False Gods

Beware false gods. And idols. I haven’t turned religious but am referring to people who become experts.

There is a trend general internet trend followed by people who become experts and authorites on something. They do something a bit out there, a bit radical, a bit polemic,  and through this gain a following. So far, so good and often interesting.

They then make pronouncements and set themselves up as experts, and after a while, start selling something.

These instant experts usually have no particular relevant qualifications, either gained through practical experience or more formal methods of learning.

As a somewhat crotchety old man, I at times, read their blogs and muse a bit upon their confidence and perhaps arrogance. When you are young, you believe that you know everything. The older you get, the less you know. You realise that there are subtleties and uncertainties in almost anything that you do.

In my more charitable moments, I think that these ‘so-called’ experts scratch the surface of something and think that they have mastered  the subject. They never dig deep enough to peel back the layers. They never even realise that the layers exist.

The more you learn about a subject, the more you realise that you don’t know.

Programming is a good example. It is straight-forward to learn how to write some javascript (and a useful skill), but in more depth you might want to connect to a server. A whole load of server side scripting will be required and maybe connecting to a database. Perhaps a knowledge if SQL will be required?

But this is still at a high level, it is possible that you might need to understand how an operating system works, write interfaces to devices, structure code containing millions  of lines and  and so on.

You can not master programming in weeks or months, but you can learn how to function in a specific domain.

I think that the same goes for learning a language. It is easy to scratch the surface, but digging deeper takes time.

So, sense check what you read.

Besos & baci,

MF

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