Oh, you’re an expert. Then you must be right

I am so sick and tired of people saying that something is true because there is an expert that agrees with their point of view.  Or that there is some “official person” that has declared their position valid.  It upsets me even more when people think that something is true or use in an argument that the majority of people all agree or conform to some idea.   Geez, group consensus, that has never been wrong before.  There have been countless instances throughout our history where the majority of people believed something that was later proved to be incorrect.  These are just a few examples in the long list of fallacies the majority of the world used to believe true that have been proven wrong: Jesus being the son of God (according to the Jews), gravity, the world being flat, the Greeks and Romans believing in mount Olympus, one race being superior or inferior to other races (and it wasn’t just the Nazis), wearing hats causes baldness, and that frozen yogurt is good for you.  Just because and expert says so, or everyone believes the same thing doesn’t mean it’s the truth.

How many of us have seen on TV the introduction of some new “miracle product” advertised that is going to relieve this or be a cure all for that?  Then to give their product validity, an expert wearing a lab coat looking very official with the moniker Dr. in front of their name who is acting as their “expert,” endorses the product.  Who gives a shit?  There has been a long-standing joke about this profession.  Do you know what they call the guy who finishes dead last in his medical school class?  Doctor.  Meaning that anyone, whether they are a deserving or not, can still be called a doctor just by graduating.  Just like with lawyers, accountants, scientist, and any other profession that requires more years of college.  All you have to do is finish the race so to speak and graduate.  I’ve watched the Boston Marathon; the guy who finishes the race in 1st place is a lot different then the guy who finishes the race 10 hours later in last.  It is impressive to just go out there and do it, but I’m not getting running advice from the last place guy.  Just like I am not listening to someone because they are a so-called expert.  Colleges and universities are cranking out “experts” on a daily basis based on the amount of money they have spent to obtain their degrees.

I also have a problem with polls that are supposed to determine the “pulse of America.”  Those polls are no closer to telling me how the rest of America thinks than eating a bag of Skittles is going to let me taste a rainbow.   A poll can make a claim just like a bag of candy does, but it doesn’t make it the truth.  You don’t know anything about the people being questioned, where they are at, what has transpired to them recently, and the religious, ethnic and economic breakdown of the people being polled.   It is as ridiculous as asking 1,500 Americans which color they like better, giving them only 5 colors to choose from, and then wording the findings something like this: “The majority of Americans think yellow is the most offensive color.”  First of all the idea of “offensive” was never brought up.  Just because people picked yellow the least, doesn’t mean they don’t like it.  It means that their favorite is something else.  Yellow could just have easily been their second choice, or they could like a multitude of colors that aren’t on the list, plus the survey said to pick their favorite color, not to pick the one they despised the most.   But reports based on surveys like this happen all the time.  And they are about things that are far more important than favorite colors in an attempt to mislead the public, drum up interest in a story, or to support false claims in order to sway the public over to one opinion from another.

Another common fallacy is the use of statistics.  The statistics that news organizations print or televise can be so easily manipulated that I don’t understand how anyone can back anything they claim with a straight face and maintain that it has any validity. I just read a report on CNN that had the headline saying that joblessness rates have slowed down.   So I clicked the link to inquire within and read the whole article.  Well apparently because less people have reported this year that they are jobless to the government, the rate has gone down.  Umm, no.  That is just faulty thinking.  It may be true that less people are reporting to the government that they are jobless this year, but it can be any number of reasons why they aren’t reporting it as frequently.  One major reason could be because their unemployment benefits have run out.  So they are no longer reporting it, because they can’t make any more claims.  Just because the rate of reporting is down, doesn’t mean the rate of joblessness has slowed.  That is equivalent to saying that because less people are going to the hospital sickness and accidents resulting in injury are down.  Well it could be that, or it could be that people are looking for home remedies or are just battling through their illnesses because the hospitals are too expensive and they can’t afford to go.

It also matters about who is funding these experts.  Money is what makes the world go round.  It is the lifeblood of the country, and as you can see the 1% have made the rest of us pretty anemic.  If we have learned anything from the recent GOP circus that has come to town, it is that we live in the United States of Capitalism where money is G-O-D, and capitalism is the sacred cow that must not be touched.  Well if money is everything, then the ones with money can buy anything, and they do.  How else can you explain the cigarette companies that have hundreds of scientists on their payroll claiming that they there is no empirical evidence that smoking causes cancer? Are you kidding me?! Okay,sure that sounds about right.  Oh yeah,  and bullets shot from guns don’t kill people either.   It’s the holes that are opened up in their bodies after the bullets go through them that are the cause.  Common sense should dictate what the truth is, but have we become so lazy that we will not allow our eyes to see the truth for themselves. Are we going to continue to let these so-called experts piss in our faces with false information only to tell us that it is rain?  I’m not claiming to know everything, the origin of man, the vast unknown of space, what women are thinking, or even what happens to the “other” sock in the dryer.  I just know that I can think for myself, and that I am smart enough to not be spoon fed shit and told to enjoy it because it was crapped out of an expert.

And of course there are people like Sarah Palin who claim that just being in the vicinity of something makes you an expert.  She claimed her expertise on foreign affairs was bolstered by the fact that she could see Russia from Alaska.   Hmm, well by that rationale, I am an expert on porcelain because of that time I got food poisoning at Mimi’s Café and spent two days on and kneeling over a toilet. And since toilets are made of porcelain, guess who’s an expert?!


About thedailyheard

Just a guy with an opinion and some time on my hands trying to find out where the sidewalk really does end.

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