Data or Humanity?

{The Rocky Horror Transylvanian Transexual Award for Conforming and Complying with Norms.}

Over the last eighteen months humanity has been exposed to data like never before. There are graphs, league tables, rolling averages, exponential curves, fits to data with error bars and endless conversations about how many cases there are per 100,000 human beings. People have made arbitrary decisions based on these numbers. They have spoken about deaths, hospital admissions and case numbers. They have spoken about vaccine efficacy, I have yet to hear in the media how vaccine efficacy is defined. People have been watching the numbers go down in the hope that they might be able to go to Ibiza.

There has been relatively little coverage of the human side. It is mentioned in passing. People who are not asthmatic have experienced difficulty in breathing to the point of intubation and death. Many are very anxious. I can see it in the eyes above the masks.

I’ll posit that people are getting blasé about these numbers, they are bandying them about like bargaining chips. My own analysis says that in two weeks’ time UK case numbers will exceed 100,000 per day. But we must have our freedom, our visit to a packed-out stadium and to a sardine can beach. Let’s hope that the hospital admissions do not rise. But rise they will!

What about the humanity of it all?

Do we give a shit if our fellow beings suffer and die?

Who knows it might be us next…

The box-ticking mentality so reliant on data says nothing about the qualities. It is like some bizarre advent calendar where we tick a box and get a chocolate reward. As an F type interacting in a largely T world this is a dilemma I faced before. Collecting data relating to some metric of an organisation say absolutely nothing about the interpersonal dynamics, the mood or the ethos of an organisation. An organisation which has ticked many boxes can still be a cold, harsh and confrontational place. At face value it could be black, girl, queer and disabled friendly, it may have ticked all the boxes. It says nothing about the latent opinions, the snobbery and the presence of cliques or cronyism.

When I hear people saying that we have to stamp out racism, I think to myself whisky tango foxtrot. Listen to your language!! Does the jackboot approach actually work? I suspect that there are those who say things like that because they think they ought to but who are highly discriminatory.

It is one thing to talk a good game and tick all the boxes. It is quite another thing to change and to change in a meaningful as opposed to lip-service way.

There is a real danger of using normative statistics. The norm, the mean, the average is not actually something to aspire to. How about trying to excel and lead by example?

The “everybody else is doing it” or “I was only following orders” is the cry of sheep, of the shoal. If the shoal turns this way, then so shall I and on a sixpence to boot. It is the cry of those lacking courage.

I am guessing that although people have covid fatigue, this story has much more mileage. There will be more twists and turns.

It ain’t over until the kilogram challenged nonstandard sized person with a vagina and in possession of above average sized mammary glands sings.

This has the hallmark of a fifth ray crisis which I’ll expand on when I have gathered my thoughts.