Sunday, August 28, 2005

Universal Man

In a self promoting article, Paul Smith (of Paul Smith Fashion House) in Intelligent Life (summer 2004), opens with the following statement:

We live in an age of specialisation. There are specialists for everything: cardiovascular specialists, fibre-optic specialists, divorce-law specialists. We tend to think of artists in the same way - a painter paints, a writer writes, an actor acts, a musician makes music and so on.

How true and yet how depressing. Are people really that two dimensional? What happened to the classical notion of the Universal Man? Is it that difficult to find engineers who paint, scientists who write or programmers who play music? I know loads of people who have developed their three-dimensionality, mostly man and women with a scientific background. Yet, a lot of people are surprised by this. I am always shocked that people that know me at work are usually quite surprised to find out that I spend a considerable amount of time painting. Is it that surprising that an interior designer paints? It’s like saying that a programmer isn’t able to do math.

And what about our educational system? Is it geared up to produce complete human beings? Or are we just producing two-dimensional specialists? Sometimes I feel we’re producing neither.


Roderick Mallia said...

I don't think it's the educational system per se. I think it has more to do with each individual.

I'm a scientist, will be a doctor in 4 years time, and at the same time I paint/draw, write and play music.

I have always been interested in various things and I personally hate 2 dimensionality as you call it. I think I was born with this and the fact that I got to learn different things at school helped me to appreciate different things more.

So I thinkg that in the end, it has more to do with the individual himself than with the educational system.

Just my two cents...

Sandro Zerafa said...

L-importanti nahseb fl-ahhar mill-ahhar hu kemm tpoggi energija u mhabba f'dak li taghmel.
Wahda mill-affarijiet li tirritani hawnhekk gewwa Franza hija li jaghtu wisq importanza ghal fatt li jekk intix qed taqla x'tiekol jew le minn dak li qed taghmel.
Jigifieri, f'ghajnejn certu nies, int m'intix muzicist sakemm m'intx qed taqla' x'tiekol b'hekk. Jaghtuk it-timbru ta' "dilettant".
Daqsxejn "shallow" bhala vizzjoni.
Jien personalment naf muzicisti "dilettanti" li ghandhom passjoni u energija iktar minn dawk li huma "professjonali".

Bertu ta l-Angli said...

li qed tghidu kollu vera, pero nemmen li l-edukazzjoni hi il-bazi ta kollox. kazzola tajba ma tghamlekx kahhal tajjeb, biss dejjem tghin, daqstant iehor edukazzjoni tajba.

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