Sunday, November 20, 2011

Journal of Journeyman Research

Hilarious article here.

There was a book written a couple of years ago, called  Outliers, by Malcom Gladwell. It postulated that to become an expert – in anything – one needed 10,000 hours of practice. Gladwell didn't say that's all it took. He said that's how long it takes to internalize the procedures and reproduce them by instinct, whether your subject is flying a Navy jet or playing a violin.  This was an important book, or at least the blog posts picking it up and propagating its findings made it an important book. It meant that all those with ~500 hours under their belt, who had felt clumsy and stupid and considered giving up, suddenly had something to keep them going – the understanding that the fumbling eventually goes away and is replaced by instinctual understanding. It gave hope, in other words.
The twits who wrote the article above, David Z Hambrick and Elizabeth J Meinz, must have felt a little miffed that Gladwell appeared to say (if you were a poor reader) that any sorry specimen of hoi polloi could reach great heights if they practiced for 10,000 hours. This led them to research Sorry, Strivers: Talent Matters and get it published.
They strive manfully enough themselves to prove that it's actually IQ that makes you successful. They locate a paper that tells them, and us: 
The remarkable finding of their study is that, compared with the participants who were “only” in the 99.1 percentile for intellectual ability at age 12, those who were in the 99.9 percentile — the profoundly gifted — were between three and five times more likely

To what? Don't leave us in suspense!
to go on to earn a doctorate, secure a patent, publish an article in a scientific journal or publish a literary work.

Jiminy Crickets! That's amazing!

Wait, what?
earn a doctorate, secure a patent, publish an article in a scientific journal or publish a literary work

That’s all? Who cares?
They explain the results thus:
A high level of intellectual ability gives you an enormous real-world advantage.

Hahahahahaha! They think that a doctorate, a patent, a peer-reviewed article or a published literary work reveals "an enormous real world advantage"! I wonder if they've ever even seen the real world?

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