Monday, 3 December 2012

How to tell if someone is over-promoted

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How do you know if people are over-promoted? - in the sense that I have been describing in the posts over the past days; I mean by over-promoted that they lack the competence, specifically the general intelligence, to understand their job.

(Not that they are unable to do their job; but they they lack the requisite understanding to maintain, repair, and if necessary replace the complex entities of the modern world.)

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The simplest way is to see if people can understand what you are telling them.

How can you tell if they have understood?

By them correctly summarizing what you have said, but in different words.

(I mean really doing this - not just by reflecting-back what you have just said in a formulaic fashion, nor by 'hypnotizing' you into thinking they have done this. Of course, this also requires honesty on your part - you must be prepared to acknowledge that an accurate, if not perfect, summary has been provided.)

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So, if you never hear your own position correctly re-described; then you can never know that the other person has understood you.

And you must therefore assume, by default, that you are not being understood. 

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The usual reason for failing to provide such a re-description is incompetence - the other person has not understood you because they are cognitively incapable of understanding you.

Less often - or mixed in - are when people rhetorically re-describe your views using deliberate false descriptions (setting-up easily demolished straw men); or that a person is so in the grip of ideology, or involved in the heat of argument, that they lack patience, or there is insufficient time for communication, or that people want to coerce rather than persuade.

Or, they do understand but do not want to engage - perhaps because they recognize that if there was a rational argument they would lose it.

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I think it is normal to ascribe the failure and futility of modern discourse to the fact that one's opponent is evilly-motivated - and in the case of the mass media and leaders of major social institutions, this is could well be true.

Indeed, it is characteristic of the Left that they always regard opponents as evil, ignorant (of facts) or insane.

But (I am asserting here) more often than not, it is the incompetence of the over-promoted which underlies all of this - because people cannot understand opponents, then they can only assume that opposition is evil, ignorant or insane; and no matter how long you were to spend explaining and them patiently listening - it would be to no avail: they cannot understand because they cannot understand.

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All this is inevitable in a society significantly more complex than the cognitive capability of the people who have inherited it.

Over-promoted cognitive incompetence, by and of itself, is not the root of the problem - but if it is pridefully denied, and indeed not just denied but inverted such that incompetence is reinterpreted as superiority...

Well, then that is getting much closer to the root of the problem.

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