As one commentator puts it:
INTJs apply (often ruthlessly) the criterion “Does it work?” to everything from their own research efforts to the prevailing social norms. This in turn produces an unusual independence of mind, freeing the INTJ from the constraints of authority, convention, or sentiment for its own sake … INTJs are known as the “Systems Builders” of the types, perhaps in part because they possess the unusual trait of combining imagination and reliability. Whatever system an INTJ happens to be working on is for them the equivalent of a moral cause to an INFJ; both perfectionism and disregard for authority come into play. Personal relationships, particularly romantic ones, can be the INTJ’s Achilles heel … This happens in part because many INTJs do not readily grasp the social rituals … Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense.
— Marina Margaret Heiss
This almost describes me — except inasmuch as the individual in question appears to at least regard the notion of “authority” as conceptually valid.
I have NEVER been able to take the notion of “authority” seriously. I DO recognize (relative) competence within a given context, at a specific point in time — but that is a vastly different notion from “authority”.
So far as I can determine, an “authority” is (purportedly) one who is “legally” permitted to resort to “jackboot” tactics, in order to “enforce” his/her edicts. Put bluntly, “authority’ strikes me as nothing more than the attempt to “institutionalize” the argumentum ad baculum (appeal to force) on a “social” level.
Yes, I am aware of the existence of (putative) distinction between Argumentum ad baculum and argumentum ad verecundiam. However, this strikes me as nothing more than the question of whether any purported “authority” is permitted to curb-stomp you “legally” (or something equivalent).
For example: Ruchard Stallman might genuinely consider himself to be an “expert” on (for example) EMACS, or at any rate, the GNU variant thereof.
However, it is entirely possible — even probable — that there are others — both “mere” users, and other developers — who are “better at EMACS” (in a specific context or application) than HE IS.
So, no. Stallman may be extremely competent with regard to EMACS. He may even exhibited a high level of (relatively) broad knowledge and understanding of EMACS. That still doesn’t justify any sort of arbitrary distinction between so-called “experts”/”Authorities”, and others — whose knowledgebase might be equally — or more – applicable, within a different context or set of circumstances.
This is also why the (arbitrary and groundless) notion of ‘genius” pisses me off:
Purportedly, “genius” is (arbitrarily) defined as an IQ of 140.
I contend that there is no meaningful distinction between a (purported) “near-genius” who happened to score 139, and another individual who happens to be over that (oh-so-magical) threshold.
So, no. Both “expertise” and “authority” are pernicious myths, so far as I can determine.
Does this mean that I (somehow have no respect for those who are MORE KNOWLEDGEABLE than I am, in a given (more or less specialized) context? Not at all.
However, it does mean that I am exceedingly unlikely to take any (purported) “Authority” on faith — without at least attempting to understand their explanation, and — if such is warranted — getting a “second opinion” (when and if time permits).
I have never regarded any variant of “because I said so!” as anything other than:
1. A (desperate) cop-out (indicating that the individual resorting to it cannot justify — or even explain — his/her claim)
2. A (veiled, and thus dishonest) threat.
To be honest, the more I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion that I ma psychologically ill-suited to playing “status” games. I realize that even “high-status” individuals are neither omniscient, nor infallible, and further, that the kind of mindless “obedience” involved in the so-called “Asch Effect” does NOTHING to change those attributes.
Your (unthinking) obedience of an “authority” or “expert” will not — cannot — magically ensure that they will be correct. It can do nothing but put YOU at risk, by creating a false sense of “security”.
In 1923, leading American zoologist Theophilus Painter declared, based on poor data and conflicting observations he had made, that humans had 24 pairs of chromosomes. From the 1920s to the 1950s, this continued to be held based on Painter’s authority, despite subsequent counts totaling the correct number of 23. Even textbooks with photos showing 23 pairs incorrectly declared the number to be 24 based on the authority of the then-consensus of 24 pairs.
This seemingly established number created confirmation bias among researchers, and “most cytologists, expecting to detect Painter’s number, virtually always did so”. Painter’s “influence was so great that many scientists preferred to believe his count over the actual evidence”, to the point that “textbooks from the time carried photographs showing twenty-three pairs of chromosomes, and yet the caption would say there were twenty-four”. Scientists who obtained the accurate number modified or discarded their data to agree with Painter’s count.
Put bluntly: FUCK THAT NOISE.
The “argument from authority” resulted in several generations of students “learning” something which had been demonstrated to be blatantly wrong — for THIRTY YEARS.
Again, FUCK that noise, seriously.