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Forums > Social Discussion > Expert? What's your definition?

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:I've recently been coming across people who claim to be experts, or accused of being.



A woman who has held her job role for only a year and doesn't know the full range of the materials yet was brought into a meeting as an "expert". She was aghast and horrified about it, and deferred to someone with 25 years experience, who wisely deferred to someone with more.

This, I admire.



There is a photographic exhibition going on in town about a historical and well documented art form (american burlesque). Instead of going to people who have been performing it for years, who know the history inside and out, they called on a local pin-up photographer to give the "expert" introduction to the exhibit. I know the man. I know the art. I know, as does he, that he doesn't know enough about the history of it to give a good speech on that topic. Yet, he took the job anyway.

This repulses me.



Then I have come across people who say "4/2 years ago I was introduced to....and now I am an expert". It's happened a few times and every time I think it is a crock of...well you get the idea.



To me, an expert is someone who knows the most on a subject. I do not think that a couple years will allow that...even of straight study. I do not think that taking photos of a similar nature will allow that, or being near an art, or even working in a specific field.



In fact, I truly and honestly believe there are very few experts in things in the world, and those people who are tend to be married to those things they are experts in with little time for anything else.



Professional in something? Absolutely. Knowledgable? Yes.

Expert...I have so many doubts when that word is thrown on the table.



What are your thoughts?

EDITED_BY: Pele (1195152036)


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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squid
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

squid

sanguine
Location: sur

Total posts: 382
Posted:last I had read about, the increased learning rate for all knowledge tended to continue until around age 11.

i dont know if a level playing field is what I was trying to steer towards. I was more trying to illustrate how there are different strengths available in various ages, groups, etc.

Certainly I believe that motivation plays an important role in aiding the learning curve. Why is it that one child who begins training at a subject at age 4 will reach the status of prodigy, whereas another child who began training at the same age will not? One does have a motivation to continue that the other one may have chosen to use to focus on a different area of life.

You are a unique individual, Meg. You appear to be more critical of yourself than you are of others. *brrr* You also have a very focused motivation in the arena of staff manipulation. As a result you have managed to reach a level of expertise that does tend to confound others. Does that make you an expert?

Who would be the one to apply that label: I, a novice at what it takes, or yourself, who may place a different requirement for achieving that status?

Ill sit and review the oxford journal link a tad later, but yes, I did like your other examples. wink


"to a man whose only tool is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail." Abraham Maslow

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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3288
Posted:mmm the goal posts have been a little bit shifted here I think. An expert is not necessarily a master. ie you can get really good at tumbling even if you start late, but it's extremely unlikely you will make it to the olympics...given the highest age of gymnastic entrants. OTH - plenty of people take up Tai Chi at adult ages, and become extremely good at it after practising in a dedicated manner every day for 20 years.

Yes as an adult you can reach a highly proficient level - for example you can probly take up a musical instrument and if you apply yourself for long enough with the right tuition n stuff, you could potentially get good enough to make a bit of money out of it. However without a significant 'gift' for it, you wont ever be leading a state symphony orchestra.

I think I agree with Meg's main point, and I think more people should have a bit more faith in themselves. Its by having faith in your ability to learn new ways of being that will be required if we are to take responsibility for the damage our society is doing, and change our ways. the whole attitude of; I'm too old to start doing something new has to change.

smile


--
Help! My personality got stuck in this signature machine and I cant get it out!

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Rusto
BRONZE Member since Nov 2005

Rusto

member
Location: Gold Coast, Qld

Total posts: 47
Posted:I don't know what the average age of fellow members is, but I would imagine that I am amongst the older (45 this year), in the last five years I have taken up guitar, surfing, twirling and tennis. I am never going to have my own concert or play in the tennis open but I am all for being active. They say that it is good for your mind, when it is older, to try new stimulation and no I don't mean drugs, it means to make your brain do something it never had to do before, new things do take longer to learn when your older, wether I ever reach a competant level in anything really doesn't matter to much to me, I am being stimulated and in some ways insulated from the problems that we all experience from time to time. beerchug

Crime does not pay ... as well as politics.
A bowl of soup with some one you love is better than steak with some one you hate. Proverbs 15, 17

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squid
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

squid

sanguine
Location: sur

Total posts: 382
Posted:cheers to that. I dont think you are too far off the mark for many members here, Rusto. Im 31 and only took up spinning myself in July of 2006. However, I am fascinated (to the point of obsession) with this concept of poi and object manipulation. I spend anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours everyday practicing and playing. My father-in-law asked if I wouldn't prefer doing something more productive, like reading a book. However, I am being physically active, training in muscular ways as well as in the area of hand-eye coordination. Not to mention the mental aspect of trying to interpret the postings of Richee and others.

Am I an expert? Hardly. But I feel comfortable enough in my skills now to state that I have experience to help guide others in learning how to begin poi spinning.

The short of it is, the idea of expertise is something I feel is not an absolute, but a relative condition that is based upon the relative nature of who your community is. In my local area, I am probably on the more advanced side, thanks to the time and effort I put into training. In the HoP community, I am less expert because of the obviousness of comparing myself to people like bluecat or Ronopotamus. To the non-spinning community, I have acquired enough knowledge of the theory and practice, as well as a fluency in being able to communicate myself, that the average joe would probably deem me as someone who is close to, if not actually, an expert.

Being an expert at something is not something I see as staying static, or from having achieved some particular level. That is too narrow a constraint and would imply to me that there is a ceiling which cannot be passed. Once you reach expert, you strive for master. Once you reach master, you...what? Reach failure?


"to a man whose only tool is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail." Abraham Maslow

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Rusto
BRONZE Member since Nov 2005

Rusto

member
Location: Gold Coast, Qld

Total posts: 47
Posted:Cheers Sqid, I chucked the TV out a couple of years ago and my kitchen and lounge are devoid of any furniture in the middle, so lots of practice, I am finding it more fun as the skill level improves biggrin We don't seem to have to many spinners about here, sadly as I would love to get together with like minded people, hope to get up to Sydney some time to check out some groups wow biggrin

Crime does not pay ... as well as politics.
A bowl of soup with some one you love is better than steak with some one you hate. Proverbs 15, 17

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squid
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

squid

sanguine
Location: sur

Total posts: 382
Posted:lol, you are a bit like me. The missus and I havent had a TV since we moved back home from Guatemala. Cant say I miss it either. I obviously spend an ample amount of time in front of the computer as it is.

"to a man whose only tool is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail." Abraham Maslow

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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...

Total posts: 8737
Posted:Adult Learning in motor skills is generally quicker than "children" due to methods such as associated kinesthetic feed back, yes kids MAY be better at learning languages etc but physically your ideal time to learn a motor skill is between 18-25 when you are at physical peak with huge amounts of kinesthesic knowledge to draw on.

an injured man can learn to walk again quicker than a baby wink because he knows what to "feel for"

gymnasts are young because of the flexibility required which is aided by their prepubescent phsysiology. When learning a physical skill the only limit is fitness if you want to become an "expert" other than the mental toughness to persivere (sp?) learning can be affected by SO many factors it's not even worth taking into consideration, you either learn or you don't.



shrug


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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squid
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

squid

sanguine
Location: sur

Total posts: 382
Posted:I can believe that. I know I am constantly impressed with the amazing spinning I see being done by younger people in their late teens/early 20s.

"to a man whose only tool is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail." Abraham Maslow

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Hey Rusto clap watch out for the "role model thingy": younger generations might actually appreciate you for being brave enough braking out of the 9-2-5 (sterling silver) lifestyle. wink I'm all pro doing something you haven't tried ever before, 'cause one of the problems in our age of choices is that we have to find out what our talents really are (by ourselves).

And that's my big critique about todays schooling system: they're not looking at individuals, but try to make every foot fit in the same size of shoes... This or you have to spend a great deal of money...

What does it help a kid to be a genius, if it gets treated like a freak, neglected and ignored?


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.

Total posts: 5276
Posted: Written by: firetom

There are certain physical/ mental limitations and genetic predispositions, accept it or not. I think encouraging people to aim for something that is clearly way out of their capability, is unfair and a waste.




Yeah, clearly there are physical and mental limitations in people. But that doesn't mean you have to underestimate them because of it. As you yourself said, motivation can play a bigger role than 'talent' so why demotivate people from the outset? Sure a quadraplegic will NEVER be a competing olympic gymnast, but maybe they'll be at the olympics displaying their abilities with prototype replacement limbs, since the olympic organisers want to show what the human spirit can really do? Maybe they'll get a coaching advisory job, since they're probably know better than anyone what the influence of the torso is during acrobatic maneuvers? Stranger things have happened. (Wooo BS hypothetical situations!)

And I don't think it's ever a waste to motivate someone to do something they want to. I might think it's a waste of their life, but if they're enjoying it... who am I to judge? (And lets face it, more lives have been wasted on worse causes than happiness, or just plainly wasted without any cause.)

"Aim at the sun and you may not reach it; but your
arrow will fly far higher than if you had aimed at an
object on a level with yourself.

F. Hawes"

Again dude, this is the internet, it's made of pointless arguments. And because it's the internet, nobody needs to tell me I'm correct. I can just post and go! I don't even have to be over 18 to vote! And that's partially the problem, anybody can come in here, and post some random crap involving their opinions, drawn from their 1 week of spinning, and some dumbass hippy will tell me I can't criticise them or their opinions. Or it'll be some oldschooler, who hardly did any spinning in the first place, but has been around a while, and now, I have to respect their opinions because they've been around a while? I don't think so.

And for the record, I tell me my opinions are correct. Cos let's face it, hardly anybody on here is up to the task of constructing a rational argument why they aren't. And if they are, they don't, cos it's the internet, so why bother?



 Written by: squid


You are a unique individual, Meg. You appear to be more critical of yourself than you are of others. *brrr* You also have a very focused motivation in the arena of staff manipulation. As a result you have managed to reach a level of expertise that does tend to confound others. Does that make you an expert?

Who would be the one to apply that label: I, a novice at what it takes, or yourself, who may place a different requirement for achieving that status?




I don't think so. It shouldn't confound others. What confounds me is that people aren't better than me. It's not hard to do. I'm no expert compared to what I'll know in 15 years time... but I do have a somewhat large knowledge of spinning, more than is really sane, considering the 'norm'.



To ask another question, Can a world champion tennis player, NOT be an expert at tennis?

You can win Wimbledon, and yet not know how to coach tennis, not know the history of tennis, not know the current state of world tennis, not know anything about how they manufacture tennis balls or racquets, or about the physics of how they work. If you're really good at tennis, you probably don't need to know much about the tactics, or little used rules, and you won't need to know about the tactics of doubles or mixed doubles.

I'd prefer to think an expert had a compulsion for knowledge about their subject and so found out about all the surrounding subjects, (even if they don't then go on to become a racquet manufacturer, or play mixed doubles.) but maybe that's not the case.

Can you become an 'expert' at something that involves 'doing' without doing the doing? I personally don't think so. (Even thou a lot of learning is knowledge and visualisation based)


"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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Durbs
BRONZE Member since Sep 2001

Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England

Total posts: 5688
Posted: Written by: mcp


Can you become an 'expert' at something that involves 'doing' without doing the doing? I personally don't think so. (Even thou a lot of learning is knowledge and visualisation based)



Hmmmm - possibly, but I think it would be specific to the task. For example there might be brain surgeons or neuro-psychologists who know the workings of the brain to an incredible level but who've never performed a lobotomy.
(I say might as I don't know much about brain surgery wink )

Or perhaps architects/builders/surveyors who know the limits and theories of all building materials and such-like but who've never laid a brick in their life (apart from in the toilet...sorry).

There are definitely spinners who understand poi to a much higher level than they can spin them, but i guess they're still "doing" poi, albeit to a level way below their understanding.

But this is splitting hairs as I generally don't think there are...
smile


Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted: Written by: mcp


Again dude, this is the internet, it's made of pointless arguments. And because it's the internet, nobody needs to tell me I'm correct. I can just post and go! I don't even have to be over 18 to vote! And that's partially the problem, anybody can come in here, and post some random crap involving their opinions, drawn from their 1 week of spinning, and some dumbass hippy will tell me I can't criticise them or their opinions. Or it'll be some oldschooler, who hardly did any spinning in the first place, but has been around a while, and now, I have to respect their opinions because they've been around a while? I don't think so.




Got this attitude in real life too, or you just enjoy trolling because you think you got no boundaries?... umm


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.

Total posts: 5276
Posted: Written by: Durbs


Or perhaps architects/builders/surveyors who know the limits and theories of all building materials and such-like but who've never laid a brick in their life



But I mean take architects, they design buildings, that's what they do. Can you be an expert architect if you've never designed any part of a (or even a full) building? (Never mind seeing one through to a finished and build building.)

I think there's lots of stuff you learn in the doing, that you 'can't' learn without doing the doing. (unless you had a supercomputers working memory and a eidetic memory to go along with it. (in the case of designing buildings in your head.) )


"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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squid
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

squid

sanguine
Location: sur

Total posts: 382
Posted:I think she might just enjoy playing the devil's advocate, to mess with you. wink

"to a man whose only tool is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail." Abraham Maslow

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Durbs
BRONZE Member since Sep 2001

Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England

Total posts: 5688
Posted:She can mess with me any time she likes
Hon-hee-hon-hee-hawww

wink


Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:You can tell a lot about the character of a person by the way s/he treats people s/he doesn't have to be nice to...

In this regard: expertise (in whichever field) does not make you a good person, deserving respect. If one demands respect (for whatever reason other than basic), it's only one very little step from embarrassing ones self.

Expert: Thomas Midgley, engineer by training, inventor of tetraethyl lead and by that poisoner of generations. Further inventor of CFC's and by that one of the leading characters in the global warming process.
Expert: Hans Geiger, inventor of the radiation detector, loyal Nazi and inloyal colleague.

The list continues endlessly.

Being an expert means nothing but that one has profound knowledge, it doesn't even mean that there is any recognition by the society. Being called an expert is just a matter of perspective (usually ascending). Claiming expertise is (hopefully and ideally) a sign of insight. Being content, yet humble and aware of ones own limitations is a sign of sweet wisdom...


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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