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Old 06-17-2010, 10:57 PM   #20
Keith Larman
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,549
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Also, from a performance standpoint, in most any endeavor there are almost always high performing outliers. And we tend to define the endeavor by those outliers. So all the talk about how we all train to become "like" someone like Ueshiba or Takeda or Shioda or Tohei or (fill in your fave) totally ignores the reality that they were themselves outliers in a strict sense and the rest of us likely, well, aren't. And something like Aikido that morphed into a large, amorphous blob with the intent of being spread worldwide... well, it was inevitable that the vast majority practicing, training and for that matter eventually teaching wouldn't themselves be outliers of the degree of those original people. Gaining widespread popularity doesn't tend to increase the number of high performance outliers as they're often self-selecting by going into those areas where they perform well. Increasing the general practice of the endeavor usually just means the percentage of high performing outliers drops. I can think of any number of Nietzsche quotes about democracy that make the point...

Not to say we shouldn't pursue those things, but few realize the degree of commitment, time and "blood, sweat and tears" that are required to get to that point. And while I have a lot of nits about his arguments, that's probably the best point to take from Gladwell's book. Time for a gut check...

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