When philosophy and reality meet in tragic and unintended, unexpected circumstances

When philosophy and reality meet in tragic and unintended, unexpected circumstances. Like, for example, when the Rolling Stones thought it would be a good idea to hire the Hell’s Angles * to provide concert security. This is not a cafe society question. I am asking for other examples where everyone thought something would work out great but found tragic and unforeseen consequences instead.

  • I am not 100% sure the Rolling Stones made this decision all on their own. There were, as it turns out, many bands at the concert, with the Stones playing the final act.

Hells Angles are a gang of rogue mathematicians, specialising ingeometry.

  • Prohibition
  • War on drugs
  • Criminalization of prostitution
  • Abstinence teaching

The four first examples that come to mind where the actual outcome was exactly the opposite of the intended.

Here’s a recent one: Officials try to suppress resale of pope tickets. People game the system to get the free tickets and then sell them for hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Well, Communism?

Hell’s Angles

Conservationists were trying to save the Mexican Monarch Butterfly population by encouraging people to plant milkweed in their yards…but gave out the wrong variety of milkweed to plant, further contributing to their decline. http://entomologytoday.org/2015/01/16/planting-the-wrong-kind-of-milkweed-may-harm-monarch-butterflies/. :smack:


This sort of poll will do better in IMHO, where you will next find it.

Arming the opposition to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan seemed like a good idea at the time, but contributed to the rise of the Taliban and other radical groups in the chaos that ensued after they left.

The introduction of the fast growing kudzu as a method for controlling soil erosion.

Removing a 35 meter hill to build a power plant on the ocean, then digging down 14 meters below sea level and putting your emergency diesel generators there.

Not much philosophy involved, but it was the first two things I thought of.

You forgot banning sex education. Banning ticket scalping probably raises the price of scalped tickets. Building more roads just leads to more traffic, not less congestion. More subtle case: When I was young presidential primaries were supposed to democraticize the selection of candidates. Instead it has led to increasing polarization of the parties and has not worked well. Cf. the current crop.

It is not so much a clash of philosophy with reality as failure to imagine possible side effects. Maybe more a clash of ideology with reality.

Me and a friend of mine from college, he was a botany major, we used to sit around and get high and talk about crossbreeding Kudzu and Marijuana…

Ohh… thanks for reminding me of the road thing, can’t believe I missed that one.

Banning sex education was what I meant with “abstinence teaching”. :slight_smile:

They should really have figured out that one. I mean “If we don’t tell them about how sex works, SURELY our horny teenagers will simply stay away from it instead of entering into it without any knowledge and thus increasing the risk of everything we’re working against”. That one was REALLY dumb. At least prohibition made sense on a superficial level.

Creating gun-free zones that then get turned into shooting galleries.

Hajj ends as stampede death toll rises to 769

Seems to happen every few years.

*More brutal than *“Reservoir Frogs”…

We already got a thread on this topic. Those of us in the Order of the Stick thread have been trying to figure out Hel’s angle for weeks.

The Stones had already used the UK chapter of the Angels as crowd control at their Brian Jones memorial concert in Hyde Park (the concert where they released thousands of white butterflies as Jagger recited Shelley’s “Adonais,” and the butterflies died from overheating and dropped like dandruff on the crowd). Otherwise, everything went well: it was a Mods & Rockers kiss and make-up moment, the weather was nice, the mood respectful; and so when Jerry Garcia recommended the very different California Angels (for whom the Dead had been the house band in their formative years) as crowd control at Altamont, the Stones naively went along.

Five common words, yet I’ll venture they’ve never been used in that order before. Well done!