Exposure Basics, lesson three?

Started Mar 18, 2013 | Discussions thread
texinwien
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Speaking from experience
In reply to texinwien, Mar 21, 2013

I have learned a lot on these forums over the past several months, and still have a lot to learn.

I am, by no means, an expert, but I am not a complete novice, either. Unlike, perhaps, some people, who might try to put themselves into the expert category before they deserve to be put there, I will simply say that I am learning and have a lot more to learn. I look up to those who know more than I do, and appreciate them sharing their knowledge.

However, things can still be frustrating. the dance I mentioned - if I must prove my chops to someone with more expertise than I (that is, if I must first prove that I am worthy of addressing), and I must also judge whether a person I am talking about has more expertise than I (and decide whether or not to listen to what he has to say), well, this process can be the cause of a lot of wasted time, and can also cause friction between two people who share similar interests and might have otherwise had some interesting conversations about the interests they share.

Do you understand? If you, approach me and tell me you are an expert, and tell me that you are going to correct some misapprehensions I am laboring under, I must first decide whether I believe you are an expert - a difficult task, anyway. If you disagree with me about something, it's possible that you're just wrong and confused, but it's also possible that you have a more thorough understanding of the subject. The problem is that it can be difficult to judge which of these options is actually the case - time can be wasted, and the exchange can often end up going south before anything is learned.

Furthermore, I may actually be more of an expert than you are, but that doesn't mean I'm infallible. What if you come to me and point out an actual error (perhaps inarticulately) in my thinking. There is a danger that I will reason, fallaciously and internally, based on argument to authority. That is, I will determine that I know much more about the subjects than you do, and that, as such, you must be wrong. You're not the first novice to come to me thinking they've found an error in my thinking, and in all of those cases up until now, the novices have been wrong. So why should I even think through your 'accusation' or give you the time of the day, and it may be that I have no interest in spending the time to 'prove you wrong' (not realizing that I'm actually the one in the wrong).

Do you see - this teaching fallacious information to novices with no guarantee that they will be systematically untaught the fallacious information simply sets us all up for difficulties when we try to discuss the interesting topics at hand and try to share knowledge from each other and learn from each other.

I think it's a pox, personally.

tex

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