It seems the Eye of Social-Science Sauron has turned toward generalists. Forget intensive specialization; being a Renaissance man is what it’s all about now. Reading the interview transcript, I felt the same unease and annoyance as I did several years ago when Susan Cain’s book Quiet was trendy, and introversion became something of an inverted status symbol. My impression of Cain’s message was, “Introverts can be productive, contributing members of corporate and academic environments too!” Well, that’s nice, but I was perfectly fine with being ignored and overlooked, thanks. Likewise, I’m a generalist because I have a genuine interest in many things and I’m not particularly ambitious. Hearing an author cite a bunch of studies to prove that dabbling in a variety of activities and disciplines can be a more efficient way of increasing one’s chance of success sounds like using the methods and idiom of specialization to justify the existence of generalization, i.e. a Pyrrhic victory. With any luck, within the next few years, this data will be considered fatally flawed and outdated, the social-science geeks will become fixated on a new shiny object, and I can go back to enjoying the benign neglect of the wider world.