Writing about silos moved my thinking along. Not long after putting the posting together, as I continued to ponder the ideas, I realized that understanding the individual components of a system is an invaluable aspect of comprehending the full workings.
Clearly there is a role for specialization.
What I have further recognized, and I'm far from the first, is that the university system reinforces specialization at the cost of integration. Data-driven research produced according to the "scientific method" receives grants, is manageable, can be scheduled and predicted, and of course is publishable.
Integrative thinking? Not so much.
There is an entire body of literature on this critique of knowledge. Sooner rather than later I'll dip into it and post some links.