I’m interested in the words “instant omniscience,” which Calvin Trillin, a former editor for Time magazine, used in a New Yorker magazine article (March 20) entitled "Time Edit":
“There were some enjoyable aspects of being a floater. When I settled into the desk chair of, say, the Education writer, someone who presumably pored through the education quarterlies and lunched with school reformers and kept abreast of the latest disagreements about how best to teach reading, I could feel myself imbued with the authoritative tone favored in those days at Time; I called that ‘instant omniscience'."
The expression “instant omniscience” made me think of the Japanese word, “学者バカ- -Gakushabaka," the literal translation of which is “scholar’s fool” or “expert’s ignorance.” A "scholar's fool" is ignorant of everything but his area of specialty (e.g., quantum physics, aeronautics, neurology--you name it).
The expression "instant omniscience" also triggered this question: What is the English equivalent of “学者バカ- scholar’s fool”? In other words, how do you characterize in two or three words the person who is an expert in one area but seemingly ignorant in all other areas?