Marolt: A world full of experts is one without any
September 19, 2017
It's kind of ironic that nowadays being politically incorrect has become the politically correct thing to do. Say whatever you want, because almost the more ridiculous it sounds the more accepted it will be. Saying something preposterous and standing behind it against common sense, data and factual counterpoint has become a source of pride.
Political incorrectness runs a long gamut these days. It gallops along a line beginning with ideas that are truly groundbreaking and have never been expressed before, all the way to utter stupidity that flies in the face of reason and logic and the observation before your very eyes. In this all-inclusive scenario of thought, the theory of relativity finds itself sharing shelf space with the simple, shortsighted observation that the world is flat.
It is currently in vogue to deny that climate change exists. Never mind that "climate change" can mean any number of things, measured in a million different ways with countless combinations of factors that might explain cause and effect with the end results being a wide spectrum of speculation. Pay no attention to the fact that our globe has a long history of constantly changing climate conditions due to myriad factors and catastrophic results. Ask any dinosaur.
The analysis of all this would require in-depth study by many scientists devoting their lives and massive resources to analyzing complexities that likely will never be fully understood. Who has time for that? It is much easier to simply say there is no such thing as climate change when any counterpoint can be dismissed as nothing more than politically correct nonsense.
Every one of us is always right all the time in this age of ignorance. We have smartphones in our pockets to back us up. Not only can instant access to the internet dredge up stories and "evidence" to prove any cockamamie belief, our phones connect us to groups of people who believe exactly as we do. They support our beliefs. There is strength in numbers. Wisdom, knowledge and intelligence have become democracies and the validity of "facts" determined by popular vote.
We are embarking on the age of idiocy. All men are created equally intelligent. Years of formal education dedicated to the scientific method are no more valuable than the opinions of radio talk show hosts or newscasters pandering to audiences that might bring victory in the ratings wars. Radio personalities make way more money than scientists, what more proof do you need?
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Ideas are formed more strongly by the political parties we belong to than the schools we attend and the majors we pursue. Campaign managers have more influence on the development of ideas than do college professors. Forget the pursuit of degrees and publishing peer-reviewed papers, a subscription to cable television and the study of the news channels that agree with us are fine surrogates at a fraction of the investment of money and time.
Either there are no experts in this age of knowing it all all the time or everybody is an expert of equal standing. I think it is the former. Strike that, it is the latter. It's actually hard to tell which proposition is correct but it has to be one or the other, right? Let's have a debate and maybe take a poll to figure it out. Perhaps it can be decided by the signing of an executive order or the assigning of a seat on the Supreme Court. Man, I hope it's one of ours who gets chosen when a seat becomes available! There is a lot riding on this.
Is it a sad day or a happy one when scientists' ideas are dismissed because they are getting paid by someone to do their work? It seems to be smarter now to accept the findings of those who do their work for free with no funding behind them for collecting data or employment of equipment and other professionals in the field to help them analyze it than it is to rely on the pros. Reputable universities, the government, large companies — there is so much money behind all of these groups performing research that there is no way we can trust their conclusions. It is better to trust our own instincts based on sound bites and the messages behind good political cartoons.
It has been said that a true genius is the person who knows what they don't know. What an old fashioned idea that is. Of course we can't blame our ancestors for believing humility was a component of true intelligence. They didn't even have iPhones.
Roger Marolt knows it will be expensive for the experts to figure things out, but will cost twice as much if we help. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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