The Death of Expertise In the New Era of Free Info

 When we talk about entitlement, I’m sure welfare recipients, EBT cards and whining children come to mind, but maybe not so much your average American.  Have you considered that the internet is FULL of people nowadays who feel ENTITLED to ‘free’ information? 

The seemingly universal access to the web has birthed a new era of self-described ‘experts’ and loud mouthed know-nothings.  You see this phenomenon when you (despite your best efforts and your spouse’s pleadings) venture into the black hole, the vortex for the soul that is ‘The Comment Section.’

Reid and I see this ALL the time in our business.  On the medical side, I get online followers who seem to follow me for the sole purpose of chiming in on how wrong I am, despite their lack of credentials, degree, experience or patient face-time.  Their internet chatrooms and paranoid conspiracy websites dedicated to the government’s cover-up of the “life-saving powers of drinking one’s own urine” CLEARLY confer upon them the ability to rewrite even the most basic of fundamental scientific principles.

On the firearm side of the equation, there are absolutely ignorant Fudds who have ‘grown up their whole life around guns’ loudly regurgitating , in a centuries long game of Telephone, theories about violence untested in reality that, G-d forbid, if practiced or applied will certainly result in the deaths of good and innocent people.  Additionally, there are the internet-birthed ‘tactical’ neophytes who are QUITE gifted at Call of Duty.  They discuss cleverly-contrived martial suggestions that perhaps sound good to the uninitiated, but hold no water with men who have watched people die while implementing such sagely advice. There is no ‘re-spawn’ in real life. 

Both of these camps have absolutely zero experience with deadly force when it comes to concrete, determined, flesh and blood adversaries. These people, emboldened by the anonymity of a screen, give deadly incorrect advice in a desperate attempt to claw at relevancy.  It’s a fundamental lack of humility and a refusal to see oneself in the appropriate place in the universe.

What all this indicates, dear reader, is a vanishing respect for people whose words include ‘have’ ‘done’ and ‘experienced.’ The theorists and would-be-experts use words like ‘should’ ‘would’ or ‘could’.  Note that one side uses past tense while the other uses conditional language.  Big difference.

The internet has brought us both good and bad.  Like the Guttenberg press so many years ago, a revolution in widely accessible information has ushered in an era of unparalleled appetite for knowledge.  Because of the non-concrete nature of this information’s platform, people lose sight of the fact that solid wisdom and experience IS NOT FREE, nor is it easily gained from surfing the web.  Information is a-plenty nowadays, but wisdom and real experience is preciously scarce.  My degree, all of my travels and the lessons I learned to make me the healthcare professional that I am COST ME.  It cost me lots of money, lots of time, lots of pain, heartache, disappointment, and long hard days and sleepless nights.  With Reid, amp that up ten-fold.

People nowadays feel ENTITLED to the labors of others. Instead of feeling grateful for the life experience given away, many display contempt.  The astonishing thing is that people now feel baselessly superior to the person on the other end of the screen without recognizing their own limitations.  Welcome to the new era of no experts, ‘free’ information.  Beware of the internet expert behind the comment section.  When the lights go out, he won’t be able to help you.  The tried-and-true experienced individual will.

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