Thank you to Billie Jean Theide who posted this excellent article over on fb.

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I am (or at least think I am) an expert. Not on everything, but in a particular area of human knowledge, specifically social science and public policy. When I say something on those subjects, I expect that my opinion holds more weight than that of most other people.

I never thought those were particularly controversial statements. As it turns out, they’re plenty controversial. Today, any assertion of expertise produces an explosion of anger from certain quarters of the American public, who immediately complain that such claims are nothing more than fallacious “appeals to authority,” sure signs of dreadful “elitism,” and an obvious effort to use credentials to stifle the dialogue required by a “real” democracy.

Continue reading this article and feel free to leave your thoughts: http://thefederalist.com/2014/01/17/the-death-of-expertise/

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Comment by The Justified Sinner on January 7, 2017 at 1:54am

The same is happening here in the UK. 
This is definitely a strategy to allow the growth of the fascist right by undermining dissent. Read Hayek's "Road to Serfdom" and you'll see exactly what is going on. Hideous.

Comment by Harriete E Berman on January 5, 2017 at 10:27am

Thanks to Amanda for adding your comment. I know what I said is heresy and observation so close to the truth that it is scary to discuss.

Comment by Amanda Hagerman on January 5, 2017 at 9:30am

Harriete, I think what you say is true about the craft world, and should be discussed... and it is depressing. I think the article said everything I have been thinking for the past year and people should read it and take it seriously, as our society has become consumed by personal opinions and post truth. 

Comment by Harriete E Berman on January 4, 2017 at 10:19pm

I have an untested theory that the whole D.I.Y. and “Death of Expertise” in the craft community has NOT been positive for Craft in the long term. With the growth of the D.I.Y, and the parallel growth in online markets like Etsy (of which there are many) everyone has an expectation that if they can make something, now they can sell it. There is no barrier for entry at any level.
As a result, the craft community has had phenomenal growth in average to below average craft, yet everyone is an "expert" (as referring to the article above.)

Going to the fundamental economic model of "supply and demand, " the crafts community has a huge amount of supply. Keep in mind that as the "supply" side increased, a bad economy decreased "demand."

This produced a steady decline in quality and prices. The craft community is running as fast as it can down, in a steady decline.

The craft shows have run in a parallel decline with over supply of both number of craft shows, and craft show sellers.

This is not to say there isn't good craft work, or craft experts, but there are so many more amateurs that consider themselves professionals as a result of the “democracy” of craft. Everyone is an artist.

This also brings up the D.I.Y impact of the growth of workshops, tutorials and instruction outside of accredited academic institutions. As the craft master watched their retail market fade, they entered into the oversupply of craft workshops. At the same time, the newbie D.I.Y. self-appointed experts were now ready to teach.

Again looking at the principles of supply and demand, an oversupply of workshops means lower and lower compensation for teaching a workshop. Add the internet to the oversupply of information. This has now reduced the price for what people are willing to pay for information, workshops and tutorials.

With the growth of the workshops at all levels in the craft community, it was easy to take a weekend workshop or copy the materials from a friend. A two week workshop was considered an education.

Imagine, people actually list a workshop on their resume. Really? Just because you could afford the workshop fee doesn't mean that this qualifies as a resume line of credibility. Judgement from the inside or the outside is out. Critical thinking is not a populist concept.

Sorry to say all this....It is terribly depressing.

I also want to clarify that there is quality, original and innovative craft, but it is an island, in a juggle of average to mediocre and copycats.
“The Death of Expertise” in the craft community has been devastating and depressing. My comment is too long already, yet it only touches the surface of a very serious problem.

I might regret writing this so publicly and may delete this comment any minute.

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