KerryBog2 wrote:Why should you be paid? Why should the various profs be paid? It is called being informed, a basic part of their job, and yours as a citizen. Those guys are well paid already, have a short work schedule and months of holidays. They are supposed to be teachers, for c...sake, knowing what is happening is an expected part of their classwork preparation.
Yeah, I know.
I purposefully, made the post above, sound as if I was clueless. However, I took the line of argument for a simple reason. It is a little like the Edward De Bono technique, when you say something absolutely ridiculous, in order to re-organise the logic path in your brain, in a different direction. It is very easy to burst the bubble of my argument. (That is what we tend to focus on in western society . . . trying to point out the deficiency of logic or rationality in someone else's argument . . . we are good at that, but we tend to ignore other thought processes)
Alan Ahearne chose to attack the 46 Economists based on their exact quotation of 'words' from the lengthy draft legislation document. If you read Ahearne's letter you will see that. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0826/1224253267244.html
The purpose of my line of argument, is to highlight that Alan Ahearne knows the document so well, that he was able to search through it, line by line, looking for individual words. Now, before anyone tries to point out the very obvious again. I know he didn't leaf his way through 180 pages or whatever length the document is. He obviously did a 'search' in Adobe Acrobat Reader. A much easier thing to do.
But the point I wish to highlight, is that Alan Ahearne as an employee of the State, rightly makes it his job to look at the exact wording. It is wonderful that Ahearne is there doing that. We should all be very glad he is there. It is important work and someone has to make sure it is right. The point I wish to make, is while someone is watching the words very carefully, someone else should be watching the big picture to see how it is developing. The person who is in charge of the bigger picture should be interfacing with the 46 economists. Not the person who is in charge of the word-by-word aspect of the job.
Because this has all become a big distraction for Alan Ahearne. He shouldn't be next or near this debate in my view as an experienced project manager. I blame the project manager, who is supposed to be overhead Alan Ahearne in the NAMA process for not doing their job properly. All the 46 economists want is someone they can have a banter with, who is willing and able to engage in a discussion on their broader level. (Not least, because they will need to teach and discuss NAMA on this broader level as part of their educational work all through next term and beyond) The project manager who is in charge of Alan Ahearne, should have identified the need to given the 46 economists a suitable 'interface' to argue with. That should have happened months ago. If that person was made available to them, they would be a lot happier all round. Alan Ahearne is not that person, but he is being allowed to 'front' the discussion from the government's point of view.
I think, the 46 economists would have got much better satisfaction from minister Eamon Ryan's comment today. That the economists should have opened their mouths 4-5 years ago, when it was really needed. That is what the 46 economists really deserve, is someone who can hit the ball back, which they are attempting to serve. Alan Ahearne isn't able to do that, and as a consequence things are getting nastier and nastier, while the 46 economists are getting more and more 'profile' that perhaps they do not credit. While Ahearne is getting dragged deeper and deeper into something, which has nothing to do with his task. A task that he is well capable of doing, if left to it. If the government had anyone in project management worth their salt, they would know this. They would do the old 'umbrella handle' trick with Alan Ahearne and remove him as the 'front man' for NAMA on the government's behalf.
What the 46 economists are doing is challenging the document, based on its overall strategy. So Alan Ahearne's comments in today's newspaper do not even confront the 46 economists on that same battlefield. Ahearne has tried to turn it into a war of words, because that is the component of the NAMA plan he is intensely focussed on, and knows most about. That is the work that fascinates Alan Ahearne as an economist. Within professions you will always get frictions going on, between the various factions, who believe their fascination is what really matters. There is nothing at all wrong with that. We do need economists who look at detailed wording. Where someone goes into the nitty gritty stuff and tries to weed out 'bad language'. It is an interesting field of research in itself, but Ahearne should be having his discussion with some other bunch than the 46 economists. Of course it would be stupid if I was paid and all of the other economists were paid to read through the NAMA legislation. Because then we would all begin to read it word by word and perhaps not stand back at all from it, to see it in the greater context of the country and it's citizens . . . as you so rightly pointed out above.
But the point I wish to make is a general one - the sheer poverty of our tools for thinking out problems and communicating them to one another in today's society. That is really what has us beaten every time. Not only in Ireland, it is a problem wherever you go now in the first world. It is something that knows no boundaries, every single job and occupation is suffering from a lack of ability to think and communicate effectively between ourselves.
That is what is so useful about the Archiseek medium we are in at the moment by the way. Because it tends to address the problem I am talking about, and encourage people to improve in the way they communicate. Even when they are sitting down at the dinner table with one another and ask each other to 'pass the plate of spuds'. I admired Alan Ahearne on the one hand for making his stand against 46 other experts. But on the other hand, I was absolutely disappointed with the way in which he made his stand. Ahearne is supposed to be the expert, the bright fellow, and I thought his response lacked some willingness to engage with the 46 guys on their own terms. I am reminded again, of Michael D. Higgins article in the Irish Times last Saturday - not only language, but also scholarship has failed us. Not even the questions rise to the challenge. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/0822/1224253076519.html
Brian O' Hanlon