Specialization Is For Insects

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

-Robert A. Heinlein

They say an expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less, and who has six limbs.  I say Ph.D. programs must be putting out bugs by the thousands.

As a grad student, I have to ask, am I supposed to be growing another pair of appendages, or will they be surgically implanted upon graduation? Is that part of the ‘regalia’ I should buy for the occasion? Is that the reason we need those big robes, to hide the extra arms? At least, I assume they’ll be arms …

Oh, go on!


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