The Trouble With Experts.....The Web allows us to question authority in new ways

View previous topic View next topic Go down

The Trouble With Experts.....The Web allows us to question authority in new ways

Post by eddie on Wed 23 Dec - 15:11

Quick note by me to say, this will cause great debate but it really offers an explanation as to why debates can never be laid to rest properly. On a site that almost relies solely on posters using "experts" to make a valid point, this article is really good.
I've only quoted some of it, the link is there at the bottom to read the whole thing in full.

I expect this to be a topic of great debate!


The Trouble With Experts
The Web allows us to question authority in new ways.

Actress Jenny McCarthy’s favorite line is, “My son is my science.” She’s an autism activist who insists that vaccines caused her son’s neurological disorder, a claim that has near-zero support in scientific literature. Years ago, she might have been dismissed as another irrational celebrity or passionate crank. But in the brave new world of “experts” online, McCarthy is more than that. In some corners of the world, she defines a debate, blotting out scientists who completely debunk her claim

And then there’s Orac, McCarthy’s opposite number. Orac is the nom de blog of someone who writes that he is a “surgeon/scientist.” He’s another self-appointed autism expert but, unlike McCarthy, Orac attacks the vaccines-cause-autism set. He recently delighted in the downfall of a telegenic anti-vaccine doctor in England, for example, who finally lost his license. We, the audience, don’t know who Orac really is, although he has taken on a leading role as a debunker of the autism-vaccine linK.

As long as I can remember, “the expert” arrived through news articles, inevitably a guy at that smart-sounding think tank, a famed professor of social science, a renowned author. The expert quote arrived toward the second half of most pieces, wafting out of some glorified institution, as iconic and predictable as Colonel Mustard in the board game Clue.

Structurally, the expert quote is supposed to act as the inarguable voice of reason, getting rid of any doubt left in our minds or splitting the difference between extremes. As the poet Philip Larkin writes of such voices, “Ah, solving that question / Brings the priest and the doctor / In their long coats / Running over the fields.”

But the mystique around expertise has always troubled those who bothered to think about it. The philosopher John Dewey expressed irritation over the unquestioned expert a long time ago, chiding that experts were but “a class” with “private interests and private knowledge.” As the British critic Adam Phillips writes in his book on the nature of expertise, Terrors and Experts, expertise carries with it some troubled assumptions—that “because a person has done a recognizable or legitimated official training they are then qualified to claim something more than that they have done the training.” Phillips points out that it is almost always a feeling of uncertainty that drives the non-specialist—the reader, the patient, the investor—into the arms of experts.

For journalists, this uncertainty is at the center of every traditional news story. Journalists have long gathered expert quotes, secretly hoping to have our angles confirmed and our fears of imposture put to rest. But also because many journalists believe there’s a Platonic truth out there, a definable explanation for everything under the sun—and the experts can tell us what that is.

But with the rise of the Web, as well as changing ideas of authority in general, “the expert” has come to mean something different from what it once did. There’s the rise of what the Brits call “experts by experience”—people like Jenny McCarthy, and also like Orac—who have emerged online because they write well and/or frequently on their subjects, rather than becoming an expert by acclamation of other experts or because of an affiliation with a venerated institution. The worst part of all of this is the thicket of false expertise available on the Web, mistaken by Google-search enthusiasts or, sometimes, naïve reporters, as real expertise. These fauxperts are not entirely new, but not many years ago they had a somewhat harder time getting their point of view presented as coming from an “expert.”


This change in the way we think about expertise stems from a few sources. The first is a weakened trust in institutions or companies or government. Some contend this started in the 1980s and 90s, though, as measured by the Edelman Trust Barometer, trust took a serious dip in 2007. The second is due to what Net brainiacs call “disintermediation,” or the disappearance, due to the Web, of the grinning middlemen who previously connected one institution to another. In the case of journalism, a perfect example of “disintermediation” is that experts used to be mediated and selected by journalists, but now experts themselves may well present their expertise online...


http://www.cjr.org/feature/the_trouble_with_experts.php

_________________
Problems are the price of progress. Don't bring me anything but trouble.
Good news weakens me.

~ Charles F. Kettering
avatar
eddie
king of beards. Keeper of the Whip. head cook and bottle washer. Senior mushroom muncher

Posts : 32221
Join date : 2013-07-28
Age : 47
Location : England

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Trouble With Experts.....The Web allows us to question authority in new ways

Post by eddie on Wed 23 Dec - 15:14


_________________
Problems are the price of progress. Don't bring me anything but trouble.
Good news weakens me.

~ Charles F. Kettering
avatar
eddie
king of beards. Keeper of the Whip. head cook and bottle washer. Senior mushroom muncher

Posts : 32221
Join date : 2013-07-28
Age : 47
Location : England

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Trouble With Experts.....The Web allows us to question authority in new ways

Post by sassy on Wed 23 Dec - 15:21

You can't C&P it because it's a book that you are allowed to read a part of, but not copy it.  Sorry Eds, I'm having a read.

_________________
This planet is our home.  Our life and hers are interdependent - Doreen Valiente


The Left want to make life easier for as many people as possible, The Right want to make life easier for themselves and fuck everyone else.
avatar
sassy
Convicted Hex Offender

Posts : 17440
Join date : 2015-01-04
Age : 71

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Trouble With Experts.....The Web allows us to question authority in new ways

Post by eddie on Wed 23 Dec - 15:25

sassy wrote:You can't C&P it because it's a book that you are allowed to read a part of, but not copy it.  Sorry Eds, I'm having a read.

An I thought so
It's really quite good isn't it?

_________________
Problems are the price of progress. Don't bring me anything but trouble.
Good news weakens me.

~ Charles F. Kettering
avatar
eddie
king of beards. Keeper of the Whip. head cook and bottle washer. Senior mushroom muncher

Posts : 32221
Join date : 2013-07-28
Age : 47
Location : England

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Trouble With Experts.....The Web allows us to question authority in new ways

Post by sassy on Wed 23 Dec - 15:28

If is, considering buying the book!

_________________
This planet is our home.  Our life and hers are interdependent - Doreen Valiente


The Left want to make life easier for as many people as possible, The Right want to make life easier for themselves and fuck everyone else.
avatar
sassy
Convicted Hex Offender

Posts : 17440
Join date : 2015-01-04
Age : 71

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Trouble With Experts.....The Web allows us to question authority in new ways

Post by sassy on Wed 23 Dec - 15:29

Perhaps not, just looked it up on Amazon - £25 !!!!!

_________________
This planet is our home.  Our life and hers are interdependent - Doreen Valiente


The Left want to make life easier for as many people as possible, The Right want to make life easier for themselves and fuck everyone else.
avatar
sassy
Convicted Hex Offender

Posts : 17440
Join date : 2015-01-04
Age : 71

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Trouble With Experts.....The Web allows us to question authority in new ways

Post by nicko on Wed 23 Dec - 16:47

The word "Debunker" was used, wasn't there a poster somewhere who used that name?
avatar
nicko

Posts : 8530
Join date : 2013-12-07
Age : 76
Location : rainbow bridge

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Trouble With Experts.....The Web allows us to question authority in new ways

Post by Lord Foul on Wed 23 Dec - 17:02

ex is a has been
spert (spurt) is a drip under pressure

_________________
If at any time in 2016 I have annoyed you, pissed you off or said the wrong thing....Suck it up buttercup, cause 2017 AINT gonna be any different

There are those who's opinion I value, there are those who's opinion I neither value or scorn, and then there are those who's opinion I just ignore as insignificant...I can assure you the latter outnumber the first two combined by a whole order of magnitude


Difficile est meminisse officium paludes siccare , cum de nocte surrexeritis et asinus tuus alligators ....(It's hard to remember that the task is to drain the swamp, when you are up to your arse in alligators)
avatar
Lord Foul
INTERNAL SECURITY DIRECTOR
INTERNAL SECURITY DIRECTOR

Posts : 8908
Join date : 2015-11-06

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Trouble With Experts.....The Web allows us to question authority in new ways

Post by Guest on Wed 23 Dec - 18:47

And for that full service hears the editable txt



160 THE MATERIALS OF ARGUMENT
Is the witness an expert in the field? Because a man is an expert in one field, some people attribute to him a sort of universal wisdom and regard him as an authority on all subjects. Perhaps this tendency is encouraged by the popular practice of having athletes endorse razor blades and movie actors sing the praises of cigarette filters. Or perhaps it is because people are often influenced more by the personality or reputation of an individual than by his knowledge of a subject. Yet expertness in one field obviously does not validate a person's authority in another. The critical listener or reader is warranted in believing an authoritative claim only if the witness is an expert in the relevant subject. If the person quoted is not known to be an authority, the debater should present information about his experience, background, or position, to support the authoritative warrant.  
Did the witness have an opportunity to get at the facts? Even if a person has the training and experience necessary to qualify him as an expert, his testimony may be of little value if he has not had the opportunity to study a subject, preferably at first hand. The greatest heart specialist can hardly make a reliable diagnosis by mail. The most profound student of Russian affairs cannot arrive at valid judgments if he is denied access to vital data. Even an expert can only make reliable statements when necessary data are before him.
Is the witness reasonably unbiased? A pamphlet published by a pressure group may lack authority because its statements are merely those expected from such an organization. The national chairman of a political party, who issues predictions concerning the outcome of an election, is certainly an expert in the field in which those judgments lie; and he is in an excellent position to gather and evaluate the pertinent data. Yet his statements should not be taken at face value. The partisanship inherent in his position introduces a bias that renders his statement suspect.
In addition to applying such criteria, a debater may support a warrant of an authoritative proof by evaluating past testimony of his witness on similar questions. If past statements by Knorr have proved reliable, the statement he makes now on a similar matter is probably also reliable. In short, a unit of proof by parallel case may support the warrant.
In college debating and elsewhere the support for the warrant of an authoritative proof is quite important. All too often a college debater will support a contention with a few "quotes" from "noted authorities," without taking the trouble to inform his listeners of the qualifications that make the opinions and information of his experts worth believing. Such a debater might as well attribute the statements to himself. Unless an authoritative warrant is supported adequately, no proof exists at all. For it is the warrant certifying the credibility of the source that carries testimonial evidence to the status of a claim.

AUTHORITA1TVE AND MOTIVATIONAL PROOFS 161
Reservations may be needed in an authoritative proof for two reasons. In the first place, even if the general reliability of a source is accepted, the idea may be rejected if a more respected authority presents a counterclaim. One may agree that Professor Knorr is usually a reliable authority and yet reject a particular statement of opinion if Professor Kissinger's differing testimony seems more authoritative. Second, a reservation is required if a substantive proof of greater probative force yields a counterclaim. One is often more justified in believing what can be proved substantively—for example, through causal reasoning—than to rely on what may only represent the speculation of an authority.
Claims derived from authoritative proofs almost always require some sort of qualifier. As with substantive proofs, claims may need qualifiers for any or all of three reasons: (a) If the evidence is in any way qualified, the claim must also be qualified. If Knorr bad stated, "Soviet leaders probably calculate . . . ," the "probably" would have to be attached to the claim. (b) If the warrant is qualified, the claim must also be qualified. If Knorr's opinions, for example, are of limited reliability, some sort of qualifier is needed. (c) If reservations are present, the claim may have to be set aside or qualified.
The discussion of authoritative proofs so far has assumed that the source of the evidence is external to the arguer. When the testimony comes from the speaker or writer himself, however, the structure and function of an authoritative unit of proof remain the same. One moves from evidence to claim by means of the same sort of assumption embodied in the warrant, and the warrant may be supported in the same way—by applying criteria and by examining past testimony. When the arguer is his own source of evidence, reservations and qualifications function in precisely the same manner as when the source is external to the arguer. One may infer a claim from Professor Knorr's testimony whether someone else is reporting it or whether he is making the statement himself in an essay or speech. Although the speaker-audience relationship may dictate a change in the manner of presenting the "personal" proof of a speaker, the structure of a proof and its leading characteristics remain unchanged?
Whether the source of the testimony is the writer or speaker, or someone else, authoritative proofs may make good only certain kinds of claims. The critical listener or reader does not accept an authoritative proof designed to establish the ultimate claim of a controversy. The decision in a debate is not critically determined merely by acquiescing to the opinion of an expert, no matter how qualified he may be. Authorita-

' Therefore, the classical doctrine of ethos and the modem concept of source credibility may illuminate one's understanding of proof by authority, and vice
versa.

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: The Trouble With Experts.....The Web allows us to question authority in new ways

Post by eddie on Wed 23 Dec - 18:57

sassy wrote:Perhaps not, just looked it up on Amazon - £25 !!!!!

Xmas pressie to yourself! cheers

_________________
Problems are the price of progress. Don't bring me anything but trouble.
Good news weakens me.

~ Charles F. Kettering
avatar
eddie
king of beards. Keeper of the Whip. head cook and bottle washer. Senior mushroom muncher

Posts : 32221
Join date : 2013-07-28
Age : 47
Location : England

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Trouble With Experts.....The Web allows us to question authority in new ways

Post by eddie on Wed 23 Dec - 18:59

Have a thanks and a green KD
Well done

_________________
Problems are the price of progress. Don't bring me anything but trouble.
Good news weakens me.

~ Charles F. Kettering
avatar
eddie
king of beards. Keeper of the Whip. head cook and bottle washer. Senior mushroom muncher

Posts : 32221
Join date : 2013-07-28
Age : 47
Location : England

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Trouble With Experts.....The Web allows us to question authority in new ways

Post by Ben Reilly on Wed 23 Dec - 19:12

This phenomenon, from the so-called experts' side, is why we have business executives who think they can run a government.

Still, I think it's lazy either to trust all so-called experts, or to trust none of them. The most overlooked important skill in life is the ability to properly evaluate information.

_________________
“A ‘job creator’ is someone who figures out how to threaten you with starvation unless you do something you don’t want to do."

Cory Doctorow, Walkaway
avatar
Ben Reilly
Cowboy King. Dread Pirate of the Guadalupe. Enemy of the American People.

Posts : 23003
Join date : 2013-01-19
Age : 42
Location : Besa Mi Culo, Texas

View user profile http://www.newsfixboard.com

Back to top Go down

Re: The Trouble With Experts.....The Web allows us to question authority in new ways

Post by eddie on Wed 23 Dec - 19:24

Ben_Reilly wrote:This phenomenon, from the so-called experts' side, is why we have business executives who think they can run a government.

Still, I think it's lazy either to trust all so-called experts, or to trust none of them. The most overlooked important skill in life is the ability to properly evaluate information.

it's not easy to evaluate information when most of it conflicts.

_________________
Problems are the price of progress. Don't bring me anything but trouble.
Good news weakens me.

~ Charles F. Kettering
avatar
eddie
king of beards. Keeper of the Whip. head cook and bottle washer. Senior mushroom muncher

Posts : 32221
Join date : 2013-07-28
Age : 47
Location : England

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Trouble With Experts.....The Web allows us to question authority in new ways

Post by Ben Reilly on Wed 23 Dec - 19:30

eddie wrote:
Ben_Reilly wrote:This phenomenon, from the so-called experts' side, is why we have business executives who think they can run a government.

Still, I think it's lazy either to trust all so-called experts, or to trust none of them. The most overlooked important skill in life is the ability to properly evaluate information.

it's not easy to evaluate information when most of it conflicts.

Then you get into the reputation of the source of information -- does the source have a history of getting it wrong? Is it transparent about its mistakes, issuing all due corrections?

There are plenty of people, for example, who don't accept the germ theory of disease. Most people don't believe them because their quackery is pretty self-evident.

_________________
“A ‘job creator’ is someone who figures out how to threaten you with starvation unless you do something you don’t want to do."

Cory Doctorow, Walkaway
avatar
Ben Reilly
Cowboy King. Dread Pirate of the Guadalupe. Enemy of the American People.

Posts : 23003
Join date : 2013-01-19
Age : 42
Location : Besa Mi Culo, Texas

View user profile http://www.newsfixboard.com

Back to top Go down

Re: The Trouble With Experts.....The Web allows us to question authority in new ways

Post by eddie on Wed 23 Dec - 19:33

Ben_Reilly wrote:
eddie wrote:
Ben_Reilly wrote:This phenomenon, from the so-called experts' side, is why we have business executives who think they can run a government.

Still, I think it's lazy either to trust all so-called experts, or to trust none of them. The most overlooked important skill in life is the ability to properly evaluate information.

it's not easy to evaluate information when most of it conflicts.

Then you get into the reputation of the source of information -- does the source have a history of getting it wrong? Is it transparent about its mistakes, issuing all due corrections?

There are plenty of people, for example, who don't accept the germ theory of disease. Most people don't believe them because their quackery is pretty self-evident.

That's why Ben, I really actually live by the (loose) theory, that truth is ever-changing and not an actual thing.

_________________
Problems are the price of progress. Don't bring me anything but trouble.
Good news weakens me.

~ Charles F. Kettering
avatar
eddie
king of beards. Keeper of the Whip. head cook and bottle washer. Senior mushroom muncher

Posts : 32221
Join date : 2013-07-28
Age : 47
Location : England

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Trouble With Experts.....The Web allows us to question authority in new ways

Post by veya_victaous on Thu 24 Dec - 23:43

Ben_Reilly wrote:
eddie wrote:
Ben_Reilly wrote:This phenomenon, from the so-called experts' side, is why we have business executives who think they can run a government.

Still, I think it's lazy either to trust all so-called experts, or to trust none of them. The most overlooked important skill in life is the ability to properly evaluate information.

it's not easy to evaluate information when most of it conflicts.

Then you get into the reputation of the source of information -- does the source have a history of getting it wrong? Is it transparent about its mistakes, issuing all due corrections?

There are plenty of people, for example, who don't accept the germ theory of disease. Most people don't believe them because their quackery is pretty self-evident.

+10000000000

Plus it helps to have good grounding in 'provable facts' (a.k.a science) and to actually bother to read things and make and effort to understand them Wink

_________________
My job is to travel the world delivering Chaos and Candy.

We don't know the Questions... does that means we cannot seek the Answers?
avatar
veya_victaous
The Mod Loki, Minister of Chaos & Candy, Emperor of the Southern Realms, Captain Kangaroo

Posts : 16357
Join date : 2013-01-23
Age : 34
Location : Australia

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Trouble With Experts.....The Web allows us to question authority in new ways

Post by Guest on Fri 25 Dec - 0:03

eddie wrote:
Ben_Reilly wrote:

Then you get into the reputation of the source of information -- does the source have a history of getting it wrong? Is it transparent about its mistakes, issuing all due corrections?

There are plenty of people, for example, who don't accept the germ theory of disease. Most people don't believe them because their quackery is pretty self-evident.

That's why Ben, I really actually live by the (loose) theory, that truth is ever-changing and not an actual thing.
truth is ever-changing ? no the truth never changes just your understanding of the truth

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum