An old engineering manager (mechanical not software) I used to work with always used to say "a consultant is someone 4 pages ahead in the manual".
If you, the day before a major surgery, saw your doctor reading through a medical textbook on the topic of your surgery, would you be more or less confident in their abilities?
Some said they wouldn’t trust the doctor, as they held some notion that the doctor should just know these by virtue of their being a doctor. That if they don’t it is a sign of their ill preparedness and lack of ability.
Others had no such issues, that it is legitimate and good that a doctor would be adequately preparing for the surgery by studying.
If you think of things more towards the former, and you end up as a “last minute, read a book” type, as I tend to be, you might wind up feeling like an imposter.
Granted, that requires that it be a reasonably common surgery and that you trust that the doctor gives sufficient consideration to non-surgical treatments instead of pushing patients towards surgery.
Perhaps a decent analogy would be a dentist capping a cavity or doing a root canal. They’ll do tens of thousands of these in a career. You don’t really want to be the first or even the hundredth patient s/he does this work on. And by the time they’ve done a thousand, looking it up would be silly.
I guess they'd see consulting a textbook in a better light than most.
Regardless, it is never a bad thing to be overly cautious and redundant. I once heard it said that if necessity is the mother of invention, redundancy is the mother of victory. That is how I view the question.
I feel similarly. If I’m getting a common heart surgery, I’d like to go with someone who does it every day. Reading a textbook is a negative signal that they do this frequently. (A checklist, on the other hand, is not and I’d be happy to see it used).
If I’m getting some rare surgery or there’s a complication, then seeing the doctor read a textbook makes sense. They can be very experienced overall, but not in this exact case.
I like to look at good knowledgable books like having a personal mentor who sits down and patiently monologues about their experience. In reality its hugely useful.
Some companies understand this and attempt to keep their engineers ahead of the curve -- so you're asked to do something with the understanding that you'll have to figure out how to do it first. Some companies don't do that, and it's up to the engineers to make that happen on their own -- so you often end up reading the book first, then telling whoever is in charge that you can do it. Either way, your regularly end up having to get a few pages ahead in the manual :-).
Then I got to the part where the author talks about the use of the “six ways to influence people”, and I realized those tricks are still used very effectively today. Some success “formulas” come to mind.
It’d be great if the same author could write an article about another fascinating character that I got to learn about from someone that met him in person right before the Japanese poisoned him: Ignaz Trebitsch-Lincoln
My interest isn't so much becoming a great imposter; it is rather how to defend myself and my loved ones against cons. Ie. how to recognize them.
A fiction series about con men which I appreciated is Sneaky Pete  and the Spanish series La Casa De Papel (Money Heist) 
You could argue some clever titles are not easy to translate, but God knows there was no need to translate "Die Hard" to "Jungla de cristal" (glass jungle). That practice was more prevalent 10-20 years ago, though.
The thing is that now, for one, it happened the other way around with ehm... "Money Heist" what a boring and uninspired name! :-)
I keep a log (plain text file, using Vim to edit it) of all movies and series I've seen in my life. The way my log works:
Dutch -> remains Dutch as it is my primary native language.
English -> remains English as I understand it well enough.
All other -> Orig. title (English translation, regardless of how well I speak or understand the language).
If I were to start over I'd do it properly with a CSV database or Excel but yeah I didn't and merging 1500 lines I CBA.
I don't know how well that book has stood the test of time. But I really liked it back when it came out.
And there was an episode of M.A.S.H clearly inspired by Demara. Someone impersonating a surgeon, getting caught then changing identities to a chaplain.
How many times in my life have I done such moral licensing?
I've changed fields a few more times, over the years. As my interests and circumstances changed. Most recently, I worked as a ghostwriter and consultant. I used to joke that, given a couple months, I could pose as just about any sort of expert. And given the Internet, that's far easier than it was a couple decades ago.
Anyway, it strikes me that learning how to learn is the main thing that you get out of doing a PhD. Plus the credentials and professional network, of course.
Intriguing, and I wonder whether it's true. Probably in social settings for a while, but hopefully not eg through a job interview.
(related xkcd, "Impostor": https://www.xkcd.com/451/ )
I just read the article on Deconstruction and... either I am a complete philosophy/humanitary idiot or that entire area is full of con artists who just spit smart words out their mouth to bring their bread at the table. Regardless of that, I never respected anyone who doesn’t use formal definitions in serious analysis. I hated (disrespected) philosophy at school and I do it now even more, seeing how they chew the same crap for decades instead of just doing something better. Even politics is better than that.
“in a classical philosophical opposition we are not dealing with the peaceful coexistence of a vis-a-vis, but rather with a violent hierarchy. One of the two terms governs the other (axiologically, logically, etc.), or has the upper hand": signified over signifier; intelligible over sensible; speech over writing; activity over passivity, etc. The first task of deconstruction would be to find and overturn these oppositions inside a text or a corpus of texts; but the final objective of deconstruction is not to surpass all oppositions, because it is assumed they are structurally necessary to produce sense. The oppositions simply cannot be suspended once and for all. The hierarchy of dual oppositions always reestablishes itself. Deconstruction only points to the necessity of an unending analysis that can make explicit the decisions and arbitrary violence intrinsic to all texts”
“To be effective, deconstruction needs to create new terms, not to synthesize the concepts in opposition, but to mark their difference and eternal interplay. This explains why Derrida always proposes new terms in his deconstruction, not as a free play but as a pure necessity of analysis, to better mark the intervals. Derrida called undecidables—that is, unities of simulacrum—"false" verbal properties (nominal or semantic) that can no longer be included within philosophical (binary) opposition, but which, however, inhabit philosophical oppositions—resisting and organizing it—without ever constituting a third term, without ever leaving room for a solution in the form of Hegelian dialectics (e.g., différance, archi-writing, pharmakon, supplement, hymen, gram, spacing)”
I mean: words instead blanket a low-pitch synthesis and require most priorities in it to shift from a detailed to an increasingly informal scene which wraps by itself to form an atopological plane of understanding of the undecidables. Are you think so?
Read Popper for a hint at how misguided this is outside hard science.
I also read what another commenter linked below, but cannot say what all that really means. To formulate clearly, I understand what the text says piece by piece, but fail to get the “correct” sense it was supposed to deliver. Maybe I need some decomposition (sorry if it turns to be a silly joke, couldn’t resist ;)
Short answer: it’s impossible.
Medium answer: the attempt itself is counterproductive and misunderstands how we use language.
Long answer: aside from being impossible, the impulse is related to Platonic essentialism, which is the philosophical spawning ground of authoritarianism and has stifled honest inquiry for circa 2k years.
Having said that, postmodernism is (in my view) totally misguided. The obfuscated language is intentional, as among its epistemological assumptions is that reason is not only limited, but has only limited access to reality (well, or creates reality), and at any rate is insufficient.
* The Sokal Hoax 
* Intellectual Impostors by Bricmont and Sokal (Fashionable Nonsense in the US)  for an expansion on the Sokal Hoax, and many examples on pretentious and preposterous abuse of scientific terminology by postmodern philosophers
* Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism From Rousseau to Foucault by Hicks  on the history of postmodernism, arising from counter-enlightenment philosophy all the way from Rousseau via the insufferable German idealists, including Hegel with his dialectical reasoning, which supported both fascism and Marxism.
Postmodernists often take specific reasonable criticism of or problems with science or realism, and then blow them up and generalise them unjustifiably. It is worth taking some of the criticism to heart, but the postmodernists aren't even the ones formulating those problems in the most cogent way. So, my advice would be to waste some, but not too much time on postmodernism.
Alan D. Sokal (1996) Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity. Social Text #46/47, pp. 217-252 (spring/summer 1996).
And then SciGen, of course.
I think it just takes being steeped in the jargon of the field to read that. But, it is a pretty ok explanation. If you think this is somehow bad, I would argue you should try to read any of the wikipedia pages on homotopy type theory without background knowledge and tell me if those read like gibberish to you as well.
The same you may find of course for “intelligible over sensible” etc, but then there are 53 schools, 734 works and billions of words to read, before you get that all of them just tossing meanings to claim their right. If something cannot be drawn as a diagram (whatever complex), it is not worth studying, because you cannot spend 50 years to understand something like “well, not sure what that means”. It almost feels like philosophers simply are bad at math/logic and have to use vague words and broad examples to prove their theorems or build axioms. After few iterations of “looking up” everyone is lost in trees forever, since there is no common sense of a forest, whose meaning could be fixed independently of given language or jargon differences. Thought turns into master and thinkers turn into its slaves? Who can prove that they understand this complexity and not simply trained their bio-NNs to claim it to themselves with no inner resistance? Can they reveal an impostor from that xkcd quickly? He-he.
Boring long-running sentences of form “bla bla ... (bla, bla, bla, bla) bla bla bla, bla bla (...) ...” only make it worse. I never seen it in good tech/math docs, but for subj it was a big red flag “never touch it”.
I think there are many other pretenders like him everywhere, less prominent, but still more or less successful and well hidden. As long as you are not using your acting talents for crime, this might work.
You don't need a trial to decide that the guy who claims this and that is the same guy from an older article being arrested for faking this and that. The suspicion alone is enough to kill the con.
If you see your kid's pediatrician's picture in a police station on the other side of the country, as a con-artist on the run, you will not care that their Instachat account says "world's greatest doctor". And you probably won't even dig too deep before dropping their service.
Just a name, accent and visual cues are enough if you are white with English as first language. People might ask for paperwork as a formality but the job is going to be yours if recruitment is difficult and there aren't any other applicants. The more specialist the work then the more likely this is to be. In tech this is particularly apparent.