Expertise

Episode 13 – Expertise

Michael and Katherine get excited, impassioned even, to share their contrasting views on the crocktacular topic – Expertise.

 
 
 
 
 
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First Katherine comforts all those alleged “experts” out there with their fancy degrees, medals, and framed certificates. Nobody wants to take away these accolades! Relish them. Achievements are rad. That’s a given. Thing is, as cool as they are, such accomplishments only take you so far. In the constantly evolving world we all share, sometimes that expertise can calcify and get old fast if the “expert” doesn’t adjust as needed. But issues of expertise aren’t just the fault of stodgy old farts who are unwilling to learn new things and apply them to their wheelhouse. After all, our culture puts experts on pedestals only to abruptly knock them off for kicks.

Let the Expertise Debate Commence!

The debate between Katherine and Michael launches into full effect from this point forward in the expertise crockcast. Michael claims that experience is for losers, not experts and that he cares only about execution and accountability on the job. These matter much more to him than experience when he’s hiring. Michael even speculates that maybe office jobs shouldn’t require bachelor degrees as the standard minimum when hiring anymore.

While Katherine agrees about the BA becoming less crucial, she disagrees about experience. It’s not so lame, she claims. She cites elite athletes such a marathon runners, with many miles of experience behind them before they can compete at a level that qualifies as expertise. In fact, on the very day of this podcast recording, the world marathon record was broken in Berlin by Olympian, Eliud Kipchoge. This is a runner with true expertise AND lots of experience. He won the London marathon for the third time earlier this year, for instance.

Eliud Kipchoge breaks marathon world record!

Expertise Claims to Fame

Michael expresses skepticism at the notion of expertise without outcomes to show for it. He says “show me the money, baby!” But few can actually back up their claims for expertise in Michael’s experience. On this same note, Katherine chimes in that this is all the more reason to seek expertise, to get those accolades and then nobody can take them away. Do it for the markers, in other words.

Those same outcomes that prove to Michael some semblance of worthwhile ability also serve as self esteem boosters along the road of life. That way when someone like Michael says, “Show me what you can do,” you’ve got something tangible to show. Otherwise claiming expertise is just pissing in the wind. Michael thinks this particular brand of urination caused our culture’s current crisis of conscience when it comes to hiring and assessing resumes.

The Scientific Method & Replication

Katherine does a quick shtick on the Scientific Method and why it’s come more into question these days. She discusses the process thanks to this handy dandy chart below:

Thanks for the chart ScienceBuddies.org!

As illustrated in the method, a crucial element of science is the process of reproducing experiments again after they’re initially done. Thing is, this happens less and less these days because there’s nothing fun and sexy about redoing somebody else’s experiment. Thus, the process of science is in a static state. Katherine cites some tweets scientists passed back and forth on this topic were they bemoan the lack of replication studies. Fact is, without them, the whole notion of scientific expertise lies in peril.

How did the Dinosaurs Die?

Michael then waxes nostalgic for the days of dinosaurs and their sad sad demise. He talks about how the wholly accepted theory that an asteroid destroyed them may just be knocked out by an expert named Gerta. She’s a fascinating character all on her own.

In fact, she might just be the most interesting person in the world, according to MichaelJ. That’s namely because Gerta was the impetus for the nastiest fight in all of academia. Thanks to her expertise as a Paleontologist Princeton Prof she presented an alternate theory to the cause of dinosaur mass extinction in The Atlantic Monthly.

Heartfelt Wrap-up

Katherine quotes Paris Hilton and then summarizes with a passionate plea along the lines of a Jerry Springer “Final Thought”. Thus, the notion of expertise is put to bed for the podcast and it’s time to try something new. This week Michael presents Katherine with a tasty treat test. Luckily she passes the test AND gets some yumtacular goodness in the process.

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