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The Expertise Paradox

So you can't be an expert and have a balanced view. From Three-Toed Sloth:

"experts need to acquire and store tens of thousands of cases within their domains in order to recognize patterns, generate and test hypotheses, and contribute to the collective knowledge within their fields. In other words, becoming an expert requires a significant number of years of viewing the world through the lens of one specific domain. It is the specificity that gives the expert the power to recognize patterns, perform tasks, and solve problems.

Paradoxically, it is this same specificity that is restrictive, narrowly focusing the expert's attention on one domain to the exclusion of others. It should come as little surprise, then, that an expert would have difficulty identifying and weighing variables in an interdisciplinary task ..."

This gets kind of interesting if you think about experts in say, Web 2.0/social computing. And you get another paradox, because presumably Web 2.0 expertise includes, along with the O'Reilly Mile, a strong appreciation of the fragility and inherent bias of expertise?


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