Thursday, March 13, 2008

Friend submission: how to make idiots out of "experts"

A friend of mine, who rarely comments sometimes on my blog but usually just sends me an caustic email to to keep my ego in check, sent me a great link.

From BBC News (oldie but goodie):

Some of the biggest names in the art world have reportedly been fooled by a biography of a fake artist created by the author William Boyd and the rock star David Bowie.

Last week the glitterati of New York gathered for a launch party of Boyd's biography of the apparently rediscovered American painter Nat Tate.

Bowie, a director of 21 Publishing, the company which produced the book, read extracts to the gathering.

Critics on the other side of the Atlantic were due to attend the British launch of the memoir on Tuesday. Several British papers, including the Sunday Telegraph, have already run extracts from the book.

Excerpts were also published on Bowie's own website.

Fake history

However, the Independent newspaper says Tate and the story of how he befriended painters Picasso and Braque, suffered from depression, burned most of his paintings and then killed himself aged 31, is all fiction.

Some of the paintings pictured in the book were reportedly by Boyd himself. Photos of Tate were from Boyd's own collection of pictures of unidentified people.

The ruse was made more convincing by an endorsement on the book's dust cover from the veteran writer and political commentator Gore Vidal.

In the book he is also quoted as remembering Tate as "essentially dignified, drunk with nothing to say".

John Richardson, the acclaimed biographer of the artist Pablo Picasso, was also in on the scam and is also quoted.

Karen Wright, one of Bowie's co-directors at 21 Publishing said the hoax was not meant to be malicious.

"Part of it was, we were very amused that people kept saying 'Yes, I've heard of him'. There is a willingness not to appear foolish. Critics are too proud for that."

The last sentence in that story always gives me a smile...

It is so true. We go along with the herd, with the "experts", because when everybody says something must be true, then you are not raised in this society to "no, it ain't so!" and by implication call all those people around you idiots. "Yes, I've heard of him", indeed!

From this story - see how easy it is to make the "experts", behind their facade of arrogance and haughtiness, look like what they truly are - idiots. Highly paid ones, but still...

In every profession, there is a very small percentage of actual knowledgeable experts, and the rest of these are "experts", posers, fakes, masquerading their stupidity behind their "professional" attitude, dress and mannerisms.

The easiest way to spot an "expert" in my professional experience is to hear one utter one (or both) of the following phrases, no matter the context:
1) You/We need to think out of the box
2) You/We need to change the paradigm

At this point I implore you, to think on this exchange on the Simpsons (from Wikipedia, no less):

Krusty the Clown: So he's proactive, huh?

Lindsey Naegle: Oh, God, yes. We're talking about a totally outrageous paradigm.

George Meyer: Excuse me, but proactive and paradigm? Aren't these just buzzwords that dumb people use to sound important? [backpedaling] Not that I'm accusing you of anything like that. [pause] I'm fired, aren't I?

Ahhhhh... time to turn on CNBC and to see what stocks the "experts" are recommending to the gullible sheep...

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1 comment:

LanceThruster said...

It's a modern day, "The Emperor's New Clothes" as no one wants to appear the fool. Thanks for you generous comments over on my site BTW. Love your Stuff. Your pieces are thoughtful, well-researched, and presented in an entertaining style. Maybe I can be a Goyim Sayan (ready to be the fly in the ointment against Z-Team shenanigans).