A recent article I was reading gave me the impression that there is a line of thought out there that things like Wikipedia are destructive to the idea of “expert opinion.” Apparently some may put more weight in the online resource than they otherwise might in what an expert might have to say. Whether or not Wikipedia is a causal factor in that – I’m not sure. But the thought occurred to me that expert opinion is something that should be weighed anyway.
These days I see many people touted as experts. They are on the news channels constantly – they have titles and credientials – and they have opinions. Granted some also have facts, and that’s always a welcome addition. But the world around us isn’t so black and white that we can always blindly trust because there are letters behind a person’s name or a title associated with it.
I’ve heard one too many expert opinions that are blatantly biased. We’ve all heard experts say the most ridiculous things. We know that even the most highly educated among us does dumb things from time to time. We’re all human, and making mistakes is part of our existance. Shit happens, right?
So my point is that I don’t think that the internet has changed whether or not we hold the opinions of experts in the highest regard. I think the real point is that we need to be aware that not everything said to us should be taken at face value. It’s not that we can’t trust anyone, but that we should be careful who we trust. Because someone else has placed trust in a person doesn’t always mean that we should as well.