"You can have large sea of knowledge, but have it only be puddle deep. Likewise you can have a puddle that is miles deep. But in the end, the most interesting sea is the one that is expansive and populated with shallows and deep ends."
Exactly. Once you know 1 language, the learning curve for the next language in the list just drops drastically. So the idea that knowing too many languages somehow gives you less understanding of each one, isn't usually the case (unless you insist on learning every single thing there is to know about 20 different languages).
Remember that your brain is an amazing device (in fact the most complex object known to man - a hypermassive star is less complex), it's vastly capable of storing information and there's even ways to "learn how to learn" things. I think you're making a solid point about specialization though, that it can be superior to generalization in many respects. But that's only true if we're talking about comparable time spent on either. Typically it's a transverging
(? see below) relationship:My ad lib theorem on learning:"The more you generalize, the less time you spend on learning each new field.
The more you specialize, the more time you spend on that one field."
The golden mean of the above is when you've specialized enough so that further specialization becomes less effective than studying other fields to complement your own. Specialization is usually all about what you're actually doing
. Generalization is usually about what you know
. It's when you let generalization dictate your actions or specialization dictate your knowledge, that problems occur.
Edited by DrMadolite, 12 August 2012 - 03:19 PM.