[CQ-Contest] Are contesters born or made?

Hank Greeb n8xx at arrl.org
Tue May 11 19:34:50 PDT 2010


Thanks for your thoughtful, and thought provoking response.

I didn't make up the number 10,000. The author of the book (Malcolm 
Gladwell) said it in "The Outliers." I read parts of the book, and it's 
certain that Gates and his cronies who started in junior high and then 
went to high school at that high priced school had lots of advantages 
over us common folks who were still using quill and papyrus for most of 
our work. :)

I quote the Book Review in the New York Times 
(http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/18/books/18kaku.html): "In much the same 
fashion, Mr. Gladwell suggests that Bill Gates became Bill Gates because 
he was lucky enough to attend a high school that “had access to a 
time-sharing terminal in 1968” and because he had another series of 
opportunities to spend hours working on computer programming before 
dropping out of Harvard to start his own software company. Both the 
Beatles and Mr. Gates, Mr. Gladwell argues, exceeded or came close to 
what he calls “the 10,000-Hour Rule” — the number of hours of practice 
that a neurologist named Daniel Levitin says are likely required “to 
achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert 
— in anything.” Also, says Mr. Gladwell, Mr. Gates had the good fortune 
to be born in 1955 — one of the optimum years to be born to take 
advantage of the personal computer age. "

So, please argue with Mr. Gladwell, the author, if you wish. Or, read 
the salient parts of the book to more fully understand the premise upon 
which the author bases his conclusion about expertise and genius being 
trained, not necessarily inherited.

73 de n8xx Hg

p.s. The last concert I attended was "Verdi's Requiem" by the Grand 
Rapids Symphony. I like some classical guitar, but Mozart is my favorite 

On 5/11/2010 9:55 PM, mike l dol dormann wrote:
> i had to take my guitar picks off to write this - there are two numbers,
> 10,000 hours (8 hours a day 5 days a week for 10 years) and 3000, the
> number of times the musician you saw on stage last night has played the
> song before you heard it
> mike w7dra
> www.softislandsounds.com
> and the side note why would a 67 your old man take up an instrument that
> purportedly takes 30 years to master, I'll never know
> (my mom made me take piano lessons that's why)
>> 10,000 hours of computer programming experience when he started
>> college.  (and he never finished).  It is purported that 10,000
>> hours of
>> practice and study is a "magic number" between the elite
>> practitioners,
>> and the masses.
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