More ‘Edgework’ – Parkour
As Safety continues to develop greater risk aversion across the workplace, increasing paperwork and greater focus on minutia (World Congress Zero Vision), many outside of work are concerned that we are learning less about managing risk. Particularly as the ideology of zero vision trickles down to raising children and schooling (https://rethinkingchildhood.com/).
I wrote about the notion of ‘edgework’ in my first book Risk Makes Sense, Human Judgment and Decision Making p.34ff (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/risk-makes-sense/). Edgework is where people seek out risk in order to learn about risk, what Dylan Evans (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/oct/07/risk-intelligence-dylan-evans-review) calls ‘risk intelligence’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk_intelligence). Taleb (Antifragility – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKCtSzpYrs4) demonstrates that a lack of risk intelligence and risk aversion makes people more fragile. In the end zero vision ideology teaches people to be less safe because it seeks to insulate people from risk. You can’t learn how to climb a tree by looking at one on your ipad. You can’t learn how to ride a bike if you are not prepared to fall off. The fear of harm is the fear of learning.
Does this mean that I want to see people harmed? Of course not but safety is about much more than counting harm down to zero. Blind addiction to safety at the expense of learning is imbalanced and distorts the very experience of learning to be ‘safe’. This is why we want people to experiment and discover in learning because we know that innovation and creativity comes from adaptability and play (https://safetyrisk.net/the-primacy-of-play-in-learning/ ). A zero vision has no vision for play, innovation and learning. A zero vision has no vision for how to embrace, tackle and manage risk. A zero vision has no vision for how to manage fallibility, it simply denies it or is ‘agnostic’ (https://safetyrisk.net/sia-has-a-bet-each-way-on-zero/ ) about it!
One of my grandchildren just enrolled in Parkour, a risk-play based approach to learning about risk. You can learn more about it here:
I wonder how much my granddaughter is going to learn at Parkour? Thank goodness someone knows that Risk Makes Sense!