“The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley,”
“Murphy rules: what can go wrong, will go wrong.”
The Law of unintended consequences.
No good deed goes unpunished.
Whatever plans you have, whatever numbers you have budgeted, whatever you think you will need, the one thing you can be sure of is that that scenario is wrong. It will be something else.
The act of observation changes that which is being observed. (Heisenberg postulated this for the sake of quantum physics. It was called the ‘Observer Effect’. And it has been proven. Which is ironic in itself.)
All of the above is known to be largely true but we plan anyway – eternal optimists that we are. But not so much George Soros, the originally-Hungarian, now-American billionaire philanthropist. He believes that nothing can be truly known and that science is more than fallible, it has fallibility built in. Error is part of every equation. Every plan is inherently flawed if, for no other reason, because we are planning. And observing. Planning and observing are active and real influences that affect the plan! It is circular in the extreme.
Of course, I KNOW that. I can’t think of a single plan that has ever worked out 100% as anticipated. And, truth be known, every thing wonderful in my life that did work out is largely the result of divine and sublime luck, chance and fluke. Ask me to tell you the story of meeting Sally some day – one of the most unlikely occurrences with the most unexpected but fantastic outcome known to man!
So, what is the point of the blog this time? Well, it could go on and on but I was reminded of all that when I heard of Harper’s ‘plan’ to send a message to Russia by sending 200 ‘advisors’ to Ukraine. ‘Advisors’ being a euphemism for soldiers. A phone call, it seems, is not good enough for our boy, he sends messages by platoon.
The planned-for consequence of this so-called message? To tell Putin that he can’t push Ukraine around. Bluster, bluster, rattle sword. Exit stage right.
What MIGHT be the unintended consequences of that act? I shudder to think. In fact, I am not going to think about it because, by definition, this is one of the grandaddies of all made-by-mice plans and it is most likely to gang aft agley. But it does remind me of another axiom: Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
We know which one Harper is. Where is this fool taking us?
The irony to Soros’ theory (reflexivity) is that, knowing that everything and everyone will ‘go wrong’ gave him the perspective to profit from their errors. In effect, he planned on their errors to get it right. Getting it right for him, anyway. He got right while those around him went agley. So, his theory is proven wrong by his employment of it to get things right. Irony. Circularity. Murphy.
Still, he is $40 billion to the good so he may have something….?