Long after the New Zealand Covid Contact Tracing system ceased to be a functioning entity, a hardcore of “scanners” continue to use the system with fanatical dedication. Why? The answer may lie in Classical Conditioning. The question is, what are they being conditioned for?
A couple of weeks ago the author’s youngsters and their eternally growing feet were in need of new shoes. A local footwear retailer had online advertising screaming red-hot clearance deals, so we went down to the mall (shudder) and walked into the aforementioned store. Strangely, the shop was empty, apart from a chirpy young assistant who greeted us cheerily. “Hi guys!”. We waved back “Hi there, we’ve come to buy shoes for the kids” I responded, wallet in hand. “I noticed you guys didn’t scan in” she responded gleefully. “Can you please head back outside and scan in at the door?”. I scowled. “you do realise the Contact tracing system is no longer operational?”. “Oh, well, we require you to sca...” we didn’t wait to hear the rest. Another retailer who valued our cash more than our scanning abilities got our custom.
Since that experience, I have continued to observe how many people still, even today, religiously and tenaciously cling to the ritual of holding their cellular telephone thingie up the poster with the funny square-dot picture until they get the desired result. Whatever that may be. I wouldn’t know, I’ve never owned a cellphone and never scanned into anywhere ever.
It appears to the author that there are three distinct groups out there currently in NZ when it comes to Contact Tracing.
There are those like myself who never played the game. Then there’s group two who dutifully scanned in until either A-the novelty wore off or B-they were paying attention and stopped when the system was declared non-functional.
But it is the third group that fascinates me. The habitual scanners. Just today I watched one poor fellow struggling with his phone app for several minutes trying to get the coveted success indication.
It appears to me that these poor folk are just like Pavlov’s dogs.
“Pavlov’s famous Classical Conditioning experiments became one of the first learning theories and contributed to the notion of psychology as an objective science. In being a physiologist, not a psychologist (he was very emphatic about this), Pavlov sought a scientific explanation of why dogs’ will start salivating before they have seen food. It was found that almost any stimulus could have the same effect of salivation if paired with the presentation of the original stimulus often enough. It was this discovery gave Pavlov the Nobel Prize in 1904. This theory may seem complicated, but dont worry – it will become clear.
For the sake of quality understanding, we will look at Pavlov’s famous original experiments with dogs. Pavlov noticed that sight alone of the dog’s handler was enough to make the dog salivate.
To establish if there can be salivation with the pairing of a stimulus, Pavlov decided to use the bell as the Conditioned Stimulus, so-called because it was being paired with Food (US) to elicit salivation. Pavlov rang the bell, then fed the dogs’. After doing this repeatedly, the pairing of food and bell eventually established the dog’s Conditioned Response of salivating to the sound of the bell. After repeatedly doing this pairing, Pavlov removed the food and when ringing this bell the dog would salivate. The key is that the food and bell have to be paired often enough, so that the dog could learn to associate the bell with food. SOURCE
The habitual “scanners” extant in society today are proof positive that Classical Conditioning works for human beings as well as canines. Just as Pavlov removed the food and the dogs continued to salivate, so the government has removed the Contact Tracing System and yet a significant segment of the population continue to act out the pantomime pointlessly.
What will they do, one wonders, when the QR codes are finally taken down? One can picture hordes of lost souls waving their cellphones at shop windows in abject futility.
All is not lost though, as unlike Pavlov’s 100% conditioned dogs, a large slice of the proletariat have proven resistant to the conditioning.
Could it be that someone, somewhere, is watching and taking notes? Perhaps the continuing scans are still being logged as a statistic to see if something as ominous as a Social Credit system would catch on here? Exactly what percentage of the population have become conditioned Scanners?
In China’s metropolises, QR scanning and tracing has been commonplace since well before COVID. It is surely only a matter of time before it’s actively promoted elsewhere. The author suspects that permanent, and probably compulsory, track and trace technology is the ultimate goal, and the pandemic was the excuse to test it. Let’s hope enough of us resisted to make them rethink their plans.