Generalist

I’m currently reading The Art of Fermentation and while on the surface it looks like a book about food and drink, it’s also a book about microbiology, which was one of my favourite areas of study in university.

It’s another reminder that different disciplines are not as separate as we think they are. This was one of the reasons that being in the structure of school was so frustrating to me.

The majority of it (even at the tertiary level) didn’t have room for natural curiosity. I was constantly told, You don’t need to know this, it’s not being tested. It won’t come out in the exams.

Although I was good at school, I didn’t enjoy it. It was just another system to crack.

Then out in the real world, I keep discovering over and over again that knowledge from all these supposedly separate disciplines are constantly colliding.

The Scientific Method is used in marketing, product development, UI/UX design. Things I learned during the coding bootcamp are used to improve non-digital workflows. The risk planning exercises that I did for science labs in university had a similar structure to the manuals and policies I wrote when I worked at a bank.

We live in a world where it’s becoming increasingly beneficial to be a generalist (with some focus). Why is the education system still churning out specialists?

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