Discussion:
Speaking of talent.
(too old to reply)
Murdick
2013-08-01 12:53:04 UTC
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Another guy and I are running the 3-day jazz camp for the Gulf Coast Ethnic and Heritage Jazz Festival this year. So this 3rd grader walks in with a cheesy trumpet and I think, " Oh no, here's another kid who can only play four notes poorly and he's not even going to be able to even read my simple charts". Turns out he can read the charts with no problem, has a good tone and after 10 minutes of work can improvise a nice sounding solo over the tune. If he keeps going the way he's going, who's gonna catch him? Talent; you can't beat it.
Learnwell
2013-08-01 15:33:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Murdick
Another guy and I are running the 3-day jazz camp for the Gulf Coast Ethnic and Heritage Jazz Festival this year. So this 3rd grader walks in with a cheesy trumpet and I think, " Oh no, here's another kid who can only play four notes poorly and he's not even going to be able to even read my simple charts". Turns out he can read the charts with no problem, has a good tone and after 10 minutes of work can improvise a nice sounding solo over the tune. If he keeps going the way he's going, who's gonna catch him? Talent; you can't beat it.
Previous training; you can't beat it.
Charlie
2013-08-01 21:50:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
Post by Murdick
Another guy and I are running the 3-day jazz camp for the Gulf Coast Ethnic and Heritage Jazz Festival this year. So this 3rd grader walks in with a cheesy trumpet and I think, " Oh no, here's another kid who can only play four notes poorly and he's not even going to be able to even read my simple charts". Turns out he can read the charts with no problem, has a good tone and after 10 minutes of work can improvise a nice sounding solo over the tune. If he keeps going the way he's going, who's gonna catch him? Talent; you can't beat it.
Previous training; you can't beat it.
Desire to learn, you can't beat it.

Charlie
wollybyrde
2013-08-02 00:30:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charlie
Post by Learnwell
Post by Murdick
Another guy and I are running the 3-day jazz camp for the Gulf Coast Ethnic and Heritage Jazz Festival this year. So this 3rd grader walks in with a cheesy trumpet and I think, " Oh no, here's another kid who can only play four notes poorly and he's not even going to be able to even read my simple charts". Turns out he can read the charts with no problem, has a good tone and after 10 minutes of work can improvise a nice sounding solo over the tune. If he keeps going the way he's going, who's gonna catch him? Talent; you can't beat it.
Previous training; you can't beat it.
Desire to learn, you can't beat it.
Charlie
you can't beat a dead horse. but we do anyway
Murdick
2013-08-02 13:15:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by wollybyrde
Post by Charlie
Post by Learnwell
Post by Murdick
Another guy and I are running the 3-day jazz camp for the Gulf Coast Ethnic and Heritage Jazz Festival this year. So this 3rd grader walks in with a cheesy trumpet and I think, " Oh no, here's another kid who can only play four notes poorly and he's not even going to be able to even read my simple charts". Turns out he can read the charts with no problem, has a good tone and after 10 minutes of work can improvise a nice sounding solo over the tune. If he keeps going the way he's going, who's gonna catch him? Talent; you can't beat it.
Previous training; you can't beat it.
Desire to learn, you can't beat it.
Charlie
you can't beat a dead horse. but we do anyway
You can beat Larry with a board that has several exposed nails at the end. No one on this list will stop you.
Murdick
2013-08-02 13:32:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Murdick
Post by wollybyrde
Post by Charlie
Post by Learnwell
Post by Murdick
Another guy and I are running the 3-day jazz camp for the Gulf Coast Ethnic and Heritage Jazz Festival this year. So this 3rd grader walks in with a cheesy trumpet and I think, " Oh no, here's another kid who can only play four notes poorly and he's not even going to be able to even read my simple charts". Turns out he can read the charts with no problem, has a good tone and after 10 minutes of work can improvise a nice sounding solo over the tune. If he keeps going the way he's going, who's gonna catch him? Talent; you can't beat it.
Previous training; you can't beat it.
Desire to learn, you can't beat it.
Charlie
you can't beat a dead horse. but we do anyway
You can beat Larry with a board that has several exposed nails at the end. No one on this list will stop you.
Let's ask Kevin. He teachers a lot of 3rd graders. Does talent make the difference?
ktaylor
2013-08-02 16:34:21 UTC
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Post by Murdick
Let's ask Kevin. He teachers a lot of 3rd graders. Does talent make the difference?
Funny you should ask...I am interested in this topic because of not only what it means to the student, but what it means to the teacher. I think that is why this thread initially caused so much interest and eventual parody.

I will preface my statements saying that I have only taught about young people for about 32 years and so I am still learning my trade.

The fact that there are students who excel (according to my definition) above others, yet experience a similar curriculum and teacher methodology suggests that there is something inherent in the student that creates that difference of excellence. Identical twins (and I've taught a good number) do not play identically even though they have experienced the same words, examples and instruction; the difference is apparent from the second lesson.

I think I understand Greg's take on the subject and I am not convinced he is wrong. I think those who object to his belief see that some students are starkly different in their ability and are left with the inevitable conclusion that the difference must be attributed to something other than training. That is essentially my position, too. However, for a devoted teacher, that conclusion demands that whatever that "thing" is must be discovered and examined. And I'm willing to admit it may not come back to "talent."

I have a requirement of my private student that they practice 6 hours per week. Some barely make it, some exceed it. Those who exceed it do better. So is that "thing" practice time? There is no question that those who increased their practice to 6 hrs. per week from a lesser number have learned more material, play better and progressed more than they used to. However, if their learning style is deficient - say they always play too quickly and are not attentive to details or a technical issue is chronically overlooked then their playing may still not compare favorably with another. So time is part of the equation but obviously not all of it.

When I examine those students who are putting in the time but not playing up to my vision of excellence, I then must investigate their practice style. Usually those students have learning proclivities that are not conducive to classical guitar training: attention and concentration difficulties; language or auditory processing or visual processing challenges; resistance to self-reflection (common in kids below 9.5); and, in rare cases, physical anomalies that interfere with growth. I then address those issues in the lesson (I call it "practice counseling"). Even when effective, and improvement happens, that doesn't guarantee the student will now be among those called "talented." So this is part of the equation, too. But not all of it.

There are many subtle and unconscious messages a teacher delivers to a student - facial expressions and special words and phrases of encouragement that pop out spontaneously when teaching a student who excels. Lets call that the "Gladwell Effect". I think that is part of the equation, too. This motivates the student to achieve. I am aware of this and try to express similar things to student who are not in the "talented" category yet. This is helpful, but does not move a student to that special "talented" category, though it does improve the student's motivation.

Does there exist students who seem to be "hard-wired" for excellence above others? I know the answer is yes (that is the source of this controversy). When I look at those students and try to find common traits I cannot find 100% commonality. For the sake of this thread, I will call them "talented." Here are a few things I can think of right now:

• Most of them were very intelligent, judging from their grades in school. However, their type of intelligence varied and affected the quality of their musicianship.

• Most practiced more than others.

• Most had fast twitch mechanisms. They did not have to practice long to play fast.

• They have good memories, though some have memory issues with music because of learning style.

• Most had extraordinary fine motor skills when they first approached the guitar.

• Most were highly motivated early. Perhaps this is due to the interaction with the teacher. It is difficult to sit in front of an amazing student and not be amazed. This is wonderfully validating for them and stimulates further growth (provided there is rapport between student and teacher). I try to spread my amazement to all students but I don't discount the "Gladwell effect" either.

• Most initiated repertoire. This happens more now, with youtube, than it used to. But it is only the "talented" category student that comes in with music I did not direct them to. Even with a student who hasn't excelled, yet, when and if they do come in - even with a pop tune - I consider that a sign of ownership and an important link to the "talented" category. They have a vision for themselves.

• They own their skill. The "talented" ones have taken control of their practice. They initiate it. It is a part of their life.

• They want to perform. There are always two voices about performing. The "talented" students listen to the good voice more that the negative one. They see themselves performing.

• The "talented" ones are "teachable". They listen and respond every lesson. This requires a deep rapport and trust for the teacher.

• They can play in ensemble well. I have experienced high-skill players who, due to Asberger's, could not interact musically with others. They were just high-skill and did not have that quality of musicianship of the "talented" student.

I believe talent may be a Myth, but it is certainly not a fable. I don't know what it is, how to cultivate it (it seems out of the teacher's hands - we can only discourage it), but I can recognize it. No doubt students want to believe they are special. I do not think I should discourage that thinking if its productive. I have told students that they are talented - usually to bolster their motivation.

The popularity of the Harry Potter books among the tweens and young teenagers is evidence that kids are attracted to the possibility that they possess some kind of special gift that they didn't know they had; that they are magicians but have just not yet been sent to Hogwarts for training. This is the idea of "talent." My job as a teacher is to help them find their gifts and become magicians. Again, "magic" may be a Myth, but it is not a fable.

Kevin Taylor
Slogoin
2013-08-02 17:41:48 UTC
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Post by ktaylor
I will preface my statements saying that I have only taught
about young people for about 32 years and so I am still learning my trade.
Best of Thread!

My views have changed in the last decade since I returned to teaching music and taught in a whole different culture. Gregg is on the right track so maybe he will hear what you are saying.

I had thought I knew my trade but living in a culture where the folks are told they are stupid by their own government over and over was an eye opener. I KNOW how much Gregg's belief in his students means to them. Little kids are so sensitive to the most subtle things and I learned more from teaching 1st grade music than I did teaching at University.

I have no idea what "talent" or "creativity" are but I know what works and more than anything it is that belief in your students... EVEN IF THEY HAVE LEARNING DISABILITIES!!!!!
Tony Done
2013-08-02 22:22:02 UTC
Permalink
"magic" may be a Myth, but it is not a fable.
Post by ktaylor
Kevin Taylor
Terrific post.

The twin thing is interesting, and may be in the realm of epigenes. I
wonder whether you would call that nature or nurture.
--
Tony Done

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=784456

http://www.flickr.com/photos/done_family/
d***@gmail.com
2013-08-02 22:50:51 UTC
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Post by ktaylor
"magic" may be a Myth, but it is not a fable.
Post by ktaylor
Kevin Taylor
Terrific post.
The twin thing is interesting, and may be in the realm of epigenes. I
wonder whether you would call that nature or nurture.
--
Tony Done
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=784456
http://www.flickr.com/photos/done_family/
I don't know. There are so many little things that a child must do to even sit correctly. If I talk too fast or don't demonstrate at the same angle (I do group lessons) so the quasi-operational child doesn't get the same visual information he may take what is given and translate it differently than his twin. I do not find that twins necessarily process information in the same way (have the same dominant processors). This could go back to placement in utero, I suppose. I just don't know. I wonder if we will ever know.

Given the vast amounts of ignorance teachers have, its amazing anything can be taught. I believe much of the ignorance can be overcome with proper class structuring, sufficient engagement (time and intensity), appropriate curriculum, a functional iconic vision (and knowledge) on the part of the teacher to help diagnose and communicate technique, and most of all, the desire of the student to continue learning despite the teacher's ignorance and mistakes. Unfortunately, students and teachers don't always have that. But when they do there seems to be a larger percentage of "talented" students that emerge.

Kevin Taylor
Learnwell
2013-08-03 00:59:07 UTC
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Post by d***@gmail.com
Given the vast amounts of ignorance teachers have, its amazing anything can be taught. I believe much of the ignorance can be overcome with proper class structuring, sufficient engagement (time and intensity), appropriate curriculum, a functional iconic vision (and knowledge) on the part of the teacher to help diagnose and communicate technique, and most of all, the desire of the student to continue learning despite the teacher's ignorance and mistakes. Unfortunately, students and teachers don't always have that. But when they do there seems to be a larger percentage of "talented" students that emerge.
Now we're getting somewhere. Let those with ears hear, better yet let those without experience understand.
Learnwell
2013-08-03 01:02:23 UTC
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Post by d***@gmail.com
Given the vast amounts of ignorance teachers have, its amazing anything can be taught. I believe much of the ignorance can be overcome with proper class structuring, sufficient engagement (time and intensity), appropriate curriculum, a functional iconic vision (and knowledge) on the part of the teacher to help diagnose and communicate technique, and most of all, the desire of the student to continue learning despite the teacher's ignorance and mistakes. Unfortunately, students and teachers don't always have that. But when they do there seems to be a larger percentage of "talented" students that emerge.
Now we're getting somewhere, especially that last line. Let those with ears hear, better yet let those without the right experience understand.
Andrew Schulman
2013-08-03 04:22:23 UTC
Permalink
Funny you should ask...I am interested in this topic because of not only what it means to the student, but what it means to the teacher. I think that is why this thread initially caused so much interest and eventual parody...
Really great post.

Andrew
Andrew Schulman
2013-08-03 05:08:47 UTC
Permalink
I believe talent may be a Myth, but it is certainly not a fable...Again, "magic" may be a Myth, but it is not a fable.
Just thinking about that splendid formulation. Part of what made that a great post, but in a different way than the rest of it. Obfuscation may be a Myth, but it is not a fable. Ever consider a career in politics? You could use that line for many, many things!

Andrew
tom g
2013-08-03 14:46:46 UTC
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Post by Andrew Schulman
I believe talent may be a Myth, but it is certainly not a fable...Again, "magic" may be a Myth, but it is not a fable.
Just thinking about that splendid formulation. Part of what made that a great post, but in a different way than the rest of it. Obfuscation may be a Myth, but it is not a fable. Ever consider a career in politics? You could use that line for many, many things!
Andrew
It is also just pretentious nonsense and would be instantly ridiculed in a public life. But who else noticed?

It is obvious that talent exists and also obvious that to try to define it rigidly is not useful to the teacher. A good teacher needs another way to think and Learnwell is showing that way. I thank him for that.

A lazy definition of talent doesnt serve anybody.

tom g
Andrew Schulman
2013-08-03 16:22:52 UTC
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Post by tom g
A lazy definition of talent doesnt serve anybody.
Tom,

You're right and it might help once and for all to present a definition of talent that we could all agree on, and that in itself would add a lot to the discussion:

- talent: a former weight and unit of currency, used esp. by the ancient Romans and Greeks.

Best regards,

Andrew
tom g
2013-08-03 16:44:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by tom g
A lazy definition of talent doesnt serve anybody.
Tom,
- talent: a former weight and unit of currency, used esp. by the ancient Romans and Greeks.
Best regards,
Andrew
Good. Someone told me you had a talent and now I understand.

The lack of a discussion of numismatics on this group is hard to understand but life is full of mysteries.

Saludos

tom g
Andrew Schulman
2013-08-03 16:49:22 UTC
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Post by tom g
Good. Someone told me you had a talent and now I understand.
The lack of a discussion of numismatics on this group is hard to understand but life is full of mysteries.
Saludos
tom g
The proverbial LOL…

Andrew
tom g
2013-08-03 17:10:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by tom g
Good. Someone told me you had a talent and now I understand.
The lack of a discussion of numismatics on this group is hard to understand but life is full of mysteries.
Saludos
tom g
The proverbial LOL…
Andrew
Andrew, LOL may be a Myth but they are certainly not a fable.

tom g
Tony Done
2013-08-03 19:32:02 UTC
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Post by tom g
It is obvious that talent exists and also obvious that to try to define it rigidly is not useful to the teacher.
A lazy definition of talent doesnt serve anybody.
tom g
<g> So does any definition of talent serve anybody?

Your comment about the lack of usefulness of a definition of talent
caused a mental jump to the notion that a good teacher should be able to
recognise when he/she needs to recommend his pupil to some other
teacher. I think that could form the basis of a good use for a lazy
definition of talent. - When the pupil deserves better/different than
you, or the pupil is not worth your continued effort.

<g> I feel out of my depth in this group, but the mental gymnastics is
good exercise.
--
Tony Done

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=784456

http://www.flickr.com/photos/done_family/
Andrew Schulman
2013-08-03 20:00:13 UTC
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Post by Tony Done
<g> I feel out of my depth in this group, but the mental gymnastics is
good exercise.
I'm not sure it's even possible that someone could be out of their depth in this group. Anyway, I enjoy your posts, they are always worth reading.

Andrew
tom g
2013-08-03 21:20:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony Done
Post by tom g
It is obvious that talent exists and also obvious that to try to define it rigidly is not useful to the teacher.
A lazy definition of talent doesnt serve anybody.
tom g
<g> So does any definition of talent serve anybody?
Yes, and sometimes in a negative way. It serves music conservatories who want the best students to improve their status. "Best students" means best at the time of entering the conservatory. I was not a very "talented" student when I entered but later I played better than these more "talented" play now because I was lucky and found a very good teacher a long time after I graduated. Before that, I stopped playing because I was thinking that I had no talent

That is a big question in these days. Who are the conservatories for? Do they serve a wide educational purpose or are they only for the minority of "talented" students by someone's definition?
Post by Tony Done
Your comment about the lack of usefulness of a definition of talent
caused a mental jump to the notion that a good teacher should be able to
recognise when he/she needs to recommend his pupil to some other
teacher. I think that could form the basis of a good use for a lazy
definition of talent. - When the pupil deserves better/different than
you, or the pupil is not worth your continued effort.
I said that a rigid definition is not useful to the teacher. Teachers dont often recognize their limitations. No teacher can know everything but when a student knows how to work, to make changes later is not difficult.

Teaching how to work is much more important than any idea about "talent".

saludos

tom
Post by Tony Done
<g> I feel out of my depth in this group, but the mental gymnastics is
good exercise.
--
Tony Done
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=784456
http://www.flickr.com/photos/done_family/
Andrew Schulman
2013-08-03 21:57:19 UTC
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Post by tom g
Teaching how to work is much more important than any idea about "talent".
Good point. Over many years in NY, anytime "talent" ever comes into a discussion among my colleagues, and it rarely does, it is instantly dismissed as a factor for the simple reason that it is a given that anyone who is playing professionally is talented. It's what you do with the talent that matters.

BTW Tom, I listened to your YouTube with the harpsichordist of the Boccherini "Fandango" arrangement. Very fine performance and arrangement, I enjoyed it.

Andrew
tom g
2013-08-04 01:00:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by tom g
Teaching how to work is much more important than any idea about "talent".
Good point. Over many years in NY, anytime "talent" ever comes into a discussion among my colleagues, and it rarely does, it is instantly dismissed as a factor for the simple reason that it is a given that anyone who is playing professionally is talented. It's what you do with the talent that matters.
BTW Tom, I listened to your YouTube with the harpsichordist of the Boccherini "Fandango" arrangement. Very fine performance and arrangement, I enjoyed it.
Andrew
Andrew, I have played it many times but I dont remember a video. My name is not unusual in Spain, maybe it is someone else.

I agree. I only hear teachers speaking of "talent" when they talk about students. At other times, as you say, it only interests to musicians what you do with it, not what it is or what it may be.

I have only known one musician who said that he was talented and the rest of his famous quartet just worked hard. As you can imagine, it was joyful to work with him.

tom g
Andrew Schulman
2013-08-04 04:21:19 UTC
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Post by tom g
Andrew, I have played it many times but I dont remember a video. My name is not unusual in Spain, maybe it is someone else.
OK, different Tom!
Post by tom g
I agree. I only hear teachers speaking of "talent" when they talk about students. At other times, as you say, it only interests to musicians what you do with it, not what it is or what it may be.
Yes.
Andresito
Slogoin
2013-08-03 22:42:18 UTC
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Post by tom g
Teaching how to work is much more important than any idea about "talent".
Now you are talking. Start a thread.
Learnwell
2013-08-04 19:27:36 UTC
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Post by tom g
It is obvious that talent exists
What is it? If it exists than it should be definable if only vaguely.

Some learn faster than others? Some are born with a great memory capacity that others cannot have? Some are born with motor skills that others cannot attain?

What is it?
Mental Handle
2013-08-04 19:35:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
Post by tom g
It is obvious that talent exists
What is it? If it exists than it should be definable if only vaguely.
Some learn faster than others? Some are born with a great memory
capacity that others cannot have? Some are born with motor skills
that others cannot attain?
What is it?
I think Beethoven did not have much talent.
Learnwell
2013-08-04 19:51:36 UTC
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Post by Mental Handle
I think Beethoven did not have much talent.
He worked his butt off. Albeit in an abusive situation, but he worked his butt off.
Tony Done
2013-08-04 19:54:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
Post by tom g
It is obvious that talent exists
What is it? If it exists than it should be definable if only
vaguely.
Some learn faster than others? Some are born with a great memory
capacity that others cannot have? Some are born with motor skills
that others cannot attain?
What is it?
This is a bit like a committee of blind mean trying to describe an
elephant. - We all come at it from different angles. I'm also having
difficulties because I think my mindset is different from that of an
enthusiastic classical guitar player. However, creativity as I mentioned
elsewhere, is a decent working definition of talent for me in this
context. - But even then it is matter of degree, and you might need good
technical skills to express the creativity.
--
Tony Done

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=784456

http://www.flickr.com/photos/done_family/
Mental Handle
2013-08-04 20:53:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony Done
Post by Learnwell
Post by tom g
It is obvious that talent exists
What is it? If it exists than it should be definable if only
vaguely.
Some learn faster than others? Some are born with a great memory
capacity that others cannot have? Some are born with motor skills
that others cannot attain?
What is it?
This is a bit like a committee of blind mean trying to describe an
elephant. - We all come at it from different angles. I'm also having
difficulties because I think my mindset is different from that of an
enthusiastic classical guitar player. However, creativity as I mentioned
elsewhere, is a decent working definition of talent for me in this
context. - But even then it is matter of degree, and you might need good
technical skills to express the creativity.

Tony Done
2013-08-04 22:09:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mental Handle
Post by Tony Done
Post by Learnwell
Post by tom g
It is obvious that talent exists
What is it? If it exists than it should be definable if only
vaguely.
Some learn faster than others? Some are born with a great memory
capacity that others cannot have? Some are born with motor skills
that others cannot attain?
What is it?
This is a bit like a committee of blind mean trying to describe an
elephant. - We all come at it from different angles. I'm also having
difficulties because I think my mindset is different from that of an
enthusiastic classical guitar player. However, creativity as I mentioned
elsewhere, is a decent working definition of talent for me in this
context. - But even then it is matter of degree, and you might need good
technical skills to express the creativity.
http://youtu.be/Dt7n-0NgRyM
I wouldn't presume to comment on the skills of an organist, but, for me,
the great bulk of the credit would go to 'ole JS.

OK, here's something I've listened to in the past couple of days, that I
think is creative (and I'm not talking about Bob's idea of singing), but
this may highly derivative for all I know:




Just so yer know where I'm coming from.
--
Tony Done

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=784456

http://www.flickr.com/photos/done_family/
Andrew Schulman
2013-08-04 22:36:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony Done
OK, here's something I've listened to in the past couple of days, that I
think is creative (and I'm not talking about Bob's idea of singing), but
http://youtu.be/Rz652bW-nLE
So, you want to post a Dylan video on a thread about talent? OK, l'll see you and raise you:

https://vimeo.com/47908331

Andrew
Tony Done
2013-08-04 22:58:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by Tony Done
OK, here's something I've listened to in the past couple of days, that I
think is creative (and I'm not talking about Bob's idea of singing), but
http://youtu.be/Rz652bW-nLE
https://vimeo.com/47908331
Andrew
I like mucho, demonstrates well the breadth of Bob's ability (carefully
avoiding the word talent there). Apart from anything else, it
demonstrates his ability to attract bloody good sidemen, for which Eric
Clapton also comes to mind.

Gotta say though, I love the big anthemic quality of Bob's stuff from
the early electric period, and the words from things like "One too many
mornings" and "Like a Rolling stone" stand in their own right as great
poetry of the era. You can tell I'm a '60s folkie eh?
--
Tony Done

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=784456

http://www.flickr.com/photos/done_family/
Andrew Schulman
2013-08-05 00:20:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony Done
I like mucho, demonstrates well the breadth of Bob's ability (carefully
avoiding the word talent there). Apart from anything else, it
demonstrates his ability to attract bloody good sidemen…
Yes, I love the playing.
Post by Tony Done
Gotta say though, I love the big anthemic quality of Bob's stuff from
the early electric period, and the words from things like "One too many
mornings" and "Like a Rolling stone" stand in their own right as great
poetry of the era. You can tell I'm a '60s folkie eh?
Good old '60s...

Andrew
dsi1
2013-08-04 23:40:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by Tony Done
OK, here's something I've listened to in the past couple of days, that I
think is creative (and I'm not talking about Bob's idea of singing), but
http://youtu.be/Rz652bW-nLE
https://vimeo.com/47908331
Andrew
That's a very funny video. Bob Dylan sounds like a black guy - but why does it have to be Louis Armstrong? :-)

Since we're sharing, here's a Beatleistic sounding tune that's unintentionally funny. Jools Holland, on the piano, can barely keep a straight face.


Andrew Schulman
2013-08-05 00:21:07 UTC
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Post by dsi1
That's a very funny video. Bob Dylan sounds like a black guy - but why does it have to be Louis Armstrong? :-)
Yes, he was certainly doing Louis...
Post by dsi1
Since we're sharing, here's a Beatleistic sounding tune that's unintentionally funny. Jools Holland, on the piano, can barely keep a straight face.
http://youtu.be/xToXZoH2nsQ
Ha, fun!

Andrew
Mental Handle
2013-08-04 19:57:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
Post by tom g
It is obvious that talent exists
What is it? If it exists than it should be definable if only vaguely.
Some learn faster than others? Some are born with a great memory capacity
that others cannot have? Some are born with motor skills that others cannot
attain?
What is it?
This one, for instance:

Learnwell
2013-08-04 20:02:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mental Handle
This one, for instance: http://youtu.be/ZDNKBo9TKWA
I'm sorry if I was not clear. I was asking for a description. If you believe it exists then please describe it.
Mental Handle
2013-08-04 20:13:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
Post by Mental Handle
This one, for instance: http://youtu.be/ZDNKBo9TKWA
I'm sorry if I was not clear. I was asking for a description.
If you believe it exists then please describe it.
OK, later.

This is kind of funny - the orchestra nearly enters music during
its tuning to the a note...


Its also interesting, that there is a very common child song in this
concert beginning at 2:16 to devolop. How do you call that song?
Mental Handle
2013-08-04 20:15:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mental Handle
Post by Learnwell
Post by Mental Handle
This one, for instance: http://youtu.be/ZDNKBo9TKWA
I'm sorry if I was not clear. I was asking for a description.
If you believe it exists then please describe it.
OK, later.
This is kind of funny - the orchestra nearly enters music during
its tuning to the a note... http://youtu.be/QDMX-PZYEMQ
Its also interesting, that there is a very common child song in this
concert beginning at 2:16 to devolop. How do you call that song?
(The song itself is, eg, here
)
Mental Handle
2013-08-04 20:41:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mental Handle
Post by Mental Handle
Post by Learnwell
Post by Mental Handle
This one, for instance: http://youtu.be/ZDNKBo9TKWA
I'm sorry if I was not clear. I was asking for a description.
If you believe it exists then please describe it.
OK, later.
This is kind of funny - the orchestra nearly enters music during
its tuning to the a note... http://youtu.be/QDMX-PZYEMQ
Its also interesting, that there is a very common child song in this
concert beginning at 2:16 to devolop. How do you call that song?
(The song itself is, eg, here http://youtu.be/YY0JUAigETo )
BTW - Here is all the 8 stanzas in english, spanish, french
http://www.mamalisa.com/?t=es&p=3050&c=38
tom g
2013-08-04 20:45:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
Post by tom g
It is obvious that talent exists
What is it? If it exists than it should be definable if only vaguely.
Some learn faster than others? Some are born with a great memory capacity that others cannot have? Some are born with motor skills that others cannot attain?
What is it?
Dont you have a dictionary?
Andrew Schulman
2013-08-04 21:02:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by tom g
Dont you have a dictionary?
Tom, I knew there was a perfect answer to that question and had complete confidence that you would supply it.

Now, I have a question for you. How would you describe a music teacher who could not give a description of musical talent?

Andrew
tom g
2013-08-04 21:10:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by tom g
Dont you have a dictionary?
Tom, I knew there was a perfect answer to that question and had complete confidence that you would supply it.
Now, I have a question for you. How would you describe a music teacher who could not give a description of musical talent?
Andrew
A fiction.

How would I describe a music teacher who refuses to give a definition?

Polemical.

Tom
Andrew Schulman
2013-08-04 21:49:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by tom g
How would I describe a music teacher who refuses to give a definition?
Polemical.
Accurate.
ktaylor
2013-08-04 21:11:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
Post by tom g
It is obvious that talent exists
What is it? If it exists than it should be definable if only vaguely.
Some learn faster than others? Some are born with a great memory capacity that others cannot have? Some are born with motor skills that others cannot attain?
What is it?
I think all of the above characteristics are attached to those who we call talented. There are probably other characteristics. I also think that those who teach young people - specifically pre-adolescents - experience more vivid expressions of those characteristics than young adults or college age kids. How the supposed child prodigy's talent becomes obscured during university training is an old story. There are patterns to growth among young people but there are also growth spurts and I think the unevenness of those spurts obscure our vision sometimes as we see students grow beyond the bell curve and stand out (Gladwell's "The Outliers.)

The labeling of talent may be entirely relational, since new definitions are required as the general populace of guitar students become more advanced over the years: last decade's talented students are this decade's norm.

Although the use of the term, "talent" may be losing its meaning among academics and professionals, I know its use has a positive motivating function among students and I will continue to use it when I think it will help their training.

Kevin T
Learnwell
2013-08-05 12:35:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by ktaylor
Post by Learnwell
Some learn faster than others? Some are born with a great memory capacity that others cannot have? Some are born with motor skills that others cannot attain?
I think all of the above characteristics are attached to those who we call talented.
Before I write a full response I want to be sure I understand you. Do you believe that some are born with memory capacity that others cannot have?
Mental Handle
2013-08-05 14:49:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
Post by ktaylor
Post by Learnwell
Some learn faster than others? Some are born with a great memory capacity that others cannot have? Some are born with motor skills that others cannot attain?
I think all of the above characteristics are attached to those who we call talented.
Before I write a full response I want to be sure I understand you. Do you believe that some are born with memory capacity that others cannot have?
There is no such thing like 'memory capacity' - there are just
about 10^11 neurons http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuron which by all men are
organized in similar structures - its the structure variability that makes the
essential difference http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain#Information_processing

If you want, there are 'estimations' that there are 'roughly' some
3 to 1000 Terabyte available with the human brain
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gehirn#Speicher
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gehirn#Rechenleistung_und_Leistungsaufnahme

Long term memory always is establisched by growing (!) new connections
between the neurons which is why we must sleep. If, for instance, the
growth in the organism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Growth_factor is out of
'balance' there is no 'good access' to much of what you call 'memory capacity'.

If you like, a sort of talent was the memory access by Kim Peek, who
"could accurately recall the contents of at least 12,000 books"
(two pages at a time with either on eye within less than 10 seconds)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Peek but who could not do many 'simple'
things - research 'thinks' we all could use such memorizing but it
would NOT help us to be successful within nature so there is a very
complicated list of filter functions which prevent us from being able
to access whatever we have (also unconsciously) experienced.

Sub summarum: talent is a good working term of the VERY fact, that
there is HUGE plurality everywhere in nature - and so there are folks
who can play baseball or the violin better than others who might, in
turn, be able to read and remember the contents of 10.000+ textbooks.

Thats why mankind was required to find notions and terms for all the
plurality of different men and they called it, among other terms, talent.

-
http://www.youtube.com/thementalhandle
Mental Handle
2013-08-06 13:06:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mental Handle
Long term memory always is establisched by growing (!) new connections
between the neurons which is why we must sleep.
See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Kandel#Molecular_changes_during_learning

"
Starting in 1966 James Schwartz collaborated with Kandel on a biochemical
analysis of changes in neurons associated with learning and memory storage.

By this time it was known that long-term memory, unlike short-term memory,
involved the synthesis of new proteins.

By 1972 they had evidence that the second messenger molecule cyclic
AMP (cAMP) was produced in Aplysia ganglia under conditions that cause
short-term memory formation (sensitization).

In 1974 the Kandel lab moved to Columbia University as founding director
of the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior. It was soon found that the
neurotransmitter serotonin acting to produce the second messenger cAMP
is involved in the molecular basis of sensitization of the gill-withdrawal
reflex. By 1980, collaboration with Paul Greengard resulted in demonstration
that cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) acted in this biochemical pathway
in response to elevated levels of cAMP. Steven Siegelbaum identified a
potassium channel that could be regulated by PKA, coupling serotonin's
effects to altered synaptic electrophysiology.

In 1983 Kandel helped form the Howard Hughes Medical Research Institute
at Columbia devoted to molecular neural science. The Kandel lab took on
the task of identifying proteins that had to be synthesized in order to
convert short-term memories into long-lasting memories. One of the nuclear
targets for PKA is the transcriptional control protein CREB (cAMP response
element binding protein). In collaboration with David Glanzman and Craig
Bailey, CREB was identified as being a protein involved in long-term memory
storage.

One result of CREB activation is an increase in the number of synaptic
connections. Thus, short-term memory had been linked to functional
changes in existing synapses, while long-term memory was associated
with a change in the number of synaptic connections.


-
http://www.youtube.com/thementalhandle
ktaylor
2013-08-05 15:56:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
Post by ktaylor
Post by Learnwell
Some learn faster than others? Some are born with a great memory capacity that others cannot have? Some are born with motor skills that others cannot attain?
I think all of the above characteristics are attached to those who we call talented.
Before I write a full response I want to be sure I understand you. Do you believe that some are born with memory capacity that others cannot have?
Absolutely. There are several processes involved in what you might call "memory capacity" For example:
1) sensing a potential memory
2) storing it temporarily
3) storing it in long-term memory
4) attaching it to meaningful data
5) recalling it (and the manner and the relative speed of recall)

Any one of those processes can go wrong or can be different in individuals.

I do not see that every person has the same capacity for each. I can see that training could help some (esp. #4) but even with training, not everyone has the same recall speed, organization skill or functional short-term memory. This does not even account for fine-motor ability and auditory/kinetic connections that must be there to play guitar.

But don't get me wrong. I believe more-intense training produces better results that less-intensive training.

Kevin T.
Slogoin
2013-08-05 16:14:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by ktaylor
But don't get me wrong. I believe more-intense training
produces better results that less-intensive training.
Intensity does not have to be just drilling test material or performance preparation. Games are not just games and things like the cup song are very interesting ways to learn that show how important peer learning is.

My island students do some very interesting group clapping tunes where they all hone their body sense of rhythm and their ability to sync with others in a way none of my SoCal students can. They live in a world where this is done in church, school and any time they get together. Even the expat kids learn to do the basic drum patterns and have more rhythm sense than my SoCal students.
Learnwell
2013-08-05 20:50:50 UTC
Permalink
Memory can be trained. Are you familiar with Jerry Lucas' stuff? "Moonwalking with Einstein," is an interesting study in that, and Ericsson's work on skill development began with memory in the late 70's.
Mental Handle
2013-08-05 21:06:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
Memory can be trained.
Within well-known (narrow) limits.
Post by Learnwell
Are you familiar with Jerry Lucas' stuff? "Moonwalking with Einstein,"
is an interesting study in that, and Ericsson's work on skill development
began with memory in the late 70's.
The most of every Bach cantatas certainly includes much more 'motifes'
than Beethovens symphonies.

But Bach wrote many cantatas, and more stuff - and in earlier youth he
offered eg. the Well-Tempered-Clavier (part ii came late and with another
name...), so he learned more than could be learned or be copied or done
by computer than that as of yet and as of today - he also offered most
of his organ works, especially the famous 'orgelbüchlein' when he was young.

So my definition of record talent is: be able to successfully learn
outputing stuff like something near the WTC1 after as much time
for learning he wants ever be granted.

Btw, why are you blaming the concept of giftedness or talentedness so hard?
Learnwell
2013-08-05 21:58:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mental Handle
Within well-known (narrow) limits.
Please describe, I am unaware of such research.
Post by Mental Handle
Btw, why are you blaming the concept of giftedness or talentedness so hard?
I am unsure of what you mean by 'blaming'.

I do think the notion of giftedness detracts from the enormous amount of work necessary to achieve high level skill. Tiger Woods, Mozart, Beethoven, Jerry Rice, Julian Bream, all put in a massive amount of time and psychic energy into becoming the performers they were/are. I feel they deserve credit for that.
Slogoin
2013-08-05 22:31:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
I do think the notion of giftedness detracts from the enormous
amount of work necessary to achieve high level skill. Tiger Woods,
Mozart, Beethoven, Jerry Rice, Julian Bream, all put in a massive
amount of time and psychic energy into becoming the performers
they were/are. I feel they deserve credit for that.
I doubt anybody disagrees.

I met a couple of guys who worked with Art Tatum at a wedding gig. I played for the ceremony and they had a trio for the reception. The father of the bride was an older jazz musician well known in the LA area and he knew the guys from the old days.

I did not know they were there until they started playing and my ear told me this was not normal wedding gig music so I went over to see who it was. I sat and listened to that sound for a while then they took a break. Some teen kid who said he played bass came up and asked the bass player how it did that cool stuff... "Well, I learned my chords and scales and studied for years with some of the best players in the world." The kid paused and said, " No, really..."

I had the same shocked look on my face as the Bass player and after a bit more the kid thankfully left and we got to talking. That led to a conversation at the kitchen table with the band about the "bad old days" of going in the back door to play for white folk. They talked about how the word "talent" was used by whites to explain what they did and diminish the intellectual effort. It was not the first time I'd heard that nor was it that last.
ktaylor
2013-08-06 02:18:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
Memory can be trained. Are you familiar with Jerry Lucas' stuff? "Moonwalking with Einstein," is an interesting study in that, and Ericsson's work on skill development began with memory in the late 70's.
That's not the point. I am not denying the positive effects of training. The talented can be trained.

Kevin
Learnwell
2013-08-06 02:47:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by ktaylor
That's not the point. I am not denying the positive effects of training. The talented can be trained.
Talent, at least for the most part, is training.
Andrew Schulman
2013-08-06 04:01:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
Post by ktaylor
That's not the point. I am not denying the positive effects of training. The talented can be trained.
Talent, at least for the most part, is training.
You just keep digging the whole deeper and deeper and it's not a pleasant thing to see.

Andrew
Slogoin
2013-08-06 04:27:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Schulman
You just keep digging the whole deeper and deeper
and it's not a pleasant thing to see.
As long as you leave it out of your book nobody will see it... ah shoot... if your book hits the NYT best seller list...
Andrew Schulman
2013-08-06 04:36:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Slogoin
As long as you leave it out of your book nobody will see it... ah shoot... if your book hits the NYT best seller list...
Haha…

No, this stuff is not worth writing about, or reading about, anywhere outside of our little den of iniquity.

Andrew
Slogoin
2013-08-06 05:12:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Schulman
No, this stuff is not worth writing about, or reading about,
anywhere outside of our little den of iniquity.
I say you do a Kickstarter to image that brain of yours, for science!!! ... and your book. You are UNIQUE!

Anyway, I want a signed copy of the book. Too bad you don't have it now, I'm going through soon.
Matt Faunce
2013-08-06 10:52:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Slogoin
Post by Andrew Schulman
No, this stuff is not worth writing about, or reading about,
anywhere outside of our little den of iniquity.
I say you do a Kickstarter to image that brain of yours, for
science!!! ... and your book. You are UNIQUE!
Anyway, I want a signed copy of the book. Too bad you don't have it
now, I'm going through soon.
Going through? Sorry to hear that, Larry. ...if that means your gonna
die soon.

I didn't know about Kickstarter. I just looked it up. It's interesting.
--
Matt
Slogoin
2013-08-06 14:30:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Faunce
Going through?
NYC... been through a lot but I've only seen it from the air.
Post by Matt Faunce
I didn't know about Kickstarter. I just looked it up. It's interesting.
Kevin did one where he wrote some CG ensemble music and gave it away. I know others who did well with it too.
Matt Faunce
2013-08-06 15:59:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Slogoin
Post by Matt Faunce
Going through?
NYC... been through a lot but I've only seen it from the air.
Oh, sorry. I had that Doors song in mind "break on through to the other
side." Plus my job...
--
Matt
Andrew Schulman
2013-08-06 14:33:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Slogoin
I say you do a Kickstarter to image that brain of yours, for science!!! ... and your book.
Anyway, I want a signed copy of the book. Too bad you don't have it now, I'm going through soon.
The book is coming along well. And a number of things which I can't talk about now are delaying it but they are all good things that will be part of the book and things just have to wait sometimes. Anyway, the process of doing this project, which was really really hard at first, has turned out to be, for lack of a better term, fascinating. As I've learned, the book world and book writing process is generally very slow anyway, so it is going to be a good while before it is a done deal. But thanks very much for the encouragement and kind words.

Andrew
Slogoin
2013-08-06 15:23:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Schulman
The book is coming along well.
Good to hear.
Post by Andrew Schulman
As I've learned, the book world and book writing process is
generally very slow anyway, so it is going to be a good while
before it is a done deal.
For some writers it's too fast with deadlines that are nuts. That was the case for two NYC writers who came to the island so one could finish a book that was already set to be made into a movie, like her last book. Her father was a well know writer and her husband wrote and produced a big TV show but called her "the real writer". She sure worked long and hard to write that book and it was not her first.
Post by Andrew Schulman
But thanks very much for the encouragement and kind words.
It really sounds like an amazing journey to write about it and examine it from the other side. I very much look forward to it.
Jonathan
2013-08-05 13:20:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
Post by tom g
It is obvious that talent exists
What is it? If it exists than it should be definable if only vaguely.
Some learn faster than others? Some are born with a great memory capacity that others cannot have? Some are born with motor skills that others cannot attain?
What is it?
It seems pretty obvious that some are born with better memory capacity than others.
Do you think someone with Down syndrome has the same memory ability than someone with a normal complement of chromosomes?
Learnwell
2013-08-05 13:29:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan
Do you think someone with Down syndrome has the same memory ability than someone with a normal complement of chromosomes?
I've said many times that any level of accomplishment is achievable short of disability.
Slogoin
2013-08-05 13:52:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
I've said many times that any level of accomplishment is achievable short of disability.
Maybe it's you who has the DISABILITY, unless you can describe exactly where the line is between us DISABLED and you geniuses.
Jonathan
2013-08-05 14:05:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
Post by Jonathan
Do you think someone with Down syndrome has the same memory ability than someone with a normal complement of chromosomes?
I've said many times that any level of accomplishment is achievable short of disability.
Unfortunately, there is no cut-and-dry way to define disability. It's an arbitrary distinction.
While Down is an extreme case, everything in nature exists on a continuum.
It seems pretty reasonable to assume that folks with mental retardation exist at the extreme edge of the distribution curve and prodigies exist in the middle.
What Down syndrome *does* prove is that there are congenital neurological traits that can dictate what and what is not intellectually possible.
Why wouldn't those limitations exist to varying degrees?
Slogoin
2013-08-05 14:56:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan
What Down syndrome *does* prove is that there are congenital neurological traits that can dictate what and what is not intellectually possible.
Why wouldn't those limitations exist to varying degrees?
Why limit only one end? If there are "disabled" folks why not folks with "abilities"? If Andrew can suddenly gain an ability why can't someone be born with that ability?

Like Howard Gardner I see many intelligences not just one. I also think he's focused on the right thing, what are good works and how do we create them.
Steven Bornfeld
2013-08-05 15:27:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan
Unfortunately, there is no cut-and-dry way to define disability. It's an arbitrary distinction.
While Down is an extreme case, everything in nature exists on a continuum.
It seems pretty reasonable to assume that folks with mental retardation exist at the extreme edge of
the distribution curve and prodigies exist in the middle.
Post by Jonathan
What Down syndrome *does* prove is that there are congenital neurological traits that can dictate
what and what is not intellectually possible.
Post by Jonathan
Why wouldn't those limitations exist to varying degrees?
You're quite right--you can't define "disability" without defining
"normal", and as I've mentioned, even that is very tough.
But there are plenty of ways to explain the difficulty, without thinking
this difficulty is the result of the arrogance of teachers.
We're only 2 generations away from the concentration camps, and there
is plenty of racism (with all the other 'isms') around the world.
Acknowledging natural differences in cognitive qualities is just a step
away from eugenics, and we know where that road leads.
And yet--and yet--anyone with eyes can see that the best sprinters in
the world trace their roots to western Africa; the best marathoners in
the world trace their roots to eastern Africa. It is easy to
acknowledge that Africans are more likely to carry the allele for
sickle-cell anemia; Mediterraneans more likely to carry the trait for
Cooley's anemia; Ashkenazi Jews more likely to carry Gaucher's , cystic
fibrosis and Tay sachs.
There was an article in the NY Times some years back which speculated
that the gene for Tay Sachs and other "Jewish" diseases also conferred
intelligence. It caused quite a flap, but probably not as much as it
should have. It was not only "politically incorrect"; it was also
extremely speculative, and I was surprised this could have been
published, except perhaps as an opinion piece.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/03/science/03gene.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Maybe Tony (now that I know he is a geneticist) could comment. It seems
extremely unlikely to me that there is a single "intelligence"
gene--even if we could define or classify "intelligence".
It's not like the sickle cell trait, where an adaptive advantage
(increased resistance to malaria) can be demonstrated. That's easy,
compared to this.
Meanwhile, we'll have to chart a course between telling a kid that they
can do anything they set their mind to and telling a kid he doesn't have
the "right stuff".

Steve
Learnwell
2013-08-06 01:59:15 UTC
Permalink
anyone with eyes can see that the best sprinters in
Post by Steven Bornfeld
the world trace their roots to western Africa; the best marathoners in
the world trace their roots to eastern Africa.
Specifically Jamaica where running is a national obsession. High school championship track meets are regarded much like the Superbowl is in the United States.

Ever wonder why so many great hockey players are from Canada and Eastern Europe, or why most great NFL players are from the US, or why the greatest soccer players are from Europe? It is because those cultures value those sports and training begins early.
Slogoin
2013-08-06 02:10:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
Specifically Jamaica where running is a national obsession.
The book looks like it addresses this in a way you are not familiar with. Why not just read it...

BTW, the reviews on the race sections has got me ordering it. The running is NOT just Jamaica nor just about training, and I know a bit about this from personal experience.
Steven Bornfeld
2013-08-06 22:03:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
Specifically Jamaica where running is a national obsession. High school championship track meets are regarded
much like the Superbowl is in the United States.
Post by Learnwell
Ever wonder why so many great hockey players are from Canada and Eastern Europe, or why most great NFL players
are from the US, or why the greatest soccer players are from Europe?
It is because those cultures value those

sports and training begins early.
Something like a sprint, which involves coordination and reflexes, but
above all raw speed, is almost certainly an easier parameter to measure
than skill at hockey, soccer and American football. All value speed,
but also a larger and more diverse skill set.
But I'd bet that if you looked at the best running backs of all time and
you traced their families you'd find a lot of west African background.

Steve (white man, can't jump).
Tony Done
2013-08-06 22:34:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
Post by Learnwell
Specifically Jamaica where running is a national obsession. High
school championship track meets are regarded
much like the Superbowl is in the United States.
Post by Learnwell
Ever wonder why so many great hockey players are from Canada and
Eastern Europe, or why most great NFL players
are from the US, or why the greatest soccer players are from Europe?
It is because those cultures value those
sports and training begins early.
Something like a sprint, which involves coordination and reflexes, but
above all raw speed, is almost certainly an easier parameter to measure
than skill at hockey, soccer and American football. All value speed,
but also a larger and more diverse skill set.
But I'd bet that if you looked at the best running backs of all time and
you traced their families you'd find a lot of west African background.
Steve (white man, can't jump).
Somewhere in one of these two immense threads on talent, you mentioned
my name in relation to genetic components. I think here the naysayers
have the scientists by the short and curlies, because scientific
discipline demands the dictates of the null hypothesis. - You have to
assume that things are the same until you can demonstrate beyond
reasonable doubt that they are different. Exceedingly difficult in the
case of something like talent or creativity, which cannot even be
defined along a simple scale. The possible role of epigenes, which might
influence very early development - well before a child would normally be
a candidate for learning guitar - add another layer of complexity over
that caused by G*E interaction and problems in measurement.

The length and vehemence of this discussion suggests that whatever you
believe is more like religion than science. Human potential is my
substitute for religion. I might not believe in a caring god, but I do
believe that humans are not born equal, and that that is the wellspring
for whatever progress we might make as a species. I can live comfortably
with the thought that some might do much better than me because they
work harder or better or are luckier, whatever, but the idea that there
don't exist those with greater potential than me is too depressing to
contemplate.
--
Tony Done

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=784456

http://www.flickr.com/photos/done_family/
Steven Bornfeld
2013-08-07 03:35:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony Done
Somewhere in one of these two immense threads on talent, you mentioned
my name in relation to genetic components. I think here the naysayers
have the scientists by the short and curlies, because scientific
discipline demands the dictates of the null hypothesis. - You have to
assume that things are the same until you can demonstrate beyond
reasonable doubt that they are different. Exceedingly difficult in the
case of something like talent or creativity, which cannot even be
defined along a simple scale. The possible role of epigenes, which might
influence very early development - well before a child would normally be
a candidate for learning guitar - add another layer of complexity over
that caused by G*E interaction and problems in measurement.
The length and vehemence of this discussion suggests that whatever you
believe is more like religion than science. Human potential is my
substitute for religion. I might not believe in a caring god, but I do
believe that humans are not born equal, and that that is the wellspring
for whatever progress we might make as a species. I can live comfortably
with the thought that some might do much better than me because they
work harder or better or are luckier, whatever, but the idea that there
don't exist those with greater potential than me is too depressing to
contemplate.
That's a pretty optimistic take. The counter argument I'm sure has been
stated by many (I'm sure), but specifically by George Carlin, who
(speaking of environmentalists) ridiculed the hubris of people who
wanted to "save" the earth--as if we could influence the earth enough to
destroy it. He said that in 40 million years, humans would be long
gone, but he was sure that rats and cockroaches would still be around.
I was thinking that was not altogether a depressing thought.

Steve
Tony Done
2013-08-07 20:51:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steven Bornfeld
That's a pretty optimistic take. The counter argument I'm sure has been
stated by many (I'm sure), but specifically by George Carlin, who
(speaking of environmentalists) ridiculed the hubris of people who
wanted to "save" the earth--as if we could influence the earth enough to
destroy it. He said that in 40 million years, humans would be long
gone, but he was sure that rats and cockroaches would still be around. I
was thinking that was not altogether a depressing thought.
Steve
I'm not sure it is optimistic, but you have to have some kind of belief
system that avoids nihilism, or we would have no incentive to do
anything. Mine just doesn't involve Providence. I think Carlin's
attitude displays a good deal more hubris than that of the
environmentalists. We have no idea what the future will bring. The Cold
War and population growth were the big things when I was young, and
never in my wildest dreams, or those of anyone else that I know of, did
we imagine the impact that communications and information technologies
would have, or the risks posed by human-powered climate change, only 50
years on. I wouldn't like to guess 40 years into the future, never mind
40 million.
--
Tony Done

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=784456

http://www.flickr.com/photos/done_family/
Jonathan
2013-08-06 10:49:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan
Post by Learnwell
Post by Jonathan
Do you think someone with Down syndrome has the same memory ability than someone with a normal complement of chromosomes?
I've said many times that any level of accomplishment is achievable short of disability.
Unfortunately, there is no cut-and-dry way to define disability. It's an arbitrary distinction.
While Down is an extreme case, everything in nature exists on a continuum.
It seems pretty reasonable to assume that folks with mental retardation exist at the extreme edge of the distribution curve and prodigies exist in the middle.
What Down syndrome *does* prove is that there are congenital neurological traits that can dictate what and what is not intellectually possible.
Why wouldn't those limitations exist to varying degrees?
Whoops...meant to say prodigies exist at the "other end," not at the middle.
Steven Bornfeld
2013-08-06 22:16:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan
Post by Jonathan
Unfortunately, there is no cut-and-dry way to define disability. It's an arbitrary distinction.
While Down is an extreme case, everything in nature exists on a continuum.
It seems pretty reasonable to assume that folks with mental retardation exist at the extreme edge of the distribution
curve and prodigies exist in the middle.
Post by Jonathan
Post by Jonathan
What Down syndrome *does* prove is that there are congenital neurological traits that can dictate what and what is not
intellectually possible.
Post by Jonathan
Post by Jonathan
Why wouldn't those limitations exist to varying degrees?
Whoops...meant to say prodigies exist at the "other end," not at the middle.
Well, few cases of cognitive disability are as easily characterized as
is Down's syndrome. It's primarily genetic (demonstrably so--as trisomy
of chromosome 21), so it's a special case. There is considerable
variation in intellectual function in Downs s. patients--some are only
mildly retarded. OTOH, there are a lot of other characteristics (esp.
cardiac defects) that affect these patients too.

Steve
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