Do not listen to me

So it turns out that experts are terrible at what they do. At least, if the expert who stars in this CBC documentary (profiled here in the Toronto Star) is to be believed. Science gets debunked; economic predictions are little better than chance; wine experts are worse than amateurs under controlled conditions.

Well, okay. But let’s not take this too far. When you hire a plumber, they will actually be better at fixing a toilet than a chimp holding a wrench. It is possible to be better at some things, to build a repertoire. And the documentary points out that, ironically, Environment Canada is actually pretty good at predicting weather probabilities (though not actually the weather). I would say that the documentary itself probably isn’t worth watching. It seems pretty smug, which violates the one rule that it proposes about expert advice: if you have to rely on an expert, there are ones you can trust.

The one who seems uncertain but offers ideas on how you can think about something. He’s not promising to save you but has five things that might help.

That’s certainly one way to think of it, but on the other hand…