safety addiction

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adding page this day via michel fb share (may 2020 article by Michael J. Sauter): Feeling Claustrophobic in the Big Wide Open

Frank Furedi’s description of the “Paradox of our Safety Addiction. He argues that “the zero risk mentality breeds a culture of anxiety and a hunger for authority,” as well as many other problems.

notes from frank’s safety addiction article:

How the zero risk mentality breeds a culture of anxiety and a hunger for authority..t

control et al

Virtually every institution claims safety as one of its core values. ..Perversely, the very obsession with safety fosters a climate of anxiety that makes people feel more insecure, not less. When safety turns into a supposed supreme problem that touches on every domain of human experience, people’s capacity to make sense of their fears diminishes.

One of the most significant contributions of psychology was to disassociate fear from the grammar of morality. By the 1970s a medicalized version of fear gained hegemony and psychology dictated that most people, and especially children, lacked the resources to deal with their fears. From this perspective, the threat posed by the emotion of fear was of such magnitude that its management required the intervention of psychologically informed experts. The medicalized account of fear has been underpinned ever since by the assumption that people, again especially children, are too fragile to deal forthrightly with the harms they face. The expansive regime of safety serves to protect people from having to confront threats that are increasingly perceived as harboring the potential to inflict irreversible emotional harms.

The shift from the moral to the psychological basis for thinking about fear is, above all, what has transformed Western society’s perception of safety.

Andrew Szasz’s .. “Inverted Quarantine” as a way to describe these developments. Unlike a traditional quarantine, which seeks to isolate sick individuals to keep them from spreading disease to the public, an inverted quarantine represents the opposite impulse of people isolating themselves from the harms that they perceive as threatening. Inverted quarantines constitute a response to the fear that the human condition is inherently unsafe.

The omnipresence of emotional harms lends the deification of safety. The adjective “safe”—as in safe sex, safe drinking, safe eating, safe schools, and safe space—signals responsible behavior; the exhortation to “stay safe” is a secular version of “may God be with you.” That is why the demand for safety and protection from harm is so readily recognized as a legitimate claim for an entitlement to be validated and recognized.

entitlement et al

Arguably the most striking example of a demand for an inverted quarantine is the emergence of the ideal of a safe space. Unlike a gated community set up to keep out undesirable outsiders, the purpose of a safe space is to protect its inhabitants from unwelcome criticism and thoughts.

counter: spaces of permission.. nothing to prove.. as means to get back to listening to our gut.. back to embracing uncertainty .. away from supposed to’s.. of school/work.. et al.. not so much about safety.. rather about fittingness

More than any aspiration thrown up by our culture of fear, the concept of a safe space highlights its two key features: the contention that the space inhabited by humanity is fundamentally unsafe, and the assertion that people are inherently “at risk” and so “vulnerable” that they are unlikely to cope with the challenges that life hurls at them without professional help.

taleb antifragile law et al

trust us – what we need most: the energy of 8b alive people

The tendency to perceive virtually every dimension of human experience as a safety issue has altered people’s attitude to the future and the uncertainties they encounter. It often leads to the emergence of a sensibility that Christopher Lasch once characterized as survivalism. “Everyday life has begun to pattern itself on the survival strategies forced on those exposed to extreme adversity,” observed Lasch

let go

rev of everyday life

social control and how we haven’t yet gotten to global equity .. because we can’t seem to let go of it (control)

freedom/safety tradeoff

Thomas Hobbes ..argued that, driven by the fear of death and the aspiration for security, people would be willing to trade away their freedom in exchange for the safety provided by an all-powerful sovereign. He wrote that people “agree to create a sovereign because they are afraid of one another.”

thurman interconnectedness lawwhen you understand interconnectedness it makes you more afraid of hating than of dying – Robert Thurman

In contrast to Hobbes, who highlighted the fear of death as the motive for exchanging freedom for security, in the contemporary era concern about safety is directed at the most banal, everyday features of life. Judging by the numerous health warnings issued about the most mundane aspects of human existence. it is not the actual fear of death but rather the fear of life that preoccupies the 21st-century Western imagination.

One of the most unattractive features of the deification of safety is the apparent tendency to elevate its dictates above the value of freedom. Within the moral framework of the culture of fear, safety and security are first-order values, while freedom is reduced to a second-order value at best. That is why the argument that curbing the right to free speech on college campuses is supposedly a small price to pay to protect someone from the pain of being offended has gained traction in recent times.

The relationship between freedom and safety has been a subject of debate throughout history. In numerous instances, the very human impulse to achieve safety has been used as an excuse to limit the exercise of freedom. This point was recognized, not least, by Alexander Hamilton: “Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct,” he wrote in November 1787,

The argument that liberty should be traded for security has been raised and re-raised by authorities throughout history. Erich Fromm’s classic 1941 book Escape from Freedom didn’t spring forth from a void.

escape from freedom

How are people freer if they require a phalanx of supposed experts and institutions to keep them safe?

literacy and numeracy as colonialism/control/enclosure

the loss of any of our freedoms undermines people’s capacity to deal with the threats they do face. Examples are so plentiful from everyday life that one would think that pointing this out would be unnecessary. What happens when “helicopter” parents refuse to let their kids walk to school alone, or self-organize outdoor play, or go trick-or-treating without adult chaperones, or ride their bike around the block without a helmet? Kids are not stupid: They pick up on their parents’ fears and most ultimately assimilate much of it, making them far more fearful of life in general than they otherwise would be. No one should need to point out something so obvious, but we do need to point it out all the same.

whales in sea world

Safety cannot be acquired just by wanting it, and it certainly cannot be acquired by wanting it so badly that people ignore the very consequences of wanting it so badly. Those who propose avoiding risk and gaining safety will inevitably discover that what they acquire are obsessions about their insecurities, not solutions for them.

solution: gershenfeld something else law

let go

in the city.. as the day..

The constant focus of policymakers and politicians on the issue of safety unwittingly intensifies the public’s anxieties and insecurities about the future. And the more insecure people feel—having been taught that only experts can manage their problems—the more they turn to authority to assuage it.

too much ness – inspectors of inspectors et al

back to michael’s article:

The fruits of such an exchange can be seen in the elderly person dying totally alone in a nursing home with no family members allowed to visit in person (the most naturally human thing to do) “because science,” as well as in that large, hydra-headed entity called “humanity” and its “life” expertly managed by the World Health Organization.

In undergoing this transmogrification that Illich describes, we suffered something like an anthropological lobotomy. Our true nature and anthropology, as humans made in the image and likeness of God, is amphibious: as beings made of dust and spirit, we are meant to swim a bit in both the human and divine. Isolating us in just one of our environments leads to the opposite of human flourishing. We become cogs in a machine, or termites in a termite mound. It seems likely to me that this claustrophobia, writ both large and small, in a world severed from God and filled with loneliness, is what’s fundamentally behind the second pandemic, and this will only deepen the afflictions we are already suffering in the area of mental health!

The laughter ran its course, which wasn’t a short one as the person 6 feet behind me showed the proper doctor-prescribed agitation




seems our only legit insurance/security.. whatever.. is if we let go of control.. and go with antifragility.. with gershenfeld something else law

let go

curiosity over decision making

ie: cure ios city

cure city

no fear

astra on security

red flags