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Rattlesnakes That Don't Rattle: Maybe We Should Stop Trying To Fix Stuff

As people, in particular as Americans, we want to continually change things for the better. I blame advertisers. We were happy until commercials and ads told us we weren't. Now we're constantly looking at "problems" and trying to fix them. This in itself has become a problem and we should fix it (wait. what?).

The problem with fixing things is it inevitably breaks other, seemingly unrelated things in wildly unexpected and often dangerous ways.

We can all agree that rattlesnakes are evil, horrible creatures. Based on this rattlesnake "problem," whenever people hear the blood-curdling sound of a rattler, they grab their shovels and their pistols and eliminate the problem. Sounds like a great fix right? Wrong. Eliminating this problem has created an even scarier, more dangerous problem.There are a few rattlesnakes out there with under-developed tail muscles, which prevents them from shaking their rattles. Since these "special" rattlesnakes don't make any sounds they get to slither about undetected, and undeterred, while their rattle-tastic brothers are all getting shanked. These special snakes are just as bite-y and just as venomous and just as evil as the not-so-special snakes. When mating season comes around all the "normal" rattlesnakes don't get to participate---seeing as they're all dead, so only the rattle-impaired snakes reproduce. By fixing the rattlesnake problem we inadvertently invented new and improved stealth rattlesnakes. Who could have possibly predicted this?

I'm sure there are numerous other examples of our so called "helping" actually causing more harm than good. So applying the rattlesnake example and the "numerous others" to virtually everything, I propose that we stop trying to fix things and just accept things as they are---accept the rattlers, accept global warming, accept all your spouse's shortcomings. Because if you don't, you will set in motion an unexpected chain of events that will eventually lead to mutant, toxic, super-dangerous, unstoppable problems.

For more info on the mutant rattlesnakes go to the NPR website: (

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