Patterns of Expertise

TL:DR | What is expertise, and how do generalists or specialists play into it? Is it all about 10,000 hours, or is there something more to it?

2 min read

When we look at what a generalist or specialist is, it always comes down to expertise (or multiple).

That way of thinking originates from this value that a person has based on what they know how to do. Whether it is a trade skill, entertainment, or even just something unique. There is a tradeoff from what they can provide, and what we get as the recipient of that knowledge. I.e. a doctor closing up your wound.

How do we measure that expertise however?

What are the ways that someone becomes one such expert? This video and post will go into that dynamic.

"Many Repeated Attempts with Feedback"

Experts are made through the continuous improvement, but you can stagnate or even learn the wrong things if you do not have the proper feedback channels.

Coaches are one way, but even as simple as checking your sources properly can be really helpful as well.

When you have feedback on how you performed with that skill, then you gain the knowledge on how to repeat it better.

Data with Validity

If the skill is something that of gambling or stock trading, it isn't something with repeatable findings that will give you a pattern to study. One might think there is there, as it is the same game of chance each time.

However that is just it, the game of chance, and you are not able to truly master that skill.

Our brains desire patterns to devour, and think of how a computer processes programs. It takes the data bit by bit, then over time is able to produce an output. The brain works similarly where the mind goes through the previously recorded patterns we have experienced. Often most of this is our subconscious system, and we "predict" what is going to happen based on that.

I had a similar case where at my job I had seen the patterns of people in the facility. Note that not all people are the same of course, but human curiosity is an interesting thing. There is a repeatable finding in that human nature.

Hybrid Learning to become a Hybrid Expert

This is just a simple post to get you to understand that learning a topic isn't about 10,000 hours. Rather that it is more nuanced than that.

You have to have deliberate learning, with proper feedback sources. Allowing you to understand what you did right or wrong. A coach is a fine example, but even just self-taught; Having systems in place to put you in check if needed.

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