Removed from Experience

I’ve seen the transformation occur more than once: A YouTube channel owner begins presenting material where he or she has some deep expertise and direct experience. Over time, people begin to take notice. The channel becomes more interactive, and the presenter begins to drift in response.

That “drift” begins cautiously, generally with the presenter offering opinion somewhat grounded in his or her experience. The audience naturally responds to opinion and the presenter is emboldened. More emboldened, the opinions drift further and further from the grounded subject matter expertise and experience. Eventually, the presenter is in unknown territory, making definitive statements outside his or her direct knowledge.  If lucky, the community will correct the presenter — often in anger — growing the community and again emboldening the presenter. Eventually there are opinions that are simply erroneous — and it does not seem to matter to anyone.

It seems that one of three things can happen:

  1. Guided by the corrections, the presenter may acquire the new subject matter expertise;
  2. Supported by subject matter experts who are always ready to step in with corrections, the presenter may indirectly represent subject matter experts’ statements, but without understanding why; or,
  3. The presenter may thrive in the celebrity status, regardless of any expertise, completely untethered.

It has always seemed strange to me that people are willing to accept what is presented without challenge, but they do, routinely.

If “success” for you means finding truth ~ even finding those technical details that are important to you mission ~ then these tendencies are quite an obstruction. If “success” means finding a path wherein you have the unquestioning support of others, then perhaps it’s time to step off into the unknown and to gain that subject matter expertise in raising waves and surfing them.

Why let truth stand in your way? ¯_(ツ)_/¯

By Joe

Puzzle Wrestler & Mountain Herder. Math & Computer Nerd since the 80s. Longtime linux (current debian, ubuntu, raspian, centos, gentoo), currently fighting feebsd. Over-complicates networks for fun, occasionally secures them for profit. Develops own tools & services (cli, web services, and lately some android). Degrees in Math, Belts in Aikido. Zen, Motorcycle, Ham Radio, Homebrew (Ale, not Radio), Coffee & Tea, some Mandolin & Fiddle, MDA Advocacy (son with Duchenne), …

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