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Old 04-10-2009, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,661 posts, read 83,291,802 times
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Are there any?

Who, in today's world, has a great deal of knowledge and expertise in several varied fields?
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:27 PM
 
42,727 posts, read 28,554,404 times
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I'm sorry, I couldn't resist.

Billy Bob Thorton--an actor, director, producer and a musician.
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:50 AM
 
22,337 posts, read 65,698,293 times
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Ted Turner and Bransen come to mind immediately. Ray Kurzweil. The Singularity is Near &raquo Homepage Me.
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:51 AM
 
Location: southern california
61,284 posts, read 84,042,852 times
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there are very smart a bit jaded, fit and always single.
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Old 04-11-2009, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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One who comes to mind is Julian Jaynes, a psychologist with an avid interest and thorough understanding of anthropology, which led him to the theory espoused in " The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind"
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Old 04-11-2009, 12:20 PM
 
Location: SW France
15,905 posts, read 16,443,385 times
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I immediately thought of Dr Jonathon Miller.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Miller
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Old 04-11-2009, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Seattle metro, WA, US
300 posts, read 710,237 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Are there any?

Who, in today's world, has a great deal of knowledge and expertise in several varied fields?
When you can leverage the skills between the fields. One can be a good dancer and a good singer and a good actor, it's essentially can be described as one skill: entertainer. Still a dedicated dancer is always more advanced than a dancer-singer or dancer-actor.

But you can not be a great physician and a great musician, especially nowadays when medicine is divided in so many fields requiring so much knowledge. Doctors have to consult narrow specialists because one person just can't know all of it.

You absolutely can not be a great IT specialist and virtually anything else: the sheer amount of information and the degree of dedication required to do this kind of job leaves you no room whatsoever for anything else.

It was easy in 1300s and 1700s when all medicine, all natural sciences fit on one thick book. Nowadays when physics alone takes a whole library, there is just no way and no motivation to spread wide at the expense of depth.
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Old 04-11-2009, 03:10 PM
 
Location: SW France
15,905 posts, read 16,443,385 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaicheg View Post
When you can leverage the skills between the fields. One can be a good dancer and a good singer and a good actor, it's essentially can be described as one skill: entertainer. Still a dedicated dancer is always more advanced than a dancer-singer or dancer-actor.

But you can not be a great physician and a great musician, especially nowadays when medicine is divided in so many fields requiring so much knowledge. Doctors have to consult narrow specialists because one person just can't know all of it.

You absolutely can not be a great IT specialist and virtually anything else: the sheer amount of information and the degree of dedication required to do this kind of job leaves you no room whatsoever for anything else.

It was easy in 1300s and 1700s when all medicine, all natural sciences fit on one thick book. Nowadays when physics alone takes a whole library, there is just no way and no motivation to spread wide at the expense of depth.
Not sure I agree with about being able to be great in unrelated subjects these days, partly as witnessed by my choice.

I also think that to suggest that it was easier to be multi-talented all those years ago is to be somewhat disingenuous to them.
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Old 04-11-2009, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,661 posts, read 83,291,802 times
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The great economist John Kenneth Galbraith also described himself as "The world's greatest skier in the 6-foot-6-and-over class".

King Hussein of Jordan was also an internationally qualified airline pilot.

Vladimir Putin has a black belt, I think.

Byron White was quite a good player in the National Football League and later became a Supreme Court Justice, which, unlike politically-elected athletes, was probably based on merit.

Martha Stewart mastered the unrelated arts of folding napkins and insider trading.

Last edited by jtur88; 04-11-2009 at 04:58 PM..
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Old 04-11-2009, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Seattle metro, WA, US
300 posts, read 710,237 times
Reputation: 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
The great economist John Kenneth Galbraith also described himself as "The world's greatest skier in the 6-foot-6-and-over class".

King Hussein of Jordan was also an internationally qualified airline pilot.

Vladimir Putin has a black belt, I think.

Byron White was quite a good player in the National Football League and later became a Supreme Court Justice, which, unlike politically-elected athletes, was probably based on merit.

Martha Stewart mastered the unrelated arts of folding napkins and insider trading.
Out of modifiers above, "internationally qualified", "i think", "guite good", "mastered" means rather mediocre, and "world's greatest" obviously overstatement (see "wishful thinking").

All modern renaissance men I personally (and not so personally) know are usually in denial of their mediocrity. "Oh, by the way, I speak 20 languages, dance tango like a pro, box like Tyson and spew physics out like Einstein..."

Then it goes, "we got a Napoleon in the same ward too."
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