If one observes over time the introduction of zero into Safety and its evolution, one sees the strangest developments (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/zero-the-great-safety-delusion/ ). The use of zero as a language, semiotic, icon, ideology and discourse changes everything. When Zero becomes the framework to see the world, and the world is framed by Zero, it affects organisations and the people in it.
Setting a mantra, slogan, language and grammar by an Archetype changes everything. Archetypes have an energy and power to themselves (https://safetyrisk.net/safety-is-not-a-person-safety-as-an-archetype/; https://safetyrisk.net/understanding-safety-as-an-archetype/ ). Money is one such Archetype and once something is made an Archetype, it rules you, you don’t rule it. We often talk about Archetypes using metonymy, synecdoche, metaphor etc that is, we give things a persona and we speak of objects in human ways as if they have their own power and actions. We speak of ‘the economy’ in such a way or places eg. ‘Canberra says’, ‘Washington said’.
Many speak of Safety in such a way, as if Safety has a power unto itself and a life of its own. We see this when people take on the persona to themselves and state that they are Safety or they are Zero (both documented in the latest book).
Of course, Zero is much more than a number and has a long history and evolution. You can do your own research here:
- Kaplan (1999) The Nothing That Is, A Natural History of Zero.
- Seife (2000) Zero, the Biography of a Dangerous Idea
- Rotman (1987) Signifying Nothing. The Semiotics of Zero.
- Reid (2006) From Zero to Infinity, What makes number Interesting
As Rotman States (p.x1):
‘For one thing, zero is intimately connected to the idea of nothing, emptiness, the void. To write, read, talk about Nothing, or to believe in it, or to claim, as Socrates did, to know nothing, is to sit close to the obvious possibility that one is involved in the ultimate unreality of signifying not Nothing but no thing. also (p.104)
The semiotic formula given of zero, that is a sign for the absence of other signs, not only works from a rudimentary and theoretically simple reading of ‘sign’ as a signifier/signified coupling, an event, thing, gesture which is accorded significance by a subject, but more importantly explicitly invokes and indeed constitutes itself in terms of the logocentrically tainted opposition of absence/presence.’
Zero is also stasis and infinity. The quest for infinity is the quest for the impossible. In the long tradition of speaking nonsense to people Adidas has a new slogan: ‘Together Impossible is Nothing’ (https://www.adidas.com/us/impossibleisnothing). Makes about as much sense.
Of course, we know in safety that the impossible is possible (https://www.consultdss.com/content-hub/belief-in-the-impossible/). This is the mantra from DuPont, the lovers of zero who killed thousands of people and then tried to cover it up (https://safetyrisk.net/dark-waters-the-true-story-of-dupont-and-zero/).
Zero is nothing and infinity, the perfect mantra for an industry that doesn’t know what to do about risk nor, how to manage or think about fallibility. Much of the language associated with Zero invokes belief and faith on the part of believers. Very reminiscent of any religion. All of this exists because Safety starts with a binary psychosis about injury and so its identity with Zero is shaped by its worldview. When harm is the enemy, when risk is the enemy, Zero is the answer.
The problem with all of this is trajectory.
Where does the language, semiotic, icon, ideology, mantra and discourse take you?
Well, we can observe by its evolution over a few years in this industry, it takes you to delusion. And this is manifest in all of the nonsense Safety speaks to people. There is no industry more overloaded with total gobbledegook than safety. This is where Zero takes you, to obsession and mental illness (https://safetyrisk.net/safety-as-a-mental-health-disorder-obsession/; https://safetyrisk.net/how-an-obsession-with-safety-leads-to-mental-illness-tyranny-academy-of-ideas/).
And the worst thing about mantras, language, semiotics, icons, ideology and discourse is sunk cost. Once you bring something in that has power unto itself, it becomes nearly impossible to get rid of it. The power is in the Archetype and anchoring to it.
This is because Zero becomes infused with political identity. Any suggestion to get rid of Zero signifies one is anti-safety. This is how Zero quickly becomes much more than a number and why global Safety has identified with Zero as a Spirit in an Apocalyptic video about miracles and healing (https://safetyrisk.net/the-spirit-of-zero/). Watch the video ‘Vision Zero Spirit’, more delusion, more religion, more gobbledygook and more sunk cost in nonsense.
And, none of this helps anyone tackle risk. None of this adds any value to the challenges of risk. The methodology is hidden, as is the method and the method is brutalism. This is pure propaganda for an ideology that does nothing.
If you are interested in a method that works and clearly declares methodology and methods to help tackle risk, you can read here (for free download) https://www.humandymensions.com/product/it-works-a-new-approach-to-risk-and-safety-book-for-free-download/.