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“Unintended consequences” often were actually intended

I don’t have much to say here, except that the concept of “unintended consequences” is so appealing that I think it’s often applied to settings where the consequences actually were anticipated and intended, at least by some of the parties involved.

5 Comments

  1. Matt says:

    Did you have a particular example in mind?

  2. Ignignoct says:

    Some would say the Earth is our moon, but that would belittle the name of our moon, which is "The Moon."

  3. Kaiser says:

    How about the word "byproduct"? Is it a neutral word or does it connotate intended?

  4. Joseph Delaney says:

    I was rather pleasantly surprised to see a very affordable paperback version on Amazon.ca. Since I am buying the book myself because I think that the stuff is interesting, it was pleasant to see an affordable price tag (I am a PhD student in epidemiology at McGill so budget is alwasy tight).

    I was happy to find a book that had R examples. I am starting to think that I need to leave SAS behind to really program in medical research. I used R when I took generalized linear models in the math department but it's been a few years.

    A good source of rich coding examples is jsut what the doctor ordered!

    P.S. I am less happy about BUGs — maybe it has improved but I had some dreadful experiences with that software.

  5. Joe Liddle says:

    What if a decision maker only 'perceives' a portion of a decision tree? The perceived optimal decision can be at most as good, and probably a lot worse, than the optimal choice with respect to the whole tree. If things go badly then the decision maker could claim unintended consequences.