Intended unintended consequences …

Via Slate, “Tragedy of the Airport – Why you get stuck for hours at O’Hare. By Austan Goolsbee“:

“Each time an airline schedules a flight, it doesn’t take into account the backups it causes by crowding the airspace. The dynamic generates a tragedy of the commons, in which each of the companies vying for runway slots has an incentive to overschedule.”

Here’s a perfect example of how recognition of the system dynamic is important. There’s also a clear incentive, a competitive advantage to struggle at maximizing use of the resource instead of fixing the system via 2nd order changes. By staying within the known system, there’s a known set of rules by which competition can take place. It’s a case of plausible deniability, or at least willful.

So, the entities in the system, keep the system going. Perhaps they don’t realize they are in it, but I suspect they know full well. They have agreed that this shall be the field of conflict, and so keep the system running.