Thursday, May 27, 2004

A polymath in an age of specialists

A fascinating post and a fascinating new blog for me to read. Personally, I subscribe to Heinlein's observation that "specialization is for insects." We live in a world that demands flexibility and adaptability. Specializing has become a much riskier strategy than it once was.

A polymath in an age of specialists. Earlier this month, Suw Charman wrote a great essay on her struggles as a polymath. Don't miss the comments and trackbacks, especially this connect-the-dots entry on the unpredictable emergence of learning by Julian Elvé.
[Seb's Open Research]

11:07:22 PM •  • comment  
Window seat

I'm back to spending a lot more time in the air recently, so this looks like a fun read. One of my personal favorite window seat experiences is when I come back to Chicago from the East Coast. On the right flight path, I can usually get a glimpse of my house and the boys' schools as the flight crosses the western shore of Lake Michigan.

Window Seat. 40_lgGregory Dicum's book "Window Seat: Reading the Landscape from the Air" sounds like a brilliant idea:

"Broken down by region, this unusual guide features 70 aerial photographs; a fold-out map of North America showing major flight paths; profiles of each region covering its landforms, waterways, and cities; tips on spotting major sights, such as the Northern Lights, the Grand Canyon, and Disney World; tips on spotting not-so-major sights such as prisons, mines, and Interstates; and straightforward, friendly text on cloud shapes, weather patterns, the continent's history, and more."
Did you know that the patterns of the streets in subdivisions lets you know when they were built? Or that the round ponds all over Florida are sinkholes? With Window Seat at your side, you'll learn these things. Keep it to yourself though--the person sitting next to you doesn't want to hear it. Link (Thanks, Eric!)
[Boing Boing]
10:49:39 PM •  • comment