Real Risk, Human Discerning and Risk

Release of Book Three by Dr Robert Long

Real Risk Cover mediumDr Rob Long (see his articles here) has announced the long awaited release of his third book: “REAL RISK”. Rob launches his long awaited new book – “Real Risk – Human Discerning and Risk” on on 12 Feb at ACU North Sydney. (See details in flyer at the bottom of this article if you would like to attend). The new book follows on from his previous 2 sell-outs: “Risk Makes Sense” and “For the Love of Zero”. We will be running a competition with the new book as prizes so watch this space!

Purchase your copy here: http://www.humandymensions.com/about-us/real-risk

Real Risk, Human Discerning and Risk

Risk is about what is uncertain. Humans don’t know the future and so the challenge is to discern risk with wisdom in order to learn and live. Real Risk, Human Discerning and Risk is Dr Long’s third book in the series on risk. Book Four Tackling Risk, A Field Guide to Risk Engagement is due for release in late 2015. Real Risk, Human Discerning and Risk is about the attribution of risk, the realities of risk, disconnectedness from risk and the wisdom of community engagement with risk.

Whilst there is much written about regulation and the assessment of risk, there is precious little discussion about discerning risk. Discerning is about knowing the difference between things, about sorting and sifting, about knowing the real from unreal. Whilst many advocate the aversion of risk as an intelligent course of action, the reverse side of this decision advocates non-learning and the ‘dumbing down’ of the risk intelligence in the population.

The idea that risk can be assessed objectively ignores human subjective participation in risk. Risk is a social activity and is not independent of human bias and social arrangements. It is because risk is social and subjective that embracing risk requires social discerning and wisdom, these come through viewing risk within a community context. Unfortunately, the more we try to regulate risk without regard to community, ethics and learning, the more we get into hot water. Many approaches to risk management tend to take a ‘dumb down’ approach leaving many people confused. The trend in managing risk tends to make people focus on ‘petty risks’ and lose the ability to work out where risk is high or low. Two stories illustrate the problem:

In 2012 the UK HSE launched an independent panel called ‘the Myth Busters Challenge Panel’ (Myth Squad). One month after the establishment of the Myth Squad the media and politicians were calling for the squad to be disbanded. The problem is simply this: tackling cultural problems with bureaucratic solutions perpetuates more complex problems. This kind of thinking sees every problem as a nail and, the only solution as a hammer. In one of the first cases referred to the Myth Squad was a request for a determination whether firemen should venture in to a pond to rescue a trapped seagull. The Myth Squad reply was that it would take 5 days to deliberate on the case and provide a ruling.

In November 2013 the ACT Government in Australia introduced the idea of regulating fundraising activities by requiring that NGOs have ‘food safety supervisors’ (http://www.canberratimes.com. au/act-news/forking-out-cash-to-supervise-kids-bbqs-dont-be-a-silly-sausage-20131104- 2ww10.html). Volunteers would be required to pay $150 to be trained as a food safety advisor. Fortunately, after much community outrage the idea was dropped. Unfortunately the regulators continue to entrench the idea that risk is to be feared and only trained experts can discern and manage risk.

The fundamental proposition of this book is that people are more disconnected from risk than ever before. The best way to become educated and discerning in risk is not to avoid it but to embrace it. Risk aversion drives risk ignorance, risk engagement drives risk intelligence and, because of this continuing risk disconnectedness people have become less discerning about risk. The problem with this trend is that it is also matched by a decline in creativity, ingenuity, adventure, learning, imagination and innovation.

Purchase your copy here: http://www.humandymensions.com/about-us/real-risk

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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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