Talent, Survival, and Sweep Arpeggios

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Talent, like everything else in the known universe, seems to arise from prior causes. Namely, genetically-guided brain physiology, and environmentally-guided thoughts and intentions. Talent, therefore, comes in part from the genes that give us life and in part from the life that our genes must navigate.

Busy maximizing their own survival, our genes perpetuate themselves indefinitely by conspiring with one another to form organisms that are adept at leaving behind more offspring then the competition. Similarly, life provides many obstacles that are seemingly designed to hone our aptitudes so that we are more successful at day-to-day survival and, as a consequent, more successful at leaving behind offspring.

One way organisms manage this is to have brains capable of solving puzzles such as finding water during a drought or finding food during a famine. The ability to carry a tune with your voice or to solve an equation with a pencil is nothing more than the adoption of survival skills by non-survival based skill sets. E.g., using finger dexterity to play sweep arpeggios instead of using them to craft stone tools.

We usually call people who can play sweep arpeggios talented; we usually call people who can’t find food and water dead.  Since Grandpa Caveman found both food and water, we can all play sweep arpeggios—we need only focus our attention in a careful way to do so.

Talent, therefore, is not a mystery—it’s just a behavior that our survival machines (bodies) can perform. Furthermore, talent is not something that is hyper real of otherworldly—it’s very much a natural and human phenomenon. As far as I know, no one is suspending the laws of physics or altering the order of space-time while playing sweep arpeggios.

Instead of worshiping the exceptional like they’re super human, why not sustain your own concentration towards some specific skill set?

I think you’ll be surprised at what you are capable of.

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