Thursday, 3 September 2009

I am an expert authority on the subject of cows

- or so it would seem. This has come to pass because, for the second time in my life, I have been able to recognise that something with four legs is not a Jersey cow but a Friesan cow. I now know "all about" cows. (There are other living things with four legs and I can also recognise that they are not always cows.)
Now this matters. Once you are an expert in one area you can make pronouncements on other issues as well. People will listen. After all, you are an expert. Experts are important people. They matter. We should listen to experts. They tell us what to do.
Experts are becoming increasingly important in society. There are more and more of them. Their areas of expertise are not, contrary to original belief, getting smaller. There will soon be experts in everything. There may even be experts in everything now. I may just have missed out on them while I was busy being an expert in my own area of recognising cows.
All these other experts allow me to be lazy. I no longer need to work at understanding anything. An expert does it for me.
An expert will educate me in the proper way to do something as well. Their role is to intrude on my personal life as well as on public policy. They will not tell me too much. They will tell me only as much as I need to know. After all, that is what experts are for. If they tell us too much we will not need them. We might start to think. That would be dangerous.
Experts have taken over from the law and from other forms of authority. Experts advise the law. They advise government. "Science" is everything. We have statistics to back up this theory or that theory or some other theory.
When I was in secondary school I had to read CP Snow's essay on "The two cultures". It is a long time ago now but, if I remember correctly, he was lamenting the fact that the arts and science no longer spoke to one another. Part of the problem was the explosion of knowledge and the need to know more and more.
Now you are a member of the arts community or you are a member of the science community. You cannot be both. There is too much to know. Even in your own community there is so much to know that you can only belong to a sub-group. This means you may not even be able to communicate with members of other sub-groups in your community. That does not matter because there are other experts out there to do it for you.
Experts are presumed to solve problems. In reality they create new problems. They fail to communicate. They use languages all of their own. It is the task of the expert to create and maintain a sub-group. Their role is to isolate and, in doing so, maintain control or help others maintain control over us. It is the experts' way of maintaining an orderly society. It should be the end of all our problems.
However, I have a problem. I do not know how to milk a cow.

3 comments:

Holly said...

Ah, just like a bureaucracy - first job is to maintain itself. Doing the job for which it was created is of secondary importance.

catdownunder said...

Yes, but it IS more important to keep my cat hair in order hair by hair! :-)

Donna Hosie said...

Experts are presumed to solve problems. In reality they create new problems. They fail to communicate. They use languages all of their own. It is the task of the expert to create and maintain a sub-group. Their role is to isolate and, in doing so, maintain control or help others maintain control over us. It is the experts' way of maintaining an orderly society. It should be the end of all our problems.

Good heavens, isn't that the truth. Rarely a day goes by when I don't find myself totally bamboozled by "experts" - most of them self-proclaimed.