Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.
But actually that's not where I'm going with this thought. I think the real concern is that an expert cannot be fully effective as they cannot possibly be an expert in everything due to human limitations. Such a realisation, of course, leads to the thought: bring on the singularity!
This thought arose from an encounter with an (in my opinion) especially poorly designed diagram in a textbook of a renowned expert (who, in my opinion, had not sufficienty diversified his expertise!).
I have also been thinking about the purpose of diagrams. There are two separate categories that come to mind:
- simplying the explanation of a complex topic (a picture is worth a thousand words)
- providing an aide-memoir that is helpful only one the user understands the topic area