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Author Topic: Its all about the small details  (Read 21178 times)
jjj
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« Reply #160 on: February 23, 2012, 10:34:07 PM »
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The point regarding apparent differences in martial arts talents, that some posters have mentioned, seems a bit specious to me.

Whilst it may be obvious that two newbies to the sport may exhibit vastly different talents, it may well be he case that the person who seems a 'natural'  has previously engaged in activities that require similar skills.
I mentioned this from a teacher's perspective, but let me add to it from a student's perspective. Before doing martial arts, I used a bike to get around town and otherwise I spent most of my life avoiding sporting activities. I did swimming at school, simply because being in a warm pool made more sense than running around in the cold wearing shorts.  Despite the lack of previous form,  I still found Martial Arts were something that was relatively easy for me to do.
 However, when doing dance later on, I used some of my martial arts skills to my advantage. But I should mention that many of my MA colleagues were simply dreadful at dancing. I had to teach my original sensei to count 1-4 when dancing to try and help him dance in time when clubbing as he was so dreadfully out of time. Yet without anyone ever telling me anything I could always dance in time/in rhythm without counting. In fact when I started being taught partner dancing, it was obvious to me that a lot of what I was being taught was simply wrong, despite having far, far less experience than my instructors.

Whilst no-one would argue that physical characteristics have a huge affect on say whether you would be Gold medal material, why do people think brain power/skills do not have the same bearing, despite all the very obvious evidence around us? i.e the entire population who are so vastly different in everything they can do. Even if they have had the same training. 
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jjj
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« Reply #161 on: February 23, 2012, 10:46:59 PM »
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But is the "natural" talent the martial art or physical dexterity? I would think that a martial artist would also be good at dancing.
I touched on this in my post above. But to elaborate...many good dancers are also good martial artists. Not so true the other way around. Both skills require coordination and dexterity, but dancing also requires musicality. Which is something many people have with no training whatsoever and others despite years of practice, still lack it. To me musicality is such an obvious natural talent, just like having an eye for photography.
As an aside, to portray Bruce Lee in a biopic a few years back, a dancer was chosen. And not a martial artist. Bruce Lee was also a champion ballroom dancer.

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Can a painter and photographer share the same talent of an intuitive understanding of spatial qualities? I would imagine that talent would be useful to both. It would also be useful in architecture. It think the specific discipline is irrelevant, but the attribute that allows proficiency in a discipline is more important.
Very true. Some attributes will be shared by say photographers and painters, but being good at one does not mean you will be any good at the other. I can see a scene, but completely lack the ability to control a brush to capture it that way. And I know very good artists who as rubbish at photography as I am at painting.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #162 on: February 23, 2012, 10:48:01 PM »
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That is a bit of an urban legend, and certainly the 20s is too young: even most of the greats are still in graduate school at that age. My experience is that maybe 30's to 50's is the common peak: youth counts, but so does several decades of education and work! And again, in a discussion that started with advice on how to become a good photographer, not how to go back in time and be born a genius and child prodigy, it is misleading to judge the path to excellence by looking at the extreme outliers like Nobel prize winners: the vast majority of very good science is done only after a very long education, with not only a doctorate but some years of post-doctoral training beyond that. Most of us do not even have steady employment until age about 30!

But on the subject of youthful genius, the current most famous exemplar of a mathematical prodigy is Terry Tao, who was famous by his mid-twenties, but was also learning (and even teaching!) mathematics from age two, and taking university-level courses by age nine. As often, one can make a case for both a strong innate component, early strong parental support, and lengthy preparation.


Aside: mathematics does not have a Nobel prize, so we have to settle for the things like the Fields Medal (Canadian content!). Curiously, that Fields Medal has an age limit of 40, but that does not mean that the winners do nothing as good afterwards.
The prime example (you should pardon the pun) of early mathematical expertise is surely Galois, who did his important work while still in his teens.

(And when Galois was my age, he had been dead for fifty-two years.)    Sad

Eric
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jjj
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« Reply #163 on: February 23, 2012, 10:53:30 PM »
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And I wonder if that comes from the Western myth of the genius--the artist that is just brilliant. In Asia, or Japan with which I am more familiar, there is the idea of studying the form from a master and that skill can be handed down. Once the skill is mastered, then the artist has the potential to push the art beyond that. Spontaneous artistic expression, like we have in the West, is not really recognized in the traditional arts. This is not to say the Japanese model of traditional arts is not flawed, but it is a difference. Where the West stresses the ego, the East rejects it.
And this difference may also partly explain why you get more British Nobel prize winners than you do Japanese.
114 Vs 15.

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stamper
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« Reply #164 on: February 24, 2012, 02:44:21 AM »
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What is all this got to do with Mark's essay regarding photography? You have post after post talking about anything other than the subject at hand . It is a wonder the moderator hasn't closed this thread because of boredom. Sad
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« Reply #165 on: February 24, 2012, 07:19:39 AM »
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What is all this got to do with Mark's essay regarding photography? You have post after post talking about anything other than the subject at hand . It is a wonder the moderator hasn't closed this thread because of boredom. Sad
I thought these were just some of the "small details" Mark was referring to. After all, "every detail matters."   Cheesy
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BJL
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« Reply #166 on: February 24, 2012, 08:38:04 AM »
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What is all this got to do with Mark's essay regarding photography?
Some of us are thinking about the following small details in his essay, stated not only about photography but in more generality (and which, with the qualification "most" not "all", some of us are supporting, others disputing):

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"The 10,000 hour rule".  What this rule states is that to master the basics of most worthwhile human endeavors takes 10,000 hours (roughly 4-5 years of pretty much full time attention).
-- http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/everything_matters_part_2.shtml
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There are no shortcuts; spend (and enjoy!) your "10,000 hours" to master the craft and then break out and really bloom as an artist.
-- op cit.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 08:42:21 AM by BJL » Logged
stamper
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« Reply #167 on: February 24, 2012, 09:08:41 AM »
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Some seem to be adding to the small details making them B I G details. Roll Eyes
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Isaac
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« Reply #168 on: February 24, 2012, 11:20:03 AM »
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What is all this got to do with Mark's essay regarding photography?

Nothing. Nothing to do with the essay; and nothing to do with photography, and never going to be until at least the fundamental points listed by Dave Miller are addressed rather than ignored --

Photographic skill isn't measurable in a simple sense. etc etc
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Isaac
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« Reply #169 on: February 24, 2012, 11:26:33 AM »
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Some of us are thinking about the following small details in his essay ... "10,000 hours"

All we need to know about Mark Dubovoy's "10,000 hours" comments, which you repeat, is that they are just wrong - those comments are simply a misunderstanding of the reported research and we should stop repeating them.
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BJL
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« Reply #170 on: February 24, 2012, 05:57:02 PM »
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@Isaac, first, thanks for the various citations and comments: I have learnt a lot more from this discussion than from Mark Dubovoy's fleeting reference. But I am still puzzled as to what you think is outright _wrong_ about his comment: if anything, out of its sheer vagueness, it does not contradict your observation that the important thing is many hours of "deliberate practice", not just idle, unstructured activity (”one hour, repeated 10,000 times“, as the old cliché goes).

But never mind: getting the facts straight on the role of both "hours" and innate assets in achieving expertise is far more important than worrying about whether "someone is WRONG on the Internet" --- http://xkcd.com/386/

P. S. a version of Gresham's law comes to mind: in any sufficiently long photographic debate, people will eventually invoke Ansel Adams and/or Henri Cartier-Bresson.


« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 07:03:46 PM by BJL » Logged
Isaac
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« Reply #171 on: February 25, 2012, 11:24:59 AM »
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... getting the facts straight on the role of both "hours" and innate assets in achieving expertise is far more important than worrying about whether "someone is WRONG on the Internet"
And that's why I haven't been saying WRONG - to me it seems like the ordinary accumulation of misunderstandings that corrupt a message as it's passed from person to person, just wrong in a way that isn't even interesting.

But I am still puzzled as to what you think is outright _wrong_ about his comment...
Start with this -- "to master the basics of most worthwhile human endeavors takes 10,000 hours" -- and -- "To master the basics takes 10,000 hours." No, the research is not about mastering the basics it's about "further improvements" beyond that point.

...people will eventually invoke Ansel Adams and/or Henri Cartier-Bresson.
That is how the essay began, and I'll wrap-up with this generous acknowledgement -

Henri Cartier-Bresson once said of himself, Robert Capa, and Brassaï, “Whatever we have done, Kertész did first.”
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