Originally Posted by caelte
Hope I'm not removing too much context, Quirk.
I think what Buffet is suggesting is that some part of his success mechanism wasn't learned.
I've had a guitar for years and fight to gain proficiency and so far, haven't done very well.
I do metalwork but that's different altogether.
The next step to getting better at it, comes almost like an inner voice.
Not a literal voice, but more than just a "feeling".
Even at the beginning I knew what tools to use instinctively.
I've taught metalwork and design here and there over the years and find that part of the process very difficult to transfer.
I hear what you're saying about Buffet, I was pointing out that whatever he might know 'instinctively' (whatever that means), someone else may well be able to learn, given appropriate focus, will, patience, methodology, whatever.
Sometimes a small insight, a minor adjustment in technique or a slight shift in focus can provide the access to reaching an entirely new level of skill. For example, it's possible that you could find a new guitar teacher who's able to pinpoint one or two things your previous teachers overlooked, and in a year of diligent practice, you could end up being far more proficient than you would ever have imagined, given your current skill level and your history of progress thus far.
I'm very skeptical of the notion of 'instinct'. When I think about how effortlessly we absorb and assimilate something as complex and nuanced as language in our first few years of life (even children who are not particularly 'bright' or well-nurtured), it suggests to me that we may all be effortlessly aquiring all sorts of skills in our early years, skills that we later misattribute to "innate talent" or "instinct", simply because we are unable to connect them to specific deliberate learning experiences.
Maybe the unique experiences and environments of our early years provide us with the unconsious training that teaches us what tools work best to shape metals a particular way, or how to manipulate our voices to produce the most pleasant singing tones, etc...
Just a thought.