Why is it in most things experts dont know that much

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by Shroud, May 16, 2018.

  1. Shroud

    Shroud G.O.A.T.

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    often i get deep down the rabbit hole and find that the accepted norms dont hold up or are just half the picture.

    Why is that??
     
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  2. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    Maybe it's because people are more interested in manipulating people to their own advantage than helping them?

    I'm not sure why, but most of what we were taught in school, or Sunday school, or hear on the media is false. The amount of untruth we're told is really mind boggling. And I know there's so many more non-truths I still don't know about.
     
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  3. travlerajm

    travlerajm Legend

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    People often become "experts" in a subject by regurgitating for many years the same thing that they were told long ago, but never questioned.
     
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  4. stringertom

    stringertom Bionic Poster

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    Those that no longer can often become anal-ysts even though their failure to maintain regularity caused their fall from the throne.
     
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  5. travlerajm

    travlerajm Legend

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    Some folks simply push too hard and end up giving themselves headaches.
     
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  6. weelie

    weelie Rookie

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    We just don't know as much as we think we know. To know that you don't know you need to know what you don't know. :D

    On a side track:
     
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  7. movdqa

    movdqa G.O.A.T.

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    When you get your Bachelor's degree, you think you know everything. Then you go to graduate school and find out how little you know about your area of study.

    The amounts of knowledge today is so vast - it's is extremely difficult to be well versed in all of it at a high and low level.
     
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  8. r2473

    r2473 G.O.A.T.

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    That’s not true
     
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  9. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    The other thing I've noticed is that, in a number of areas involving morals, religion and politics, everyone feels his opinion is equally valid with those who have studied these fields. I suppose the same is true in literature.

    And we all know how many people get their "facts" from television and the movies.
     
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  10. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    I rather think more people are altruistic, or at least helpful and charitable to others, than merely selfish.
     
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  11. r2473

    r2473 G.O.A.T.

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    Can you give an example? You can only expect as much “truth” as the subject matter allows.

    In the end, people get the education they deserve (many people are too smart to learn much of anything).
     
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  12. movdqa

    movdqa G.O.A.T.

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    It isn't just in those area. My son had an argument with an English Professor about genetic engineering. The English Professor was a "Wikipedia Expert" on the matter. My son works in Oncogenomics Pathology. The gulf in knowledge between the two is so huge but the English Professor thought that he knew more about it than my son did.

    I get it in my area too. People will say things related to computers, artificial intelligence, robots, etc. But they've never studied computer science (which is really mathematics). It can be very hard to dumb things down enough for them to understand - even if they were willing to think that someone knew more than they do. To most people, how computers work is essentially magic. But they think that they know how things behave and even work.
     
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  13. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    Well, this is kind of the old C.P. Snow split, isn't it? I think anyone versed in the liberal arts needs to keep much on top of the latest in serious science. . . AND the flip, too: it's too easy for scientists to imagine that they are the smartest in the room, and don't need to seriously study Aristotle, etc. I've often run into engineers who have abysmal knowledge of history and culture.
     
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  14. Shroud

    Shroud G.O.A.T.

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    Here are a few.

    1. A client was a researcher at Stanford. He was doing research on type 1 diabetes. I asked him if he thought it was caused by exposure to cows milk. He said no because he did a controlled study where some babies had no dairy and others had as much as they could get. He said there was no correlation. But you should have seen the look on his face when I asked him if and how he controlled for dairy exposure during pregancy...yep he didnt

    2. I used to be an audiophile and was into planar magnetic speakers. Big metal sheet with magnets making a thin membrane laced with current carrying wires. Current produced a magnetic field which moved the membrane making sound. Metal sheet was supported by an mdf frame. Manufacturer and its engineers didnt figure out that the metal sheet would ring which produced a similiar movement of the membrane that messed with the resolution of the speaker. I fixed it by adhering strips of dynamat to the metal plate

    3. Doctors clueless about nutrition and just prescribe meds.

    4. MRTs and tennis gurus comparing strings but not taking into account the differences in swingweights different strings can produce

    5. Audio pros reducing sound from a computer solely to bits, missing the inherit analog nature of digital transmission and forgetting about RF pollution in a pc and the fact that audio is a realtime event.

    6. Sales gurus focusing on rapport and sales tactics.
     
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  15. millicurie999

    millicurie999 Semi-Pro

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  16. r2473

    r2473 G.O.A.T.

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    Magnepan or Martin and Logan? I used to have Maggies. Didn't like how much power they needed to run (I was using a Class A Krell that ran so hot it warped one of my records when I set it on there accidentally).

    Switched over to Klipschhorns and tubes. It's really amazing for the price (used and modified). Local guy spent time to get me nice matching NOS tubes in my phono stage and amp. Probably going to upgrade the horn and tweeters with this guy soon.

    http://klipschupgrades.com/vtracinstall.shtml
     
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  17. Shroud

    Shroud G.O.A.T.

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    Magnepans! Here is the tweak i came up with

    https://www.audioasylum.com/messages/MUG/155318/razor-your-mags
     
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  18. Shroud

    Shroud G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah they take some power they say. However some were biamping with 7w triodes. Glad you found a setup you like. I can see the draw for horns and tubes. Turn tables? Old school
     
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  19. millicurie999

    millicurie999 Semi-Pro

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    Damn! Closeted audiophiles exposed :D
     
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  20. r2473

    r2473 G.O.A.T.

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    Linn LP12 (modded). Not the most "pure", but fun as heck. Mine gives a much more complete picture of the music than you might expect from an LP12, but definitely emphasizes the "top". However, comparing it to a $30K VPI machine in a local shop 10 years ago, I sort of preferred my LP12. But I really hate "analytic", lifeless sounding music. For me, it has to "groove".

    I listen to mostly classical and jazz, so my system is tuned for that type of music as opposed to rock.
     
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  21. Shroud

    Shroud G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah I was thinking Jazz when you listed your system. Bet you are in heaven.
     
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  22. Shroud

    Shroud G.O.A.T.

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    Lol. Lots of similiarities with tennis. Very subjective hobby with tons of boutique options. Doing headphones now. Monoprice M1060s or M565 are the maggies of headphones. I thought audiophiles were wacky. Headfi guys are bizarre
     
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  23. movdqa

    movdqa G.O.A.T.

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    It's not what you know and what you don't know. It's that you know what you don't know.
     
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  24. r2473

    r2473 G.O.A.T.

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    If you know what you're looking for, inquiry is unnecessary. If you don't know what you're looking for, inquiry is impossible. Therefore, inquiry is either unnecessary or impossible.
     
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  25. Shroud

    Shroud G.O.A.T.

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    Like the newspaper articles on health studies that state the opposite conclusion!
     
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  26. r2473

    r2473 G.O.A.T.

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    I tried some Stax a while back. Just can't get used to "cans". I really miss the "imaging".

    Of course when I go the to symphony hall, I realize how crappy my stereo is...........
     
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  27. millicurie999

    millicurie999 Semi-Pro

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    Words....I can never get into headphone. It's fun to hear all the details but never seems real. More equipment, less music (for me).
     
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  28. movdqa

    movdqa G.O.A.T.

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    In a lot of cases inquiry is insufficient.
     
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  29. r2473

    r2473 G.O.A.T.

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    But necessary.
     
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  30. movdqa

    movdqa G.O.A.T.

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    If inquiry results in misplaced confidence than it's useless. Trying to learn something quickly that you really need a semester or five of study for and thinking that you're an expert when you really aren't is a waste. I'd like to take a course in genetics but the rampup to get the prerequisites are daunting. I'd like to study immunology as well but similar thing. But at least I know how hard it is to get the preliminaries out of the way.
     
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  31. Shroud

    Shroud G.O.A.T.

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    Totally agree. Miss actual speakers. Long story but apartment living sucks for speakers and my two velodyne references subs.

    And I am a soundstage/image freak so phones leave a lot ro be desired
     
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  32. ttwarrior1

    ttwarrior1 Professional

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    docs take one outdated class on nutrition, nothing else, then regular people think they are godlike

    some still think fat turns to fat and my doc says no vitamins work, just wow
     
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  33. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    I ran again into those studies that show only a 36% reproducibility in psychology experiments. Author blames pressure to publish, lack of serious interest by researcher.
     
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  34. KineticChain

    KineticChain Hall of Fame

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    it's fun to read about the holes in every field of study. some fields have more holes than others. but, i would caution you not to get too close to your friend, mr. dunning-kruger.
     
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  35. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    I think that both of our statements are compatible.

    Most of these normal people prefer to be honest and helpful to others. But if you have to make a living, as most of us do, then it becomes more complicated. Retail stores think it wise to put their people on commission, making it nearly useless to ask their advice. They will invariably recommend the most expensive items, and their management approves of this. Even institutions like colleges are not exempt from this. They correlate income with education without explaining that correlation does not imply causation. This leads many students to acquire disastrous amounts of student loans. The students go into debt like lambs to the slaughter. And these are people they're told they can trust!

    I'm just scratching the surface here. But even though, I accept your assertion that most people are decent, somehow we go around in a world of lies, half truths, misinformation, misleading stats, etc.
     
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  36. ByeByePoly

    ByeByePoly Legend

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    Why single out experts?
     
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  37. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    given the paucity of agreed-upon facts in all of those endeavors, I'd say my opinion IS as valid as, say, a religion scholar, who is essentially studying dogma
     
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  38. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    "Dogma" is unclear here; you may be meaning this in a pejorative way, as something essentially illogical. But take a look at Aquinas in your spare time. I DO mean this: don't simply recite what others, who may have bias, tell you about these things. There's much more than meets the eye. One problem scientists know that they have to deal with is the "dogma" of their disciplines: humans see things through conceptual and linguistic spectacles. So it goes.
     
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  39. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    Your point's right. In 2018, there's no such thing as a Renaissance Man who knows all. We really have to take on faith what experts tell us. . . so of course it's shocking when we run into fudged data or poorly-done studies, especially those done for ideological purposes.
     
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  40. KineticChain

    KineticChain Hall of Fame

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    (text wall incoming)

    Exactly this. I feel like there is a recent movement (that is manifested most intensely on social media) that puts forth this idea that you simply cannot and should not rely on experts and you must "do the research yourself". Rightly so, the general public should be upset when ever they hear about a purposefully or accidentally botched study. And the public is justified to be a bit more skeptical of "experts" after they hear about the botched study. The public has to realize that researchers, scientists, engineers are people too and are prone to error, bias, and at worst (and most rare)- corruptness. The scientific method isn't perfect, but its strongest attribute is the peer-review process where other people who are highly studied and knowledgeable in the specialized field (more so than anyone else outside the field) get to review the study and catch errors - where the errors could be derived from honest mistakes or some deeply ingrained bias. This peer review process hinges on the fact that a study will get plenty of expert eyes on it. Many times, papers do not get high volumes of expert eyes before it is thrown out into the public domain. And these types of papers are the ones that most often get caught later on as having bad methodology. Well established theories have had plenty of expert eyes on, and are very solid. These theories are about as philosophically close as you can get to "facts" about the assumed objective reality we inhabit. That doesn't mean they can't be later refined, but their underlying revelations about relationships between two or more observable phenomena are most certainly correct. For example, photosynthesis is a theory about the relationship between sunlight and plant growth. The core aspect of the theory identifying a fundamental relationship between plant growth and sunlight is very likely correct. Possibly fine details in the theory could be later critiqued or corrected, but the identified fundamental relationship will likely never be disputed. Newton was correct about there being a fundamental underlying relationship between the motions of large massive bodies in the sky and the mysterious downward force we experience on Earth. And that broad, correctly identified relationship will likely never be shown to be incorrect. What can change (and what has changed) is perspective and introduction of additional information, i.e. General/Special Relativity. These theories give us new insight into what Newton had originally observed and suggested. General/Special relativity does not destroy Newton's correct linking of large objects and the downward force experienced on Earth, it might make obsolete some of Newton's more detailed and deeper level analyses/hypotheses, but Newton was still correct at the fundamental level and will likely always be correct. I know this is a bit of a tangent, but I'm anticipating (maybe wrongly so) some anti-science arguments that always use Newton as the example to show how "science can be wrong" at fundamental levels. Largely, the "science" wasn't wrong, it was refined and built off of.

    Back on topic... the mere fact that a study could draw incorrect conclusions does not remove the scientific method as the most successful tool/way of thinking that humans have ever devised for probing reality. The researchers and scientists in these specialized fields of study are in fact humans, and they are susceptible to any psychological effects that inhibit truth-finding, just like the rest of us. The thing that differentiates an expert in a rigorous field of study from a non-expert is the sheer amount of knowledge they have accumulated about their field. For as likely as an expert is to make a misjudgment in their field of study, someone outside that field of study is many times more likely to make a misjudgment about a topic in that field. That shouldn't come as a surprise, but more and more, we are seeing this movement towards anti-intellectualism and a push to "do the research yourself". It is fine to do the research yourself, but the types of people who are pushing this idea are the types who do not take seriously the very limiting aspects of their psychology that enable them to feel more knowledgeable and informed than they really are. They feel like they are able to successfully critique established ideas in a field of study by doing 1/1000th of the research that someone in that field of study has done. This has been observed so much that there is a name for this psychological phenomenon: Dunning-Kruger Effect. The mere fact that this psychological inhibitor exists does not immediately dismiss all critiques of a field of study by non-experts (and experts alike). But the fact that it does exist does suggest the majority of critique from laymen are done from a position of high ignorance.. found by succumbing to the most common logical pitfalls found at the very entrance of the field of study. And we're not talking about minor levels of ignorance, the most common level of ignorance by laymen begins at the most fundamental level of understanding about the topic at hand. For example, people who dismiss evolution as just an unfounded hypothesis often have misconceptions about the top-level outline of the theory. An outline that can be said in a couple of sentences and if the layman were to seriously attempt to understand that couple of sentences, it would dismiss their basic misconceptions. Of course there is a gradient to the level of sophistication of layman argumentation against established theory. The most ignorant arguments are the most common, and the most knowledgeable arguments are the rarest. Another example is vaccines. The most common argument by "self-researchers" will be that "chemicals" are bad for you and there's chemicals inside vaccines. The most sophisticated arguments will actually link you to the specific study that has been done in the past that shows a possible link between autism and proteins within certain vaccines. Of course this argument has to also dismiss all the peer-review criticism that the study has since undergone and the subsequent studies that show no link between vaccines and autism. The all too-familiar conspiracy argument then pops up to discredit the current expert consensus. And this is actually a good example of how individual studies that don't have high levels of peer-review can be shown to have used bad methodology and make incorrect correlations.

    TL;DR Yes individual experts and individual studies can be wrong and/or can be refined. Individual studies and opinions of individual experts are far less mature than expert consensus on a topic. If lots of (actually) knowledgeable people closely examine something, any bad methodologies and biases have a much higher chance of being hammered out. And no, for the most part, as a layman with far less knowledge on a topic in a rigorous field of study, you should not feel like you're able to successfully critique expert consensus with any degree of accuracy and certainty. Acknowledge your natural tendency to have unjustified confidence in your knowledge level. Allow experts to do the work for you (and yes, have faith that they're doing it correctly), because you don't have that kind of time and inclination. How often does an outsider of your expertise correctly criticize work you do in your expert domain? You have to put trust in the system, and that's scary for some people. But there's really no alternative unless you spend the same amount of time that experts do, studying and immersing yourself into the field. Otherwise, you're likely misleading yourself and falling into the trap of your own psychological tendency to feel more knowledgeable than you really are.
     
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  41. Daniel-San

    Daniel-San Professional

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    Fedr
     
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  42. KineticChain

    KineticChain Hall of Fame

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    there's no capital F in feder. but well-said otherwise
     
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  43. stringertom

    stringertom Bionic Poster

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    srshs...He is omniscient, omnivorous and omnipresent. Not necessarily in that order.:p:D
     
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  44. movdqa

    movdqa G.O.A.T.

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    I read a paper on a topic written by the Dean of Georgetown Law and she drew a conclusion that I knew was wrong. So I went through the chain of references (which isn't always easy if you don't have access to a research library), and her reference had to be followed down four other papers and the base reference was unattributed (the reference was to a general magazine without a specific reference). And that's an area where research can fail. Someone can do the right things - you depend on the papers that you reference. But a mistake made can propagate through other papers that depend on it. There's also research paper fraud but that's another topic. Some of that doesn't actually hurt anyone; it might be the duplication of another's work or some research work that was never really done but in some esoteric area unlikely to ever matter.
     
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  45. KineticChain

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    no fair, not allowed to bring in the omni-expert to the discussion.

    Yep, the research arena is by no means perfect and even has some systemic problems like you mentioned. And of course, also mentioned, that kind of problem is much more present in niche research circles that don't get the hyper-critical examination that a highly politicized research topic might get. What I'm more trying to get at is not that experts are infallible, it's that as fallible as experts are, non-experts are much more fallible. The majority of non-expert criticisms in the news and on social media are just plain bad and adhere to absolutely no kind of methodological rigor that experts do (attempt to) adhere to. Like I said, there is a gradient of non-expert criticism. What you did by actually following a chain of references in a series of research papers is at the upper end of sophistication of non-expert criticism. You're probably in a rigorous field yourself to even think to do that and know how to access a research library. The sophistication level you see most commonly in the public domain on social media platforms is quite a bit lower. But even if you ramp up the level a bit, you hear all these stories from physicist researchers about the crackpots that write to them. Among the mentally deranged crackpots who are certain they have developed the theory of everything, are the engineer types that have backgrounds in high level math and problem solving. The engineer crackpot, although well versed in math/science, still has little self-awareness of their knowledge level in terms of the problem they are trying to tackle outside their field of expertise. I think that's probably a personality trait rather than a rule of thumb about engineers. But the point is, even being moderately well-versed in a field of study does not ensure that you're not making undergrad level reasoning pitfalls.
     
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  46. stringertom

    stringertom Bionic Poster

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    Poobwin's Law...all Internetz discussions must devolve into matters srshsian.:p:D
     
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  47. Shroud

    Shroud G.O.A.T.

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    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140711085839-139904838-the-myth-of-continental-serve-grip
     
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  48. stringertom

    stringertom Bionic Poster

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  49. Bartelby

    Bartelby Talk Tennis Guru

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    The media is actually not in the truth/falsity game even if they publish or broadcast experts on a particular topic a lot of the time.

    The media are about publishing information regardless of the truth or falsity of the information.

    If politician X says that global warming is bunk and politician Y says it's real then both are reportable items of information.

    Most of the propaganda effect of media comes down to the fact that they demonstrate bias by not reporting reportable items of information.

    And then there is the possibility of giving undue prominence to what may or may not be a reportable item of information aka 'fake news'.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
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  50. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    I don't think much of this is intentional political or ideological pushing-=--despite the fact that I've been deeply shocked more than once by young college instructors who view their work as one of indoctrinating youth. Sad but true. Actually, one of the best professors I had as a young man was a heavy duty socialist, but he was a professional in teaching the subject and it was in private conversation and upon being asked that he indicated his own view. Fine, no problem.

    The bulk of the errors are unintentional bias---we so often read the world in the way we are used to apprehending it, that new things sometimes go unseen.

    IN 2018 the media itself is a problem. It's become entertainment and thus sensationalistic. And of course one way media perpetuates error is by framing stories in the usual conventional stereotypes, as well as in the black/white, good guy/bad guy approach. And of course, no news enterprise is willing to spend money on original reporting or investigative reporting. . . so it's become an alley of mimicking monkeys. I say all this as a former journalist. Heck, locally I was at the center of an issue at which the paper did no fact-checking on outlandish claims but did present them as fact. . . when a few phone calls would have shown this up as fraudulent.
     
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