Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Lessons of Outliers, Pt. 1

We've been having an extended conversations about Malcolmc Gladwell's book Outliers over the last several weeks. We've covered issues related to practical intelligence, the 10,000 hour rule, and accumulative advantage among other issues.

I'm curious about the lessons we've gained so far and topics that we need to further develop. What idea from the first half of the book has been especially memorable and why?

Or, what important idea related to outliers would you want to bring more attention to? Why?

34 comments:

Natalie B. said...

I am still an all around fan of the 10000 hour rule. The idea that ginuine work is what prevails really interests me. Call me idealistic, but that's what it is all about. Granted, the circumstances that allow 10000 hours of practice are rare. Nonetheless, I think the idea of old fashioned practice and work are important.

robert dammer said...

The 10,000 hour rule has been of particular interest to me. While I was familiar with the idea of "practice makes perfect", having the concept formalized in this manner and expanded upon was a great way to put a long of things (such as time spent with my hobbies or studies) into perspective as attempting to reach this 10,000 hour goal in the course of my life.

Renee Johns-Goodenough said...

The 10,000 hour rule has stood out to me so far in Outliers. I firmly believe that if you practice enough in a certain craft, you will eventually get better at it. Even though practicing a certain thing for 10,000 hours is very difficult, and sometimes impossible with all of our other time commitments, I still believe that practicing for that amount of time will ultimately make you a master in your craft.

Alex Heppner said...

An idea that has really remained with me was an idea brought up in the very first chapter of the book. The mystery of the people of Roseto really held my interest. The idea brought up in this chapter was that where we live, the people that surround us, and the culture we take part in has a profound effect on the outcomes of our lives. I found this to be extremely interesting and often find my mind wandering back to this idea. I think that this concept can really explain a lot in terms of the situations that occur in different people's lives. Your family, your culture, your hometown, all those things play a role in the successes or failures that you may have in your lifetime.
Coming from a background of mixed cultures, I find this idea very interesting. My father is white and my mother is Mexican; because of this I have been able to experience many things that some of my peers have not. I think I have been able to benefit a great deal from the positive experiences that I have been able to have.But, that is not the case for all.
The chapter about the Roseto mystery really only talks about the positive affect that our families, cultures and hometowns have, but what I think really needs to be kept in mind is that there is also a negative side. Some people come from broken families and poverty, while many people rise above these challenges and become successful, not all are that lucky.
As all these ideas float through my mind, it makes me realize how grateful I need to be. I have been able to positively benefit from the support of my family and influence of my background. For all those who have overcome hardships in their lives, I admire you. I firmly believe that where you come from greatly affects who you are. For someone to rise above negativity in their lives, that is true strength.

Maame A said...

I am a huge fan of the 10,000 hour rule as well as my peers. I didnt beliieve it as much when I was reading it, but when I really think about it, it should take about that long for you to truely master a skill. You should have to put in that amount of time to be considered a master of a skill. I am also think that we should bring more attention to the idea of practical intelligence beacuse that is how a lot of people get ahead in this world. Knowing how to talk to people is one of the skills that most people need to learn in order to get ahead in todays society.

Jennifer Johnson said...

the 10000 hour rule stands out the most to me in this book because it at first seemed so unlikely that people could complete so many hours of practice in what, to me, seems like so little time. But after i thought of the prospect of practicing, it makes sense that the greats have spent that much time practicing because usually, when its something that you love and want to become better at, you enjoy the time that you spend practicing and time also goes by faster.

Lindsey Fisher said...

I love the idea of focusing more attention on the 10,000 hour rule. When I first read this part I was extremely skeptical; I thought how can this be. How could there not be an element of sheer talent? Which, of course, there is, but the coincidence of it all was amazing. It actually made me want to put in my own 10,000 hours in my area of study. It was extremely inspiring. It lets people know that even if they don't understand something at first it doesn't mean they will always be that way. I think if more people knew about this it would inspire more people to practice what they love.

Christian Harrelson said...

The thing that has stood out to me the most is the fact that Chris Langan was born so smart. Everything that I read about him shocked me. Out of practical intelligence, the 10,000 hour rule, and accumulative advantage I feel like the accumulative advantage issue has been stuck in my head.
I was born late in the school year. Does this mean since I may have been less mature that I didn't do as well in school as i could have if i would have if I started a year later. To me this accumulative advantage is unfair. Anyone can have 10,000 hours of practice. Im not saying it is easy but everyone knows practice makes perfect.

Bryan M. said...

I am going to have to agree that the 10,000 hour rule has stuck out most to me. 10,000 hours sounds unrealistic and more so, unreachable, but when you actually sit back and do the math it is possible. It just proves that hours and hours of practice and hard work will eventually pay off.

Ralicia Hawkins said...

The most compelling aspect of success mentioned within the reading was definitely demographic luck. It was significant to me because it's what people have the least amount of control over. An ethnic background can either be embraced, or overcome. What I mean when I say this is that if a person desires to, they can immerse themselves in another environment and let their ethnic background fade with the past. If you desire to work in a certain field, people have the power to follow a course that will at least get them close to obtaining their dreams. However, no individual can influence the times they are born into.

Anna Dibler said...

The first story in the book, "The Roseto Mystery," was very interesting to me. I have always known that kindness and friendliness was a good habit, however, I never knew that it could be of physical wellness as well as mental. I think it is amazing that the people of that little town live longer and healthier lives just by being neighborly to each other. I think if the students here at SIUE could take the time to stop and stay "hi" or help out another, the campus would be a much better place. Who knows, it could even have a physical benefit as well.

Corey Houston said...

The accumlative advantage has caused me to wonder about alot of sports and programs for accelerated accademics. This accumlative advantage cant be said to be a reason why most get ahead in sports or anything. Training and studying alone can cause an advantage but the accumlative advantage still causes me to wonder how much effect does it really have on who gets accepted and who gets rejected.

Alexis Cortes said...

I think the story of the Rosetans is the most compelling. The idea that improving your health is as easy as stopping to talk with your neighbors is fascinating to me. The Rosetans were essentially one big family, constantly socializing and helping eachother out.
I agree with Anna Dibler; she said that if the students at SIUE adopted some of the characteristics of the Rosetans like saying "hi" and helping one another, then the campus would be a much better place. I'm sure it would be! One of the aspects of getting the "college experience" is making friends, so it would be much easier if everyone behaved like a Rosetan. SIUE would be the happiest (and healthiest, according to Malcolm Gladwell) campus around.

lauren said...

The idea that stuck with me the most was the 10,000 hour rule. during my childhood and growing up, I was always taught to practice at what I really want to excel with. Whether it was my education, a sport, regardless the situation if I wanted to be good at something I was always I had it instilled with me that if I practiced and did my best then I would receive the results I was hoping for. So far, in my 18 years of life that idea has been correct. So, the concept of trying to reach a 10,000 hour goal into someething sort of bagged up what I always thought. It made me realize that what I have been practicing at was practiced this way all around the world and I am not the only person that this idea works for.

James Engra said...

I found that a lot of the book related to many of the morals and ideas of my own family.
One thing that I found to be the most interesting is the mystery of the Rosato people. They believed in the healing power and eternity of family and community. I like that idea of that family and the community always come first. Being in the Horizons focused interest community, myself, it has really turned into a family. We all hang out together and eat together every night. Being in a community that cares about you, really makes a difference.
Another thing that I found interesting, is the 10000 hour rule. This is something that my dad, in his own words, have taught me.I believe many people succeed because of their dedication and hard work. Hard work is a true virtue. My dad always says to me to take pride in your work, which is similar, in my eyes,to the 10000 hour rule.

James (Jim ) Engracia said...

Sorry for the last post. It is in the wrong name and supposed to say James(Jim) Engracia

Moriah Lupardus said...

The most memorable idea from the first half was the 10000 rule. I thought it was so interesting how people of all different disciplines had spent the same amount of time practicing.

Clarissa B. said...

The most interesting part of the story for me is the Roseto story at the beginning of the book. I believe that people our age are pretty unfriendly and care more about the individual rather than the group. So, reading about a community that is healthier just because they care about each other as much as they do themselves is really interesting.

Terrence Harris said...

The most notable part of the book is the 10000 hour rule. It can be applied to different things in life like studying, exercising, and perfecting talents. I have been unintentionally using this rule in perfecting my talents and after reading Outliers, I have now applied it to my studies. This rule is really affective and one everybody should use.

Brian Cooper said...

The parts of the book that really stuck to me is the statement that said you can be intelligent but succeeding is more about the opportunities one has, and the influence the community one grows up in takes on success. That has been memorable because there are communities where talented people don't have many opportunities but they still find a way to become successful, and vice versa. Further development on that would be important so that we could come up with some of the key thing people need to have to become successful. The 10,000 hour rule also stuck with me because being a band student from 4th grade up until this year (fresman yr here at SIUE) it was always push onto us that we had to practice. And if I didn't practice I found that I could still learn to play the harder bars in songs but it took longer than if I would have practiced it at home. And I also enjoyed the 10,000 hr rule since i've started dancing my sophomore year in high school, and from then until now I have accumilated sround thousands of hours and I can definately see the improvement in my technique and ability to pick up other styles.

Ronald Banks said...

I believe that the 10,000 hour rule should be put into our daily life styles. As young bright scholars we should be able to apply this to our studies. Also not just as a scholar but as a student at SIUE you should be applying this toward your studies. With every credit hour you should study two hours, this is the SIUE motto. Within a four year span you would be closer toward the 10,000 hour mark following this motto. The individuals in the book defined the word success. I would like to be able to have my own story that explains how the 10,000 hour rule helped me be successful in my career. With incorporating this rule into my studies I would be another student on the SIUE campus that defines excellence.

Terrence Brooks said...

I found the 10,000 hour rule very motivating. I've always believed in the saying "you get what you work for", so hearing it in this book made it that much more striking. This rule inspires me to work hard for all my goals and never give up. I find the 10,000 hour rule very helpful, especially being a freshman in college.

Gwen Grogan said...

I as well found the 10,000 hour rule motivating and unique. I've always been a firm believer that practice makes perfect. People now a days are so lazy and don't realize that if they want to achieve something, they have to work hard at it.

Joe Brown said...

The idea of practical intelligence truly struch a chord with me. It struck a chord with me because for the longest time I have lacked it, and any understanding of it. After reading Outliers, I am beginning to understand why others acted so differently than I did. Practical intelligence has ranges, and in childhood I was on the bottom end of the scale, but now I see myself undestanding what others do and say, and I think I have moved up a bit, and I'll keep moving up.

Jessica Hickman said...

The 10,000 hour rule really interest me. This is a rule that i had never heard of before. But this rule seemed to bring everything into perspective. I feel that if someone is that interested in their hobby then practice time is needed. Even though 10,000 hours is a lot of time, if it means that much to the person then it can be done. Every goal can be met if you put forth the effort.

Dextavius Chatman said...

The 10,000 hour rule really stuck with me when I was reading. Practice makes perfect and it never fails.Practice is repetition, and repetiton in achieving or pursuing some goal is almost a flawless method of succeeding. 10,000 of practice makes whatever practicing second-nature to any one. Though in society today nobody really has 10,000 to dedicate to one thing.

Briana Collier said...

the 10,000 hour rule continuously reoccurs in my mind as an outrageous theory. this is because it just seems really crazy that people actually have followed this rule to become as successful as they are today

Jayson Garrott said...

Both the "Roseto Mystery" and the "10,000 hour rule" both were memorable portions from the first half of "Outliers". The people of Roseto were able to show the correlation between physical health and outlook on life. These people, despite how underpriveleged they were, still lived like they had everything they needed. In turn, they not only lived longer, but they had less recorded illnesses. This should be a well known study, because it shows that by having a postive outlook on life, you could potentially live longer.
The 10,000 hour rule was also an amazing story, but it makes sense. The more practice you put into a skill that you really want to hone, the better you will be in the end. Those truly eager to learn and perfect a craft, will complete about 10,000 hours of practice, or possibly more.

Hilary said...

I really enjoyed the 10,000 hour rule. Being on the track team I know how important it is to practice and give it all you've got. The transition from high school sports and college sports is a great one and it is difficult. The 10,000 hour rule chapter really helped me find motivation.

rbudron said...

I believe the obvious lesson to be learned here is that while we are taught that as long as you work hard you can succeed, the truth is it's not that simple. All of these successes that we've heard of come from some special circumstances. There is something there that these people get, that most people don't.

Keori Johnson said...

10,000 hour rule I have mixed feelings about. "Practice makes perfect, but nobody is perfect" and "Hard work beats talent when talent doesnt work hard". Its a contradiction everywhere you look. On one side I see the point to it but on the other, it makes you wonder if its really worth it.

Greg Lee said...

The 10,000 hour rule really stands out as a main idea in the first half of Outliers. It sets a standard for everyone who wants to be considered a master at anything. Its a driving force behind athletes and scholors alike.

AustinB said...

The mystery of Rosetos is something that still holds great interest to me. In our society, we encourage a way of living very different form other countries, where family living is common and three generations often live in a house together. Through popular media we encourage our offspring to leave the nest as soon as they can and be independent to the point of isolation from family, we excommunicate) we ex pulse and tuck away our elderly since we can't be bothered to look after them leaving them open for neglect and deterioration. The way we treat the elderly in our community is downright neglectful and cruel. When people no longer serve a purpose such as the older ones and we don't feel like dealing with them, we 'wash our hands of them' and cart them of to nursing homes where many are subject to neglect so that we can forget about them. As a result many children don't get to see them and make that familial connection and really earn a sense of where they came from, traditions, or familial identity. It is no wonder that today s youth turn to technology, they're lost otherwise. I would like to see the story of the Rosetos and the results of the study published and put on the news so that it could be brought to the attention of the populace and that a change could start in the way that we think about community and the importance of family. This won't be done of course because like all things elderly care is big business, with an every increasing average age of the U.S. citizen, more and more people are turning to nursing homes and such to take care of them. Nevertheless, if this work were to be published and people made more aware, I think that the entire westernized society would highly benefit from it. Our people need more community and guidance in their lives.

Ricky Mahajan said...

I thought the introduction chapter was very telling. I found that the culture and the people you surround yourself with may determine your overall health to be particularly memorable because it directly pertains to me and it set a solid interesting introduction to the rest of the novel.