Tech experts, celebrities... do not have more informed opinions about politics (for example) than the average person on the street, yet they’ll jump head first into divisive political arguments that then alienate half their audience who may have had something to learn from a field they actually know about.
I know I trust people who demonstrate the maturity to not do this more than people who let their emotions/desire for attention drive what they say publicly.
Ben Carson during last election demonstrated this clearly, top in his medical field, but was not well informed on matters of politics and economics. Even though he is the head of HUD now, at least he seemed humble enough to know his limits at the time.
When I first heard the phrase "Post-truth politics" I thought that's ridiculous. But lately I'm thinking we're entering a post truth era in multiple areas of life.
Take for example finance. It's all just numbers in computers. Or notions of privacy in the digital world. Or identity in general.
Lies, artificial constructs and smoke & mirrors everywhere. And more importantly I'm no longer confident I can cut through the jungle even as - what I like to believe - a rather rational person.
How does that happen? I can see a shoddily educated person mixing it up with a neighboring country, but to not even realize that it's in Eastern Europe?
I can't remember seeing a poll presented in this format, but it'd be interesting to see results for any political question presented as a graph against a score in a relevant knowledge test.
The punchline is that Russians and Germans still don't believe that. :)
1. Ordinary people reject expertise in ways that are incredibly stupid and harmful
2. Experts have expanded the scope of what they feel entitled to have opinions about well beyond their training and experience
> “Stitch this cut in my leg, but don’t lecture me about my diet.”
> “Help me beat this tax problem, but don’t remind me that I should have a will.”
Whether to change your diet, whether to have a will or not - these are value judgments. They tell me about how I ought to live, that I should prefer one thing over another. Tax attorneys and doctors have no special training in making value judgments. This isn't very different from a financial planner telling you to retire in Arizona because there are a lot of golf courses, and he personally likes to play golf.
This was at a FAANG mind you.
Something is definitely wrong, and it's only going to get worse.
Though perhaps cognitive dissonance has always been a major problem, and it is now so much more evident in the information age.
Woe is me, the expert, because all the non-experts don't trust me. Rather than address why that is, the elitest expert condemns the non-elitest commoners and worries that it portends the end of, or at least a "giant problem" for, (elitest-controlled) society.
Trust us you must, he argues, because you know too little to make decisions for yourselves.
Has he ever stopped to consider how juries operate without "experts"? Or basic infantry platoons, or thousands of small businesses, or small towns - none of which operate on the basis of experts/expertise?
In general, Kennan gave a picture, not only with regard to Yugoslavia, of congressional policies based on home-state politics.
Those nuanced and complex findings must then be disseminated to a population with no attention span; meanwhile the competition is motivated to publish a dumbed-down (wrong) version faster than you in order to capitalize on sensationalism and pull in ad revenue.
America never had faith in expertise, that's just your younger self being blessedly unaware of people around you.
Or put yourself in today’s uneducated’s shoes. If today’s values honour dishonesty and profit making over truth(just look at social media and google results), why would I, as the weak uninformed, trust in the strong, elite expert? It is a distrust in today’s society values, that is the real problem.
Interested in the reality of climate change? You could end up at polar opposite conclusions with plenty of support for your position depending where you search (and what your own personality steers towards believing).