One of my favorite features on Best of the Web at OpinionJournal.com is What Would We Do Without Experts? This daily series of What Would We do Without… questions is followed by a headline from a newspaper where "experts" or some class of "expert" is cited.
Here are some examples:
What Would We Do Without Experts?
"Expert: Flu Outbreak Could Be Deadly or Mild"--headline, Rapid City (S.D.) Journal, Nov. 4
What Would We Do Without Teachers?
"Teacher: Reading Leads to Learning"--headline, Billings (Mont.) Gazette, Oct. 25
What Would Surfers Do Without California Towns?
"Never Surf a Tsunami, California Town Says"--headline, Reuters, Oct. 28
What Would We Do Without Studies?
"Study Links Bake Sales, Weight Problems"--headline, Associated Press, Dec. 5
What Would We Do Without Tests?
"Tests Confirm Gun Used in Shooting"--headline, News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), Dec. 2
What Would Thieves Do Without Police?
"Vehicles Left Running Are an Open Invitation to Thieves, Police Warn"--headline, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Dec. 1
What Would Adolescent Brains Do Without Studies, Man?
"Heavy Marijuana Use Damages Adolescent Brains--Study"--headline, Reuters, Nov. 30
One of the underlying points of this series seems to be that "experts" often point out the obvious, and news outlets are more than happy to expand on the obvious.
Here at Parks & Rec Business, we also rely on experts. However, our experts are typically your peers -- people like you who face the same challenges day in and day out.
They provide practical advice often based on hard-earned and learned experience; the old School of Hard Knocks, if you will.
This concept is not meant to denigrate the role academia or outside objective opinion and study brings to the profession. To the contrary, a variety of input from various perspectives is valuable, and we utilize and welcome all voices within parks and recreation. The important component is balance.
In other words, rather than rely solely on one or the other, which can produce a type of intellectual myopia, we're trying to bring as many different perspectives and ideas to the table as possible on a variety of subjects. And here again, our primary focus is to go beyond stating the obvious and provide something useful for your operations.
We hope to meet these criteria as best we can, though we'll never claim anything akin to perfection. The best we can do is dependent on your feedback, which we have been fortunate to receive a lot of over the years.
Please let us know what you need and would like to read about in the magazine, and what you'd like to see at LIVE! 06 at Deer Creek Resort & Conference Center, near Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 19-20. More info about everything we do, and how you can reach us can be found at our Web site, www.parksandrecbusiness.com.
Regan D. Dickinson