“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.‘” – Isaac Asimov
One of the most falsely perpetuated ideas in our culture today is that we should treat everyone’s opinion the same. That we should give credence to all views regardless of how outlandish they may be. That we need to hear all sides before we can make a decision.
I’m not so sure that is how we want to build our culture.
Each of us are only capable of being an expert in a few things. That’s it. And when we are not an expert at something, we should turn to the expert for their opinion. Listening to someone’s opinion who isn’t an expert can damage the culture. Google doesn’t make us experts. If anything, it only gives us enough language to sound like we know what we are talking about.
Popular isn’t the same as important here. Listening to something we don’t want to hear from an expert is different than what’s popular on Facebook.
This is not to say we shouldn’t educate ourselves. If on a scale of 0 to 10 on a subject I am a 2, push to become a 3 or 4. Be informed. But when it comes to a complicated subject like epidemiology and how viruses spread, we can’t all be experts. Know your limits. Smart people look for smarter people to enhance their views. Not some discredited doctor on YouTube using cheap lighting to scare the masses.