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We need more generalists.

One of the endless “knock-on” consequences of our time is that we have prioritized and fetishized the esoteric presence, and esoteric opinions of, the hyper-skilled, narrowly focused, specialist.

In any field.

We call these people “experts.”

Except…

A problem arises when an “expert” in one area has an ego so large that they cannot admit what they don’t know about another area of specialized knowledge.

Please just scroll back in your newsfeed and look at all the amateur epidemiologists (“experts” all in their own field of specialization) who were around in your social media feeds during COVID.

This is where a generalist would be helpful.

The challenge of being a generalist is that having a broad base of knowledge can blind you (along with your ego) to the blind spots in your own knowledge.

But a generalist, usually unbound by the cognitive biases of escalating to a point of specialization, is open to new knowledge and more curious.

But…

It’s hard to monetize a generalist’s knowledge, because, in the hyper-financialization of everything mode, most generalists are framed by most specialists as being “unable to do the ‘hard’ work of specialization.”

And thus, worthy of being paid less.

But in our social media era, where more knowledge (not wisdom) is created every minute than ever before in human history, it might be helpful to adopt a broader acceptance of the wisdom of the broad generalist.

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