The Royal Society of Experts

I read this morning:

TEMPERATURES are set to plummet on New Year’s Eve before a three-month deep freeze, according to forecasters…

…experts say the deep freeze could continue for months, with below average temperatures all the way to spring.

The experts might be right. But since there’s an exactly 50 – 50 chance that temperatures will be either below average or above average, they’re equally likely to be wrong.

Why does anyone believe experts? How does one tell if someone is an expert or not? It seems to me that they become experts if they’re members of the Royal Society of Experts, and they’ve got Degrees or Doctorates in Expertise. Either that, or they’ve got well cut suits with fashionable cufflinks. In the past, all the experts had beards. The bigger the beard, the greater the expertise. It’s why Karl Marx and Charles Darwin were held in such esteem: they had stupendous beards.

I’m beginning to think that the Left largely consists of people who believe experts, and the Right consists of people who don’t. But it could easily be the other way round. But Democrats like Al Gore clearly believe what climate science experts tell them. And so does France’s Emmanuel Macron: it’s why he was trying to raise taxes on French fuel until the Gilets Jaunes protesters stopped him. Clearly the Gilets Jaunes don’t believe the experts that Macron believes. And neither does Donald Trump.

I’m not inclined to believe experts. When the astronomical experts in NASA declared that Chelyabinsk fireball of 15 February 2013 was completely unrelated to asteroid 2012 DA14 that passed close to the Earth on the same day, I simply didn’t believe them. And I didn’t believe them because they started saying this within hours of the event happening, and before they had any accurate information about the path of the fireball. Clearly it was some sort of act of faith on their part, rather than a measured, considered, scientific opinion.

So I spent the next 3 years constructing a computer orbital simulation model, and used it to show to myself that the Chelyabinsk rock had been following about 25 million km behind DA14, catching up with it after passing close to the Earth on 15 February 2009. But I’m pretty much the only person in the world that thinks that. Nobody’s going to believe me. And nobody’s going to believe me because I’m not an expert.

But I think that the only reason that people believe the experts in NASA is because they’re the ones who’ve got simulation models, and ordinary people don’t.

I think things would be different if everyone had their own orbital simulation models, and could study things for themselves. What if you arrived at a pub somewhere and everyone in it was talking about how they’d been running their own simulation models of DA14 and didn’t believe (or did believe) NASA? It doesn’t happen, of course. But why not? More or less everyone is walking around with powerful computers in their pockets these days. It would be perfectly possible for many mobile phones to run orbital simulation models. Perhaps some already do. Everyone could be an expert in orbital science.

But instead expertise always seems to get concentrated in the Royal Society of Experts, and people either believe one bunch of experts or another bunch. Nobody ever looks at things themselves. Perhaps they’re not interested enough.

But the result of expertise being transferred from ordinary people to a few accredited experts is that the accredited experts become more and more powerful, and more and more tyrannical. It’s why we now have a bunch of self-styled tyrannical experts in Public Health England who think they know what’s good for everybody else to eat.

Over the past year I’ve been building another simulation model: a climate simulation model. Many years ago I used to build heat flow models of buildings. I was a bit of an expert at it back then. So for me it’s something of a return to familiar country. And I’ve been using my model to drop snow or ice on the surface of my model Earth, and see how long it takes to melt, or if it melts at all. I’ve even managed to crudely simulate global warming, by increasing the absorptivity of the air in my model atmosphere, and thereby raising air temperatures by as much as 30º C. It’s a very simple model, and it’ll never be as good as a big one running in a supercomputer. But the supercomputer climate models don’t seem to have been much good at predicting what the climate will do. So they must have got something wrong.

Does Emmanuel Macron have a climate simulation model? I bet he doesn’t. I bet he relies on other people’s climate models. I bet the Gilets Jaunes don’t have any climate simulation models either. So the collision of the Gilets Jaunes with Emmanuel Macron is a case of the blind fighting the blind. It’s one belief system against another belief system. It’s essentially no different from Catholics against Protestants, or Christianity against Islam. How can they possibly resolve their dispute over climate if none of them have any climate models?

We will only defeat the army of tyrannical experts currently enslaving us when we take back from them the expertise that they now monopolise, and become experts ourselves, or at least expert enough to point out where the experts are mistaken.  Until we start thinking for ourselves, and carrying out our own investigations, they will just carry on getting more and more powerful, and more and more tyrannical.

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7 Responses to The Royal Society of Experts

  1. smokingscot says:


    Just discovered we have a whole stack of emoji’s to assist those of us who identify as smokers.

    • Mark Jarratt, Canberra, Australia says:

      That’s good – smoking emoji is on this Samsung smartphone, but of course right next to a coffin, just to reinforce our ‘temporary citizen’ status. 🤨🚬🚬🚬🚬⚰

      • beobrigitte says:

        That reminds me, all governments of this planet moan about the ageing population NOW and increased state pension ages eligibility. Is Tobacco Control et al lying or our politicians, or both?

  2. What you write of is something which, I believe, every generation of thinkers has and always will face. A conundrum of sorts. A belief that the truth is something most people seek. And that most people would or could be content in finding the real truth. That they have the mental equipment or capacity (though I believe most do – they just choose not to exercise it) to deal with an ever growing disbelief in establishment, known things, the foundations on which they have built their lives. Thinkers and truth seekers are rare. And seeking the truth isn’t about destroying establishment – to be sure; my path didn’t start that way – it was always merely wanting to understand things as fully as I possibly could. It’s all about curiosity.

    I suppose that is one of the only good things to come out of the war on smoking; it’s created a few more people who question things – who know that none of it makes sense, and wonder why. The good side effect is, it has created more thinkers and truth seekers. People who can and do seek more information and answers to questions, who create, perhaps, their own way of figuring out the why or why not…

    Thinkers will, I am coming to believe, always continue to be the rarest in every generation. For they speak heresy, and challenge all of the bedrock, the explanations on which everything is based. They are not interested in the bread or circuses provided to them…

  3. RdM says:

    Experts have also decided on GMT, UTC, and the various time zones …

    So, Happy New Year 2019!
    (about an hour 1 22 minutes ago here..)

    Of bread and circuses, fireworks –

    Still, a fun warm night, a gay party below, neighbours hanging out the sides, music, lights

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