This from Jodi at I Cite.

Paul overheard a discussion among several college students in the cafe at Barnes and Noble.

One young woman had been wondering whether a pack of 40 lions could take down a t-rex.

She went to the zoo, to the ask the lion expert. A lion-keeper was there, but she didn’t feel fully qualified to answer the question.

So the student googled paleontology and found the name of an eminent scholar. She emailed him her question. His response: lions don’t hunt in packs of 40.

This completely annoyed the student. The guy wasn’t an expert in lions, so why was he talking about the lions? Why didn’t he talk about what he knew, about the t-rex? He was clearly avoiding the question.

Her conclusion: experts are really just advocates. No one wants to spend their time studying a loser animal.

This made me chuckle a lot. But I’m also pretty impressed at the student. I have trouble “cold call” emailing even semi-eminent academics who are in the same field as me, and who I have a fairly legitimate reason to harass. I need more guts. Maybe I should get in practice by emailing Chomsky and asking him what he thinks about Burning Man.