Book: Range

Introduction: Roger vs. Tiger

我们都对这些说法耳熟能详:「早起的鸟儿有虫吃」,「某某某要从娃娃抓起」。老虎·伍兹就是这样的典范。文章介绍了老虎·伍兹和罗杰·费德勒两个人的成长经历,二者完全不同缺都在各自的领域上取得了成功。伍兹从很小年纪就开始了大量的 deliberate practice。但费德勒却并没有一开始就专注在网球运动上,而是有更广泛的兴趣。

对于体育运动,人们的普遍共识是:越早开始越好,越专精越好。现在这种看法已经不仅仅局限于体育运动,而是在各个领域,比如教育。我们经常被灌输这样一种观念——这个世界的竞争愈发残酷和激烈,所以我们要尽早开始在某一个专业或技能上开始努力,才能取得成功。

体育科学家 Ross Tucker 说:

“We know that early sampling is key, as is diversity.”

尽早开始是一种优势,而多样性同样是一种优势。伍兹是尽早开始的典型,二费德勒代表了后者。现在的一个难题是,尤其在中国,专业化的重要性被过分强调。「内卷」已经成为常态,而保持认知广度、多样化经历、跨学科思维、延迟注意(delayed concentration)却十分重要,并且会在更多的领域令我们脱颖而出。

Range 这本书正如其名,想要带领我们认识「广度」的重要性 。

They play a variety of sports, usually in an unstructured or lightly structured environment; they gain a range of physical proficiencies from which they can draw; they learn about their own abilities and proclivities; and only later do they focus in and ramp up technical practice in one area.

Ch1: The Cult of the Head Start

这章内容从国际象棋这项运动展开,介绍了 Lazlo Polgar 如何利用类似伍兹的方式,将他的女儿们培养成为了优秀的棋手。尽早开始进行大量的重复性精细训练(narrow specialization)这种方式在象棋或者高尔夫等领域确实是可行的。

经验的累积会在一些领域体现出优势,比如:国际象棋、扑克、消防员。但在预测金融或者政治趋势、预测病人的表现上则捉襟见肘。

书中将无法体现经验优势的领域称为「wicked world」。在这些领域,规则往往并不明确或者完整,缺少有规律的重复模式,反馈也往往不够及时回和准确。

真正有巨大潜在力量的能力并不是狭隘的专业化,而是广泛整合的能力。狭隘的专业化在不熟悉的情境下并不能发挥作用,比如有经验的消防员在不熟悉的火灾结构中会做出错误的决定,棋手的影印式记忆在棋厂外失效。人们的经验在陌生的模式中无法发挥其效用。

高级别的科研人员,甚至是诺贝尔奖的得主,拥有艺术领域的业余爱好的可能性要更高。多维度的经验是一种潜在优势。

humans empowered to do what they do best without the prerequisite of years of specialized pattern recognition.

the bigger the picture, the more unique the potential human contribution.

According to Gary Marcus, a psychology and neural science professor who sold his machine learning company to Uber, “In narrow enough worlds, humans may not have much to contribute much longer. In more open-ended games, I think they certainly will. Not just games, in open ended real-world problems we’re still crushing the machines.

Ch2: How the Wicked World Was Made

随着时间的增长,人们的智商(IQ)得分也在不断增高。因为旧时人们依靠经验去理解事物,二现代的人们通过抽象思维去归因和思考。

一个挑战越是受到限制,越是重复,就越有可能被自动化。而那些能够从一个问题或领域中将知识抽象,并将其应用于一个全新的领域的人将获得巨大的回报。

很多学科和专业事业过于狭窄,学生之关心如何写论文而不是思考为什么去写。广泛的思考能力是可以培训的,比如通过「费米问题」1。这类问题 通常很短,已知信息不多,需要在有限的时间,使用有限的资源,对问题进行分析给出答案。

premodern people miss the forest for the trees; modern people miss the trees for the forest.

Our most fundamental thought processes have changed to accommodate increasing complexity and the need to derive new patterns rather than rely only on familiar ones. Our conceptual classification schemes provide a scaffolding for connecting knowledge, making it accessible and flexible.

The more they had moved toward modernity, the more powerful their abstract thinking, and the less they had to rely on their concrete experience of the world as a reference point.e

Ch3: When Less of the Same Is More

figlie del coro,意思是「合唱团的女儿」,是一个音乐家群体,全部由17世纪的欧洲女性组成,对后世的管弦乐发展有着十分重要的影响。奇怪的是她们不仅没有经过专业而严格的训练,还大多是孤儿或者生理上具有缺陷。

是什么令她们具有如此出众的音乐才能呢?Epstein 在书中表示是因为她们每个人都学习过大量的不同种类的乐器,包括一些不为人知的小众乐器。

Figlie 乐团使用的这种广泛培养乐器技能的方法显然与如今的主流方式不同。它违背了刻意训练(delibrate practice)的框架——只有高度集中的训练才会学好一项技能。学习很多种乐器被认为是一种浪费时间的行为。

心理学家认为,通往卓越的最佳方式是这样:首先经历一个采样时期(sampling period),通常是轻度结构化的一些课程和广泛的乐器学习。随后缩小重点,增加结构性,开始爆发式的练习。

而这种方式更类似于爵士乐手培养即兴表演的能力。爵士乐手更容易去演奏古典音乐,而古典乐手却很难演奏爵士乐。

The sampling period is not incidental to the development of great performers—something to be excised in the interest of a head start—it is integral.

The psychologists highlighted the variety of paths to excellence, but the most common was a sampling period, often lightly structured with some lessons and a breadth of instruments and activities, followed only later by a narrowing of focus, increased structure, and an explosion of practice volume.

It’s easier for a jazz musician to learn to play classical literature than for a classical player to learn how to play jazz,” he said. “The jazz musician is a creative artist, the classical musician is a re-creative artist.

I think when you’re self-taught you experiment more, trying to find the same sound in different places, you learn how to solve problems.

Ch4 Learning, Fast and Slow

寻求提示这种方式是找到答案的一种很聪明并且取巧的做法,但在涉及到多领域交融的学习中,这种方式往往适得其反。

阻碍会使学习在短期内更具挑战性,速度更慢,更打击人,但从长远来看却有更好的学习效果。

Spacing effect:The spacing effect refers in psychology to the observed phenomenon that items that are repeated during list learning are remembered better if their two presentations are spread out over time (spaced presentation) than immediately one after the other (massed presentation).

“But for learning that is both durable (it sticks) and flexible (it can be applied broadly), fast and easy is precisely the problem.”

  • “Kornell was explaining the concept of “desirable difficulties,” obstacles that make learning more challenging, slower, and more frustrating in the short term, but better in the long term. ”

“The more confident a learner is of their wrong answer, the better the information sticks when they subsequently learn the right answer. Tolerating big mistakes can create the best learning opportunities.”

“Struggling to retrieve information primes the brain for subsequent learning, even when the retrieval itself is unsuccessful. The struggle is real, and really useful. “Like life,” Kornell and team wrote, “retrieval is all about the journey.”

“Space between practice sessions creates the hardness that enhances learning.”

“For a given amount of material, learning is most efficient in the long run when it is really inefficient in the short run. ”

“Interleaving has been shown to improve inductive reasoning. ”

“Whether chemists, physicists, or political scientists, the most successful problem solvers spend mental energy figuring out what type of problem they are facing before matching a strategy to it, rather than jumping in with memorized procedures. ”

“When a knowledge structure is so flexible that it can be applied effectively even in new domains or extremely novel situations, it is called “far transfer.”

Ch5 Thinking Outside Experience

开普勒善用「隐喻」(analogy),发现了引力的存在。类比思考(Analogical thinking)是人类住在地球的根本原因,也是我们打开新世界的工具。

得到的信息越多,我们就越倾向于得到极端的结论。过多的信息缩小了我们的视野,这就是卡尼曼提出的,内部视角(inside view)与外部视角(outside view)相比的局限性。

这种技能往往是通过范围更广、速度更缓慢的方式获得——一种帮助我们将自己与正确的挑战相匹配的能力。

“I especially love analogies,” he wrote, “my most faithful masters, acquainted with all the secrets of nature. . . . One should make great use of them.”

Analogical thinking takes the new and makes it familiar, or takes the familiar and puts it in a new light, and allows humans to reason through problems they have never seen in unfamiliar contexts. It also allows us to understand that which we cannot see at all.

“we need to be reminded of things that are only abstractly or relationally similar. And the more creative you want to be, the more important that is.”

If you need a large force to accomplish some purpose, but are prevented from applying such a force directly, many smaller forces applied simultaneously from different directions may work just as well.

The outside view is deeply counterintuitive because it requires a decision maker to ignore unique surface features of the current project, on which they are the expert, and instead look outside for structurally similar analogies. It requires a mindset switch from narrow to broad.

Psychologists have shown repeatedly that the more internal details an individual can be made to consider, the more extreme their judgment becomes.

successful problem solvers are more able to determine the deep structure of a problem before they proceed to match a strategy to it. Less successful problem solvers are more like most students in the Ambiguous Sorting Task: they mentally classify problems only by superficial, overtly stated features, like the domain context. For the best performers, they wrote, problem solving “begins with the typing of the problem.”

Ch6 The Throuble with Too Much Grit

利用教育,个人可以测试成长样本,即找到自己的角色以及自己适合的专业领域。

苏格兰 vs 英格兰和威尔士的大学教育
广泛采样 vs 专精

了解自己比了解技能更重要。探索不仅仅是教育中异想天开的奢侈,它亦是核心的益处。Switchers are winners.

全距限制(restriction of range),是导致相关分析得出低相关结果的原因之一,指的是两个变量在进行相关分析中,由于变量内部的变异性不够,即全距不够大而导致计算出相关系数并不能真正地反映出变量间的相关关系。

Seth Godin 不同意「放弃者永不成功」这一说法。Godin 认为成功者反而退出的更快。转行,并不仅仅是缺少毅力,也可能识别到了更好的机会。

西点军校退出的人很多,并不是因为缺少毅力(grit)而是不匹配。匹配质量(match quality)很重要。

梵高就是很努力,但兴趣经常改变的人。学会使用「短期规划」的能力。

“Match quality” is a term economists use to describe the degree of fit between the work someone does and who they are—their abilities and proclivities.”

“economists had neglected the role of education in allowing individuals to delay specialization while sampling and finding out who they are and where they fit.”

“Learning stuff was less important than learning about oneself. Exploration is not just a whimsical luxury of education; it is a central benefit.”

“Winston Churchill’s “never give in, never, never, never, never” is an oft-quoted trope. The end of the sentence is always left out: “except to convictions of honor and good sense.”

“two components of grit. One is essentially work ethic and resilience, and the other is “consistency of interests”—direction, knowing exactly what one wants.”

“The more we have invested and even lost,” Konnikova wrote, “the longer we will persist in insisting it will all work out.”

Ch7 Flirting with Your Possible Selves

赫塞尔本从女子兵的管理者到基金会的CEO,有着惊人的领导力。她解释道,「我没有意识到自己正在为什么事情做准备,我不是打定主意要成为一个领导者,我只是通过做当时需要做的事情来学习」。

“She had no long-term plan, only a plan to do what was interesting or needed at the moment. “I never envisioned” is her most popular preamble.”

“Ogas uses the shorthand “standardization covenant” for the cultural notion that it is rational to trade a winding path of self-exploration for a rigid goal with a head start because it ensures stability. ”

「黑马」们更喜欢利用「短期计划」而非「长期计划」。在设立长期计划之前,需要先充分认识自己。我们对自己更加了解时,再回过头去审视那些曾经觉得安全、稳定的职业目标,看法可能会大有不同,曾经的安稳工作用达尔文的形容词就是“荒唐愚蠢”。我们对于工作和生活的偏好不会一直保持不变,因为我们自身是一直在变化中的。

人格最重大的变化发生在18~30岁之前,所以,早早就开始专业化,其实是在为一个尚不存在的人格预测匹配质量。这样做可能有用,但是也可能效果更糟。而且,人格变化的速度虽然会减慢,但是在任何年龄段都不会停止。有时候,其变化只是一瞬间的事。

棉花糖实验:在人生中某一个特定的节点,一个人的天性可以影响其应对特定环境的方式,但是天性在其他环境下的表现可能会有惊人的不同。比如,一个人在某种环境中是内向的,在另一种环境中却是外向的。

环境法则(context principle):与其询问一个人他(她)是否坚毅,我们应该问他(她)什么时候能表现出坚毅。人始终在变化,而我们需要认识到这一点。我们只有通过生活了解自己是谁,而非过去。在实践中更能了解自己,而非理论中。

Paul Graham 也说过不停试错,在有希望的环境中工作,而不要先设好目标再工作。

「先测试,再学习」而不是「先计划,再实践」。ǔ

「如果你把一个人代入到其适合的环境里,」奥加斯说,「他们更有可能努力工作,从表面来看也更加坚毅。」
“If you get someone into a context that suits them,” Ogas said, “they’ll more likely work hard and it will look like grit from the outside.”

Ch8 The Outsider advantage

提升获得解决方案的可能性。诀窍就是:重新描述问题,使之可以吸引各种不同行业的解决者。一项挑战不仅受到科学家的关注,同时还能被律师、牙医和机械工程师关注,这才是更受关注的问题,被解决的可能性也更大。

由外到内(outside-in)的思考方式:远离那些围绕着问题本身的专门训练,从八竿子打不着的其他经验中寻找答案。

“Bingham calls it “outside-in” thinking: finding solutions in experiences far outside of focused training for the problem itself. ”

许多发明都是跨学科的成果,跳出我们习惯和舒适的思维去思考,会激发我们的创造力。

「不识庐山真面目」是因为当局者迷,而局外人可以提供新鲜的和意想不到的视角。

Ch9 Lateral Thinking with Withered Technology

任天堂最早是卖「花牌」的公司。他们的核心理念是,把廉价而简单的技术用在别人想不到的地方。横井军平认为,既然自己不能深入地思考新技术,还不如广泛地思考如何应用旧技术。

“Lateral thinking is a term coined in the 1960s for the reimagining of information in new contexts, including the drawing together of seemingly disparate concepts or domains that can give old ideas new uses. By “withered technology,” Yokoi meant tech that was old enough to be extremely well understood and easily available, so it didn’t require a specialist’s knowledge. ”

用户体验可以弥补技术的短板。横向思考者和垂直思考者在一起工作是最佳搭配,即使在最前沿的技术领域也应如此。

随着模糊性和不确定性逐渐增加——这是系统问题的常态,广度变得愈发重要。
“As ambiguity and uncertainty increases, which is the norm with systems problems, breadth becomes increasingly important.”

与团队相比,个人更加擅长创造性地整合不同的经验。

Ch10 Fooled by Experts

社会发展,儿童的死亡率下降,教育进一步提高,却会导致出生率降低。

Paul Ehrlich 对于「人口爆炸」的错误预测。

对自己的认知固执己见的人,会陷入思维漩涡,预测的事情会变得更糟。类似于过滤气泡(filter bubble)局限且狭隘地思考是有害的。

眼界狭隘的刺猬「只知道一件大事」;整合者狐狸「知道许多小事」。
the narrow-view hedgehogs, who “know one big thing,” and the integrator foxes, who “know many little things.”

当协同作战时,团队的力量超过了个人水平总和,而且超出了很多很多。

「通常情况下,如果你对某个领域过于了解,那么你很难找到一个准确的观察视角。」伊斯特曼向我描述了最优秀的预测者的特征:「真正的好奇心——对所有东西都真的抱有好奇心。」

超级预测者像是具有蜻蜓复眼的狐狸(fox with dragonfly eyes)。

“Agreement is not what they are after; they are after aggregating perspectives, lots of them.”

具有积极开放心态的人,目的不是说服自己的队友,以期让他们相信自己如何专业,而是鼓励队友们发现自己概念中的错误。

狐狸型专家明白,大部分的因果关系是概率性的,而非确定性。这其中既有未知,也有运气的成分,即使历史明显在重演,也不会和之前的情况一模一样。他们发现,自己所处的学习环境并不友好,在这样的环境下,不管是成功还是失败,从中学习的过程都十分困难。

Ch11 Learning to Drop Your Familiar Tools

卡特赛车案例:在数据不完整的情况下做决定是危险的,仅仅依靠眼前的东西做判断是多么愚蠢。发射「挑战者号」的失败不是因为缺少定量分析。美国宇航局的真正错误是太过依赖定量分析。

人们在困难面前更倾向于依赖自己熟悉的工具和领域,而不是去适应陌生的情况。武侠小说中所说的「无招胜有招」也是类似的逻辑。忘掉「招式」可以发挥我们的创造力,释放更大的能量。

过度学习行为(overlearned behavior):比如在空难中,即使面临巨大的变故,乘务组仍会坚持按原计划飞行。

「一致性」(Congruence)是一个社会科学术语,指的是一个机构的组成部分——价值观、目标、愿景、自我概念和领导风格的文化“契合”程度。从20世纪80年代开始,「一致性」成了组织研究的理论支柱。有效的组织文化是一致的,也是强有力的。当所有的信号都指向同一个方向时,个体自我会不断地强化一致性,而人们也都喜欢一致性。

类似 [[第五项修炼]] 中的「共同愿景」。而「不一致性」提供了变通的行为模式。它可以帮助人们发掘有用的线索,并且在必要时放弃传统的工具。

“Individuals who live by historian Arnold Toynbee’s words that “no tool is omnicompetent. There is no such thing as a master-key that will unlock all doors.” Rather than wielding a single tool, they have managed to collect and protect an entire toolshed, and they show the power of range in a hyperspecialized world.”

Ch12 Deliberate Amateurs

Smith 教授,「别把你的技术应用在老地方。带上你的技术去解决新的问题,或者带着你的问题去学习全新的技术。」周六早上工作的「优势」——没人干扰,不必墨守成规,以一个局外人的视角工作。

文中提到的屠呦呦的「不专业」的背景还是挺有意思的。但有些刻意强调其不专业的背景二没有探究她成功的真正原因。

艺术史学家萨拉·刘易斯(Sarah Lewis)说,「初学者」(amateur)一词的起源并非贬义,而是源自拉丁语,意思是衷心热爱某项活动并为之努力的人。「创新与精通的矛盾在于,当你走上某一道路时,突破出现了,但是又会偏离原本的路径,伪装成你刚刚才开始一样。」

将「新技术」和「旧问题」结合,或者将「旧技术」和「新问题」结合。

卡萨德沃尔最重要的论点是:创新的生态系统应该保持广度和低效率。

「当你在拓展边界时,大部分的工作其实是在试探。这样的工作不需要高效率,」卡萨德沃尔说,「真正失去的是那些交谈和整合的时间。人们抓起午餐,拿回办公室吃。他们觉得吃午饭是低效率的,但是这个时间是迸发想法和建立联系的最佳时间。」

在《毛毛》([[二〇二一年十二月:我在读什么]])也提到了类似的观点,人们节省了时间却忽视了生活,不妨慢下来。像《天黑之后》中所说的「慢慢走路,多多喝水」也是异曲同工。

Conclusion

你应该和昨天的自己比较,而不是和那些除你之外的年轻人比较。每个人前进的速度不尽相同,所以,不要因为任何人让你自己感觉落后。也许你还不知道自己将去向何方,所以感觉落后于人也没有什么用。我们不如听从埃米尼亚·伊贝拉的建议——主动寻求匹配质量,开始计划一些人生实验。也许,你的实验也可以安排在周五晚上或是周六早晨。
Compare yourself to yourself yesterday, not to younger people who aren’t you. Everyone progresses at a different rate, so don’t let anyone else make you feel behind. You probably don’t even know where exactly you’re going, so feeling behind doesn’t help. Instead, as Herminia Ibarra suggested for the proactive pursuit of match quality, start planning experiments. Your personal version of Friday night or Saturday morning experiments, perhaps.