But the evidence shows otherwise. We live in a world of clouds not one of clocks.
There are always unintended consequences of our actions. Sometimes these are beneficial or a minor annoyance but often they are worse than the problem we are trying to solve.
Konrad J. Friedemann defines the law of unintended consequences as “the proposition that every undertaking, however well-intentioned, is generally accompanied by unforeseen repercussions that can overshadow the principal endeavor.”
- You provide mosquito nets to protect children from malaria but they are used as fishing nets.
- You stop textile manufactures in developing countries from employing young girls but you force the girls into prostitution.
- And more subtly, you reward children for studying but you end up punishing them.
The list goes on ... in complex world we must always stop and think and anticipate the unintended consequences of our actions. It always makes sense to talk and take advise and to conduct small pilot experiments, to probe and observe before committing to a major change.