The challenge is always finding someone who knows that he is talking about. Who does?
You have to know about what is being discussed in order to evaluate the people discussing it. And you have to know what it is to know. Do you think you know because you agree with the opinions floating around, or do you actually know something? That’s where the salutary confrontation of Socrates helps. Before you can know, you have to realize that it is difficult and you have to see that if you aren’t asking the right questions, you don’t know. That can lead you on to the right questions. From there you can do two things. You can evaluate the people asking questions on the basis of the questions they ask. The second thing is that when you learn to ask good questions, you start getting good answers. That opens the possibility of evaluating things and people on the basis of knowledge.
The shock of real learning is one Plato constantly dramatized. When it is demonstrated that you do not know, what do you do? Do you turn against Socrates or do you follow him and learn from his questions? Those who turn on Socrates will never be free because they refuse to admit they are slaves. They claim to see, but are blind, and won’t find a solution for their blindness because they refuse to admit there is a problem. They have degrees, they publish, but they are just surfing blindly on a sea of opinions. It is not a matter of succeeding in reality, but of succeeding in the denial of reality. That success is the strange success at which so many are successful in our times.
And there are those who really do succeed. There is a growing fellowship of them that podcasting and substacking and other such things has banded together. At this moment, there is actually a growing abundance of it, strangely. I find this one of the best things about this present moment.