You probably heard about people who can pass themselves as pilots, lawyers, doctors, CEOs over substantial periods of time without either experience or training. How do they do it? Well, it looks like the very top class professionals of this kind are for some reason all in our field of arms, armor and archaeology. So let me share 7 simple techniques that are proven to ensure unlimited success.
- Proclaim yourself an expert, i.e. “I have been collecting/doing this/curating for 40 years…”. The weakest and most basic technique of them all. Stronger version – have a buddy to proclaim “he has been recognized as an expert for 40 years”!
- Refer to an expert. “The greatest expert on the subject told me in confidence that …”. “No one present is qualified to challenge my mentor John, who by the way said …”. Most commonly used, and comprises 90% of current scholarship.
- Risky, but far reaching. Invent your own language. When handed a blade gasp “Ba, this is a real mutan-butan”. Or after “carefully” examining it “well, I see nagamishi, so it’s not all bad”. When there is existing terminology – double down. If people say mokume, use true mokume versus, say, nagiri mokume. Widely employ little known, useless, but formally sounding names from early publications. Its best if they are not accompanied by pictures – they can mean anything!
- It always pays off to go for quiet, strong and unapprochiable type. Short and vague appraisals, most importantly never (!) divulge any underlining reasoning. People respect what they can’t see.
- Never apologize, if pushed – double down and shift tactics. Some shifts are more natural – If confronted while doing (4), change to (1). From (3) one typically jumps to (2), but not to (4).
- Always have buddies to cover for you! Every argument can be won, if there are three guys willing to start yelling at crucial point “how can such things be asked to a person of such caliber”. Hint: drink more beer with pals. Said pals can be acquired in mutual admiration groups. There are plenty of entities like Collector’s Club for Academic Research (previously known as West London Organic Farming society) or West London Token-kai (much worse).
- The ultimate secret technique – Black Dragon, Blue Fire. Become a Museum Curator. The essential nature of all these methods is to shift the argument from evidence, pros and cons to postulating one’s opinion as that of “a recognized expert”. Having official position of an expert is obviously the best card to play in this case.