I once worked with someone who referenced their alleged array of technical skills frequently, and when the topic of schooling arose, I asked, “What did you study in college?”, to which she replied, “Engineering.” In response to this generality, I inquired a bit further: “What kind of engineering?” She felt threatened. “Why does it matter? Engineering is engineering. I’m an engineer.” I paused to think, then spoke again too soon. “So then why are you just a painter now?”
For those who have studied engineering, I would assume that the scientific principles learned would lead to an obvious conclusion: specifics matter, and while certain fields of engineering may overlap, an engineer is never just an engineer. There is no ambiguity here. There is a clear difference between a sound engineer and a geopolitical engineer, just like there’s a difference between the sub-genres of IDM and dubstep. Even though my colleague may not have a problem with generalizing herself, it would be ignorant for me and other artists to assume that we’re all just bathing in one big pool of electronica.