You can hit a nail on the head, or cause a machine to do so, and get a fairly predictable result. Hit a dog on the head, and it will either dodge, bite back, or die, but it will never again react in the same way. We can predict only those things we set up to be predictable, not what we encounter in the real world of living and reactive processes.
The effort to get rid of what we do not want is reactive, retrospectively oriented problem solving. The effort to obtain what we want is proactive, prospectively oriented problem solving.
In reactive problem solving we walk into the future facing the past we move away from, rather than toward, something. This often results in unforseen consequences that are more distasteful than the deficiencies removed.
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