Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Codes of Conduct

Twilight in Birmingham

Given my focus on Anthropology, the A in STEAM (not Art, as some falsely proclaim -- chuckle) I'm keen to see "Codes of Conduct" become more of a focus.  We're maybe done with tourism's first chapter, recreational travel post WW2.  That chapter was followed by "tourism" in the "tour of duty" sense, wherein adventurists donned camo and fanned out across the globe in some effort to "fight terrorism".  A lot of these adventurists were of the scaredy-cat variety, only willing to venture forth if heavily armed.  The consequences of disobedience could be severe.  Lets not pretend their code was democratic in any way.

These days, in brainstorming a Trucker Exchange Program, I'm thinking of the various briefings we'd need.  You don't insert personnel into alien cultures with no preparation.  Tourists would do that of course, and complain of "culture shock" as a result.  What works better is to prep, to train, to do some homework.  Remember it's just a tour, and you get to come home.  You're not a missionary.  Your job is not to impose your code of conduct upon others, although you're certainly welcome to share about your ways, as tourism is a two-way street.

The right to drive a truck anywhere and everywhere, given suitable training, is not a recognized "human right" or anything.  Driving is a privilege.  Having a mentor, or mentors is key.  We all start out as apprentices, in one way or another.  Perhaps our driving skills are fantastic, but what about language skills?

Gender relations are especially touchy.  How are people to treat one another?  A lot of tourists have somewhat Westworld-like expectations of their hosts.  "If we pay you enough, you'll do what we say" is their attitude.  Sex tourists, some wearing camo on duty, are "looking for a good time".  Some aren't even expecting to pay, as they assume they have the privileges of a dominant culture.  This pattern goes way back, with "rape and pillage" but the tip of the iceberg.