Tuesday, January 11, 2022

REQUIEM TO EXPERTISE

 There was once a level of respect for the expert. Not grovelling, just an understanding, we would not be in the place we are without people who have dedicated their lives trying to know and understand their subject matter, as much and as well as humanly possible. Medical doctors and related specialists, engineers, geologists, geographers, constructors.... the list goes on.

Starting with the unfortunate truth about climate change and working our way through COVID, expertise has been getting in the way of some people in power. The irony is that they have turned to experts in propaganda and behavioral science to power their attacks on the expertise getting in their way,...and it's working.

The constant drum beat of faux doubt and belittling has diminished moral and actual authority of people who legitimately know what they are doing and talking about. Most whose only motive is to use their expertise to help people. It is not unfair to provide these people with reasonable compensation for their effort and sacrifices to get where they are, but for many, money is not the primary driver. 

Carry this issue through to your life, to where it would effect your livelihood. Many reading this have careers. Some of those careers are involved and professional, others a little more basic, but nonetheless important to some aspect of the economy or basic life. Is your experience and expertise as disposable as that of the health professional, or the environmental professional? How easy would it be for someone to dismiss the value of your efforts?

Expertise has:-advanced medicine-advanced aviation-advanced computing-made food safer, and tastier.  Expertise is why we are have washing machines and video games and amazing experiences at movies and theme parks, and why your kids can video message with your parents. We give up so much of what we have come to expect out of our society when we turn our backs on expertise.

Sorry, but you have to take a blunt look at why the influencers who are steering you away from trusting the knowledge that has advanced us this far, are doing so. We also need to be even more blunt on why it appeals to us to turn so much power over to people whose vision of the future is so much rooted in the least inclusive corners of our past.

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