A Polymath or . . . ?
It might sound pedantic to say I am a polymath because of contradicting in a conversation. No matter how I voice my opinions, I refuse to be a specialist with a funnel point of view limiting my curiosity. I love exploring a variety of subjects; opening my mind to understand where they come from, and why, before I have one. So, I’m a genetic polymath in an organic format of the learning process. Everything has a trail backward before continuing moving forward.
Polymath: a person of wide-ranging knowledge or learning. It comes from the early 17th century, Greek polumathēs ‘having learned much,’ from polu- ‘much’ + the stem of manthanein ‘learn.’
Can one call a polymath a multitasker? We address multitasking as if is something new due to the wonder of gadgets. Okay, everyone looks cool publicly, busy fingers, talking, engaged. The theatrical shows to the world around that you “have a life.” Although, the statistics prove that visually displayed interactivity has lowered the quality of proficiency in various levels.
A friend called me on my birthday. I was touched she still remembers it. But, during the brief conversation, she began to tell me in a panic that a file went by itself inside a zip folder, grabbing a project she had to deliver as a next-day deadline and could be deleted. OMG! I hanged up quickly because she made me feel that I was responsible for zipping her file.
I was cooking when she called, and didn’t stop during the surprising call. Because of her panic I burned my finger feeling like I was the culprit of her technical issue. Next time, I won’t answer my phone for my birthday. But I have a request:
Dear friends: I rather you don't call me when you are busy
The statistics are clear, 40% of productivity is lost by task switching. We have a perfect example: someone governing a country while trying to dominate the world by tweeting incoherent half paragraphs, advertising later being a genius. How can we ever forget covfefe? The spelling had no Greek or Roman symbols to add intellect, and the phonetic and spelling immediately was associated with a profile of certain area of the world that many hate just because. The Intelligence agencies could not identify who in the heck was covfefe either.
My personal history of multitasking was defined long ago by my mother. She was convinced that I was driven by a deep psychological rush, caused by a morbid pleasure of being dangling over the edge of an abyss. For her, my polymath abilities were a high, the same as a drug addict or an extreme sports Olympic gold-medalist- athlete on steroids.
I have never understood the metaphor. After all, there were times in which I was studying German, dancing La Jota with castanets, learning to fence, how to type, and going to law school. Can you accuse someone of being a drug addict while learning such a multitude of wonderful subjects at once, without touching a single gadget? I had to think to work on each of them simultaneously.
Besides, my sense of work and play is supported by science: never missed a dance, and organized (with parents’ consent) several parties at home. I mean, my busy life was real and cool! I was surrounded by a lot of humans.
Later on, I realized I became a case-study when one of my bosses, an internationally known communicator, called me with urgency to his office, have a seat, and proceeded to explain to me in psychological details that he finally concluded: I suffered from mechanical scape. That is, repetition was rejected at all costs, and the only way to keep me productive and happy was to multiply the diversity of my activities. I won’t go into why he got to this epiphany, but he appreciated my qualities by jamming me with work!
As I contradict most generalities widely uncontested, I may sound highbrow (yes, the noun hasn’t disappeared from the list of favorite dissing and trolling, together with elite). I decided to look for polymath synonyms to define myself. Found several. One can say the associative interpretation of the noun is as “wide-ranged” as the meaning of the noun itself. In my case, it’s natural. I can't stop my curiosity about going global. I want to understand all the ramifications between social-political-economic issues, heath developments, discoveries, all areas of design, food, animals, environmental issues, technology, including discussions in an array of subjects. You got the gist. I am connected as I am part of planet Earth for heavens' sake!.
The search left me dumbfounded by the interpretations on the matter, wondering, who connected polymath with some of them. Many left me confused as instead of poly they clearly convey specialization.
Pansophicstar- Pansophism, meaning "all-knowing". A goddess! Omniscience! Heavens! Some have already accused me of having the last word. Can you imagine if they know I am calling myself omniscience? Why not simply go all the way to omnipotent for that matter?
Gravestar: this blew me away. It took me to ensepulcher. How can I say I am a gravestar if I am an ensepulchered six feet under? Does reincarnation is for real?
Roundedstar: " having a curved shape or surface"?? Round for fat or just shape? Also, it can be applied If I am annoyed at someone. I can round them. Would I be the diva of anger if I decide to choose this one? I understand how easy is to get confused. Round feels aggressive, and my answers already stir some excitement.
If I say to someone, they voted for a cheat who tweets lies, am I a fat roundedstar?
Reconditestar: "recondite "- difficult or impossible for one of ordinary understanding or knowledge to comprehend, hidden from sight: "concealed." WOW! It shocked me! I mean, I didn’t have a clue that after I decided to be a commercial designer, rounded by math, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, codes, and passed with honor I became a recondistar! Believe me, hell is on earth. Although I must say, they were easier to deal with than understanding lies for truth, irrationality instead of intellectualize or myth for reality.
Postedstar: "Posting a job, post online or sending someone to do a job is familiar." Although I didn’t know I could accuse someone of being boring because they post (chill) or just telling friends that I love to keep on posting undisturbed, making them feel unwanted.
Pedanticstar: "narrowly, stodgily, and often ostentatiously learned- a pedantic insistence that we follow the rules exactly- unimaginative, dull."
How can pedantic be a synonym for polymath as Leonardo da Vinci is the incarnation of a polymath! Very few humans can take the crown of being truly a polymath. Was Leonard dull and unimaginative? A genius! I understand Obama was considered pedantic and called professorial as a derogatory . . .
just cause he used critical thinking before he gave an intellectualized answer. But then, he is a black brilliant, and dignified man which is still unacceptable in 2021.
Hum . . . no wonder the level of education has dropped to a new low.
According to the most recent Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results, from 2015, placed the U.S. an unimpressive 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science. Among the 35 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which sponsors the PISA initiative, the U.S. ranked 30th in math and 19th in science. Every three years PISA measures reading ability, math and science literacy and other key skills among 15-year-olds in dozens of developed and developing countries.
The list took me to:
Deepstar: "extending deeply," period. Okay, but it jumped me straight to fathomless as an adj. without permission. Surprisingly again, it means "extending deeply." From then on it got deeper and deeper into bottomless that is "extending," which shocked me as I was trying to compare it to the width of my own, and beginning to be intrigued by the synonym. I felt for a brief moment like the size 14 who swears she is a 10 because the manufacturer puts a smaller size on purpose, using the same principle of Facebook . It works. I had a shop, and had to protect my expensive inventory from the fake size 8 & 10 customers who were really 14-16. It's much easier to squeeze legislation destroying people's rights, inside a revision for the safety of our grid system, than a 16 to fit inside an 8.
Things continued expanding. From bottomless playing with endless, infinite I kept seeing accumulation of fat, and when the page took me to plumbless, then to plummtless. I felt abysmal. "Expanding" created somehow panic inside an area of my brain. Didn't our President say publicly that we should try to copy China's form of government?
Calling myself a polymath, as a result of having an open mind toward the wonders of our universe, continuing to want to learn in order to understand how we are all connected, should not bear the weight of a pedanticstar (which I was called). The list has the eternal curse of the highbrow syndrome, and professorial as a bore. On the other hand, I discovered that I could add star to the tail of the majority of the synonyms. The miracle is that if I chose to use the synonym gravestar being six feet deep and under I will be grammatically correct. Star is the limit! After all, we all are made of (dead) stardust anyway.
I decided to stick to polymath. I like poly, it means plurality, variety, and it has no star at the end.
But the greatest lesson from my synonym search is that anyone can choose to add star after a noun that could be "identified" as a polymath and be grammatically correct. For example crookstar, liestar, corruptorstar, fakestar, creepstar, mysoginiststar, and so on. That is, they will sound more specialized in each field. It'is the reason many who fit into the different categories think of themselves as stars. You might as well go rogue!