A Rampant Social Disease
The cult of specialization was rampant when I stated my work. I fought it then and I am still against it now.
This specialization is focus emanates out of the philosophy of utility. UTILITY is a paradigm that proposes to reduce life to the argument of efficiency. It is an argument of repression. The only beneficiaries of the argument are those who has so positioned that they themselves do not have to live by it. This argument is is usually made in the name of the work PRACTICAL but, of course there in nothing practical about the many propositions made in it’s name.
What do you wish to practice? How do you want to spend your 30,000 day?. That is it (at this time). What do you wish to surround yourself with? What reality do you want to live? Quo Vatus? Only after answering these questions can you determine what is practical - know what you must practice. Then you can know what is utility. Then you can know what what you have to know and want to know.
It is useful to think of knowledge and skill acquisition on three levels: familiarity, journeyman level and mastery. You have to have familiarity about everything that may impact your life, the community you live in and your society. Not to is do abdicate the responsibility of you life. No excuses. This is specification imposed upon you by reality. to fail it is to take great risk. It is to be careless. Failure can cost you dearly. It can cost you your work, your family, community - it can cost you your life. You have to be failure about a lot. Which means, the language, the logics, the basic arguments and controversies of a body of knowledge; you have to know how it fits into the mosaic of your life. At minimum, you have to be an intelligent consumer of this idea, field of knowledge and it’s products. You have to reach a journeyman level of competency of those things that directly surround your circumstance; and, mastery of that which is your passion. You must master that which prepares you for your QUEST.
The advocates of specialization will tell you something different, of course. They tell you to get very good at only one or a few things. To “sell” this service to others who do the same. Don’t be a “Jack of all trades - master of none” (oh, pejorative horror!) - and by the way, don't worry how it all comes together. There are those who know about that. Who is, by the way, minding the store? Who - or what - determines the game you will play in?
Specialization, of course drives complexity and, thus, social dependency. It drives a narrowing of independent judgment. Combine that with a media world of shouting pundit heads and just about anything and everything goes if it can get more air time that any alternative viewpoint. There is an old saying in investigative reporting: “follow the money.” In this case, the question “to follow” is “who benefits” by a world of overspecialized, dependent high trained and skilled wage-slaves?” In a land and a time where independence and freedom is so highly prized (if you believe the propaganda) why do so many feel helpless, without power and without real options? Why is there so much fear? Why are so many of the messages from the media about threat?
Is this the reality? Does it have to be? What keeps it this way?
(Over) Specialization is a disease because it keeps you from having the power of your own life - it, makes a mockery of independence and freedom. It ties you to a system you cannot control; a system where the alleged benefits slip like sand through you hand.
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Matt Taylor
San Francisico
April 3, 2003

SolutionBox voice of this document:


posted: April 5, 2003

revised: April 5, 2003
• 20030326.290081.mt •

(note: this document is about 5% finished)

Copyright© 1987, 2003 Matt Taylor



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