Pareto Principle Applied to Learning

Specialization, Polymaths And The Pareto Principle In A Convergence Economy” by Jacob Chapman:

Where I think the Pareto Principle is at its most interesting is when thinking about our own growth potential as human beings. Imagine if you had 100 units of learning (like experience points in a role-playing game) to assign to various skills throughout your life. How should you spend those points? Do you spend all of them in one subject and try hard to become a true subject-matter expert? Or do you diversify your skill set, trying to make yourself into a well-rounded person?

These questions are some of the most fundamental questions we face as humans. Who do we want to be and what do we want to do with our lives? The Pareto Principle says that you will overwhelmingly get more bang for your buck if you spread those points around.

This post was very convincing. Admittedly I’m biased, because as a generalist, I’m continuously fascinated by many subjects which is invaluable to how I think about design.

This table, though a very rough approximation, was interesting:


Consistency and intensity in a subject can get you very far, very fast.


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