A (Cybernetic) Musing: Wicked Problems

Cybernetics and Human Knowing. Vol. 19, nos. 1-2, pp. 163-173
A (Cybernetic) Musing: Wicked Problems

Ranulph Glanville


In this column, I explore what are known as Wicked Problems. I have recently come to understand that Wicked Problems can be placed in a central position that brings together a number of different ideas which are significant in second order cybernetics.
I will start by describing the context in which the Wicked Problem concept was developed. Then I move to explore connections between Wicked Problems and other cybernetic ideas, specifically undecidable questions, trivial and non-trivial machines, and the Black Box. I conclude by discussing the somewhat surprising benefits that we can gain from the concept, and position this with other second-order cybernetic concepts.

Source (pdf): https://www.uboeschenstein.ch/texte/Glanville-C&HK2012.pdf