"Infocyganism": what does the trend mean?

In recent years, the trend of teaching people anything has gained such momentum that they have already developed an immunity to the annoying advertisements on the Internet and the polite phone calls of the sellers of such products. The average social media user has long understood that an invitation to a free master class on "The Top 10 Mistakes of Putting the Right Sock on the Left Foot" conceals an attempt to sell an in-depth course on wearing sandals for a hundred thousand million. Every day there are more and more online education gurus all around us, the most "successful" of which have already moved from teaching skills to teaching how to teach others. "Start your online school from scratch!", "How do you become an expert in your niche and sell knowledge?", "Don't miss your chance to show off your teaching talents!" - is coming out of every iron in the morning.


What is this phenomenon? Or is it an affliction? For so many years we had lived happily ever after, and suddenly an entire generation of rediscovered educators has grown up? Analyzing this question with the help of human thinking, we can find the following answer: these teachers themselves are just the market's reaction to the masses of people who experience the nihilism of fundamental education and have tasted the sweet effect of the Dunning-Kruger effect. In layman's terms, we are surrounded by many people who want to have it all at once. On the one hand, this is not a bad thing. Healthy ambition, moving forward, getting good intermediate results has always been the key to success. On the other hand, when the Dunning-Kruger effect is at work, people get a false idea of themselves. Of course - for the better. As a result of a rather small contribution to their development, a person feels broad competence in something and high ability to further comprehend the material.

What does it look like in practice? Let's take a small seminar on setting up targeted advertising as an example. The teacher explains to the students what buttons to click, what budgets to set and what calls to action to get a certain number of leads (applications) for a given client requests. It would seem like a great story. What does a competent person realizes as a result of this training? Most likely: "I learned some basics of working with the advertising cabinet, I understand where and how to set up the generation of leads. Period. What will a person taking the first steps in pumping his competence say about himself? "Well, that's it: I'm now a target marketer! No, more than that: I'm a marketer!" And decides to teach other people the same thing by running ads like "Become a great marketer in 4.5 hours!" And a certified marketer, who has spent 4-5 years studying the profession at university, does not know whether to laugh or cry as he flips through the pages of such ads.

Of course, I am being ironic and exaggerating. But there is truth in every joke. The less one knows about the subject, the more one feels omnipotent. Simply because (again, due to a lack of competence) he is unable to recognize the mistakes he makes and evaluate their consequences. Moreover, he has not yet learned to understand the degree of responsibility for broadcasting this model of behavior to his fans and admirers. But he is already turning the transmitter on full blast and opening another academy on the Internet. The poorly educated organisms begin to multiply exponentially. The market is flooded with the same offerings. A single label "infogypsies" is hung on all this fraternity. Meaning the sale of low-value information for big money. Abuse of human weaknesses. And, as we found above, the abuse is unconscious...

The trouble with the whole system is two things. The first is that a person who goes deeper into a particular field of knowledge naturally reaches a turning point. A point is reached at which there is an understanding of the mistakes made, the wrong decisions, their consequences and the feeling: "How little I really know about all this! Socrates said: "The more I know, the more I realize that I know nothing. The second point is that it often happens that people are not interested in going deeper, because they "already know it all. And, handing out these sweets of superficial knowledge to right and left, he gets pleasure from the recognition of his talent by his students. Why, then, is there anything new to learn? After all, his energies are focused on monetizing his current level of competence.

Well, another side effect of all this amateurish history is that real professionals, experts automatically fall into the same category of "infotsygan. Simply because they try to sell their training services on the market using similar methods. Of course, losing to the newcomers, who are not ashamed to declare themselves with the loudest titles and regalia. And in front of whom profound specialists get lost also because they overload themselves with thoughts about the ethical acceptability of such statements about themselves. Whether this is good or bad for them is, to all appearances, the subject of a separate study.

I would simply like to wish the consumers of the hastily created info-products: filter the offers. Realize that the first impression of the author's competence and your own "epiphany" is in most cases just a result of the Dunning-Kruger effect, not the actual state of affairs. You should not be self-deceived and run further to teach other young padawans what you have not yet figured out for yourself. Otherwise, in a few more years, as Peter Thiel described in his excellent book "From Zero to One," we may face a dire situation when there will be no one to create new fundamental knowledge. And on a mere superficial understanding of the question, the world risks stopping and moving smoothly backwards.


Author: Tair Buirakulov  @tair.buirakulov

Photo: from the personal archive of the author 

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