Danger in the Supremacy of Expertise

If you were to assume that many experts use their information to your detriment, you’d be right. Experts depend on the fact that you don’t have the information they do. Or that you are so befuddled by the complexity of their operation that you wouldn’t know what to do with the information if you had it. Or that you are so in awe of their expertise that you wouldn’t dare challenge them. … Armed with information, experts can exert a gigantic, if unspoken, leverage: fear. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

In today’s world, there is an abundance of information. To manage this information, we have divided ourselves and everyone has a chosen field of expertise to practice. Well-rounded people with wisdom from various fields seem to be fewer and far between. In this arrangement, every individual knows about his or her own speciality and, for most other issues in life, they are largely dependent on the respective experts of various other fields. But as experts, people do not necessarily come with the mindset that their duty is to help others by applying that expertise and putting it to its best use. For many individuals, the incentive to pursue any expertise is a career motivation for their own well-being. In such a case, they may not have the end users’ best interest at heart when relating their expertise to others. The system of economic incentive rarely lines up with an aim to do good conveniently.

I am not saying that everyone works like this but, just in case they do, we need to take in new facts and figures with a grain of salt. For example, my financial advisor at the bank recommended to me again and again (several times with every visit) to separate out my investments into more transactions to lower my risk. I had no reason to contradict or believe the statement right at that moment but I had to keep in mind that his recommendation may or may not have a financial benefit to me but it certainly had a financial benefit for him. So, I could not rely on the fact he presented without a second thought or source of opinion.

Personally, I have tried to build my knowledge level and know more of the world. Indeed, it is one of my goals for this blog and I also try to engage in conversations with people of fascinating interests and awareness. To grow and become better, we need to keep expanding our minds. As more enlightened and well-rounded people, we can use gained knowledge and experience towards better decisions in our own lives and not let others influence us easily. I will end with a warning to not let other people, and especially media, tell you what you need and want. Build, value, and use your own wisdom.

Image: http://www.thesaleslion.com/social-media-expert/


7 thoughts on “Danger in the Supremacy of Expertise

  1. This is a lovely and refreshing point of view! The truly wise claim to have limited knowledge and yet our world is full of experts. It’s laughable really! I am of the mindset to learn and try as much as possible in this life and not as a reckless halfhearted desire but as platform to enrich life for myself and others. Even if that means learning how to solder pipes to repair my favorite luxury, indoor plumbing! 😜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is the exactly the perspective I am trying to live by and share here. And meeting others who realize the importance of this is very motivating and keeps me strong for this mindset. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I woke heartedly agree with this post, my favorite tactic when dealing with experts is to take a small amount of knowledge on the subject matter with me and am the ‘stupid’ yet informed questions… It really helps remove that leverage they have 🙂 and works out better for you too! Love your blog by the way!


  3. newmoonplan

    Interesting, isn’t it? We grow up in a mindset of ‘if I want to have anything to say in a field, I need to be able to show a degree first’ but luckily things are slowly changing. Everyone has something to say! The funniest and upsetting occurences of expertise authority you’ll probably find in ufo sightings etc – you can have a 1000 people saying and describing the same thing but it will only take 1 policeman or another authority to say what they saw was a mass hallucination or something and the case will be closed by the media giving more credit to that 1 person’s comment.

    Liked by 1 person

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