The Insider Paradox

This started as “The PK Paradox” because I noticed it first with pastors.

But the more I considered it, the more I realized it applies in almost any situation where I have “insider” information: musicians, bloggers, authors, students, teachers, and so on.

The paradox goes like this:

As your understanding of a particular field increases, your appreciation for “experts” in that field both increases and decreases.

Here’s how it works:

  • The more you know about a given field, the more you realize the hard work, dedication, and in some cases natural skill of the real experts in that field.
  • At the same time, though, the more you know about a given field, the more you can recognize the fakes, wannabes, and posers in that field.

Before you’re an insider, you don’t know enough to realize the talent or recognize the impostors. But as an insider, you have that knowledge. That’s how, as an insider, your respect for the field as a whole can increases and decreases at the same time.