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Gammeldans
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03 Dec 2022, 8:13 am

I often ask how people have found their expertise, ie what they are really good at, and how I can find mine.
It would be really lovely if I could find my area of expertise.
I should add that this term may have different definitions as ussually happen with many terms.
Please tell me how you use "area of expertise"
Questions:
1. How did you find your area of expertise? Was this something that was very obvious?
2 how did ASD help make you really good at your area of expertise?
3. Should we even talk about expertise at all?



ToughDiamond
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03 Dec 2022, 11:33 am

1. How did you find your area of expertise? Was this something that was very obvious?
I think I just stumbled on it. I wasn't looking for it. I wanted a result, and I suppose some of my ASD traits made it hard for me to rest till I got it.

2 how did ASD help make you really good at your area of expertise?

Hyperfocus and obsessive perseverance. Plus I had enough spare time to research and ponder. I don't see myself as being an expert in any particular large subject. I'm more very knowledgable and able with certain smaller areas of some subjects. I wouldn't pursue a degree in anything.

3. Should we even talk about expertise at all?
I don't see why we shouldn't, if we want to.



Gammeldans
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03 Dec 2022, 11:46 am

ToughDiamond wrote:
1. How did you find your area of expertise? Was this something that was very obvious?
I think I just stumbled on it. I wasn't looking for it. I wanted a result, and I suppose some of my ASD traits made it hard for me to rest till I got it.

2 how did ASD help make you really good at your area of expertise?

Hyperfocus and obsessive perseverance. Plus I had enough spare time to research and ponder. I don't see myself as being an expert in any particular large subject. I'm more very knowledgable and able with certain smaller areas of some subjects. I wouldn't pursue a degree in anything.

3. Should we even talk about expertise at all?
I don't see why we shouldn't, if we want to.

1. Is it bad to look for it? Should we just stumble on it?
2. How do you define obsessive perseverance?
In psychology obsession seems to be something that is mostly negative. It seems to have another meaning outside psychology.



Dear_one
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03 Dec 2022, 1:33 pm

1. How did you find your area of expertise? Was this something that was very obvious?
Around age 26, I heard about an opportunity that combined my general interests and talents.

2 how did ASD help make you really good at your area of expertise?
I had always worked from basic principles using logic, rather than memorizing isolated facts. I studied only what I really needed, ignoring much of what would have been in a standard engineering course, but going into fine detail on what I did. Then, undistracted by the trivia and human drama most people get caught up in, I filled my head with one evolving design, approaching savant levels of performance. I didn't appreciate how far I'd gotten until after winning prizes and seeing that others could not even copy my improvements.

3. Should we even talk about expertise at all?
If we do, we should remain aware of the Dunning-Kruger syndrome. To know if one is an expert, one needs almost all the skills of that expert. Lacking those, many people are sure they are experts when they are just wasting everyone's time.



ToughDiamond
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03 Dec 2022, 2:28 pm

Gammeldans wrote:
1. Is it bad to look for it? Should we just stumble on it?
Well, I suppose if something you'd like to have isn't there, it's OK to look for it.
2. How do you define obsessive perseverance?
In psychology obsession seems to be something that is mostly negative. It seems to have another meaning outside psychology.

By "obsessive" I mean "excessive" (see 2nd definition):
https://www.thefreedictionary.com/obsessive
By "perseverance" I mean "steady persistence in adhering to a........purpose; steadfastness" (see 1st definition):
https://www.thefreedictionary.com/perseverance

Confusingly, there's the similar term "perseveration" which in pschology usually refers to something rather negative:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perseveration
Interestingly, it also says there: Perseveration may also refer to the obsessive and highly selective interests of individuals on the autism spectrum.

So maybe I was perseverating as well as persevering. Clearly there's some overlap of the terms. Anyway, all that I mean is that I pursued certain goals with unusually strong enthusiasm and relentlessness. I'm sure there were undesirable side effects - there were things I didn't do because I was chasing my goals so much, things it could be argued I should have done. Most activities have a downside as well as an upside, especially when pursued avidly. But it's difficult to know what would have happened if I hadn't done those things. It's also hard to imagine I could have behaved very differently. And luckily, for some reason I never took my obsessions to a level that seriously messed up my well-being, though I often felt I was quite close to doing that.



Gammeldans
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04 Dec 2022, 3:33 am

Dear_one wrote:
1. How did you find your area of expertise? Was this something that was very obvious?
Around age 26, I heard about an opportunity that combined my general interests and talents.

2 how did ASD help make you really good at your area of expertise?
I had always worked from basic principles using logic, rather than memorizing isolated facts. I studied only what I really needed, ignoring much of what would have been in a standard engineering course, but going into fine detail on what I did. Then, undistracted by the trivia and human drama most people get caught up in, I filled my head with one evolving design, approaching savant levels of performance. I didn't appreciate how far I'd gotten until after winning prizes and seeing that others could not even copy my improvements.

3. Should we even talk about expertise at all?
If we do, we should remain aware of the Dunning-Kruger syndrome. To know if one is an expert, one needs almost all the skills of that expert. Lacking those, many people are sure they are experts when they are just wasting everyone's time.

The Dunning-Kruger effect sounds very important to be aware of but we may also have another problem. People can be really good at something without being aware of it.



Dear_one
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04 Dec 2022, 5:35 am

Gammeldans wrote:
Dear_one wrote:
<snip> I didn't appreciate how far I'd gotten until after winning prizes and seeing that others could not even copy my improvements.

3. Should we even talk about expertise at all?
If we do, we should remain aware of the Dunning-Kruger syndrome. To know if one is an expert, one needs almost all the skills of that expert. Lacking those, many people are sure they are experts when they are just wasting everyone's time.

The Dunning-Kruger effect sounds very important to be aware of but we may also have another problem. People can be really good at something without being aware of it.


Someone with all the expertise needed is also well aware of their limitations in the field in trying to improve it. I didn't know I was exceptional at design engineering for a long time because my stuff was not being mass-produced. I didn't know that IQ and EQ were independent variables, so I assumed that the socially adept were smart, and just slacking when they claimed they couldn't do math, for instance. I didn't understand why they were not adopting my demonstrated improvements.



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05 Dec 2022, 9:52 am

We should definitely talk about expertise. It's a great topic. I don't think you find expertise. It is created, meaning you become an expert in something. For me, I tried different things that I thought I would be interested in. When I find something that I enjoy and that really gives me a sense of fulfillment, I tend to spend as much time as I can doing it. For example, for me skiing is one of those things, hence my screen name, Skibum. When I started skiing, I did not start to ski with the thought that I would become an expert at it. I started because when I was little, my parents had had me take a few lessons and I remembered having really enjoyed them. So, when I had the opportunity to start again as an adult, I did, and I loved it even more than I had as a child. The love for skiing grew into a passion and the passion became very deep. So, I spent a lot of time training. And because I felt such a connection to the sport, I spend a lot of time training alone and training with purpose and that, for me, develops an intimate understanding of the sport and how my body, mind, and spirit connect to it. For me, it's that intimate understanding and connection and desire and ability to develop a body and mind and spiritual awareness with what I am learning. That, along with the ability to hyperfocus on my training and to break it down into tiny details and being able to focus on each one of them, is what creates mastery and expertise in the subject. That kind of mastery can take years to accomplish and the coolest thing about it is that you never reach the end, so you always have something more to learn.

So you have to keep in mind that being an expert or mastering something is a process. It starts with a simple interest that you end up falling in love with. Once you find that, it will happen on its own. You don't have to force it.


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IsabellaLinton
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05 Dec 2022, 10:49 am

Gammeldans wrote:
Please tell me how you use "area of expertise"
Questions:
1. How did you find your area of expertise? Was this something that was very obvious?
2 how did ASD help make you really good at your area of expertise?
3. Should we even talk about expertise at all?



Academically, my areas of expertise are 19th Century British Literature and Literary History, and Metaphysics (particularly Kant and the metaphysics of morality). I also study German Romanticism and its influence on Victorian Lit.

I found this because I had dreams (nightmares) about the story of Jane Eyre when I was very young. I didn't know it was a book, or where it was coming from. When I had to read JE in high school I was shocked. I knew what would happen on every page because it gave me flashbacks of my nightmares. This was at a time when I had no friends at school and I ate lunch hiding in the library to avoid being seen. I read more and more literature and philosophy to figure out why or how I had those dreams as a three-year old, especially given my family's connection to the Brontes.

One of my English teachers (Mrs LK) was very pedantic about grammar and vocabulary. I became fascinated by all the rules and started to picture myself being like her. My then-boyfriend (later husband, now exhusband) was much older and he had already gone to University, so that inspired me to seek a career as an academic researcher / writer.

Was it obvious? As early as Kindergarten I had signs of hyperlexia. I allowed my teacher to physically assault me (lifting me by the hair), rather than telling my parents what she did. That's because I thought my parents would make me quit school if I told them what happened, and I feared I'd never learn to read as a consequence. I was always interested in books and reading because it's a socially appropriate way to distance yourself from others, and live inside your head without arousing too much curiosity.


2. ASD - Yes I have extreme hyperfocus but only if I'm obsessed with the topic. It also gives me ample opportunity to be alone and read, or live my life sequestered in libraries without looking too foolish. Autism makes me remember rules (e.g., spelling and grammar), and I can focus on minute areas of research which others might overlook. I'm able to see patterns and make connections between texts very easily.

3. Sure we can talk about expertise!


* Beyond academics, I have a lot of knowledge about Ancestry and Genealogical research for the same reasons as above. ^ I've also had a lot of experience with domestic violence, SA, courts of law, and other topics of personal sovereignty which vulnerable people experience.



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05 Dec 2022, 10:53 am

I'm a Jack-of-All-Trades/Master-of-None....I'm not an expert in anything.

Except maybe replicating a Wolf's Howl 8)



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05 Dec 2022, 11:26 am

skibum wrote:
So you have to keep in mind that being an expert or mastering something is a process. It starts with a simple interest that you end up falling in love with. Once you find that, it will happen on its own. You don't have to force it.


I have a friend with a very strong interest in a field, but no aptitude. He has spent a lot of time and money on it but never understood the basics. He thinks it is real magic, and that he can get it to do what he imagines, contrary to physics. When Richard Feynman went to Brazil for a year, he discovered that his whole University department was teaching physics as pure memory work without understanding how the facts are connected by logic.
There is also an increasing trend for people to be satisfied with knowing where to look something up rather than storing it in memory. Only the memory can be called on for brainstorming.