2010-02-24

Outliers and my scholastic grades

Outliers, the book by Gladwell, argues that it is not talent / capabilities alone that lead to the success of an individual; a lot many other factors (say, ecology, randomness, et al) matter.

He gives zillion examples, as is usual with him, to explain this. He takes hockey teams in Canada and Czech as examples to convince us that what is perceived as great talent is a mere system issue -  more a function of the fact that (faults in the) selection system lets older boys get selected in preference to younger boys. Basically, those born in early months of a year have an advantage over those in later months. This however is only a prelude to the story of this post.

As all of you will agree, I border on genius; given this fact, how to explain my low academic performance at school and college. Gladwell gave me what I was looking for - I competed with classmates who were older than I was. Bar one guy, I was the youngest in the class across my schooling days.

You may, then, want to know, what happened to the guy who was younger than I was. This bugger, um, also used to score more than I did.

Gotta go! In search of a better theory to explain my school grades.

2 comments:

Vinod said...

Gladwell never ceases to amuse me. He gives perfect statistics [sometimes selective] to support his theory ...or better he theorises stuff from statistics.

But as you said in one of your previous posts about Fate & Destiny [or something like that, dont remember exactly], an individual's response determines his fate.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A totally random thought --
Its understandable that we dont have too many technological inventions in India.. probably due to lack of infrastructure. But how come we dont even have good economists? That sure doesnt need laboratories to experiment with

itheabsolute said...

Vinod
It usually works this way - you come up with something and go in search of data to support that.
Honestly, there are many ifs and buts in our thinking. Not sure if this explains lack of good economists, as lack of any prominent scientists.
Thanks.

2010-02-24

Outliers and my scholastic grades

Outliers, the book by Gladwell, argues that it is not talent / capabilities alone that lead to the success of an individual; a lot many other factors (say, ecology, randomness, et al) matter.

He gives zillion examples, as is usual with him, to explain this. He takes hockey teams in Canada and Czech as examples to convince us that what is perceived as great talent is a mere system issue -  more a function of the fact that (faults in the) selection system lets older boys get selected in preference to younger boys. Basically, those born in early months of a year have an advantage over those in later months. This however is only a prelude to the story of this post.

As all of you will agree, I border on genius; given this fact, how to explain my low academic performance at school and college. Gladwell gave me what I was looking for - I competed with classmates who were older than I was. Bar one guy, I was the youngest in the class across my schooling days.

You may, then, want to know, what happened to the guy who was younger than I was. This bugger, um, also used to score more than I did.

Gotta go! In search of a better theory to explain my school grades.

2 comments:

Vinod said...

Gladwell never ceases to amuse me. He gives perfect statistics [sometimes selective] to support his theory ...or better he theorises stuff from statistics.

But as you said in one of your previous posts about Fate & Destiny [or something like that, dont remember exactly], an individual's response determines his fate.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A totally random thought --
Its understandable that we dont have too many technological inventions in India.. probably due to lack of infrastructure. But how come we dont even have good economists? That sure doesnt need laboratories to experiment with

itheabsolute said...

Vinod
It usually works this way - you come up with something and go in search of data to support that.
Honestly, there are many ifs and buts in our thinking. Not sure if this explains lack of good economists, as lack of any prominent scientists.
Thanks.