Archive | November 4, 2011

10,000-Hour Experts


Expert Bikini Wearing

The 10,000 rule was suggested in the 90s by Dr. K. Anders Ericsson who is a Swedish psychologist and “is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading theoretical and experimental researchers on expertise.  The 10,000 hour rule says that it requires 10,000 hours of intentional practice to become an expert in something. That something can be anything like batting, bowling, bikini-wearing, chess, lawn tennis, ping-pong, classical guitar, belly dancing, watching porn, dentistry, kidney replacement, brain bypassing, writing, blogging, or stealing from the national coffers. Though the 10,000 hour theory was first suggested by Anders Ericsson, it was Malcolm Gladwell who popularized the theory in his bestseller, Outliers, and since then success and competence has never been the same.

Because calculators are so cheap, It is now widely known that 10,000 hours of practice means a person must diligently practice at their field for around 3 hours per day for 10 years, or 6 hours per day for 5 years, or 12 hours per day for 3 years, or 24 hours per day for 1.5 years. There seems to be much empirical evidence to suggest that experts are not born or simply created when appointed to the board of a state enterprise, or even when awarded a consultancy contract by a friend in Government but must practice diligently to become an expert. Naturally, this rule also applies to fools, liars and thieves who all suffer from insomnia and seem to practice their art every waking minute hence become expert fools, liars and thieves quicker than say a chess player can even approach  Grand Master level. This revelation might be shocking to many who call themselves experts after just a few years of some undergrad course and then a few months of post grad work, all from a shady university whose lecturers were trained via Google.

Though a person needs to clock those 10,000 quality hours to become an expert, one can still sound like an expert in less time due to the common effect called the one-eyed man in the kingdom of the blind rule. This is what most wannabe experts depend on to boost their egos and incomes along with the wearing of  tight fitting clothes and the owning of a firm butt.

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