Repetition is NOT the mother of science: Principle of 10000 experiments (yes, not hours)

methods success
Reflections and drafts

Malcom Gladwell, one of the most famous authors, once presented a principle: The greatest experts usually only become experts after spending at least 10 thousand hours or more with their craft.

That would be roughly 10,000 years of work. And, yes, that sounds quite logical. And quite reassuring... "I just need to work. Just work. It's all good. You just have to keep going. Just work. One day I'll be a professional, but until then I have to work. A little more."


Doing the same thing for 10,000 hours is unlikely to make you a professional.

...Don't believe?

Well, how much time have you spent eating until today?

And I guess there are still times when you choke, bite your jaw or the back of your tongue, or burn yourself with hot food, aren't there? And... Can you call yourself an expert gourmet, able to know the type and origin of a wine, for a year, just from a sip?

And how much time did you spend walking? And why, explain to me, why are you unable to walk 20 kilometres in a row without getting tired, without starting to feel your legs getting sore? Why is it that some hikers can do it with courage and you cannot? Why do you still catch the occasional bunny????

You see, just because you've been doing something for a long time doesn't make you a professional in that field. Professionals, on the other hand, are different because they have EXPERIENCE. A wide range of experience. Good and bad. But most importantly, lots of experience.

...They've tried things that most people would never even think of trying - if they work as a programmer, they know the rarest programming languages, or at least have tried to program in them at some point, and if they work as a musician, they've played 15 of the rarest forms of instruments that you've never heard of before.

Hours don't make you a professional. Experience does.

Anyone can spend thousands of hours eating, walking, exercising, writing, talking and being compassionate. Practically everyone does it anyway. But not everyone deepens their practice of these crafts and goes beyond their limits. Not everyone tries to identify wines by smell, not everyone walks on ropes and tree branches, not everyone rewrites old texts, learns new expressions or finds new ways to reassure a stranger. Certainly not everyone goes out of their boundaries.

(Note that the issue here is not what boundaries others have crossed and whether your "new thing" will be new to others. It's not about what others have experienced. The point is, is it new to you?)

So, you know, if you want to motivate yourself to try - I recommend it - motivate yourself with another "I'm going to try this thing I haven't tried yet", not "I'm going to spend the next day like a potato pretending to study".

Going out of bounds - testing and correcting your own work is more important than repetition.

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