When my dissertation advisor, Rulon Wells, died two years ago, a colleague wrote a tribute describing him as a formidable polymath. That phrase stuck in my mind, so when I encountered Vinnie Mirchandani’s book The New Polymath: Profiles in Compound-Technology Innovations (Wiley, 2010) I figured it was something I had to read.
It’s an interesting book, though not essential reading for the trader or investor. Nonetheless, we might all do well to think about these quotations from a chapter late in the book where ten polymaths from history join the discussion.
Michelangelo: “Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.”
Leonardo da Vinci: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Hypatia: “Life is an unfoldment, and the further we travel, the more truth we can comprehend.”
Nasir al-Din al-Tusi: “Anyone who does not know and does not know that he does not know is stuck forever in double ignorance.”