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April 12, 2017

Comments

Phil

The funny thing is, outside of Arsenal, neither Adams nor his successor Campbell are aware of the limits of their competency. Adams thought he should be considered for the role of Chairman of Arsenal, while Campbell seriously thought he could run for Mayor of London.

From Arse To Elbow

As a long-time Arsenal watcher, you will know that Koscielny is usually the "interventionist" in a centre-back pairing with a "second ball" player such as Mertesacker. Mustafi looks to have been bought as the long-term replacement for Koscielny, but he clearly has yet to master the role. Judgement is very much a matter of experience, hence Koscielny has gradually lowered his card/penalty rate over time.

The point is that Mustafi will (probably) learn and become a better player, but this requires him to push the edge of his competence and so court failure in the meantime. In contrast, the lack of consequentiality for pundits means that they never learn, hence the knee-jerk celebration of Trump's airstrike.

Politicians do face consequentiality at the ballot box, so I disagree that there is no demand for them to recognise the edge of their competence, but most calculate that only the most egregious personal incompetence will make a difference. This is in no small measure because of pundits' mediation - e.g. Labour right-wingers know they won't be called out for their sabotage.

Blissex

«Chris Shaw is right to complain that, very often, “gaps in knowledge and complexity are tacitly ignored.”»

Interesting argument: that there is not just "tacit knowledge", but also "tacit mis-knowledge" (perhaps that is what "groupthink" is, and what PR aims to create). Those organisations with strong tacit mis-knowledge probably reward yes-men very highly, and possessing or acquiring strong "tacit mis-knowledge" can be a career advantage in them.

Guano

If pundits recognised the edge of the competencies, they wouldn't say anything.

I have made some effort over the last five years to make some sense of the Syrian civil war, but I've never seen any of the well-known pundits at the meetings I've been to or seen these pundits refer to some of the interesting academic literature that is available.

You don't get a job as a pundit by being able to understand the topics that you're writing about. You get a job as a pundit by showing how certain subjects or events confirm a particular world-view.

Blissex

«Judgement is very much a matter of experience, hence Koscielny has gradually lowered his card/penalty rate over time. The point is that Mustafi will (probably) learn and become a better player, but this requires him to push the edge of his competence and so court failure in the meantime.»

That seems a very good argument to me, but with a correction: we are talking about top players in top teams, so they should be expected to already have that judgement.
For much less paid jobs than that employers demand that hires to "hit the ground running" and give 100% straight away without any wasteful learning on the job. Even so many employers for low-paid jobs have a very generous :-) "3 strikes and you are out" policy.
If there is a case for an employer to tolerate less than perfect performance all the time is that new players in a team need to learn to fit in the specific dynamics of that team, and that may be part of what Mustafi is doing.

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