- Mar 17, 2008
I agree with all those lines.I agree 100% with your last couple of lines there. This situation is like a war, as I see it, and in a war you do your bit and accept whatever downside there might be as part of the collective struggle. So I got the booster jab, and if they call me for another one I'll get that as well.
I don't agree with the earlier part about trusting relevant 'experts'. Had a life time of encountering specialists and experts who didn't know as much as they thought they did. For example, none of the teachers at my old school had much of a clue about the lives of their students, or what was going on in their own school. They didn't, for example, know that a couple of their colleagues had been seriously sexually-abusing students on the premises for many years. Since then had any number of experiences with doctors or lawyers or other professionals where it turned out their expertise had major limitations.
I mean, I haven't had much direct experience with priests or cops, but you only need to read the papers to see how untrustworthy they can be, as 'professionals' and how prone they are to assume they know far more than they actually do.
The trouble with the concept of 'experts' and 'specialists' (and, above all, ' professionals') is that it all takes place in the context of a class-system. Some of it is just a pretense, a way of maintaining a heirarchy. Hence you can't fully trust experts. The trouble is in the US a distrust of experts seems to have become exclusively associated with the racist-right. (Though, oddly, the right seem very keen on everyone having absolute faith in the infallibility of cops...but even that seems to be weakening now).
In fact that's directly relevant to something I'm dealing with right now - had a consultation with a specialist medic, and came away thinking that I'm really not 100% convinced they know their stuff, because what they said directly contradicted what I'd read in papers in medical journals on-line. Experts and specialists aren't always right.
I'm in a state of serious confusion, in fact, because I know I might not be right either - maybe I'm entirely misinterpreting what those articles were saying? But as it appears the condition I wanted information about is extremely rare and was only definitively identified as a distinct condition as recently as 2016, it seems entirely possible that a random practitoner, even a specialist, might not be that well informed about it. I suspect they were making a mistake that some of the papers I've read also made (as pointed out by other papers). The real problem is you simply can never question such 'experts' very forcefully, because they get very annoyed and you alienate them. You have to tip-toe around their professional pride, so you always come away still full of doubts.
I mean this is why the Bolsheviks introduced a system of Commissars - to keep an eye on those 'experts' who were needed but who couldn't be trusted. Obviously that didn't work, but the problem it was supposed to deal with is a real one.
But to me all that just comes down to critical thinking.
If there is only one mechanic in the world, it doesnt really matter what my gut instinct says about his credentials, he is my only vector for getting out of here with a functional ride. Introduce a second mechanic and I have options, I might get that second opinion.
Its that Bayesian inference again. Hey I've walked away from medicinal doctors, a couple of surgeons and a three dentists cause expression of their expertise rubbed me the wrong way. Just cause you put on a white coat... Just like with police or anything else that signals authority, start by recognizing the human underneath.
The Bayesian theorem is super simple though, with all other things being equal you got 100 experts, 95 of them says vaccines are safe by vaccine standards, the 96th say Ivermectin, the 97th look suspiciously like Alex Jones, the 98th 99th 100th are flat earthers... Spock logic dictates I accept the vaccine risc and get the jab.