Traits of Personhood (and Economics)

I’m not disputing that people get better with practice. But we have natural limits on all sorts of things, and practice doesn’t get us above our limits. That’s why most kids shooting hoops for hours don’t make it into the NBA. I also suspect people with natural talent enjoy practicing a lot more.

I think that with a few thousand hours practice I could teach my fingers to play piano adequately - but I’d never be good at it, and never be Mozart for sure. Though he did get made to practice - but so did his sister, who was never Wolfgang.

The person who thinks some people are really good without practice is a straw man. Nobody thinks that, and it is tiresome to have to denounce such an idea. What most people do think–because it’s true–is that different people get better with practice at different rates and to different extents. Magnus Carlsen has probably practiced chess less than has Alexei Shirov, but Carlsen is obviously better. It goes without saying that Shirov would cream Carlsen if Carlsen had never practiced. But that doesn’t mean it’s all just a matter of how hard you work.