Hydra Problems

Complexity is a hydra: you chop off one head, and two more grow back in its place.

Let’s prohibit alcohol to diminish the number of drunk people on the street…now gangsters and the mafia respond to the underground ‘demand’ and establish a market provide a supply.

Let’s put antibiotics in our livestock to get rid of animal disease… now antibiotic resistant superbugs exist.

We have a hard time address responding to complex problems because we ‘default’ to linear thinking: A = B, B = C, etc. We expect direct lines between cause and effect.


Cite this page:
Shelley, James. (2020). 'Hydra Problems' (in System Thinker Notebook). Originally published on August 5, 2020. Accessed on September 29, 2020. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Permalink: https://jamesshelley.com?p=17166
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This page is currently a subsection of 'Unintended Consequences' in the System Thinker Notebook manuscript. Structure and document location subject to change. Use https://jamesshelley.com?p=17166 as permanent identifier for this document if linking externally.

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