Monday, February 07, 2005

Who Needs Experts When You Have Pundits?

Doctor Biobrain would like to give a (relatively) brief response to an excellent analysis piece on North Korea's nuclear ambitions (via Monsignor Marshall):

Having read this piece, all I can say is "whew!". I didn't understand everything in that article and I'm glad. Nuclear science and the insides of foreign policy are a complicated subjects and if someone like me with absolutely no real knowledge can fully understand the subject by reading one article, then it just wasn't expert enough.

I particularly liked the second rebuttal by Richard L. Garwin. He could have just said, "Nope, it doesn't work like that". But he actually laid down numbers and some math to explain his point. I liked that. Maybe he's right, maybe he's wrong, I don't know. But what I do know is that he explained his rationale. Too often experts just give the basics of their opinion without giving the basis for that opinion. And if you have no idea who they are, you are completely at their mercy. And even more often, you get non-experts rattling out whatever talking point they've been assigned. So this is just a breath of fresh air to see that there really are adults out there who know of what they speak. I've started to believe that everyone is just making shit up as they go along.

I'm sure there are many complex articles written by experts out there, but they never seem to come into my field of vision, largely because they have so little to do with our day-to-day discourse. Experts confuse people and make them feel stupid. Pundits only make you feel smarter, even as they make you dumber. Which reminds me of someone.

1 comment:

Doctor Biobrain said...

Disclosure Disclaimer: I am a CPA. That puts me into the "expert" class, at least on a handful of subjects. So anything I have to say about experts may or may not be just me puffing up my own class. I just thought that should be said so you understand that I do have a bias on the subject. Thank you.