Why do everybody feel they are an expert on certain things ?

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Sarevok
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Why do everybody feel they are an expert on certain things ?

Postby Sarevok » 2012-08-29 04:20pm

One of the positive things I like about SDnet is the value of expert opinion. While we distinguish between merely making an appeal to an authority on the subject we respect the opinions of those directly experienced on the subject matter more. You don't really tell DW he is blatantly wrong about mechanical engineering unless you have experience in a related field. Or argue with one of our military members on small unit tactics unless you served in the military. Yeah you can do that but the point is merely googling information as one posts in a thread does not make one an expert.

Now however when it comes to media like films,tv shows and videogames everybody is a subject matter expert. Now I am not talking about SDN here, just pointing out how people all over the web in general deal with the matter of expertise. Over the entire web everybody is an expert in film production and videogame. They know all about what goes in funding and casting a movie, they know all about signing on publishers for a videogame or subleties of hardware and software technical knowledge of videogame development.

Now I am sure anyone can have an opinion on a movie or game. But I feel people go too far when they think they know better than the professionals working on the field on technical matters. I personally think Battleship was an awful movie but I will never argue to Kanastrous (who worked on it) about the technical and financial side of movie business. Yeah I can say the plot is crap and so on but it is his business. It just don't seem right to quote random box office figures and offer financial speculation the way many internet critics do. At the end of day hollywood is a large industry employing many companies and large number of skilled people. A movie might be crap but they do know how to do their job because their livelihoods depend on it.

Similarly to a larger extend all sorts of people will offer technical criticism of a videogame without ever being involved in the production process. Making a high budget game is an extremely technically demanding job that requires talents of many highly experienced people. Playing some videogames oneself and reading internet websites does not give oneself expouser to the vast knowledge base involved at the technical side of making a game. Not too mention the financial side which is almost equally huge. Securing a publishing,marketing a game, revenue channels these are all truly huge subjects. Discussions on such belong on publications catering to developers really. I am not saying people should not talk about how engine x is such or why DLC revenue is losing a company but at end of day most street opinion on technical matters is wrong.

Sorry if I am being incoherent here, it's pretty late over here and I need to sleep but I hope I got the gist of the point across.
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Re: Why do everybody feel they are an expert on certain thin

Postby Jub » 2012-08-29 04:52pm

Likely because a lot of the people online are part of the self-esteem movement and have been told they're special snowflakes since elementary school and now they believe their own hype. This, and the fact that Wikipedia and google also allow people to be educated enough to be dangerous, seems to be enough to create a new class of 'experts'.

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Re: Why do everybody feel they are an expert on certain thin

Postby Stark » 2012-08-29 05:05pm

If someone is an 'expert' but can't explain how that knowledge supports their views or conclusions, why should anyone believe them? In a more specific example, why would it be wrong to highlight errors or mistakes made in a project to members of that project? They should be aware of it already and professional enough to not get butthurt.

Frankly, the lists of shit you quote are irrelevant to the discussions you mention. The high level networking and high pressure meetings required to start and run a project are just not relevant to the results. It's important to understand the background if you want to understand why things were done or decisions made, but if someone works for a company that made a shit movie, such background details don't influence that judgement.

Is this about stopping 'expert' laymen or protecting the feelings of 'expert' employees? :v

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Re: Why do everybody feel they are an expert on certain thin

Postby General Zod » 2012-08-29 06:49pm

So if I'm reading your post right, essentially you're saying "I'm too much of a chicken-shit to attack someone's points as they come up so I'm going to criticize them on the side instead.", correct?
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Re: Why do everybody feel they are an expert on certain thin

Postby mr friendly guy » 2012-08-29 08:41pm

Sarevok wrote:One of the positive things I like about SDnet is the value of expert opinion. While we distinguish between merely making an appeal to an authority on the subject we respect the opinions of those directly experienced on the subject matter more. You don't really tell DW he is blatantly wrong about mechanical engineering unless you have experience in a related field. Or argue with one of our military members on small unit tactics unless you served in the military. Yeah you can do that but the point is merely googling information as one posts in a thread does not make one an expert.

Now however when it comes to media like films,tv shows and videogames everybody is a subject matter expert. Now I am not talking about SDN here, just pointing out how people all over the web in general deal with the matter of expertise. Over the entire web everybody is an expert in film production and videogame. They know all about what goes in funding and casting a movie, they know all about signing on publishers for a videogame or subleties of hardware and software technical knowledge of videogame development.

Now I am sure anyone can have an opinion on a movie or game. But I feel people go too far when they think they know better than the professionals working on the field on technical matters. I personally think Battleship was an awful movie but I will never argue to Kanastrous (who worked on it) about the technical and financial side of movie business. Yeah I can say the plot is crap and so on but it is his business. It just don't seem right to quote random box office figures and offer financial speculation the way many internet critics do. At the end of day hollywood is a large industry employing many companies and large number of skilled people. A movie might be crap but they do know how to do their job because their livelihoods depend on it.

Similarly to a larger extend all sorts of people will offer technical criticism of a videogame without ever being involved in the production process. Making a high budget game is an extremely technically demanding job that requires talents of many highly experienced people. Playing some videogames oneself and reading internet websites does not give oneself expouser to the vast knowledge base involved at the technical side of making a game. Not too mention the financial side which is almost equally huge. Securing a publishing,marketing a game, revenue channels these are all truly huge subjects. Discussions on such belong on publications catering to developers really. I am not saying people should not talk about how engine x is such or why DLC revenue is losing a company but at end of day most street opinion on technical matters is wrong.

Sorry if I am being incoherent here, it's pretty late over here and I need to sleep but I hope I got the gist of the point across.

Question. Do you see "everyone is an expert" applying only to films or video games, or at least has increase propensity vs "everyone is an expert" in other things, for example science? Because there are infamous examples of scientists suddenly being an expert outside their field and looking stupid. There are also non scientists, not just Creationists suddenly pretending to be an expert in a scientific field. Heck, I have argued with people who give lip service to science, but has less knowledge than a high school kid in my country about what they are arguing, and they pretend to be an expert.
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Re: Why do everybody feel they are an expert on certain thin

Postby Spoonist » 2012-08-30 05:39am

@Sarevok
I think that it depends on the level of interaction or submertion that you feel as a layman. The threshold for this has gone down severely in the information age.

Since extremely few have experience of building a bridge fit for several lanes of traffic they are less likely to discuss bridge building design.
However since everyone consumes movies to a very large degree and read/see a lot about the movie making process we feel that we "know" how its made.

But you are missing one point though, today we are really close to experts at a lot of things thanks to the information age.
For instance, I have by consuming a large amount of computer games for a very long time come to learn alot about how computer games work and what does not work. So even though I'm in a different industry I'm still in R&D doing computer applications, as in software development and releases. Which combined lets me extrapolate such knowledge into the gaming industry. Does that make me an inside expert? Nope. But does it make my opinions valid enough to question decisions made by inside experts? Hell yes.
So when I say that while it is improving Paradox still has a serious problem when it comes to their beta-testing process in regards to usability. Then that statement shouldn't be any less valid because I'm not a game-developer. Because I really do know enough for that to be a certainty.

Just like experienced consumers in anything can voice their opinion about products they use and come up with critique that stumps the experts. This is why we have consumer tests after all.

What you would rather be looking for though is the next logical step beyond critique which would be improvements. While many of us can point out mistakes and faults in a lot of various fields, most of us would find it much harder to singificantly improve the very same things.

So while I can critique Battleship for a lot of stuff, you wouldn't catch me saying that I could make a better movie myself. Especially the state of the art special effects.
The same with software and particularly games, I can bitch a lot about how I want that feature or this function to work like this or that. But I'd be a fool to claim that I could make a better software/game myself.

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Re: Why do everybody feel they are an expert on certain thin

Postby Stark » 2012-08-30 05:49am

Come on; only an imbecile thinks criticism either means or is only possible if you can do better. How old is Sarevok? Five?

Its particularly amusing since his examples aren't space rockets or high-temperature alloys; they're art. They're shit designed to be enjoyed by NOT THE CREATORS. :lol:

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Re: Why do everybody feel they are an expert on certain thin

Postby Spoonist » 2012-08-30 06:54am

Stark, am I missing some context here?
Which topic are you talking about, because your responses to the OP doesn't make sense to me, so I'm assuming this started somewhere else and this is a spin-off topic???

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Re: Why do everybody feel they are an expert on certain thin

Postby Stark » 2012-08-30 07:15am

Sarevok wrote:You don't really tell DW he is blatantly wrong about mechanical engineering unless you have experience in a related field. Or argue with one of our military members on small unit tactics unless you served in the military.


Sarevok wrote:Now I am sure anyone can have an opinion on a movie or game. But I feel people go too far when they think they know better than the professionals working on the field on technical matters. I personally think Battleship was an awful movie but I will never argue to Kanastrous (who worked on it) about the technical and financial side of movie business. Yeah I can say the plot is crap and so on but it is his business. It just don't seem right to quote random box office figures and offer financial speculation the way many internet critics do.


Just to join the dots for you here, he's connecting the ideas of technical expertise or authority with someone's ability to assess or evaluate a project. Not only is this wrong in the first (because Mike is more than happy to explain the reasoning behind anything someone might disagree with him on within his field) but it strikes me as well-poisoning of the worst kind. He says its not right to quote figures or discuss the profitability of a project, because YOU WEREN'T INVOLVED. This is fucking ridiculous, especially when the result of the project is something intended for broad consumption by the market.

In other words, stop providing commentary or speculation about my posts, because you didn't work on them. 8) Are you some kind of EXPERT? :lol:

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Re: Why do everybody feel they are an expert on certain thin

Postby JLTucker » 2012-08-30 08:59am

"Why do everybody feel they are an expert on certain things ?" should be "Why does everyone feel that they are experts in certain things?"

I am an expert in English.

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Re: Why do everybody feel they are an expert on certain thin

Postby Elfdart » 2012-08-31 12:02am

Sarevok wrote:Now however when it comes to media like films,tv shows and videogames everybody is a subject matter expert. Now I am not talking about SDN here, just pointing out how people all over the web in general deal with the matter of expertise. Over the entire web everybody is an expert in film production and videogame. They know all about what goes in funding and casting a movie, they know all about signing on publishers for a videogame or subleties of hardware and software technical knowledge of videogame development.


Two things:

1) When it comes to the arts, almost everything is subjective -including the business and production side. Unless a person is arguing about the chemical makeup of a certain film stock or the mechanical workings of a camera or other piece of equipment, there isn't much objective information to argue about one way or the other. It's all opinion.

2) It's not like you have to have a degree in anything to look at the information that leaks out through Hollywood Reporter, Variety or other trade publications and come up with a plausible theory of what went on. Is it as useful as actually being in the boardroom, on the set or in the studio? No, but a sports fan can usually get a good idea of why his or her team got its ass kicked by reading the box scores in the morning paper. In other words, welcome to the world of the Monday Morning Quarterback.

Now I am sure anyone can have an opinion on a movie or game. But I feel people go too far when they think they know better than the professionals working on the field on technical matters. I personally think Battleship was an awful movie but I will never argue to Kanastrous (who worked on it) about the technical and financial side of movie business. Yeah I can say the plot is crap and so on but it is his business. It just don't seem right to quote random box office figures and offer financial speculation the way many internet critics do. At the end of day hollywood is a large industry employing many companies and large number of skilled people. A movie might be crap but they do know how to do their job because their livelihoods depend on it.


That may be true, but you don't need any first-hand experience in corporate finance or film-making to come to the conclusion that pouring over $300-350 million into John Carter or Green Lantern was a bad idea even if through some miracle those movies broke even.
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Re: Why do everybody feel they are an expert on certain thin

Postby General Zod » 2012-08-31 01:00am

Elfdart wrote:2) It's not like you have to have a degree in anything to look at the information that leaks out through Hollywood Reporter, Variety or other trade publications and come up with a plausible theory of what went on. Is it as useful as actually being in the boardroom, on the set or in the studio? No, but a sports fan can usually get a good idea of why his or her team got its ass kicked by reading the box scores in the morning paper. In other words, welcome to the world of the Monday Morning Quarterback.


Let's put it another way. You don't need to be a gourmet chef to realize your eggs are too runny and a little undercooked.
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