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Wisdom, Experience and Just-In-Time Thinking

Wisdom, Experience and Just-In-Time Thinking

I try to remind myself each generation considers itself smarter than the previous iteration. If you follow the bouncing logic ball, this means the next (younger) generation believes itself smarter than its present day cohort. In essence the millennial generation of today feels superior to those older than them while simultaneously inferior to the pack nipping at their heels.

Call it a superiority/inferiority complex, though admittedly the superior portion leads the inferior since we are all immortal gods at that age. Soon enough that wears off, usually around 30ish when we begin to recognize vulnerabilities already present and obvious to all but ourselves.

Ultimately smartness or intelligence is a relative measuring tool. There is no doubt my nineteen year old college student rocket scientist is much more adept at deciphering mathematical equations or manipulating genomes than I am. But can she determine which way a tree will tend to fall before cutting it, or smell snow in the air long before it begins to fall?

I’ve written before about the tendency of a technological culture to breed, and reward, specialists while dismissing generalists out of hand as the decaying fossils of our time. And while those who pontificate such wisdom are not exactly wrong, neither are they precisely right.

Obviously I understand with complexity comes specialization. I get it. The company designing and manufacturing the latest central processing unit (CPU) essentially the ‘thinking’ brain of a computer, cannot expect one person to understand and execute the thousands of steps involved in creating the finished product. Efficiency and economy demands a better way forward and, for now at least, that way is via specialty.

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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