Fateful DecisionA rabbit hole is caused by some decision that seems innocuous at first but ends up having large impacts. For example, a student writing a history essay who decides to watch a video about the topic who clicks on a video of cute cats. This may end up being a fateful decision as it may lead to hours of wasted time, low productivity and sleep deprivation.
Escalating CommitmentEscalating commitment is the tendency for things to draw you in such that you commit more and more time and resources than originally planned. For example, a computer user who notices a flicker in their screen at startup who halfheartedly investigates the issue out of curiosity. This repair may quickly escalate such that days later they have taken their computer apart, reinstalled their operating system and decided that they need to replace the entire computer.
Slippery SlopeRabbit holes are similar to the concept of slippery slopes -- the idea that an initial step can cause an escalating and uncontrollable series of events. This is an analogy to taking a step onto the top of a slippery hill and subsequently sliding down the entire hill to the bottom.
Six Degrees of SeparationSix degrees of separation is the theory that everyone on the planet is connected if you look at friends of friends to six levels. This can be applied to connections between other things such as knowledge whereby all topics may be connected at a maximum depth of about six. This can explain the common experience of researching one thing and then ending up in some strange place a few minutes later. For example:
Kyoto -> Kimonos -> Silk -> Silk Production -> Manufacturing -> Henry FordIf you start researching Kyoto and end up reading about the life of Henry Ford, you might have fallen down a rabbit hole.
|Overview: Rabbit Hole|
A surreal adventure or distraction caused by an initial decision that has escalating implications.