#53: The Law of Unintended Consequences

Welcome to another Mindf*ck Monday, the only weekly newsletter that intends all of its consequences. Each week, I send you three potentially life-changing ideas to help you be a slightly less awful human being. This week, we’re talking about 1) the law of unintended consequences, 2) meta-feelings and being ashamed of shame 3) a 2020 mental health update. 

Let’s get into it. 

1. The Law of Unintended Consequences – Long-time MFM readers will remember that when I kicked this newsletter off last year, one of the first things I wrote about was something I called “The Nuclear Power Effect.” I described it as a situation where the “solution” to something really scary is subtly more damaging than the scary thing itself. In the case of nuclear power, it turns out that shutting down reactors increases reliance on fossil fuels which actually harms and kills far more people than any nuclear meltdown ever would (not to mention, it fucks the environment). 

Back in those halcyon days of the newsletter (ah, we were so young and innocent then, weren’t we?) I asked readers for more examples of this “effect.” Lots of great ideas popped up—counterterrorism, driving instead of flying, …