Daniel Levitin in This is Your Brain on Music talks about the theory of 10,000 hours:

ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert — in anything. In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers, ice skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals, and what have you, this number comes up again and again. Ten thousand hours is the equivalent to roughly three hours per day, or twenty hours per week, of practice over ten years. Of course, this doesn’t address why some people don’t seem to get anywhere when they practice, and why some people get more out of their practice sessions than others. But no one has yet found a case in which true world-class expertise was accomplished in less time. It seems that it takes the brain this long to assimilate all that it needs to know to achieve true mastery.Three hours a day (20 hours a week) for ten years. Or for the crash course, 40 hours a week for five years.

Alrighty then. At least I’ve gotten started.  Thank god there are at least 10,000 p-words. Check back with me in about twenty years.



Malcolm Gladwell has written a fascinating study, “Outliers: The Story of Success” (Little, Brown & Co., 2008), which should make a lot of people feel much better about not achieving instant success. In fact, he says it takes about 10 years, or 10,000 hours, of practice to attain true expertise.

Other than coming to some sort of understanding as to how I have become so damn good at masturbation, this theory of ten thousand hours is very disturbing to me.

Specialization in cultural terms led to the creation of human society as we now know it.

Going back to my discussion of one of the greatest archeological finds in human history, it is clear that specialization has been a fact underlying human existence since the beginning.

Thirteen thousand years ago, hunters and gatherers began to specialize. A guild of masons, if you will, began to become extremely proficient in cutting out rectangular blocks of stone. Some masons became extremely proficient at the mathematics involved in balancing one stone upon another and designing the length, height and width of these stones. There were management skills at work. There were design skills at work. Other masons became extremely proficient at carving wonderful sculptures upon those rectangular stones.

As the first article cited notes, Stephan King is emphatic that the only way to learn how to write good is to write; that is write all the time. You must write every day.

Of course one has to squeeze in some reading between all those writing sessions in order to improve one’s communication skills.

Think about it!

There are millions of folks out there who can type with their thumbs faster than I can type on this keyboard with ten fingers because they twitter endlessly; and they have done so for years day after day after day.

There are kids out there who are approaching the category of ‘genius’ in the field of gaming.

This is sad to me because I realize I could never become proficient at Dungeons & Dragons.

Cartoonists and comic book creators sit around with a pad and a pencil every waking hour.

Tiger Woods has been practicing his putting since he was two years old!

Mozart was performing on his piano at the age of three.

This theory concerning ten thousand hours which is as rock solid as evolutionary theory has its good side and its bad side.

Rush Limbaugh recently noted that:

Belief in man-made global warming is a lot like believing in Santa Claus.

The giant warthog made this statement following recent comments from Romney.

Romney has been stating that global warming is a fact and noting that man must have something to do with this recent trend. Because he is a repub, Mitt has to be against cap and trade but at least he refuses to lie about the fact of global warming.

The warthog therefore responded by declaring the Romney-candidacy dead in the water!

It is still spring according to the calendar and 100 degree heat was felt throughout the South; hell Arizona is burning down!

But the warthog and his followers would point to terrible snow storms in the winter to prove their Santa Claus theory.

Recent heat waves and recent hurricane activity and recent tornado activity during a particular month do not PROVE the existence of global warming anymore than a ferocious snow storm in January proves the existence of global cooling.

I know this.

So the eighth grader challenges Sarah Palin to a debate concerning evolution.

Sarah states in her new book that evolution is crap as a theory. Her dad was a science teacher for chrissakes. And she does not believe in global warming.

Hey Sarah show me one Nobel Prize winning scientist who denies global warming.

A Minnesota 11th grader challenges Michelle Bachmann to a debate concerning the Congresswoman’s views on the United States Constitution.

If a panel of knowledgeable judges were found this would make a nifty debate but I doubt the 11th grader has ten thousand hours of constitutional law under her belt. And I know for an absolute certainty that Bachmann does not either. Hahaha


I do not have ten thousand hours to invest in researching global warming any more than I have ten thousand hours to research Sarah Palin’s emails.

If I did put in those ten thousand hours, I could not even have a meaningful discussion concerning all of the variables involved in global warming with the warthog!

He would just say bullshit and walk away and continue to babel on his fascist radio show.

Pick your subject. It does not matter what the subject is. We must rely on specialized expert testimony.

And when you get into the area of expert testimony, you will find that some of that expert testimony can be purchased.

And if Exxon purchases the expert testimony of some meteorologist; the reports emanating from the office of this meteorologist will be tainted!

The repubs purchase the expert testimony of economists all the time; while people like Krugman and Reich shriek about their findings.

How in the hell am I supposed to refute paid expert testimony?

I can only proffer the conclusions of Krugman or Reich; cutting and pasting certain points made in their discussions.


So rush can rant and rave about Santa Claus and I can call him a warthog.

And nothing is revealed!






6 thoughts on “EXPERTS & WARTHOGS

  1. Well Dick I think we have the experts beat. For thirty years we’ve essentially given supply side economics a test and it has failed miserably. We are all experts.

    We have handily exceeded that 10000 hour threshold. To a six sigma degree of certainty.

    We are all experts in Applied Supply Side Economics. At this stage of this economic experiment we can easily offer expert testimony on its viability as an economic model.

    The numbers of persons who could take the stand and offer expert testimony about the shortcomings of reaganomics is vastly greater than those saying otherwise.

    If you need somebody to testify sign me up. Fees are negotiable. 🙂

  2. Yeah that is one way to count those hours. hahahaah

    Of course repubs insist their plans will work THIS TIME!

    It did not work before which means it will work this time for sure–just ask Pawlenty!

    1. When you only really work and make an effort at the rate of one hour a week it takes a dam long time to get the hang of this shit. Lawmaking that is. But they’re really good at raising campaign dollars. 🙂

  3. My first 10000 hours of observing and learning about life are very much in conflict with my most recent 10000 hours of doing the same.

    In fact each successive 10000 hours has left me with unreconcilable conflicts.

    This at least explains why so many people throw in the towel. And why many others appear to not have a clue. And why others insist upon making up their own rules as they go along. Perfectly logical.

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