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What Separates a Generalist and a Dabbler?

Kind of a speculative entry today, I don't have a complete answer. I've been trying to crack this nut for a while -

What's the difference between a generalist and a dabbler?

Rather, what separates a generalist from a dabbler?

They're very similar. Both dive into a wide variety of things and affairs. Both pick up new skills regularly, sometimes at the expense of the highest level of mastery in a specialized field.

But we all know people who dabble in this, do a little of that, and never make any contributions. And then, on the other hand, you've got people like Thomas Jefferson and Leonardo da Vinci, who did excellent work in a variety of fields.


On Tynan

A couple days ago I read a book recommended by Tyler, whose blog is the only blog I read religiously.

Anyway, the book is about mastery, and it really rang true for me. In it the author talks about the different types of people who are NOT masters, and I am pretty clearly one of them. I'm "the hacker".

What that means is that I get some level of proficiency below mastery, get satisfied with it, and don't progress. I'm acutely aware of this - I get to the level where other people respect my skill, but never push myself as far as I could go / would like.

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