Wizards of the internet
In my day to day life I’m a technical advisor. A professional when it concerns a variety of HVAC-systems, water-treatment and energy-systems/resources. I advise people where it concerns the best solution for their situation as well as keeping up with the (esthetic) demands, technical possibilities, configurations and adaptability for future expansions.
This implies possessing good technical as well as mathematical skills in order for everything to work. This varies between small units or replacements and up to entire building-projects on an (inter-)national level from scratch.
This implies I have to heavily rely on formations and special courses from different companies to gather all my information. It implies I know where to look and what kind of information I need in order for the machinery/system to function properly for years to come.
For renewable energy sources, this implies I need to have a know-how of a variety of factors.
Some having to do with average temperatures, orientation, average wind speeds, hours of light, geological layers,… in combination with the characteristics of the project (isolation, configuration, volumes, lay-out, materials,…).
If a result is put on paper, it can be assured that it will be the most optimal one on a variety of levels
As always, there are also people who have their minds set and want to opt for a something else.
If there’s the technical possibility, things can be fixed (albeit at much higher rates).
With the age of the internet, which started in the 90ies, information is more accessible and almost
“free-for-all”. Nowadays, everyone can have access to information that was once reserved for “professionals”. On a variety of “specialized” forums, pages on social media and video-platforms people can now see a variety of “how-to” tutorials.
From a personal point of view this is great. It implies an attitude of self-reliance in society. The willingness to learn and be less depended on others. However, all this wizardry comes with a cost. The internet can only share information on “how-to” but fails where it concerns “what-to”.
As an example, people can look up the different kind of pumps and have an approximate idea what they more or less need. Some more savvy people might be able to pin down certain “solutions”. The even more savvy might actually know what kind of system they need. In all three instances will the person have an idea of how-to do it. The thing is, that which has been found does not necessarily match the actual and realistic need. For pumps on an oil-platform there are a variety of factors like density, depth, temperature, geological lay-out and continuity that need to be taken into account. He may “find” a few solutions that in detail confirm the needs… but it does not imply it is the best solution.
What most internet wizards (IW) lack is professional experience. They can stave with undisputable fact all the information that can be found concerning the products, and system, and I will have to agree with them. But that would only concern the system itself and not the global image of the entire situation. If I rely the information that the chosen pump does not suffice for the situation because of such and such, it is best to follow suit. There’s a reason that if I counter-act an internet-based self-found proposition, it is better to consider “why” and to shut-up.
Much of the discussions being had, revolve around the idea of “there it says.. and thus..”.
The person taking responsibility on the account a valid source indicated that it “could be” or “has been previously on that (seemingly) similar occasion”. This, in no way, can ever be considered as a correct reasoning. Every situation needs consideration. The IW does not understand this kind of fallacy. The pride of self-reliance comes with the pay of fixing the own faults and all costs (and not always the monetary ones) that come with it.
The technological sector is being hit the hardest. Many people look up and discuss “how-to”. A very actual few know what’s up behind it all and even these stand on the principle of always measuring up and giving a few possible solutions. (Just do the math yourself, how many times did you look something up on Google when your computer suddenly gave errors or couldn’t boot a program? Perhaps even “researched” other things like diets in hopes they will work?).
I have friends in the medical sector who increasingly have to deal with the arrogance of people that stems from IWzardry. People self-diagnosing and demanding unconfirmed treatments as they self-diagnosed the illness based on symptoms they “claim” to correspond. Conveniently forgetting there is a need for expertise to shift through the plethora of associated illnesses which have a variety of symptoms in common. Very often do I hear “patients” claim to have been mis-diagnosed while a small talk with the doctor reveals “the patient” has been stressing out symptoms that lead to a forced diagnosis. Some even faking symptoms (in a sort of placebo-effect) as their minds have already been set. The kind of idiocy that can’t be helped..
Other friends of mine see a similar trend arising in the juridical fields. People wanting to represent themselves in order to save some cash and thinking they can sway the opposition to give in. People who probably read about “similar” cases and the proceedings that were involved in order to try and have their win (only to fail miserably). They fix themselves on key-aspects but fail to actually understand what is going on and what other doors could be opened. They have no clue about the mechanization and play that goes on right in front of their eyes.
More and more does this become apparent. Wrongfully, this can be interpreted as the dawn of individuality and the beginning of a Satanic age where people depend more on themselves and will stand against a perceived status quo. A challenge of establishment. It seems to forget society has always been thriving on the individual strive of others and their knowledge. The IW does not get he’s but challenging his own short-comings. Holding on towards facts and figures but never fully grasping the extension of every situation. It is veiled ignorance cloaked in pseudo-intellectualism.
If there’s a person who has been specially trained to do a line of work, rest assured he cannot (and never will) be replaced that easily by a few tutorials and people who learned to read books and manuals. Even AI will fail to do the job of a professional as it too only relies on fixed parameters without second considerations. Its pool being too limited (even if it is the most complex one with the most extensive library saved in its hard- and software). It cannot read between the lines and see the red one on which it stands or collapses.