Expertise

  1. Stewart Hotston

    Stewart Hotston Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering if people would be willing to offer up their expertise for other writers to run their ideas past here?

    For instance, I'm a former physicist and researcher (phd in QM and a masters in philosophy) and have been working at the cutting (disastrous) edge of finance for the last 15 years. I've been science advisor to a couple of people (such as Adrian Tchaikovsky in Children of Time) as well as helping quite a few others understand the basics of economics.

    I also love talking about those subjects to anyone who'll listen...

    Is there anyone else who'd be willing to offer their own expertise up for advice?

    For instance, I know NOTHING about how armies, navies and air forces work, their structures etc. I'm always writing stories that tangentially touch on those subjects and would love to make those parts feel more authentic.

    Anyway, it would be lovely to have that expertise available to those of us who come here to help one another out.
     
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  2. Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

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    From what I've seen, people do this here already i.e. there is a thread on "Horses" which contains information I never knew. @The Judge is usually asked to comment on the Law, and you have provided your knowledge of Physics before.

    So, are you suggesting a much more formal arrangement; a kind of register where people say what their expertise is, and also their level of expertise/qualification so that a "go to" list could be created from it.
     
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  3. Jo Zebedee

    Jo Zebedee writes books about people.

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    I think we had a thread like this once. For military stuff I have a military beta who is long suffering and wondrous.

    I am a management consultant at strategic level. So anything around organisations, structure, culture, teams, leading and managing etc etc I am strong at.
     
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  4. Stewart Hotston

    Stewart Hotston Well-Known Member

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    Hey @Dave yeah, possibly. The moment we say formal I get the jitters, but what you describe is that thing. It's partly because I suspect we have some wonderful and deep expertise here and we're all generally supportive of each other and it would be nice to think 'I wonder?' and quickly see who could help. Totally opt in obviously with a clearly understood freedom to say 'sorry I don't have time today'.

    It's partly because I want to help others as much as opportunity permits and I know I'd use it for myself too!
     
  5. HareBrain

    HareBrain Bunny of Wonder Staff Member

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    We did, and this is it:

    Need a scientist?

    But what then? Either the seeker after knowledge PMs the expert directly, meaning no one else benefits, or the thread quickly gets swamped like the one above did.

    On balance, I think people posting individual questions in General Writing Discussion works OK, unless there's a particular topic that often comes up, such as horses.

    (BTW, this is better suited to GWD, so I'll move it there.)
     
  6. Stewart Hotston

    Stewart Hotston Well-Known Member

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    @HareBrain is there a way we could create a new one that could be curated in some way to keep it to posting of expertise only?

    Apologies, I put in critiques because it was looking to see if there were any new requests that made me think of it.
     
  7. HareBrain

    HareBrain Bunny of Wonder Staff Member

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    We could, but how would you see it working? To my mind, either the questioner has to ask by PM (which is fine, but means no one else can see it and join in), or they'd have to open a new thread anyway, like they do at the moment.

    I guess it would allow them to open a new thread for their question and tag the expert, but we know the tags don't always work ...

    I'm not against it as such, but I'm just not sure how it would work practically, especially since members come and go quite frequently.
     
  8. Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

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    I really have no idea, but the issue you bring up regarding "swamping" has been a problem. I've seen a lot of threads where (possibly well-meaning) members have replied to questions on which they have no knowledge or experience.
    The tagging the expert was what I was going to suggest, but as you say, the list would quickly get out of date, and some members visit so infrequently that the wait would be too long. Additionally, if you have been here long enough, you already know who knows what.
     
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  9. Jo Zebedee

    Jo Zebedee writes books about people.

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    We used to have that handy little thread for asking the weird and wonderful questions. I still miss it. *sighs*
     
  10. HareBrain

    HareBrain Bunny of Wonder Staff Member

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  11. Phyrebrat

    Phyrebrat ba-Ba-ba-brat

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    Or can't resist making 'hilarious' jokes irrelevant to the thread.

    pH
     
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  12. DelActivisto

    DelActivisto Hey I'm Mary Poppins, ya'll!

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    I move we make this thread a sticky so people can post their questions and expertise readily in one thread. That also makes it easy for people reading through. Another forum I was on did this with great results. They also did a lot of other things with terrible results, but hey...
     
  13. Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

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    It was decided that a single thread became too cumbersome to be a useful reference resource and impossible to read through. Much better to start new individual threads about specific questions. Tag people in the threads if you wish. Easier to search on thread titles for subjects than searching posts.

    As for a "List" of experts, on further thought, I don't think it would work. Apart from their availability to reply, who decides on the experts? They themselves?
     
  14. DelActivisto

    DelActivisto Hey I'm Mary Poppins, ya'll!

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    Well, yes. Who else? It's not like people would be walking around claiming to be nuclear physicists, because it's too easy to poke holes in that. Even a lay person like me, who has only ever had one chemistry course, can spot a fake nuclear physicist.

    Ooh, write me down as an expert fake nuclear physicist detector. :D
     
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  15. dannymcg

    dannymcg Raoul Mitgong won't help

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    Got two I know a decent bit about..

    UK coal mining.

    Transportation of spent nuclear fuel.
     
  16. Cathbad

    Cathbad Yeah, I've got my ugly gray beard back!!

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    Got it. And me a Biotech Theorist.
     
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  17. DelActivisto

    DelActivisto Hey I'm Mary Poppins, ya'll!

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    Ah, so in seriousness, I am highly knowledgeable in biological sciences.
     
  18. R.T James

    R.T James Furry Steampunk Street Urchin

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    I am a welder, hotrodder, work in lineal extrusion at the moment.

    And I was one step away from being a criminal using ties established by friends and black market dealings with the Russians using already established import scene that was pretty organized.

    So I know a thing or two about the corrupt system of where I grew up since I was one shove away from diving into it at a very young age. I also know a thing or two about fighting. Don't hold a black belt or anything. Just very much of that survival, heck one of my ears was almost torn off during a fight. Also I know what its like to hold a persons life in your hands in a split second and decide whether to let them live or to kill them.

    I wish I was lying when I say that.... I really do.:notworthy:

    Btw I let them live, but the next week they were bragging about strangling somebody over the weekend. :devilish:

    You could say I have a PHD from the school of hard knocks.

    How many people can say with a straight face they were a few steps away from becoming an arms dealer, and came to terms with the fact they might have to kill somebody in self defense in middle school.

    I was also insane for 6 months of my life.

    So if you want to hit me up to discuss detachment or what happens to push a person to the point of going to crime. I'm down for that conversation.

    Also on a happier note I am a hard core steampunk, AND A FURRY! :ROFLMAO:

    We all come from all walks of life. It is the experiences we experience that shape who we are, or rather what we take from them. We all have forks in the road, I was just lucky to know when the fork was present before I made a choice. If I went down the path of least resistance I wouldn't be here today writing a story. I would not change a thing in my past for I have great clarity and I understand myself. I just don't like myself.
     
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  19. Cathbad

    Cathbad Yeah, I've got my ugly gray beard back!!

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    That's one I've never seen at a Con! :eek:
     
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  20. sknox

    sknox Well-Known Member

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    I'm a medieval historian and I regularly encounter people who believe they are experts because they've read a bunch of books on the Tudors, or the Medici, or took a class on the Crusades. While it's one thing to get the facts of physics wrong, it is quite easy to put your foot wrong regarding matters historical. And such mistakes can throw a reader right out of the story.

    So, I agree that the question of expertise is problematic. At the same time, just doing a search on "medieval footwear" or "jousting" is either going to come up dry or come up with a great deal of noise and how is the newbie to sort through it. While I hesitate to have a forum of self-anointed experts, I also see the value of having a space for questions and answers, as separate from general discussion.

    It's a pity we can't have up-voting and some sort of ranking system. That would allow the users themselves to designate what was worthwhile.
     
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