TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Last Laugh! A Field Guide to Experts - Oxman et al. 329 (74

Last Laugh! A Field Guide to Experts - Oxman et al. 329 (74

Marcus Didius Falco (
Sun, 27 Mar 2005 21:22:45 -0500

If you want the whole article, which is very funny, let me know. It is long
(23K in stripped form)

Unfortunately the illustrations did not come with this copy. To get them,
see the original file, or download the PDF.;329/7480/1460

BMJ 2004;329:1460-1463 (18 December), doi:10.1136/bmj.329.7480.1460
This article

Experts' eye view

A field guide to experts

Andrew D Oxman, researcher1, Iain Chalmers, editor2, Alessandro Liberati,
researcher3 on behalf of the World Artifexology Group

1 Informed Choice Research Department, Norwegian Health Services Research
Centre, PO Box 0130, Oslo, Norway, 2 James Lind Library, Oxford, 3
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and Agenzia Sanitaria Regionale,
Bologna, Italy

Correspondence to: A D Oxman oxman{at}

Experts are common but not well understood. This guide introduces novice
expert spotters to the essentials of artifexology the study of experts

A field guide to experts

An expert is a man who has stopped thinking he knows!

Frank Lloyd Wright

Experts are a little understood family within the phylum
Chordata. Many people mistakenly believe them to have well developed
egos, winged words, and dull plumage. In fact, they typically have
immature egos (which explains their incessant self flattery),
rudimentary wings (which is why they fly first class), and exotic
plumage (to detract from their vulnerability). Despite their
deficiencies, experts can be dangerous. Our brief field guide to
artifexology (the study of experts) should help people to protect
themselves from the insidious influence of experts.


An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less.

Nicholas Murray Butler

Who are we to write a field guide to experts? By its very nature,
artifexology is a non-expert field of study. As soon as one becomes an
expert in artifexology one becomes the subject of one's own studies,
thus arriving at a sticky end up one's own cloaca. Unsurprisingly, we
insist that this guide has been written by amateurs for amateurs.

Deeply tanned experts top the pecking order



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