Jack Of All Trades, Master Of Some?

Discussion in 'The Hangout' started by Photon Guy, Jun 15, 2019.

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  1. Photon Guy

    Photon Guy Expert Member
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    To be a good survivalist you want to have a good, broad base of knowledge and skills but you also don't want to spread yourself too thin. You don't want to be a "jack of all trades, master of none" where you have some basic knowledge and skills in many multiple different things but in each of those different things your knowledge and skill is not beyond the basic level, where you know a little bit about a lot but you don't really excel in anything.

    By the same token you don't want to be too narrow. You don't want to focus on just one or two things and not be able to do anything else. You don't want to be like Bobby Fischer where Chess was all that he did, and he didn't really do much of anything else.

    I would think, it would be ideal to be like Benjamin Franklin who was a "jack of all trades, master of many." To know a little bit about everything and a lot about many things. To have some basic knowledge and skills in just about everything and to have really in depth knowledge and a high level of skill in many things. But lets face it, most of us are not going to be like Benjamin Franklin, he was a highly exceptional individual and a genius so most of us are not going to be at his level.

    I was thinking, though, if you can't be at Franklin's level, to at least be able to master some stuff and to also have a broad base of knowledge in many things. To be able to master maybe, two or three things, while also being able to do lots of other stuff competently. To be a "jack of all trades, master of some."
     
  2. pacmantacman

    pacmantacman Expert Member
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    I tend to focus(obsess) on a particular skill or hobby until I get pretty good at it. It’s a blessing and a curse for sure.

    Martial arts is a great example of one of my long time obsessions. But this skill set has opened many doors for me, taken me many places. It has also kept me from injury on many occasions, and without any doubt flat out saved me from getting shot in the face one dark night. So I see the benefits to specializing.
     
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  3. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Photon Guy,

    Without neglecting the knowledge and skills, the foundation block of the survivalist is the mental preparations and a well-established ability to make decisions under conditions of uncertainty.

    With above as the foundation, the survivalist will know the common denominators for the rest, that is the knowledge and skills. Not having all or most of the gadgets and equipment for all environments and topography in re food, clothing, shelter , is secondary.

    The gadgets like a magnetic compass and a gyro compass are nice to have if their accommodation doesn't interfere with the more important (eg water, RX medicines), but for the survivalist, the Sun never sets permanently. The center of that orange-yellow circle when we're facing toward Las Vegas, is 270 true west. If we leave now, we can be there in a couple of years.
     
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  4. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    I'm just a get-by guy. I have been this thing for WELL over a half century.

    "Jack of all trades, master of some" is spot-on should someone wish to slap a label on me.
     
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  5. Sonofliberty

    Sonofliberty Master Survivalist
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    I would call myself a jack of all trades master of a few.
     
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  6. GateCrasher

    GateCrasher Expert Member
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    Seems like the more I learn about something, the more I realize how little I know about it.

    Jack of a few trades, master of none here.
     
  7. Radar

    Radar Master Survivalist
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    funny you'd bring that up (jack of all trades, master of none -- I like to say master of one) but I couldn't remember how it went. I've been trying to remember for a couple of weeks in the random back thoughts of my mind.
    My ability to remain calm during a personal catastrophe has been off for a few years.
    There are so many things you guys know so much about and I'm over here whistling in the dark.
    I am here to learn but don't always have time to tune in. I get lazy. I get frustrated about being 30 years behind in being prepared. If I start feeling like I'm way out of my league, I leave.
    This should not be this hard. Don't you think keeping it simple invites people to be new and frequent posters? I think long-time preppers have such a wide knowledge base they forget about the newbies.
    Even being new at prepping, some of us still have a lot of skill or knowledge to share.
     
  8. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Gate Crasher,

    You've reached the real apex of all this.

    "Sixty years ago, I knew everything; now I know nothing; education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance."

    - Will Durant, American historian
     
  9. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Radar,

    I just read your 6 line post and understand what you wrote when I read between the 6 lines.

    Some here know more than you; some do not. All this cannot be plotted out on a chart because of the variables and other aspects always unknown.

    Also; there is no time-line to this.....30 years, 5 years, 40, 50, 1, ...when the final stage of preparedness is reached. The more refined skills and experience one acquires means one is older than others.

    Some subjects cannot be made simple. Much is complex. In older times most could not use Icelandic feldspar for water navigation. Today, many do not accept immunizations against diseases.

    Some long-time preppers urge "talk to the kids", "teach this stuff in the schools, "let the teens see the report", the 4-H Club, the Scouts,...

    You're not lazy nor frustrated. The real words you did not use - I also do not - because preparedness is a key component of advanced-level civilization and our current society is under much stress now.

    "The more you know, the later it is - and thus the greater risk."

    We're all in this together.
     
  10. coffee

    coffee Expert Member
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    Radar, It is never too late to start. Start by making a realistic list of what you can do and can afford to do first. Do try to keep in mind, the most important things first....water, shelter, food, fire, self defense. Here is a fairly good start. You can start with the first one, research types of water purification methods, decide how many you can afford to get and do that, then go to shelter...camping gear is a great start for your list...my first starts would be tarps, rope, duct tape, etc. Next food, I suggest emergency food bars, dried fruits, etc. Fire - again get several different kinds as you can . Self defense, this is personal, get what makes you feel safe, but include knife or two. You get the idea. Once you have the basics, add to the basics, then add to your list. Also remember to make copies of all your important documents and keep them in different places... trunk of your car, a family members home, a best friend. Also medicines and first aids.

    Just remember, WE ARE ALL, here to help, just ask. We love sharing information and knowledge with anyone who will listen. Never give up on being prepared. And do not let yourself get overwhelmed. Steady and determined will win the race. Good luck and God Bless your efforts.
     
  11. watcherchris

    watcherchris Legendary Survivalist
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    I like Will Durant...he was a good historian.

    The last book I read of his was...."Caesar and Christ."

    I recall Will Durrant in an interview many years ago being asked his view on why so many civilizations fell in history.

    He stated....their standards fell. I thought that a very interesting response and one of which today many of us haven't a clue......but should.




    Same here...master of some.



    I note something that separates me from many people..up to a point and I expect this would indeed be different for many people.

    And that is the ability to suffer discomfort....up to a point. I just note that my discomfort threshold is a bit higher than for many people.

    This ability includes certain pains and or discomfort levels. I can tolerate certain pain more than other people. I can even shut it off to a degree..ignore it...more than many people.

    I suspect that so many years working in this shipyard has aided in this pain/discomfort threshold...particularly working the graveyard shifts. You are often working alone...and expected to get results....to do your own running....getting blueprints, materials, tools..and getting them all to the work location...alone...good weather or bad..hot or cold...rain or shine.

    It is as if you cultivate a certain internal drive towards a goal and do not like to be caught short...from your goal.

    It sometimes gets personal.

    With the hottest months quickly upon us ..I often carry in my back pocket a blue or red bandanna. This is for the purpose of keeping the sweat out of my eyes. If I can keep the sweat out of my eyes I can keep going...no problem.



    Hunger is one of my weaknesses...I get cranky and irritable if I get hungry ..a bit short in patience and temperament.

    Time to slow down and or get a snack to keep me going....then I am good for a couple of hundred more miles so to speak.


    One skill I try to keep up is a bit ironic in the time of home computers and cell phones...and that is Morse Code.
    I have just learned over the years to not get too dependent on High Tech complex interdependent systems...systems with a lot of dependency on complex chains of technology...working together and dependent on another link in the chain...working correctly.

    The short version of that paragraph just above......is..... KISS...Keep It Simple Stupid!!!


    There is a lot to be said for that pithy olde saying.

    A lot of the olde folks who came before us lived and breathed by it.... may they rest in Peace.


    My non Ishmaelite .02,

    Watcherchris
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
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  12. poltiregist

    poltiregist Legendary Survivalist
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    I know a guy that can not read or write , has glasses about quarter inch thick , one eardrum is busted and can go through the woods gathering food like a vacuum cleaner . It is truly amazing . That is the type of skill set I am interested in . Electronics , computer skills or electrical skills will be useless for the S.H.T.F. situation I am preparing for .
     
  13. Snyper

    Snyper Master Survivalist
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    -Robert A. Heinlein
     
  14. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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  15. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    I like to know something about a lot of things, I wouldn't say master, more I know as much as I need to know to get by, a bit like my computer skills!!! I know enough to do what I want to do but that's the sum of it.
     
  16. Sonofliberty

    Sonofliberty Master Survivalist
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    Actually, there are a couple of animals I don't mess with because I am unsure of what to do with or even how to identify their scent glands. Do you know anything about that? Especially muskrats and skunks
     
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  17. watcherchris

    watcherchris Legendary Survivalist
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    I believe if you have to shoot a skunk...you do it from far away ..not too close.

    Watcherchris,
    Not an Ishmaelite
     
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  18. Sonofliberty

    Sonofliberty Master Survivalist
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    Killing skunks is easy. Rendering the meat safe to eat is my concern. I know those glands can ruin the meat. LOL, I need a book or something on their anatomy and general information on how much time I have to remove those glands before the meat is ruined. That is why I avoid them. The only good thing is that I know what I don't know; it would be worse if I didn't know what I don't know and got sick off the stuff. You know, like dealing with Tularemia in rabbits or trichinosis in swine.
     
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  19. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    My one experience skinning out a skunk (it was a gorgeous albino that a friend shot and gave to me) was...um...interesting! It was the very first animal I had ever skinned and I was completely clueless. I quickly learned that there are odoriferous glands under the skin, ALL OVER a skunk's body.

    My eyes watered, my nose burned, and I was about to pass out because I believe my skinning knife hit every one of dem thangs...It was getting dark, and harder to see what all trouble I was getting into. OMGoodness it was bad, bad, BAD. But I kept at it until the hide was off the animal.

    Never again, unless I am about to starve to death, lol.


    .
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  20. Sonofliberty

    Sonofliberty Master Survivalist
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    The only "good" thing about skunk meat that I have seen is that catfish seem to love it. I have caught some real doozies using it as bait.
     
  21. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    S.O.L.,

    Ref "anything?";

    Here, wildlife susceptible to rabies infection are deemed infected in eastern Virginia. Haven't run into any muskrat matters but have with foxes - also deemed rabid.

    Use care.
     
  22. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Master Survivalist
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  23. Photon Guy

    Photon Guy Expert Member
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    Yes martial arts is something that you can really obsess over and I speak from my own experience. I've been in the martial arts most of my life so I know what its like to be obsessed with it. The martial arts itself is something where people can sometimes spread themselves too thin, trying to develop too many techniques without really focusing on any of them to the point where they specialize. As Bruce Lee said, "I fear not the man who trains with ten thousand kicks, I fear the man who trains with one kick ten thousand times." But with martial arts you also want to be well rounded, you want to have a good background in both striking and grappling and maybe have some skill with martial arts weapons too.

    Martial arts is a whole universe in and of itself but when it comes to prepping and survivalism some of the same principles apply, its good to have a broad base of knowledge but to focus and specialize in a few specific things to the point that you can reach expertise and go beyond, to the point that you can master them and go beyond.

    With me my areas of extreme focus and specialization are martial arts, fitness, and to a lesser extent guns.

    Other areas where you could say I've reached a certain level of expertise would bevlong distance driving and travel and psychology.

    Now, when it comes to stuff that I might dabble in that list would include carpentry, welding, basic remodeling, bee keeping, auto mechanics, first aid, electrical work, water purification, camping, hiking, wilderness survival, boating and maritime navigation, fishing, hunting, aviation, equestrian, stonework, metallurgy, painting, gardening, food preservation. All those things are things I either want to do but haven't done yet or they are things which I have some experience with but not to the point where I could be called an expert.

    So this is basically what Im talking about being a jack of all trades, master of some.
     
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  24. Photon Guy

    Photon Guy Expert Member
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    You just described the Dunning-Kruger effect, where novices in a particular field will overestimate their knowledge and ability in said field because they don't know just how much they don't know while experts on the other hand will underestimate their knowledge and abilities and might think everybody has the same knowledge and abilities that they do.

    Much of this is because all too often, the more you learn about something the more you learn just how much more there is to learn. You realize just how rich and complex and how full of unanswered questions it actually is.
     
  25. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    There are not many of the trades that I have not done professionally. I can build or repair almost anything. For me learning new things is easy. I'm a carpenter, machinist, gunsmith, electrician, plumber, mechanic, cement worker, slab repairman, Licensed HVAC tech, appliance repairman, tree trimmer, lumberjack, painter, roofer, carpet layer, Stevador, Bouncer, Leatherworker, wood carver ,fly tier, knife maker, reloader, writer, hunter, fisherman and used to do Indian beadwork.
     
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  26. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard ! Staff Member
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    I am just old. Lived life, done many things and look forward to doing a few more things. I may be a bit smarter than some and a lot dumber than others. I do have a pretty fair amount of common sense, so I will go with that.
     
  27. Photon Guy

    Photon Guy Expert Member
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    Wow, you've sure done quite a bit and you have a huge range of skills. Anything that you specialize in? Any one or two things you really excel in?
     
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  28. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    I've lived off grid and off a small piece of land before, so I know what I have to do to survive and adapt to a simpler lifestyle, its only as difficult as someone tries to make it.
    there is a lot we can discard in the new reality.
     
  29. randyt

    randyt Master Survivalist
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    I specialize in not specializing
     
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  30. Photon Guy

    Photon Guy Expert Member
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    Can I take lessons from you?
     
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