Sunday, 2 September 2012

Blast of expertise

Sometimes when person A raises an issue, person B jumps in with an immediate and highly cogent response larded with facts which on the face of it seems to settle the matter, however briefly. 

Which is good, it’s always useful to have facts and someone who knows them. But there is a proverbial fly in this ointment isn’t there?

Very often a rapid and cogent response is a learned response generated automatically from a settled and well-defined point of view. Part expertise and part bias, it can appear in either guise.

I try to avoid it, although I’m sure I’m successful, but to me that’s one of the drawbacks of expertise, especially if you think it is something you have – the tendency towards automated responses.

Of course we need to make progress in our deliberations, but I’m not so sure that progress is all about attaining expertise. Or at least not in one sense – the pat answer sense, the settled response sense. It seems to me that this problem is also related to seniority – the more senior the expert, the more automated the responses. Not universal by any means, but I think it’s an issue.

The great advantage of blogging, or so it seems to me, is how these blasts of expertise can be evaluated at our leisure simply because blogging responses are not immediate. It’s not at all like chatting in a pub – not in that sense. There is even time for a spot of research between blast and counter-blast.

So forcefulness isn’t quite such an advantage to the forceful, which in my view is why so many mainstream pundits are not too keen on the blogosphere. There are other reasons of course, but I’m sure this levelling aspect, in favour of the more contemplative, is one.

No comments: