Error Rate of Different Disciplines



After the covid era, we might do better to quantify our trust on the expertise of experts in various fields. Neils Bohr defined expert as a person who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field. And Richard Feynman once wrote that what he could not create, he does not understand .So there are experts in physics,  maths,  chess, Jiu Jitsu. So a Phd in these fields makes one an expert , where they have a consequential knowledge of different moves one can make and their consequences. cooking for example is one area where trial and error works so quickly that everyone can become experts in a range of dishes.

By comparison, journalism and history for example are different and phd in humanities is not to be seen on par with science. There should perhaps be a visible distinction to stop the confusion. Science often is open to experiments that can be repeated and tested, history is not. Perhaps one could quantify expertise in different fields with regard to the number of variables involved, the ability to carry out experiments or to be able to simulate in say a computer or contemporary availability of information, sources and feedback. . Couple of years back, in a ted talk, a surgeon talked about the human errors in his profession and compared to batting averages in baseball. We can be sure that doctors made treatments that were not adequate in early period of covid pandemic and have made their methods better over the following months .

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/29/coronavirus-doctors-now-have-more-treatments-to-save-lives.html

Taken together, ability to experiment and get feedback quickly makes the difference and the contemporary availability of information to check and verify would place journalism marginally better than history. So perhaps ranking the expertise of experts would be along these lines, cooking, chess, jiu jitsu ,  engineering, computer science, maths ,  physics, biology , economics, journalism and perhaps history. Ranking the validity of expertise in different subjects would perhaps help us focus more on areas that are easier to hack by partisans.