Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Of Experts and Expertise

I frequently make the remark - "Of course you realise I am an expert in everything - the problem is I am the only one who thinks it".  I get a few laughs because it is taken in good heart, and I don't mean it.  The greatest problem is that the world is full of experts to the extent that the true meaning of the word is rapidly being lost.  On the other hand the world is very quickly running out of people with expertise as we become daily more reliant on technology and machinery to perform some basic tasks. Sadly gone are the days of being  able to standby and watch an expert carpenter, builder, blacksmith, signwriter and many other skillful people  creating masterpieces of crafstmanship and who can rightfully be called experts. What has really brought this diatribe on is my perception of the hordes of experts I come across on my jaunts to rugby internationals, and the so called expert disection of the game in the bars and conversation in the workplace days after the event. The same applies to the pundits who chop up  every move, tackle and referee decision in so many of our games of whatever shape or size the ball, or event is. The downhill skier and ski jumper is an example to my mind where a great deal of expertise, and personal madness is a prerequisite. Taking a further example - what about a fighter pilot hurtling through the valleys of Mid Wales. The Lake District and the Highlands of Scotland at almost ground level where split second decisions are taken in regular training to gain expertise and become experts.   To continue  on the same theme, consider the expertise of the Surgeons who carry out such intricate surgical work whilst we are out cold having signed away our lives in the knowledge that we will be treated by an expert. The armchair experts who rant and rage about the performance of individual players on the sportsfield have little or no perception of the hurt that can be inflicted on individuals.  No thought is spared for the consequences and impact on the individuals confidence.  Obviously when a team effort depends on the expertise of individuals, results and expectations can quite properly be discussed. Character assasination is surely another matter.  In Wales this weekend we will enjoy an international rugby match with two teams doing their absolute best to win.  The standard and expectation for a good home result is high.  The standard and experitise of both teams should be about equal.  Statistically the experts are mainly opposition. Whatever, some 77,000 baying experts will descend on Cardiff a mixture of home and visiting supporters.  There will be millions of armchair experts many of whom will never have had the sniff of a blade of grass let alone put on a rugby shirt.  To all aspiring experts I have a simple request - forget it until you can really claim to be one - forget the rants on Facebook - enjoy the game - recognise the winners whoever they may be.  AND Finally if you are a Welsh Supporter - LEARN TO SING THE WELSH NATIONAL ANTHEM IN THE LANGUAGE OF HEAVEN - YOU WILL LOOK SO PATHETIC MIMING OR PRETENDING TO KNOW IT WHEN YOU COME UP ON THE BIG SCREEN -