Thursday, November 26, 2015

'Shock and awe' unintended consequences

My short stint with anthropology was brought to focus in part by one of the tutors telling us that her interest was in unintended consequences of a action due in pursuit of something. In the field of medical anthropology, Arthur Kleinman from one of the East Coast Ivy League universities made a name for himself by a few innovative observations and seems quite a 'grande man' in this field. One of his papers 'The art of medicine  Four social theories for global health' has the unintended consequences down as the the first social theory.. 'this theory holds that all social interventions have unintended consequences, some of which can be foreseen and prevented, whereas others cannot be predicted. Therefore, all social action needs to be routinely evaluated for unintended consequences that might lead to the modification of programmes, and even, if the consequences are serious enough, their termination.'
Apart from creating jobs for anthropologists, it seems strange to me that a country could be so disjointed and not consider the step after invasion.  This became apparent when the Iraqi lower-classes started invading museums and the 19yr old-never-left-his-insular-hometown-Marine stood by and let it happen... setting a precedent for the mayhem that was to follow for years later- so it was no real surprise to read this article: - that is - the World is still suffering from the fall-out of an ill-considered 'war' which followed another internet article about US military blundering:
Makes you wonder about who really makes these decisions which affect everybody's lives.
In the absence of depressing reading here is a local cartoon to sum it all up:


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