UNWARRANTED ASSUMPTION OF EXPERTISE
I just finished reading a couple of articles on George Soros' recent stint at the University of Chicago as a better educated, much richer, more European version of Michael Moore. Even the author who was in sympathy with the position Soros was articulating was unimpressed with the force of his arguments which reminds me of a phenomenon I have often observed. I find it odd that people who have achieved notoriety in some field or accomplishment often believe this expertise or authority is transferrable to fields of which they know nothing but invite strong opinion - politics, the arts,religion, sports, economic policy and the like.
Soros is a bright man with enviable skill in financial markets but his political arguments at Chicago were so inconsistent that they probably could not have withstood testing by the grad students in the audience in a formal debate. Or perhaps even from the undergraduates. I have seen any number actors, musicians, doctors and scientists pontificate loudly on political or historical subjects of which they clearly know very little but they would find it bizarre if say, a historian or a political consultant lectured them about method acting or particle physics.
Perhaps this is a human temptation resulting from excessive ego or it is
simply that some topics seem to touch of all of us and we forget that these areas of common human interest often require as much experience or study to understand well as does more specialized subjects. James Carville, Dick Morris and Roger Ailes comprehend the American political process far,far better than most of their critics could ever hope to grasp yet we tend to feel our opinions are not only equally valid but more incisive as well.