How many do you want harmed today?

How many do you want harmed today?

imageIt seems not a week goes by on Linkedin without the perpetual Safety demonstration of nonsense talk, nonsense language, life denying, fallibility denying and the immortality delusional semiotics of zero. As usual it starts with the silly binary question ‘How many do you want harmed today’? The question itself assumes significance of numbers and counting as having meaning and presupposes that the absence of harm as a demonstration of something good. Why does no one question the nonsense of both the language and the assumption of the question?

As usual, dumb down Safety assumes that lower order targets and goals make psychological sense. As usual, all higher order goals (trust, care, tolerance, understanding, excellence) are ignored because safety only knows the logic of its own binary discourse. And in this learning denying bubble of risk aversion and nonsense language, Safety ignores what this language does to itself and what it testifies to the community.

Of course, it is only in the Safety bubble that the life-denying and fallibility denying takes place. This is where mistakes are made evil and error is demonized. (This is despite the fact that many mistakes are productive and critical to experiential and professional learning eg. Hallinan – Why We Make Mistakes). Yet in the real world we never speak perfection to our children, we never demand no mistakes in school or sport. We know that nonsense talk like that is soul destroying to the development of the child and destructive to their psychology of learning.

Of course we don’t want people harmed, why do you have to ask such a question? What is your question assuming? Surely it’s just a ‘straw man’ question to reinforce a counting assumption to validate a lower order goal. Perhaps the question is better suited to the war in Syria than safety.

Research emerged this week about the attitudes and activities of ‘schoolies’ (http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/schoolies-2015-revellers-undeterred-by-alcohol-abuse-warnings-study-finds-20151105-gkrabk.html). Yes, its that time of year when tens of thousands of young people seek the self-harm of ‘schoolies’ week. To ask the silly question ‘how many do you want to harm?’ is best demonstrated as nonsense in this event.

The research shows that young people have no interest in hearing about the dangers of alcohol abuse. Indeed, any nonsense language of risk aversion just looks dumb in the face of a tidal wave of young humanity seeking a rite of passage. As the article states: ‘The survey, published in the Australian Journal of Primary Health, found that 100 per cent of schoolies did not seek any health information messages before embarking on the week long party that has become a rite of passage for students throughout Australia’. It’s not very often that a survey gets a 100% result.

Young people (schoolies) are simply not interested in the nonsense message of risk aversion, and to speak risk aversion demonstrates that one is simply out of touch with youth culture and the psychology of goals. Do I want young people harmed in schoolies week? Of course not, but neither do I want to sprout simplistic goals and life-denying nonsense talk in the face of a wicked problem. And, here is poor little dumb down Safety on Linkedin talking in fear and panic about a paper cut and LTIs when tens of thousands of our young people are seeking harm.

Schoolies week is where binary discourse and dumb down Safety simply look silly. Try waltzing into the tent of Red Frogs on the Gold Coast and tell them the only goal is zero, your talk would be an indictment of your immaturity and lack of understanding of complexity. How simple, let’s ban schoolies week. Fantastic, let’s also ban adolescence and send the problem underground. Let’s also deny a tidal wave and set goals for no waves.

Dr Rob Long

Dr Rob Long

Expert in Social Psychology, Principal & Trainer at Human Dymensions
Dr Rob Long

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Dr Rob Long
PhD., MEd., MOH., BEd., BTh., Dip T., Dip Min., Cert IV TAA, MRMIA Rob is the founder of Human Dymensions and has extensive experience, qualifications and expertise across a range of sectors including government, education, corporate, industry and community sectors over 30 years. Rob has worked at all levels of the education and training sector including serving on various post graduate executive, post graduate supervision, post graduate course design and implementation programs.

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