Wicked Problem

While reading into NATO behavior and social research I came upon mentioning of a “wicked problem“. While it sounds a lot like double bind, it’s a little more generalized as it’s not oriented towards a person. Just like double bind it accurately describes the situation that TI is experiencing.

  1. There is no definitive formulation of a wicked problem (defining wicked problems is itself a wicked problem).
  2. Wicked problems have no stopping rule.
  3. Solutions to wicked problems are not true-or-false, but better or worse.
  4. There is no immediate and no ultimate test of a solution to a wicked problem.
  5. Every solution to a wicked problem is a “one-shot operation”; because there is no opportunity to learn by trial and error, every attempt counts significantly.
  6. Wicked problems do not have an enumerable (or an exhaustively describable) set of potential solutions, nor is there a well-described set of permissible operations that may be incorporated into the plan.
  7. Every wicked problem is essentially unique.
  8. Every wicked problem can be considered to be a symptom of another problem.
  9. The existence of a discrepancy representing a wicked problem can be explained in numerous ways. The choice of explanation determines the nature of the problem’s resolution.
  10. The planner has no right to be wrong (planners are liable for the consequences of the actions they generate).

Conklin later generalized the concept of problem wickedness to areas other than planning and policy. The defining characteristics are:

  1. The problem is not understood until after the formulation of a solution.
  2. Wicked problems have no stopping rule.
  3. Solutions to wicked problems are not right or wrong.
  4. Every wicked problem is essentially novel and unique.
  5. Every solution to a wicked problem is a ‘one shot operation.’
  6. Wicked problems have no given alternative solutions.

As you see it’s quite accurate description of the problem. You can read about possible solution scenarios on wikipedia, but I’m not sure if it’s helpful. Nato psychologist notes that wicked problems are typically solved (as well as they can be) through group efforts. According to them psychological support to military is a wicked problem.

Wicked problem environment…

  • Problem space is ill-structured
  • No “right” solution, only “good enough”
  • Problem-solving ends only when you run out of resources
  • Unique/novel set of conditions and factors
  • No second opportunities to do it again
  • No obvious alternative solution



look at the animated gifs above that display animals in situations where they appear having “problems”. Those problems are very tough to solve on their own. It’s a cause of major distress, where your own freedom is used to enslave you in multi-layered trap. Lets assume artificial intelligence folks (deep mind, Palantir Technologies,  etc) gains enough power to look after people, surveillance logs, video security, behavioral health, community health, etc. How do you think AI would classify a person who has happened to be trapped in situation like this? Absolute majority of the humans don’t really understand what is their purpose on this planet Earth so everyone right away is a solid candidate for this cornerstone symptom of schizophrenia or as we should start looking at psychiatry and medical establishment as assassination weapon in hands of those who have power. Any social support institution (which is definition of the government in the civilized world) for that matter should be looked at as such. Power is no longer in the hands. It’s diffused. What is even more troubling that in this day n age there was major shift to move that power to so called NGO’s (there is no such thing – it’s just cover), faith based groups (it’s just cover), charities/foundations/institutes/think tanks/etc (just cover for the worst scum of the worst) and private sector (which right away ceases to be private sector). So task of following money and paper trail gets even more complicated (think of the kitty with santa hat that has objective to catch a mouse that is trapped in the bottle). The problem is that most likely AI is already doing such things and is probably being used in very evil eugenic fashion – eg look at this company business description from the year 1998:  if you use double speak translator it sounds as death squad for hire 1 2 3  . Every tool can be used for good and evil – any sharp object eg knife can be used to cut the ropes and free someone, at the same time it can be used to slaughter someone. This new startup doesn’t hold any punches – they are covertly monitoring population and employing proactive solutions with personalized approaches.

What if such recently revealed high tech advancements in  real time video augmentation capabilities like face2face are in fact weapons of cyberwarfare, classified computer viruses. Imagine hostile power hijacking your video, skype, livechat, internet feeds and outdoor sensors that track you and mess with your likeness making you appear insane to the automated or human analyzing party thus marking you for elimination or separation from the “healthy” herd. Simplest case scenario – imagine talking on the skype with your relative and someone hijacks your feed and face and starts making subtle, but noticeable grimaces, blinking, smirking, twitching, etc. Your relative will start noticing something and start treating you as if you’re “different”, leaving you dumbfounded what a hell is going on. Think about explosion of that cybersex trade and so called “camwhores”. With real time video augmentation technology you will never know who is doing what, not to mention that all that sex trade is not really a business or profession, but a weapon.



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