Meritocracy

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Burning ghost
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Meritocracy

Post by Burning ghost » October 9th, 2018, 4:51 am

What do you think about the idea of a meritocracy?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of this system? Can you provide something for both sides of an argument for and against?
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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Meritocracy

Post by ThomasHobbes » October 9th, 2018, 8:34 am

Sounds like homework mining.

There is no other better system. How could there be?
But it would all depend on how to value skills for their merit. The devil is always in the detail.

Burning ghost
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Re: Meritocracy

Post by Burning ghost » October 9th, 2018, 10:28 am

ThomasHobbes wrote:
October 9th, 2018, 8:34 am
Sounds like homework mining.

There is no other better system. How could there be?
But it would all depend on how to value skills for their merit. The devil is always in the detail.
Go for it then! What kind of details need looking at?

I bring this up because I’ve seen an underlying view in some people on this forum that looks like it may offer some opposition to the idea of a meritocracy.

Note: I didn’t ask if it was the “best” or not. I asked about the advantages and disadvantages of the system.
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Consul
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Re: Meritocracy

Post by Consul » October 9th, 2018, 10:40 am

Burning ghost wrote:
October 9th, 2018, 4:51 am
What do you think about the idea of a meritocracy?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of this system? Can you provide something for both sides of an argument for and against?
The disadvantage is that natural endowments—innate skills or talents, mental/intellectual or physical abilities—aren't personal achievements themselves but natural gifts that aren't the result of any effort or hard work. It is sheer luck if you happen to have them, so why should people be rewarded just for having them, given that they haven't done anything to get them? There is nothing fair or just about the distribution of innate skills or talents, so how can social inequality be morally justified in terms of them?
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

Burning ghost
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Re: Meritocracy

Post by Burning ghost » October 9th, 2018, 10:50 am

Consul wrote:
October 9th, 2018, 10:40 am
Burning ghost wrote:
October 9th, 2018, 4:51 am
What do you think about the idea of a meritocracy?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of this system? Can you provide something for both sides of an argument for and against?
The disadvantage is that natural endowments—innate skills or talents, mental/intellectual or physical abilities—aren't personal achievements themselves but natural gifts that aren't the result of any effort or hard work. It is sheer luck if you happen to have them, so why should people be rewarded just for having them, given that they haven't done anything to get them? There is nothing fair or just about the distribution of innate skills or talents, so how can social inequality be morally justified in terms of them?
A perfect far-leftist example. Thanks.

This aside is there anything else, or rather what practical use can we make of this either for or against the principle of a meritocracy?
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Re: Meritocracy

Post by Karpel Tunnel » October 9th, 2018, 11:33 am

I think the disadvantages only become clear once we see a specific version of a meritocracy. People who contribute less easy to track qualities to team or organizations may get punished. Individuals who are ruthless, do not share or participate openly in teams, may shine, while benefitting from the work of others who do not benefit from them.

Meritocracies can lead to people thinking that success is innate, somehow, around race or sex or class. It need not, but it can, depending on how the meritocracy is organized.

Is getting into a restricted university program after intensive, expensive tutoring actually based on one's merit or on the wealth of one's parents? Do we take into account the process when evaluating merit?

How are moral issues included?

This is not extensive, just some thoughts off the bat.

Why not lay out a paragraph long version of meritocracy as you envision it and then we can look at the problems and strengths from there.

Burning ghost
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Re: Meritocracy

Post by Burning ghost » October 9th, 2018, 12:03 pm

Karp -
Is getting into a restricted university program after intensive, expensive tutoring actually based on one's merit or on the wealth of one's parents?
Well, under a strict meritocracy wealth plays no part. I am looking at the idea under the assumption that all things being equal the better suited the person is for the position the stronger their claim is to take the position.

Of course someone’s desire to be a doctor or a physicist doesn’t make them suitable for such a role - but in some roles within society it is quite clear that a certain degree of competence is required.

Demographics do tell tales about the shape of society, but I’d never go as far to say that they dictate what is and isn’t deemed as “merit”. If you failed an entry exam whilst orhers passed the exam, yet your parents were rich and paid you into the university, I don’t see how that is won by “merit” from the students perspective (although a convoluted argument could be made on behalf of the parents, buts that’s weak at best!) Equally so, some poor student being given a place in university because they fill the quota is a position that is certainly not won on merit (but at least there is a reasonable argument in the real world here because there may be untapped potential; that is a tricky judgemenr to make though and if we’re looking at meritocracy in a pure light then I’d say this is the possible failing - that is the consideration of “potential”, the slippery thing that it is!)
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Greta
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Re: Meritocracy

Post by Greta » October 9th, 2018, 9:28 pm

Burning ghost wrote:
October 9th, 2018, 10:50 am
Consul wrote:
October 9th, 2018, 10:40 am


The disadvantage is that natural endowments—innate skills or talents, mental/intellectual or physical abilities—aren't personal achievements themselves but natural gifts that aren't the result of any effort or hard work. It is sheer luck if you happen to have them, so why should people be rewarded just for having them, given that they haven't done anything to get them? There is nothing fair or just about the distribution of innate skills or talents, so how can social inequality be morally justified in terms of them?
A perfect far-leftist example. Thanks.

This aside is there anything else, or rather what practical use can we make of this either for or against the principle of a meritocracy?
That was an observation and could only be considered far leftist in today's Murdochracy.

Whether one is in favour of it or not, is social inequality justified or just efficacious? One could point to the reduction in world poverty in relative terms over the last century or the failure of communism in Venezuela and its collapse in both Russia and China, only to be quickly revived by new dictators.

Really, if you have a society that can only be held together by repressive means then that society should ideally split into parts until each part is manageable enough not to require repression for stability. Power dynamics and economies of scale in a competitive global marketplace stand in the way of that approach, though.

Burning ghost
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Re: Meritocracy

Post by Burning ghost » October 9th, 2018, 9:50 pm

Greta -

What are talking about? I am asking for positives and negatives. Are you saying meritocracy is “repressive” and if so how?
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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Meritocracy

Post by ThomasHobbes » October 10th, 2018, 3:16 am

Burning ghost wrote:
October 9th, 2018, 10:28 am
ThomasHobbes wrote:
October 9th, 2018, 8:34 am
Sounds like homework mining.

There is no other better system. How could there be?
But it would all depend on how to value skills for their merit. The devil is always in the detail.
Go for it then! What kind of details need looking at?

I bring this up because I’ve seen an underlying view in some people on this forum that looks like it may offer some opposition to the idea of a meritocracy.

Note: I didn’t ask if it was the “best” or not. I asked about the advantages and disadvantages of the system.
How would you judge the "merit" of different artists. Would you even consider art to be of any merit deserving of any reward?
But even in professions were merit were easier to judge, such as maths - what happens when there are too many mathematicians chasing too few jobs.

How much merit would you give a plumber? You might be able to devise an objective test to find the best of them - but how would you judge their worth over, say, a carpenter?

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Re: Meritocracy

Post by Eduk » October 10th, 2018, 3:24 am

Some positions can't be tested for merit. For example we have no way to test for merit when selecting government.
Some positions require no great merit.
Some positions can be judged on merit better than others. Doctors on the whole belong to a meritocracy. But of course it is far from perfect.

Ultimately life is a meritocracy.
Unknown means unknown.

Burning ghost
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Re: Meritocracy

Post by Burning ghost » October 10th, 2018, 3:30 am

TH -

You’ve lost me? A meritocracy means to judge by ability/competence. Are you asking how a fair “judgment” is made over what is deemed “competent”?

An artist, plumber or runner is given merit based on their ability/competence. We have tests and school to improve and nurture people’s abilities/competence.

That measuring is a problem is certainly a flaw embedded within the practical application of a meritocracy. I don’t see how it can be seen as a negative though because the premise is simply to reward people, to allow them more influence, in some given area if (and only if) they excel in it.
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Burning ghost
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Re: Meritocracy

Post by Burning ghost » October 10th, 2018, 3:33 am

Eduk -
Some positions can't be tested for merit. For example we have no way to test for merit when selecting government.
I wouldn’t go quite that far. It is true enough to say that some people are better at governing than others. The issue is more about “cometh the moment, cometh the man,” because the best person for the job today may be the worst person for the job tomorrow.
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Eduk
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Re: Meritocracy

Post by Eduk » October 10th, 2018, 3:39 am

BG I didn't say there wasn't a better person. I just said there is no way to prove this. Or to be clearer, no way to prove this to everyone.
I could perhaps prove it to my satisfaction. But my satisfaction absolutely will be at odds with probably billions of other people.
Unknown means unknown.

Eduk
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Re: Meritocracy

Post by Eduk » October 10th, 2018, 4:03 am

Or to put it another way. Let's say I'm looking for a plumber. I'm not a plumber so I can't judge the merit of potential plumbers. Reviews of plumbers are useless as they are written by other people who can't judge the merit of plumbers. Trade qualifications are also useless. They may show that a plumber can do some jobs up to a certain standard but they don't show if the plumber will do your job to a certain standard. Ultimately almost everyone recommends that you go with recommendations, but these are also useless.
So short version is that I can't judge the merit of a plumber. Plumbing is a very specific job with a very specific output.
Unknown means unknown.

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