Professionals. They know everything. They've done it all before, and they can prove it. But what is it that makes a professional, a professional? Well, I'm gonna go ahead and guess that they've made their work a Profession. What is a profession? That definition is actually not very solid in my mind. To me, a profession is a particular skill or interest an individual takes to the point of mastering so they might make a living on it. That being said, calling someone a professional doesn't always stick with me.
The way they behave tells me more of their professionalism than their credentials. Yet there is an undeniable trend in the world today that credentials are what defines a professional more than their actual knowledge. I often see people mistake a labeled "professional" as someone who knows what they're talking about. This often falls apart when said "professional" makes an argument that proves their knowledge of the area they claim to be professional is absolutely unfounded.
Knowledge is universal, and something we all obtain. All of the information we know now has always existed in some form. The ideas and information we know to be true now, was simply us discovering the information that was already true. That being said, professionalism is counter-intuitive to this idea considering how we covet the word of those who claim to be as such. How? It's pretty simple actually.
The information professionals are providing is not exclusive knowledge. Anything they know and provide information on is obtainable through multiple sources in the age of the internet. Yet we still listen to these people as if they have something more valuable to offer us than the no-name blog that's done their research as well. No, that's not a pat on my back, there's actually a lot of other no-name blogs that have it right and just aren't believed as much because they aren't seen as professional due to their lack of credentials.
I've heard that what makes a professional is doing something enough times and getting it wrong to know how to do it right. If that's the only requirement, then there are plenty of people in the world we can call professional. And let me be clear, this isn't me saying I'm professional in any way. I honestly don't buy into the concept of professionalism as most see it, considering to me it doesn't make sense to put anyone on a pedestal in this day and age for knowing something someone else didn't.
If that's ever legitimately the case, I'm more inclined to call them a scientist because chances are they're making breakthroughs that no one else has yet. Otherwise, it's just spreading the information which doesn't require any specific education to do. It just requires the drive, an open mind, and time.
Actually, you can be a computer pro in about a week if you have enough time and the basic skill of using search engines to research. Can you master it in that amount of time? No, but you can know enough to make someone think you're a professional. Which brings me to my next point. A lot of our education system is based around proving knowledge, rather than retaining it's usefulness. We focus primarily on memorization, rather than application in schools and this is a huge problem.
I used to love math in school, and I remember the day that love died. It died the moment my teacher said "Learn it for the test, I don't care what you do with it after." Yes. My 11th grade math teacher actually said that to the entire class. At that point, I thought "Why the hell am I wasting my time with it then?" That's the professional mentality though. Most people go through school knowing they won't ever properly use the information they're being force fed to remember.
It's not really about knowing the information and being able to apply it anymore. It's more about making people think you know what you're talking about, and being able to keep them believing it. Now, I don't know about you, but that seems like a pretty damn big problem to me. There's a lot more I can cover with the psychology behind this problem, but I only like to keep a blog post so long. So for now, just remember. Just because someone says they know what they're talking about, doesn't mean they do.
No matter how you label it, stupid is just plain stupid.