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OUR COLUMNIST ‘SCULPTURESTEPH’ ANSWERS SOPHIE WHO SAID THAT SPECIALIZATION DID NOT DIMINISH CREATIVITY. SCULTURESTEPH SAYS THE FOLLOWING:

‘…interesting. I use the metaphor of ‘ a mechanical cog- being part of the system- or integrating into a community- as a negative, really. Specialisation of one aspect (it doesn’t matter if it is a subject, an action or a process) I don’t think is in the long run contributing to anything inspirational, liberating or challenging.

It reinforces a repetition of something known, that appears safe, doesn’t challenge anything and eventually becomes a ritual, performed without any active thinking. Karl Marx had some interesting observations on the specialisation of work processes in the production line, and how this results in the detachment of the human spirit and identification of themselves with the creation of a complete complex and holistic work process, eventually leading to the de-humanisation of work and detachment from the necessary physical interaction with our environment.

Specialisation is a useful aspiration to motivate people to fit into a conforming society, group (just look at a colony of ants), and to me personally, specialisation of individual human’s purposes (such as work) and integration into systems/ communities has quite dark and sinister connotations. I think it was Guenther Grass (German author) who said: Don’t be the oil that lubricates the cogs of the system- but be the sand grain that causes it to halt and change it’s direction…(translation is a bit dodgy, sorry…).

It doesn’t take much ingenuity to conform to a system by getting really good at something that enjoys some agreed value by the wider community you are part of. It’s probably a quite instinctive heard mentality proven and tested to increase ones ‘survival’ rate.
Apart from that it’s quite sad to limit a human’s potential to one aspect, process, project, purpose only.

Thinking outside the box, seeing things differently to the agreed norm and challenging the status quo is often a very uncomfortable, lonely and frustrating existence (the experience being contrary to our instinctive desire of fitting in).

To still be heard, listened to and taken seriously requires to be a generalist, total independence of any categorisation (specialisation) to remain without judgement and an open mind- all pre requisites of a true ‘Genius’.

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