Thursday, June 12, 2008

Theoretical, poorly-written thought of the moment

When an individual undergoes immersion in learning for a particular topic, to the point that they become very knowledgeable in that field, or even becoming an expert, then they will most likely attend events with other people who are similarly knowledgeable. It might be these events, or even just an interaction with media, consistently, regularly, that contributed to their expertise in the first place, and as such, there can grow attachment, emotional or rational, to these spheres. There's nothing wrong with emotional attractions to the spheres, but if there is no rational basis for them, they are topically poisonous.

Regardless of the basis for these attachments, there can be a profound irritation that arises from lay people present in these spheres who bring up shallow criticisms about the topic. The expert then, may grow tired, mentally, of having to address the criticisms raised, because they've already been addressed so many times. As an interesting side note, it may be these addresses which attracted the expert to the field in the first place, particularly so if the field is meaningful, meaningful enough for the individual to have become an expert. It should not be confused that these simple applications, refutations of shallow objections, would be cause for a deep interest. Rather, the deep interest would be the cause of interest in itself, and refutations of shallow objections would be proverbial icing on the cake.

How can this loop be broken, the tendency for gaps of knowledge and understanding to grow between laypeople and experts? With some types of personalities, there is great resolve and endurance to engage the laypeople. There is a sublime satisfaction in educating in the correct facts of a field, and teaching someone, seeing how they stunningly engage with ideas new and fascinating to them, ideas which have long since been elementary to the expert. Some fields are intrinsically charged, and there can be satisfaction in actually convincing a directly opposing opinion, but at a more fundamental level, there is satisfaction in spreading truth. Critics who are objectively wrong with their objections are often irrational about their claims though, and the debate quickly turns meaningless. In so many instances though, there is beautiful, intellectually honest grappling with the material to confirm truth.

No comments: