Specialization

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org &
Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Deschooling /

A specialist is one who never makes small mistakes in his progress
toward the grand fallacy.
McLuhan

Homo apes were specialized before human society formed. The male sowed; the female cropped; the male hunted more, the female gathered more … In early human society, specialization would have increased. This guy’s responsible with the fire, that guy chips flint better than most …
These days, however, the super zoo specializes individuals before they can possibly show what they’re best at. Schools and corporations do it without any short-term responsibility: this guy’s management, that guy’s labor; this gal’s female … into the typing pool. Long-term responsibility will always out, but we may all be dead first: perhaps because of it.
Naturally, some of it makes sense. Some people really are better at this and that; some people don’t seem to be much good for anything at all. But there’s another reason, fairly well unadvertised: if everyone is specialized, will they or nil they, then who can understand what’s really going on?
Since April I’ve been trying to get certified academics to read my Macroinformation. Not my specialty. Worse: How is this your specialty? Specialists will never get it. It isn’t a specialty. I am not a specialist. Much too confining. Macro-Information is a new generalist inquiry. It could become of specialty. If so, I intend it as a specialty to reveal, not to conceal.
Noam Chomsky reports (from the Vietnam years) that his speech would be challenged by government ringers: You’re talking math. What are your qualifications in math? Why should we sit still for your math? Why to see whether or not it makes sense, of course. We can never know where the good ideas will come from. Chomsky pointed out that when he spoke before mathematicians he didn’t get the same challenges of certification. The real thinkers asked what he thought, how he arrived at it, looked to test it …
Once, specialization served survival. Now it just funnels us all into the same audience of nitwits at the magic show. How can the same people who worship an uncertified carpenter who challenged the certified priests on their own turf now accept the disbarment of all carpenters? Since Jesus has lost so completely, then and now, why do we even know his name?

By 1971 I was in touch with several programmers, two of them among the ten original authors of FORTRAN at IBM, who were happily ready to write applications software for FLEX: relational data bases and so forth. They were ready to do it as a public service. It would have been nice had they gotten a little something on top, but they weren’t holding out for their union expectations; they weren’t holding out at all. Four years later Bill Gates founded MicroSoft. Applications the public could have had at cost, could have had (but not maintained) below cost, now garner billions upon billions. How can Homo possibly claim to be Sapiens?

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About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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