Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ancient wisdom: Their experts are like your experts

This one is the converse of "No man is a prophet in his own country".

On average, their experts are a lot like your experts.

No, it's not that your experts are right and their experts are wrong. It's rather that experts you don't know are as vain, clever, mistaken, thoughtful, rushed, insightful, venal and proud as the experts you know.

Just because you're reading them in a newspaper, or hearing them on TV, doesn't mean they're a different species of expert. Be as trusting of them, and as suspicious of them, as you are of the very human experts you know personally.

Try it the next time you read a recommendation about estrogen use, or a political opinion, or a CEO's strategic insights, or a blog post. Think of it as coming from an expert you know. Chances are you'll give the words respect and consideration, but not the unthinking acceptance of prophecy.

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