Moulton Lava

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Location: New England, United States

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Sevareid Effect

Eric Sevareid was a distinguished newscaster and commentator on CBS from 1939 to 1977. He died in 1992.

Sevareid once observed that most new problems started out as solutions to older problems. This observation has come to be known as the Sevareid Effect. It corresponds to what medical practitioners call an iatrogenic treatment — one that exacerbates (or even causes) the disease it's trying to cure.

The Sevareid Effect pervades our civil society and political culture. Yesterday's brilliant idea eventually degrades into today's dysfunctional practice.

So it goes.


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