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  1. #1
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Default Specialist or Generalist? Convince me!

    A comment from bluemonday
    In that case, you sacrifice differentiation. No-one can develop all functions equally. I'd rather concentrate on what I'm good at than strive for some impossible perfection.
    Reminded me of this question. Why is being a specialist better than a generalist? By specialist, I mean people who dedicate their learning to one specific (often narrow) field. Generalists would be the reverse, those who aim to learn about a variety of subjects. The way I see it, there are cases where having a wider range of skill set seems beneficial to me then being completely focused on one thing. Feel free to convince me otherwise.

  2. #2
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    Of course there are cases where that is so. Fewer today than a hundred years ago, or ten thousand years ago.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Angry Ayrab's Avatar
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    I don't know... but even though I personally prefer being a generalist, hell I despise details, I sure would prefer an orthopedic spine surgeon to work on my cracked back (hasn't happened yet and hoping to keep it that way) than my FP physician.

  4. #4
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    Specialists get more respect and make more money but they aren't having more fun.

  5. #5
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    Generalist. Specialist out of element=fucked.
    I am an ENTJ. I hate political correctness but love smart people ^_^

  6. #6
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    I think both serve an important purpose. It wouldn't be good to have all one or all the other.
    As an INTJ, I tend to specialize because I only want to do something I can be competent at.
    I can't be competent at everything, therefore I can only be good at so many things.
    On the other hand, I remember when I was a teen thinking that I was a jack of all trades.
    I had a lot of general knowledge, but I wasn't necessarily great at any one thing.

  7. #7
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Hmm.. I think specialists are more useful when it comes to tedious things that need many careful, planned and practiced details.

    Generalists keep the world running on a massive scale with mediocre skills.. I'd want a professional specialist on my A/C unit, but I might only hire a lawnmower to do my lawn instead of an over-qualified professional landscaper.

    I think both are quite necessary.

    The reason why specialists are better is because you're paying for knowledge and experience in whatever field of study they are in. If I wanted my wedding cake custom made and crazy-decorated, I'd be paying extra for the experience and expertise of a person who's qualified to do that sort of thing, instead of just going to a regular cake place.

    In the case of one's self though.. personal preference is all you can count on. I like learning so many (too many) new things, without ever bothering to master any of them.. but someone could be so engrossed into whatever they want that it makes them happy just doing that.
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  8. #8
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    both are necissary, as kyuuei pointed out...


    I can't be anything but a generalist (or as my mom calls me "a jack of all trades and master of none" )... there's too many interesting things out there to try and learn some about!

    I'm glad that some people have the ability to concentrate down into a specialization though- it makes the medical practices more precise (and more expensive )
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  9. #9
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    Interesting, I was just about to post a thread with a similar theme.

    Both are necessary, and we need a more balanced respect for both approaches. Sadly we've tipped the scales insanely in favor of the specialist - the point we have specialists who specialise in nothing.

    As for me, Im a staunch generalist. As the old saying goes: "Jack of all trades, master of none, though often better than a master of one."

  10. #10
    Senior Member Simplexity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Interesting, I was just about to post a thread with a similar theme.

    Both are necessary, and we need a more balanced respect for both approaches. Sadly we've tipped the scales insanely in favor of the specialist - the point we have specialists who specialise in nothing.

    As for me, Im a staunch generalist. As the old saying goes: "Jack of all trades, master of none, though often better than a master of one."
    I've actually had this as a recurring topic in a lot of my thoughts for a while now. I think there are a lot of relations and connections to be made with this timeless topic. Off the top of my head is creativity and forward movement and progress in industries and careers.

    What about specialization and generalization from youth?

    Do you think the trade offs vary based at what stage you decide to go in one direction or the other?

    Is there sort of a potentiating effect with each one. That is to say is it necessary to specialize in order to understand the worthwhile generations you can make or vice versa.

    In terms of education what should the focus be on?

    Do you think a country's education is at cause for developing individuals in one way or the other?

    I'm mentally tired right now, and not feeling very articulate so sorry for the copout answer.
    My cold, snide, intellectual life is just a veneer, behind which lies the plywood of loneliness.

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