The Scientific Method and Social Issues

July 16, 2020

The modern social approach to problem solving is inefficient, at best. Rather than engineering comprehensive solutions to our social issues, we take the easy route; blame and reprimand the scapegoat. This retroactive behavior perpetuates the cyclical nature of the problem, rather than attempting to rectify - and prevent - the root malfunction.

It would be easy to identify such behavior as apathetic and careless, but I believe these are surface-level symptoms of a deeper psychological and sociological phenomena; humans are proud, but vulnerable. Confrontation is stressful; critical analysis, assuming fault and responsibility, is near egotistical suicide. We deflect the burden and delay action, kicking-the-can further down the road for subsequent generations to deal with. This irresponsibility is expensive; bypassing the source of the problem makes the situation worse for everyone plagued by its effects until a viable solution is implemented.

I posit that accountability and ownership is an insignificant price to pay relative to the massive benefit included with solving problems. The scientific approach will expose themes that may elicit negative feelings in individuals or the group. These uncomfortable feelings are temporary, but necessary; they will strengthen resolve and contribute less friction for future iterations. Deep, critical analysis of social issues, testing hypotheses, and developing conclusive solutions are detrimental to effectively fixing and maintaining our infrastructure.

Next time you encounter a difficult issue, consider how can this be resolved rather than how did this happen.

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Greg Morrison - 2019 ©