THE OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A FLY: Unintended Consequences – Kudzu, Digital Billboards, and the Birth Control Pill

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Do you remember the silly children’s song about the old lady who swallowed the fly?  The poor, misguided woman tried again and again to rid herself of her problem, by swallowing bigger and bigger things—a spider, a bird, a cat, a dog, a goat, a cow, and finally a horse—and she’s dead, of course!The law of unintended consequences, popularized in the 20th century by American sociologist Robert Merton, is like that.  Someone does something, no doubt with the best of intentions, but the plan blow … [Read more...]


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