Loop of Redemption

cursiveAs a longtime scribbler whose handwriting is nearly indecipherable, this story by Slate’s Emily Yoffe hits close to home. In it, Yoffe tries to improve the handwriting skills of herself and her eighth-grade daughter.

In the end, both Yoffe and her daughter are “astonished” at their progress. This raises an interesting point: the reliability of this kind of astonishment. High-quality, targeted training always ends up producing astonishing progress. Which is to say, it feels astonishing, like some kind of magic, but when you understand how the system actually works–how it’s possible to build fast, beautiful circuitry through deep practice–these gains are wonderfully predictable.