Outliers, a grey area

First and foremost, I’d like to express my excitement over this book. I strongly agree with Malcolm Gladwell in that the complexity of cause and effect in our world does not allow us to draw such simple conclusions  as hard work and determination lead to success.  This book beautifully explains the gray area and all the subtle nuances that lead to the measure of success or failure. 

Many of my fellow classmates have gone into rich detail on many of these arguments and examples, so I’d like to write about one specific argument Mr. Gladwell makes. the 10,000 hour rule that suggests that there is a minimum amount of time and effort that one must put in to achieve proficiency or success. One post from a fellow bloger has brought up a curious example that contradicts one argument in this book.

 found here:


In this example, the argument is made that a child prodigy or an idiot savant is an exception to Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule. I believe, however that this is not the case. The human brain is extraordinarily complex, and I’m no expert on this, but we know that some people learn at a faster rate than others. I believe that there are an extraordinary few out there who can learn at such a rate that what would take the average person 10,000 hour to master, may take them only 1,000 hours. I mean to say that Mr. Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule should not be taken literally to mean hours on the clock, but rather a sufficient amount of mental effort and energy contributed.  When we view this 10,000 hour rule in this way, I believe that even those gifted few with accelerated learning still follow the 10,000 hour rule.

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