During the BP oil leak of 2010 while the “experts” were frantically working on a solution to stop the flow, thousands of people were offered solutions. One suggestion came from a plumber named Joe Caldart, but since he wasn’t a scientist with a PhD, his plan was dismissed outright. Only when a professor of engineering at Berkeley and former Shell executive recognized the validity of his idea and passed it on to BP, did they listen. Six weeks later a strikingly similar design was lowered onto the Macondo well, and the eighty-seven-day crisis ended.
In this age of technology, experts, studies, and the media, more young people than ever are attending college and more degrees are being conferred every year, but with all the degrees conferred and the numbers in academia soaring, it is prudent to examine not only what is being taught and how, but also its effect on society and the culture.
We are constantly bombarded with studies and so-called expert opinions that are contradictory, controversial, and ineffective. Explanations of current events are accepted at face value by the common man of today because they are informed by “experts in the field.” In Shmexperts: How Ideology and Power Politics are Disguised as Science Marc Fitch examines the modern myth of experts in today’s twenty-four hour media cycle and explains why viewers, readers, and average Joe’s should do their own research too. In understanding the underlying philosophy and motivation of these experts and the media that promote them, we will gain greater insight and critical thinking skills by which to determine whether or not an expert as cited in the media is a true expert or an agenda-driven shmexpert.
In this brilliantly insightful book Fitch warns of the frightening prospect of a society led into intellectual complacency by relying on mass-media manipulation and the bureaucratization of knowledge. Shmexperts explores the philosophy inherent in the media’s reliance on and use of experts and its negative influence on society as a whole. In this truly enlightening book, “average” Americans will learn to trust themselves over the so-called “experts” that have infiltrated the media.