Found in 9 comments on Hacker News
willyg123 · 2019-10-16 · Original thread
Ericsson wrote a book to correct the record. The book's lede is essentially "Gladwell bastardized my research to fit a narrative that would sell books."

It's a good read.

barry-cotter · 2019-01-02 · Original thread
There are two interpretations of this, one of which is irrelevant to IQ and psychometrics and the other of which has no evidence despite several people spending most of their career looking for it.

Math, music, chess, story telling and social intelligence are all skills, all of which can be improved from a low base. In all of them higher g will be helpful because there’s very little where higher g isn’t helpful. If you want to learn about the science of skill building it’s better known as the study of expertise. K. Anders Ericsson founder the field. He wrote a popular book, Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

If you want the academic treatment there’s a Cambridge Handbook of Expeetise and Expert Performance.

If you want to read about how multiple intelligence theory á la Gardner has no empirical support start here.

> Multiple Intelligences, the Mozart Effect, and Emotional Intelligence: A Critical Review

> This article reviews evidence for multiple intelligences theory, the Mozart effect theory, and emotional intelligence theory and argues that despite their wide currency in education these theories lack adequate empirical support and should not be the basis for educational practice. Each theory is compared to theory counterparts in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuro- science that have better empirical support. The article considers possible reasons for the appeal of these 3 theories and concludes with a brief rationale for examining theories of cognition in the light of cognitive neuroscience research findings.

If you want attempts at something that kind of looks like multiple intelligence from people who actually know psychometrics look up the work of Robert J. Sternberg. Criticism below

> Dissecting practical intelligence theory: Its claims and evidence

> Sternberg et al. [Sternberg, R. J., Forsythe, G. B., Hedlund, J., Horvath, J. A., Wagner, R. K., Williams, W. M., Snook, S. A., Grigorenko, E. L. (2000). Practical intelligence in everyday life. New York: Cambridge University Press] review the theoretical and empirical supports for their bold claim that there exists a general factor of practical intelligence that is distinct from ‘‘academic intelligence’’ ( g) and which predicts future success as well as g, if not better. The evidence collapses, however, upon close examination. Their two key theoretical propositions are made plausible only by ignoring the considerable evidence contradicting them. Their six key empirical claims rest primarily on the illusion of evidence, which is enhanced by the selective reporting of results. Their small set of usually poorly documented studies on the correlates of tacit knowledge (the ‘‘important aspect of practical intel- ligence’’) in five occupations cannot, whatever the results, do what the work is said to have done— dethroned g as the only highly general mental ability or intelligence.

ravitation · 2017-12-21 · Original thread
If you enjoyed Outliers (or are thinking about reading it), I'd suggest reading Peak (in addition to, but also instead of).

evjan · 2017-11-03 · Original thread
That's admirable, I couldn't read that much!

I'm wondering what Campbell did achieve by doing all that reading and what made it the most important period of his scholarship and study.

The 10,000 hour figure (which is just an arbitrary number, not an absolute rule according to Anders Ericsson[1] whose research Malcolm Gladwell referred to) implies you can reach mastery with a lot of practice, given you do the right kind of practice.

Mastery is the ability to perform a skill, it's not about knowledge. You need knowledge to perform, but knowledge without being able to perform does not imply mastery.


itamarst · 2017-04-15 · Original thread
I'd suggest learning more about how to learn better, so that you can learn more on the job. Then you can spend your weekend doing something other than coding. Some useful books:

"How Learning Works" (I review it here:


Gar Klein's books, in particular "The Power of Intuition"

wainstead · 2017-03-03 · Original thread
Peter Norvig agrees with you in "Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years":

Work on a project where you are the best programmer; work on a project where you are the worst programmer.

Peter also stresses "deliberate practice," a point I did not appreciate until I read the book "Peak" recently.

caminante · 2016-12-21 · Original thread
Thanks for your openness.

I assume you've already done so based on a few of your word choices, but if you haven't already, I recommend checking out Peak [0], the latest (2015) work by Anders Ericsson. He's the researcher who came up with the "10,000 Hours Rule" as popularized by Gladwell. I thought the book had useful suggestions such as how to make sure you're achieving deliberate practice, how to get better when you don't have a coach, or what do for yourself (or as a parent for a child) when considering quitting an endeavor. Ericsson also shares reflections on what folks mistake about his research (i.e. 10K hours was merely the mean for one of his studies.), while clarifying the approach you SHOULD take as supported by his research.


Can anyone up to date on this field tell me if there has there been any scientific studies on trying to rewire the brain using mnemonic techniques for Alzheimer's patients? I have seen some stories on some attempts to do that, but I never could find anything which looked very scientific.

For some context, I read in the book "Peak" by Anders Ericsson (who is credited with the 10000 hour rule) [1] that cab drivers in London who passed the cab exam literally rewired their brains during the process of studying and it could be observed in the brain scans. (But also notes that they unfortunately lost some spatial awareness ability which the average person had)


sml0820 · 2016-04-24 · Original thread
The article did not do a thorough job pointing to the new book:

Also, I would recommend Moonwalking with Einstein which has fair bit of information on how to learn.

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