Death Of Expertise Analysis

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Tom Nichols, author of The Death of Expertise, effectively conveys his view that the blatant excuses and mindsets of citizens made to ignore the experts of today can have negative impacts on the American culture, as well as touches on how it is impossible to continue this structure without disasters to follow (15). Nichols does this by giving examples of the characteristics of the people who are creating this influence, deeming them “explainers” to which a reader could relate to by thinking of examples in their own lives. (13). He also gives historic context of the problem throughout time to set a foundation of his argument while also touching on how the it has changed to the point where it becomes dangerous. Nichols argument especially becomes …show more content…
His reasoning stems from the culture the United States has adopted as a land of opportunity and freedom. This has warped the concepts of what someone might or might now be able to know, especially with the world wide web sitting in just about every citizen’s pocket. As a result, explainers dominate conversations and the social structure doesn’t call for anyone to correct them. Nichols explains this conflict is “amplified by the Internet and social media. The Internet gathers factoids and half-baked ideas, and then splays all that bad information and poor reasoning all over the electronic world.” (15). By making this argument Nichols paints the picture that almost any person could recognize today. The shift in culture to be dependent on electronics is profound. However, because the information on the internet is so vast much of it is simply a condescended version meant for consumers. This leads people to believe that they could learn anything from the internet. Nichols also notes how “We cannot function without admitting the limits of our knowledge and trusting in the expertise of others.” (15). This is a key point in his explanation on the mindset today. The internet is a miraculous innovation that sits on all the information in the world. It’s seen as limitless, creating people, explainers, who do not believe their knowledge is …show more content…
These mentalities have been engrained into the roots of American culture, but Nichols argues ““the issue is not the indifference to established knowledge; it’s the emergence of a positive hostility to such knowledge” (20). The hostility of the public is much more intense than in other instances throughout history. Nichols site Alexis de Tocqueville as “the French observer who noted in 1835 that the denizens if new United States were not exactly enamored experts or their smarts.” (17) to show that the mindset is not new. Nichols quotes Tocqueville with “In most operations of the mind… each American appeal only to the individual effort of his own understanding.” (17). This goes along perfectly with what Nichols has explained in the chapter and he refers to multiple other sources throughout history that have the same commentary on American culture. However, today the issues being met with skepticism between laypeople and experts seem to be much more serious. When speaking about modern times Nichols explains the raw milk movement. Even though the fad was debunked by experts, people still believed they were safer and even smarter for drinking raw milk. Nichols explains that people don’t understand that “experts being wrong on occasion about certain issues is not the same thing as experts being wrong consistently on everything.” (20). People

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