Thinking Whilst Filling Out Forms


What does it take to make it seem 'as-normal'? 

Just as disruptive technologies successfully challenged established incumbent businesses and changed behavior, COVID-19 has disrupted what socially acceptable behaviors are. The disruption has impacted ownership of activity from the participant, to the onlooker, the designer, and the enforcer. And from this point on, the doing-it in a stable environment has changed.  

Right now, the contextual differences that prescribed acceptable transactions and behaviors are in flux. Cognitive understanding of what are changes in automated and behavioral expectations are enacted with haste causing social frustration and behavioral error. Who will be blamed, who will be punished, and who will be restricted is now contentious? By this, I mean what will be accepted as usual as authorities and the users competitively demonstrate assertiveness, insolence, communication aggressiveness, defensive reactions, and other possible behavioral exertions. The new normal from walking through a park to eating in a restaurant, to complaining about a service has changed. The interrelationship between the observer observing participant behavior has changed.

Even before COVI-19, what was understood as a fully functioning person was not fully realized. The ideal virtue differed across identity and cultural perspectives as well as between the authority and user. The lines in the sand and the acceptable range of transgression continually shifted in what could be described as normal. However, in this time of seismic shift,  what is identified as a base-line violation has no agreement between the authority and the user. 

Despite there being many controllable agents with a multitude of perspectives, user behavior behaviors are expected to be that of a self-realized person.  However, many behavioral decisions are made real via unconscious reaction. My interest is in the creative dichotomy that encompasses how societal expectations accommodates both the unconscious reaction and the reasoned response.  My endeavors as an educator are bridging student reaction to that of a reasoned response. Whether as an artist or an educator, I am acting as an observer. I call on a full range of acceptable and non-acceptable behaviors to accept or not accept. This same act is called on by family members, friends, acquaintances, and not known members of society. It also extends into a myriad of organizations and services. Unacceptable behavior can result in fines, punishment, and or refusal of service without consideration of the user's contextual understanding. 

The question of behavior as expected; the known-knowns and the known-unknowns have become further ill-defined. The processes of detection, deduction, and deliberate action between controller, observer, and participant now call upon a different road map.  The environment has shifted from the functional garden to something more akin to an untendered forest. As time proceeds, the more complex grow the forest. Will we hack our way back or forge a new matrix of paths?   Will the authorities manage within the current social contract or design new ones? The authoritative decisions being made now are shifting cultural expression to what will be expected in tomorrow's social-normal. 

In this changeable environment where measurable, observable, and objective-based rules and regulations are manipulated between scientific, political, and business concepts of individual free-will, points of view, forces of righteousness are determinedly active. Interaction between points of righteousness has polarised by the most basic reaction - protection of self. Every interaction is observed and can be deemed as suspicious. The social context between each individual's understanding of sickness and the protection of their well-being is being adapted by a capital-based economy. It is driving a disfunction between the individual as a consumer and the needs of the marketplace.  Sickness is shifting from science to the needs of commercial interest. 

As it has become apparent that COVID-19 has no quick fix, and there is no snap-back to what was normal. The political challenge has become forging and keeping public acceptance.  The marketplace will self-protected via political lobbying and technological advancements in artificial intelligence and automation.  My observation is that surveillance will become an acceptable social control to protect capitalism. The new economic order will be underpinned by artificial intelligence, automation, and surveillance. 

How will the user of the new order behave? How will they gain the skills to manage responsively without falling into illicit error? Where I reside, The Northern Territory, has an imprisonment rate of  942.9 prisoners per 100,000 adults. Most are aboriginal and have received lower than expected educational attainments.  The question is, who will be left behind? A new order of acceptable behavior will impact the 'underclass.' What becomes mainstream behavior will be enforced by public policies and services. This will further increase economic divisions.  In short, what was once an acceptable reaction may soon become unacceptable. 

As public policies shift, frustrations by those who are not benefiting from liberal capitalist economics will result in transgressions. Poorly designed interfaces like 'robodebt' will force unintended reactions such as suicide and other forms of harm. Unconscious human reactions when working through artificial intelligence-based automated systems may result in some kind of punishment. Such poorly designed systems could cause assertive user behaviors such as anger, violence, and perversion.  

My concern is that individuals will respond poorly to these systems and perceived them as impenetrable and dehumanizing. Business systems will gamify artificial intelligence to protect profit and commercial interests.  Without human-friendly safeguards, automated systems will actively sponsor human bewilderment to self protect. The machine will learn to unsettle human unconsciousness to preserve profit.

Whatever can be described as post-COVID-19 normality will include user confusion and frustration. The political task at hand needs to ensure there are accurate maps and pathways within this shifting environment, and that there are services that welcome humanity as a reactive and responsive entity within the prevailing forest of liberal capitalism.  The emergence of "new normal" systems must eliminate mistakes that can cause human error and inflicts punishment. 

Deino (dread), Enyo (horror) and Pemphredo (alarm)










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