When Seeing is NOT Believing
If you haven’t seen the documentary American Deepfake then do so. It presents the problem of observation and evidence in an age when seeing is NOT believing. When it comes to competence the discipline of Safety ought to be on the front line when it comes to understanding the nature of evidence, the limits of observation and the interpretation of events.
I have written before about the nature of evidence (https://safetyrisk.net/evidence-proof-and-paperwork-in-safety/) particularly about the importance of understanding the nature of interpretation. The study of interpretation is called ‘hermeneutics’ and is foundational to The Social Psychology of Risk (SPoR) and Ethics. Understanding hermeneutics is critical for skill development in event follow up and investigation. No evidence or data is neutral or objective, any legal professional knows that. This is why Lawyers are called in to an event investigation rather than a safety person who is at best a generalist. Most of the spoon feeding of law and regulation in an OHS Diploma is a waste of time. What a shame the OHS curriculum doesn’t prepare safety people for their role (https://safetyrisk.net/the-role-of-safety-advisor-in-organisations/; https://safetyrisk.net/giving-and-receiving-advice-in-safety/ )
I have also discussed the nature of gesture (https://safetyrisk.net/gesture-in-risk-matters/; https://safetyrisk.net/cllr-newsletter-june-2021/) and how understanding gesture is essential to understanding culture. In this context, I Introduced you to the Anatomy for Sculpting (https://anatomy4sculptors.com/collections/books) and there are strong links between American Deep Fake and 3D rendering and mimicking of human anatomy in facial expression.
What a shame that when it comes to defining culture that Safety leaves out such critical factors such as: artefacts, gesture, semiotics, linguistics, the collective unconscious, language, heuristics and a host of foundational factors of cultural determination. If you are looking for a competent course on culture, you won’t find it being offered by Safety. For a comprehensive study of culture, you are welcome to study this module: https://cllr.com.au/product/culture-leadership-program-unit-15-overseas-elearning/. If previously listed aspects of culture are not in the culture program on offer you aren’t studying culture, you are probably studying the two darlings of safety – Behaviours and Systems. Both are subsets of culture not culture.
Of course, when it comes to the nature of evidence and Due Diligence (https://cllr.com.au/product/due-diligence-workshop-unit-13-elearning/) legal professionals and the Court know the value of testimony and cross examination, particularly against the naïve trust that Safety puts in Paperwork. Paperwork is rarely a defence in court (https://vimeo.com/162034157 ) and most times will be used as evidence against you. Being paper safe (https://safetyrisk.net/paper-safe/) is not evidence of Due Diligence (https://safetyrisk.net/paper-safe-is-not-due-diligence/). What a shame that organisations don’t know how to best capture conversations and verbal testimony due to being bogged down with paper systems. You can read more about an SPoR understanding of culture here:
If you want an alternative that works then this is worth a read: https://www.humandymensions.com/product/it-works-a-new-approach-to-risk-and-safety/
I get asked all the time to help organisations improve culture, most often they want an off-the-shelf program, a quick fix. Most often the client has no idea what culture is but knows intuitively that what they are doing doesn’t work and that trusting in BBS and systems doesn’t work either. It is important to know that if you want to do something about culture, there are no quick fixes.
This brings us back to the challenge of not trusting perception and Deep Fake. The days are over for naïve empiricism (https://www.britannica.com/topic/empiricism) similarly the nonsense of deontological ethics projected by the AIHS.
To envision risk (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/envisioning-risk-seeing-vision-and-meaning-in-risk/) requires a far more sophisticated understanding of testimony, observation, perception, motivation and evidence than any of the popular investigation products in the safety space. Unfortunately, if you are looking for quick fixes and silver bullets (https://safetyrisk.net/the-silver-bullet/;https://safetyrisk.net/safety-silver-bullet/) you won’t find them in SPoR but you will in binary simplistic zero-loving safety. How unfortunate that zero is so out of step with legal reality. And for god sake if you are in court never raise zero or you will get decimated.
Once you know that risk is a ‘wicked problem’ (https://safetyrisk.net/risk-and-safety-as-a-wicked-problem/ ), you are on the right track to becoming a wise helper in the safety space. Once you know that risk is a wicked problem you will find help in Transdisciplinarity (https://safetyrisk.net/transdisciplinary-safety/) not in the mono-disciplinary space of safety. It is from this foundation that you will have a much more sophisticated approach to evidence and not get sucked into the naïve idea that seeing is believing or that paperwork will save your arse in court.