The Phenomenon of Instant Experts

I’ll kick this off with a hypothesis.

Many people imagine that their depth of knowledge is more profound than it is.

What do think? Is this a sound hypothesis?

It seems to me that the phenomenon of instant experts is becoming ever more prevalent and this medium, the internet, has facilitated the pandemic of assumed expertise. Moreover, few check the provenance of their so-called knowledge. If THEY say it then it must be true. However, THEY say a whole bunch of things. We have a global game of Chinese whispers, which gives rise to some strange ideas.

I have been very fortunate in that many people over the years have felt that I needed the benefit of their wisdom. They never checked what I might know, being eager perhaps to soapbox or evangelise. By and large I have not argued the toss nor made an attempt to make them look foolish. I can usually tell if people are disinterested in listening quite quickly and because I am introverted, keeping quiet comes naturally.

Maybe the above hypothesis fits me?

Perhaps I am an arrogant being?

Having been a science academic it is easy to spot those who relied on rote learning or parrot wisdom, when they first tip up. Many want to know the answers and are not at all interested in understanding, they simply want a good degree. They want to know how to pass exams. So, there is a bit of a challenge, how to sneak some learning in under the exam orientation and grade fascination.

When I asked someone who new me in my previous metaphorical incarnation how good his Maths was, he was hesitant to respond because he knew the types of minds I was accustomed to working with. Other people may not suspect what I might have under the hood so to speak.

People place a lot of stock in being clever, brainy and top of the class. Parrot wisdom, “general knowledge” is not very deep.  THEY are not the font of all knowledge. Wanting to be seen as clever is a strange thing.

Is clever the same as wise?

Are “facts” the same as knowledge?

What is the difference between knowledge and wisdom?

Do you agree that we have a pandemic of assumed expertise?