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The Death Of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters

Tom Nichols

Top 10 Best Quotes

“It is a new Declaration of Independence: No longer do we hold these truths to be self-evident, we hold all truths to be self-evident, even the ones that aren’t true. All things are knowable and every opinion on any subject is as good as any other.”

“Never have so many people had access to so much knowledge, and yet been so resistant to learning anything”

“But science is a process, not a conclusion. Science subjects itself to constant testing by a set of careful rules under which theories can only be displaced by better theories.”

“Americans have reached a point where ignorance, especially of anything related to public policy, is an actual virtue. To reject the advice of experts is to assert autonomy, a way for Americans to insulate their increasingly fragile egos from ever being told they’re wrong about anything. It is a new Declaration of Independence: no longer do we hold these truths to be self-evident, we hold all truths to be self-evident, even the ones that aren’t true.”

“When resentful laypeople demand that all marks of achievement, including expertise, be leveled and equalized in the name of "democracy" and "fairness", there is no hope for either democracy or fairnes. Everything becomes a matter of opinion, with all views dragged to the lowest common denominator in the name of equality.”

“When citizens placed on equal footing are all closely seen by one another, they are constantly brought back to their own reason as the most obvious and proximate source of truth. It is not only confidence in this or that man which is destroyed, but the disposition to trust the authority of any man whatsoever.”

“This is erudition in the age of cyberspace: You surf until you reach the conclusion you're after. You click your way to validation, confusing the presence of a website with the plausibility of an argument.”

“Plugging words into a browser window isn't research: it's asking questions of programmable machines that themselves cannot actually understand human beings.”

“Online debates become personal, emotional, and irresolvable almost as soon as they begin.”

“Knowing things is not the same as understanding them. Comprehension is not the same thing as analysis. Expertise is not a parlor game played with factoids.”

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Book Keywords:

anti-intellectualism, expertise, knowledge, truth, post-truth, let-me-google-that-for-you, nonfiction, free-speech, information-behavior, perspective, debate, science

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