Why Modern Polymathism Is The New Normal?

TL:DR | In the rise of the internet we have fostered more and more polymathic people. The generalists have thrived in the self-learning world, and we are opening more and more to the idea that we are meant to be here.

3 min read
Why Modern Polymathism Is The New Normal?

Some might say it is not, but if you look at the big picture it is by far the most realistic outcome. Here is why...

From the dawn of humanity we have had the need of generalists, it was only over time that specialists found a place in society. Once settlements were successful enough to allow for singular focused people to thrive.

Now once again we are at a point where there is so much changing all at once, that we need people who can adapt to new situations more easily. From the emergence of web 3.0 and 4.0, including the blockchain, to the various global issues. There are tons of reasons why we need generalists, and luckily we are seeing a rise in people accepting that part of their life.

Do note, that I don't mean people are now becoming generalists, no, rather that they are more accepting of being one. We have been pushed down by societal norms, and now many specialists are seeing the benefit of having both. :)

Neurodivergence, ADHD, and Polymathy

While I do not think there is a causation connection between adhd and being polymathic, there does seem to be a correlation. While neurotypical and neurodivergent people ALIKE are able to be polymathic, often at the same amounts even in the population. There does seem to be a relation of people who are divergent becoming polymathic.

It almost seems like a natural step, or a way for people to be more productive with their higher cognition, and tendencies of hyperfixation. Considering there seems to be rise in the amount of people who are neurodivergent over the past twenty years, either that or just more people are getting accurately diagnosed. It is my understanding that people are starting to understand themselves more. From that they wonder where they can go next, and being more of a generalist is a natural step.

When you get hyperfixated on something that becomes your “phase” as I like to call it, it is your focus for a time, and that becomes one of your skills in your wide range. Even if you have a specialty or not, your width grows ever greater.

An Ever Connected World

We are constantly getting streamed into with information. Whether it is in the form of videos like YouTube or Tiktok, audio in the form of podcasts or music, and the written word such as this blog. It is ever more increasing, and we have produced new micro-hobbies or interests because of this advent of divergent pulling from many areas.

It is an external reasoning behind generalism, and I believe it is a subtle factor in contributing the multidisciplinary lifestyle in a lot of the populace.

Also with the internet there are a lot more opportunities to learn many new things. If you want to play music, you can, if you want to learn how to sew, you can, and there is no limit to it besides time.

We have always had Generalists

This is the funny thing about all this, as to many people generalists seem like "a new thing". However that couldn't be farther from the truth!

Not only have we had countless multidisciplinary people in every decade since the specialist revolution about hundred years ago. We have had them for the entirety of the human existence. In fact we may not be here if it weren't for generalists being able to adapt to new environments.

It is interesting when you look back too because people like Steve Jobs, Ada Lovelace, Martin Luther King Jr, and more; They all were generalists, if not polymaths, and they grew up in a time where specialties were more "desired".

Now we are seeing more and more people come out their shell, and adopt the monikers that signify their multidisciplinary life. I.e.

  • Jack/Jill of All Trades
  • Generalist
  • Polymath
  • Multipotentialite / Multipassionate
  • Scanner
  • LinkyBrain
  • Unicorn, T-Shaped, and more!

Learning to Be a Generalist-Polymath

Think of it like a level up system, which grows as you gain more skills or depth in those skills. The skill tree that is your life becomes

Thus the Multidisciplinary Spectrum was born, as I created it to be a chart that could measure out where you are in your disciplines. How wide and how deep, and then what term fits you best based on that.

In your life you don't have to define yourself, but marketing yourself to others is crucial for success in life. Whether it is for schooling, a job, or even dating. Finding ways to describe yourself more effectively. You can learn to master this divergent lifestyle, and this blog is here to help you do it!

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