Have you noticed how, these days, everyone is an expert about everything? Its social media that has done this I think.
Stories are floated around woefully lacking in any truth, substance or reality and people read them as if they were gospel. Many feel compelled to benefit us with their encyclopedic knowledge on the subject matter and quite honestly the result makes me laugh at its stupidity … except it doesn’t because people simply can’t tell fact from fiction, truth from lies and they do not know who or what to believe. It is sad and it is dangerous.
There is an old movie starring Peter Cook. He works his way up from nowhere to be PM of Britain and, using a combination of theatre and by allowing everyone to become an expert and have their say on everything, he manages to essentially assume total power – he becomes a dictator. Everyone is more than happy to let him take this position because everyone gets sick and tired of voting on every issue and having so much say. The movie is called ‘The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer‘ and I recommend it to everyone.
A few nights ago, I felt I simply had to get involved in an online debate on Facebook. Within minutes, I had a lady telling me in a single short paragraph the ‘truth’ about renewables being all we need, oil is finished and we shouldn’t damage the Earth fracing. Now actually, I am something of an expert on these topics and I can tell you that I was shocked. I was shocked at her certainty that she was right and knew best. I was shocked at the lady’s sheer ignorance of any actual facts but more importantly at the level of spite and vengeance with which her opinion of fact was delivered. Talk about the inmates attempting to run the asylum? To answer her three lines of nonsense would have perhaps taken me 30-pages of A4 explanation. I attempted to explain one or two items and was promptly cut down as being ‘arrogant’. Arrogant? So those of us that actually have a University education and 25-years experience in an area, i.e. actually know what they are talking about and have expertise… it is US that are arrogant? Not the people who armed with half the facts and what they read on some environmentalists blog? I see. Well.
This is dangerous.
Unfortunately, most issues are significantly more complex than a newspaper or a blog would have you believe. There often is no absolutely right or wrong answer and anyone who believes that things are simple or black and white is quite honestly a prize fool. Unfortunately, even if an opinion comes from a so-called expert, it may not be correct and it may be a political view as opposed to a philosophical view. You see, truth is colored by your ego and personality. Your truth, my truth isn’t necessarily someone else’s. The problem is that these days everyone is an expert – or thinks themselves to be. I understand in my example above, the lady may not have felt I had any expertise in the subject matter and was simply grinding my political axe….. on the other hand, its quite easy to research these things and she was told by another poster on the thread that I had some expertise in the topic…….but why bother – she already knew what she needed to know.
Where does it stop when everyone is an expert? Where are the real experts today? Doesn’t everyone have an axe to grind? What do you think?