|Perhaps this brief story applies:|
My daughter for her 5th grade science fair project built a rat maze and ran her two rats, whose names now slip my mind, through the maze several hundred times each over the course of two week period. She measured the duration of each run and tracked the results in a spreadsheet where we could create a trend chart showing increase / decrease in average completion time.
Now one of these rats was the epitome of a bubbly personality (for rats) the other was lethargic and dull by comparison and so, her hypothesis was that one was smarter than the other and that this ability would be demonstrated in the results of the maze test.
What we found was quite different than this. The "Smart" rat did run the maze quickly-- the first 25 times or so. There after, she was bored with it -- and started trying to crawl up and over the walls to reach the bait. Smart, right? She had become an EXPERT.
The so called dumb rat, ran the maze faithfully each time. Getting a little faster with each attempt. Enter a change. We redesigned the maze. The smart rat, relying on her expertise, did not want to run the new maze at all. Instead, she began by trying to climb the walls and wound up getting lost in the maze most of the time-- seldom getting to the bait. While the more plodding and goofy rat meticulously hammered away at the new maze and, once it found the bait, had no trouble returning to it until the maze changed again and once the maze changed again, the goofy rat , though slower, was the first to find the bait in the majority of races.
Most interestingly, over the course of two weeks, the average speed of the two rats in achieving the bait converged around the same number. They both had their maximum achievement in different parts of the learning arc and their overall achievement over time was about the same! Perhaps talent, smarts, proclivity for skill development-- are simply to complex to be compared like Apple's to Apples.
On Feb 22, 2012, at 8:53 PM, Rick Walker wrote: