Monday, January 27, 2014

Revenge effect

is not what I thought it was. From The Ouroboros Effect: "The origin of the Ouroboros symbol (serpent devouring its own tail) can be traced to ancient Egypt and China, Norse mythology, Medieval Europe, and into modern times. It has been interpreted in a variety of ways, but here represents the cyclic and interactive nature of events. More specifically, it reflects how some of our best attempts to solve problems comes back to bite us!
Solutions to problems are usually intended as final fixes, but more often than not, while solving one problem, they generate more problems. In some cases the new problems from the intended solution are bigger, worse, or more complicated than the original problem; in other cases, the intended solution feedsback into the original problem and simply exacerbates it. The German word,verschlimmbessern, can be interpreted as "to fix something more broken," or to worsen through attempts to make better. These unintended consequences have been called "revenge effects" and are largely a function of limited scope in problem strategy conceptualization: most problem solving deals only with the problem (as defined) at hand, and does not consider the long term effects, ripple and spin-off effects (contingencies), or feedback effects in a larger system. The examples I have collected below present a variety of revenge effects that might have been prevented by taking a more systemic view of the situation." \
via Chris Dillow post Revenge Effects  who sees the recent failure of the English team in Ashes as one of those effects.

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