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Why You Feel At Home In A Crisis

The Good In The Bad

Paradoxically, in the times of disaster, when everything is breaking down, one’s mental health shows an improvement. A connection or bonding is formed due to everyone facing the same disaster. Situations requiring trust, co-dependence and sacrifice keep appearing for us to be able to survive, removing our disconnection with one another.

This happens because the way to relate to one another changes, and self-interest is dissolved while group interest becomes of prime importance.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Why You Feel At Home In A Crisis

Why You Feel At Home In A Crisis

https://fs.blog/2020/06/crisis/

fs.blog

6

Key Ideas

Byproducts of Crises

During war times, the common man is least prepared for dealing with the drastic change of circumstances, displacement, loss of life of the self and loved ones, along with injury, loss of property and mental trauma.

Social and financial distress, loss of morale, and death of innocents are the byproducts of war, the effects of which are felt on the common man for decades.

Benefits Of A Crisis

During the peak of World War II, where it was expected that the citizens would go through hell, the opposite happened. People turned out to be more resilient, driven and motivated during the war.

The looming threat of being dead at any time turned out to be beneficial for the mental conditions and toughness for the individuals. Suicides lessened, and social unity and community bonding increased manifold.

At Home With Adversity

  • We, as human beings are naturally adaptive to a disaster or crisis, and bad times are improving our morale and strengthening our community spirit.
  • Groups of people collaborating, caring for and working with each other, hand in hand, are the ones who are most likely to live through any crisis.
  • The necessary conditions that we need to flourish as individuals and as a species, ironically, emerge during bad times.

Good Times Are Selfish And Isolated

Modern society robs us of togetherness and social bonding at a primal level, with safe and easy lives detaching us from our loved ones, as we don’t feel the need to show our love and care, or make any sacrifices.

Along with that, having lots of money rarely makes one happy, as is seen with the rise of depression and suicides in the urban, affluent societies all across the world.

The Good In The Bad

Paradoxically, in the times of disaster, when everything is breaking down, one’s mental health shows an improvement. A connection or bonding is formed due to everyone facing the same disaster. Situations requiring trust, co-dependence and sacrifice keep appearing for us to be able to survive, removing our disconnection with one another.

This happens because the way to relate to one another changes, and self-interest is dissolved while group interest becomes of prime importance.

Don’t Be Afraid Of Disaster

  • When disaster strikes, assume people are your allies and form a community, instead of staying in isolation, distrusting those around you.
  • Organize on a community level, and come together, as it exponentially increases the odds of survival of all members.
  • Do whatever volunteering and caring activities that are possible in the community, coming ahead selflessly and proactively.
  • Banding together makes everyone develop stronger relationships, with the power of unity in full force.

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When Disaster Strikes

When a certain disaster or calamity happens, we work towards ensuring that the same calamity can be dealt with in the better way, the next time it happens. The pain or loss that we suffer motivates us to do so.

We forget in our preparation and resource allocation to the ‘last’ disaster, that we have neglected many other things that are more likely to happen.

Expect The Unexpected
  • Life has a tendency to surprise us, and we will be most likely smacked with something totally unforeseen and unrelated to the last disaster, that one was prepared for.
  • A better strategy is to realize that it is inevitable that life will hit us unexpectedly, and to grow and learn from the same.
  • Being adaptive, flexible and resilient would increase our adversity quotient, making us strengthen our inner resources, and enrich our experience.
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The available research on the topic mostly shows us that, when faced with a disaster, people tend to be more caring and more concerned about the ones around them. 

Different forms of selflessness are easily reachable by individuals during natural disasters.

Technology and solidarity

While technology may enable us today to stay connected with our friends, families as well as to keep working, it does not bring us the key to solidarity. 

The issue emerges whenever there are long periods of time that require social distancing, as individuals are forced to stay away from their group of friends or families. In order to still remain socially active, one might want to consider becoming more involved in the local community's activities.

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Compounding

Compounding is exponential growth. We tend to see the immediate linear relationships in the situation, e.g., how one test diagnoses one person.

The compounding effect of that relationship means that increased testing can lead to an exponential decrease in disease transmission because one infected person can infect more than just one person.

Probabilistic thinking

In the absence of enough testing, we need to use probabilistic thinking to make decisions on what actions to take. Reasonable probability will impact your approach to physical distancing if you estimate the likelihood of transmission as being three people out of ten instead of one person out of one thousand.

When you have to make decisions with incomplete information, use inversion: Look at the problem backward. Ask yourself what you could do to make things worse, then avoid doing those things.

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A Crisis of "Belonging"

In previous eras, people used to gather around a faith group, neighborhood association, or trade union.

However, the crisis of social isolation has created a vacuum that commercial, for-prof...

Connected But Alone

Social isolation may be the leading problem of our era.

  • 89% of people used a cell phone during their last social interaction. 82% felt it degraded the conversation.
  • 40% of Americans identify as lonely; up from 1 in 10 in the 1970s.
  • One in four Americans have no trusted confidante; up from 1 in 10 in 1985.
  • Less than half of American kids live in a traditional family home.
  • There’s been a 40% decline in standard measures of empathy since the 1990s.
  • There’s been a 24% rise in suicides between 1999 and 2014.
  • Only about half of Americans trust their neighbors.

Tribal Connections

Technology is part of the problem of disconnection, as we're replacing deep, emotion-driving in-person relationships with superficial online relationships.

Another cause is the decline of participation in organized religions that were traditionally responsible for weaving social fabric. Reweaving the social fabric is vital to the individual as well as collectively.

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There is no engineering method, so modular systems thinking varies with contexts.

Fundamental Properties of the Engineering Mind-Set
  • The ability to see a structure where there’s nothing apparent.
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Risk Compensation
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Risk Compensation Effects
  • When automobile safety laws were introduced, the drivers started taking more risks while driving, leading to more pedestrian accidents.
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  • Child-proof caps on medicine bottles made parents careless about their being opened by kids, including the ones which don’t have the safety feature.
The Carelessness Effect

Having a safety device in place, and armed with the knowledge that we can push the envelope a bit, the appetite for risk increases.

  • People who have an emergency fund in place tend to be less careful about their investments.
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Human Behaviour During Crises

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Old Assumptions About Human Behaviour

Studying the natural disasters of the past, sociologists agree that while news reports lean towards the negative, a vast majority of people, good samaritans, doctors, nurses, government servants stay calm and help to the best of their abilities. While there can be panic and fear, caring for the other becomes common.

Economists and politicians often have views based on logical projection and past data, but human beings are an evolving race, and many assumptions now need to be overhauled.

Bad Times Are Good

A crisis helps draw awareness towards our fellow human beings, with our starting to embrace dependency, community, and solidarity, something not visible in normal circumstances.

Though we have to keep a physical distance in these strange times, we embrace each other more warmly.

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We're not immune to collapse

Societies of the past and present are just complex systems comprising of people and technology.

Although we have better technologies, we are not immune to the threats that faced our ancestors. If anything, our technological abilities bring more challenges. Our globalized economic system may be more likely to cause a crisis to spread.

A roadmap of past collapses

Although there is no conclusive explanation of why civilizations collapse, there are factors that can contribute.

  • Climatic change can result in disaster, resulting in crop failure, starvation, and desertification. The Akkadians, the Mayan, the Roman Empire, and many others coincided with abrupt climatic changes.
  • Ecological collapse theory: When societies overdo the carrying capacity of their environment, e.g., excessive deforestation, water pollution, soil degradation, and the loss of biodiversity.
  • Inequality and oligarchy: As a population increases, the supply of labor outstrips demand, workers become cheap and society top-heavy. Political violence follows.
  • Complexity: Accumulated complexity and bureaucracy eventually leads to collapse. The returns from complexity eventually reach a point of diminishing returns, causing collapse.
  • External shocks: War, natural disasters, famine, and plagues. The Aztec Empire was brought to its knees by Spanish invaders. Early agrarian states were passing due to deadly epidemics.
  • Randomness: Collapse is often random and independent of age.

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  • A social infrastructure: society needs a supply of creative innovators who are willing and able to challenge their physical environment in order to better themselves.
  • Social incentives: there need to be incentives in place to encourage innovation.
  • Social attitude: a creative society has to be diverse and tolerant. People must be open to new ideas and individuals.
Joel Mokyr
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“Invention occurs at the level of the individual, and we should address the factors that determine individual creativity. Individuals, however, do not live in a vacuum. What makes them implement, improve and adapt new technologies, or just devise small improvements in the way they carry out their daily work depends on the institutions and the attitudes around them.”

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The new normal

Global companies, from the UK to the US, Japan to South Korea, have recently rolled out mandatory work-from-home policies amid the spread of the new virus.

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Clear communication

The key to working from home is clear communication with your boss. Your manager might not be used to managing people virtually or may not have a ready-to-go suite of tools for remote workers.

To prevent a breakdown in communication, you need to know exactly what's expected of you from day-to-day. Ask your boss for a 10-minute video call to start and end the day. Reach out to coworkers and managers regularly so that you won't get forgotten.

Treat it like a real job
  • Don't lounge around in your pajamas. Treat it like a real job.
  • Create a space exclusively for work that is removed from distractions, just like you would at your office desk.
  • Create boundaries within your home that your family members understand when you're 'at work.'
  • Bookend your day. If you can't enter and leave a physical office that creates more precise boundaries, use psychological transitions like a 20-minute coffee in the morning, then exercise right after work.

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