88. Experts and pundits

It is fair to say that experts have had a hard XXI century. Vilified for their failures during the 2008 recession, attacked by populist politicians peddling magic potions to remedy society’s ills and ignored by the general public. Being an expert is tough. If your advice fails to predict a crisis, this is obvious to everyone. If it succeeds, the opposite is not true, nobody sees the alternative World that would have resulted from the lack of expert warning. In most cases, experts work quietly, serving society or their masters, getting it right, which is the norm. Errors stand out as they are infrequent and therefore weigh more in the public consciousness. Nowadays, to add to confusion, pundits get given the same podium and asked the same questions even though they have no expertise or qualification to answer them. The public often confuses both. We expect experts to be perfect, unfailing, which is unreasonable, whilst we forgive pundits and populist politicians, as a society, everything

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