Range Summary 2023 - Deepstash

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Range Summary

About Range Book

The #1 New York Times bestseller that has all America talking—with a new afterword on expanding your range—as seen on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS, Morning Joe, CBS This Morning, and more.

“The most important business—and parenting—book of the year.” —Forbes

“Urgent and important. . . an essential read for bosses, parents, coaches, and anyone who cares about improving performance.” —Daniel H. Pink  

Shortlisted for the Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

Plenty of experts argue that anyone who wants to develop a skill, play an instrument, or lead their field should start early, focus intensely, and rack up as many hours of deliberate practice as possible. If you dabble or delay, you’ll never catch up to the people who got a head start. But a closer look at research on the world’s top performers, from professional athletes to Nobel laureates, shows that early specialization is the exception, not the rule.    

David Epstein examined the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists. He discovered that in most fields—especially those that are complex and unpredictable—generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. Generalists often find their path late, and they juggle many interests rather than focusing on one. They’re also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can’t see.

Provocative, rigorous, and engrossing, Range makes a compelling case for actively cultivating inefficiency. Failing a test is the best way to learn. Frequent quitters end up with the most fulfilling careers. The most impactful inventors cross domains rather than deepening their knowledge in a single area. As experts silo themselves further while computers master more of the skills once reserved for highly focused humans, people who think broadly and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives will increasingly thrive.

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Range by David Epstein

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Generalist Vs Spesialist

There are two kind of people in this world.

First is a generalist, who knows different & many things but not in depth.

And the second one is a specialist, who excels in particular field of knowledge in depth. But not adequate in any other field besides it.


Ordered Vs Wicked Environment

Ordered environment is an environment with a stable, repetitive, and controlled situation in which we can predict what could be happen inside it. Specialist people tend to have a benefit from this kind of environment. Example : Chess game & computer programming

Wicked Environment is an environment with a chaotic, unstable, and unpredictable outcome. Specialization tend to perform bad in this environment and the generalist have an advantage in this kind of environment. Example : Stock Market & Political Science


Generalist Vs Spesialist

Generalist and Spesialist doesn't always contradict each other.

Rather, the world need both of them to make innovation and progress in different fields of study


Breadth In Knowledge

Psychologist and prominent creativity researcher Dean Keith Simonton observed, "rather than obsessively focusing on a narrow topic, creative achievers tend to have broad interests. This breadth often supports insights that cannot be attributed to domain specific expertise alone."


Learn And Apply

The successful adapters were excellent at taking knowledge from one pursuit and applying it creatively to another, and at avoiding cognitive entrenchment.

In the wicked world with ill-defined challenges and few rigid rules, range can be a life hack


Hypercorrection Effect

The more confident a learner is of their wrong answer, the better the information sticks when they subsequently learn the right answer. Tolerating big mistakes can create the best learning opportunities


The importance of generalists in the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Why Generalists Will Flourish?

The inspiring from this book is about why generalists will flourish.

’Kind vs ‘wicked’ learning environments

Learning environments can be split into two:

  • The kind one, where patterns repeat and specialists get better with experiences, such as in chess.
  • The wicked ones, where there is a lot of spontaneity and unpredictability involved and experience doesn’t necessarily correlate with success, such as when researching.


Cognitive entrenchment and abstract thinking

Modern work demands knowledge transfer and abstract thinking, things which are not being actively taught in our highly - specialized academic curriculums.

It’s harder to be creative in a field the longer you have been studying it. It is best to insist on ‘having one foot outside your world’, to try to have broad interests and not focus on solely one thing in your learning path.


Breadth Of Training Predicts Breadth Of Transfer

Children who try their hand at playing multiple instruments have a higher chance of becoming elites in one (even if they specialize later in life) than those who have been presented with a particular instrument from a very early age.

The figlie of the Ospedale Della Pieta in Venice are good example of that


Tiger Woods vs Roger Federer

Tiger Woods vs Roger Federer

Tiger Woods

  1. Started Training when 2 yrs old
  2. Deliberated practice since child
  3. Became prodigy in teens
  4. GOAT in Golfing

Roger Federer

  1. Played different sports till 10 yrs old
  2. Developed overall physical proficiency
  3. Became star player in his twenties
  4. GOAT in tennis

What does world needs, more Woods or more Federer?


Generalist vs Specialist

Generalist vs Specialist

Debate of generalist vs specialist is very old. In some areas, generalist prevails and in some specialist thrives. 


Where Specialist Survives?

Where Specialist Survives?

Specialist thrives in areas where:-

  1. experience generates expertise in the field
  2. pattern are repetitive, and pattern recognition is primary 
  3. focus is the key component
  4. during learning feedback to any action is fast and accurate.
  5. situations are less dynamic and 
  6. less no. of variable came in play

Eg of such areas are surgeon, chess player, golf etc


Learning itself is best done slowly to accumulate lasting knowledge.


Experience frequently breeds confidence but not skill


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