Dr. Douglas

Death of the layman

I’ve been reading a bunch of different articles about authority and decentralized responsibility lately.

In case you’re wondering, none of the following links are affiliate links.

Mark Joyner recently published a report entitled, Rise of the Author which is about how you’re automatically an expert if you publish a hard copy book and how you ought to do it soon because books are going out of style… but only if you want to be famous (probably not at all his point- that’s just what I got out of it).

Doctor Douglas wrote an article about how doctors are firing patients who do their own research and have concerns about diagnosis or prescribed medications.

Harlan Kilstein said NLP is dead because there haven’t been any industry wide advances or even cohesion recently.

Ryan Healy wrote about how we ought to make sure our hypnotists have enough training … or at least as much as our barbers. I was completely enjoying that article until it took an unexpected turn into a sales pitch.

And of course we’re all probably familiar with Michel Fortin’s report entitled Death of the Sales Letter .

Incidentally, I just finished reading a book called, The Laughing Jesus: Religious Lies and Gnostic Wisdom . I highly recommend it. Of course, don’t read it if you like the idea of clergy and having religious middle men.

And then I began reading Therapeutic Metaphors and Big Mind, Big Heart .

What do all these threads have in common? They all suggest that the layman is dying if he’s not already dead.

Here’s what I mean by that.

The reason we even have the word, "layman" is because there’s the assumption (perhaps presupposition), that people can be divided into two categories: the expert or the layman. The other assumption that’s less helpful is that if you’re not an expert, your effort or contribution is questionable. In the academic community, you don’t even have a valid opinion without a PhD.

What I see in all of this is that the internet is brining down the walls between expert and layman… at least for the layman. I recently met a financial planner who routinely uses NLP to get his clients to take action in their best interest. Where did he learn NLP? From reading books. I guess he didn’t know he needed an expert to bless his efforts.

This isn’t to say that there is no place for the wise and experienced among us to practice our crafts. And there’s no question that all the different establishments held together by experts will continue on for some time yet. It simply means that if one person can do something, another can too. You don’t have to be an expert. NLP modeling can expedite that process but someone way back in the day had to figure out how to light a fire on their own too the first time.

It reminds me of my training as a medic. We finished our EMT basic certification the first 6 weeks of the 4 month training course but our senior drill sergeant became famous for constantly telling us we weren’t medics yet. We were only about 45% medic. And then about 80% medic. And on and on. Finally, after graduation, he said we were 100% medic and competent enough in our skills to go out there and do something.

The good news is that you don’t have to wait to be christened an expert before you get going. The not-as-good news is that the upcoming generation of buyers and sellers don’t recognize the same marks of authority as previous generations. Keep in mind that Generation Y might as well mean, "Why?" as in, "Why should I listen to you at all about anything even if some people think you are a so-called expert?" Credentials won’t go as far as they used to.

As for me, I’m glad. It just means there’s more opportunity for us non-experts.

Let’s toast to the death of the layman.

PS. My NLP copywriting for non-experts video is coming along nicely. Today I was suddenly overwhelmed by the amount of examples all over the web. I’m having to pick and choose which ones to showcase this first time.