Re: >H Re: "natural"

Harvey Newstrom (
Fri, 3 Dec 1999 18:14:03 -0500

Eugene Leitl <> wrote on Friday, December 03, 1999 3:22 pm,

> Harvey Newstrom writes:
> > A pretty bizarre mix, but it seems perfect for Extropians or Transhuman
> > topics! I find in my various endeavors that I frequently invent new
> > by combining expertise from various fields. This puts me way ahead of
> > colleagues who only know one field.
> God knows there is a niche for generalists, but there is something to
> be said for specialization in just one field. (Monomaniacs are
> definitely more productive). Of course, generalists are also
> specialists of a sort...

I respectfully disagree. I am not talking about having general knowledge in many fields. I am talking about being an expert in multiple fields. You seem to be assuming that people with expertise in multiple fields are not more shallow in their knowledge than someone who studies a single field. Does your interest in Transhumanist subject diminish your depth of knowledge in other areas?

I am a information security expert. My Computer Science expertise gives me an understanding of computers and networks. My Business Adminstration gives me the ability to manage multi-million dollar security projects for corporate clients. My Psychology enables me to profile and predict hacker behavior and has lead to the tracking and apprehension of criminals. My Mathematics allows me to crack encryption and find holes in Tempest electromagnetic shielding for government clients. My Biology helps me design systems with a safe and comfortable human interface.

In no way do I find that studying multiple fields has made my expertise more general. In fact, I have a greater understanding in most fields, far beyond those who study that field alone. Often solutions or problems are apparent from another perspective, but are not noticed by single-subject experts.

Harvey Newstrom <mailto://>
Author, Consultant, Engineer, Legal Hacker, Researcher, Scientist.
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