You can’t know what you don’t know and so you can only evaluate a value by what you do know, by your worldview/paradigm. However, regardless of that worldview, there are other worldviews that are just as valid. All worldviews compete just as all values compete, for power, within a culture.
Unless of course, your industry is Safety.
This is where one parades an article on Paradigm Shift that is not about Paradigm Shift (https://safetyrisk.net/no-paradigm-shift-with-bbs/ ). This is where one espouses ideas on psychosocial risk (as hazards – yuk) with no expertise, knowledge or experience in psychosocial or mental health (https://safetyrisk.net/what-is-psychosocial-safety/ ). This is where we get goop like ‘Mum’s for Safety’, ‘Pickles for Safety’, ‘Meerkats for Safety’ and a host of nonsense paraded as ‘thought leadership’ and expertise. This emerges from an industry that shows no interest in Transdisciplinary knowing, moral philosophy and an ethic of risk.
This is where you can get a ‘so-called’ e-valuation of safety, based on economic and political agenda NOT values (https://safetyrisk.net/you-can-fool-someone-some-of-the-time-but-you-can-fool-safety-all-of-the-time/) but paraded as values-based when it is not.
On most occasions in safety what is espoused is the opposite of what is presented. On most occasions the semiotics of what is presented is the opposite of what is espoused. A classic example is the Women in Safety logo that uses the most offensive image to feminism (the Stiletto) as its identity (https://safetyrisk.net/the-wisdom-of-the-beguines-for-safety/). Even a beginner’s knowledge of semiotics demonstrates that what is presented is its opposite. It’s no different than presenting a brick-wall as a semiotic for learning. The list is endless.
This is what Safety does. Parades ignorance as ‘thought leadership’ by what it doesn’t know and then projects distain for criticism on the basis of a worldview that has little interest in learning. Afterall, once in the Safety fortress is made there is no other worldview than the engineering-behaviourist worldview (https://safetyrisk.net/no-paradigm-shift-with-bbs/). Then the fight is to defend the indefensible.
Even when solid criticism is offered and supported by extensive evidence such views must be rejected as anti-safety. Even when alternative methods are offered (for free) they must be rejected as ‘opinion’, that is anti-safety.
The Value of Safety Project (https://www.ioshmagazine.com/2023/04/26/value-safety) is a classic example of confirmation bias of a closed worldview seeking to influence the industry by the regurgitation of ignorance (https://safetyrisk.net/you-can-fool-someone-some-of-the-time-but-you-can-fool-safety-all-of-the-time/). And as long as you have a good myth supported by ritual and a symbol, a new truth is created.
This is what Zero does. Zero creates a myth through slogan, symbol, ritual (counting), metaphor and binary naivety, all in denial of the reality of fallibility (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/fallibility-risk-living-uncertainty/).
This is what all myth does.
Myth is not about fairy-tales, legend or fiction but rather a narrative founded on a worldview to create a truth (that is not true or real). If you want to learn about the nature of myth you should read anything by Paul Ricoeur, the famous French Philosopher (https://www.csus.edu/indiv/d/dimarep/content/paul_ricoeur.pdf) who deconstructed myth better than any other.
A short study on the History of Myth (https://www.academia.edu/21518631/A_Short_History_of_Myth) demonstrates how myth is closely tied to religion and culture. Unless of course, you read about culture from a chemical engineer where religion is never mentioned in a discussion of culture. This is why we are instructed to not speak of religion or culture, obviously a pathway to wisdom.
Such is the way Safety operates, with no expertise, knowledge or experience in a sector justified by Safety as ‘thought leadership’. And this is so easy to do in a sector that has no element of critical theory in its curriculum or worldview. Indeed, critical thinking is rejected by this worldview as anti-safety. The same worldview posts endless claims of expertise in education, historiography, mythology, psychology, morality, culture and neuroscience where there is none.
When one understands the nature of myth (https://safetyrisk.net/creating-myths-and-rituals-in-safety/) then, the skill of deconstruction, demythologizing and discourse analysis are essential for getting underneath the symbol, ritual, metaphor and narrative to reality (https://www.academia.edu/27024884/Ricoeur_on_myth_and_demythologising ).
And what is that reality? Humans are fallible and death cannot be denied (https://safetyrisk.net/beware-the-cult-of-denial/).
Ricouer tells us that this is the purpose of myth. This is what so many Safety myths are about, a distraction from reality, posing a myth like: ‘believe in zero and though shalt be saved’, ‘believe in this system, and though shalt be saved’ or ‘believe in this slogan and thou shalt be saved’. This is how Safety ‘saves’. This is how Safety soteriology (salvation theory) empowers myth (https://safetyrisk.net/heaven-n-hell-and-the-safety-religion/).
This is what is behind safety symbols like swiss-cheese, pyramids, bow-tie and curves, anchored to a mythical proposition that safety will be found in such things. This is how symbol and ritual endorse myth (https://safetyrisk.net/myth-and-symbols-in-safety/ ). And once a myth is made truth any criticism against it must be deemed anti-safety.
Once one believes one’s own myth as the The Value of Safety Project does, we already know the outcome, recommendations and projected actions. This is not dissimilar from the typical safety investigation. All will be presented as scientific, which it is not and, ‘thought leadership’ which is not. A self-endorsed worldview that confirms itself is neither scholarship, transdisciplinary nor critical thinking.
If you want to learn about mythology and how it works in Safety you are welcome to register for the workshops in Canberra in September. You can register here: https://spor.com.au/september-canberra-workshop/
In these workshops you will learn how to deconstruct myth, how to face up to reality and, help people better tackle risk using practical positive methods to help manage reality not deny it.
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