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Life & Philosophy Social Media Tech

Leave it to the experts

We’re all created equal but we’re not all experts.

Experts are the hedgehogs, the servants; they do one thing well. They’re indispensable like doctors. Yet, the internet came along and unleashed a free for all of know-it-alls.

Our friends and family members, even ourselves, opine on subjects where we have voice but no mastery, not even of the fundamentals. We’ve given people a microphone, a platform, and they produce garbage, demonstrate ignorance, and bask in mediocrity.

Says Tom Nichols in his new book The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters:

“Having equal rights does not mean having equal talents, equal abilities, or equal knowledge. It assuredly does not mean that ‘everyone’s opinion about anything is as good as anyone else’s.’ And yet, this is now enshrined as the credo of a fair number of people despite being obvious nonsense.”

We need practicians. We need the ideas. But we really need people we can trust. It’s no surprise that our experts are usually the ones with most humility and eagerness to learn.

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Discovery 101: Lean In Vs. Lean Back

When it comes to information and music I’m more lean in than lean back. Everyone is interested in these topics but most people would rather consume them from the top-down rather than playing the part of curator/influencer and actively searching for them.

For example, most people prefer to listen to the radio because it takes the stress out of deciding what song to hear next. Actively building playlists takes a lot of time, especially for someone that just uses music to enhance their mood. The same can be said for news: most people would rather get all of it from one source like the New York Times.

The 90-9-1 rule of social media says that 90% of people just consume the feeds, 9% curate them (e.g. retweet), and 1% of users create original content. Lurking along is easy. Curation is hard. But creativity is harder.

Everyone needs a ‘lean in’ topic where they get to show their expertise. It doesn’t have to be tech news or electronic music, as I tend to discover and share. It just needs to be seething you’re passionate about. There’s a niche online for everybody.

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What We Know Versus What We Should Do

Experience shapes the way we think. If we lack experience we lack the visibility and depth that allows for more valuable and contrasting insight.

KNOWING MORE DOESN’T ALWAYS EQUATE TO THE BEST ANSWER.  What it does do however is build awareness and challenge the ways a majority of the people see something.

People wear blinders, naturally. They let their profession, education, and personal habits shape their perspective. More often than not once people reach a certain comfort level and expertise, they no longer search for further possibilities.

But there’s always more than one answer. The reason we exchange disparate ideas is to connect them in attempt to find the most holistic solution. And then we vote on a decision. That’s how democracy works, in theory.

If we can get in the habit of openness and the urge to learn while still harnessing what we know in our experience, we’ll make great strides in realizing the best approach for everybody.

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Strength Finder

If you work on your strengths rather than improving your weaknesses, everything else just seems to come.

The problem most people have is in identifying their strengths. They tend to think of their strengths in terms of employment rather than their human nature.

Are you naturally creative, curious, and disorganized or more analytical, good with numbers, and detail oriented? Are you introspective or do you love to talk? Any mixture of those traits is completely fungible since no one is exactly alike.

Time is not only money, it’s happiness. Don’t get bogged down where you don’t have an innate ability. Rather, spend that time discovering and building upon your strengths. #yolo