Comfortable with Ambiguity?

English: Diagram of Schrodinger's cat theory. ...

English: Diagram of Schrodinger’s cat theory. Roughly based on Image:Schroedingerscat3.jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Acceptance of ambiguity is a by-word in corporate America today, if job descriptions are any indication. Not just acceptance but whole-hearted embrace seems to be the price of admission.  I find this call interesting, if only because of its own ambiguous nature.

A bit of research into the history of the word yields the Latin ambiguus, meaning “moving from side to side” or “of doubtful nature”. Yet, while demanding a comfort level with uncertainty, we are also asked to drive clarity, provide forecasts, deliver cohesive plans, and prove ROI on all the above.  No small task if the very nature of life, let alone business, is unstable.

It occurred to me that there is a dual view to take in considering ambiguity. One is by science and the other by faith.

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Comment – Himma and ISBF (Ross’s abstract)

In reading Himma’s article I find the waffling back and forth between legality, morality and rights dizzying. Granted he has a J.D. degree along with his Ph.D., but the philosophical arguments he makes seem to orbit tightly around definitions and semantics. As much a fan as I am of clarity of definitions, the argument is not served well by spending all of the time on one portion of the definition, as he spends on “information”.

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Reflection – 7/21/08

I enjoyed Mike Culver’s presentation, especially regarding Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk). I began to think about how MTurk is conceived of today and the NASA Clickworker experiment that Benkler mentions in Chapter 4 of the Wealth of Nations. While this may seem a natural coupling in thought, I wonder just how many much larger organizations, like NASA, are finding methods to parse existing work items out to MTurk Clickworkers (if you will)? One of the observations Benkler and others pose is that the smaller and more discreet an item of work is, the more likely you can get an average individual to sign up to “take the HIT”.

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