Tell me something I don’t know II

Ultracrepidarianism refers to the habit of giving advice on matters one knows nothing about. It came from a Latin expression “Sutor, ne ultra crepidam” (Shoemaker, not beyond the shoe). At some point, we elevate people who have progressed well within their respective fields to such a status that they are willing and even confident about their views on matters that they clearly should not be attributed any authority in.

Of course one of the best example is the modern day politician who is asked by the media on a variety of views. And the problem is that sometimes the public gives them enough credit that they actually believe in them. But more broadly, we are suffering from this phenomena ourselves as we become increasingly educated and sees the internet or whatever we find on it as a trusted source as long as they agree with us.

Determining the boundaries of our competence and the authority limits of our own views is so important. Which is why perhaps in schools, even as we want our kids to be confident in their thoughts and views, they ought to also learn to caveat them for the sake of their audience, if not themselves.