Another dot in the blogosphere?

How to spot a charlatan

Posted on: March 13, 2018

The short answer: Get the person to explain and defend the basics.

The long answer is a short story.

I had dinner with a group of people some weeks back and one person decided to bring up bitcoin and blockchain. In one breath, the person said he could not explain bitcoin, but advised everyone to not invest in it. In another, he confidently claimed that blockchain was the future and to pursue that.

My question was: How can a person laud blockchain but not know that bitcoin is based on it? How can you not be able to explain something but tell others to take your word not to invest in it?

I did not actually ask the question because I recognise bait. That person’s statements were a barefaced attempt to be challenged so that he could spout more ignorant rhetoric.


Video source

If you need a good explanation on blockchain, watch the YouTube video above. An expert explains the concept at five different levels.

A charlatan can neither explain basic concepts nor defend it with current information and research.

The same approach should also be applied to vendors claiming to provide schools and educational institutions with edtech panaceas. Can they explain what their product is based on using first principles? Can they do this with different stakeholders? What research have they conducted or do they cite?

The end of my long answer is the same of the short answer: Get the person to explain and defend the basics.

1 Response to "How to spot a charlatan"

Lok Huang: How to spot a charlatan ashleytan.wordpress.com/2018/03/13/how… via twitter.com

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