Recently, we have seen statues torn down (blacklives-matter-protests-why-are-statues-so-powerful), monuments defaced (https://www.artnews.com/art-news/news/monuments-black-lives-matter-guide-1202690845/) and
product names changed (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-23/nestle-red-skins-chicosallens-lollies-rebrand-overtones/12384986) because symbols matter.
All semiotics matter because they carry meaning (semiosis) and symbolic significance (semiology) and operate on the human unconscious. The cultural power of a symbol ought not be underestimated. Even simple symbols in gesture and language carry a powerful narrative that speak more than just their cultural importance. Statues, monuments, icons and physical symbols embody the collective unconscious of a group. Usually the artefact or structure represents group identity, belonging and meaning. When such meaning falters then the symbol can be destroyed. As long as the symbol holds significance so too its sacred status. When the narrative of colonialism, terror, brutalism and oppression is detested enough, you throw the statue into the
We know that the majority of people in safety don’t believe in zero (https://safetyrisk.net/zero-is-unethical/) and yet this useless symbol remains. Zero only remains because those in power have no idea how to answer a dumb binary question. Zero only remains because a minority of people with power think zero has significance. Zero has so much power that it commands the global narrative of safety (http://visionzero.global/node/6). The global mantra (https://www.visionzerosummit.com) that no one believes in – rules.
Zero is the symbol for brutalism, non-vision and non-leadership, the unethical symbol that rips an industry apart and no one finds relevant. Zero, the symbol that gets no mention in the AIHS BoK on Ethics because the industry has no idea what to do with this gross embarrassment. Zero, the symbol for moronic numerics and the policing of people by a number. Zero, the symbol that should be thrown into the sea along with other anachronistic symbols that only identify with dishonesty, brutalism and oppression.