Range by David Epstein

Your favorite books and links
Post Reply
User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 6173
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Range by David Epstein

Post by jennypenny » Tue May 28, 2019 2:51 pm

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

Sorry ... I probably won't be able to post a proper review for a couple of days. Definitely recommended reading.

Image

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 11008
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Range by David Epstein

Post by jacob » Tue May 28, 2019 3:13 pm

Arne Naess wrote:The complete individual is not a specialist; he is a generalist and an amateur. This does not mean that he has no special interests, that he never works hard, that he does not partake in the life of the community. But he does so from personal inclination, with joy, and within the framework of his value priorities.

User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 6173
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: Range by David Epstein

Post by jennypenny » Tue May 28, 2019 4:41 pm

There are some more specific clues than the simple recommendation to be a generalist. From the NYT review of Range "Students who take an interdisciplinary array of science courses are better at thinking analogically; researchers with offbeat knowledge combinations score more “hit” papers; Nobel laureates in science are more likely than their less-recognized peers — 22 times as likely! — to have artistic pursuits outside their field."

The book is still spinning in my head, but I wonder if the idea of the side hustle should be amended for EREs who are as interested in resilience as they are financial independence. In the book and elsewhere, Epstein talks about how adaptable generalists are, though he means certain types of generalists. Like the mention of artistic hobbies amongst scientists ... it seems there are certain combinations that promote the most resiliency and adaptability.

I guess I wonder if the common goal to monetize side hustles actually diminishes their contribution to our overall resiliency and capabilities. Dunno. Lots to think about.

TheProcess
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:41 pm

Re: Range by David Epstein

Post by TheProcess » Tue May 28, 2019 8:03 pm

Good podcast with Epstein out today that shares a lot of the ideas (Invest Like the Best): https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/mathew ... refid=stpr

theanimal
Posts: 1213
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:05 pm
Location: Gates of the Arctic
Contact:

Re: Range by David Epstein

Post by theanimal » Tue May 28, 2019 10:20 pm

He also talked about it on yesterday's EconTalk.

wolf
Posts: 832
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Range by David Epstein

Post by wolf » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:44 am

Have anyone of you already read it? It sounds promising.

User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 6173
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: Range by David Epstein

Post by jennypenny » Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:07 am

Sorry, I never posted a review. I'll do it next week.

FrugalPatat
Posts: 45
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:22 am
Location: Belgium (Europe)

Re: Range by David Epstein

Post by FrugalPatat » Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:48 am

wolf wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:44 am
Have anyone of you already read it? It sounds promising.
I read it. But I'm not too positive. Anecdotes make for an entertaining read but this book is pushing it. There's just too much text and not enough information. On some level, it's entertaining, but if you dislike books with low information density it's annoying. It gave me the feeling of regularly confusing correlation and causation (but maybe it didn't, and it's just because the author didn't want to go into more detail) and thus I'm also left wondering whether this book actually made its point.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 11008
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Range by David Epstein

Post by jacob » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:07 pm

FrugalPatat wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:48 am
There's just too much text and not enough information.
I blame word processors. It seems like most books past 1985 or so are just shite when compared to the earlier stuff. I'm seriously contemplating switching to pen and paper fearing that I might be part of the problem. Ideally, each sentence should constitute a thought and each paragraph should constitute a concept. That's not the case anymore.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 4777
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Range by David Epstein

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:54 am

Right, nothing published these-a-days can possibly compare to the quality of the best-selling non-fiction of 1923, a year which saw the publication of masterworks such as "Diet and Healthy" by Lulu Peters and "Painted Windows" by A Gentleman in a Duster (pseudonym for Harold Begbie.) And, of course, the literary world will never again experience the brilliance of the decade of the 1970s when vast masses of the populace could be found slathered with coconut oil on beaches intently reading "Wicked Loving Lies" or "Coma." :lol:

User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 6173
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: Range by David Epstein

Post by jennypenny » Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:55 pm

Epstein was criticized for including too much research and factual information in The Sports Gene. I don't agree with the criticism but others thought the book was a bit dry and burdensome. I'm guessing that's why Epstein tried to make this book more readable. He comes from the sports writing world so his natural audience might not be used to reading information-dense non-fiction. I still liked the book and found it relevant to ERE in how it addressed broad vs. deep vs. serial learning.

@7 -- I was just talking about popular reading material from the 70s. I spent most of those summers on the beach and I remember everyone (EVERYONE) read books all day while sitting on the beach. It's hard to imagine that now. :( The non-fiction was innovative and concise, and the novels were excellent and challenged convention. One of my favorite Doris Lessing* novels was from that era.


*I found an old copy of Prisons We Choose To Live Inside. It's very relevant to today's issues and worth a read if anyone stumbles across a copy.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 4777
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Range by David Epstein

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:51 pm

@jennypenny:

Yeah, I started reading adult audience 70s novels at a very young age, anything and everything I found on the coffee tables of my babysitting clients. So, on some level I feel like I was already an adult during that era. On an only semi-related note, I was kind of struck by some sort of false memory syndrome while recently binge watching "Mad Men", because as an adult I dated a couple men who were adults during that era.

Anyways, the point I was attempting was that there has been a good deal of schlock published in every era, but declining likelihood of reprint runs over time serves as quality filter. Maintenance fees and tasks, no matter how minimal, will likely serve similar purpose for digital publication moving forward.

Post Reply