The Journey to Polymathy [PolyPRO Exclusive]

TL:DR | A post that had been in the making for a while. The Journey to Polymathy series is a long running one, and this is the culmination of that. All of those ideas, and it helps you plan your own journey as well.

11 min read
The Journey to Polymathy [PolyPRO Exclusive]

The digital domain has allowed us all to change our lives, and dive into our multidisciplinary selves.

When people hear polymath, if they even know what the word means, they usually think of Da Vinci or the Renaissance Man (person). The kind of people who knew everything. However I'd argue even the renaissance person didn't know everything, that isn't what that means, but rather the desire to know everything. It is a type of thinker, rather than a list of expertise. That is where people get confused, especially since the concept of "knowing everything" is pretty much impossible now. That would be an Omnimath.

It isn't a possibility given the rate of new discoveries in a vast number of fields. However polymathy is different, it is the multi-specialist. The person who excels at 3 or more fields, Da Vinci was actually at 15 fields of expertise, and it is someone who loves to learn for the sake of learning and curiosity.

Polymathy IS achieveable, and we are built for it as humans. Specialization is needed for societal growth, but it isn't the end all be all. In fact it is because of generalization that our species survived over the last few hundred thousand years. It is also why we are going to adapt to this new digital internet renaissance... today.

Recognizing Patterns and Systems

Being a systems thinker is something you can learn, but I find that a lot of polymaths of reknown were the type of people who saw systems naturally.

Becoming an expert at repeatable skills like chess, simply comes down to the memorization of the possiblities that occur. Such as the various moves or what could be games, and that is learning the SYSTEM of chess.

The thing is that it takes REPEATED experience in order to master or understand a subject well. Situations or skills that are more wicked in nature, i.e. wicked problems or divergent skills, they aren't as repeatable. Thus the ability to master those skills is generally not applicable.

Understanding this you can accelerate your learning time, with diliberate practice of something with REPEATED results. Think of playing Tetris, and how you can get better at it by repeating the actions.

(Polymath Headquarters) #timemanagement
Organizing your multidisciplinary life, from the big to the little, macro to the micro, and beyond.

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