Monday, 3 October 2016

Quote of the Day: On broad expertise


“Expertise in one field does not carry over into other fields. But experts often think so. The narrower their field of knowledge the more likely they are to think so."
~ Robert Heinlein

[Hat tip Phil Oliver]



  1. That essentially describes a process of 'mis-integration' (using Peikoff's DIM terms), and I agree it is common in social sciences/politics. In my working experience however (engineering) the more common problem is dis-integration - experts who confine themselves purely to their area of expertise. They are often terrible at project management and basic communication, and don't even try to see the broader implications of their work or how it fits into the whole.

  2. Gareth Morgan springs to mind. As does Don Brash.

    Some folk in my family have known these people for decades, and like many academics they think they are 100% correct about everything. It has always been so. Maybe it is an economist thing...

  3. Yes, to date the best engineers I've ever met were "only" NZCE qualified, and went into senior management positions. Ever seen a BE Civil Engineer in Transport?

  4. Susan Devoy, anyone?


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