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Ambiguous:

equations and algorithms that can be used to describe the problem do not exist, or are unavailable. The few things that are known, formally or informally, are difficult to convey in terms known to the audience, or perhaps even the most knowledgeable person available. The most intelligent statements concerning the subject tend to rely on analogy and metaphor to make them intelligible.


Ambiguous –

Ash:[after shooting King Arthur's sword in half]: Yeah! Alright you Primitive screwheads, listen up! You see this? This ... is my boomstick!

Unambiguous -

The twelve-gauge double-barreled Remington. S-Mart's top of the line. You can find this in the sporting goods department, That's right! This sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about a hundred and nine! ninety five. It's got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair trigger. That's right. Shop smart. Shop S-Mart. You got that?

IMDB Quotes (Give me some sugar, baby. P:D)

(Note that the Unambiguous statement is full of details that are essentially lost on Ash's audience, while the Ambiguous statement is arguably more informative! )


Complexity:

a linear equation or algorithm exists for the measured quantities and qualities in question, and the values remain fairly stable over a given period of time, but their relationship is very technical, there are many qualities to consider, or both.


Volatility:

a linear equation or algorithm exists for the measured quantities and qualities in question and their relationships are fairly simple but their values shift wildly over a given period of time.

Uncertainty:

the relationship of the measured quantities and qualities may be a linear or even non-linear equation, and slight changes in the measured and perceived value of one or more variables may give a solution in which other values are exceptionally different. These values remain stable over time, but solving the problem is "sensitively dependent" on precise measurements being possible and available. Even where precision is available, the nature of some non-linear equations is such that the system may evolve into a state represented by one of many possible solutions] all of which are stable and rather uncomplicated.


  • See "The Soft Weapon" by Larry Niven, for a good example of all four of these

Horsemen on the rampage. P:D

  • VUCA began as an element of military training, in which the terms seem to have been introduced without being defined.

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