Ep. 37 – Specialization is for Insects

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This week’s episode begins in the kitchen, but rapidly moves into the great outdoors and then on to some deep questions about the perils and perks of specialization. Can we be fulfilled as humans if we only master one skill? Or does the old cliché about being a Jack of All Trades hold true? From culinary Jiu Jitsu to powerful ideas on how to reforge the education system, this episode is as wide-ranging as it is thought-provoking.

Question: ‘Do you think it’s important to be able to cook well?


  • What does your (in)ability to cook say about you?
  • The personal rewards of harvesting and hunting your own food
  • How much more well-rounded and actualized would we be if the education system included classes on how to manage your emotions?
  • How far does traditional education impact the quality of our life experiences?
  • Nic brings up quotes from two different ends of a spectrum: Robert Heinlein thought ‘specialization is for insects’, but Tim Ferriss claims that ‘the world rewards specialists’. How can we reconcile these perspectives?
  • Could we have Renaissance Men if we were designed to be just one thing?
  • Musashi and the art of mastery
  • With specialization, do we ever learn to play chords, rather than single notes?
  • Nic reconnects with videogames after writing them off as a waste of time
  • When productivity becomes the enemy of personal development… and fun