How did we get here? And where might we go?
Examples of top-down decisions that changed food supplies (and more) in unexpected ways. Results include mass starvation, possibly the plague, and warehouses of moldy cheese.
How did this plant move from being a solution to a problem?
One less discussed type of unintended consequence is the “self-defeating prophecy,” or “self-negating prediction,” where the existence of a prediction or belief ultimately leads to the opposite of what is expected.
More recently, governments developed environmental protection regulations to protect endangered species. These regulations have had second-order effects.
Intentional introduction of species for food. Rabbits in Australia. Feral pigs in the Americas. Unintended consequences abound.
Unintended consequences come about when a change, believed to improve the current situation, actually makes the situation worse.
A lot has been written about this, but I have come to the opposite conclusion than most writers.
When two sides remain in battle for long, they co-evolve.
What will happen at scale is not always apparent. Situations can grow less obvious or chaotic with growth.
Costs work differently depending on who pays and when they pay. These questions of “who” and “when” and innovations that change them are second-order effects that impact what society gets more or less of.
After 35 years, china’s one child policy has come to an end. Carried out with high compliance and across a large population, the policy had unexpected outcomes.
A scan of common examples makes me believe that some of what we call unexpected benefits are improperly classified.
Is the Aswan Dam a perfect example of unintended consequences? No, and here’s why.
Over the past two decades, american universities have created reasons to spend more and raise large donations, without end. What are the second-order effects of this increase in fundraising activity?
What were unintended consequences of smoking bans and how can we use second-order thinking to decrease health effects of smoking tobacco?