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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Wednesday 12 March 2014

What Asiana 214 Boeing 777 Can Teach Us About Human Interface

What happened to this plane remains a mystery, but what happened before (the four quarterly losses previous lessons unlearned) and after (the confusion around the follow-up and what has and hasn't been done to map out, test and calibrate for those 9 out of 10 human-caused crashes) is telling.

I spend a lot of time delving in to human interactions, human behaviour and the social, psychological and neurological underpinnings of why we do the things we do, think the things we think and feel the things we feel.

Here's my most consistent finding; we think we're rational actors because we feel that's what sets us apart, but very little about what we do supports that assumption.  

Which is all it really is - an assumption.

We work so hard to self-identify, a process that is as exclusionary as it is defining - part of how we understand ourselves is by elimination of what we are not.

It's very Socratic, this - broad assumptions that separate the world into as few categories as possible, with the simplest being them vs us vs resource.  

Like the trade triangle.

Or the Cold War's First, Second and Third World.

The current discussion around the Arctic applies, too.

The more simplistic our world-view is, the more likely we are to make mistakes, like infants with poor motor control.  We overreact, under-react, or react in ways that make no logical sense, but make an awful lot of cognitive hard-wiring sense.

Like a child, it's experiential learning, trial and error and the testing of assumptions that allows for growth, adaptation, understanding and ultimately, more consciously sound choices.

That's what education is all about.  That's what technology is all about.  New tools and methods of interaction - heck, more interactions, period aren't bad or somehow undermining the purity of what we are.  What we are is recycled matter, which is all we will ever be.  

Social evolution - technology, complex human systems, specialization and yes, a removal from a reptilian-like complete and isolated dependency - are simply adaptations.

And if we're getting it wrong 9 times out of 10, I'd say we've still got a lot of work to do.

At the same time, when you think of what we've been able to accomplish in our child-like fumblings, it makes you wonder what we could do if we truly came together.

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