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Archive for the ‘craft’ Category

Sports, Complexity, and the Ten-Thousand-Hour Rule : The New Yorker

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Sports, Complexity, and the Ten-Thousand-Hour Rule : The New Yorker:

As it happens, I have been a runner and a serious track-and-field fan my entire life, and I have never seen a boy who was slow become fast either. For that matter, I’ve never met someone who thinks a boy who was slow can become fast. Epstein has written a wonderful book. But I wonder if, in his zeal to stake out a provocative claim on this one matter, he has built himself a straw man. The point of Simon and Chase’s paper years ago was that cognitively complex activities take many years to master because they require that a very long list of situations and possibilities and scenarios be experienced and processed. There’s a reason the Beatles didn’t give us “The White Album” when they were teen-agers. And if the surgeon who wants to fuse your spinal cord did some newfangled online accelerated residency, you should probably tell him no. It does not invalidate the ten-thousand-hour principle, however, to point out that in instances where there are not a long list of situations and scenarios and possibilities to master—like jumping really high, running as fast as you can in a straight line, or directing a sharp object at a large, round piece of cork—expertise can be attained a whole lot more quickly. What Simon and Chase wrote forty years ago remains true today. In cognitively demanding fields, there are no naturals.

[Gladwell and Epstein go at it. Looking forward to reading the book. And don’t miss this either.]

Written by Daniel

August 22, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Looking good while changing a flat

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Anatomy of a Photo: Rules Pioneer:

flat changing

[Some people can look good even while changing a flat.]

Source: Velominati

Written by Daniel

August 20, 2013 at 11:46 am

Posted in advocacy, craft, cycling


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My friends Matt and Christine got married today. Yesterday in…:

I have never ridden a segment in my life. I ride rides. To feel and fall into and be a celebrant of a road’s rhythm is better to me than to be a king of a thing that does not exist on that road. Someone read from The Song of Songs at Christine and Matt’s wedding, and Linus said, “Those of you who titter about the Song of Songs have no imagination.”

[I find both statement spectacularly true.]

Source: True BS

Written by Daniel

July 28, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Posted in craft, cycling, rides

→ Tail wagging

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→ Tail wagging:

Matt Gemmell on skeuomorphism and intuitive design:

Matt, a programmer by trade, addresses the skeuomorphism debate more effectively than most designers I’ve heard arguing about it.

[Here’s my pull quote:]

Children don’t seem to be having problems grasping those concepts, even if Jakob Neilsen thinks they should. They’re not confused by interactive data-surfaces; they’re frustrated when actual, printed content in the physical world doesn’t respond the way they now expect it to.

Intuitiveness has become unhelpfully conflated with familiarity. The reasoning is simple enough: things that are already familiar don’t have to be re-learned, so we assume that they’re more “intuitive”. That’s a big assumption, but we treat it as if it’s fact.

Sometimes, familiar things aren’t as intuitive as they could be, and a new, unfamiliar thing might be more so. Another possibility is that a new thing might be equally intuitive, but also have other benefits which justify its initial unfamiliarity. In either case, intuitiveness cannot be divorced from context.

∞ Permalink

[Spot on.]

Source: Marco.org

Written by Daniel

May 13, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Posted in craft, design, tech

Michael, Steve, & Lance

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OTL: Michael Jordan Has Not Left The Building – ESPN:

THE OPPOSITE OF this creeping nostalgia is the way Jordan has always collected slights, inventing them — nurturing them. He can be a breathtaking asshole: self-centered, bullying and cruel. That’s the ugly side of greatness. He’s a killer, in the Darwinian sense of the word, immediately sensing and attacking someone’s weakest spot.

[Same thing about Jobs. Same things about Lance. There are certain types of greatness that make it easy to, maybe nearly demand this behavior. I don’t think it’s required. I think it’s a flaw. But possibly one that keeps them human in the face of the searing burn they demanded of themselves.]

Written by Daniel

March 3, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Posted in advocacy, commentary, craft

It’s just like song writing: Jerry Seinfeld Intends to Die Standing Up

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Great article in the Times Magazine last week. Here’s some video from “Jerry Seinfeld Intends to Die Standing Up“. As far as I’m concerned it a familiar theme. While creativity can flow regardless, the pro learns to work the craft. To get repeatable, high level results. Anyone can make a shot from mid court. It doesn’t make you Michael Jordan. You’re still a chimp in the dirt playing with sticks.

Written by Daniel

December 28, 2012 at 11:36 am

Posted in craft, news

teaching cancer to cry » here it is.

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Ezra Cladwell:

For quite a while I’ve had something that I’ve wanted to say, or talk about somehow.  I have touched on it in the past but never really taken it head on.

You would all do me an amazing service if you would entertain the notion that the fight metaphor may not be the most helpful one.  Or maybe it’s not as helpful now as it was in earlier stages.  It’s difficult to change the language around something when it is so engrained.  “Fighting cancer..” “died after a long battle with cancer..”  etc.  But this implies that there are winners and losers.  That if we die we have lost.  But we ALL die.  No one makes it out alive.  That shouldn’t make us all losers.  The most pernicious part of the fight metaphor for me is the notion that if someone dies young from cancer they simply didn’t fight hard enough.  That if someone decides to forgo treatment, they have “thrown in the towel.”

I don’t see any grace in the desperate clinging to life that we call fighting in this metaphor.

[A bunch of years ago I was looking for some nice fenders and stumbled across Ezra. And the small bit of his life shared through his blog has been inspiring and enlightening. He continues to inspire and inform. So much energy has been poured into his survival. Ezra: “Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fighter all right. I have been from the start. Walking around barefoot with fists cocked. But this isn’t a fight. I do want to live. I’m not nearly done eating up stuff yet. I’m just starting to get good!”. Earlier this week a local mom received a stage 3 brain cancer diagnosis. 5 kids, from teenage to littlest. A lovely family. I’m gonna go cry for a few minutes, and then get back to it.]

Written by Daniel

December 10, 2012 at 11:57 am

Posted in advocacy, craft, cycling


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