From Good Intentions to Catastrophe: 10 Lessons to Learn
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While scrolling about, I stumbled upon an interesting question with entertaining answers. Someone asked Reddit, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” what is a real-life example of this?” Here are the top-voted responses.
1. Introducing Non-Native Species
A Hawaiian shared, “The introduction of non-native species to solve an environmental problem. Hawaii resident here. It’s been the bane of our existence. Invasive species go back to Polynesians.
They brought pigs and chickens for food. They cause all sorts of problems now that they are wild. We also have a mongoose. Rats were decimating the local bird population. So the government released mongoose to handle the situation.
However, mongooses are Diurnal, and rats are nocturnal. So instead of going after the rats, they went after the birds. Cats. Brought as pets, now they are an ecological menace. They love eating the local bird eggs. See a pattern?”
2. Humanitarian Forces Introduce Haiti to Cholera
Another volunteered, “Haiti did not have cholera. However, a disastrous earthquake hit Haiti in 2010.
After the quake, humanitarian forces from the UN arrived to help, and the Nepalese contingent reintroduced Cholera to Haiti. This epidemic has since infected approximately 850,000 people and killed over 10,000.”
3. Introduction of Kudzu for Erosion Control
“The introduction of Kudzu for erosion control. It has become invasive and girdles and kills plant life above ground without establishing proper roots, causing soil erosion,” one stated. Another semi-jokingly replied, “Ah, Kudzu. The vine that ate the South!”
4. Most Moral Panics
Someone suggested, “Most moral panics? Stranger Danger: convincing people in the 1970-90s that hundreds of thousands of American children were being yoinked into random cars by evil strangers each year while downplaying and underfunding the resources that could help decrease child abduction.
Child abductions never came anywhere near those vast numbers. However, it was and still is nearly always a custodial issue or a close family member.
Teaching people to be wary of kidnapping is great; directing all their fears toward vague spooky strangers and not helping people learn how to prevent abduction is garbage.”
5. Subsidies on Corn To Promote the Production of Ethanol
Another explained, “George W Bush’s admin created corn subsidies to promote ethanol production to be used in fuel, etc. Better for the environment and so forth. A couple of downstream effects:
- Ethanol in fuel lowers fuel efficiency, so you have to buy gas more frequently (more of an inconvenience, but that’s why fuel with no ethanol is usually slightly more expensive).
- Corn sold for purposes other than ethanol didn’t qualify for the subsidies, so there was a strong financial incentive to sell to ethanol producers instead of for food. As a result, it drove the price of food corn (and food that uses corn-derived ingredients) up, affecting poor people the most.
- The financial incentives were so strong that farmers were buying up cheap land in problematic areas for corn production or switching away from crops that would grow more easily if they couldn’t afford more land. In western Kansas, corn must be heavily irrigated to grow. An enormous aquifer stretches from South Dakota to the Texas panhandle. Increased irrigation combined with a years-long drought drained the aquifer to the point that the city of Hays must truck its water.”
6. Parents Who Solve All Their Kid’s Issues
“Those parents who solve all their kid’s issues and don’t make them stress about consequences of their actions,” answered another.
“Their kids turn into inept and entitled adults who still act 15 for decades and not only have a more challenging life for themselves but also make life miserable for everyone around them.”
7. No Child Left Behind
“No Child Left Behind. Yeah. A kid in one of my high school English classes just couldn’t read. Like at all. I felt sorry for the kid, but his inability to read while in a regular English, class held the rest of us up,” one replied.
“Most moronic project ever. Oh, this school has terrible grades? Let’s SLASH FUNDING! No Child Gets Ahead is what my mom and her teacher friends always called it,” added another.
“Lobotomy,” one stated. “Surgery to fix the mentally unwell. It sounds so good: no more reliance on medication. You’re good from now on. But it didn’t work. The outcomes were awful, and it was frequently done without any consent.
People would have shut it down fairly quickly if they had been honest about what was happening. Still, careers and money were at stake. So many unnecessarily suffered.”
9. Babies Sleeping on Stomachs
Someone volunteered, “A man named Dr. Spock wrote a handbook for childrearing. Many of our parents likely got their childrearing advice from this book. For example, he recognized that babies threw up a lot and recommended that newborns be laid on their stomachs to sleep.
Unknowingly, this would result in the accidental smothering deaths of thousands of newborns. In addition, this resulted in many SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) cases that can be laid at his feet.
To this day, the back-to-sleep campaign is still fighting to update parents on what we now know: newborns should sleep on their backs until they can reliably roll over for themselves.”
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10. Invention of Social Media
Finally, “One stated, “The invention of social media. When Tom worked at Friendster, I genuinely believe he wanted to build something that allowed people to socialize and communicate in a new and modern way.
On paper, early MySpace is a brilliant concept that made many people realize the internet’s potential. But unfortunately, this concept mutilated and turned into what social media is today.
The single most socially damaging invention that ever happened. Far from bringing people closer together, it has turned into a tool that is tearing people further apart, making them feel more disconnected from society than ever- and instead of democratizing discussion, it has put even more power into the hands of the elite.”
We hope you enjoyed this Reddit discussion. This article is inspired by the internet and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Motherhood Life Balance.
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