BE AN EXPERT
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?