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“Collateral damage” traditionally means bad press that you get for exceeding your mission goals, but there is a valuable idea hiding underneath. For example, killing Osama Bin Laden may plausibly save lives overall, but searching for him under cover of a vaccination campaign, as the CIA did, pushes the net expectation far into negative numbers. Or again, reducing the size of the U.S. government is plausibly a good goal, but trying it by threatening the nation’s creditworthiness and the global financial system, as the Tea Party is doing, is not likely to achieve the goal. In other words, the real meaning of collateral damage is failure to take a systems view.
the Daily Whale copyright 2011, 2013 Jay J.P. Scott <firstname.lastname@example.org>