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Friday, April 13, 2018

Can’t Live With Them, Can’t live Without Them

Can’t Live With Them, Can’t live Without Them
A cranky opinion for
CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY
The following is the opinion of a cranky old man with no credible knowledge on the topic opined.  Opposing opinions are welcome, but they are wrong.  As always, please, no name calling, and that means you, you big stupid-head!
No, I am not talking about women, I am talking about experts…ok, maybe the same thing…most of the time.
We need experts to make decisions because we can not be knowledgeable in all things.  Generally, your doctor knows best; your mechanic knows best; your investment advisor knows best; your teacher knows best.  RELAX, I said GENERALLY!  In fact, that is the point of this rant opinion.
We rely on experts, but sometimes experts are wrong.  Doctors make errors in a diagnosis.  Mechanics change parts that are not broken.  Investment advisors recommend buying Enron.  Teachers…well, teachers are always right.
So, Cranky, what are you saying, ignore experts?
No, but examine the source, examine the motive, examine your own good sense.
When it used to be possible to discuss politics, the first argument I usually faced was “Experts say…” or “Studies have proven…” or “That has already been debunked!” End of discussion!
Maybe, but…
A very close personal relationship to me was a consultant for a firm that had contracts with the Federal Government.  He once told me that when given an assignment as “Expert” consultants to study an issue and make recommendations, the first question they asked their client was, “What is the conclusion you are expecting to find.”
That is just human nature (and good business).  If an environmental group pays for a survey about rising temperatures, odds are data will be collected in a way that supports the theory on global warming.  I am not suggesting that theory is wrong, only saying that “experts say” and “surveys have proven” need to be taken with some degree of skepticism.
Experts told Columbus that the world was flat.
Experts once told pilots that if they were losing altitude they should pull the plane’s nose up.  This seemed to make the most sense, but it caused the plane to go into a tailspin and crash.  Turns out that heading down creates speed and increases lift increasing altitude, so controlling altitude on a plane is not always cut and dry.
Similarly, when government is running a deficit it makes sense to raise taxes to increase revenues.  Sometimes that puts the economy into a tailspin.
OK, I am not an expert on flying or economics and I am not even sure if the world is in fact round.  I am just advocating thinking about and not just always accepting expert conclusions.
I like sports analogies.
In the world of Track and Field high jumpers were first taught to jump over a bar like a hurdler.  Soon someone started to get over the bar with a “scissors kick” technique.  All future jumpers were taught this technique by “expert” coaches.  Then some wise-ass used a different technique called the “California Roll” and the scissors kick was out. 
Sometime in the sixties a high jumper named Fosbury started setting records with a style that had him go over the bar backwards and landing on his back.  Experts warned against this technique saying it was too dangerous.  Other jumpers heeded the warning until Fosbury was so successful and did not get hurt, that they ignored the experts.
Today if you wanted to learn the high jump all the experts would tell you the only technique to use is the “Fosbury Flop.”
A fact is only an assertion that has not yet been disproved.  An expert opinion is pretty much the same thing.
The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.    

13 comments:

  1. Experts may turn out to be wrong but the scary part is when doctors make errors in a diagnosis.

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  2. I'm no expert on anything, so I'm not qualified to make any comment here.

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  3. Sometimes against everything an expert recommends, the proper way that works best for me is considered a "flop"

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  4. Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see. I believe Edgar Allen Poe said something to that effect. Perhaps he was an expert sceptic, but I still think it was pretty good advice.

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  5. No expert advice on anything here..but...I don't trust anyone else's advice either lol.

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  6. Having the right facts. we could be the best experts on the subject we're interested in.

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  7. He would never admit that I'm an expert, but my son Genius called me last night for advice on buying his first new car. Don't think he's actually TAKING my advice, but the fact that he asked is the first step of him acknowledging my expertness.

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  8. I tend to think that there is usually a better, simpler and untried way to do something. I usually ignore the experts and flock to the creative skeptics.
    Loved the Fosbury Flop. It got me briefly interested in track and field.

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  9. My husband is a lawyer. He said that if you had tried one case similar to the one you are now trying, you were considered an expert. If you had tried two previously, you were a leading authority!!

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  10. The only thing i am an uncontested expert in is knowing what i do and do not like to eat.

    "Consider the source" is one of the best pieces of advice i ever received.

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  11. One of my old bosses used to say, "An ex is a has-been, and a spurt is a drip under pressure."

    Another one liked to say that an expert is anyone more than 25 miles from home. . .

    ;)

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  12. i believe no one is expert enough to give FINAL authentic opinion .

    i been coping with stupid doctors who thought they knew all but it proved wrong many times

    in government ,yes only they are truly experts in sucking the blood of common man

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  13. I'd be afraid to be considered an "expert" at something and then giving someone the wrong advice. I couldn't handle the stress.

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