Some Favorite Quotes About Experts

14 May 2015

I am travelling this week, with little time to do a usual TWOG. So I offer something different. I have spent a lifetime collecting favorite quotes. They now fill 43 pages. Here are a few about experts.

“An expert is someone with no elementary knowledge.”

“An expert is an ordinary fellow from another town.” (Mark Twain)

“An expert avoids all of the many pitfalls on his or her way to the grand fallacy.”

“For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert.” (Arthur C. Clarke)

“An expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less until finally he knows everything about nothing.” (A manager, therefore, must be someone who knows less and less about more and more until finally she knows nothing about everything. So what happens when an expert and a manager meet?)

“An expert knows how to make love 748 different ways, but doesn’t know any women.”

“An economist is someone who has never met a real person but once had one described to him.”

“An actuary is someone who would have been an accountant but she couldn’t stand the excitement.”

“We all create an outward self with which to face the world, and some people come to believe that is what they truly are. So they people the world with doctors who are nothing outside of the consulting-room, and judges who are nothing when they are not in court, and businessmen who wither with boredom when they have to retire from business, and teachers who are forever teaching. That is why they are such poor specimens when they are caught without their masks on….” (Robertson Davies, The Manticore)

“The meaning of [the PhD] is that the recipient of instruction is examined for the last time in his life, and is pronounced completely full. After this, no new ideas can be imparted to him.” (Stephen Leacock)

Hence:  “Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.” (Mark Twain)


Collection not content  © Henry Mintzberg 2015