Expertise

Conor Gearty talks about how real scholarship is not gained from twitter and blogs, but from old fashioned hard work. He speaks with reference to public law, but I think the point is applicable generally:

"Every working day brings some excitement in public law. The Twitter/Blog mind embraces the daily frenzy, scans the raw material to hand and produces an instant judgment – as though its owner were some kind of perpetually available law specialist on Radio 5 Live. The old fashioned hard work – quiet; library-based; thoughtful – that made the writer/speaker an expert in the first place gradually drifts off the daily agenda. At first because of time constraints and then – well – because it’s boring, like returning to decaff coffee after an espresso. Twitter/Blog erodes our confidence in the deeper stuff without which we would never have become experts in the first place."

Comments

F. said…
Blogs and Twitter for expert opinion? I think it varies by subjects, but generally what killed [the mystique of] the expert were websites like Wikipedia, Answers.com, etc and increased access to information--the thinking that 'My Google search is as good as your 5 years of medical training'.