Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Blogging leads us to specialization

Today i have a choice - many choices in fact. Right now I have to decide whether to spend another second making the post a little more coherent or whether my time would be better spent elsewise. Earlier today I had to decide if adding grass to this painting was worth the time. Managing one's time has always been difficult, and getting the most out of ones efforts has always led to specialization of sorts. Two hundred years ago, cabinet makers make cabinets, blacksmiths made iron goods, etc. 20 years ago businesses and factories got consultants to help specific problems. Today consultants have consultants for special consultant problems. Specialization happens.

And the internet revolution is making it speed up. There is so much information available that we must try to get the most efficient use of every tiny moment. From one second to the next I could be doing completely different things, given the speed of the internet. Every moment I must choose whether to stay with my current task or to move on. Will I get enough benefit from not changing tasks to justify the loss of whatever I didn't do next? In the short term I get more good out of doing something I'm already good at. So I stick to my skills and leave other skills to specialists in other fields. Its like water running down a hill that flows always to the next lowest elevation without any forethought to its entire path. We might lose a lot if we can't see our way around this problem, if specialization goes too far. See the Civil Society theorist Adam Furgeson to read about the dangers of too much specialization.

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