On Mastery

Somewhat recently, a bizarre concept has emerged and been so often repeated, that it seems worth wrestling with conceptually.  The idea is that one can achieve mastery in their chosen art after 10,000 hours, or some other pre-ordained duration, chained to one’s practice. This statement can not possibly be the truth, or perhaps it is a half-lie at best.  It pre-supposes that all attention to the art making act is equivalent across all people and all disciplines.  It ignores the vast amounts and sources of attention-deficit-inducing distractions that are all too common in this new technocratic millennium.  Most importantly, it reduces the quality of attention and experience with a purely quantitative definition of mastery, a concept which evades most concrete definitions if we truly look into them.