“Is ‘rainbow fentanyl’ a threat to your kids this Halloween? Experts say no,” NPR assures me.
And if there’s one thing we’ve learned in these past few years it’s to believe the opposite of what experts say. The media has given up trying to get people to trust it and now asks it to trust its handpicked experts. And those experts say the same exact things that the media says.
Every subject is now tackled by experts.
Do you think that a Senate candidate who can barely grasp a sentence is worrisome?
“Fetterman’s use of captions is common in stroke recovery, experts say,” the Washington Post wheedles. Experts tend to say that Democrats should be elected and Republicans shouldn’t be. They agree that when a Democrat does something it’s very different than when a Republican does it. And if you think the experts are biased, the experts will say that they’re not. Q.E.D.
Experts warn of the rise of “misinformation”. And misinformation has come to be defined by people disagreeing with experts. Experts say that anyone who disagrees should be deplatformed. If you disagree with the deplatforming, they say you should be deplatformed too.
Much like Canadians say “eh”, and the Brits say “innit”, the media says “experts say”.
The media is notorious for sticking “experts say” in any story no matter how irrelevant. No opinion, no matter how stupid or wrong, can fail to be headlined with expert opinion. Take, “Can a Person Be Fat and Fit? Health Experts Say Yes”, “Anatomy Does Not Determine Gender, Experts Say” and “Is it safe to blow out birthday candles? Here’s what experts say”.
I don’t know about you, but I always consult experts before blowing out candles.
The COVID era led to a boom in credentialism and expertism. These aren’t playing quite as well as they used to. “Is COVID Under Control in the US? Experts Say Yes” duels with “There are the new COVID variants that experts say could fuel a winter surge” which was preceded by, “Is the COVID pandemic over? Too soon to say, experts insist.” At least in China, they always say the same thing. “Tight control needed for outbreaks, experts say.” Now and forever.
Expert originated from the Latin meaning a person who had become wise through experience. It now has nearly the opposite meaning of someone who has a degree and credentials. To consult an expert is to roll off a litany of degrees and titles with little emphasis on wisdom or experience.
When Jill Biden insisted on being called “Dr”, the media rallied to her defense. “She has a title of her own that isn’t ‘wife’ but ‘expert,’ in this case on education.” Rana el Kaliouby, “an expert in artificial emotional intelligence”, urged other PhDs to add “‘Dr’ to your twitter name to show how many of us there are. We deserve respect.” Experts in being experts say they deserve respect.
The use of doctorates in titles is ubiquitous in European countries as a class signifier. Americans used to ridicule the absurd pomposity of non-medical doctors who wore doctor drag because we never had much of a class system. Credentialism is constructing one made out of experts who have never been less credible even in the days of phrenology.
Jill Biden’s thesis for her Ed.D degree was filled with spelling errors and read like a freshman term paper. It was based on a questionnaire and Kyle Smith noted that “again and again, the books she cites turn out to contain a huge proportion of the material relevant to her discussion in their first 20 pages.” But experts say all of that is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.
Why do experts keep saying things? For one thing there’s so many more of them.
Between 2000 and 2018, the number of people with doctorates more than doubled from 2 million to 4.5 million. That’s a lot of instant experts. During that same period, the number of institutions handing them out like candy rose over 10%.
In 1958, a total of 8,773 doctoral degrees were awarded, the majority of them in scientific fields. Back then they were a whole lot rarer and the holder was worthy of some respect. Three years later, the Apollo project was underway. In 1969, the year we landed on the moon, 25,743 doctorates were awarded, most of them in science.
In 2020, 55,283 doctoral degrees were awarded. And we’re far dumber for it, even if the experts won’t say so because they’re part of the problem. Many of the doctorates may be in science, but only in the sense that Dr. Jill Biden is a doctor. Quite a few, like Jill’s, are in education including plenty of emotional intelligence doctorates. There are PhDs in diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. Including a Justice and Diversity in Education from Vanderbilt. Arizona State boasts of the “nation’s first School of Social Transformation” as part of a gender studies PhD program. Fat studies have their doctoral programs and experts say that’s good.
Why? It provides employment for the overflow of experts we’re generating at an increasing rate of 3% a year. Those experts immediately need to get jobs to pay back their astronomical student debts. And those jobs all involve telling us things that they know nothing about.
Experts require authority. The more experts we generate, the more the master class grows. And it’s a master class of idiots who are very sensitive about it and obsessed with suppressing dissent. During COVID, we discovered the proliferation of Masters of Public Health, bureaucrats knew nothing about science, understood even less and claimed total authority anyway.
The less the experts know, the more they say. The petty fascism of a bureaucrat with a nonsensical degree would shame the worst Latin American autocrat. Every political official who can now puts a PhD after his name. Visit California’s election site and you’ll see “Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D” in much larger letters than her actual title as the Secretary of State. Weber got a PhD in Communications before building a Department of African Studies at San Diego State.
From her Twitter handle to interviews, all have to be labeled “PhD”. In a recent interview, Weber proposed changes to the state’s recall elections to protect Newsom and keep someone like Larry Elder from being elected. Weber, appointed by Gov. Newsom two years ago, is obviously an expert. And experts ought to tell us whom we’re allowed to vote for.
The proliferation of experts is a measure of the decline of individual autonomy. Beginning in the last century, a new class of experts, think tanks and invented authorities began envisioning the world as a sterile laboratory in which society and human beings would be engineered to perfection. The great experiment, which began with socialism, eugenics and the end of nations is now concluding with a cargo cult of clowns waving their worthless degrees at the sky.
Slovenia, an ex-Communist country, has the highest percentage of doctorates in Europe. It hasn’t done anything for it and won’t do much for us either. No matter what the experts say.
Genuine expert opinion is welcome when it’s relevant and open to debate. But the degradation of expertise into credentialism and credentialism into Kafkaesque tyranny that pervades every area of modern life demands that the politically convenient opinions of every woke PhD in an invented field be treated as if they have the verities of Isaac Newton or Albert Einstein.
The activists have become experts and the experts, activists, and, like at the conclusion of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, we look from activist to expert to woke idiot, and we can’t tell which is which, but we know that we don’t trust a single damn one of them.
Algorithmic Analyst says
I was lucky enough to have the chance to work with about half-a-dozen people who were the very top person in the world in their niche area. Those are the real experts, and very rare. They are very careful what they say.
Here go. Don’t listen to the experts! Experts are stupid Listen to me, Daniel Greenfield. I know everything about everything.
Mr. Greenfield gleefully derides all experts. Expertise is a tool of the Left, you see, It is part of “the great experiment” that is intent on imposing “socialism” and “the end of all nations.” Mr. Greenfield, meanwhile, pontificates endlessly on international relations and national politics, on infectious diseases and climate change, on history, morality, religion.
Whence does Mr. Greenfield’s expertise come from? Do we all have to believe him because he is a “Shillman Journalism Fellow”? That’s a laugh. Mr. Greenfield is not a journalist. He is a pundit, a polemicist, a propagandist. He gets paid to write what his audience wants to read. He has no interest in nor respect for journalistic integrity. He lies unabashedly. (Really, Mr. Greenfield? The US “never had much of a class system”?). He makes up historical connections out of thin air. He throws conclusions with no compunction or self doubt.
Whom do we listen to? Not science, says Mr. Greenfield. Science is the new paganism. Science is nothing but “ill omens and portents, conspiracy theories and rumors”, just godless atheists who “bow down and worship the earth and the sun.” Why don’t we “turn to G-d” instead? (see here: https://politichicks.com/2022/08/greenfield-the-hot-pagan-nights-of-august/ ).
What school did you get your PhD.
Micrkon – What sets Mr. Greenfield apart from the PHD experts he references is the fact that Mr. Greenfield possesses two of the rarest of traits in the world today, 1) Common Sense 2) True wisdom that comes from the lost ability to critically think.
This is something you and your entourage of PHDs don’t have, never will, and will remain blind to it until the day you all die.
Ugly Sid says
Odd how your eruditeness has escaped notice.
What is the url of your fountain head of wisdom?
I don’t have a Phd , but as a 22 yo, I travelled all around Europe, visiting Poland and E. Germany in 1974. I talked to just a few young people in those countries, and from what they told me, I could see what my Phd professors could not see– Marxist Leninist regimes in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union were losing the hearts and minds of young people in those countries. It was only a matter of time before the Berlin Wall came down and the leftist totalitarian states collapsed.
You just proved Greenfield’s point.
THX 1138 says
So how come Naomi Wolf is always insisting on calling herself Doctor Naomi Wolf?
Cornelia Foster Wood says
Brilliant. Love Daniel Greenfield’s writing
How can trust an expert when they proved themselves to be wrong over and over again. Just look at global warming hoax. For how many years the experts have been proclaiming the end of civilization due to climate change? Or Covid scam, where we have told it wasn’t created in a lab. More over how can anyone trust a Phd degree from a system that graduates kids from high school who can’t fill simple employment application.
Special K says
I had a PHD. I used it as constructed, manually, singularly, to dig post holes. Very educational; built for the exclusion of cattle along County Road #? Working in all weather, follow the string, for months, up and down the hills, 10′ apart, 2.5′ deep, 540+ holes a mile, for many miles, until it met Farm Road #? Next we planted the posts. Then we actually strung the fence. Quite an education. I believe many could benefit from such a course, but now PHD’s are gas.
rocco barbella says
Are these experts you talk about related to the 50 or more intelligence experts that said Hunter Biden’s laptop is nothing more than Russian propaganda?
Ok, now I understand.
Tom Morrow says
The problem with these political appeals to authority is that they are often trying to claim something as settled (like the “settled” science of global warming… errrr… climate change) when in fact it is not settled and there is still a lot of scientific debate. [For the scientifically illiterate, if the “best” models of the Climate Change scientists cannot accurately track or predict climate, that means they don’t fully understand the system, and the science isn’t mature.]
But the media and the politicians, hoping to bamboozle people into giving government more power and control, use one-sided appeals to authority (logical fallacy) to convince the gullible, the ignorant and the uneducated (like those 2 soup-throwing girls in England) to go into panics and demands to have fewer rights and less freedom.
These same politicians and media then turn around and try to silence and punish honest people for questioning the policies and even the experts who are drawing different scientific conclusions from the same datasets.
The same problem exists in all the one-sided political nonsense which ignores all the inconvenient facts and data, whether regarding COVID, COVID vaccines, DIE, crime, transgenderism, etc. Too many are too sure based upon claims that experts’ opinions are facts.
James Miller says
The sharp increase in the number of doctorates awarded from 1958 to 1969 was due in large part to the Vietnam draft. Many of my classmates (‘64) opted for grad school because being in school provided an exemption. As a result of the sharp increase, government funding (our only patron for basic and much applied research) was impacted negatively. Projects became underfunded and sluggish.
“X” is the unknown, “spurt” is a drip under pressure.
From this, we can deduce that an “expert” is an unknown drip under pressure.
Andrew Blackadder says
Years ago when I lived in Northern California I met this woman at a Party and she asked me where I was from, I replied, Scotland, she then asked if that was close to England… I guess she didnt get a Geography Degree at the UC Berkeley University she had just Graduated from.
Another time I met a guy who Graduated from UCLA and he asked me if Scotland was in England so I suggested that would be the case if he thought Oklahoma was in Texas… He looked puzzled at my reply.
I never let my lack of schooling get in the way of my education.
Spot on, Andrew…
Some decades ago, I was working for Hewlett-Packard in Silicon Valley.
Suddenly, over literally one weekend, just about every site was surrounded by chain-link fencing, some gates and guard shacks.
WTF happened, we wondered…. then the story came out that, during the previous week, some college students (we surmised it was Berkeley or UC Santa Cruz…) had snuck onto HP property at one of our lab sites and put an explosive device under one of the huge liquified gas tanks near the buildings.
There was no damage, and I don’t remember if the bomb(s?) even went off, but the reason a lot of us thought it was Berkeley or UCSC was because the bombs were set under a Liquid Nitrogen tank.