We still feeling good about division of labor?
Very insightful article!
I'm all too familiar with the negative effects of adopting this way of thinking. It was my time in the military that hammered it into me. We even had names for it at my school -a military school-.
If you were a "techey" major you excelled at engineering and detailed fields.
"Fuzzy" majors were everything else: humanities, English etc.
I self-identified and was labeled early on as a "fuzzy" major, outsourcing technical thinking to others who I felt at the time were better suited to do that type of work.
Looking back there was definitely a social class system going on at my school thanks to these labels. Techey majors were the pride and joy of the institution (it was an engineering school after all). Fuzzy majors were less respected and were labeled as "easier". While that's probably true to some degree, it was an early example of what you're writing about in this piece.
We get labeled, then we self-label, reducing our capacity, willingness, and ability to pursue work and thinking in domains that "aren't our thing" or that "we're bad at". It's sad to see, because the truth is we all have the capacity to understand anything.
No we won't all be the MJ equivalent in every field, but there's a freedom in owning the fact that you *could* given enough time and the proper conditions, become highly proficient or knowledgeable at any skill, in any domain.
Ever since I took ownership of that, my life has dramatically changed for the better.