What Is Going on Here Is the Fundamental Question for Evaluating Uncertain Situations

"What is going on here?" here refers to what King and Kay suggest is the fundamental question to ask when encountering any situation in which information may be limited, uncertain, or volatile. It's meant to point to the need to build a more comprehensive, holistic understanding of situations of radical uncertainty than what can be provided by probabilistic thinking. "What is going on here," King and Kay argue, can only be answered with thick description of the sort that Madsbjerg suggests is produced by sensemaking. It's not information that can be reduced to numbers; it requires communication via narrative.

"What is going on here" seems to be another framing of the orientation phase of the OODA Loop and in particular. See The orientation phase of OODA is where the greatest risk and opportunity lies.



Kay, John, and Mervyn King. Radical Uncertainty: Decision-Making Beyond the Numbers. New York, NY: WW Norton, 2020.

Madsbjerg, Christian. Sensemaking: The Power of the Humanities in the Age of the Algorithm. Hachette Books, 2017.