Doug's quick test to find out if that guy on the message board really *is* a professional

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Summary: Did you read on that someone is a some sort of movie guru who has always acted as DOP on a billion films and so knows more about the subject than you do? How about on a news-story where some "doctro" [sic] is claiming that there is no way he can stay in business now that health care reform has passed? What about someone who claims that she was there when they unveiled the aliens at Roswell? Is she a professional? Here's a quick test to find out.

Friday, 23 April 2010

(00:41:32 CDT)

Doug's quick test to find out if that guy on the message board really *is* a professional

Every few microseconds, someone posts to some message board about how they are a professional in a given field, and therefore the argument they are about to give, which rarely actually equals an argument, is above and beyond any opinion you might have. Here are some tips that you might want to use to find out if they are really a professional.

#1: They are not. Simple, right? Professionals have better things to do than stay up all night (or better yet, post in the middle of their shift) typing poorly written messages in response to blogs they stumbled upon. They have organizations and jargon-filled industry rags that to which they type poorly written messages. However, since this post would peter out quick if I only have one point, so let's move on.

#2: Do they claim to be a professional in lieu of giving anything like a substantial argument? To wit, do they say something like "I am a doctor and there is no way that we can take care of everybody!" If so, they are not a professional. Even if they are, who gives a crap? If a doctor walks into a restaurant and says "I am a doctor and you shouldn't eat this food and I won't be actually backing up this claim because I am a doctor," are you going to jump to? Nope. The only time that works is when a guy says, "I am a bomb technician and you had better run." Take that one on faith.

#3: The chance that they are a professional is proportional to the amount of sentences that use jargon. Have you ever hung out with your doctorate level friends and realized that half of their sentences on their field involve acronyms, backronyms, buzzwords, abbreviations, and other verbal shortcuts? Why would you suppose that they wouldn't also type those out?

#4: Likewise, the chance they are a professional is inverse to the square of the amount of grammatical and semantic mistakes they make. And even if it isn't, do you want to take advice from a lawyer who misspelled "university"?

#5: Is everything they quote as proof of their profession easily available on a Wikipedia article about said profession? There are lots of lonely people out there who want to feel important and they often have the Internet.

#6: Do they post once and then only come back to repeat their initial post if at all? They are a troll. Look it up.

#7: Do they lurk behind anonymous names and non-identifiable profile pics with no real way to verify their evidence? This is kind of a tough one on the "real" professionals out there, since no one uses their real name on the Internet, but I will tell you this, if the biggest dick on the planet uses his real name and the sweetheart that agree with me calls herself "DaisyChain69", I'm going with the cock. Information trust is a multi-faceted thing, and outside of further confirmation and replicability, the other third to the holy trust trilogy is source traceability. Anyone can claim to be an expert: remember when you told those girls you were a master of massage? You liar.

#8: Finally, speaking of confirmation, is the only reason you want to think they are professional is because what they say agrees with what you want to hear? Usually what happens is we pick the one that agrees with us, and there you go, but its dumb to do. You were wrong about whether Jill, in the tenth grade, really did like you. Why do you think you are right about this?

Si Vales, Valeo


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