Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Signaling the Death of Expertise

Shaking my head at the amateurs on forum threads lecturing real-life railroad pros with decades of pertinent experience. The topic as I write is Signaling, which is something many modelers think that they understand, but don’t. And yet they prattle on and on, trying to justify the incorrect position they took at the outset with ever-more outrageous digressions from reality.

My advice (which would only be ignored) would be to stop digging, take the “L”, and value the opportunity to learn from generous experts.

I recently read Dr. Tom Nichols’ book The Death of Expertise, an exploration of how uninformed people believe that they know more than bona fide practitioners. A key quote: “Americans have reached a point where ignorance … is an actual virtue.” As Isaac Asimov also told us – and as is on display every day in Internet forums.