But according to economist Noreena Hertz, relying too much on them can be limiting -- or even dangerous.
The answer? Crowdsource intelligence. Speaking at TEDSalon London 2010, Hertz says it's time to democratize expertise by considering the advice of people on all levels of the knowledge food chain, from the hospital head surgeon to the nurse at the front desk.
We face momentous decisions with important consequences throughout our lives. And we have strategies for dealing with these decisions. We talk things over with friends. We scour the Internet. We search through books. But still, even in this age of Google and TripAdvisor and Amazon Recommends, it's still experts that we rely upon most. Especially when the stakes are high, and the decision really matters.
The problem? We've become addicted to the certainty, assuredness, definitiveness of experts, ceding our own responsibility, intellect and intelligence for their supposed words of wisdom, she says.
Here's her presentation:
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com