Intended Consequences, Unintended Consequences And I Should Have Thought Of That Consequences
As the isolated world continues to impinge on an unrestricted life style, citizens of Mount Pleasant are turning more and more to remote communications. Last month, as reported by Geraldine in the Mount Pleasant Observer, the popular but irregular coffee clutch took place using Zoom.
The event was hugely popular to the extent that the organizer, Frank Springer, decided on a repeat. Readers will recall the first theme was based on DIDJANOTHAT as in DIDJANOTHAT a circle cannot be squared?
This time participants are required to discuss an example of one of three related subjects. The choices are AN INTENDED CONSEQUENCE, AN UNINTENDEDAN CONSEQUENCE or I SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF THAT CONSEQUENCE.
The assignment is a bit obtuse. Frank finds the excuse “an unintended consequence “is a weak and inadequate explanation for committing a blunder. He explains his frustration from frequently hearing observations such as “the fire was an unintended consequence of smoking in bed”…..in reality smoking in bed often starts a fire. Smoking itself is bad enough, smoking in bed is resulting in a fire cannot be excused as an unintended consequence.
An INTENDED CONSEQUENCE occurs when the purposeful activity turns out as planned. AN UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE happens when the goal is accompanied by significant side effects. An I SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF THAT CONSEQUENCE occurs when the objective is achieved along with byproducts…..either positive or negative.
Kevin Doyle was invited to start the story telling. Kevin is the new Executive Director of Mount Pleasants United way, recently appointed he is implementing an online granting system. The Doyle’s settled in the area during the Eighteen Hundreds, leaving Ireland during the potato famine.
Kevin selected AN INTENDED CONSEQUENCE…..specifically the development of nylon. DuPont introduced the product to market in nineteen thirty eight after eleven years of deliberately focusing on inventing a synthetic material to compete with vegetable based fibers including cotton, rayon, silk and linen. The process was not a straight line and not without peril…. the end product came into focus as the research progressed. The consequences were successful and as intended.
AN UNTINTENDED CONSEQUENCE was chosen by Helen Ng. She is the founder of a Tesla Dealership, the first in the Mount Pleasant region. Along with a family of three, Helen arrived as a refugee from Vietnam in the mid nineteen seventies. Her story…..Decades ago soldiers marched in unison across a bridge without breaking stride. The structure oscillated to such an extent that it collapsed into the deep valley below. Investigations revealed that the vibration caused by the marching matched the natural frequency of the bridge. The collective quivering was sufficient to destroy the bridge. Without any prior knowledge of this phenomena this was certainly an UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE.
Curtis Calahoo was next to center stage. Curtis is a newcomer to Mount Pleasant. An Indigenous Canadian he recently passed the Bar and established a legal practice. He told a story when a most unwelcome outcome resulted from the purposeful introduction of rabbits to Australia. The intention was to establish rabbits as a game animal for hunters. Seemingly, in the wink of an eye, they proliferated to such an extent that native specie’s survival was comprimized. Experiences around the world had already demonstrated that actions of this nature had nasty results. Curtis tabled this an I SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF THAT CONSEQUENCE.
Lastly Kumar Nandakumar related a tale about a positive UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE. Kumar is Finance Manager of the Mount Pleasant Credit Union and a Commerce graduate of FDC University at Mount Pleasant. His example…. The Haber Bosch process originally invented to manufacture explosives was adapted to produce synthetic fertilizer….a vital contributor to grain production around the world.
The meeting took on a life of its own as presenters waxed eloquently about the three types of consequences. Frank Springer took the participants on a revised path. He described actions with CONSEQUENCES that were INTENDED, UNINTENDED or I SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF THAT. Each participant was required to identify the possible consequences. Topics are the following
The development of margarine
The inaugural trip of the Titanic
Generating electrical energy by combusting coal
Construction of Highway 128 to circumvent Boston
Constructing the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant
Harvesting whales to produce oil for light and heat
Naming the current virus Corona
Installing square windows in the Comet Airliner
Time allotted for the Zoom Meeting expired. Participants committed to providing written submissions for review at a future meeting. Geraldine will publish them in the Mount Pleasant Observer, Saturday Community Affairs Section.