The real accomplishment of modern science and technology consists in taking ordinary men, informing them narrowlyand deeply and then, through appropriate organization, arranging to have their knowledge combined with that of other specialized but equally ordinary men. This dispenses with the need for genius.Theresulting performance, though lessinspiring, is far more predictable.john kenneth galbraith: 1967 The New Industrial State.
The detective novel isthe classic example of a specialized form of art removed from contact with the life it pretends to build on.Sir V(ictor) S(awdon) Pritchett: 1951 In the New Statesman,16 Jun.
The real accomplishment of modern science and technology consists in taking ordinary men, informing them narrowly and deeply and then, through appropriate organization, arranging to have their knowledge combined with that of other specialized but equally ordinary men. This dispenses with the need for genius. The resulting performance, though less inspiring, is far more predictable.john kenneth galbraith: Chapter VI, Section 2, p. 62
If I am to be remembered, I hope it will not be primarily for my specialized scientific work, but as a generalist; one to whom, enlarging Terence's words, nothing human and nothing in external nature was alien.julian huxley: Memories (1970)
The consistent anarchist … should be a socialist, but a socialist of a particular sort. He will not only oppose alienated and specialized labor and look forward to the appropriation of capital by the whole body of workers, but he will also insist that this appropriation be direct, not exercised by some elite force acting in the name of the proletariat.Noam Chomsky, as quoted in Anarchism: From Theory to Practice (1969) by Daniel Guérin
We can assume that in a relatively short time — perhaps within 100 million years — the one celled organism evolved into a colony of cells. With the further passage of time, groups of cells within those colonies assumed specialized functions of food-gathering, digestion, the structural features of an outer skin, and so on; thus began the stage of evolution leading to the complex, many-celled creatures which dominate life today.The fossil record contains no trace of these preliminary stages in the development of many-celled organisms. The first clues to the existence of relatively advanced forms of life consist of a few barely discernible tracks, presumably made in the primeval slime by soft, wriggling wormlike animals. These are found in rocks about one billion years old. These meager remains are the earliest traces of many-celled animal life on the planet.robert jastrow: Red Giants and White Dwarfs : Man's Descent from the Stars (1971), p. 249
The American psychologist Julian Jaynes, in a controversial study on the origin of consciousness, argued that the bicameral mind - in which one of the hemispheres becomes specialized in silent reading - is a late development in humankind's evolution, and that the process by which this function develops is still changing.Alberto Manguel: The Silent Readers, p. 46
Whatever you specialize in, another specialty will either gobble you, or find a way to replace you. If you get what looks like a secure niche, somebody'll come along and wall you up in it and write your epitaph on it. And the more specialized a society gets, the more dangerous it is for the pure specialist. You think an electronic engineer in any safer than an actor? Or a ditch-digger?walter m. (jr.) miller: "The Darfsteller" (1955)
The open society, the unrestricted access to knowledge, the unplanned and uninhibited association of men for its furtherance — these are what may make a vast, complex, ever growing, ever changing, ever more specialized and expert technological world, nevertheless a world of human community.j. robert oppenheimer: Science and the Common Understanding (1953)
Childhood is analogous to language learning. It has a biological basis but cannot be realized unless a social environment triggers and nurtures it, that is, has need of it. If a culture is dominated by a medium that requires the segregation of the young in order that they learn unnatural, specialized, and complex skills and attitudes, then childhood, in one form or another, will emerge, articulate and indispensable.neil postman: Ch. 9 : Six Questions
This priesthood became a closed group, able to control enormous wealth and incomes, and concerned very largely with the study of the solar and astronomical periodicities on which there influence was originally based. With the surplus thus created, the priesthood was able to command human labor in huge amounts and to direct this labor from the simple tillage of the peasant peoples to the diversified and specialized activities that constitute civilized living.carroll quigley: Chapter 7, Mesopotamian Civilization, p. 213
It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a 'dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.murray rothbard: The Death Wish of the Anarcho-Communists (1970)
If the project was lucky enough to have a writer or two well-informed about some specialized subject, and if their work was not degraded in quality by the majority of people, whose knowledge of the subject is based on paragraphs in books and mere mentions in college classes, then there might be a good, credible article on that specialized subject. Otherwise, there will be no article at all, a very amateurish-sounding article, or an article that looks like it might once have been pretty good, but which has been hacked to bits by hoi polloi.larry sanger: "Why Wikipedia Must Jettison Its Anti-Elitism" at kuro5hin (31 December 2004)
It's a fantastically specialized universe, but how in the world did it happen?as quoted by Alvin Powell, in Laser's inventor predicts meeting of science, religion, Harvard News Office, June 2005.
To eliminate the discrepancy between men's plans and the results achieved, a new approach is necessary. Morphological thinking suggests that this new approach cannot be realized through increased teaching of specialized knowledge. This morphological analysis suggests that the essential fact has been overlooked that every human is potentially a genius. Education and dissemination of knowledge must assume a form which allows each student to absorb whatever develops his own genius, lest he become frustrated. The same outlook applies to the genius of the peoples as a whole.Fritz Zwicky, Morphological astronomy, The Observatory, Vol. 68, p. 121-143 (1948)
Requests for specialized facilities and minor notational improvements are very common. When provided, they rarely fail to win applause. After all, if a feature is a direct solution to a problem and doesn’t significantly interact with other facilities, it is easy to explain, often easy to implement, and typically has a logically minimal expression leading to very concise pieces of code. People comparing languages using lists love such features. The snag is that the problems we face are essentially infinite, so we need an infinity of such specialized features.Bjarne Stroustrup. "The Design of C++0x". C++ User's Journal, May 2005.
The consistent anarchist, then, should be a socialist, but a socialist of a particular sort. He will not only oppose alienated and specialized labor and look forward to the appropriation of capital by the whole body of workers, but he will also insist that this appropriation be direct, not exercised by some elite force acting in the name of the proletariat.Noam Chomsky, Notes On Anarchism (1970)
It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a 'dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.Murray Rothbard Making Economic Sense (1995).
Philosophy ... should not imagine that specialized work in epistemological theory, or whatever else prides itself on being research, is actually philosophy. Yet a philosophy forswearing all of that must in the end be irreconcilably at odds with the dominant consciousness. Nothing else raises it above the suspicion of apologetics. Philosophy that satisfies its own intention, and does not childishly skip behind its own history and the real one, has its lifeblood in the resistance against the common practices of today and what they serve, against the justification of what happens to be the case.theodor adorno: p. 6 (Wozu noch Philosophie? [Why still philosophy] (1963))
In the general tendency toward specialization, philosophy too has established itself as a specialized discipline, one purified of all specific content. In so doing, philosophy has denied its own constitutive concept: the intellectual freedom that does not obey the dictates of specialized knowledge.theodor adorno: p. 6 (Wozu noch Philosophie? [Why still philosophy] (1963))
General Systems Theory is a name which has come into use to describe a level of theoretical model-building which lies somewhere between the highly generalized constructions of pure mathematics and the specific theories of the specialized disciplines. Mathematics attempts to organize highly general relationships into a coherent system, a system however which does not have any necessary connections with the "real" world around us. It studies all thinkable relationships abstracted from any concrete situation or body of empirical knowledge.kenneth boulding: p.197: Opening sentences
…as we do bring our troops home, we cannot lose sight of our very real strategic national interests in this region… I will order specialized units to engage in narrow and targeted operations against al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations in the region. They will also provide security for U.S. troops and personnel and train and equip Iraqi security services to keep order and promote stability in the country, but only to the extent we believe such training is actually working. I would also consider, as I have said before, leaving some forces in the Kurdish area to protect the fragile but real democracy and relative peace and security that has developed there.hillary clinton: Speech at the Temple for the Performing Arts in Des Moines, July 10, 2007 
Can any of us fix anything? No. None of us can do that. We're specialized. Each one of us has his own line, his own work . I understand my work, you understand yours. The tendency in evolution is toward greater and greater specialization. Man's society is an ecology that forces adaptation to it. Continued complexity makes it impossible for us to know anything outside our own personal field I can't follow the work of the man sitting at the next desk over from me. Too much knowledge has piled up in each field. And there are too many fields.philip kindred dick: "The Variable Man" (1952), The Collected Short Stories of Philip K. Dick, v.1: The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford (1987)
It is not enough to teach a man a specialty. Through it he may become a kind of useful machine but not a harmoniously developed personality. It is essential that the student acquire an understanding of and a lively feeling for values. He must acquire a vivid sense of the beautiful and of the morally good. Otherwise he with his specialized knowledge more closely resembles a well-trained dog than a harmoniously developed person. He must learn to understand the motives of human beings, their illusions, and their sufferings in order to acquire a proper relationship to individual fellow-men and to the community. These precious things are conveyed to the younger generation through personal contact with those who teach, not or at least not in the main through textbooks. It is this that primarily constitutes and preserves culture. This is what I have in mind when I recommend the "humanities" as important, not just dry specialized knowledge in the fields of history and philosophy.Albert Einstein: "Education for Independent Thought" in The New York Times, 5 October 1952. Reprinted in Ideas and Opinions (1954).
There is no coherent knowledge , i.e. no uniform comprehensive account of the world and the events in it. There is no comprehensive truth that goes beyond an enumeration of details, but there are many pieces of information , obtained in different ways from different sources and collected for the benefit of the curious. The best way of presenting such knowledge is the list - and the oldest scientific works were indeed lists of facts, parts, coincidences, problems in several specialized domains.paul karl feyerabend: pg 98, italics are feyerabends