On: Some Stuff
A couple of days ago I was tagged by a fellow bee who had posted a synopsis/review of the latest book by Tom Nichols called “The Death of Expertise”.
Upon reading the piece (and later, the actual book); a single snippet stood out for me, as one that pretty much encompasses the exponentially increasing rate at which our species is deliberately “extinguishing itself” (“suispeciesicide”??).
“Evidence shows that browsing more information quickly and superficially actually increases confidence in opinions about that information as well as slightly related information. People who use the Internet to look up fossil fuels come away with more confidence in their expertise about petroleum and dinosaurs. If such simple things can give you outsized confidence and make you feel like an expert in minutes, why give credence to actual experts? Aren’t their claims of expertise now seen as purely elitist, an attitude and a pose, not an actual fact? Look how much I know about dinosaurs after searching about fossil fuels, after just a few minutes online?”
This single snippet by Tom Nichols is the heart of the “Some Stuff” that (as indicated by the title) this post is “On”.
Basically, to me, this all breaks down (literally and figuratively) into two main parts (three actually, but who's counting); all of which, well...interest me, and hopefully, you too!
- PART I: The “Declaration of Independence/Constitution of the United States PART”
The relevant idea here is actually is pretty much embodied in the second sentence of the American colonists intention to proclaim itself free from the British Empire...here it is verbatim, the second sentence of The Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
For the sake of brevity (and the fact that I am most certainly NOT AN EXPERT on this stuff) I'm gonna go ahead and operationally define the constitution, the bill of rights, and subsequent amendments as a continual “fine tuning” of this idea --efforts to keep its “spirit” intact --despite changing zeitgeist dynamics.
It's actually pretty simple huh? That when it comes to protection under the law, i.e., everybody (without exception) is entitled to exactly the same rights regarding things like freedom of assembly, speech, religious practices/absence of same, privacy, etc.
This IS TRUE. IT IS JUST/FAIR. It is the essence of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
It is not even trying to say that everybody is equal; got it? Cool.
- PART II: The “Some-of-us-are-better-brain surgeons-than-others-regardless-of-SEO-preferred type-of-marketing/branding techniques PART
This is the part that comes into exquisite focus when you/loved one NEED to CHOOSE the BEST Brain Surgeon towards the goal of not dying in the operating room/achieving the best possible post surgical outcome.
- PART III: The “What Have We Learned?” PART
It may be best to think of these things VERY THOROUGHLY --should you/a loved one be in need of brain surgery.
It's probably in your best interests to keep PART I and PART II AS SEPARATE AS POSSIBLE
It's probably in your best interests to REVIEW PART II really well BEFORE SIGNING anything at the hospital.
© Gerald Hecht, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gerald Hecht with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.