practice, creativity, and insight

Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.

Ray Bradbury : “I define science fiction as the art of the possible. Fantasy is the art of the impossible.” – via @DavidBrin

@HughCards: “As the Internet makes everything cheaper, access to real networks (Harvard, Wall St., Silicon Valley etc) gets even more expensive.”

@nielspflaeging: “Remember: In complexity, steering collapses. Bosses cease to be the boss, outside becomes the boss. Self-organization becomes inevitable.”

Noam Chomsky: The Purpose of Education | The highest goal in life is to inquire and create – via @leadershipABC

Our research was key to the 10,000-hour rule, but here’s what got oversimplified

“First, there is nothing special or magical about ten thousand hours …
Second, the number of ten thousand hours at age twenty for the best violinists was only an average …
Third, [Malcolm] Gladwell didn’t distinguish between the type of practice that the musicians in our study did — a very specific sort of practice referred to as ‘deliberate practice’ which involves constantly pushing oneself beyond one’s comfort zone, following training activities designed by an expert to develop specific abilities, and using feedback to identify weaknesses and work on them — and any sort of activity that might be labeled ‘practice’ …
The final problem with the ten-thousand-hour rule is that, although Gladwell himself didn’t say this, many people have interpreted it as a promise that almost anyone can become an expert in a given field by putting in ten thousand hours of practice. But nothing in the study of the Berlin violinists implied this …
In pretty much any area of human endeavor, people have a tremendous capacity to improve their performance, as long as they train in the right way.”

Why China Lacks Creativity – via @edmorrison

“Centralized decision-making backed by ample credit can get factories built and railroads extended, but economies driven by innovation have required complex and delicate webs of interlocked institutions, including, beyond some point, benign neglect, and China’s limited successes merely confirm that China is no different … The most creative of its artists benefitted from some amount of benign neglect. While the art establishment argued over which cultural stereotypes would best represent China, it was in the margins the establishment did not recognize as ‘Chinese’ that young urban Chinese developed some of the most interesting music and fashion scenes in the world.”

Only humans, not computers, can learn or predict – via @DavidGurteen

“The machine versus human debate has actually divided big data analytics experts into two camps. The first camp is led by ‘machine learning’ and ‘predictive analytics’ experts who argue for a future in which computers will possess real ‘artificial intelligence,’ while the second camp argues that only human analysts can reliably make conclusions based on the vast amounts of data collected and stored by humanity … in his book Zero to One, venture capitalist Peter Thiel states that ‘while computers can find patterns that elude humans, they don’t know how to compare sources or how to interpret complex behaviors. Actionable insights can only come from a human analyst.'”

Image via @GerDriesen


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