Re: Memetics Digest V1 #125

Jessica Margolin Bailey (
Thu, 18 Dec 1997 13:38:19 -0500

Date: Thu, 18 Dec 1997 13:38:19 -0500
From: (Jessica Margolin Bailey)
Subject: Re: Memetics Digest V1 #125
Message-Id: <>

>I think it is quite clear (though maybe not obvious to some) that a lot of
>what passes for "talent" is in fact the result of practice (as are skills
>like intuition and judgement of character) - simply because mastership in
>two skills make the third one easier to tackle - but possibly this doesn't
>explain away all genetic, embryologic and biological variations.

Hi, all.

Hmmm. I'd offer the opposite direction: talent is the combined result of
"hardwiring" that is genetically heritable, culture (which I'm beginning to
consider a meme infestation) that can identify and nurture the talent, and
attitude/outlook (what you call "practice"), which interacts with a
local/microstructural memetic variation within a greater infestation. (Do
people talk about meme-spaces?)

My observations are more along the lines that people are compelled to learn
about what inspires curiosity in them, until they are discouraged. If
sufficient discouragement happens at any age, they become dysfunctional in
some way (depressed, enraged, distracted, etc.). They can learn to ignore
things that make them curious because of all the usual reasons.

So, "practice" is a natural event that happens when someone with some type
of interest is in an environment (both cultural and intimate) where that
interest is allowed to be investigated; if they're talented, this is
noticed as a matter of course.

(Needless to say, this is complex: some people find some talents
threatening or useless and refuse to allow investigation; some people find
talent very important but there's a cultural parameter that you're not
supposed to be more than x amount better than the mean... etc.)

I think your comment about two masteries implying a third is very relevant
though, particularly with respect to the "learning to learn" comment, as
well as the idea that it's easier -- less intimidating -- to run up a
shorter learning curve.

Jessica Margolin Bailey
Consulting Partner
Waza, Inc.
Creation and marketing of virtual and corporate communities

"The hidden harmony is stronger than the visible." - Heraclitus

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