1. Standard memberfinnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    To the Left
    Joined
    25 Jun '06
    Moves
    64930
    02 Mar '14 22:18
    I was playing an opponent rated about 1150 and noticed he had played some 11,500 games and had about 170 in progress. I went to the player tables and ranked players to see the top thirty movers. Apart from Caissad4 rated over 2000 and certainly a good player, all the rest were rated below 1700.

    In the book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. Allegedly this applies regardless of natural talent. I suggest that this site refutes his claim in a readily demonstrated way, assuming that most games on the site consume at least an average of one hour playing time. If you assume less time that just alters the number of games required. I am fairly confident that there are many players who have accumulated the requisite 10,000 hours on this site alone. Those with most moves should in any event be relatively high rated. They aren't.

    Of course, the refutation has been argued by others. For instance:
    http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2014/01/22/daniel-goleman-focus-10000-hours-myth/

    I have to say though that I find this disappointing. I had looked forward to inevitably mastering the universe and finally defeating all you top players who presently kick sand in my face; now it looks like that may be harder to do.
  2. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    03 Mar '14 02:35
    Originally posted by finnegan
    I was playing an opponent rated about 1150 and noticed he had played some 11,500 games and had about 170 in progress. I went to the player tables and ranked players to see the top thirty movers. Apart from Caissad4 rated over 2000 and certainly a good player, all the rest were rated below 1700.

    In the book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell says that it ...[text shortened]... you top players who presently kick sand in my face; now it looks like that may be harder to do.
    In _The Sports Gene_ (2013), David Epstein makes an interesting comparison
    between two exceptional high jumpers, Stefan Holm (only 181 cm tall),
    who (arguably) trained harder than any other high jumper in history, and
    Donald Thomas, a 'natural' athlete who won the world championship after
    little training and has been unable to improve since then.

    You should not believe everything that Malcolm Gladwell writes.
    As far as I can recall, I think that his hypothesis about why students
    of East Asian heritage tend to excel in mathematics is severely flawed.
  3. Cape Town
    Joined
    14 Apr '05
    Moves
    52945
    03 Mar '14 11:38
    Originally posted by finnegan
    In the book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field.
    Do not confuse practice with good practice. 'Practice makes perfect' is incorrect. Only good practice makes perfect.
    You can play Chess without giving it much thought, for as many hours as you like and you will never achieve mastery. If however, you spend 10,000 hours studying chess using recommended study methods, you will have a very good rating by the end of it.

    This applies to physical activities too. You can go ice skating every week for years and still be only able to do very basic forward skating. But take proper lessons, and within a few lessons you will be doing things you never achieved during years of just playing about. But even with structured lessons, it takes time to achieve mastery.