Hurricane Ophelia is heading towards Ireland now and I’ve been watching it on this website.

Looking at the global imagery of wind patterns and also because I’m visiting Bristol today, I was reminded of discussions about the transatlantic slave trade and sailing ships.

The Triangle

The wind South to Africa, West to the Caribbean and East back to Europe.

A natural triangle for sailing ships and thus for trade.

It’s an interesting argument.

But it’s stupid.

Toxic blame

Neither the technology of sailing ships nor the environment of Atlantic winds, or even the discovery of America and tobacco, means that the slave trade was inevitable.

Men chose to do it. They did it because they could.

Looking at patterns and systems can mean we lose touch with he power of individual human intents. Humans see patterns very well but systems thinking can make us forget about the raw inhumanity of individuals.

It’s worth talking about contextual factors in history but intent, toxic intent, is held by men.

Sensory Design Consultant, usability researcher and workshop facilitator. www.linkedin.com/in/alastair-somerville-b48b368 Twitter @acuity_design & @visceralUX

Sensory Design Consultant, usability researcher and workshop facilitator. www.linkedin.com/in/alastair-somerville-b48b368 Twitter @acuity_design & @visceralUX