Expert

Where does that idea come from? How did you arrive at that conclusion? Is there a citation or a paper that will substantiate your thesis? Are experts always right? Should laymen be suspected? Is opinion different from fact? If something is a fact today, will it be true in 2 years, 5, 50? If the fact is true, is it the only truth?

I had a conversation (many actually) this week about what I derogatorily referred to as the cult of the expert. I suggested that " chasing the one true path only leads us to one true conclusion." We go down a narrowing tunnel once experts take the lead.

There are areas in my life that I trust expertise and tradition like engineering and transportation. I would be more comfortable crossing a bridge built by a team of engineers and bridge builders than a group of guys along the river. That doesn't mean that a river crossing couldn't be constructed by non-experts and that it could be effective and innovative. It is just in this situation that I trust the known outcome more than the unknown.

That trust isn't universal, for me. I have a doctor who I like and respect, but I am suspicious of 'big medicine' and the machinery of disease management. I believe that the big charities purporting to be trying to cure their illness may have ulterior agendas (tacit, implied and unknown).

When I hear advice to elect seasoned politicians because of their expertise, I wonder if that might be the very reason not to vote for them. They are experts in a flawed system where the Kool-Aid is really strong.

I am wondering about how often I hear something from a pundit that is understandable, valuable, and worth thinking about. I am pondering whether my discernment is compromised on every occasion that I naively just accept the opinion, advise and 'truth.'

I am reflecting and considering the possibility that we need to listen to experts, consider laymen, embrace wild ideas and make our own disruptive choices.