We all know that if you want to become better in something, you have to practice and learn. But something strange happens if you learn more and more. There comes a point that you learn so much about a specific task or subject, that you loose control, to many variables make choosing the right direction, to hard.
If you are born before the 1990’s you probably know how to fix one of those old TV’s, you make a fist and bang on it, it is easy. You know only one way of fixing it, banging it. Now you’ve been to TV repair school and know all about TV’s, the next time it is broken, you have to go over a long checklist and rule out 50 possible problems. You gained a lot of knowledge, but it didn’t get easier, the only thing you know for sure is that banging on a TV is not good. This example is of course a little silly, but you can replace the TV with whatever you want, and you will see that this example still work.
Look at history, with little knowledge you can take big steps and proclaim that we are living like this because they did that 50 years ago. When you then start to read and learn more about that period, you will find out that it is more complicated once you take in account all the other facts and circumstances. A lot of historians will tell you that after many years of study they understand less of what happened, because they know to much.
It was still normal before the 18th century that a scholar was not only a philosopher but also a astronomer, chemist, physicist and also a mechanical engineers. All those different fields of knowledge where still so small that one person could understand it all. After the 18th century you will see that more and more people are specializing in one or two fields. These day’s you can be an engineer specialized in a subsection of a subsection of the department that is specialized in the designs of a wheel for an airplane.
If you know little, you will bang your fist on the TV in the hope you will fix it. If you know to mush you spend the rest of your life thinking about why the TV is broken.
I was inspired by Day 1548