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The death of expertise.

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Post by DWags on 2017-01-03, 08:02

Aren't we all experts now that we all can access the internet?

"This isn’t just about politics, which would be bad enough. No, it’s worse than that: the perverse effect of the death of expertise is that without real experts, everyone is an expert on everything. To take but one horrifying example, we live today in an advanced post-industrial country that is now fighting a resurgence of whooping cough — a scourge nearly eliminated a century ago — merely because otherwise intelligent people have been second-guessing their doctors and refusing to vaccinate their kids after reading stuff written by people who know exactly zip about medicine. (Yes, I mean people like Jenny McCarthy.)"

The death of expertise
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Post by I.B. Fine on 2017-01-03, 09:00

I know one such person, and have a sibling that goes along, hence a 12 year old un-vaccinated nephew.
Just proof that you can substantiate any crazy idea you have with "proof" from the internet, if you want to.
This person tried to claim polio was a fraud to my 80 year old, mild mannered mother, who lived through it- as riled up as I've ever seen her.
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Post by Travis of the Cosmos on 2017-01-03, 09:22

It happens here all the time dwags. It's anazing how many people claim to know everything about every single political issue on this board then they say they aren't just being told what to think by a party. It's crazy.

Now before you say "you old coot you have something to say all the time." Truth is though if you pay attention, you'll notice that I have little, maybe nothing, to say about foreign policy. There are things we discuss that I actually know quite a bit about. Foreign policy isn't one, so I stay quiet and read. Anyway. I dunno. I just had that thought the other day while I was reading this board and then I saw this thread so I thought I'd share.
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Post by I.B. Fine on 2017-01-03, 09:59

Travis of the Cosmos wrote:It happens here all the time dwags. It's anazing how many people claim to know everything about every single political issue on this board then they say they aren't just being told what to think by a party. It's crazy.

Now before you say "you old coot you have something to say all the time." Truth is though if you pay attention, you'll notice that I have little, maybe nothing, to say about foreign policy. There are things we discuss that I actually know quite a bit about. Foreign policy isn't one, so I stay quiet and read. Anyway. I dunno. I just had that thought the other day while I was reading this board and then I saw this thread so I thought I'd share.
You are always my go to source for basement pits and their maintenance.
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Post by GRR Spartan on 2017-01-03, 10:25

My sibling lives in NoCal.  In the last few years they have seen schools shutdown due to whooping cough outbreaks.  It hasn't been limited to schools with high immigrant populations.  

A district adjacent to theirs was one and the major reason they closed was they checked their records and a significant number of the students who didn't have vaccinations were from middle and high income homes whose parent's became experts on the dangers of vaccinations they learned on the interwebs and TV talk shows.

The news that the doctor in England had cooked the books to get his findings later proved false?  All drug company propoganda.


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Post by The_Dude on 2017-01-03, 15:08

I think society has always been like this, its just that these crazies are exposed moreso in the information age instead of being able to not be seen or heard.

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Post by The_Dude on 2017-01-03, 15:09

GRR Spartan wrote:My sibling lives in NoCal. In the last few years they have seen schools shutdown due to whooping couch outbreaks. It hasn't been limited to schools with high immigrant populations.

A district adjacent to theirs was one and the major reason they closed was they checked their records and a significant number of the students who didn't have vaccinations were from middle and high income homes whose parent's became experts on the dangers of vaccinations they learned on the interwebs and TV talk shows.

The news that the doctor in England had cooked the books to get his findings later proved false? All drug company propoganda.

Yep thats the problem with fake news--once its out there, retractions dont really matter because people got their beliefs set. They will write off the retractions as propaganda or someone with an agenda, etc.

Look at how many people still believe in the Mike Brown fantasy.
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Post by AnomanderRake on 2017-01-03, 16:35

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Post by steveschneider on 2017-01-04, 11:42

I hope in 2017 people that think they know more than people with advanced science degrees realize they  don't.
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Post by Guest on 2017-01-04, 18:10

steveschneider wrote:I hope in 2017 people that think they know more than people with advanced science degrees realize they  don't.

Do they pass into their infallible state at graduation or is it a gradual thing over their final year?
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Post by Turtleneck on 2017-01-08, 01:37

At the start of the article, he touches on a growing problem. There is a rising anti-intellectualism in this country.

Today, any assertion of expertise produces an explosion of anger from certain quarters of the American public, who immediately complain that such claims are nothing more than fallacious “appeals to authority,” sure signs of dreadful “elitism,” and an obvious effort to use credentials to stifle the dialogue required by a “real” democracy.

This rising anti-intellectualism comes in two forms. First, we increasingly reject the rational and objective pursuit of knowledge in favor of the emotional and subjective (when it reaffirms what we want to hear). Second, there is growing contempt for experts. We have gotten to a point where we reject experts because of the very credentials that qualify them to be experts. You have a Ph.D.? Well then you cannot be trusted. Meanwhile these people have likely passed a battery of exams to get where they are, and have designed and carried out any number of original research projects.

We do not let the man sitting in seat 10C fly the plane. We let the pilot fly the plane because they are the expert. We do not let the woman sitting in her car outside the hospital perform the emergency surgery. We let the surgeon perform the emergency surgery because they are the expert. We do not let Travis fix our transmission. We let a mechanic fix our transmission because they are the expert. It is actually quite simple to understand.

To some extent this is the expert's own fault for isolating themselves from the public and engaging in esoteric debates with their peers. He says as much with his comment, "To be sure, some of the blame rests with the increasing irrelevance of overly narrow research in the social sciences," and also "Universities, without doubt, have to own some of this mess. The idea of telling students that professors run the show and know better than they do strikes many students as something like uppity lip from the help, and so many profs don’t do it." Nonetheless, this anti-intellectualism is a problem and it is normalizing a lot of really bad habits. People will not, or are incapable of,vetting information on their own. In some ways this is rather ironic. Being a critical thinker means asking questions. It is is fine to challenge experts so we get the best answers. However, we often challenge without much knowledge about what we are challenging, why we are challenging, and especially how to challenge. This will obviously have consequences for our democracy, which he refers to at the end:

But when citizens forgo their basic obligation to learn enough to actually govern themselves, and instead remain stubbornly imprisoned by their fragile egos and caged by their own sense of entitlement, experts will end up running things by default. That’s a terrible outcome for everyone.

Expertise is necessary, and it’s not going away. Unless we return it to a healthy role in public policy, we’re going to have stupider and less productive arguments every day.

In the interest of transparency, what brought me to this thread is what an expert might have done. Trump appointee Monica Crowley, who has a Ph.D. from Columbia, might have heavily plagiarized her 2012 book. This gives further incentive not to trust experts, and she might have plagiarized some dreadful sources. At the same time, the Trump transition team, for the time being, is sticking with Crowley. If this is the case, we further normalize some very bad habits.
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Post by Turtleneck on 2017-01-09, 22:30

Turtleneck wrote:At the start of the article, he touches on a growing problem. There is a rising anti-intellectualism in this country.

Today, any assertion of expertise produces an explosion of anger from certain quarters of the American public, who immediately complain that such claims are nothing more than fallacious “appeals to authority,” sure signs of dreadful “elitism,” and an obvious effort to use credentials to stifle the dialogue required by a “real” democracy.

This rising anti-intellectualism comes in two forms. First, we increasingly reject the rational and objective pursuit of knowledge in favor of the emotional and subjective (when it reaffirms what we want to hear). Second, there is growing contempt for experts. We have gotten to a point where we reject experts because of the very credentials that qualify them to be experts. You have a Ph.D.? Well then you cannot be trusted. Meanwhile these people have likely passed a battery of exams to get where they are, and have designed and carried out any number of original research projects.

We do not let the man sitting in seat 10C fly the plane. We let the pilot fly the plane because they are the expert. We do not let the woman sitting in her car outside the hospital perform the emergency surgery. We let the surgeon perform the emergency surgery because they are the expert. We do not let Travis fix our transmission. We let a mechanic fix our transmission because they are the expert. It is actually quite simple to understand.

To some extent this is the expert's own fault for isolating themselves from the public and engaging in esoteric debates with their peers. He says as much with his comment, "To be sure, some of the blame rests with the increasing irrelevance of overly narrow research in the social sciences," and also "Universities, without doubt, have to own some of this mess. The idea of telling students that professors run the show and know better than they do strikes many students as something like uppity lip from the help, and so many profs don’t do it." Nonetheless, this anti-intellectualism is a problem and it is normalizing a lot of really bad habits. People will not, or are incapable of,vetting information on their own. In some ways this is rather ironic. Being a critical thinker means asking questions. It is is fine to challenge experts so we get the best answers. However, we often challenge without much knowledge about what we are challenging, why we are challenging, and especially how to challenge. This will obviously have consequences for our democracy, which he refers to at the end:

But when citizens forgo their basic obligation to learn enough to actually govern themselves, and instead remain stubbornly imprisoned by their fragile egos and caged by their own sense of entitlement, experts will end up running things by default. That’s a terrible outcome for everyone.

Expertise is necessary, and it’s not going away. Unless we return it to a healthy role in public policy, we’re going to have stupider and less productive arguments every day.

In the interest of transparency, what brought me to this thread is what an expert might have done. Trump appointee Monica Crowley, who has a Ph.D. from Columbia, might have heavily plagiarized her 2012 book. This gives further incentive not to trust experts, and she might have plagiarized some dreadful sources. At the same time, the Trump transition team, for the time being, is sticking with Crowley. If this is the case, we further normalize some very bad habits.

...and now her dissertation. This comes after the Trump administration released a statement that read “Any attempt to discredit Monica is nothing more than a politically motivated attack that seeks to distract from the real issues facing this country.”
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Post by Turtleneck on 2017-01-10, 23:46

We are getting to the point where a list of things she plagiarized is longer than the list of things she did not plagiarize.
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Post by Turtleneck on 2017-01-16, 23:13

Crowley is declining the offer to serve in the Trump administration. This is a good thing.
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Post by DWags on 2017-01-16, 23:19

She's an expert plagerist. But so was trumps wife.
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Post by Guest on 2017-01-16, 23:57

DWags wrote:She's an expert plagerist. But so was trumps wife.

Strangely it was ok for Biden.

He admitted plagiarizing multiple speeches and in law school yet he did ok as VP.

Sometimes it mystifies me what the deciding factor is.
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Post by Other Teams Pursuing That on 2017-01-16, 23:59

LooseGoose wrote:
DWags wrote:She's an expert plagerist. But so was trumps wife.

Strangely it was ok for Biden.

He admitted plagiarizing multiple speeches and in law school yet he did ok as VP.

Sometimes it mystifies me what the deciding factor is.

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Post by DWags on 2017-01-17, 00:00

LooseGoose wrote:
DWags wrote:She's an expert plagerist. But so was trumps wife.

Strangely it was ok for Biden.

He admitted plagiarizing multiple speeches and in law school yet he did ok as VP.

Sometimes it mystifies me what the deciding factor is.

Why'd she drop out? Did her feelings get hurt she was caught, or is she afraid she wouldn't do a good job?
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Post by Guest on 2017-01-17, 00:04

DWags wrote:
LooseGoose wrote:

Strangely it was ok for Biden.

He admitted plagiarizing multiple speeches and in law school yet he did ok as VP.

Sometimes it mystifies me what the deciding factor is.

Why'd she drop out? Did her feelings get hurt she was caught, or is she afraid she wouldn't do a good job?

She was probably asked to drop out because of the bad press.


Scoff if you will but you all know about her offenses and Mrs Trump's. How many knew about our sitting VP?
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Post by DWags on 2017-01-17, 00:08

LooseGoose wrote:
DWags wrote:

Why'd she drop out? Did her feelings get hurt she was caught, or is she afraid she wouldn't do a good job?

She was probably asked to drop out because of the bad press.


Scoff if you will but you all know about her offenses and Mrs Trump's. How many knew about our sitting VP?


You mean pre-internet when he was still forced out of the 88 race due to journalists digging into him lifting Kinnock?

You realize it cost him a run right?

Why drop out if the fake press is giving you bad press?
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Post by Turtleneck on 2017-01-17, 00:25

DWags wrote:
LooseGoose wrote:

Strangely it was ok for Biden.  

He admitted plagiarizing multiple speeches and in law school yet he did ok as VP.    

Sometimes it mystifies me what the deciding factor is.  

Why'd she drop out?  Did her feelings get hurt she was caught, or is she afraid she wouldn't do a good job?

All academic dishonesty is bad. I do not want to get into a argument about degrees of academic dishonesty. There is no defense when done intentionally. Crowley appears to be a habitual offender. I will leave it to others to defend her dishonesty.

It is true that in a speech of his own in the late 80s, Biden plagiarized part of an address given by a British MP. Interestingly enough, on this certain day, we could talk about another important person in American history that plagiarized parts of their dissertation.

In Crowley's case you could argue she profited from stolen work through sales of her book. In accordance with standard in-house policy, the publisher pulled the book after the claims were verified. So that will no longer be the case.

I do not think she will have her dissertation pulled, which would mean revocation of her Ph.D. There are some people arguing for that, but I doubt it happens. I am not sure I would support going that far, as she fulfilled other very challenging requirements to earn that degree. However, she did enter a hyper-competitive job market, and used a Ph.D. from an Ivy League school to position herself ahead of others (who completed fully original dissertations) from "lesser" schools.
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Post by GRR Spartan on 2017-01-17, 08:49

Columbia would be within the letter of the law to pull Crowley's PhD.

But if they do that at this late date Columbia also brings into question how many other PhD candidates within that department plagerized or did not plagerize and who those candidates advisors were.  

Multiple people including at least one advisor would have been reading Crowley's dissertation along the way for advice and criticism.  Then she would have had a preliminary presentation to the faculty who were expected to read and offer suggestions/criticism prior to the official presentation.

Several people, some of whom may still be at Columbia have egg on their face with this news and aren't anxious to have the general public know their involvement.  But I suspect their names are already known and Columbia already being criticized in academic circles.
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Post by Robert J Sakimano on 2017-01-17, 12:40

funny watching Trump supporters defend academic and intellectual fraud. The death of expertise.  502811600
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Post by Guest on 2017-01-17, 14:55

Says the man that supports a Vice President that admitted plagiarizing in law school. All hypocrites.


and BTW - point where i supported Crowley? You won't find it, you just plain lied again. but don't worry TN and OTPT will call me the biggest liar to cover for you.
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Post by The_Dude on 2017-01-17, 15:12

Robert J Sakimano wrote:funny watching Trump supporters defend academic and intellectual fraud. The death of expertise.  502811600

This sounds like something you just made up out of thin air.

You wouldnt do that though, would ya?
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Post by Robert J Sakimano on 2017-01-17, 15:13

LooseGoose wrote:Says the man that supports a Vice President that admitted plagiarizing in law school. All hypocrites.


and BTW - point where i supported Crowley? You won't find it, you just plain lied again. but don't worry TN and OTPT will call me the biggest liar to cover for you.
I'm sorry that my words upset you.
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Post by Guest on 2017-01-17, 17:10

Robert J Sakimano wrote:
LooseGoose wrote:Says the man that supports a Vice President that admitted plagiarizing in law school. All hypocrites.


and BTW - point where i supported Crowley? You won't find it, you just plain lied again. but don't worry TN and OTPT will call me the biggest liar to cover for you.
I'm sorry that my words upset you.

lol, just your lies. But then again that's roughly 72% of your "words".
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Post by GRR Spartan on 2017-01-17, 20:01

Goose, You support a guy who screwed people for over 30 years in his business career.
He admitted to shreding documents the DOJ had requested when he plead no contest in a discrimination case.
He told a NJ governor there would be no junk bonds used if he got state financing he requested and then used junk bonds.

Here's the deal Goose, Joe Biden never got the nomination for President and your beloved conservatives put Winky Palin on the ticket as VP that many folks think helped the Obama/Biden ticket.

But we get it Goose.

Conservatives are always victims. You got nothing to worry about. Trump and Putin are paragons on honesty.
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Post by Guest on 2017-01-17, 20:33

GRR Spartan wrote:Goose, You support a guy who screwed people for over 30 years in his business career.
He admitted to shreding documents the DOJ had requested when he plead no contest in a discrimination case.
He told a NJ governor there would be no junk bonds used if he got state financing he requested and then used junk bonds.

Here's the deal Goose, Joe Biden never got the nomination for President and your beloved conservatives put Winky Palin on the ticket as VP that many folks think helped the Obama/Biden ticket.

But we get it Goose.

Conservatives are always victims. You got nothing to worry about. Trump and Putin are paragons on honesty.

lol, I've never said they're always victims. I simply enjoy pointing out that Dems do the same things they love to condemn R's for doing. You do know that the only time that McCain led Obama was right after he named Sarah VP? Then they let the wolves tear her up and that was that. I'll admit that since then she's gone off the whacko end but at that point in time was a pretty populat Governor.

Just think of all the fun you're going to have when they impeach Trump. Keep calm and look forward to that. We'll both be rooting for them to succeed.
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Post by Turtleneck on 2017-06-24, 23:05

The Challenge of Fighting Mistrust in Science
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/06/the-challenge-of-fighting-mistrust-in-science/531531/?utm_source=feed

“What I think is part of the challenge here is that people’s hardening belief systems are going against the science,” Myers said Saturday at the Aspen Ideas Festival, which is co-hosted by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic. And that’s true—one of the biggest reasons that it’s so hard for facts to change people’s minds is that people have an incentive to keep believing what they already believe, as I’ve written before, especially if it’s a belief that’s deeply tied to their identity. The mental gymnastics they do to achieve this are known in psychology as “motivated reasoning.” It’s something that’s extremely hard to get around. If people change their minds on these things, it happens slowly, and it often has to be something they want to change their mind about.
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Post by GRR Spartan on 2017-06-25, 06:12

We need a few hundred, possible thousands  more children who are kin of elected science deniers to die of whopping cough and other fatal childhood maladies that have been nearly taken out of the American lexicon before we see change.

Maybe then we can get rid of the insipid linking of Joe Biden's 1988 speech to 2016 deaths of children under 2 because they weren't vaccinated or they contracted the fatal disease prior to being old enough to get the needed vaccine.
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Post by Turtleneck on 2017-07-26, 10:56

Most presidents rely on expertise. Trump treats experts like the enemy.

President Trump’s policy agenda is in trouble. After nearly seven months of intramural fighting and several dramatic reversals, the Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act died in the Senate. By the end of last week, even the most stalwart opponents of Obamacare seemed ready to move on.

At the center of the Trump White House’s difficulties has been its own inexperience with the complex web of statutes, organizations and procedures that constitute contemporary American government. Trump’s aversion to the details of dealmaking means that even if congressional Republicans manage to pass a plan to repeal, replace, repair or revise Obamacare, it will be despite — not because of — help from the presidency.

Yet, as I argue in a forthcoming issue of The Forum, it would be a mistake to evaluate Trump’s effectiveness on the basis of legislative failures alone. Whereas other presidents have used policy overhaul — prepared by experts — to change politics, Trump is using the presidency to generate political conflict and to undermine the cadre of policy experts who make government work.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/07/24/most-presidents-rely-on-expertise-trump-treats-experts-like-the-enemy/?utm_term=.851654e89638
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Post by Turtleneck on 2020-03-29, 09:56

Anyway, DWag's first post about the "death of expertise" is even more timely right now.
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