I realise he was (hence my final paragraph being about cubing). The running example was just an analogy. It seems people don't seem to buy it though (at least you aren't so blinded to reality). Perhaps I should use another analogy for those who think enough practise will magically make them good at anything. In bodybuilding it's commonly accepted that some people are "hardgainers". These are people who just don't build big sized muscles regardless of their training programme. With enough work they'll get fairly big, but they'll never match the big guys, even if they took steroids. The reason for this largely seems to be their muscle composition (fast-twitch vs slow-twitch muscle fibres). It seems what you're born with is what you get.I think kclejeune was referring to cubing, not running. Certainly some things becoming world class would be impossible for most people because of genetics, many sports being some of them, like sprinting.
Incidentally these muscle fibres also affect whether you might be better at endurance running or sprinting. Quite simply, if you have a musculature high in slow-twitch fibres you'll never match Arnold Schwarzenegger in size, nor will you be able to match Usain Bolt in a sprint. However you might become a great rock-climber or endurance runner. No matter what you do, you'll never be able to change your muscle composition, so you truly are genetically limited.
As mentioned above, I believe it has a lot to do with processing speed. This generally involves taking in simple information, the brain processing the response, then sending out the necessary signals to act on it. It isn't perfectly comparable, but if everyone on here took this reaction time test, they'd get different results. I just did it quickly and got ~260ms reaction time, which seems to be a bit slower than average. This would initially suggest that no matter how hard I tried I would always be a bit slower than the average person as far as reaction time is concerned.But the real question is, does cubing fit into one of those (at its modern day times)? I don't think it does. You're suggesting Feliks and other world class cubers have some sort of genetic advantage, but how, where, and why do you derive this?
As a side note, I find this interestingly comparable to my experience in gaming. I love gaming, but despite enormous amounts of practise I was never able to match it with the really good guys. In my time quite a few people told me "you'll get there soon" but I never did. I always wondered what was holding me back, and now I think processing speed has a lot to do with it.
One game in particular I love is Tekken. I have literally spent hundreds of hours specifically practising throw-breaking in Tekken (as well as probably a million hours simply playing the game). Yet still, I really suck at it. My record on that trainer was about 10 or so, which is absolutely horrible. And that's when I can sit and wait and anticipate it coming, which is nothing like in a real game. I love watching videos of Tekken on youtube, and the top players are able to see an attempted throw, and break out of it, mid-game like it's nothing. When I play (estimated in the thousands of hours of practise, quite possibly even the magical 10,000 hour mark (I've been playing since Tekken 3...)) I literally cannot even see the throw, until it's too late. It blows my mind that these top guys can see it and respond in time before I've even realised what happened. But if you consider processing speed (which I seem to lack) it makes sense.
Cubing is obviously different to pure reaction time because you have control over where things are moving etc. etc. but that's not the point. What matters here is the speed at which the brain is able to process information, and get signals back to your fingers. Not everyone in the world is going to be identically capable at this. For some people, their brain will just process the information quicker. For others, the signals that get sent to the fingers will travel faster. There's absolutely nothing anyone can do to influence this. It is a genetic limitation that everyone has in different capacity. Therefore not everyone is going to be equally capable at speedcubing.
As for Feliks himself, obviously I have no evidence to show that he has superior processing speed. But given no one is able to get close to his times, despite people practising astronomical amounts, it suggests that Feliks likely has superior genetic ability. This, combined with his huge efforts practising, put him out of the range of the vast majority of people.
Another thing worth noting is the speed at which some people seem to get really good. I can absolutely guarantee that by the time Feliks was faster than me, I had spent much more time practising. Why did he get so much faster so much quicker? We see this time and again, with some people getting super fast out of nowhere, and you know they haven't practised as much as yourself all up, yet they're miles ahead of you. And before anyone says "it's all about effective practise bla bla bla", Feliks himself has stated many times that he never really did any special practise, so really that argument is dead.
The last thing I want to mention for now is this distinction between "world class" and "elite" or whatever. I mean, really it's just semantics so there's no point getting caught up in it, but as far as I'm concerned, to be "world class" you should be someone that is realistically fighting for first place (which means giving Feliks a run for his money (in the relevant events)). So when I say it's out of range for most people, I specifically mean most people won't be able to foot it with Feliks' times.
This is just ridiculous, and surely you aren't so ignorant of real-world experience to not see why what you're saying doesn't make any sense at all. Let me use myself as an example. According to my parents I was walking at 9 months old, and running at 11 months (a baby generally starts walking at around a year, so I was very early). My whole life I've been fit and active, always playing sports and running around. I was brought up playing football, cricket, and rugby league. I was always a competent sprinter and mid-distance runner (never tried marathons or anything like that so no data available). In primary school I was the fastest in sprints and long-distance running. At that time I was largely up against fellow white people. This experience didn't change too much at high school, where I was basically the fastest white person. However there was one big difference: I went to a school with a lot of islanders, and in general those guys smoked me.I disagree. The reason why Usain Bolt is so fast at running is because he started young, and has trained a lot. He spent his a lot of time in his childhood playing cricket and football, and (to quote him) "didn't really think about anything except sports". He ran in school meets and continued to play a lot of sports later on; hence, he would already have had good fitness and been able to run fairly fast. Coupled with specialised training and a whole lot of practice and hard work, he was able to become the fastest in the world.
But there's a much more obvious example. Just look at the Olympics, which is full of people who have been sprinting their whole lives, with specialised training since they could walk. Yet none of them can match Usain Bolt (even convicted drug cheats). How can you possibly explain that, without turning to genetics? Incidentally, all the top sprinters tend to be of African descent. Just a big old coincidence, right? Yeah, right >_>
See my above post.Likewise, in cubing, Feliks has been able to become the best in the world because of the copious amounts of practice which he has put in. This practice has allowed him to recognise patterns, track pieces in perform algorithms (or even F2L sequences) extremely fast. Why can't everyone (at this point) do it? Because they either simply have not practised enough, or have not effectively practised enough. In Feliks' case, he was probably lucky when he chose to become colour neutral, chose to solve some F2L pairs in a certain way, chose to use certain algorithms, etc. all of which allowed him to rise to the top. Feliks is able to obtain an optimal processing speed for cubing simply because he has a better understanding of the puzzle (in relation to 3x3 speedsolving) and has practiced solving it so many times.
Apart from the fact that there is no actual evidence for the so called "10,000 hours" theory, you completely miss the point. Why is it that some people just do well in some things, but suck at others? For example, I am a natural at maths and the hard sciences. I didn't practise more than anyone else, yet I was amongst the top in my classes. I preferred to be outside kicking a ball around rather than in a classroom doing equations, yet I performed in the top percentile amongst New Zealanders and Australians in the Australian Maths Competition when I was in primary school, without any specific training.To address your other point about excelling in everything: the reason why we do not excel in any of these other areas is because we have not practiced them enough. It is said that 10,000 hours (or loosely 10 years) of deliberate practice is needed to really excel in any given field; since Feliks hasn't even reached this mark (or neither has anyone else, for that matter), how can we be expected to excel in so many other areas when we can't even do so for cubing?
I strongly believe that 'geniuses' are made, not born.
On the flipside, I really suck at other things, despite a lot of effort (see my post above). How can you possibly claim that genetics has nothing to do with it? It might be hard to swallow that your accomplishments are heavily influenced by what you are born with, but to deny it is to deny reality.
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