The Cost of Better Information

Many well-intentioned IT pros assume that the basic problem of management is lack of better information. If you're in the business of building information systems, better often implies more, and better certainly implies sooner. Here's a news article about the side-effects of giving ubiquitous medical information access to medical professionals. We've created a beautiful map of you, and ...

Intended Unintended Consequences

There's been a national stir recently over Alabama's tougher immigrations laws. Many have cited the unintended consequences of the law which sought to protect American workers but ended up hurting American business. It's a textbook case of pushback. But what if the stir wasn't an unintended consequence. Unless the law was created by total shut-ins, ...

Sure It’s Fun–Until Someone Gets Hurt!

I came across an interesting article on over-regulating playground safety. Fear of litigation has caused New York City officials to remove equipment deemed dangerous (like see-saws) and replace them with safer (and more boring) playground equipment. Safety-first playgrounds take a simplistic approach to safety. They are concerned with safety in the a particular situation, and so ...

How NOT to Stop Texting and Driving

Texting-while-driving bans are all the fad with state governments trying to reduce collisions caused by distracted drivers. The problem with the political logic is that it assumes bans work. Consider the grandaddy of bans--Prohibition in the US. It made alcohol illegal but did nothing to change the public's desire for it. Prohibition laws were successful in ...