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In many ways, technology improves and enriches our lives. Yet, there is a sense that we have lost control of our technology in some ways and end up victims of its unintended consequences.
Author Edward Tenner coined the term "revenge effects" to describe how technologies can solve one problem while creating other worse problems, new types of issues, or shifting the harm elsewhere. In other words, technology bites back.
When we introduce a new piece of technology, it is wise to consider if we are interfering with a bigger system. If we do, we should reflect on it's wider consequences.
But, if the factors involved get complex enough, we cannot anticipate them with accuracy. Understanding revenge effects is mostly a reminder of the value of caution and not of specific risks.
The more we try to control our tools, the more they can make it worse.
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