The book

The author

  • David Shenk is the national bestselling author of five previous books, including The Forgetting ("remarkable" - Los Angeles Times), Data Smog ("indispensable" - New York Times), and The Immortal Game ("superb" - Wall Street Journal). He is a correspondent for, and has contributed to National Geographic, Slate, The New York Times, Gourmet, Harper's, The New Yorker, NPR, and PBS.

    More info here.

    Contact David.

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    Speaking inquiries here.


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August 05, 2009



"The consistent refrain: abilities form in conjunction with development, community, and context. Genes matter, but actual results require genetic expression in conjunction with the environment."

Is it just me or is this common sense?

"What does all of this have to do with Einstein's genius or your piano playing? Developmental systems theory tells us that, while genetic differences do matter, they cannot, on their own, determine what we become."

In other words, no matter how much innate musical talent you have, you still have to practice to become a concert pianist. Again, this is common knowledge.

"From there, the whole idea of innate talent falls apart."

Uh, no it doesnt. Some people have more innate talent to process aural information, for example, than others.

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