systematic trading, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, value at risk, Vanguard fund, volatility arbitrage, William of Occam
. • You have to believe from the start that you can do it. It takes courage to do what the majority is not doing. • Who is John Galt? • Atul Gawande speaks directly to the importance of practice: “There have now been many studies of elite performers— concert violinists, chess grandmasters, professional ice-skaters, mathematicians, and so forth—and the biggest difference researchers find between them and lesser performers is the amount of deliberate practice they’ve accumulated. Indeed, the most important talent may be the talent for practice itself…the most important role that innate factors play may be in a person’s willingness to engage in sustained training.” • Online personality testing can be purchased at www.knowyourtype.com. If you try to impose a rigid discipline while teaching a child or a chimp, you are working against the boundless curiosity and need for relaxed play that make learning possible in the first place…learning cannot be controlled; it is out of control by design.
The Big Book of Words You Should Know: Over 3,000 Words Every Person Should Be Able to Use (And a Few That You Probably Shouldn't) by David Olsen, Michelle Bevilacqua, Justin Cord Hayes
Because they were made on the floor of the Senate, the Senator’s SCURRILOUS accusations against me were protected, but if he should dare to repeat them in another setting I will sue him for every penny he’s worth. sectarian (seck-TEAR-ee-un), adjective Narrow-minded and limited in outlook. The competing cliques’ SECTARIAN squabbles captured the interest of the entire school. segregate (SEG-ruh-gate), verb To separate or keep apart from others. As the judge seemed doomed to have to point out for the rest of his life, his order affected only those school districts whose officials deliberately practiced SEGREGATION in violation of law—not SEGREGATION that was purely the result of existing demographic patterns. servile (SUR-vil), adjective Overly eager to serve; slavish. Marion’s uncharacteristically SERVILE demeanor can only mean one thing: He wants a raise. sinister (SIN-uh-ster), adjective Describes or suggests something unfavorable and potentially harmful. Southpaws of the world will be unhappy to learn that the word is Latin for “left.”
additive manufacturing, Atul Gawande, backtesting, Benoit Mandelbrot, buy low sell high, Checklist Manifesto, deliberate practice, diversification, Elliott wave, endowment effect, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, offshore financial centre, paper trading, Ponzi scheme, price stability, psychological pricing, quantitative easing, random walk, risk tolerance, short selling, South Sea Bubble, systematic trading, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, transfer pricing, traveling salesman, tulip mania
That’s why it’s difficult to learn how to speak a new language, play an instrument, hit a golf ball, or shoot great photos. It’s so much easier to watch TV or surf the web…” he writes. To learn a new skill, you need to find the experts and get their materials, create an action plan, and make an absolute commitment to studying and practicing without any distractions. By completing just 20 hours of focused, deliberate practice, you can go from near zero to performing reasonably well in many fields. Kaufman describes how he took 20 hours to learn several new skills, including windsurfing and programming a website. Even if you take up a more complex activity, such as flying, 20 hours will get you through the ground school and the first few lessons with an instructor. This won’t make you a pilot, but 50 hours of flight time should earn you a private pilot’s license.
When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor by William Julius Wilson
affirmative action, citizen journalism, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, declining real wages, deindustrialization, deliberate practice, desegregation, Donald Trump, edge city, ending welfare as we know it, full employment, George Gilder, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, income inequality, informal economy, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, new economy, New Urbanism, pink-collar, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, school choice, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration
“Although we tend to think of social integration as a desirable endpoint,” state Laurence Steinberg and his colleagues, “its desirability depends on the nature of the people that integration brings one into contact with. There are many communities in contemporary America in which it may be more adaptive for parents to be socially isolated than socially integrated. Indeed, some of Frank Furstenberg’s recent work on family life in the inner city of Philadelphia suggest that social isolation is often deliberately practiced as an adaptive strategy by many parents living in dangerous neighborhoods.” A similar finding emerged from ethnographic research in a densely populated housing project in Denver. Concerns on the part of some parents about safety in this housing project affected their degree of involvement or interaction with their neighbors. Such parents were skeptical of other parents and youths in the housing project and therefore resisted casual contact with their neighbors, established few friendships, and did not get involved with neighborhood problems.
I was able to move forward with my life. When we begin letting go, it may seem almost impossible just to relax and let go. As with anything else, with practice and repetition, we will become more skilled. That doesn’t mean we won’t need to remember to do it. It just means letting go will become easier, in time. If you’ve become highly skilled at worrying, obsessing, or trying to control, deliberately practice relaxing and letting go until you’re good at that, too. God, help me make the discipline of relaxing and letting go a daily part of my life. Teach me to let go with poise, dignity, and ease. January 16 Drop it How do you let go? I just can’t let go? It’s impossible to let go of this. These are thoughts that may run through our minds when we worry, dwell, and obsess. Pick up something around you.
When people suggest being grateful, it’s easy to think that means counting our blessings and just saying thank you for what’s good. When we’re learning to speak the language of letting go, however, we learn to say thanks for everything in our lives, whether we feel grateful or not. That’s how we turn things around. Make a list of everything in your life that you’re not grateful for. You may not have to make a list; you probably have the things that bother you memorized. Then deliberately practice gratitude for everything on the list. The power of gratitude won’t let you down. Being grateful for whatever we have always turns what we have into more. God, show me the power of gratitude. Help me make it a regular, working tool in my life. August 2 Gratitude is larger than life One day, a friend called me on the phone. He was going through a difficult time and wondering if and when things would ever turn around and improve.
The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism by Noam Chomsky
anti-communist, business climate, colonial rule, declining real wages, deliberate practice, European colonialism, friendly fire, Gini coefficient, income inequality, income per capita, land reform, land tenure, new economy, RAND corporation, strikebreaker, union organizing
When spirits are broken, the reservation is used “as a manhunt center where tamed Indians are trained in fratricide.” In a recent visit, Arens was impressed with the “striking absence of young adult males,” the horrendous condition of the children, with festering sores, distended abdomens and widespread symptoms of the protein-deficiency disease kwashiorkor, and the refusal of medication and medical care as a general and deliberate practice.64 Arens, even on a guided tour, was aghast at the systematic maltreatment and felt himself “engulfed by the collective gloom of a people who had given up on life.”65 The systematic humiliation and ethnocide, Münzel writes, “produces docile Indians who are sometimes taken to Asunción and exhibited to the public. Thus, the ‘good image’ of the reservation (as illustrated by the well-fed and smiling Aché photographed by a New York Times reporter in 1974) is preserved.”
A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy by Joel Mokyr
Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Copley Medal, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, Deng Xiaoping, Edmond Halley, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, framing effect, germ theory of disease, Haber-Bosch Process, hindsight bias, income inequality, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land tenure, law of one price, Menlo Park, moveable type in China, new economy, phenotype, price stability, principal–agent problem, rent-seeking, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, the market place, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, ultimatum game, World Values Survey, Wunderkammern
By the time of the Enlightenment the practical responsibilities of scientists to engage the needs of industry and agriculture were widely accepted. The bridges between the propositional knowledge created by the savants and the practical needs of industrialists, farmers, and navigators were occupied in large part by engineers, mathematicians, doctors, and chemists or scientists with a strong and deliberate practical bend. The great Leibniz himself was a prolific inventor and tinkerer, working, among others, on propellers, mining machines, pumps, and his famous calculating machine. Leonhard Euler, the most prominent mathematician of the age, was concerned with ship design, lenses, the buckling of beams, and (with his less famous son Johann) contributed a great deal to hydraulics.16 Among the engineers, the aforementioned John T.