Gregory Peck in Moby Dick – Warner Bros 1956
A few months ago when I was preparing my thesis for the final hurrah at college I discovered a principle called Hanlon’s Razor.
Hanlon’s Razor principle asserts that when bad things happen it is because the wrong doing is related to human-caused behavior.
Whatever bad things happen it is far more likely to be the result of ignorance or bureaucracy than conspiracy or malice. For example: when Apple’s Siri was unable to find abortion clinics, many claimed Apple purposefully excluded them from the search results. The final explanation was that Siri was incomplete or buggy.
Hanlon’s Razor principle is to never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained as incompetence.
This principle is really cool to have in mind when bad things happen. The principle does not exclude the possibility of malice – sometimes bad things are, in fact, caused by bad people – but malice is generally less probable.
So remember that principle when you decide to blame somebody over malice. If you do a good research, it’s greatly possible that the problem will be pointed out over incompetence and not malice.
Remembering Hanlon’s Razor principle and thinking about my last article called “The Trump Election F#%&**d Me Over” a question comes into mind: is bias, bigotry and racism a cause of ignorance or malice from people?
As I wrote on my last article, I stated about my quest to understand why of the passive aggressive behavior toward veterans and to a certain extent, to a large chunk of the American population.
I wrote that “after the Trump election as a President of the United States, the liberals behind the sponsorship of their candidate started to look for scapegoats in an attempt to explain their demise. And anything that can be traced and blamed for their loss is being applied to others that is not part of their team”
There is today a gap of understanding between citizens and veterans in the United States in which I can’t explain why. That gap is not only applied to veterans but it is extended to a large some of Americans of different races, creeds and gender.
To this problem I wrote: “On my research I’ve found that the problem of bias, bigotry, racism and later on bias toward veterans is going on since the end of WW2. For some reason the generation borne on that period, in which went to school in the height of the American Dream and went to college in the 60s is the one, so far, to be blamed. The new ideas of liberty and freedom of expression gave birth to political correctness and sensitivities. For some reason that generation believed – and still believes – that political correctness and sensitivity is the right path to deal with bias, bigotry and racism, all the discriminatory ideals that was part of some nasty regimes in the WW2. But like Captain Ahab obsessed with Moby Dick, those new free thinkers became obsessed with political correctness and sensitivities as a path to righteousness. Now, after three generations of doing this we Americans are seeing the cracks of the system in which I believe will get worst every day. I wasn’t in the USA in the 90s but I sense that the years of Clinton Administration gave a big push to this nonsense. I cannot say for sure on that because I need more data about it so don’t take my word for it. But something happened in the 90s and that changed was felt on Brazil. We Brazilians noticed that the United States were getting away from their beliefs of equality, freedom and liberty, and more over, about their education system. As Brazilian we noticed that Americans were becoming ignorant and rude. All the changes that United States witness in the past were seen as hateful and wrong by a new generation of free thinkers that by the irony of the times, were using the same tools against those they believe was responsible for being hateful and wrong. If you reader check the later news about USA, you can see that the emergence ANTIFA a liberal radical sector is not much different than KKK another radical sector, that by the way, according to some, it was a creation of the same liberals that fight for equality and the nothingness of bias, bigotry and racism. The United States of America in the 90s was not the country of the 60’s and the 50’s administered by a generation rose in the 20’s and the 30’s. The United States of America is a country administered by a generation raised in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and the 80’s.”
Reading what I wrote I can point out by using the Hanlon’s Razor principle that the problems of bias, bigotry and racism toward any kind of people is not a problem caused by malice but by ignorance. As I believe people don’t use political correctness as an act of rational malice, but use political correctness as a way to get rid of malice. But, sadly, is not working in its form of cultural war.
Bias, bigotry and racism are ugly and opposed to equality, freedom and peace. Bias, bigotry and racism are offspring of ignorance, neurosis and narrowness.
Going back on my Gestalt readings, I wrote: “I’ve learned that humans are designed to react and act to a series of formulas preconceived for their existence. Those formulas can be used to seduce and to induce certain behaviors to buy and act in pro to a dominant ideology. The meaningful perceptions that a human can acquire from a chaotic world, meaning the environment, can transform his abilities to interact with this environment. The Gestalt psychology applying as a therapy shows that the unbalance between the self and the environment create what is called neurosis. Neurosis is not only the unbalance of preconceived formulas but it is a mind mental illness caused by a radical loss of touch with reality. This loss of reality is created by excessive obsession of things and the excessive irrational anxiety of things (things can be anything). The example of this irrational anxiety and obsession is seen in the creation of political correctness and safe spaces. Political correctness is the obsession to do the right thing and safe spaces are the medicine for irrational anxiety.”
As explained Neurosis is the unbalance between the self and the environment. To bring back balance and order to the self and the environment a design solution needs to be created with the solemn purpose to bring back a relatively stable equilibrium between the interdependent elements of self and environment.
Homeostatic process is the activity by which the organism maintains its equilibrium and therefore its health under varying conditions. Homeostasis is the exercise by which the organism satisfies its need while neurosis goes against that principle.
Awareness is knowing yourself and the environment with the purpose to predict problems and create a healthy camaraderie between the self and the environment.
Art therapy is an amazing tool to create awareness. This type of psychotherapy that encourages the free expression of the individual by creating paintings, drawings or modeling is a key element to transfer the neurosis to a medium of choice, and by doing it, facing their neurosis by acknowledging the problem and creating awareness.
But what about design? Can design be used as same as art?
User interaction (UI) and user experience (UX) design are being created to increase connectivity between people in a fast world of communication. UI and UX are in the avant garde of design in creating experiences through tablets, web, phones, hologram, app and more in a digital world of fast transformation. But it’s failing in provide awareness simply because the connectivity is alienating the user by a wrong doing cause of human behavior.
Alienation is the experience of being isolated from a group or an activity to which one person should belong to or be involved. In that matter, alienation is the loss of lack of sympathy toward another and can cause the lack of identity of the individual and create a sense of being controlled and exploited.
People are being connected and alienated instead of being connected and aware.
I believe design like art can provide awareness in the moment designers manage to create a solution that would help people to see that the importance of the digital era are irrelevant compared to the person-to-person connectivity. The anxieties and obsessions can be avoided by the simple use of critical thinking of needs and wants.
Design can be use like art as a key element to transfer the neurosis to a medium of choice, and by doing it, facing their neurosis by acknowledging the problem to create awareness.
How can be done? I have no idea.
Nevertheless I still believe that the problem of the United States of America is related to a humongous group related neurosis and this neurosis is the one responsible in creating all the problems of bias, bigotry and racism in America including the bias toward the American veteran.
Awareness is the key to solve the problem and more needs to be done on that field of knowledge.
More about HR: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HanlonsRazor.
More about GT: http://www.gestalt.org/yontef.htm.