Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Trust me, i'm an expert...

Last night, i watched the second part of a BBC2 Horizon doumentary entitled 'How Mad Are You?'

A group of people, half of them with a diagnosed mental health problem, lived and worked together for a period of time and were watched by three experts in mental health issues.

The idea was to see if the experts were able to tell who, in the group, had the mental health problems.

At first they seemed quite confident in their findings- but the more they got to know the group, the more it seemed to throw them- and indeed, they ended up diagnosing three out of the five wrongly.

Now, this got me thinking.

What makes an expert, an expert.

I looked up the meaning in the dictionary.

'Having special skill at a task or knowledge in a subject.'

I then looked up 'expert' in the thesaurus.

'Skilful, experienced, practised, qualified, knowledgable, specialist, professional, proficient, adept, master,masterly, brilliant, accomplished, able, deft, dexterous, adriot, apt, capable,competent, clever, well-versed, wizard, ace, crack, top-notch.


The word i'm still wrestling with is 'qualified'- because one meaning of it is 'make legally entitled'.

'Legal'- Of or based on law.

Please bear with me....i'm going somewhere with this.

I thought i might try to apply this to Sy's writing.

As you lovely people who read my posts on a regular basis will know, Sy has one book out with publishers about King Arthur- how he was actually a Scottish prince, who his allies were, where he was born (and concieved- can you believe he's found that information?' where he died, and most importantly, where he is buried.

And none of it has anything to do with Cornwall.

Another book is about Shakespeare's involvement with the Gunpowder Plot, his murder and who his illigitamate son is - that's nearly ready to send to his agent.

Some questions;

Does the fact that Sy has gleaned a lot of his information about these two men from other sources, apart from books, make him less of an expert?

Does the fact that Sy has not got a doctorate in Shakespearean or Arthurian studies, or whatever they call these things that you leave university with, make his findings any less believable?

Am i right in thinking that these studies are all done from books that have been dragged out, time after time, year after year, with the same information ( old information, that could be wrong, but because it is taught by 'experts', it must be right?)

I might be hauled over the coals for this one....if i have any readers with PHD thingys in the above, do let me know what universities do teach you, and what you research from.

If Sy was put in a room with half a dozen experts on the above two subjects, would his findings be believed, if the audience didn't know who the experts were?

And, if publishers want to see your work, how for F**** sake, do you make them see that your findings might just be the missing link on both these men, but because you haven't got a university PHD doctorate whiz-bang up-yer-bum all singing all dancing piece of paper to verify that you have read books in a classroom, they don't think you are qualified enough to publish.

All in all, Sy has been studying both these subjects for over twenty years.

That's a damn sight longer than any feckin' uni degree.

Now i'm going to go and lie down for a bit- my head hurts from thinking too much.

Till next time,

Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

1 comment:

  1. I have two Irish Uncles who are psychiatrists. One summer I worked as a psychiatric aid in one of the "homes". After 3 months it became clear to me that it was my Uncle who should be institutionalized.

    Because, however, he was an "expert" the other "experts" would never go for putting away one of their own.

    I already knew that Irish people were crazy so I was not surprised to learn that my Uncle was a lunatic.

    I watched him medicate patients into oblivion. They were fine before the group therapy sessions, walking and talking and acting otherwise normal.

    After the group therapy sessions and the prescribed medication...they turned into zombies.

    I decided not to become a psychiatrist.


Your words are every bit as important as Mr Shakespeares.
Put some of them together, and leave me a comment...but don't worry if it takes me a few days to get round to reading them- i have nine jobs and a writer who needs me!

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