Experts Versus Hive Mind
As my weekly blogging over at All About Beer becomes a routinized thing, I'll alert you to posts more rarely. However, you might be interested in today's post, which addresses the issue of expert opinion versus the wisdom of hive mind. In terms of beer evaluation and review, I argue that we don't want to throw the former out entirely.
It is characteristic of this moment in American history that we hold experts in contempt and valorize the global hive mind. Critics are vanishing faster than tropical reefs, and we now rely on sites like Yelp and Good Reads and Amazon to tell us what to buy or read or patronize. There are many reasons why these sites have made us better consumers and, in some cases, better-educated. But the hive mind has a tendency to elevate mass opinion and codify conventional wisdom (even when that “wisdom” is grossly errant). The phenomenon is so pernicious it can even infect non-crowd-sourced information. If you trusted BeerAdvocate with the authority to decide on Burton Bridge’s Olde Expensive, you’d have been sent down a blind alley.In making the argument, I pivot off the words of local beer luminary Bill Schneller, so go have a look and see what you think.