Talent

RadixRadix Join Date: 2005-01-10 Member: 34654Posts: 964Members, Constellation
QUOTE(some chick)
Think of all the things we practice but never attribute to natural, in-born talent: kissing, gardening, how to shot skulk, sudoku, cooking, typing, room-decorating and driving, and even test-taking. Like areas of study, or the arts, they just require some hands-on, down-home, old-time practice. God knows my actual aptitude in reasoning and analysis didn’t change in between the two months I took the SATs, I just practiced how to take the damn thing.


Ok so maybe she didn't actually mention skulks in the article but it's still a good read if you have 5 minutes. Short, to the point, and well structured (she is from stanford after all). The replies section takes up half the page:

http://daily.stanford.edu/article/2007/10/...BelieveInTalent
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Comments

  • enigmaenigma Join Date: 2004-09-11 Member: 31623Posts: 391Members
    Makaveli can pub 8+ hours on the same server without taking a break. That's how he became amazing.
  • UnderwhelmedUnderwhelmed DemoDetective #?! Join Date: 2006-09-19 Member: 58026Posts: 756Members, Constellation
    edited January 2008
    QUOTE(enigma @ Jan 22 2008, 10:46 PM) »
    Makaveli ccould pub 8+ hours on the same server without taking a break, if only he weren't banned from all of them

    Fixed
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    QUOTE (SmoodCroozn)
    Don't bother posting, because it seems to me, you don't even know how the game works.

    THIS SIGNATURE IS IN VIOLATION OF COMMUNITY RULES
    image
  • fanaticfanatic This post has been edited. Join Date: 2003-07-23 Member: 18377Posts: 1,724Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue
    edited January 2008
    Just another article that didn't need to be written. She basically admits that genetics do contribute, which means her entire line of reasoning is just another "hey look I like to state obvious stuff everyone knows about anyway".

    Both variables you can't determine (birth, family status, et cetera) and variables you can determine (practice, dedication, et cetera) influence how you perform at certain tasks. Rarely will either make it impossible for someone to get good at something, but they can make it harder and in the extremes (serious birth defects, total lack of motivation, et cetera) practically impossible.

    Is there anyone who doesn't realize this? Religious fundamentalists maybe, but they're not likely to take any mention of that article anyway.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • HeymanHeyman Join Date: 2005-03-29 Member: 46895Posts: 406Members
    QUOTE(Underwhelmed @ Jan 23 2008, 05:04 AM) »
    Fixed


    Yea. I haven't seen him in a pub for over a year. I miss the challenge. sad-fix.gif
  • SariselSarisel .::' ( O ) ';:-. .-.:;' ( O ) '::. Join Date: 2003-07-30 Member: 18557Posts: 2,192Members, Constellation
    "With a few reps and a little elbow grease you can conquer differential equations with equal adeptness, not to mention become a better painter or get better at volleyball. Or, really, get good at whatever your heart desires. We can do exactly what we love, as long as we love it enough to do it."

    To say that "a few reps" will allow you to "conquer" advanced material is a little misleading. The last decade or so of neurocognitive science research has demonstrated that what you do and how much you do in your youth strongly determines your abilities in future years. What's more important is that there are stages, critical periods, where lack of brain stimulation makes it incredibly difficult to learn certain skills or abilities later on. It can be impossible to reach certain levels of ability regardless of the effort that you put in. For instance, if you don't develop mathematical ability in youth or just tend to avoid it overall, there is no way that you can just get advanced mathematics with "a little bit of practice". Years of practice - maybe.

    Beyond genetic factors and critical period of learning, there are psychological factors - self-confidence, self-worth, self-image - that will determine whether or not you will adhere to learning, how much effort you will put in, how well you will do it, and how effective your efforts will be. There's your schema at play too, which determines how you process information and how you assign what is important and what is not important. There's a whole book on how the schema naturally corrupts our abilities to learn.

    Articles like these, that are written with good intentions to "inspire" people to try harder and not to simply write themselves off, don't give a realistic picture of what the process of learning/improving really entails or what is to be expected (many factors involved here), how long this will take, etc.. As a result, many of those who fail to improve through practice are discouraged because they do not understand how complex the process really is - especially with very specific tasks.
  • tjosantjosan Join Date: 2003-05-16 Member: 16374Posts: 1,335Members, Constellation
    Learning is an aquired skill. Rawr.
  • F4tManMGS2F4tManMGS2 Join Date: 2004-04-10 Member: 27842Posts: 193Members
    QUOTE(fanatic @ Jan 23 2008, 12:52 PM) »
    Just another article that didn't need to be written. She basically admits that genetics do contribute, which means her entire line of reasoning is just another "hey look I like to state obvious stuff everyone knows about anyway".

    Both variables you can't determine (birth, family status, et cetera) and variables you can determine (practice, dedication, et cetera) influence how you perform at certain tasks. Rarely will either make it impossible for someone to get good at something, but they can make it harder and in the extremes (serious birth defects, total lack of motivation, et cetera) practically impossible.

    Is there anyone who doesn't realize this? Religious fundamentalists maybe, but they're not likely to take any mention of that article anyway.


    Hasn't academia been the never ending pursuit of repeating yourself god-knows how many times in the fruitless hope that you're actually saying something different?
  • enigmaenigma Join Date: 2004-09-11 Member: 31623Posts: 391Members
    QUOTE(Heyman @ Jan 23 2008, 09:42 PM) »
    Yea. I haven't seen him in a pub for over a year. I miss the challenge. sad-fix.gif

    Actually, he pubs daily, just not under the same name or SteamID for more than a few games.
  • RadixRadix Join Date: 2005-01-10 Member: 34654Posts: 964Members, Constellation
    edited January 2008
    QUOTE(Sarisel @ Jan 26 2008, 03:39 PM) »
    To say that "a few reps" will allow you to "conquer" advanced material is a little misleading.


    It's a literary exaggeration. You understand the concept is less simplistic than that, but should get the point anyway.


    QUOTE(Sarisel @ Jan 26 2008, 03:39 PM) »
    The last decade or so of neurocognitive science research has demonstrated that what you do and how much you do in your youth strongly determines your abilities in future years.


    And has also demonstrated that the human brain is the most complex physical structure per size in the universe, which makes it exceedingly hard to perform accurate tests especially because of the number of confounding variables in every experiment. My argument by posting this isn't that "there are no biological factors involved in learning" but rather that the biological factors are far less important than people think they are.

    I don't have the same faith in critical periods as much of neuroscience or psychology seems to. These periods don't stop people from living, but like any problem in the past, will certainly make it harder. I think it's at least as misleading to assert a superstitiously high level of biological impossibility as it is to write an article like this one. I've never seen someone unable to aim because they didn't skulk enough during their critical periods. As she said, it may have a small impact, but the greater overriding factors are the ones players have control over. I'm surprised that you'd post differently considering how I've heard you talk about this in the past.

    I'm not trying to discount how hard some things are, or give people a false impression that they should be easier, but much worse than all the potential problems you described is the simple learning block that many people have after trying something, failing a couple times, and assuming they can't do it.

    It's my opinion that "genetics" and "biology" are more often than not used as excuses by unlearned individuals or for security by those who are skilled but still unsure of themselves. And while people are most certainly born at times without limbs, and similarly it should follow that genetics could be responsible for other disabilities, I would argue that the frequency of such problems is roughly similar to their physical counterparts, and that most often biology is not the primary issue at hand.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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    "Women aren't intuitive, ... so we would be better off without them surely." --Pheus
  • SariselSarisel .::' ( O ) ';:-. .-.:;' ( O ) '::. Join Date: 2003-07-30 Member: 18557Posts: 2,192Members, Constellation
    QUOTE(Radix @ Jan 29 2008, 08:42 AM) »
    I don't have the same faith in critical periods as much of neuroscience or psychology seems to. These periods don't stop people from living, but like any problem in the past, will certainly make it harder. I think it's at least as misleading to assert a superstitiously high level of biological impossibility as it is to write an article like this one. I've never seen someone unable to aim because they didn't skulk enough during their critical periods. As she said, it may have a small impact, but the greater overriding factors are the ones players have control over. I'm surprised that you'd post differently considering how I've heard you talk about this in the past.


    It's a case of your misinterpreting what I have posted in relation to what I have said before. That "simple learning block" may or may not be as simple as you think it is. It depends on the task and on the person - hence why my post stands, not to discourage people from trying to learn things, but to encourage understanding of why they might fail and why they might give up, so that they may pace themselves accordingly to suit their own abilities to learn - rather than assume that it's some case of mind-over-matter.

    As for aiming and critical periods - I can assure you that I have seen several players of various ages (obviously at least old enough to play) that simply can't aim with a skulk. But what about the majority of such people that don't even play games because they are so bad? Or the people who just don't play games at all because they have more important things to do - like surviving on $2 a day while also supporting a family? Obviously you won't see them - but that's not a persuasive argument that they don't exist. There's a sample bias here. How many current players were deprived of sensory stimulation in earlier years? Probably not many, but this doesn't represent the general population, which the article is directed to.
  • RadixRadix Join Date: 2005-01-10 Member: 34654Posts: 964Members, Constellation
    QUOTE(Sarisel @ Jan 30 2008, 01:07 AM) »
    It depends on the task and on the person - hence why my post stands, not to discourage people from trying to learn things, but to encourage understanding of why they might fail and why they might give up, so that they may pace themselves accordingly to suit their own abilities to learn - rather than assume that it's some case of mind-over-matter.


    I agree like anyone would that a given person needs to move at their own pace, but that's a far cry from saying that biology is somehow to blame for someone's inability to aim with a skulk.

    I'll give you that in rare cases (probably about as common as a physical defect like a missing limb) there are real biological issues that cause problems in a person's life, but I think they'd likely be discovered before a player loaded up an obscure half-life modification, so handling those exceptions seems superfluous?

    QUOTE(Sarisel @ Jan 30 2008, 01:07 AM) »
    As for aiming and critical periods - I can assure you that I have seen several players of various ages (obviously at least old enough to play) that simply can't aim with a skulk.


    Which was probably due to a lack of practice, or a poor (unintelligent) way of practicing, not a barely-noticeable case of downs syndrome.

    As to surviving on $2 a day, I can't speak to that, although Roland and I discussed how real life impacts gaming on several occasions and came to the conclusion that it's possibly the greatest interfering factor in how well someone plays on a given day.
    NS2 Idea Map - Add your next suggestion thread here if you want it to be remembered!

    http://nsdojo.net - Covering a wide array of advanced topics on one of the deepest games ever made.

    "Women aren't intuitive, ... so we would be better off without them surely." --Pheus
  • fanaticfanatic This post has been edited. Join Date: 2003-07-23 Member: 18377Posts: 1,724Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue
    edited January 2008
    QUOTE(Radix @ Jan 29 2008, 02:42 PM) »
    It's a literary exaggeration. You understand the concept is less simplistic than that, but should get the point anyway.

    It's a terrible exaggeration. The article basically says "u can have teh american dream u just have to believe in urself lol", which is great if you're 10 years old, but otherwise not so much.

    Not to sound like a broken record here, but "hard practice/work makes you good/gets you stuff" is as common as common knowledge can get. It's not as simple as that in the real word however.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • LeonLeon Join Date: 2006-10-31 Member: 58131Posts: 177Members
    edited January 2008
    Freakonomics is really good by the way. The abortion-crime connection they propose is interesting. I don't know the methodology or arguments against what they say, but I watched a short clip of them on television.

    Being above average or (good) at this game is pretty simple by the way.

    -A desire to do so, seems to be critically lacking by most. You can't change that. Cultures have developed on public servers and outsiders (most skilled players) are viewed with suspicion and resentment.

    -Time to expend on practice, learning tricks, etc.

    -A decent computer, monitor, mouse, basic knowledge of editing your config.

    -Mentor(s), can be a clan, pubstar friend, etc.

    Anything else is cake. NS isn't one dimensional, players who have had trouble with precision aiming can pick up commanding. For aliens, you can be effective by sporing, destroying res nodes, gorging. Even those tasks aren't 'simple', a skilled gorge can be a great asset. There are roles for everyone, you just have to find your nitch.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    <DOOManiac> my main thing about clans is they never seem to actually have fun when playing
    <DOOManiac> even if they're winning they are so caught up in the seriousness of the situation they don't have fun. its like work. where's the fun in that?
  • RadixRadix Join Date: 2005-01-10 Member: 34654Posts: 964Members, Constellation
    Fana, I didn't glean what you did out of the article. I got that hard work pays off, and that talent is an overused word to accommodate for what I said earlier: that "genetics" and "biology" are more often than not used as excuses by unlearned individuals or for security by those who are skilled but still unsure of themselves... and that most often biology is not the primary issue at hand.

    Further, if that aspect of the article is so worthlessly common (and therefore innocuous) why have you replied twice - with a great deal of emotion - to a thread about it on an obscure internet message board?
    NS2 Idea Map - Add your next suggestion thread here if you want it to be remembered!

    http://nsdojo.net - Covering a wide array of advanced topics on one of the deepest games ever made.

    "Women aren't intuitive, ... so we would be better off without them surely." --Pheus
  • SariselSarisel .::&#39; ( O ) &#39;;:-. .-.:;&#39; ( O ) &#39;::. Join Date: 2003-07-30 Member: 18557Posts: 2,192Members, Constellation
    edited January 2008
    Radix, if you wanted to apply this article only to NS, you should make that clear. If you wanted to argue for the possibility that a certain player can improve via practice, then you should state this from the beginning. I'm not arguing against possibilities. If you don't define your stance well, arguments arise that occur at completely different wavelengths.

    Biology is behind everything at some level. In your example that you brought up - the said player can't aim with his skulk because some neurons in his brain are just not used to firing a certain way. Said player can attempt to train himself to alter this flaw. Whether he does or does not succeed (or even try) still depends on biological processes. Are the reward pathways in his brain going to motivate him to continue training or not? Everything you do is entirely biologically determined - even thinking and consciousness.

    Furthermore, everyone has biological weaknesses (and strengths) - they may be great or minor, correctable or not. They may be genetic or acquired through life. Here, our perspectives diverge on what "great" or "minor" really represent in this argument, or even what you mean by "skilled". You're thinking of Down syndrome - which is often an extreme disability. I'm thinking of something like response time - the difference between a 300ms and a 100ms response. Both do have genetic components and depend on an individual's brain training throughout life.

    If you're arguing about gaming, the latter is very important in a competitive sense and a player's background imposes limitations on his abilities that are very difficult to surpass in the top 5% of performance. If you're arguing about casual play and about general improvements, then yes - practice helps a lot initially, but eventually also follows the law of diminishing return. Why? For the reasons I have stated earlier, which you seem to be sidestepping with specific possible scenarios in NS and idealism. And this is just one possible contrast of our thoughts. This isn't to say that your message isn't valid at certain levels - but I do question the statistics (e.g. "more often than not") and vague definitions (e.g. "skilled but unsure") that are signs that the message is not always (and not even necessarily mostly) true in reality. In the end I feel like I'm arguing over something trivial.

    Edit: I guess the missing part of the argument is that these days (IRL) expectations are all increasing - there's more to learn overall, it's more difficult to achieve excellence, and there's more competition for wages and especially for high-paying jobs. More and more, it is coming down to one's ability to be resourceful rather than brute force practice and memorization. That's what I am directing my comments to - which is probably not what you are applying the article to.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • fanaticfanatic This post has been edited. Join Date: 2003-07-23 Member: 18377Posts: 1,724Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue
    QUOTE(Radix @ Jan 30 2008, 10:42 PM) »
    Fana, I didn't glean what you did out of the article. I got that hard work pays off, and that talent is an overused word to accommodate for what I said earlier: that "genetics" and "biology" are more often than not used as excuses by unlearned individuals or for security by those who are skilled but still unsure of themselves... and that most often biology is not the primary issue at hand.

    Further, if that aspect of the article is so worthlessly common (and therefore innocuous) why have you replied twice - with a great deal of emotion - to a thread about it on an obscure internet message board?

    It's an explosive mix of me being both easily excitable and bored out of my mind at the same time.
  • RadixRadix Join Date: 2005-01-10 Member: 34654Posts: 964Members, Constellation
    QUOTE(Sarisel @ Jan 31 2008, 01:01 AM) »
    Furthermore, everyone has biological weaknesses (and strengths) - they may be great or minor, correctable or not. They may be genetic or acquired through life. Here, our perspectives diverge on what "great" or "minor" really represent in this argument, or even what you mean by "skilled". You're thinking of Down syndrome - which is often an extreme disability. I'm thinking of something like response time - the difference between a 300ms and a 100ms response. Both do have genetic components and depend on an individual's brain training throughout life.


    It looks to me like we just disagree, I'm not seeing what part of your argument for biology predisposing a player to a 100 or 300 ms response time is so overwhelming that I should assume you're right about it.

    I actually would call my argument very non-idealistic in many respects. Idealism for many is that they are simply "talented" and that gets them through their day. My primary point in posting this is that the "subtle differences" you attribute to talent and genetics, I attribute to a player's choices and level of practice, except in rare and extreme cases like "Down" syndrome.
    NS2 Idea Map - Add your next suggestion thread here if you want it to be remembered!

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  • puzlpuzl The Old Firm Join Date: 2003-02-26 Member: 14029Posts: 4,111Retired Developer, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Constellation mod
    I don't see why they have to be mutually exclusive. How about this statement?

    Practice allows a person to achieve their natural potential?

    Natural potential is a complex of innate ability, rate of learning, ability to concentrate etc, but I think you get the point.

    I mean, I know for example, that all other things being equal, I'll just never ever be as good as civ or mustang, but I also know that if I practice hard I can certainly improve on my current abilities.




    Retired NS1 Developer, currently making myself useful as a forum moderator - message me for any mod related requests.
  • fanaticfanatic This post has been edited. Join Date: 2003-07-23 Member: 18377Posts: 1,724Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue
    edited January 2008
    Jeez why compare yourself to American scum? You're European, have some pride damnit.

    Mustang playing CS:S professionally now does tickle me in that special place though.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • RadixRadix Join Date: 2005-01-10 Member: 34654Posts: 964Members, Constellation
    QUOTE(puzl @ Jan 31 2008, 10:20 AM) »
    Practice allows a person to achieve their natural potential?


    That's of course the fact of the matter, at the end of the day, but the issues I'm more focusing toward have to do with how much, or how frequently a player can attribute being bad or being good at something to their genes.

    It's my opinion that psychology and neuroscience have insufficient proof for us to gather that our genes are to blame "more often than not" which seems to be a commonly held belief, especially in games like NS, you even seem to share it Puzl, but I'm not so sure it's accurate.

    It seems to me that self-fulfilling prophecy has a great deal more to do with a player's relative skill level than do their genes, but that the belief that genes are the main causal factor creates a much stronger sense of self-fulfilling prophecy, which often contributes to a consistently low "consensus of skill" in some of the community.
    NS2 Idea Map - Add your next suggestion thread here if you want it to be remembered!

    http://nsdojo.net - Covering a wide array of advanced topics on one of the deepest games ever made.

    "Women aren't intuitive, ... so we would be better off without them surely." --Pheus
  • LeonLeon Join Date: 2006-10-31 Member: 58131Posts: 177Members
    edited February 2008
    Dianetics allows a person to achieve their natural potential

    its the secret key to become an ns champion
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    <DOOManiac> my main thing about clans is they never seem to actually have fun when playing
    <DOOManiac> even if they're winning they are so caught up in the seriousness of the situation they don't have fun. its like work. where's the fun in that?
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