Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Perception-Problem Iteration

When faced with a public or social problem, for example something you did or said that others are aware, you have two problems. One is the action and the consequences of that action. It may be what you said, how you treated someone, what you did - anything that is perceived by other people in a social context. Let's call that the original problem. The other is the perception of your action, whatever you did or said, and the perception of how you dealt with that problem. Your action to correct that problem may be do nothing. That still is an action (inaction) in the eyes of observers. Whenever you have a social problem you also have the perception of that problem and how you acted in relation to that situation, language, or whatever. If you do anything that is considered outside social norms, your actions may be viewed negatively. If your reaction, or corrective action, to repair the actual damage, breaks another social norm, that too becomes a public problem and again there is a perception problem attributed to that action. This may go on indefinitely. Anything that breaks societal norms iterates perception problems in addition to the original action.