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Insightful Letter 7
Why curiosity triumph over specialization?

Hi ,

I hope everything is fine at your end. 

Today I want to talk about curiosity, specialization and their implications in our life.

By the way, If you have any idea that you want me to discuss, please let me know.

 The Idea      

I read a story in class 8 named 'Further Progress in Specialization' by Stephen Leacock.

It was a story about how specialization will create hyperspecialized jobs in the future. It was written in a humorous way, you should read that story.

Today we are exactly witnessing what Stephen Leacock said many decades ago.

We have specialized people in almost everything. 

Our area of work is becoming narrower day by day. 

But at the same time, today's hyperspecialized jobs limiting our potential. limiting our ability to explore.

If you are specialized in economics, who says you can't be good at physics?

If you are specialized in mathematics, who says you can't be good at music?

The thing is, most of us have accepted the fact that there is only one thing I can be good at. 

In fact, we hardly try to explore anything except our specialized subject.

But all this specialization has become prominent after the industrial revolution. 

Because industries need somewhat specialized labors.

Before the industrial era, there was no culture of specialization. People pursued whatever they found interesting.

If you read about any great person before the industrial revolution, you will see that none of them were hyperspecialized in just a particular subject.

They were skilled in multiple things.


Even today there are many people like that.

Let's take an example.

I am sure you have heard about one of the most prominent intellectuals of today's time 'Yuval Noah Harari'. 

He has written multiple blockbuster books like 'Sapiens', 'Home Deus', etc. which are read by millions of people worldwide.

If you have read any of his books, you know that he talks about the evolution of humanity from jungles to today's digital era.

He talks about science, economics, philosophy like an expert.

Read any of his articles or books and you will know how much knowledge this man has.

But he is a history professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

He has no degree in science, economy, or philosophy.

Then how does he talk like an expert in these subjects?

This man has an amazing curiosity to know about things. To know about the past and future of humanity.

He has not believed that history is my specialization so I can only be good at history.

There are many people even today like him.

These people are not gifted. 

They didn't let their curiosity die with time.

Everyone born with an indomitable curiosity within them.

For some people, it dies with time and some people manage to keep it alive. 

What do you think? Let me know.

Book/article recommendation


Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein

A great book to read. The book talks about how in an ever-changing world how having different experiences and skills can make you more effective.

Why being the polymath is the way to success

 One of my previous articles on polymaths.

One video suggestion

A great video Tim Ferris on whether you should be a generalist or specialist.

One quote

"The bigger the picture, the more unique the potential human contribution. Our greatest strength is the exact opposite of narrow specialization. It is the ability to integrate broadly."

                                                                           - David Epstein


This week I have written about the evolution of online education how it is going to affect the future of traditional education. Read below

July 26 , 2020
The Rise of Onlene Education: Can it Replace The Traditional Education System?

Read the full article

If you have anything to say or ask, just reply to this mail. I will respond.

Until next week,


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Jayabrata Das

IIT Bombay, Powai, Mumbai

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