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We should go ahead and explain these people. They are the “bullies” of the playground. I could almost stop there because the metaphor is so accurate, except they have a few features that can really mess up the learner.
Many of these pundits are “overnight experts” without credentials, degrees, quite a few never went to college. Meaning; quite a few do not have training in discerning scientific thought. Irregardless of the possession of factoids from books. Few have any clinical experience. To keep this brief, let me run over the four main things.
- They are quite often guilty of COMPLICATING simple issues in order to show off how “smart” they are, but also to perpetuate their “control” over arcance facts and remain your high-priests of the hobby. i.e.: “Wow he is so smart, he knows stuff I could never know. Let’s turn to him as our expert.”
- They are vicious and usually pretty insecure.. Like schoolyard bullies, their reign is characterized by picking other people apart, if not on fact, then they can put their claws into dissenter’s personal lives, or simply a contributors choice-of-words.
- MANY of these pundits have no ponds. They have seen a few, and helped out on many, but don’t have FIRST HAND – “Got one in my backyard” experience. Quite a few read books. Problem: Segmental information does not create a smooth, contiguous approach to problems that need to be solved. It’s patching together a mess of facts that may or may-not even be related in fact.
- And finally, the worst pundits come from internet message boards that you can immediately tell have an “in the know” elitist “You’re just a peon” attitude. There happens to be a British board with that flavor. If you happen to stray into that board, you’ll know it, you will be there perhaps four or five posts before the main asshat squares off with you, and insults you off their board.
Pundits. For ANYONE who seeks to help out the little guy in the hobby, The pundits are the best reason for to leave that task because, as in my last year of trying to help people (before I quit) (2007) -> I spent more time undoing the errata of the pundits than actually creating progress in the areas of import to the general concerned hobbyist.
IT IS NOT AS HARD AS THEY WOULD MAKE IT. They are masters of USELESS minutia.