The authors respond:

Helen Blau of Stanford has wisely observed, "Where we look and how we look determine what we see."

Arnold Goodman(agoodman@uci.edu)
Aug 1, 2005

Helen Blau of Stanford has wisely observed, "Where we look and how we look determine what we see." Analyzing and managing uncertainty is the insurance policy against defeat for all stakeholders in a project. Without this insurance, we become prisoners of uncertainty and its consequences. No formal language or no amount of wishful thinking can eliminate the desirability of, if not prudent requirement for, defeat insurance.

The actual choice is not between determinism alone or uncertainty alone, but between determinism alone or a realistic mixture of determinism and uncertainty. Our position is the opposite of defeatism, because its realism significantly increases likelihood of victory and decreases likelihood of costly or surprising defeat.

Molecular biology is now where quantum mechanics was in 1925–1926, when it began to utilize uncertainty instead of merely ignoring it.1 From the late 1920's to early 1940's, John von Neumann created the mathematics of uncertainty in...

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