As far as I can tell:
It’s not possible for me (or most/all other people, for that matter) to individually evaluate claims every topic I hear about, as it takes too long time and too much effort to learn the foundations needed to evaluate things accurately. Therefore I (and all other people?) need to rely on other people to evaluate topics that I am unfamiliar with.
On a lot of topics, common experts are incompetent; for instance most social science research is just bad, and it’s mainly bad because the entire fields have no clue what they’re doing. Therefore it seems unwise to rely on those fields. It’s unclear why they are so bad, but IME rationalist experts are much better, perhaps because they share my biases, perhaps because rationalism teaches useful tricks, but I think more likely because rationalism just tends to attract incredibly intelligent and curious people.
However, one cannot just blindly rely on opinions by rationalists, as rationalists are not automatically good at everything; when rationalists are unfamiliar with a topic, they often say lots of totally clueless stuff.
So in my view there’s basically a lot of utility in finding the rationalists most specialized in each topic to make it easy to learn stuff from them. Has anyone worked on this in the past? Is this something someone (Lightcone Infrastructure, perhaps?) would be interested in setting up?
And I guess if you know of any underrated rationalists who specialize in some topic, feel encourage to share in the comments for this post?
This also seems to apply to non-rationalists, but that’s not as important for this purpose.