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Date: 2024-07-24 Page is: DBtxt003.php txt00025189
RUSSIA
PUTIN'S APPALLING CHOICES

Times Radio: Putin may have already lost support of the security force
A conversation with Mark Galeotti


Original article: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyghg5NtyzU
Peter Burgess COMMENTARY
This commentary is NOT a criticism of this interview, but some thoughts on why it is that our modern world is functioning at such a low level compared to its potential!

My take on the state of world affairs is very different from the conversation that I am hearing from almost everyone ... even people with great expertise and experience.

Why is this?

I have concluded that the reason boils down to the reality that experts are experts ... and in order to be an expert one has to focus most of one's effort on knowing the subject with rather little time and energy left for putting the specialized knowledge into a broader context.

Some people ... and especially those with a lot of power and influence ... take this a step further and focus like a laser on the issues that are going to be good for themselves.

Most people ... ordinary people ... have no idea what is going on and how those with power and influence are gaming the system.

For most of history all of this did not matter a whole lot. Things moved rather slowly and when things started to go wrong, there was time to do something different and hopefully better.

This is not how things are any more. This is no more the 'horse and buggy age' but something very different ... at this time in history a lot of things are now able to happen 'instantly' and at an unimaginable scale! Yet essentially all are systems of decision making, oversight and control were designed in the horse and buggy era and are no longer 'fit for purpose'. Worse, many of the 'goals' have been promulgated for the benefit of an elite and not so much for everyone. In other words ... effective management of our complex socio-enviro-economic system simply does not exist.

Some people have understood this issue, but nobody seems to have made much progrss in implementing the change that is needed. While 'bits' of a better management system have been articulated, nothing like a complete and comrpehensive and practical system of management has been described, let alone implemented!

When I was at college in the late 1950s I observed that with the growth af academic specialization we were learning more and more about less and less ... and in the end we would know everything about nothing! At the time I was completing an undergraduate degree at Cambridge in engineering ... called Mechanical Sciences! I was faced with the need to choose an area of techniocal specialization which is what most of my contemporaries were doing, but instead I chose to study economics. In other words I sought to broaden my education rather than deepen my learning. I don't regret the decision at all, though I am perfectly OK with the idea that for many people deep is going to be better than broad.

Thanks to a very creative tutor at my college I was able to take the economic exams that would normally be taken after three years of study in just one year ... and did not flunk it!

Next I got myself into a 'management training' program at a high profile British engineering company and started to bump into some of the real issues of industry and management. I was no longer insulated in a comfortable 'ivory tower' but starting to get a 'real' education ... warts and all! Very quickly, it became clear that the practive of 'management' that I was being trained to engage with was completely out of touch with reality. Very good people and experts in their area of expertise were stuck in 'silos' and their potential value to the organization almost totally destroyed.

By chance I met the company's Chief Financial Officer in a social setting several months into my 'training' and in the course of conversation and hearing some of my 'thoughts' he suggested that I should think about training as a Chartered Accountant. Up to that time, Chartered Accountants did 5 years of 'Articles' in order to qualify, but a 3 year training had recently been intrpoduced for people who had a university degree.

I spent my summer holiday in London getting interviews with all the well-known accounting firms. Some were very 'old fashioned' and some were embracing everything that was emerging and new and promoising in the world of the 1950s. Top of this group was a firm called Cooper Brothers & Co (CB&Co) who offered me a position ... and even offered me a stipend that would cover modest living expenses! This was a considerable contrast to some of the other firms that were still requiring thair articled clerks to pay them! CB&Co was in the process of forming an international joint venture with Lybrand, Ross Bros and Montgomery of Philadelphia, USA to form the international partnership of Coopers and Lybrand (C&L).
Peter Burgess
Putin may have already lost support of the security force | Mark Galeotti

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