Wine experts confused a $30 bottle with one worth $500

Wine experts confused a $30 bottle of wine with a $500 one. Art critics repeatedly fell for fakes. Nearly all long-term economic studies prove to be wrong.

In his documentary, The Trouble with Experts, airing on CBC on Thursday at 9 p.m., filmmaker Josh Freed takes on the growing number of experts eager to tell us how to live.

The Star spoke to Freed about the value of advisors who are uncertain, weather forecasts and chimpanzees with good aim.

Is this documentary your revenge for some bum advice?

After the 2008 stock crash, I was down and everyone I knew was down 50 per cent. Obviously my financial expert and all the others didn’t know a lot more than we did. I began to wonder about all the other kinds of experts, and I started doing research. I was stunned. We spend a lot of time and money listening to people whom we think know more than they do. For experts, it’s easy to predict the obvious, but it’s hard for them to predict when something goes really wrong.

How likely are experts to be wrong?

The science of it is pretty spectacular. Science writer David Freedman, author of Wrong, determined that two-thirds of studies in major science journals are shown later to be wrong. Almost 100 per cent of long-term economic studies are proven to be wrong.

Check out the video