Reflexivity – the study of Hungarian feet?

“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….?


8 thoughts on “Reflexivity – the study of Hungarian feet?

  1. Harper is not a towering intellect so it is doubtful that he has any insight into the consequences of Canadian troops being in the Ukraine. Just as he has no exit strategy for leaving Iraq nor Syria and now the Ukraine. It’s a knee jerk reaction to his vision of foreign policy not unlike Palin’s comment. “I can see Russia from my house!” No clue whatever. Canadian diplomats cringe each time Harper dabbles in power politics. Harper has not been a supporter of the United Nations but still wants to exert influence on the international stage for domestic political gain. Who takes him seriously?


    • Sadly, I think we have to. He is currently speaking for us as a nation. Makes no difference whether you are a nationalist or not (I am not). I am a Canadian in the eyes of the rest of the world and I am stained with the Harper brand (until he is removed). This dickhead could cause some real harm.


    • I agree. But it is no longer just about Harper being a domestic moron, he is now an international one. THAT will have repercussions for decades. He is like a political tattoo. A bad decision years ago that still has to be lived with – even when removed, it leaves a scar. Bush. Hitler. Putin. Mao. They all cast long shadows that left bad memories in the world. And Harper is trying to get into that same light. Fortunately his bulk is non-existent. He has little international weight. Like Gadaffi or Marcos, a mosquito in everyone’s eyes but his own. But who likes mosquitoes?


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