The Law Of Unintended Consequences - Deepstash

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The Law of Unintended Consequences

The Law Of Unintended Consequences

The Law Of Unintended Consequences

There are many situations and disastrous circumstances where impulsive and emotional solutions are applied, which apparently solve the problem but unintentionally create new problems or collateral damage that may be worse. This is known as The Law Of Unintended Consequences.

Example: The Forest Service rapidly extinguished forest fires as soon as they erupted, causing larger, more severe forest fires due to an abundance of unburned deadwood spread all over.

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Motion Dynamics Of Life
Motion Dynamics Of Life

According to Newton’s first law, objects tend to remain at rest unless an external force or energy makes them change their state.

Applied to life, this would mean everything requires en...

Initial Push

The energy, force or effort in the initial stage would be far more than what is required for the object to keep moving. If our project, like starting a new business, was like launching a rocket, we would like to start it with the initial super thrust, but we also need to keep the momentum going.

The entire journey requires some amount of energy to keep moving forward. It also moves in one direction only, and changing its direction needs a considerable amount of effort and force.

Building And Maintaining Momentum

It is easier to keep any moving object in motion, than to put in motion an object at rest, due to inertia. Inversely it is harder to stop a moving object. Applied in life, it means if we are moving and keep getting momentum, it is hard to stop us from reaching our goals.

The trick is to have patience and keep going until you reach a point that your own force propels you forward, making it harder for anyone to stop you.

The Cobra Effect
The Cobra Effect

Most of us have a simple, cause-to-effect relationship with our surroundings and the events that unfold in our lives. We try to solve problems using a linear-thinking model, resulting in i...

Origin of The Cobra Effect

The term ‘Cobra Effect’ originates from Colonial India, which was under the rule of the Britishers. To tackle the problem of the growing number of cobras, the British government announced a bounty on every dead cobra. Enterprising locals started breeding cobras and kept on claiming the bounty reward. When the Britishers realized this and stopped the reward, the snakes were set free, increasing the population in the city.

This anecdote revealed that a linear, logical solution could also make the problem worse.

Understanding Dynamic Systems

A dynamic system has two types of feedback loops:

  • Positive Feedback: This feedback loop keeps the coveted effect in progress.
  • Balancing Feedback: Also called negative feedback, this loop keeps the system in a balanced state.

Instead of assuming that a dynamic system is a chain of linear events, we need to step back and look at the big picture and try to understand the complex feedback interactions.