[Updated] Being a polymath is good for innovation

Or, “a man can do all things if he will.”

From Aeon Magazine:

“To come up with [innovative] ideas, you need to know things outside your field. What’s more, the further afield your knowledge extends, the greater potential you have for innovation.”

“intense study brings rewards that are impossible to achieve by casual application”

“Monopathy, or over-specialisation, eventually retreats into defending what one has learnt rather than making new connections.”

As well as examples of cross-disciplinary innovation, potential problems with the division of labor, and why children learn “all the time.”

Article at:

Update: A related article from Wired:

“The most exciting inventions occur at the boundaries of disciplines”

“As Robert Twigger noted, ‘Invention fights specialisation at every turn.’ ”

“Mathematics is a gift, an unbelievably useful tool for understanding our surroundings.”

“More generally, the world of business and entrepreneurship actively encourages those who see connections between disciplines. One who can recognize a relationship between two disparate fields of ideas will more likely come up with the next, big, new thing. That’s investment gold.”

Article at:


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