Re: Cultural Evolution & History

Bill Benzon (
Wed, 11 Jun 1997 23:33:58 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 23:33:58 -0500
From: (Bill Benzon)
Subject: Re: Cultural Evolution & History

Tim Perper said:

>I wrote a paper once about some of these issues, where I tried to define
>"secondary competence," meaning one has enough knowledge in field #2 to
>make a contribution to it when one is trained in field #1. The first one
>I was able to think of was Honesty -- the recognition that one does NOT
>really know field #2 until one has immersed oneself in it for quite some

My colleague & teacher Dave Hays used to say there were two kinds of generalist:
1. Those who achieved general conceptions by working with ideas so vague
they could fit a large range of phenomena. 2. Those who achieved general
conceptions by mastering significant technical detail in two or more
disciplines. The second kind is clearly preferable, and in short supply.

William L. Benzon 201.217.1010
708 Jersey Ave. Apt. 2A
Jersey City, NJ 07302 USA

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