Expertise is a disadvantage

Man’s gotta point.


It’s sometimes hard to argue about a subject even when you know more about it than other people, especially with issues of national politics.

When you don’t know much about a subject, it can be easy to declare firm, simple rules about what’s right, what’s wrong, and how to fix it. But if you’ve studied a subject until you know how complex and morally ambiguous many aspects of it are — and you realize how much is unclear or unknown about the subject — you can seem indecisive, pedantic or lost in the weeds of trivial detail.

That’s why I’ve sometimes described arguments with “I had a disadvantage: I knew what I was talking about.”

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