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Jonathan Graehl
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Jonathan Graehl commented on a post on Blogger.
agree. i did go on and read the following books and wish i'd heeded my own similar reservations; they were worse - ayn rand for social justice. not the worst writing by any means, but gradually downhill after the initial "cool, viewpoint from a mind that doesn't yet know its programmed loyalties" premise.
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Jonathan Graehl commented on a post on Blogger.
Before 6 should definitely focus only on fun music-instrument learning. Older kids+adults learn faster mostly to the extent that they have more motivation (though very young kids probably still lack some prerequisites compared to an avg adult). Sooner (4+ year old let's say) probably lays a different kind of additional foundation, but you're right that we don't know for certain it's necessary - perhaps the parents who support a high-achievement musical practice for their 8 year old uniformly couldn't resist starting at 3 but would be at the same place if they had waited until 5.

Also, if a kid shows little inclination to pay attn to any kind of music, or play with at least drums or bang on piano keys with an interest in specific sounds, don't bother pushing them toward extreme technical proficiency as it will probably always be a little hollow (though worth investing in at a basic level just in case the desire grows from there).

It's probably useful for people to learn at least one body->music skill (dancing to a beat, instrument, singing), at least one balance-based skill, and at least one throw-catch sport (not necessarily competitive), and probably a high-skill video game. (I won't mention the standard math + reading + writing + speech + visual arts stuff we ought to get in school). I'm not aware of credible research indicating a causal link from those physical-performance to other mental skills, but there are so many fun/social activities you'll end up doing in a lifetime that you'll pick up faster if you have a template/pattern for the kind of learning involved. Developing a self-directed 'practice' mentality to challenge (I'm not measuring up to my peers in this yet! I want to get better!) is nice, too.
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Nephews at Redondo
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10/18/15
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I miss the days when bowling was more popular.
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near LA, but not too near
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(Wallace Stevens)
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'The Ironic Effect of Significant Results on the Credibility of Multiple-Study Articles', Schimmack 2012

"In medical drug trials, the occurrence of failed studies is actually very common. An astonishing 50% of Stage III drug trials, the last hurdle before a drug can be approved and sold, produce nonsignificant results (Gordian, Singh, & Zemmel, 2006). This is even more astonishing as effectiveness is tested in Stage II drug trials. This finding essentially shows a 50% failure rate to replicate effects that were significant during Stage II testing. The rate of failure is especially common for drugs that are based on novel mechanisms, which makes these studies more similar to studies published in top psychological journals that place a premium on new discoveries. In contrast to 50% failure rates in drug trials, the failure rate in psychological journals is close to zero (Sterling et al., 1995). Low total power and high IC-indices suggest that the main reason for this low failure rate is not that psychological research is more robust. A more likely explanation is that psychological discoveries are never subjected to rigorous tests equivalent to Stage III drug trials."

Great paper. The deceptively simple observation that psychology papers often report 2-5 'successful' experiments... but if there were 5 experiments which all had an unusually-high statistical power of 80%/0.8 then even if there were a real underlying effect, the odds of all 5 being statistically-significant is 0.80^5=33%! Where are the other 77% of experiments reporting just 1 success, just 2 successes, 3 successes, or 4 successes...? And a more realistic estimate of power sharpens the point (take the recent neurology http://lesswrong.com/lw/g13/against_nhst/8rob estimate of ~20% power in the average experiment: then that would be 0.20^5=<1%)

Hence, publication bias or p-value hacking or manipulation of degrees of freedom etc.
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