The Hunt For Nonexistent Experts on Social Networks

30 Sep
Steven Hodson via WinExtra shared by 7 people

An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today. - Laurence J. Peter

Ever wondered why we place so much faith in experts; and I don’t mean those people that we see pimping themselves on newscasts or any other ten second soundbite about how they know all the how’s and why’s of any given situation. Those people are usually no better than vacuous filler between commercials and their opinions change with whoever is signing their consultancy checks.

No, true experts are those people who have a deep passion and and even deeper understanding about a subject that drives them to learn something new each and every day. They are the people who realize that for everything that they think they know there is just as much that they don’t know and are the first to admit it.

These are the real experts and you aren’t going to find them hanging around on some stupid ass social network wanting to be your friend. Their time is too valuable for that useless type of distraction - there are too many things to learn to spend it standing around some virtual water cooler. Unfortunately though we have been lead to believe in this silly idea of the wisdom of the crowd and seem to think that all the answers are going to be found on social networks like Twitter, FriendFeed or some such other water cooler. The reality is that this is the farthest thing from the truth and this is something that people like Robert Scoble are beginning to find out, much to their chagrin:

I find I’m becoming a lot more like Andrew Keen. That scares the shit out of me. Why? I find I’m looking to experts and elites more and more, because the crap I’m seeing out of all of our mouths is just so, um, wrong. As my history teacher back in the 1980s used to say “the masses are asses.” This is shaking my belief system pretty thoroughly, because I actually do believe that a decentralized system is stronger than one with one guy or gal in the middle controlling everything. But for a decentralized system to work we have to 1. be smart and 2. believe in each other. Those two things are proving to me to be pretty trying right now.

Even the idea that a Nobel Laureate of Economics or a discoverer of the Human Genome are going to be found sitting around there computers chumming it up on FriendFeed ot Twitter is ridiculous. Like really, give your head a shake if you believe that. Supposing though that for some incredible reason you did find someone like Stephen Hawking on your friends list do you even thing you would be able to comprehend what the hell they were talking about. Not likely.

So Robert, here’s a suggestion for you. Forget even thinking that places like FriendFeed or Twitter are anything more than really cool places to get together with friends and chew the fat. You know .. just like the old newsgroups or web forums. You want the experts - you’re going to have to go find them where they live because they’re too damn busy to find any value in our silly little corner of the Internet.Similar Posts:

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