What exactly is an expert?
Legiron got me thinking on this topic this morning so I decided to look up the definition of the word.
The definition as given by Google is “a person who is very knowledgeable about, or skilful in a particular area.“
Not very helpful really?
The problem with that definition in the modern world is that most experts are self-defined. “I am an expert” they cry without any sort of yardstick or qualification. For example I have a good knowledge of a great many subjects and in some I would possibly class myself as having an expertise, but only informally. I would never stand up in court and proclaim myself to be an expert witness for example. I could claim I was an expert in scribbling shite on the Interweb, and possibly some would agree, but what exactly does that mean? Could I teach the subject? No. Could I pen a scientific treatise on the subject? No. Are there people out there who would consider me not to be an expert? Millions.
In the past experts were generally accepted if they had say a degree. To have a degree in physics would imply an expertise in physics. You would listen to an astronomer if he talked about the stars. Nowadays though we can have an aerospace engineer declare himself an expert on the subject of smoking which makes no sense whatsoever. We can have so called experts declaring nonsense that can be countered by simple logic or experience.
Over the last decade or two, so called experts have been crawling out of the woodwork and from under rocks to claim that not only are they an expert in a topic but that I must believe every single utterance of theirs purely and simply because they are a self proclaimed “expert” but that I should be forced to believe their every utterance.
One thing that seems to be in common with all the modern experts is that they have an axe to grind. Isn’t it remarkable how many of them make a handsome living solely out of their so called expertise? How many of the experts in Climate Change make a living out of the concept of Climate Change? How many Anti-Smoker rely purely on the notion of cigarettes being harmful?
One glaring indication of the fallacy of expertise is in the electrofag area. In the UK, the experts claim electrofags are 95% safer than cigarettes, while over the Atlantic the experts proclaim that electrofags are as dangerous [or even more dangerous] than cigarettes. Both groups claim to be experts yet it is impossible for them both to be right?
Personally, I gave up listening to them years ago. I no longer believe a single utterance as they have destroyed any respect I may have once had. I can ony laugh at the likes of Jamie Oliver [a glorified burger-flipper] who proclaims himself an expert on diet, or Luke Clancy who makes a very handsome living out of promoting Anti-Smoker propaganda. They are in it for the prestige and the money and as such every utterance is tainted.
I’m not alone. There is a growing tide of scorn and disbelief across the planet.
The sooner it overwhelm the “experts” and drowns them, the better.