Gerald Hecht in beBee in English, Social Media Adjunct Associate Professor Of Psychopharmacology • The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, New Orleans Campus Apr 16, 2017 · 2 min read · 2.9K

On: Some Stuff

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”??).

The Snippet:

“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.

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© 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.


Neil Smith Oct 9, 2018 · #31

Just spotted this. Lots of people are inconsistent about this. They insist they know what should be done about re-engineering nuclear reactors but take their car to an actual mechanic to get it fixed. They pontificate about vaccines and healthcare but want to be seen by a real doctor when they get sick or injured. Dr Google just doesn't cut it when the blood is running out onto the floor. Hope you're keeping well.

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Claire L Cardwell Apr 29, 2018 · #30

Don't know how I missed this one the first time around @Gerald Hecht! Well you made me smile again, and think too. How are things going on your side? Just heard about TIT (That Idiot Trump) allowing coal mines to dump their shit in the water!

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Gerald Hecht Apr 20, 2017 · #29

#28 Thanks @Milos Djukic Did you hear about the protest March for Support of Science in Boston yesterday? The proposed budget cuts to all branches of research in the US are being decimated (NIH, NSF, CDC, etc.)...its kind of sickening...what is going on in this ...well it used to be that the ellipsis would be followed by: "This Great Nation".

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Milos Djukic Apr 20, 2017 · #28

#16 Thanks and Cheers Prof. @Gerald Hecht!

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Gerald Hecht Apr 19, 2017 · #27

#25 @Melissa Hefferman Hey Melissa...you ALWAYS make me think! I wish you'd do it more often...I'll let you know if I fall and don't have the number for niner-one-one...or if I don't have one of those "thingies" that are marketed to folks like me who tend to not have one of "those thingies" when they fall!

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Gerald Hecht Apr 19, 2017 · #26

#24 @Devesh 🐝 Bhatt Its a REAL lot to think about ...isn't it (especially the more ya think about it)...its hard enough to think about what to make to for dinner!

I remember having points taken off of an English Composition Exam for ending a sentence with a "split infinitive"; all I could think was: "That is something I won't put up with."

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Melissa Hefferman Apr 19, 2017 · #25

#22 well, you certainly always make me think, thinking is good. I'm such an idealist, even if The World's not, whatdoyado. I'm learning to shut up more, that's hard for me, I like to converse, I suppose my issue is finding more people who do too, without the spitting. I am now reminding myself not to spit. ;-)

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Devesh 🐝 Bhatt Apr 19, 2017 · #24

#21 legally and logically it is an undeniable statement. It is apt for the Constitution and a basis for seeking justice.

I think i asked a basic question question. Bit more than anyone can chew including me :)

Its really really hard to find the right answer for this, even Gandhi in his Experiments with Truth had to really explore through life changing experiences.

The Framers of the Constitution had life changing experiences.

Maybe such people develop a better perspective.

I think i was just curious and careless. Lot to think about.

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