Expertise

 

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread, winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” Isaac Asimov

Dear Lord

We’re all epidemiologists, infectious disease experts, economists, educators, psychiatrists, statisticians these days

But, we’re not

What happened America?

We used to listen to folks with knowledge, experience, education

We used to listen to experts

Now, we listen to Karen who heard from her friend that her cousin had chloroquine and got better

Now, we listen to Doug who did an informal survey on Facebook and has decided there aren’t many cases in his town

Now, we listen to that doctor in India who says herd immunity is already in place

When the suicides start due to the economic devastation of Covid 19, we will say that the experts got it all wrong

When the spousal abuse reaches new levels due to isolation, we will say the experts got it all wrong

When the children lose months of learning and lag woefully behind, we will say the experts got it all wrong

When the summer plans evaporate, we will say the experts got it all wrong

I have no idea when we all became so wary of the smart, the educated, the gifted and talented

Growing up in a family of teachers – mother, grandmother, great-aunts – we always valued education and the educated

During the height of the Great Depression, one of my great grandmothers stood up to her husband and said she would move heaven and earth to have all of her children receive a full education just as she had received in Virginia

People around the world sacrifice everything for education

Here, we disdain the egg-headed, ivory towered, tenured, cloistered

I cannot fathom the cult of ignorance that pervades so much of our discussions these days

The cult of brilliance of the average person

Opinions

Not facts

I have no expertise in epidemiology, infectious diseases, economics, education, psychiatry, statistics

Being anti-intellectual does not make you a champion of the common man

In fact, it jeopardizes the common man, of whom we all are

Even the experts

Do any of us want to operated upon by someone who did not go to medical school?

The answer is no

Q.E.D.

During these curious, stressful, grief filled days, it would be appreciated if the non-experts could keep their non-expertise to themselves

No one cares, literally, no one, about your anecdotes

Because, that’s all they are

Anecdotes

Not expertise

 

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