Likely the kindest thing is that they have little appreciation of hard won knowledge.
Courthouses like the Carteret County one in Beaufort, NC which is pictured to the right are a symbol of records to me.
If you own a piece of property in Carteret County, you can likely find out about it in the courthouse. The records are there.
Written records and contracts are not the currency of self proclaimed experts.
I have had a few run-ins lately with some instant experts. First there was the person posting on an on-line forum who took a walk down Beaufort's main street and proclaimed it just another incarnation of the New Jersey shore.
Then there was the lady who visited Emerald Isle for a few days and based on her observations proclaimed the beach was having a slow year. Somehow on the last week of the vacation season when most of us were waiting forty-five minutes for a table at a restaurant, she saw no lines.
My experience which is based on a little more than a few days or a single walk, indicates that both people are completely off base.
The problem with most instant experts is that they see what they want to see, not what is actually there. They often convince themselves that they are right in spite of considerable evidence to the contrary.
They are looking for evidence to support an idea which justifies a behavior that would otherwise be hard for others to swallow.
There is usually no sense in battling these self proclaimed experts. Their self-esteem cannot take the consequences of their being wrong so it is impossible for them to admit their stupidity.
They end up being very self-centered people who care little for the opinions of others.
The other characteristic of a self proclaimed expert is often cowardice. When a chance for open debate exists they often run and hide behind someone else.
Their expertise is so shallow they have nothing with which to prop up their arguments so those arguments can only be made in sheltered situations where they don't have to be defended.
Unfortunately we seem to have created a society which creates far more self proclaimed experts than we need.
They are people whose company I can do without.