I agree that claiming to have mastered something is quite likely arrogant. I don't know how good Tynan is, but I think his point is that he has made pickup a habit, and doesn't need constant practice to be good (frankly I suspect that practice is necessary to keep a high level of skill, but maybe he doesn't need a high level of skill for what he does, or gets enough practice in daily life). But I am going to use your example to have a quick rant on using malcolm gladwell as a source. Please don't take personal offense, but this has been annoying me for sometime. Malcolm Gladwell writes compelling books that take something that seems unlikely a first glance, but is common sense on the second, and "proves" it through entertaining anecdotes. He is not scientific. So please don't use his rules of thumb as some sort of proof. The 10000 hours is the perfect example of abuse. Professions and skills are so diverse, and of such different complexities, that giving a set time to master them is ridiculous. Even Gladwell didn't intend the 10000 hour rule to be more than a general estimate. Now people act like that is some sort of hard and fast level you have to achieve to be an "expert" (however that is quantified). All he really did in outliers was give a lot of examples of how some people got lucky, and took advantage of it by practicing a lot. Wow: practice makes perfect. Luck is important. Great insight there. Okay bile spewing over. Just please don't act like Gladwell has proven something or done anything other than bring attention to some interesting if obvious phenomena.