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Talent Is Overrated (Geoff Colvin) - 「究極の鍛錬」- 158冊目

ジャンル: サイエンス・ロジック
英語難易度: ★★☆
オススメ度: ★★★☆☆

原タイトルの直訳は「才能は過大視されている」。 邦題「究極の鍛錬」よりも、はるかに本書の要点を伝えていると感じました。
目を見張るような結果を出す人たちに対して、「あの人たちは才能があるから」と言って、自分たちとはそもそも別次元の人のように扱ってしまうことがよくありますよね。 しかし先天的な才能が貢献する割合はそれほど大きくなく、後天的な要素がかなり大きいというのが著者の主張です。 (2008年発刊)

参考になるエピソードが多く、後で読み返したいと思うポイントが満載です。 今回はいつものコラムよりも引用箇所が多くなってしまいました。


メモポイント
● 能力は知識量で決まる。 そして知識の蓄積は才能に依存するわけではない。

Eventually researchers from a broad array of fields realized where the secret lay. “The most important ingredient in any expert system is knowledge,” wrote three eminent scientists who work on expert computer systems (Bruce G. Buchanan, Randall Davis, and Edward A. Feigenbaum).
“Programs that are rich in general inference methods—some of which may even have some of the power of mathematical logic—but poor in domain-specific knowledge can behave expertly on almost no tasks.” Their conclusion: “In the knowledge resides the power.”


● プロは固まり(chunk)で覚える。 ここがシロートさんとの違い。 キープしておける情報量の大きさの差は歴然。

The researchers proposed what has become known as the chunk theory. Everyone in the experiment remembered more or less the same number of chunks of information. For the novices, a particular piece on a particular square was a chunk. But for the masters, who had studied real positions for years, a chunk was much larger, consisting of a whole group of pieces in a specific arrangement.


● やれば良いということは誰もが既によく知っている。しかし習慣となるまでのレベルまで実行する人は少ない。 名文筆家となったベンジャミン・フランクリンの鍛錬の話。
できない理由なんていくらでも思いつく。 単純な話だ。 やればできるようになるし、やらなければいつまで経ってもできるようにはならない。

When people today hear about what he did, they generally marvel not at the brilliance of his practice design but at his ability to carry it through. It seems like so much work. The truth is that in theory anyone could have followed his routine; anyone still can, and it would be highly effective. But nobody does it, not even students who are studying writing. And Franklin was not a student. He was then an apprentice in his brother’s printing business, a demanding job that left him little free time. He practiced writing before work in the morning, after work at night, and on Sunday, “when I contrived to be in the printing-house alone.” Raised as a Puritan, he knew he was supposed to be in church on Sunday, but “I could not, as it seemed to me, afford time” to go.


● 目標を置かないのは下の下。 曖昧な目標はまあまあレベル。 抜きん出る人は、最終の目標だけではなく、そこに至るプロセスについても具体的な目標を置いている。 プロセスについても目標をおくということは、少し背伸びしたキツめの負荷を継続して課するということ。これ無くしては何年たっても、そこそこレベルから抜け出すことは不可能。


● 知識の海に浸る事が理解を醸成する。

The most eminent creators are consistently those who have immersed themselves utterly in their chosen field, have devoted their lives to it, amassed tremendous knowledge of it, and continually pushed themselves to the front of it.


● 蒸気機関を発明したのは、かの有名なジェームズ・ワットじゃない。 彼以前にもすでにエンジンを創り出した者はいた。 ワットが抜きん出た点は、一般の人々がそれを利用できる様な形にして見せたところにある。 内容それ自体は目新しいものではなかった。 すでにある技術を使って生活文化までも変えてしまったスティーブ・ジョブズしかり。

The Newcomen engine wasn’t very efficient, and Watt’s design was much more efficient. It was also, of course, a giant innovation that through its role in the industrial revolution changed the course of history. But it was not some previously unimagined conception that burst forth like a miracle. Just the opposite: It came about because Watt was trying to improve on what already existed, the Newcomen engine, and his long training as a maker of scientific instruments gave him the skills and knowledge with which to do it.


● これぞマタイ効果。 「富めるものはますます富み、貧しきものは持っている物でさえ取り去られるのである」 自信は鍛錬を続けるモチベーションに繋がる。

The concept is simple. A very small advantage in some field can spark a series of events that produce far larger advantages. For example, they say, imagine someone who is just slightly above average in eye-hand coordination, forearm strength, and reflexes. Initially, this individual may take satisfaction in doing slightly better at baseball than his schoolyard peers. . . . This satisfaction may lead such an individual to practice more, search more aggressively for others willing to play after school and on weekends, try out for teams (not just school teams but also summer league teams), get professional coaching, watch and discuss televised games, and so forth. Such an individual is likely to become matched with increasingly enriched environments for baseball skills. . . . Factors cascade over time because they multiply the effects of earlier, seemingly weak, factors. (中略)

Before long, the multiplier effect was clearly developing the drive of these students: “As they began to receive recognition for the talent in the early years of instruction, the children’s investment in the talent became greater. No longer was the prime motivation to please parents and teachers. It now became the individual’s special field of interest.”



マルコム・グラッドウェル「Outliers 」(136冊目に感想) 、ジェームス・ヤング「A Technique for Producing Idea」(143冊目に感想) も関連テーマとしてオススメです。

継続して努力を続ける能力があるならば、それこそが「才能」と呼べるものかもしれません。

Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else

Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else

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