Things are getting complicated. We have to rely on experts more now then before, and the need of people with specialized knowledge is growing. For example, it used to be that teenagers worked on their cars, but now they are so complicated that an expert technician is needed to do most of the work.
Don’t get me wrong, the world is better, but we have to learn to deal with the increasing levels of complication.
I have noticed that people are relying on experts for every little thing. Also, the definition of expert is becoming more broad which includes someone with an opinion who is willing to speak up.
There are some things that require experts such as my car, but for many things we need to decide, on our own, if it it passes the common sense test. It simply means to ask yourself it that piece of information makes sense. Don’t disregard it if it does not, but don’t blindly accept it.
For instance, I had a physical a few years ago and I noticed my creatinine levels were above normal. I asked the nurse why, assuming she was more of an expert than me. Her first answer was that I do not drink enough water. I am a total nerd so I had been tracking my water intake; I was drinking 1.5-2 gallons a day. When I told her this she said that I was drinking too much soda (or pop if your prefer). I followed this up by informing her that I had not drank a soda in 3 months. At that point she was pretty much lost.
You have to be willing to push back on the experts if something does not feel right. Don’t take things for face value.
I have a friend who took her newborn son to the doctor. Her son had a minor problem and she asked the doctor to explain it. The doctor said it was too complicated to explain. Her response was “I have a PhD in engineering, let’s try”. He did not like this.
Be willing to make your expert explain themselves to you. Many experts hate to be questioned but you have to do it.