How is expertise being redefined in the modern era?
a16z posed that question to 20+ experts. The line-up includes those that society might traditionally categorize as such — academics, scientists, researchers — as well as authorities in their own domains: a sci-fi novelist, an award-winning illustrator, gamers, prominent and emerging newsletter writers, and startup builders.
Here is our executive director Jacob Mchangamas answer:
On bullshit: Excellence, not affiliation, makes expertise
Hand-wringing about the evils of an increasingly egalitarian public sphere is often driven by “elite panic,” in which traditional gatekeepers seem at least as concerned with the eroding authority and relevance of their own privileged access to the public than with concerns about the common good. This is not to say that social media is a uniquely benign phenomena — real harms occur, and huge challenges must be overcome — but the picture is far more nuanced than the prevailing discourse suggests and, in my opinion, the benefits of a more unmediated access for everyone to share and access information instantly and across the globe significantly outweigh the harms (so far).
Read the full piece here.