Praise and Criticize

Weekly I/O#79


Balloon Effect: Focusing on solving a problem in one area can unintentionally inflate the problem elsewhere.

Article: Balloon effect - Wikipedia

Why is it so hard to cut down on illegal drug production? One reason is that when you want to crack down on drug production or trafficking in one region, it might simply push the activity to another region or country. For instance, if you heavily enforce anti-cocaine policies in Colombia, growers and traffickers might shift their operations to Peru or Bolivia.

This phenomenon is known as the "Balloon effect". It describes a situation where focusing on solving a problem in one area displaces or worsens the problem in another area. It's like squeezing a balloon. The pressure applied in one spot will cause the air to go elsewhere.

The Balloon effect also applies to software development or business contexts. It describes how fixing a bug or problem in one area of a system or business can unexpectedly create new problems elsewhere. For example, a software update that improves one feature might unintentionally break another. Similarly, a business decision that benefits one department might harm another.


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