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Yes, I am an Expert.

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Brian Wolfe

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Yes, yes I am an Expert!

 

Or, Experts and other random things I rant about.

 

For years I have ranted and railed against the proliferation of so-called “experts”, especially on the internet; these people who seem to hold onto the idea that if they write something then that which they have written suddenly holds validation as the truth.  I am reminded of the old movies where the Pharaoh announces to the scribes and others in attendance, “As it is written so shall it be”. Well, it may indeed “be” such as a law but that is not necessarily true about every “so shall it be”.  Writing that all pyramids from this day forward shall be built with the point down will not make it so.  Besides if that were possible think of the impact it would have today on Ponzi schemes. 

 

A few weeks ago we had house guests for a week in the form of my wife’s brother and his wife.  My brother-in-law is not the stereotypical brother-in-law featured in comedic performances but rather a highly educated man and to call him an extremely successful business man would be a great understatement. He related that he was once told that the definition of an expert was someone who has read one chapter ahead of you in the instruction manual.  He is an engineer so “instruction manual” suits him; my point of reference would have been “history book”. But, you say potato and I say, “ Solanum tuberosum”.  Put the cell phone down, no need to verify that botanical name, I already looked it up.  Yes, this time I cheated. 

 

This whole “what is an expert” thing got me to thinking.  My brother-in-law is correct, an expert is not necessarily someone who knows everything about a subject, but simply is required to know more than you.  Did we really think that our math teacher in High School could calculate the mass of Epsilon bootis (it’s a binary star system)? Personally, the teacher who comes to mind had a bad habit of counting the number of weeks with his thumb on the fingers of the same hand to determine when the school year would end and “this insanity would stop”.  It was just a habit, one I have been guilty of from time to time, and I am sure it was an un-necessary exercise...or was it?  By the way, go ahead and fact check Epsilon bootis on Google I was just “winging” that one; though I think it is correct. Besides it was an astrological joke as the teacher I am thinking of would have had to use the fingers on both hands (binary system, get it; yah, you got it).

 

Speaking, or more accurately writing, about fact checking though the use of Google on the cell phone, there was a time when students would attend a play bringing with them a copy of the piece and check to see if the actors knew their lines perfectly.  A number of years ago my wife and I were attending a Shakespearian play in Stratford, Ontario.  The play was the Tempest and stared William Hutt as Prospero in what was to be his final appearance on stage.  The front row was filled with High School students all armed with their copies of the Tempest ready to “fact check” the actors’ ability to deliver their lines to the text book’s exacting standards.  Ah, the school system, what better way to enrich these pudding headed accidents of failed birth control than to have them follow the performance word by word in a text book.  I suppose it was appropriate as in their future employment they would then be equipped to pose the question, “To flip the burger or not to flip the burger; that is the question”. I will pose this question regarding the education system.  When a student excels we credit their teachers, however, when a student performs poorly in school where should we lay the blame?  Of course, with a malfunctioning condom!

 

Back to the play, as the play is the thing. Mr. Hutt was the first actor to insist that he perform using the English language commonly spoken by Canadians.

It was most amusing to see the students flipping pages back and forth looking for the lines spoken by Mr. Hutt.  Don’t worry little ones that beeping in the back of your head, indicating that the fries are done, is simply your future calling you.

 

Before you comment on my gibes at the burger joints I was there both on the grill and the front row at Stratford trying to follow along with the play Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Man, what was Bill Shakespeare on when he wrote that play; he must have been smoking some pretty righteous weed.

 

To close this series of rants I will reaffirm that I am indeed an expert, as long as you don’t read ahead of me in the manual. Expertise is such a fleeting and very subjective state.

 

Regards

Brian

 

 

 

By the way, did you catch my intentional error? I used “astrological” in

place of “astronomical”. One is the study of the planets and stars; the other is right up there with the study of sugar plum fairies and unicorns pooping marshmallows.

 

In keeping with today’s political correctness and a check of the forum’s rules I realized that astronomy may in fact be held by some to the degree of a religion.  With that in mind I apologize if anyone was offended by my comments. Also I am led to believe that if you consider yourself a “sugar plum fairy” that it is an acceptable life style choice and again I apologize for any offence I may have unintentionally given. It’s an age thing and I must admit to having not kept up with today’s trends.  I would ask that anyone, sugar plum fairy or otherwise, please carry an empty marshmallow bag and clean up after your unicorn, their droppings tend to gum up my lawnmower.

 

As to unicorns, I have nothing against them in the wild or domesticated, just clean up after your tame ones.  See photos below for clarification.

 

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Hi,

Another great piece.  I like reading your musings and anecdotes.  When you mentioned Mr. Hutt's name I kept thinking, (humorously) of another well-known but fictional character:   Jabba.  :P

I have always appreciated how that term can be applied to a certain person in a related field.  A credential that anyone can throw around and very few might even challenge your "expert-authority".    Professions like Medicine and law are very interesting in how this works.  There are Legal experts and judicial review experts all reviewing and able to critique a judgement or interpretation.  For Medicine: all physicians are practicing medicine.  Yet after a while you can become a leading expert in your respective field, rising to national and international acclaim.   

There are hucksters who will try to sell you snake venom and tell you it's the cure.. How they can help you lose weight, become overnight millionaires, self-help gurus and other people who prey on the weak and feeble minded people. (There are so many out there)  It baffles me how people can still not see the scam.   But, if you have someone in a lab coat telling you that this wonder drug is the miracle you've been waiting for and if you answer this email advert or call this toll-free number we can send you a sample or just pay shipping and handling, but hurry and act fast, this is a limited time offer and supplies might run out. So why not order two... and we'll toss in a second item for a lower price. 

Ha Ha Ha Ha.  But this WORKS!!!! for the seller.

The old addage:  "If something is too good to be true... It probably is."  People genuinely seem to feel like they can beat the system now, thanks to the internet, if you have a viral video or photo, you can rise to fame, get a million people to follow you and create your YouTube video channel.  Companies will sponsor you, paying you big dollars, thanks to your huge fan base and you will be a celebrity.  Perhaps one day become the next Kardashian.  ( I mean really, why is this family so famous).

Then you too can say you are an expert. After all, look at how many followers you have.  To which I say:  "Tweet this" while giving a rather rude gesture.  :)

Maybe one of those students at the theater, will one day be the next "Kardashian." The others can all "SnapChat" and "Instagram" on how they went to school and knew that person way back when. (As they apply their plastic name tag  to the uniform, smock, at the "McJob "they are clocking in to for the next 8.5 hours for the next 40 years. 

 

Qui novit omnia,

JustinG

 

 

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Hi 2dresq

Thanks for your comments.  As much as I enjoy the Star Wars movies I never once though about the name connection between Mr. Hutt and Jabba, that was a good one indeed.

I think if anyone every says I knew him in school it won't be when they pin a plastic tag to a uniform, perhaps while they are tying the toe tag in the morgue though. :lol:

Regards

Brian

 

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This is my take away

On 31/08/2018 at 08:49, Brian Wolfe said:

smoking some pretty righteous weed.

 

 

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Hi IrishGunner,

Thanks for you comment.

Now we (Canada) is on the verge of legalizing Mary Jane who knows what will happen to my blogs, maybe I’ll start to see unicorns. I wonder if they are any good on the barbecue.?:whistle:

Regards

Brian  

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Hi JustinG,

I meant to respond to your Latin phrase "Qui novit omnia" then got distracted, it's a age thing.

To answer your rhetorical question, that would be my ex-wife and scares the heck out of me. :lol:

Regards

Brian

 

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I remember another Stratford performance (but forget which star actor, but possibly Olivier) where spying a front row patron following along in his book, he took his sword, flipped the book shut and snarled "Pay attention!"

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