16 responses

  1. Nobleea
    May 26, 2008

    I don’t think this would work in some situations.

    Parenting is the obvious one.

    And I know a few people who have read Playboy religiously (for the articles) for years, but they’re by no means experts on the subject. At least, no one is seeking out their ‘expertise’.


  2. Mr. Cheap
    May 26, 2008

    I was actually going to cite parenting as an example. If you talked to Mike a year after his son was born, I think you’d find he would be an INCREDIBLE expert on raising a child (he would have tons of advice for a new parent – check out some of his posts on the topic). Alternatively, if a “soon to be parent” read all the literature (Dr. Spock and whatnot) for 9 months while their child was on the way, I think they’d be an expert in the currently accepted techniques for child raising (they’d be able to knowledgeably discuss discipline, developmental stages, etc, etc)

    I probably should have had a caveat, you have to somehow advertise your expertise to get noticed. If your Playboy fanatic friends posted a readable blog about it, they might become well known as a connoisseur of porn. People with similar tastes might yield to their recommendations of what centerfolds are most worthy of their “consideration”.

    What a great idea for a blog! 😉


  3. WoolyWoman
    May 26, 2008

    Well Mr Cheap you will need to become an expert in your field (your PhD field) soon as you prepare for your comprehensive exam. What approach will you take to prepare?
    I find it very useful to write papers on the topic I want to become an expert in, as long as I force myself to look at the various viewpoints, and the range of scientific findings. There is a lot of information out there to cover! As you point out, you can’t necessarily be considered an expert when you focus only on part of the picture.
    What I should have done, and didn’t, was practice telling people about my knowledge verbally. This is a weak point for me, and in the end I did not project the “image” of being an expert in person as well as I did on paper. Those academics can sniff out weakness so well 🙂
    So dare I suggest that there are people out there who appear to be experts, but aren’t?


  4. Kyle
    May 26, 2008

    I have used method two for learning languages and it’s worked out quite well.


  5. Mr. Cheap
    May 26, 2008

    WoolyWoman: Unfortunately I’ll probably have to use the second method, as anything that has had books published about it is typically considered “old news” in academia. I’m still at the “find some interesting problems stage” rather than become an expert in the area stage.

    Explaining things to other people is a great way to learn more about them yourself, I definitely hope to have the opportunity to do so.

    I definitely agree there are people who try to project far more competence then they actually possess.

    Kyle: That’s surprising, I’ve often heard that immersion is the only way to learn a language. Great that it works for you! Which do you speak?


  6. Kyle
    May 26, 2008

    Immersion is certainly the fastest way to learn a language, but you can learn pretty much any language studying an hour or so a day. Somebody put up an FSI site offering all their language programs for free.


    FSI is the absolute best money can buy (or in this case, doesn’t have to buy) in my opinion.

    I speak Spanish but I’ve learned various amounts of several other languages over the years for specific purposes. My next is Swahili for a trip to Tanzania. I probably won’t bother learning it fluently, but 4 or 5 months of studying an hour a day will get you surprisingly close in pretty much any language you can think of.


  7. DividendMan
    May 26, 2008

    I think the approach of 1/2 hour a day would work (and has for me) for learning specific technical things like the caveats of certian programming languages. Like, if you know object oriented programming in Java, C++ in an 1/2 an hour a day is doable. I haven’t actually tried the 1 book a month unless my undergrad counts 😛

    I also think that applying whatever expertise you already have is as important (if not moreso) than learning new things, instead of going off to learn something else, make some money with what you know!


  8. Brian Barker
    May 27, 2008

    Can I put in a word for Esperanto?

    I say this not becuase it has become a living language, but because it also has propadeutic values.

    You might like like to check


  9. Four Pillars
    May 30, 2008

    I like this post.

    Cheap – I would disagree about the parenting analogy for the simple reason that each kid is so different. Certainly I know a lot more about parenting than I did two years ago but an expert? Nope. 🙂



  10. Mr. Cheap
    May 30, 2008

    Maybe you’re an expert on your particular child? 🙂 You and your wife laughed at me when I was holding your daughter awkwardly, so you may not even known how much you know.

    I’d have no idea how to change a diaper (and I that’s something I never learn 😉 )


  11. Tony Marren
    March 22, 2009

    The theory John T. Reed expounds on studying for 30 minutes per day DOES work. I chose to study how pool walking can work as a cardio exercise. At Gold’s Gym in Provo,Utah I utilize the pool to rehabilitate my battered right hip and knee several sessions per week. It is thought provoking to enter the complex and be acknowledged as a serious gym attendee who ” walks the talk” on this type of exercise.


  12. busky
    February 22, 2011

    am thinking seriously of venturing into ITto pursue a carrier with hope of becoming an expert.any adice?


  13. Barnes
    May 24, 2014

    I think the key is: in your field, which means we probably already studied this in college, tech school, etc. As we all know one needs continued study after graduating or completing some type of training to stay current/competitive in their chosen field. In your field, I believe, means, something you already studied OR have been doing for work/career. I think this aims more at perfecting yourself in that area.


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