Friday, October 2, 2009

Being a Polymath

It's difficult being a polymath in contemporary society. We started going out of fashion in the 19th Century when specialists proved superior at understanding difficult phenomena in depth. Gentlemen scholars could not keep up.

Now, however we are seeing the limits of specialists. "Quants" have really screwed up the economy because their mathematical models failed to account for various factors that were not readily reduced to numbers.

Still, though, one response of failing systems is to ignore -- and even attack -- people who are not in control as being the real cause of the problem.

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