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Comment Re:Big deal (Score 1) 665

How are you going to evaluate a specialist if you elevate willful ignorance to a virtue?

      That's an interesting question. Loaded, but interesting.

      Let's see, the traditional means of evaluating a specialist in a society is by reputation and reference. Just like a good restaurant, usually you go there because other people go there. The herd is usually right. However in modern society there are all sorts of tricks that can skew this process, like monopolies or oligopolies, advertising (ie, he with the deepest pockets/most advertising dollars wins the greatest revenue, regardless of quality), etc. That's a good thinking person's question.

      The loaded part is "willful ignorance". Do you claim to know everything about everything? Assuming you're not a physician, I am willing to state that I know much more about your own body, the one you have lived in all your life - than you do. Yet I know nothing about architecture. I know my house is built of concrete, wood and steel, but don't ask me exactly how much load one of the walls can take, or how many feet of snow my roof will stand. Does this make me "willfully ignorant"? I'm sure I could study and get a degree in architecture, but those 6 years or so I wouldn't be able to see patients and by the end of it, I'd have fallen pretty far behind in the medical field, too.

      There are some basic skills that everyone needs - language, arithmetic, driving, budgeting, social interaction, etc. These are the skills that let us understand and communicate with the world effectively. However outside of these skills, most people are "willfully ignorant" of a hell of a lot of information. Some of us specialize in order to effectively help the rest, be it building houses, producing food or goods, saving lives, managing companies, etc. The rest - who choose or lack the ability to specialize - are stuck at menial tasks or manual labor.

        That's the way civilization is.

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