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The problem with over specialisation /technical approach

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6:30+ mark. The example is really good. 

This goes to the extent of all technical knowledge. Balancing one's Vision with its actualization is something I'm currently working on. A meta approach without loosing ground. How are you able to achieve that balance yourself? 

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Posted (edited)

Apply the Paradox of the General and the Details.  Not mastering the details keeps you a boy.  Not mastering the general keeps you a fool.

Edited by Joseph Maynor

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2 minutes ago, Joseph Maynor said:

Apply the Paradox of the General and the Details.  Not mastering details keeps you a boy.  Not mastering the general keeps you a fool.

Good one, I think we should all have a solid base (what exactly is that?!) and then specialize in something, so that we can contribute, that would be ideal.

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philosophy/law majors tend to master the general and not the details and physical science majors tend to master the details but not the general. Some jobs are suitable for generalization while others are suitable for specialization. That's why we have PHD holders and managers

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3 minutes ago, electroBeam said:

law

Law is extremely technical.


"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." -- Rumi

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3 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

Law is extremely technical.

To be a good lawyer you need to have read a very very very broad range of case studies. You need to read all sorts of strange examples and cross reference and triangulate between each one so that you get a gist of what to do.

This is very unlike the physical sciences. In the physical sciences, deductive reasoning(in contrast to inductive reasoning) is strongly encouraged. Therefore the goal is accumulation of knowledge through systematically building on past theories and laws. This does not require cross reference of many sources. 

 

Of course both the physical sciences and law require a mix of general vs specialized thinking BUT each one has an unequal mix. You find that generalization dominates philosophy/law while specialization dominates the physical sciences. If your naturally a generalist, you will enjoy law and philosophy much more than you will the physical sciences and vice versa. 

Revolutions in the physical sciences tend to happen when a scientist masters the general(instead of just the specialized) but how many scientists have done this? And even when the scientist(like Leibniz or Newton) master the general, how much of their work really involves general thinking? I think it's 80 percent specialized and 20 percent generalized

Lawyers require great attention to detail, but the amount of time they need to focus on the details is much smaller.

Philosophers are even smaller specialists. They tend to only focus on the details of an argument as a tactical maneuver to ward off proponents. 

And then you have people like Sadhguru who don't specialize in anything, even meditation techniques. 

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24 minutes ago, electroBeam said:

And then you have people like Sadhguru who don't specialize in anything, even meditation techniques.

Be careful what you assume. He's a technical master of yoga.


"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." -- Rumi

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15 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

Be careful what you assume. He's a technical master of yoga.

which yoga? ;)

There are thousands of yogic techniques, can you really 'master all?

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@electroBeam The best mathematicians, physicists, programmers, engineers and such are the ones with a vast experience over several different problems.


unborn Truth

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18 hours ago, electroBeam said:

can you really 'master all?

I didn't say he mastered them all.

By your own logic, if he is a specialist he shouldn't have mastered them all.

It would be like if I said some scientist is a technical master in molecular biology. And you reply with: "But there are thousands of sciences, can you really master them all?"

You don't need to master them all to be considered a great scientist. The opposite is the case.

Nuance, nuance, nuance.


"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." -- Rumi

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Leo Gura said:

If would be like if I said some scientist is a technical master in molecular biology. And you reply with: "But there are thousands of sciences, can you really master them all?"

You didn't say molecular biology, you said yoga! Do you know how big yoga is? molecular biology is tiny compared to yoga.

Its like you saying "don't assume Einstein was a generalist, he was a master at science"

No Einstein was a master of special relativity, a tiny subset of the physical sciences. Its impossible to be a master of science, its too large. You would never trust Einstein's views in biology, economy, or even something as closely related as quantum mechanics, he knew very little about these things formally. 

@ajasatya Does Euler know much about biology or even physics? Did Einstein know much about sociology or psychology?

Does, on the other hand, sadhguru know much about mathematics and physics? Yes he does, of course not as much as Einstein and Euler, but he knows more about mathematics and physics than Euler and Einstein knew about yoga(strictly from their line of work, not counting their outside interests.). To be a good philosopher, one needs to know the philosophical implications of everything, including science. To be a good scientist, you must prove a tiny equation that very precisely represents a tiny fraction of the universe, is true and correct. The former is general, the latter is specialzed(speaking from someone who has studied both the physical sciences and philosophy at university).

This is not because one is better than the other, its because to be good at mathematics and physics, one needs to specialise and isolate themselves from other knowledge much more than philosophers and yogis do. In practice, if you speak to any hard scientist, their view about the world is much more limited than a lawyer or philosopher, but they have skills that are much harder to replicate than lawyers and philosophers have. 

Edited by electroBeam

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2 hours ago, electroBeam said:

which yoga? ;)

Sadhguru had trained under system that came from Hatha Yoga called Angamardana.

Now he also teaches his own flavor of Kriya Yoga.

He seems to be a master in consecrating spaces and objects, too.

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@Girzo he's a master of a lot of things somehow. He is a fully trained bhakti yogi aswell. He has told me personally that he trained in jnana yoga too. 

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@electroBeam I have no idea where you want to go with this, but comparing science and other areas of mastery is nonsense.

The development science is extremely rigorous, slow and pedantic. High quality scientific advancements are rare and even low quality scientific advancements will take you years. People usually take 4 years to prove some theorem or to collect data and run some tests just to get a PhD. 4 years doing pretty much the same thing. Not to mention the scientific community, which is very conservative.

If you work for 4 years in other areas of domain, it would be very different. You'd usually need to read a lot from various authors, talk to lots and lots of people and your intellectual work wouldn't be so bound by technical protocols.

And about philosophy, science has its own field of philosophy. The philosophy of science makes you aware of what you're doing and it's a complicated subject. It's also due to the lack of knowledge in the philosophy of science that we take very long to progress in a scientific career.

I thought that I understood what science was about until I realized that science is not something that you're expected to get a grip before your 30's. The learning curve is simply too high.

Do you know what professional Go players do their entire life? They just play go from very early ages! They usually have poor scientific and social skills because they just play Go the entire day. If they're not playing Go with a board, they're doing it mentally. And it makes no sense to say "hey, Go masters are stupid because they know nothing about economics and politics."


unborn Truth

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11 hours ago, ajasatya said:

@electroBeam "hey, Go masters are stupid because they know nothing about economics and politics."

I 100% agree with your post. I'm sorry that you took offence to what I said. I recommend that you look through my previous post, and try to find where I literally wrote, or even implied that hard scientists are stupid.

Do you have an underlying belief that limiting yourself to 1 specific area means your dumb? I don't think so. I did write that hard physical scientists have a limited world view, which is true! But that doesn't mean they are dumb, infact as I wrote in the original post, they have skills which are hard to replicate which makes them incredibly smart.

This is a problem though if you are naturally a generalist. If you are a generalist, you should think twice about doing the hard sciences, because hard scientists are forced to think in very myopic ways, if they don't they cannot produce the high quality work they do. I have learnt this through wasting thousands of dollars in college, and causing issues within my family life. I don't want someone to make the same mistake. 

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