cowboywerewolf's picture
cowboywerewolf from DC is reading Homage to Catalonia December 13, 2011 - 12:36am

I don't believe in talent. As both a writer and a painter, I've found that whatever natural aptitute a person might have is almost meaningless compared to lots of seriously hard work and a desire to improve.

It seems to me that, often,  the notion of "talent" is mainly a way for people who are uninterested or unwilling to work on a skill set to dismiss and diminish the hard work of people who do.

Has anybody else had the experience of working your ass off on a project or a piece, bleeding, sweating, crying over it until it resembles something approximately like what you imagined, just to have someone say "oh, you're so talented. It just comes so naturally to you"?

On the other hand, is it part of the artist's job to trick people into believing in talent? Is part of the point making it look like a magic trick? Hiding the strings and the markings on the cards?

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones December 13, 2011 - 1:30am

i totally believe in talent. as, im really good at a lot of things, some of them without any effort or education, but with other things ive invested a lot of time, money, energy and love in, and i cant do them. i cant play guitar, for example. it doesn't matter that i went out and bought a fender, a how-to-play-said-fender manual, complete with im-a-dumbass illustrations, nor does it matter that i play said guitar with one of my favorite musicians guitar picks. i cant fucking play it.

on the counter point, i have been writing well enough to be recognized for it since the fifth grade. without any knowledge of writing, when i was 18, i wrote 70 or so paqes of a novel i never finished because in my mind it was a terrible compendium of every pertinant fact i could think of, and flat, unloveable characters. now that im a college student, i have read almost a dozen books that won the pulitzer prize, and all but one of them resemble that manuscript i abandoned in my youth and 'inexperience'.

with education, whiskey and sandpaper, i have refined my writing to a point where i no longer feel it is homogenous with the other bricks out there winning prizes and selling millions, but at the same time,  i wonder if my "education" and knowledge of writing dogma (ex: minimalism) has done more to hurt my natural ability.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs December 13, 2011 - 2:24am

Yes, no, no, no, no.

Raelyn's picture
Raelyn from California is reading The Liars' Club December 13, 2011 - 2:46am

I agree with Charles, some things really do just come naturally. For the past five years I've gotten every role I've auditioned for, over people who spent many more months preparing the perfect monologue. I was kayaking down grade 5 rapids at age eight. I've never gotten anything lower than an A- on a history exam, without ever studying... On the other hand, I'm desperately trying to teach myself how to play piano. After five months of dedication, I still cannot read the simplest of sheet music. Also I can't cut a straight line on a piece of paper, something you're supposed to learn in preschool.

There are things that I have a special pride in because of how much work I've put in. For example: I've done ballet for five years now. Most girls start at age five (I started at age thirteen) and already know all the vocabulary, and have perfect flexibility. I came in awkward and ignorant. I worked my ass off to get to the same level as other girls until I surpassed them. Although, a few months ago I had an epiphany and realized I hate doing ballet...but the fact that I can still makes me happy. (Is that pretentious?) 

Fylh's picture
Fylh from from from is reading is from is reading is reading is reading reading is reading December 13, 2011 - 3:21am

Define "talent" and I'll tell you if I believe in it. For now, I'll define "talent" as an extra edge of competence in any given field. And in that case, sure, I would say some people have an edge over others without trying in certain fields.

If you link talent to IQ or some other measurement, though, I believe you to be the devil.

IQ tests and "aptitude" tests are repulsive.

Mick Cory's picture
Mick Cory from Kentucky is reading everything you have ever posted online and is frankly shocked you have survived this long December 13, 2011 - 3:57am

 

   The OED defines talent as: natural aptitude or skill. Yes, talent is non-fiction ...

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters December 13, 2011 - 5:53am

I completely believe in talent.  Also dinosaurs.

And while I don't think talent and IQ are corrolated in the strictes sense, I do also believe in IQ.  I feel dumb saying that. 

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. December 13, 2011 - 6:12am

I think writing is different than other artforms. I have tried to paint, took an art class, studied the greats and I still paint like a fourth grader. Some people definitely have a skill when it comes to drawing or playing music that cannot be defined by just practice. Of course singers have to work on their voice but not everyone can be a singer. Writing though is a bit of a gray area, having an imagination and a way with words can be your talent but if you don't hone those skills, they get weak like a muscle that grows flabby. Also writing can be largely subjective in terms of entertainment value, there are those who will never take transgressive lit seriously or respect it. Just as I may respect certain classic works of literature but I think they are boring to read.

Fylh's picture
Fylh from from from is reading is from is reading is reading is reading reading is reading December 13, 2011 - 7:04am

@ Averydoll

It shouldn't make you feel dumb. It's up to you.

It is, however, disturbing to me how many people unthinkingly put their stock on a little number calculated to make "intelligence" (an ill-defined and tricky concept) into a quantifiable thing.

JonnyGibbings's picture
JonnyGibbings December 13, 2011 - 7:09am

I know talent exists. I watch X factor and Britain/America's got talent... I see it on the telly. Such as Simon Cowell has a huge talent for being an utter cunt. If you could buy cancer and send it through the post...

Yeah, I do believe in talent. I've been lucky to have seen others with talent in many forms, from music to photography. I do both, so have a point of reference, sure I can take an OK picture, but not great. When I sing it's like someone has placed a freshly boiled potato up my arse.

Writing though, can have many constraints should you choose to recognise them. Other arts, less so. If you had a colouring book, and as an artist, went outside the lines, it would be deemed artistic. Do that with the structure of words and you're called an idiot. From what I've seen/experienced. Intellectuals and academics comment on literature, they seldom create. However, the Academics and intellectuals use the same medium, the written word, to comment on what they read. It blurs. 

Often though, I've read something and I just thing "FUCK - I wish I wrote that, I want to think like that, that is so fucking good" - for me, thats talent.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters December 13, 2011 - 7:11am

"It is, however, disturbing to me how many people unthinkingly put their stock on a little number calculated to make "intelligence" (an ill-defined and tricky concept) into a quantifiable thing."

I think people are always looking for boxes to put other people in.  

 

Fylh's picture
Fylh from from from is reading is from is reading is reading is reading reading is reading December 13, 2011 - 7:16am

Writing though, can have many constraints should you choose to recognise them. Other arts, less so. If you had a colouring book, and as an artist, went outside the lines, it would be deemed artistic. Do that with the structure of words and you're called an idiot. From what I've seen/experienced. Intellectuals and academics comment on literature, they seldom create. However, the Academics and intellectuals use the same medium, the written word, to comment on what they read. It blurs.

SURPRISE EXAMINATION

1. Do you "practice" the other arts? 

2. When say "you're called an idiot" if you "go outside the lines" in writing, from which position are you addressing us: as an artist or as a legislator of what passes for taste? ("none of the above" is also fine)

3. In the sentence: "Intellectuals and academics comment on literature, they seldom create" — what does "create" mean, and what is the distinction being made between intellectuals and academics?

4. If "it blurs", what blurs, and under what conditions?

Fylh's picture
Fylh from from from is reading is from is reading is reading is reading reading is reading December 13, 2011 - 7:19am

I think people are always looking for boxes to put other people in.

Sure, but in the case of IQ, the purported scientificity of the whole thing has much greater consequences than merely putting others in boxes. 

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters December 13, 2011 - 7:45am

I guess I never though about it that much.  I'll have to do so.  Are you going off of something specific here?  What are the great consequences you are referring to? 

NotMarilyn's picture
NotMarilyn from Twin Cities, MN is reading Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn December 13, 2011 - 7:46am

I completely believe in talent, but I also believe that talent is worthless if it isn't nurtured by hard work, dedication, and education. In the realm of writing, I believe that there are those for whom it comes naturally. Having the gift of words is similar to having the gift of music - you can learn all the technicals, practice until your fingers bleed, but there are some people who will grasp it on a completely different level.

Fylh's picture
Fylh from from from is reading is from is reading is reading is reading reading is reading December 13, 2011 - 7:59am

It's part of a much bigger trend of quantifying everything — number crunching, rating, categorizing, managing, administrating. That trend, to me, is utterly horrifying on a gut level. It doesn't seem to bother most people. It doesn't seem to make them uncomfortable that something as difficult and "unscientific" as intelligence could be taken as a yardstick to make decisions that involve other people in a scientific framework. Look at the example of Harry Laughlin, one of the great unrealized monsters: he wanted, around a hundred years ago, to sterilize BY LAW those who were unsuited for society. And how do you determine someone's societal usefulness in a legal context, if not by standardized means?

But we don't have to go as far as eugenics. Even on a less sensational level, the standardized testing of IQ implies a "thing" called intelligence. Intelligence has to be thingified before you can test it. And that's a problem — how do you turn "something" into a testable thing? I don't have an answer to that, but apparently it's not that much of a problem for the IQ testers.

Jack's picture
Jack from England is reading texts of rejection from pretty ladies December 13, 2011 - 8:04am

I have met a fair few people who seemed very proud of their "high IQs" and they were not particularly intelligent. But it had given them a perceived authority over others, and they continued to grow twisted and bitter, all snark and moaning, never progressing, never learning. They have also been, without fail, the most tedious people imaginable. Next time someone brags about their IQ within earshot, I'm just going to smile politely while reaching for my hatchet. 

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters December 13, 2011 - 8:07am

You've sparked some interesting questions, Phil.  I'm going to really consider this.  I've always just accepted my IQ, and therefore that of others. 

I have a close personal friend who has a lot of experience with IQ testing.  And she hates me because I'm always bothering her with questions.  Today will likely be one of those days!  Thanks, before this the day was wide open.  Now I have something to worry about! 

I'll go off and form an opinion and then come back.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. December 13, 2011 - 8:15am

I took an IQ test once, I was a 10.5 on the Richter scale.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters December 13, 2011 - 8:28am

Ha.  Question - is an IQ test something everyone takes?  I assumed it was, but I'm finding out that not everyone takes them.  I took one in college, but now I'm really questioning the purpose of that. 

David Shepherd's picture
David Shepherd from shepherdsville, KY is reading Idoru by William Gibbson December 13, 2011 - 8:35am

Both arguments can be made with valid point but personally I do believe in talent but most things can be achieved through hard work and dedication. Like me, I used to not be able to draw a stick figure but after several years of hard work and studying light effects and all that stuff I can do a drawing as detailed and realistic as the best of them. But something like, say, singing is something you're just born with. You can practice and take classes your whole life and be an expert on singing but if you're not born with it you're never going to be a Susan Boyle. Same thing with writing, some are born creative and some aren't. No matter how many rules I learn or how much I master my style without a natural knack for creativity my stories just won't be interesting. It applies to everything but not a prerequisite for all.

JonnyGibbings's picture
JonnyGibbings December 13, 2011 - 8:39am

1. Do you "practice" the other arts?

 

Yeah, paint, photography, etc. Used to work at a large photo studio and did bits with folk like Charlie Wate and Rankin.

 

2. When say "you're called an idiot" if you "go outside the lines" in writing, from which position are you addressing us: as an artist or as a legislator of what passes for taste? ("none of the above" is also fine)

As a casual observer. You only have to look at work by Chris Morton's the English Slacker. Established literary folks canned it. You often see dark fiction, exquisitely written. But if it falls to fantasy, or a genre not so accepted by the mainstream it seems to get given a tough time. Chris tried to write from a disenfranchised teenager and used the vocabulary of. In other mediums you seem to have a lot more latitude. The tracy Emin's of the world don't get told "Yeah, but sky IS blue" She can confront on issues of sex without any kind of censorship at all.

 

3. In the sentence: "Intellectuals and academics comment on literature, they seldom create" — what does "create" mean, and what is the distinction being made between intellectuals and academics?

Many critics of, for example photography or theatre, often are not photographers, or directors. So the sensation is greater. While working on Photographer of the year, the judges were the public. It wasn't  judged only on exposure, but also aesthetic like composition. However critics of literature, write, their medium is the same as they are judging. Often, from what I've seen, many such as the Mann Booker are too lofty to consider darker or more humor works. They loved the Life of Pi - I thought it was shit. There seem less latitude to go off the reservation. I love a lot of Will Selfs work, and he also has sighted, some of his best work will never get seen. Graphic Novels for example, are still considered comics. Erotica isn't taken seriously. I think it's harder to be brave in literature and successful.

4. If "it blurs", what blurs, and under what conditions?

I mean the subjectivity. If a writer is reviewing writing, it would be easy to think you'd have done it differently. I still feel like I've lucked into my deal. I've done some author days and there have been some unpublished people who have done readings. Their work is amazing, real WOW stuff. Some of it so dark (One of harvesting children as food). Most of the panel I was on, one was a historian, the other a biographer. Very smart, very clever, but not able to 'get' the abstract of some of the authors work. I think their subjectivity can blur because its not what they would read.

 

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. December 13, 2011 - 8:47am

I don't believe in IQ tests.  Someone can be smart on paper but not have any imagination, so does that make mathematicians better than artists?  Just because someone can solve a puzzle better than someone else or has a photographic memory, are they 'smarter' than Joe Blow?  If you can't change the tire on your car but you can write the formula for nuclear fusion then you are 'dumb' when it comes to changing your tire and you may freeze to death in the cold.  Do I think I'm better than someone who works at McDonalds?  Not if they spit in my food or don't was their hands, I'm not, then I'm a dumbass for eating there.  I believe more in the tests that test people's strengths and abilities in certain areas like the Meyers-Briggs, personality tests and things like that.  After all, you can say you want to be a teacher in theory but if you have a panic attack in front of a classroom on your first day then you may want to rethink it?  People can force their kids to be doctors but if they have a passion for the arts, what is their true calling?  It's complicated.

It's the Einstein paradox, you can be a genius in some ways and the ordinary tasks of daily life are alien to you.

mutterhals's picture
mutterhals from Pittsburgh December 13, 2011 - 8:59am

IQ tests just measure your ability to learn new information. One could still be considered 'smart' in some sense and possess a low IQ. Also, the man with the highest IQ in the world is a total religious crack pot, so there you go.

JonnyGibbings's picture
JonnyGibbings December 13, 2011 - 9:21am

What Aliensoul77 said.

Also, I have nothing against academics or those who are guardians of structure and form of written art. Far from it. Just it seems less tolerance for more abstract. But as for talent. Yes I believe in it. I play guitar, mainly though, I play what talented people write. When I write my own songs, they are utter shit. Just because I know what the guitar does and how to do it, doesn't mean I'm good at it. If fact, I'm using the term 'Play' very liberally!

spence's picture
spence from planet is reading Books December 13, 2011 - 9:33am

Some of us are more gifted than others, yes. Doesn't seem fair but to me, everyone has a gift. Most people just choose not to use it.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. December 13, 2011 - 9:54am

Like some people are gifted at being superficial crack whores and they get paid well for it.  Oh Snooki!

PopeyeDoyle's picture
PopeyeDoyle from Rio Grande Valley, TX is reading Chronology of Water December 13, 2011 - 10:37am

@Spence -

"Some of us are more gifted than others, yes."

I see what you did there.

@AlienSoul-

"I don't believe in IQ tests."

They do actually exist.

"Just because someone can solve a puzzle better than someone else or has a photographic memory, are they 'smarter' than Joe Blow?"

 

Probably.

"If you can't change the tire on your car but you can write the formula for nuclear fusion then you are 'dumb' when it comes to changing your tire and you may freeze to death in the cold."

You aren't "dumb" at changing a tire.  You are ignorant of it.

 

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. December 13, 2011 - 10:40am

Elitist!!   I am smarter than you at making lasagna.  lol

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters December 13, 2011 - 10:46am

Okay - I have decided that an IQ test in the correct setting is fine and dandy.  Because it is supposed to be used to measure potential acedemic suuccess.  As long as you refernce it agianst it's purpose, I see no issues. 

Now if we walk around with numbers on our shirts, then we could have an issue.  I'm looking at you organized sports players...

PopeyeDoyle's picture
PopeyeDoyle from Rio Grande Valley, TX is reading Chronology of Water December 13, 2011 - 10:54am

If anyone is really interested in the whole "innate talent" debate, I'd recommend The Blank Slate, by Steven Pinker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blank_Slate).  The book argues in favor of the "nature" side of the nature vs. nurture debate.  I'm about half-way through it now, and it's really interesting.

I should say that, while I agree that hard work can compensate to some degree for lack of natural talent, it won't ever get you all of the way.  No matter how hard I work, I will never write like Cormac McCarthy.  I just kind of accept that.

NotMarilyn's picture
NotMarilyn from Twin Cities, MN is reading Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn December 13, 2011 - 11:33am

I will never write like Cormac McCarthy.

 

And? That doesn't mean your talent is any less. Talent is as subjective as IQ test relevence. Writing "like" someone doesn't necessarily mean that there is or isn't talent. Style comes into play, too.

I, for example, will never write "like" Hunter S. Thompson, David Sedaris, Chuck Palahniuk.... the list goes on and on. But that's because I'm not them. Doesn't make me (or you, or anyone for that matter) less talented.

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ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig December 13, 2011 - 12:25pm

I absolutely believe in talent, but that doesn't negate hard work. Since we're talking about art, I'll use it as an example, an artist can be fully trained and very experienced, and do everything technically correct--but if they have no imagination, or they don't have an "eye" for it, it's going to be heartless and souless. On the flip side, they can have a huge talent, and if they never work at it, or work on getting it discovered, their work will lack finesse and probably never be seen.

It is very difficult for many people to sit down and write, they don't have a talent for it. Now, it's really hard for me to sculpt or build things, I've got no talent for it. The first time I tried to paint, it came out way better than I thought possible, and I think I *may* have a talent for it, but I need more training and practice.

 

PopeyeDoyle's picture
PopeyeDoyle from Rio Grande Valley, TX is reading Chronology of Water December 13, 2011 - 12:39pm

And? That doesn't mean your talent is any less. Talent is as subjective as IQ test relevence. Writing "like" someone doesn't necessarily mean that there is or isn't talent. Style comes into play, too.

 

Sorry - when I said, I will never write "like" Cormac McCarthy, I meant, "I will never write as well as Cormac McCarthy."  I simply don't have the talent to do what a great writer does.  And yes, that means that I have less talent than them.  I'm comfortable with that, or at the very least, I acknowledge it as a fact of life. 

While you're correct in noting that there's subjectivity involved (at least in terms of artistic talent), there really is an objective component as well.  One may not be able to tell the difference between "bad" writing and "ok" writing, but one can tell the difference between "bad" writing and "genius."

Hard work can make a difference.  It can turn a bad writer into a good writer.  But it can't turn a bad writer into a great writer.  It can't even turn a good writer into a great writer.  In the end, our innate abilities will only take us so far.

 

NotMarilyn's picture
NotMarilyn from Twin Cities, MN is reading Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn December 13, 2011 - 1:39pm

In the end, our innate abilities will only take us so far.

 

I agree. That's where training and practice come in - those are relevent for all art forms.

In terms of writing, "good" and "great" aren't always going to mean the same to everyone, and can't really be measured. For example, I may think Nabokov's "Lolita" was a work of genius, and you may think it lacked any real plot and focused only on the twisted desires of an even more twisted character. Regardless of either opinion (again, this is just an example), it is still revered as a "classic." But that's the great thing about art - it mutates depending on the mind scrutinizing it.  

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated December 13, 2011 - 2:26pm

I think talent is the ability for practice to matter. Some folks just don't ever seem to get it no matter the hours they put in, no matter the time they dedicate.

chickie's picture
chickie from Memphis, TN is reading subterranean kerouac December 13, 2011 - 4:55pm

I definitely believe in talent.  I used to work in costuming years ago, sort of an arts and crafts sort of job.  Lots of people came and went while I was there, for a lot of different reasons, but there was a subset of people who, try as they would, couldn't do the job.  There were things there I couldn't do as well -- I didn't have the talent for some of the painting we did.

But, hell, a lot of people have talent.  Nature is shamefully generous when it comes to talent and most of it goes to waste.  It takes hard work to go from talented to production, but it also takes luck and not everybody gets the break. 

 I think most talented people die unfulfilled.

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin December 13, 2011 - 11:37pm

I believe in talent, allow me to provide the example of the rap group Perhaps 2 Klever (although, in a larger context applying the term talented to this group is an overstatement, we try, but I'll be the first to admit that we ought to be better than most of the material on our first album).

In P2K there are two members, NK Dub (nkwilczy) and mp.fr33 (a friend of mine). It was apparrent from the start where our preferred skill sets lay, I was much better at lyrics and he was much better with the production of beats. It isn't that one of us had no talent, it is that we had talents at different things.

So I worked on my lyrics, they came naturally to me and were easier for me to do (I've made some beats, I always like to challenge myself, but I practice more at lyrics and poetry because that's what I love to do. I love to do it, because it is easier for me, and that allows me to push it harder and faster. It's like I'm a turtle when I make beats, and I slowly plod to accomplish what I want, I work hard at it, but the gravity of the perspective weighs me down. When I am writing lyrics, on the other hand, I am less turtle and more bird. Less gravity, what I want to accomplish I accomplish easier and so I accomplish more.) (I am not a bird, or a turtle, these are metaphors)

The delivery (flow) element plays more into your (cowboy's) understanding of talent as a work of effort, the contrast of effort is pronounced between myself and my collaborator and that has been telling as we developed as a band and live act, but if I worked harder and accomplished more development on that front it was only because it was from the start easier for me to do that work than it was for freeman,

I don't try to develop my skills of architechture, for instance, I used to draw out floor-plans and pictures of buildings right, but it wasn't easy, I didn't feel like I was good at it, so I never put the work in. I went to find something that came more natural. It isn't that I couldn't have tried to develop those skills, but I could still move faster and with more agility in another field.

Obviously not my song, but... architecture!

wickedvoodoo's picture
wickedvoodoo from Mansfield, England is reading stuff. December 13, 2011 - 5:30pm

@ Averydoll in particular.

You seem pretty interested in this stuff (IQ testing). However I must tell you that modern psychology really doesn't place much value on IQ testing. Since the inception there have been a whole bunch of different tests that have been referred to as 'IQ tests' but each has basically been systematically destroyed by research findings that show up the flaws.

It's pseudoscience. Even worse, it's pseudoscience that has all too often been deployed with a political agenda.

Over the years culture, age, mood, and even whether or not a person ate breakfast have been shown to have a significant effect on recorded IQ. Basically it boils down to the tests being way to general to account for the myriad factors it has to cover. I wish I had links to a few of the papers I have read on this topic as I'm sure you would find them interesting.

Nowadays any serious attempt at recording will be designed very specifically for a narrow target sample. Also a quantitative test will often be combined with an 'emotional intelligence assessment,' though the validity of those is it's own discussion.

Long story short IQ testing is hokum.

Also, talent doesn't necessarily have anything to do with intelligence. Talent is an above-average aptitude and that does not always require brain power. Take sportsmen for example. I'm going to use football players(real football that is, not that rubbish version of rugby) for my example as I don't know any players of the American sports. David Beckham and Wayne Rooney are two of the highest regarded Britsh players of the past decade. Any football fan will tell you they have talent within their chosen area. However what they will also tell you is that these men are thicker than two planks.

Huh, that ended up being a long post.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters December 14, 2011 - 5:42am

Thanks for that.  I'm the sort who likes to have a strong opinion on everything.  (I like to argue)

And this is one of those things...I had never even thought to question or think about.  So when someone else questioned it...I have to go out seeking a strong opinion. 

I came across some stuff that really bothered me.  Such as, the mentality that this one number says you are capable of "x", and so I do not expect more from you than that.  I don't like that at all. 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated December 14, 2011 - 6:05am

Most IQ tests do measure something, what they measure is often in debate.

.'s picture
. December 14, 2011 - 8:52am

Porn stars are talented.

Karow's picture
Karow from The Region is reading The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One December 14, 2011 - 9:50am

Define "talent" and I'll tell you if I believe in it. For now, I'll define "talent" as an extra edge of competence in any given field. And in that case, sure, I would say some people have an edge over others without trying in certain fields.

If you link talent to IQ or some other measurement, though, I believe you to be the devil.

IQ tests and "aptitude" tests are repulsive.

Sometimes you read a post and wish you wrote it.  Today is that day for me! I agree with Phil.

 

Laramore Black's picture
Laramore Black from Joplin, Missouri is reading Mario Kart 8 December 14, 2011 - 10:34am

Maybe its just that certain peoples personal talent is the desire to improve.
Nobody has ever been "talented" in history that didn't fall down once or twice.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. December 14, 2011 - 10:40am

Laurance, will you be my friend??

Lawrence's picture
Lawrence from Dallas, Texas is reading Mr. Mercedes - Stephen King December 14, 2011 - 10:54am

If the definition of "talent" is extra competence in a certain field then I definitely agree with that. I have been a musician my entire life and I picked up the guitar in 5th grade and played at the very least 30 minutes every day but usually more. I'm 27 now and still play every day, so I am a competent guitar player. At the same time I would watch friends or people I know be able to pick up the guitar and a few years later be on the same level I was at. So while I was able to get good I realized I didn't have the natural talent that some people do. 

 

"Maybe its just that certain peoples personal talent is the desire to improve" Great quote. 

Laramore Black's picture
Laramore Black from Joplin, Missouri is reading Mario Kart 8 December 14, 2011 - 10:58am

@Aliensoul77 Are we not?

Hey look, a Lawrence whose parents knew how to spell it correctly.

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin December 14, 2011 - 11:23am

It depends on the porn star, dakota. There are some fine examples of acting to be had in that medium, but a lot of those fake orgasm noises that start as soon s they're touched are nails on chalkboard to me. Some can't even deepthroat.

Lawrence's picture
Lawrence from Dallas, Texas is reading Mr. Mercedes - Stephen King December 14, 2011 - 11:26am

@Laurance- At least the spelling of your name doesn't lead people to believe they should just call you Larry. Lots of people called me Larry and I didn't mind so much until Larry the Cable Guy. Now I am much more prone to say I prefer Lawrence. Ha. 

Laramore Black's picture
Laramore Black from Joplin, Missouri is reading Mario Kart 8 December 14, 2011 - 11:35am

Oh tell that to people on here and the rest of the world, Larry is like a hick Tobaccer chewin' name. Meanwhile Laurance/Lawrence are rare nowadays and obviously makes us royalty.

Lawrence's picture
Lawrence from Dallas, Texas is reading Mr. Mercedes - Stephen King December 14, 2011 - 11:51am

Maybe we should just go by Pyle. I wouldn't want to have to choke myself with your hand. Haha.