Definitely not another of such

Rui Vale
3 min readJul 27, 2021
Please don’t step on it

About David Epstein’s book Range[1].

deliberate practice

head start

advantage or liability?

sampling period

late specialization

slow bakers

It feels like falling behind

kind or wicked learning?

parallel trenches


single and double-loop learning

cognitive entrenchment

Martian tennis

scientific spectacles

cognitively flexible

computational thinking

Fermi problems

calling bullshit

low on restraint

experiment more

using procedures

making connections

the generation effect

seeking rules

desirable difficulties

hyperconnection effect

retrieval journey

distributed practice

fadeout effect


fusillade of analogies

world hypothesis

radiation problem

inside and outside view

deep learning, organic

far transfer

ill-defined problems

the ambiguous sorting task

practice makes perfect

push on

multi-armed bandit process

sunk cost fallacy

the context principle

personality does change

short-term planning

the standardization covenant

the end of history illusion

premature optimization

carry a big basket

predictors vs reflectors

circular management

ask everyone

never envision

just eat the marshmallow

the continuously evolving story of me

career switching

first act, then think

chance encounters

short-term explorations

forward from promising situations

wait to find out

lost in a jungle

flighty gadabout

a warm feelin’

trying things

cream of tartar

outside-in thinking

Einstellung effect

Russian nesting dolls

era of hyperspecialization

double-edged sword

drinking a slushy

undiscovered public knowledge

grunt work

intern syndrome

a really good question



rent-by-the-hour “love hotels”

withered technology


Ultra Hand’s 1.2 million units

functional fixedness

a vague knowledge of everything

empowering innovation

Dyson’s birds and frogs

a breakthrough in glitter

Mother Nature’s proof of concept

the adjacent stuff

polymath inventors

investigative journalism

mosaic building

bobbers hanging in the water

T-shaped people

a thousand opera houses

broader availability

dart-throwing chimp

breath is trickier than going straight

combine things in new ways

it takes opportunity

active open-mindedness


Superman or the Fantastic Four?[3]

Serial Innovators[4]

peripheral domains

repurposing the already available

ideas tumble over each other

network of enterprise

π-shaped people

The Population Bomb[5]

The Bet[6]

foxes and hedgehogs

foxes with dragonfly eyes

science curiosity, not science knowledge

roam freely

listen carefully

consume omnivorously

dropping one’s tool, knowing when to

overlearned behaviour

away from goodness

Young Man and Fire[7]

regress to what one knows best

grounded in conformity


cultural fit

intellectual archipelagos

zombie management

hunches held lightly

ambidextrous thought



reckless deviation

deliberate amateurs


not research, only search

the principle of limited sloppiness

better wrong than boring

the free play

“arbitrage opportunities”

you have to use reason

incongruence benefit

building in cross-checks

Monday Notes

chains, of command and communication

“let’s take that offline”

disciplinary boundaries fly out the window

let them torture the cucumber

graze shallow

go for breath

spread thin

orderly journeys from a to b

get murkier over time and depth

breakthrough and fallacy look a lot alike

“universal” setup networks

import/export business of ideas

don’t feel behind

it has to be inefficient

(1) simple disbelief

(2) so, what’s the advice?

Felt curious? Here’s an appetizer, or go on and read the book; hopefully not enough to hurt your music.

[1] Epstein, D. J. (2019). Range: Why generalists triumph in a specialized world.

[2] Tetlock, P. E., & Gardner, D. (2015). Superforecasting: The art and science of prediction.

[3] Taylor, A., & Greve, H. R. (2006). Superman or the fantastic four? Knowledge combination and experience in innovative teams. Academy of Management Journal, 49(4), 723–740.

[4] Griffin, A., Price, R. L., Vojak, B. (2012) Serial Innovators, Redwood City: Stanford University Press.

[5] Ehrlich, P. R. (1968). The population bomb. New York: Ballantine Books.

[6] Sabin, P. (2013). The bet: Paul Ehrlich, Julian Simon, and our gamble over Earth’s future.

[7] Maclean, N. (1992). Young men & fire. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.



Rui Vale

Cherubinic debunker on business, life, and technology