Dr Gabrielle Tree
I’m a multidisciplinary, a transdisciplinary, and an interdisciplinary independent researcher. My specialisation is social discrimination, specifically racism and sexism. It became my focus in 2004 with my postgraduate investigation into law, jurisprudence, and justice; and continued with my postdoctoral exploration of the motivations for social exclusion beginning in 2011.
I began a travel trilogy in 2015 documenting some of my experiences on the ground in East, Southeast, and West Asia. The main purpose of my travels was to map similarities and differences between my placement and treatment as “black” and “female” in various geographies. Research notes were the basis for my writing style which incorporated bits of mainstream entertainment media into the chapter titles to encourage subject matter accessibility. My investigation of this topic did not (and does not) reflect an allegiance to any demographic. Rather, the objective of this portion of my work was to explore how social groups are constructed and (self) managed.
The relationship between technology and privacy is a primary theme in my research; epistemology is a sub-theme. In 2016, I published my fourth text: Experimentum, which is based on a post dramatic theatrical performance I gave in 2014 as I was being recorded without my consent. The recording was distributed online by its creators. I surveilled the social terrain for two years to monitor responses to the video and document behaviour modifications it caused as well as my own adjustments via Social Media. My performance was a reverse engineering of my “race” and sex/gender context in order to illuminate the field; isolate and examine its constituents; and observe related processes. Experimentum summarises research findings and vignettes from the media susceptibility study I conducted in order to better understand my six-year experience of racially motivated group stalking, harassment, and defamation, and their relationship to common behaviours. The study is governed by a simple set of rules: i)Differentiation encourages subjects to view themselves as unique individuals; ii)Alignment supports them striving for like objectives; and iii)Cohesion comforts them they’ve achieved a shared position. Patterns of behavior emerged which permitted baselining of typical conduct: i)Mimicry, which included Flocking (physical gathering) and Groupthink (mental gathering); and ii)Aggression, a usual mass response to any unknown, and an element of in-group/outgroup bias. I gained assurance that standard behaviours in social discrimination such as over-monitoring, ridicule, denigration, exclusion, and physical violence are normal actions for many and they are not specific to discrimination. I confirmed that racist and/or sexist deeds without explicitly racist and/or sexist language was enjoyed by the targets of the initiative as long as it was happening to someone else and didn't directly implicate them. My practical application of semiotics enabled me to reconcile the discrepancy between anti-discrimination ideology and my everyday reality: anti-discrimination ideology requires a unique level of praxis which is, therefore, rare in the everyday.
In 2011, I committed to a long-term programme of investigation using participatory research which facilitates direct data collection. This researcher-researched dynamic can be a permanent state depending on the developmental level of subjects as less evolved entities require more time to recognise their behavioural deficiency and they derive greater enjoyment from harmful actions. While it is difficult to measure socially undesirable behaviours like racism and sexism, the gratification antagonists obtain from attempting injury of others via racism and sexism is observable and quantifiable; in layman’s terms, it can be described as lighting up the faces of subjects. Like other activities intended to cause damage, acts of racism and sexism give perpetrators physical pleasure. Aggressors engage in discrimination because it makes them feel good and bystanders do not object because they also derive pleasure from seeing the subordination of someone else. Conversely, failed attacks cause anger or disappointment which is observable and quantifiable; in layman's terms it can be described as darkening subjects' faces and/or creating an aggressive or depressed attitude or tone of voice. This also holds true for many witnessing failed acts of discrimination. Observing this elemental ingredient in homosapien constitution has been illuminating and liberating. Inevitably, my examination of the motivations for social discrimination generated material for my fifth text, Metaphysica: studies in evil, which became publishable as of 2018.
Building on information gained from my media susceptibility study, my current research (since 2017) looks at entities’ predisposition to external reconfiguration. I've determined that components of their knowledge centre can be formatted to behave in alignment with, and in opposition to, other segments and pre-programmed instructions can be initialised with symbols, words, actions, and topics. The relative ease with which homosapiens can be adjusted suggests an inherent instability. Injecting emotion into the agenda, particularly negative sentiment, stimulates and/or guides and/or reinforces subjects' irrationality. This is how discrimination works. Traction of the subject matter is influenced by level of development; less developed subjects are more responsive to negative ideas, especially body level pursuits (eg: food, sex, drugs/alcohol, material goods, attention, etc). Subjects can be made to: falsely believe they are an object of attraction; wear their hair in styles unflattering to their faces and wear clothing unflattering to their bodies; acquire and constantly bounce basketballs despite level of interest in the sport; shake their house or car keys noisily; drive vehicles aggressively to draw attention to themselves; seek out or avoid specific vacation types or destinations believing they are valued by an individual or group; and roll around on skateboards or roller blades regardless of interest, age, or capacity. They can be made to unknowingly cough, point, stare as though hypnotised, sniffle continuously, execute exaggerated spitting in public, laugh loudly/dramatically, pick their noses, scratch their faces, finger comb their hair and drop the debris on tables and floors, and make a range of specified utterances at varying volumes. Many subjects are unable to differentiate between polite and uncouth conduct as they unquestioningly accept the entirety of the installed paradigm because their composition aligns with the information presented and they are unaware they are being reformatted. On learning they've been reconditioned, some subjects execute programmed actions and, simultaneously, attempt to hide their behaviour suggesting the programmed response is, both, involuntary and at odds with a more recent information update. When a programme is initialised, subjects' eyes glaze over and lose focus as they become automatons. The entity can be activated by a person, a colour, an image, or a landmark. Like lack of empathy, absence of self awareness is a function of developmental level. Once a subject's mind-space is colonised, they can be made to execute a slew of actions. The ability to modify the behaviour of the masses is not limited to corporations, or "the elite". The epistemological processes of many are not fact-based which makes them vulnerable to propaganda from any source. Furthermore, when informed they are participating in my simulation, many subjects can not grasp the significance of my malware to their behaviour and they are unable to exit the construct. Alternatively, change occurs quickly for genuine individuals ("I") while it is a much slower, group-based ("We") activity for the less adept.
In the last quarter of 2017, I began experimenting with adding a time element to my research programme and I continue to explore this area. A subject can be programmed with a particular piece of data, gain understanding the data is false, then (repeatedly) returned to their pre-enlightenment state by triggering the original installation. The master programme can be re-initialised incrementally or en masse. At this point, measures are deployed to ascertain the subject's susceptibility to new instruction and to re-confirm previous data. Many subjects are amenable to new programming, but I do not engage as this research sprint is complete. Previous data remains valid.
NOTE: To date (October 2018), of the thousands of subjects I have observed in my study since the video was recorded in August 2014, no one has admitted to seeing the video; they modified their behaviour based on their interpretation of what they saw, no questions asked. This bears witness to Pierre Bourdieu's belief that "the most successful ideological effects are those which have no need for words, and ask no more than complicitous silence". My work of the last seven years was to investigate the impetus for "complicitous silence" which required multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary approaches and methods.
Where to find Dr Gabrielle Tree online
by Gabi Tree
I've written and assembled these research notes from my two-year study into media susceptibility as a result of experiencing nearly six years of group stalking, harassment and defamation which began during my overseas travels. Being defamed online and seeing real-life behavioural changes in people’s interactions with me, I investigated the effect of mass media messages on malleability.
South Korea and Indonesia: in context
by Gabi Tree
This is the final installation in my travel trilogy. You may wonder why it’s barely more than one page. I could detail experiences similar to those I had in China, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere but, at this point, that just isn’t necessary. Instead, I’ll talk briefly about coming full circle as befits a story-telling nearly two decades after the fact.
The Saudi Files: Notes from the Field
by Gabi Tree
The Saudi Files: notes from the field are field notes of my ethnographic observations teaching English in Saudi Arabia. Had I aspired to a more traditional discussion of a travellers life in Saudi Arabia, being neither Third World nor Muslim, I would’ve had little to say. As my focus is on human interactions and social structures, there was an abundance to note.
555 Days in Beijing
by Gabi Tree
555 Days in Beijing is the story of a Canadian teaching English in China. These journal entries talk about the parts of international travel that come up after the honeymoon period; when you’ve settled in and are living and working as a local.
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