About three months ago I wrote that it was “Time to Focus.” If I was going to produce anything useful, I was going to need to narrow my focus and develop some form of expertise.
I still consider those observations are still, generally speaking, to be valid.
To be fair, there is a lot of literature out there that in one way, shape, or form, hints at the sorts of truths and reforms our society is in need of. There is not, however, much literature connecting these ideas together into a coherent worldview.
Understood this way, the circle in the illustration linked above could be understood to be hollow; at the periphery, experts of all kinds are pushing against the boundaries and expanding human knowledge. The problem is that there exists a need to re-create the basic body of knowledge at the center that everyone should already have. To pull in the knowledge from the fringes and incorporate it back into general public discourse is difficult; it requires dedication to grasping advanced knowledge, yet also the dedication, insight, and communication skills required to synthesize it with every-day experience and make it available and interesting to the general public.
Whereas pushing the frontier of human knowledge is exciting, this process I’m trying to describe feels more like remedial education. It is more challenging yet at the same time less rewarding. While traditional specialized research is a diaspora of intellects pushing outward into niches, this other process is much more team-oriented and centralizing than I had an appreciation for at first. The project of creating a comprehensive body of knowledge is obviously a team effort that will require a lot of people and a lot of time.
With that in mind, I’ve been taking a break and doing more reading, and less writing. Longevity in this project will require more deliberate pacing, effort, and engagement. For now I’m continuing to adjust my RSS feeds, read some real books, and regroup my thoughts for another round of writing this summer as I find the time.