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Ordinary Incompetence

Incompetence is the norm; most people who engage in a task (even when incentivized for performance or engaging in it for countless hours) may still be making basic errors which could be remedied with coaching or deliberate practice.

A mule who has carried a pack for 10 campaigns under Prince Eugene will be no better a tactician for it, and it must be confessed, to the disgrace of humanity, that many men grow old in an otherwise respectable profession without making any greater progress than this mule.

Frederick the Great, “Thoughts on Tactics”1

  1. Translated on pg47, “The Sovereign and the Study of War”, Frederick the Great on the Art of War, Jay Luvaas1966/1999 ISBN 0-306-80908-7; Luvaas cites it to “Réflexions sur la tactique et sur quelques parties de la guerre, ou Réflexions sur quelques changesments dans la facon de fairre la guerre”, Oeuvres 28, pg153–154 [Réflexions sur la tactique], of Oeuvres de Frederic le Grand (30 volumes, 1846–1856).↩︎

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