The Worm at the Core
The history of evolution and biology tell us that humans are born with countless systems of self-preservation. However, the Bradley Curve version of safety tells us we are born with the drive for self annihilation. Apparently our ‘natural instincts’ are to self harm. Strange, this is contradicted by the history of every civilisation since the Sumerians. However, the Bradley Curve neatly matches the Archetype of Safety, in the end, the outcome is the overarching drive for perfection and paradise.
In real life we know that people want to stay alive but in The Bradley Curve of Safety we are told that people want to self harm (safety is a choice you make). So, if people chose un-safety then all fatalities at work must be suicide. This is the message again of the Bradley Curve. This is what the logic of zero drives. Thank god we have the believers of the Bradley Curve to take us to zero, to rectify this quest for suicide at work. The throngs of followers applaud in faith and cheer ‘yes, zero is possible’!
Of course we know that suicide is a ‘dumb way to die’. All those little self harming animations tell us, there are better ways to die. Indeed, we know that reminders of death entrench emotivist beliefs and fuel attachment to in-groupness (Solomon,Greenberg and Pyszczybski: On The Role of Death in Life pp. 13). The research shows that the more fatalities and counting are in front of mind, the more we oppose those who challenge our beliefs and this drives us more deeply into a punitive mentalitie. This in turn is cemented by rituals and symbols that help us deny death and the terror of death. (Solomon et. al. p. 70ff). The language of immortality and infallibility help this denial.
The quest for immortality stretches back to the earliest writing of humans. The Epic of Gilgamesh is a poem in the quest for immortality. Similarly the burial of the terracotta warriors by Qin and the story of the pyramids are all about the passion for immortality and the fear of death. The Bradley Curve is the symbol of the same quest.
I remember borrowing my son’s car after it had been raining for weeks. I swapped my car because he needed a station wagon that day. Mine was just a work horse but my son’s car was a 6 litre ‘worked’ V8, it went like a rocket. When we swapped cars we did the usual familiarisations, hand brake, lights and locks. However, what my son failed to tell me what that his accelerator would ‘stick’. The solution was to pump the accelerator and the cable would release. But I didn’t know this.
I went to visit a friend and all was fine. I travelled along a back road that often had trucks travelling to the rubbish dump. All went well and I set out on my trip home. On a straight stretch of road I passed a truck and the accelerator stuck. Here I was in a 6 litre V8 doing 100 and accelerating fast. I pressed hard on the brake but with no effect now doing 140 km per hour. What could I do? How could I stop this thing? I had no time to think so just turn the car off. Instantly everything locked up as I spun down the middle of the road as the car spun in circles around and around. I thought about the end as I spun drifting towards some huge gums trees. One of these trees would be my end. As I drifted off the road all the mud and sludge on the side of the road acted like glue and brought me to an abrupt stop a few centimetres in front of a mighty red gum. Ah, what luck. I paused at the wheel and thanked God I was alive, I should be dead.
It is in these moments that the myths of immortality and infallibility leave us. When we go to a funeral or visit a sick friend, it’s difficult to talk about perfection. Faced with the stark reality of our own demise, it’s pretty stupid to maintain the nonsense of absolutes and immortality. The same happens when one gets sick, through no fault of ones own. We reflect on our fallibility and mortality for just a second and realise how silly the language of infallibility and immortality sounds. So, Safety creates the rituals of safety and the artefacts of denial like the Bradley Curve to deny the worm at the core and strengthen our faith that zero is possible.