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Paul Wheaton, Generalist  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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In a recent podcast, Paul mentioned that some people call him a generalist. It seemed to carry a negative connotation for him, but I've come across some other material which would make me wear the name as a badge of honor.

First, a quote:

No man can be a pure specialist without being in the strict sense an idiot.

-George Bernard Shaw

Second, a short podcast from Tim Ferris. I'm referring to episode 19, The Top 5 Reasons to Be a Jack of All Trades.

Enjoy!
 
gardener
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Total specialization is for insects, it is not for men.
 
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I think that's basically true, but in a positive way. If you listen to Elaine Ingham, you think of soil. Geoff Lawton-Hot, dry, tropical climates-greening the desert. Alan Savory-how livestock can save the dry areas. Jack Spirko-prepper/survivalist. I think Toby Hemenway is probably also considered a generalist, but leans toward urban, and historical/anthropological sources, while Paul is definitely leaning toward rural, earthmoving, big acreage, and livestock. Another thing I just thought of. Paul is always funny and entertaining, while the others aren't that way necessarily.
John S
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Dale Hodgins wrote:Total specialization is for insects, it is not for men.




I think Mr. Heinlen's entire quote is deserving of display:

"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 A. Heinlein
 
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J Hampshire wrote:

Dale Hodgins wrote:Total specialization is for insects, it is not for men.




I think Mr. Heinlen's entire quote is deserving of display:

"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 A. Heinlein



Too true!
 
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Buckminster Fuller calls the opposite of a specialist a 'comprehensivist.'



 
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