The Polymath


In this issue



Polymathica articles

The Polymathic

The Ultimate
Coin Problem


The Polymath:
A Case for

Research Update:
Bottlenecks and
Assortive Mating
in Humans


Site Contents

Archive Home


The Third

The Polymath


Article Index


Sponsored by

Polymathica articles
A community of
lifelong learners


The American
Polymathic Institute

A non-profit organization
dedicated to polymathic
research, careers,
education and lifestyles


Welcome to The Polymath Newsletter

We are very excited about getting The Polymath up and running. We hope you enjoy our articles, research updates and other features. We are new, but we are growing rapidly. At the American Polymathic Institute, we are on a bit of a mission. We hope you decide to join us.

First of all, what's a polymath? According to the dictionary, it's a person knowledgeable in many subjects. We use a slightly different definition, however. We consider a polymath (with a small p) anyone who is interested in many subjects. When we use Polymath (with a capital P) we are referring to a new profession.

Let's face it. Less than 2% of the population can even define the word "polymath." In this age of specialization, it's not even a concept that is thought about very much. When it is, it is generally thought of as an archaic notion. We at the American Polymathic Institute don't agree with that. We think that interdisciplinary expertise, polymathic research and careers, and the values implicit in polymathicism are the waves of the future. It is, after all, the Information Age. The more you have of it, the better. Right?

The American Polymathic Institute was founded in late 2000 to promote polymathic research, education, careers and lifestyles. The Institute, itself, concentrates on the research and educational aspects. Polymathic Studies is not yet a recognized branch of science. We are working hard to change that. So the Institute focuses on Polymath with a capital P.

We have also created Polymathica, a social organization for lifelong learners with broad (polymathic) interests. It is intended to give polymaths a focus for their identity and a vehicle for connecting with like-minded individuals.

The Polymath Newsletter is a joint publication of the American Polymathic Institute and its social organization, Polymathica. It serves both organizations.

American Polymathic Institute

A research Polymath systematically searches for and develops theoretically significant interdisciplinary connections. We are currently expanding our group of research associates engaged in polymathic research. As a subscriber to The Polymath Newsletter, you will keep up to date on their areas of research. Research updates are written to be accessible to the knowledgeable layman, yet informative for the professional. They will also publish technical papers as their results warrant.

Polymathic research tends to shake up science. There have been several examples of what we call "accidental Polymaths." Probably the most famous example was when Dr. Luis and Dr. Walter Alvarez demonstrated that a cometary impact caused or contributed to the extinction of the dinosaurs. This can be very interesting stuff. To learn more, read the article, The Polymath: A Case for Polymathic Studies.

We maintain a series of discussion groups related to the research being done by our research associates. Professionals are welcome, but this is intended primarily for the interested amateurs. Wild flights of fancy are not only tolerated, they are welcome. If you read an article or research update that intrigues you, this is a place you can go to talk to other people who have read the article or are interested in the topic, or to ask a question of the researcher. As the number of our research associates increases, so will the number of discussion groups. Whether you decide to subscribe to The Polymath Newsletter or not, you may participate in these discussion groups. Of course, the discussion will make more sense if you are a subscriber.

The American Polymathic Institute has the long-range goal of establishing Polymathic Studies as an accepted and respected branch of science. This will involve convincing the scientific and academic communities and developing educational, funding and publication systems. As the Executive Director of the Institute, I will periodically update our subscribers on our efforts in this area.

The Polymath Newsletter also will maintain links to interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and polymathic research not associated with the Institute. If you are interested in problems, questions and research that cross disciplinary boundaries, The Polymath Newsletter is where to find them.


For a very small cost you can join Polymathica, our social organization for lifelong learners with broad ranging interests -- in other words, polymaths. This will give you an opportunity to connect with other polymathic people across the internet and in your area.

The Polymathica portion of the Newsletter will contain regular articles pertaining to polymathic careers and lifestyles. It will also serve as a membership bulletin for the members. So, members may submit articles for publication. We hope that, as the membership increases, some members will choose to write regular columns.

Through Polymathica, you will gain access to additional discussion groups. About what? Whatever the members want. Any member can start a discussion group. Send us the link and we will put it on the Polymathica Discussion Groups page. These discussion groups are defined by the kind of people who belong, polymathic people, not by the topic of conversation.

Polymathica will also have local chapters. Any member who wants to start one in their city may do so quickly and easily. We will show you how. Each local chapter will be indexed on the Polymathica home page. It will also have a calendar for both on-line and off-line events. Polymaths are fascinating people. Including them in your social life may be a welcome addition, indeed.

Polymathica is a volunteer, member-operated organization. The small membership dues will be used to defray the editorial and Internet costs and to promote membership in the organization. To learn more visit the Polymathica Home Page. Also, read the article, The Polymathic Lifestyle.

The Third Millennium Project

We at the American Polymathic Institute are using memic analysis and the logic of catastrophe theory to look at the transition from an Industrial Age Civilization to an Information Age Civilization. At present, this is perhaps the most exciting work we are doing. The world is about to undergo a rapid and profound restructuring.

We have instituted The Third Millennium Project to encourage collaboration between our researchers and entrepreneurial individuals. It is an Information Age reinterpretation of organizations such as Bell Labs. Our researchers develop ideas with commercial potential. Members of The Third Millennium Project develop that potential. The American Polymathic Institute retains a portion of the proceeds from the commercialization and uses it to finance research that will generate more ideas.

We have just begun publication of a companion newsletter, The Third Millennium. It focuses on new entrepreneurial and vocational opportunities that surface from this research. If you have more of a business or entrepreneurial orientation, this is potentially an extremely lucrative opportunity for you.

Ready to Subscribe?

We realize that the Internet is teaming with membership groups, newsletters and e-zines. If you are polymathic, you easily can become swamped with your memberships and subscriptions. However, if you are polymathic, The Polymath should be your central subscription. Polymathica should be your central membership. At least, we certainly think so. We have tried to keep membership costs as low as possible.

Read a few of the sample articles. Browse the links to the pages of Then join Polymathica and/or The Third Millennium Project.

We are looking forward to seeing you around.

Michael Ferguson
Executive Director, American Polymathic Institute


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