Specialization Quotes

Quotes tagged as "specialization" (showing 1-30 of 41)
André Gide
“Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself- and thus make yourself indispensable.”
André Gide

Antonin Sertillanges
“It is a painful thing to say to oneself: by choosing one road I am turning my back on a thousand others. Everything is interesting; everything might be useful; everything attracts and charms a noble mind; but death is before us; mind and matter make their demands; willy-nilly we must submit and rest content as to things that time and wisdom deny us, with a glance of sympathy which is another act of our homage to the truth.”
Antonin Sertillanges, The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods

Robert M. Pirsig
“The range of human knowledge today is so great that we're all specialists and the distance between specializations has become so great that anyone who seeks to wander freely between them almost has to forego closeness with the people around him.”
Robert M. Pirsig

Roger Lowenstein
“The modern spirit is a hesitant one. Spontaneity has given way to cautious legalisms, and the age of heroes has been superseded by a cult of specialization. We have no more giants; only obedient ants.”
Roger Lowenstein, Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist

Richard Feynman
“Of course, I am interested, but I would not dare to talk about them. In talking about the impact of ideas in one field on ideas in another field, one is always apt to make a fool of oneself. In these days of specialization there are too few people who have such a deep understanding of two departments of our knowledge that they do not make fools of themselves in one or the other.”
Richard Feynman, The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist

Matt Ridley
“The Sun King had dinner each night alone. He chose from forty dishes, served on gold and silver plate. It took a staggering 498 people to prepare each meal. He was rich because he consumed the work of other people, mainly in the form of their services. He was rich because other people did things for him. At that time, the average French family would have prepared and consumed its own meals as well as paid tax to support his servants in the palace. So it is not hard to conclude that Louis XIV was rich because others were poor.

But what about today? Consider that you are an average person, say a woman of 35, living in, for the sake of argument, Paris and earning the median wage, with a working husband and two children. You are far from poor, but in relative terms, you are immeasurably poorer than Louis was. Where he was the richest of the rich in the world’s richest city, you have no servants, no palace, no carriage, no kingdom. As you toil home from work on the crowded Metro, stopping at the shop on the way to buy a ready meal for four, you might be thinking that Louis XIV’s dining arrangements were way beyond your reach. And yet consider this. The cornucopia that greets you as you enter the supermarket dwarfs anything that Louis XIV ever experienced (and it is probably less likely to contain salmonella). You can buy a fresh, frozen, tinned, smoked or pre-prepared meal made with beef, chicken, pork, lamb, fish, prawns, scallops, eggs, potatoes, beans, carrots, cabbage, aubergine, kumquats, celeriac, okra, seven kinds of lettuce, cooked in olive, walnut, sunflower or peanut oil and flavoured with cilantro, turmeric, basil or rosemary … You may have no chefs, but you can decide on a whim to choose between scores of nearby bistros, or Italian, Chinese, Japanese or Indian restaurants, in each of which a team of skilled chefs is waiting to serve your family at less than an hour’s notice. Think of this: never before this generation has the average person been able to afford to have somebody else prepare his meals.

You employ no tailor, but you can browse the internet and instantly order from an almost infinite range of excellent, affordable clothes of cotton, silk, linen, wool and nylon made up for you in factories all over Asia. You have no carriage, but you can buy a ticket which will summon the services of a skilled pilot of a budget airline to fly you to one of hundreds of destinations that Louis never dreamed of seeing. You have no woodcutters to bring you logs for the fire, but the operators of gas rigs in Russia are clamouring to bring you clean central heating. You have no wick-trimming footman, but your light switch gives you the instant and brilliant produce of hardworking people at a grid of distant nuclear power stations. You have no runner to send messages, but even now a repairman is climbing a mobile-phone mast somewhere in the world to make sure it is working properly just in case you need to call that cell. You have no private apothecary, but your local pharmacy supplies you with the handiwork of many thousands of chemists, engineers and logistics experts. You have no government ministers, but diligent reporters are even now standing ready to tell you about a film star’s divorce if you will only switch to their channel or log on to their blogs.

My point is that you have far, far more than 498 servants at your immediate beck and call. Of course, unlike the Sun King’s servants, these people work for many other people too, but from your perspective what is the difference? That is the magic that exchange and specialisation have wrought for the human species.”
Matt Ridley, The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

Evelyn Waugh
“Rex has never been unkind to me intentionally. It's just that he isn't a real person at all; he's just a few faculties of a man highly developed; the rest simply isn't there.”
Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder

R. Buckminster Fuller
“We are in an age that assumes the narrowing trends of specialization to be logical, natural, and desirable. Consequently, society expects all earnestly responsible communication to be crisply brief. Advancing science has now discovered that all the known cases of biological extinction have been caused by overspecialization, whose concentration of only selected genes sacrifices general adaptability. Thus the specialist’s brief for pinpointing brevity is dubious. In the meantime, humanity has been deprived of comprehensive understanding. Specialization has bred feelings of isolation, futility, and confusion in individuals. It has also resulted in the individual’s leaving responsibility for thinking and social action to others. Specialization breeds biases that ultimately aggregate as international and ideological discord, which in turn leads to war.”
R. Buckminster Fuller

“I spent most of my life trying to specialize myself. I went to theater school, film school, music school, mime school ... Finally, I was able to gather enough knowledge to build the confidence to create my own work, that goes utterly against the sense of specialization.”
Nuno Roque

Richard Fletcher
“It is a wholly deplorable state of affairs when specialists in any discipline talk only to each other, and accordingly I have sought to write a book which will communicate some of the fruits of research in a manner which will make them accessible to all.”
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion: From Paganism to Christianity

Eric Schmidt
“Favoring specialization over intelligence is exactly wrong, especially in high tech. The world is changing so fast across every industry and endeavor that it's a given the role for which you're hiring is going to change. Yesterday's widget will be obsolete tomorrow, and hiring a specialist in such a dynamic environment can backfire. A specialist brings an inherent bias to solving problems that spawns from the very expertise that is his putative advantage, and may be threatened by a new type of solution that requires new expertise. A smart generalist doesn't have bias, so is free to survey the wide range of solutions and gravitate to the best one.”
Eric Schmidt, How Google Works

Tom Robbins
“To specialize is to brush one tooth. When a person specializes he channels all of his energies through one narrow conduit; he knows one thing extremely well and is ignorant of almost everything else.”
Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

Israelmore Ayivor
“Specialization, concentration and consistency is the key to outstanding performance... Love your zone!”
Israelmore Ayivor, The Great Hand Book of Quotes

Arundhati Roy
“I see a role for specialized knowledge, but I think that it's important for there to be an arena where it is shared, where it is communicated. It's not that somebody shouldn't have specialized knowledge. The ability to dig a trench and lay a cable is a kind of specialized knowledge. Farmers have specialized knowledge, too. The question is: what sort of knowledge is privileged in our societies? I don't think that a CEO is more valuable to society and ought to be paid ten million dollars a year, while farmers and laborers starve.
The range of what is valued has become so extreme that one lot of people have captured it and left three-quarters of the world to live in unthinkable poverty, because their work is not valued. What would happen if the sweepers of the city went on strike or the sewage system didn't work? A CEO wouldn't be able to deal with his own shit.”
Arundhati Roy, The Checkbook and the Cruise Missile: Conversations with Arundhati Roy

Matt Ridley
“The Sun King had dinner each night alone. He chose from forty dishes, served on gold and silver plate. It took a staggering 498 people to prepare each meal. He was rich because he consumed the work of other people, mainly in the form of their services. He was rich because other people did things for him. At that time, the average French family would have prepared and consumed its own meals as well as paid tax to support his servants in the palace. So it is not hard to conclude that Louis XIV was rich because others were poor.

But what about today? Consider that you are an average person, say a woman of 35, living in, for the sake of argument, Paris and earning the median wage, with a working husband and two children. You are far from poor, but in relative terms, you are immeasurably poorer than Louis was. Where he was the richest of the rich in the world’s richest city, you have no servants, no palace, no carriage, no kingdom. As you toil home from work on the crowded Metro, stopping at the shop on the way to buy a ready meal for four, you might be thinking that Louis XIV’s dining arrangements were way beyond your reach. And yet consider this. The cornucopia that greets you as you enter the supermarket dwarfs anything that Louis XIV ever experienced (and it is probably less likely to contain salmonella). You can buy a fresh, frozen, tinned, smoked or pre-prepared meal made with beef, chicken, pork, lamb, fish, prawns, scallops, eggs, potatoes, beans, carrots, cabbage, aubergine, kumquats, celeriac, okra, seven kinds of lettuce, cooked in olive, walnut, sunflower or peanut oil and flavoured with cilantro, turmeric, basil or rosemary ... You may have no chefs, but you can decide on a whim to choose between scores of nearby bistros, or Italian, Chinese, Japanese or Indian restaurants, in each of which a team of skilled chefs is waiting to serve your family at less than an hour’s notice. Think of this: never before this generation has the average person been able to afford to have somebody else prepare his meals.

You employ no tailor, but you can browse the internet and instantly order from an almost infinite range of excellent, affordable clothes of cotton, silk, linen, wool and nylon made up for you in factories all over Asia. You have no carriage, but you can buy a ticket which will summon the services of a skilled pilot of a budget airline to fly you to one of hundreds of destinations that Louis never dreamed of seeing. You have no woodcutters to bring you logs for the fire, but the operators of gas rigs in Russia are clamouring to bring you clean central heating. You have no wick-trimming footman, but your light switch gives you the instant and brilliant produce of hardworking people at a grid of distant nuclear power stations. You have no runner to send messages, but even now a repairman is climbing a mobile-phone mast somewhere in the world to make sure it is working properly just in case you need to call that cell. You have no private apothecary, but your local pharmacy supplies you with the handiwork of many thousands of chemists, engineers and logistics experts. You have no government ministers, but diligent reporters are even now standing ready to tell you about a film star’s divorce if you will only switch to their channel or log on to their blogs.

My point is that you have far, far more than 498 servants at your immediate beck and call. Of course, unlike the Sun King’s servants, these people work for many other people too, but from your perspective what is the difference? That is the magic that exchange and specialisation have wrought for the human species.”
Matt Ridley, The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

“The greatest thing about our times is that you don't need permission to express yourself the way you wish. Sometimes people tell themselves they can't do it, because they're missing this or that, but historically, specialization is a recent convention. Most of us are born natural polymaths.”
Nuno Roque

“The history of learning amounts to a history of specialization.”
Beryl Smalley, Historians In The Middle Ages

Robert A. Heinlein
“Everybody else specializes. Daddy knows everything, and he puts the pieces together.”
Robert A. Heinlein, Have Space Suit—Will Travel

John Steinbeck
“Maybe, kneeling down to atoms, they're becoming atom-sized in their souls. Maybe a specialist is only a coward, afraid to look out of his little cage. And think what any specialist misses--the whole world over his fence.”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden

Friedrich Nietzsche
“The progress of science has been amazingly rapid in the last decade; but consider the savants, those exhausted hens. They are certainly not “harmonious” natures: they can merely cackle more than before, because they lay eggs oftener: but the eggs are always smaller, [Pg 64] though their books are bigger. The natural result of it all is the favourite “popularising” of science (or rather its feminising and infantising), the villainous habit of cutting the cloth of science to fit the figure of the “general public.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life

José Ortega y Gasset
“And such in fact is the behaviour of the specialist. In politics, in art, in social usages, in the other sciences, he will adopt the attitude of primitive, ignorant man; but he will adopt them forcefully and with self-sufficiency, and will not admit of- this is the paradox- specialists in those matters. By specialising him, civilisation has made him hermetic and self-satisfied within his limitations; but this very inner feeling of dominance and worth will induce him to wish to predominate outside his speciality. The result is that even in this case, representing a maximum of qualification in man- specialisation- and therefore the thing most opposed to the mass-man, the result is that he will behave in almost all spheres of life as does the unqualified, the mass-man.”
José Ortega y Gasset, The Revolt of the Masses

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
“A large majority of our respondents were inspired by a tension in their domain that became obvious when looked at from the perspective of another domain. Even though they do not think of themselves as interdisciplinary, their best work bridges realms of ideas. Their histories tend to cast doubt on the wisdom of overspecialization, where bright young people are trained to become exclusive experts in one field and shun breadth like the plague.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention

Israelmore Ayivor
“Leaders reject free opportunities they don't need, so that they can have time to create the expensive opportunities they need.”
Israelmore Ayivor, Leaders' Ladder

“The specialist serves as a striking concrete example of the species, making clear to us the radical nature of the novelty. For, previously, men could be divided simply into the learned and the ignorant, those more or less the one, and those more or less the other. But your specialist cannot be brought in under either of these two categories. He is not learned , for he is formally ignorant of all that does not enter into his speciality; but neither is he ignorant, because he is "a scientist," and "knows" very well his own tiny portion of the universe. We shall have to say that he is a learned ignoramus, which is a very serious matter, as it implies that he is a person who is ignorant, not in the fashion of the ignorant man, but with an the petulance of one who is learned in his own special line.”
Ortega y Gasset

“Today every believer has the potential to become a savior and a deliverer in his own area of specialization if only he/she make himself available”
Sunday Adelaja

Immanuel Kant
“All trades, arts, and handiwork have gained by division of labor, namely, when, instead of one man doing everything, each confines himself to a certain kind of work distinct from others in the treatment it requires, so as to be able to perform it with greater facility and in the greatest perfection.”
Immanuel Kant, Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals

William Barrett
“The path of specialization leads away from the ordinary and concrete acts of understanding in terms of which man actually lives his day-to-day life.”
William Barrett, Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy

Israelmore Ayivor
“The more you concentrate on what you discover that you will be good for you to pursue, the more experienced you will be while doing it.”
Israelmore Ayivor, Leaders' Frontpage: Leadership Insights from 21 Martin Luther King Jr. Thoughts

Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn
“Imagine if one should drag an innocent passer-by from the street to the operating room of a nearby hospital and force him at gunpoint to perform a delicate operation. The man would burst into tears. However, if one were to ask him to sound off on problems such as nuclear experiments, Vietnam, the borders of Israel, support for Indonesia, aid to Latin America, or recognition of Red China, in most cases he would start spouting opinions.”
Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Leftism Revisited: from de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Pol Pot

“Always improve on things you do better and faster.”
Sunday Adelaja, How To Become Great Through Time Conversion: Are you wasting time, spending time or investing time?

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