Bear shaving

Global warming a problem? Just shave the bears.

Let's define "bear shaving" as the efforts we go to do deal with the symptoms of a problem instead of addressing the cause of the problem. A rare Japanese PSA (now long lost to the copyright gods) showed a girl shaving a bear so it could deal with global warming (here's a lesser one)…

Example: putting a sophisticated queue management system into the Department of Motor Vehicles so that people waiting in line feel like it's less of a mob. This is bear shaving. The productive approach would be to redefine what actually happens in that building so the line itself disappears.

Example: iPhones come locked so they can't be used with other carriers, so people spend hours and plenty of money to 'unlock' them. That's bear shaving. Better to figure out an easy way to pay AT&T their tribute so they can be truly unlocked…

Example: You have emotional issues associated with eating. You shave the bear by getting bariatric surgery instead of dealing with the issue that caused the problem in the first place.

Example: You have a leaky roof and you shave the bear by buying buckets.

Step one to eliminating bear shaving: call it when you see it.