In the post below I expounded on the Law of Unintended Consequences, using an episode of my service with the U.S. Army as an example. The Law is a universal constant, a great crocodile which bites in all directions and nips all whose attentions wander.
It says that any action – done with the best (or worst) of intentions and the cleverest of planning – is liable to backfire in ways that cannot be foreseen and are rarely appreciated.
The Law flexed its jaws again as April waned in 1952, and communists around the world prepared to celebrate May Day, Continue reading
One of the most powerful regulations in human affairs — bettering perhaps the influence of laws governing gravity and thermodynamics — is the Law of Unintended Consequences. It is that immutable rule which holds that an act, done with the finest of intentions, may return to bite its unhappy author in the butt. It works equally well if one’s goals are honorable, or the opposite.
I watched this law in action on a massive scale while serving with the Army in Japan from 1951-1953. Contrary to the opinions of academics, intellectuals, politically-correct columnists, and other mush-brained types, the U.S. Army is loaded with good intentions, which it pursues with great ferocity to the point of imbecility. Continue reading
Everyone should go to Asia before he dies — if for no other reason than to experience true culture shock.
In 1951, during the Korean War, the Army landed us at Yokohama Harbor. As we trooped down the gangplank and prepared to enter a convoy of olive drab buses, our sergeant yelled: “Anybody need to heed the call of nature?!” Several hands went up. He then formed us into a circle in the middle of the street and said: “Okay, go to it.”
“Right in the street?” inquired a timid voice.
“It’s okay,” answered the sergeant. “Local custom. Nobody will mind.”