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Author Topic: Specialization is for insects!  (Read 3198 times)

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Offline Matthew

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Specialization is for insects!
« on: April 12, 2011, 09:06:25 AM »
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  • "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
    Robert Heinlein
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    Offline Jitpring

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    Specialization is for insects!
    « Reply #1 on: April 12, 2011, 11:10:26 AM »
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  • Quote from: Matthew
    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
    Robert Heinlein


    I couldn't agree more. Also see ch. 12 - entitled "The Barbarism of Specialization" - of Ortega y Gassett's The Revolt of the Masses.
    Age, thou art shamed.*
    O shame, where is thy blush?**

    -Shakespeare, Julius Caesar,* Hamlet**


    Offline Matthew

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    Specialization is for insects!
    « Reply #2 on: April 12, 2011, 11:19:42 AM »
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  • Quote from: Matthew
    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
    Robert Heinlein


    Let's see which ones I have down --

    Diaper? Check. Throw in "give baby a bath" for good measure.
    Invasion? insufficient data :)
    Sonnet? Check.
    Balance accounts? Check.
    Build a wall? (What kind?) I'll put down "Maybe"
    Comfort the dying? I could do that.
    Take orders/Give orders: Check
    Cooperate/Act alone: Check
    Equations? (Again, what kind?) Maybe.
    Analyze problem? Check.
    Pitch manure? Check.
    Write program? Check.
    Cook? Check.
    Fight efficiently? Don't know about that one...
    Die valiantly? Untested/insufficient data.

    I like this quote because I like the idea of the "Renaissance Man". I think that, to a certain extent, we SHOULD have a 12-year-old's knowledge of ALL sciences and disciplines. We can't be a PROFESSIONAL or EXPERT at everything -- but we can know the basics.

    Mathematicians are experts; but EVERYONE should be able to solve X + 13 = 20.

    Botanists are experts, but everyone should know how fruit is formed on a tree/vine (pollination).

    Not everyone is a construction worker, but everyone (even women) should know how to use a shovel, in case they ever NEEDED to.

    Astronomers are experts; but everyone should know that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, and that the sun takes a lower arc during the Winter months.

    Chefs/Cooks are experts; but everyone should know the basics, like Tomatoes are acidic and so they bring flavor out of herbs, leach iron out of iron pots, and are easier to preserve because they are acidic.

    And so on.

    If it takes you a few minutes to learn, why not learn it? EVEN IF it is far, far outside your normal profession.
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    Offline Lybus

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    Specialization is for insects!
    « Reply #3 on: April 12, 2011, 11:26:19 AM »
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  • Quote from: Matthew
    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
    Robert Heinlein


    Wow....i mean wow, i was looking up specialization and compartmentalization of knowledge in google last night and the next day you post this. Funny how things work.

    In regards to being a responsible man, would it be interesting to learn, after six years of accumulating all the wisdom you could, that you had it right all alon

    Offline Matthew

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    Specialization is for insects!
    « Reply #4 on: April 12, 2011, 11:29:01 AM »
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  • I tell you what --

    The more specialized you are, the more dependent you are on others.

    Obviously we're all dependent on others for many, many things.

    But do you want to have ZERO knowledge of health, so that you have to visit the doctor for every ache and pain? That wouldn't be practical. You need to know WHEN stomach pain is serious, and when you just need to chew your food more thoroughly or eat less. You need to know when to visit the proctologist, and when you just need to eat more fiber.
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    Offline Matthew

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    Specialization is for insects!
    « Reply #5 on: April 12, 2011, 11:29:57 AM »
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  • Quote from: Jitpring
    Quote from: Matthew
    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
    Robert Heinlein


    I couldn't agree more. Also see ch. 12 - entitled "The Barbarism of Specialization" - of Ortega y Gassett's The Revolt of the Masses.


    You couldn't agree more? I bet you could  :wink:

    You could click the little "Thumbs up" at the top of my post...
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    Offline Lybus

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    Specialization is for insects!
    « Reply #6 on: April 12, 2011, 11:43:00 AM »
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  • One should be able to also understand and follow the market.

    In regards to being a responsible man, would it be interesting to learn, after six years of accumulating all the wisdom you could, that you had it right all alon

    Offline Matthew

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    Specialization is for insects!
    « Reply #7 on: April 12, 2011, 11:46:03 AM »
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  • Yes, I'd love to add to that list. I think I could manage to put lots of good things on it -- things I can do, and things I *can't* do.

    I a pretty bad at medical skills, for example.

    On the other hand, I am probably better at "investing" than most mainstream professionals.

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    Offline Catholic Samurai

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    Specialization is for insects!
    « Reply #8 on: April 12, 2011, 11:51:34 AM »
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  • I'd say I could do about 3/4 of the stuff on the list.
    "Louvada Siesa O' Sanctisimo Sacramento!"~warcry of the Amakusa/Shimabara rebels

    "We must risk something for God!"~Hernan Cortes


    TEJANO AND PROUD!

    Offline Matthew

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    Specialization is for insects!
    « Reply #9 on: April 12, 2011, 11:59:30 AM »
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  • And for the single guys --

    I also think that any young lady worth marrying would be attracted to a guy who is reasonably capable of doing various things.

    Young ladies want to look UP to their man -- the fewer times she has to be ashamed of his incompetence, the better. On a related note, most women will pick a man that is smarter than she is. I don't think I've seen any exceptions to this rule! So the smarter you are (or seem), the smarter the woman you end up with.

    What woman wants a guy who plants cold-sensitive plants on the north side of the house, or puts solar screens on the north side of the house first, even though "we can only afford 4 of them this year, honey."

    Isn't it pathetic when a guy can't make Hamburger Helper? Come on, guys! It's not going to make your body produce estrogen. If you can dig a ditch, kill a bear with your bear hands, or throw a football 2,000 yards, I think you can prepare a boxed dinner!

     :chef:

    We should all have "bucket lists" of things we want to learn how to do before we kick the bucket.

    I never learned how to drive a manual transmission. However, I have since learned how to drive a diesel tractor, which is manual. (It's still different from a car or truck. I can't cross that one off my list yet)

    Besides, it makes you feel better about yourself to know that you removed a large tree, stump and all, with nothing but manual tools. I'd say it's better than being able to say you beat "Halo" (a recent video game, for the older crowd).
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    Offline gladius_veritatis

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    Specialization is for insects!
    « Reply #10 on: April 12, 2011, 12:02:00 PM »
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  • Quote from: Matthew
    You could click the little "Thumbs up" at the top of my post...


     :whistleblower:...shamelessly soliciting thumb action... :whistleblower:
    + Vincit veritas +


    Offline Jitpring

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    Specialization is for insects!
    « Reply #11 on: April 12, 2011, 12:02:53 PM »
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  • It's been said that Goethe was the last comprehensive man. I forget who said it. It's also been said that to be a comprehensive man today would require the energies of seven men of old. Something like that. I forget who said that too.
    Age, thou art shamed.*
    O shame, where is thy blush?**

    -Shakespeare, Julius Caesar,* Hamlet**

    Offline Lybus

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    Specialization is for insects!
    « Reply #12 on: April 12, 2011, 12:20:12 PM »
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  • Things I want to do this summer (and learn):

    -Expand my cooking skills (to the point where my choices don't only consist of hamburgers, pizza, and caesar salad, eggs, and macoroni and cheese)
    -Build a trebuchet
    -try out an ebay business
    -play the stock market via paper money (or real money depending on how well the above goes)
    -throw random objects at people with trebuchet  :dwarf:
    -maybe some other projects if i get bored of trebuchet's  :scratchchin:

    In regards to being a responsible man, would it be interesting to learn, after six years of accumulating all the wisdom you could, that you had it right all alon

    Offline Matthew

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    Specialization is for insects!
    « Reply #13 on: April 12, 2011, 12:23:56 PM »
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  • Learning elementary building principles, physics, etc. would seem to be quite a useful skill. You never know when those principles/experience would come in handy.
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    Offline Matthew

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    Specialization is for insects!
    « Reply #14 on: April 12, 2011, 12:25:34 PM »
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  • Quote from: gladius_veritatis
    Quote from: Matthew
    You could click the little "Thumbs up" at the top of my post...


     :whistleblower:...shamelessly soliciting thumb action... :whistleblower:


    Hahaha I don't normally do that, but when someone says "I can't agree more" but I have 0 "thumbs-up" I legitimately think the guy hasn't gotten into that new feature at all yet.

    Maybe it's permissible, for a few months, to get a few dozen sidelined people habituated to using the feature?

    Matthew
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