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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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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

Our worst decisions are only later known to us as being terrible ones. When we make those decisions, we think of them as good ones

We take shortcuts and solve problems in a quick-fix, rapid-relief method. We don’t consider any long-term effects or where the dominos will fall based...

  1. We play it safe and do not want to take the time and investigate the root cause of a problem.
  2. Our many cognitive biases act like blind spots, making us only see immediate threats.
  3. We focus on something visual and available...

Some basic techniques we can apply to minimize the unintended problems:

  1. Apply non-action: Not acting out the impulsive reaction that we think will solve a problem is often the simplest way to let it subside.
  2. Think of the risks: What feels ri...

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It is best set out by using the proverb "better safe than sorry" or the medical motto, "first do no harm." The principle has strengths and weaknesses, and it i...

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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 inconstant consequences. This is known as The Cobra Effect.

Linear thinking as...

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Applied to life, this would mean everything requires energy and effort to get started, and be propelled towards action.

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