Two quotes I’ve been pondering for a last while:
I think the correct path for everybody else is to specialize and get very good at something that society rewards, and then to get very efficient at doing it. But even if you do that, I think you should spend 10 to 20% of your time [on] trying to know all the big ideas in all the other disciplines. Otherwise … you’re like a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest. It’s not going to work very well. You have to know the big ideas in all the disciplines to be safe if you have a life lived outside a cave. But no, I think you don’t want to neglect your business as a dentist to think great thoughts about Proust.
What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”?
“Don’t be intimated by anything. In the vast majority of the professions and vocations, the people who succeed are not any cleverer than you. The adult world is not full of gods, just people who have acquired skills and habits that work for them. And specialize – the great human achievement is to specialize as a producer of goods or services so that you can diversify as a consumer. Self-sufficiency is another word for poverty.
Matt Ridley – Tribe of Mentors