International Workshops – Belgium
This is to advise of some special opportunities for people in Belgium to experience training and presentations in the Social Psychology of Risk. See details below:
Belgium 2 & 3 July 2018
Dr Long will be presenting workshops in Leuven, Belgium on 2,3 July 2018.
The focus of the workshop will be on:
• Introduction to the Social Psychology of Risk (SPoR).
• Culture as the collective unconscious.
• Language and discourse in risk.
• Understanding perception and motivation.
• Understanding the social influence and decision making.
• Tackling risk in fallibility
• Communicating and consulting in risk.
• Humanising approaches to tackling risk.
• Risk as a wicked problem and the Safety Paradox
• SPoR tools for effective management of risk.
People can register for either the One Day Introduction on 2 July or for both days 2 & 3 July. You can download the flyer here: https://cllr.com.au/product/international-workshop-introduction-social-psychology-risk/
Tickets – $395 Euro 1 day, $595 Euro 2 days.
w signs, sign systems, symbols and text as symbols influence decision making.
This is the Introductory workshop module Unit 3 in the Certificate in The Social Psychology of Risk. All catering and materials provided. You can Register here: https://cllr.com.au/product/semoiotics-and-the-social-psychology-of-risk-unit-3/
The workshop is experiential involving a semiotic walk where we experience through fieldwork how place, space and semiotics influence decision making. You can see an example of a semiotic walk here: https://vimeo.com/221858545 and view a video that explains semiotics here: https://vimeo.com/135437986
Free Download Talking Book – Risky Conversations
For the many people who have appreciated the 22 video series in Risky Conversations, The Law, Social Psychology and Risk you will now be pleased to know that the book is now a free talking book.
You can download mp3 files freely: podcast or listen in your car while your drive. You can access the free Talking Book here:
You can still purchase the Risky Conversations book which is a text record of video transcripts and most importantly, supporting research and case law to substantiate claims made on the videos here: https://www.humandymensions.com/product/risky-conversations/.
The production of the videos and talking books has been sponsored by Human Dymensions https://www.humandymensions.com/ If you are interested in having Greg Smith and Rob Long present to your organization on Due Diligence you can book them here: email@example.com
Free Download – Book 7 Fallibility and Risk, Living with Uncertainty.
Dr Long has just completed book seven in his series on risk and is offering his latest book Fallibility and Risk, Living With Uncertainty as a free download (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/fallibility-risk-living-uncertainty/).
To receive this 160 page book with full colour graphics and illustrations, all you have to do is log on, go to cart, enter your details and go to the checkout.
Here is what you do to get the download:
1. Log on as if you are purchasing a book
2. Select ‘add to cart’
3. Enter your details
4. Then go to checkout
5. Then select ‘Place your order”, and your download is made available.
and don’t forget to give me feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the link again for the Free Download.
In downloading this free book you will be added to the mailing list to receive this quarterly newsletter.
The Risks They are a Changin
The song The Times They are a Changin was released by Bob Dylan in 1964 and is considered an anthem for the age. An excellent vignette of the song and documentary footage can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/11205275
At the time I preferred the presentation of the The Times They are a Changin by Peter, Paul and Mary (PPM) who also covered Dylan’s Blowing in the Wind. PPM sang Blowing in the Wind as the encore to Martin Luther King’s famous speech I Have a Dream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuAl5cMTJ7A.
There is no doubt that the 1960s and 1970s were a time of great social upheaval but no more than any other time in history. I remember in history studies being asked to write a paper on the 1920s as the greatest time of social upheaval. Post World War One and before The Great Depression was a time of the most extraordinary change with the mass-production of motor cars, radios, household appliances and the domestic supply of electricity. One can see social upheaval at this time evident in the arts with the emergence of Surrealism (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surrealism). In many ways such radical change seemed more accelerated than times before particularly in technology. Similarly, in the 1960s and 1970s with the space race, arms race and cold war we were all conscious of the end of the world, especially during the Cuban Missile Crisis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_Missile_Crisis).
We are told in recent times that we live in a VUCA world (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volatility,_uncertainty,_complexity_and_ambiguity). Times are a changing, what’s new? VUCA stands for:
In many ways we cannot compare times in history with another. I don’t know how one could argue that the invention of the motor car is more disruptive than the chariot. If anything such a claim says much more about a commentators lack of historiography than much else. In many ways such comparisons are not about more or less but simply recognition of difference.
The media (https://www.fipp.com/news/features/anticipating-media-disruptions-through-the-le) seems primed with the language of VUCA for our age but has risk increased or decreased? VUCA is a catchy acronym but are humans more at risk? It might help with marketing for a university course but is life any more disruptive (https://www.david-campbell.org/topics/disruption-media-economy/) than it has ever been? It could be just as easily argued that our society is becoming more conservative than ever, particularly politically.
Sometimes all this language of VUCA and disruption is more about propaganda than reality. We need to ask and interrogate the source of those who spin VUCA and ask whose power is best served by such discourse.
When it comes to risk and safety it is clear that injury and risk is changing but is it any better or worse than before? It could be just as easily argued that the places of injury and harm are no less but just shifting to places where the conservative and a compliance-focused risk industry doesn’t count. There is no more or less risk just different risks. If injury and harm shift from the risk and safety industries to the health and welfare industries is there any less harm? If harm is more longitudinal and less immediate is it any less harm? Perhaps the trade-offs and by-products of risk are not more or less but just different.
Visions of Utopia
The book Visions of Utopia by Rothstein, Muschamp and Marty ought to be compulsory reading for anyone in the risk and safety industry. In light of the denial of fallibility by the industry and its preoccupation with zero risk (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-risk_bias) such a reading would be timely.
The utopian impulse is present in most religious quests for the afterlife, whether the Christian quest for Heaven, The Transhumanist quest for infallibility (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transhumanism) or the Buddhist quest for Nirvana. If you get the opportunity to watch Forever Young recently shown on SBS you will get a better understanding of transhumanism (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvaC67CeBDA). The church of Perpetual Life obciously don’t conduct funerals.
The utopia impulse is present in the religious-like discourse of zero harm. The discourse of utopia doesn’t engage in mature sensemaking about fallibility but rather seeks no harm as a quasi-religious utopian project. In so doing the claim to have a vision for zero harm becomes no vision at all (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vision_Zero). A vision for utopia is a vision for unreality. Utopias are imagined not real. Utopia is Neverland.
Unfortunately, the quest for utopias create a political program. Utopia thinking creates an ideology of what should exist compared to what is. Belief in utopia requires a similar level of faith as is required to belief in Heaven or Nirvana. We see such ideological quests in faith in the politicization of utopia in most ideologies eg. Marxism. Unfortunately, one person’s utopia is another person’s dystopia. Utopia thinking empowers ideological thinking so that powers to comply are emboldened by the binary goal of utopia. Whoever gets in the way of the utopian ideal must be deemed ‘the enemy’.
What kind of human life is offered by utopia? What is lost with the attainment of infallibility? What sort of life is promised by a perfection that knows no error, no mistake and no risk? Such a world is a Brave New World but not a real world. Pick a virtue and watch it turn into a vice when it is made an ideological goal. This is why vision zero discourse is zero vision discourse.