BE AN EX­PERT

Herworld (Singapore) - - HOW TO BE A BETTER HUMAN BEING -

If you want your opin­ions to mat­ter, you need to show that you know what you’re say­ing. (Cli­mate change de­niers, look­ing at you.) Ev­ery­one has an opin­ion, and ev­ery­one thinks their opin­ion mat­ters. The truth is, it doesn’t. Be­cause you’re not an ex­pert, and nei­ther am I. But I’ve de­cided that be­fore com­ment­ing on hot­but­ton is­sues, I’ll first be­come an ex­pert, or at least as knowl­edge­able as pos­si­ble.

Why? Be­cause there’s just too much noise out there. Too many key­board war­riors, Youtube video com­menters and fo­rum page let­ter writ­ers. Even The Daily Show’s host, Trevor Noah, has ragged on CNN and other news chan­nels for book­ing cli­mate de­niers: “Why does the news keep bring­ing on non-sci­en­tists to ar­gue against science?”

That’s where we find our­selves nowa­days.

In the Har­vard Busi­ness Re­view ar­ti­cle, The Mak­ing of an Ex­pert, the au­thors ref­er­ence the three chess-play­ing Pol­gar sis­ters, as well as Pro­fes­sor Ben­jamin Bloom’s re­search on ex­perts (1985). The con­clu­sion is sim­ple: Prac­tice is cru­cial. There just isn’t any short­cut to ex­per­tise – it’s all about rep­e­ti­tion and rou­tine. You can’t be­come an ex­pert on a topic in a ca­sual tweet. You need to prac­tise, prac­tise, prac­tise.

So that’s what I’m do­ing – I’m just gonna prac­tise. By that, I mean I’ll be learn­ing: lis­ten­ing to mu­sic crit­ics weigh in on mu­sic; watch­ing videos like “A Coun­try’s His­tory in 10 Min­utes”; and watch­ing Youtube chan­nels like Nerd­writer and Every Frame A Paint­ing, which of­fer fun and fac­tual videos for learn­ing. Be­cause you can’t be too in­formed.

But that’s just, like, my opin­ion, okay?

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