Best Quotes About Ambiguity

If I take refuge in ambiguity, I assure you that it's quite conscious. -Kingman Brewster, Jr.

I have always felt that a woman has the right to treat the subject of her age with ambiguity until, perhaps, she passes into the realm of over ninety. Then it is better she be candid with herself and with the world. -Carl Sandburg

The warning message we sent the Russians was a calculated ambiguity that would be clearly understood. -Alexander Haig

Neurosis is the inability to tolerate ambiguity. -Sigmund Freud

I'm a participant in the doctrine of constructive ambiguity. -Vernon A. Walters

People ask me if I left the lyrics open to ambiguity. Of course I did. I wanted to make a whole series of complex statements. The lyrics had to do with the state of society at the time. -Don McLean

The purpose of narrative is to present us with complexity and ambiguity. -Scott Turow

You know, people who almost – yeah, there's a slight reluctance there – but there's also an ambiguity. What are their morals? What is their code of living. What are they really doing here. And it is just interesting because it is never black or white. -Matt Robinson

Writing a really general parser is a major but different undertaking, by far the hardest points being sensitivity to context and resolution of ambiguity. -Graham Nelson

During the Cold War, we lived in coded times when it wasn't easy and there were shades of grey and ambiguity. -John le Carre

Naturally, the reader has access only to the events I show and the way I show them, but as has been said, there's generally a good deal of ambiguity in that presentation. -John M. Ford

The result is – document destruction – we're really not going to be able to prove beyond a truth the negatives and some of the positive conclusions that we're going to come to. There will be always unresolved ambiguity here. -David Kay

The use of the polygraph has done little more than create confusion, ambiguity and mistakes. -Aldrich Ames

The Butcher Boy is a very great novel indeed and a very important Irish novel. The ambiguity of that is, he's writing a book about an appalling situation and he does it in a hilarious way. -Stephen Rea

My observation is that after one hundred and twenty years of modernisation since the opening of the country, present-day Japan is split between two opposite poles of ambiguity. -Kenzaburo Oe

These films however, have ambiguity built into them, because it's too easy in film to make a strident work of propaganda or advertising, which are really the same thing anyway, meaning the message is unmistakable. -Godfrey Reggio

I look for ambiguity when I'm writing because life is ambiguous. -Keith Richards

The goal is to live a full, productive life even with all that ambiguity. No matter what happens, whether the cancer never flares up again or whether you die, the important thing is that the days that you have had you will have lived. -Gilda Radner

Take advantage of the ambiguity in the world. Look at something and think what else it might be. -Roger von Oech

There is no greater impediment to the advancement of knowledge than the ambiguity of words. -Thomas Reid

All people are paradoxical. No one is easily reducible, so I like characters who have contradictory impulses or shades of ambiguity. It's fun, and it's fun because it's hard. -Edward Norton

I think whenever people talk about the 'Anna Sui woman,' they're talking about someone that's probably kind of more downtown, and there's always like this ambiguity: Is she a good girl, or a bad girl? -Anna Sui

I tell my students, if you ever become comfortable with your role as criminal defense lawyer, it's time to quit. It should be a constant source of discomfort, because you're dealing with incredible moral ambiguity, and you've been cast into a role which is not enviable. -Alan Dershowitz

Widespread state control over art and culture has left no room for freedom of expression in the country. For more than 60 years, anyone with a dissenting opinion has been suppressed. Chinese art is merely a product: it avoids any meaningful engagement. There is no larger context. Its only purpose is to charm viewers with its ambiguity. -Ai Weiwei

The great thing about 'Allen Gregory' is that we try to make it really questionable that the things he says have happened, have really happened. We like that ambiguity. -Jonah Hill

One of my favourite films is called 'Lacombe Lucien,' directed by Louis Malle. The lead character in that film, like the lead characters in many '70s and '80s films, has a moral ambiguity to him. -Joe Cornish

Perhaps where text slides toward ambiguity, film inclines to specificity. A novel contains as many versions of itself as it has readers, whereas a film's final cut vaporizes every other way it might have been made. -David Mitchell

My dad's gay experiences really had a very positive influence on me and my straight relationships – how to better accept all the weirdness and ambiguity and ups and downs and paradoxes. I knew from the beginning I was writing about love. -Mike Mills

Men tend to try to struggle to be more rational and reduce things to simplicity more and are more impatient with ambiguity than women are. -John Crowley

We live in times that are in many ways ambiguous. Maybe that's why kids want precision in what they read – they don't like that moral ambiguity. -Lois Lowry

Religious belief has made me comfortable with ambiguity. -Richard Rohr

Evangelicalism as a movement is rushing headlong toward theological ambiguity, which is another way of saying apostasy. -Michael Horton

Oftentimes I deliberately put ambiguity into my books so that… the reader is left with an echo of: 'How much of this was from me?' -Mohsin Hamid

Precision, speed, unambiguity, knowledge of files, continuity, discretion, unity, strict subordination, reduction of friction and of material and personal costs – these are raised to the optimum point in the strictly bureaucratic administration. -Max Weber

The spiritual ambiguity growing up made me really latch onto a faith – Protestantism – that was somewhat conventional. Everyone else was rebelling against traditions and institutions, whereas I was rebelling against the upheaval and uncertainty in my family. -Sufjan Stevens

We've never thought too deeply about the roles things like forgetting or partisanship or inefficiency or ambiguity or hypocrisy play in our political or social life. It's been impossible to get rid of them, so we took them for granted, and we kind of thought, naively, that they're always the enemy. -Evgeny Morozov

Accepting that the world is full of uncertainty and ambiguity does not and should not stop people from being pretty sure about a lot of things. -Julian Baggini

The mark of a mature, psychologically healthy mind is indeed the ability to live with uncertainty and ambiguity, but only as much as there really is. Uncertainty is no virtue when the facts are clear, and ambiguity is mere obfuscation when more precise terms are applicable. -Julian Baggini

I love discomfort. I mean, my whole life is discomfort. One reason I can never retire is that the idea of just sitting on the beach totally comfortable is not a desideratum in my life. I like ambiguity, I like conflict, I like uncertainly. -Alan Dershowitz

It may be enough to study history in all its nuance and ambiguity for its own sake. But there is no country free of the need to find new ways of reading the past as an inspiring way of thinking about everything else, including the present. -Colm Toibin

A woman of faith is fearless. There is no ambiguity, no uncertain trump in her life. She can live a principled life because she studies the doctrine and teachings of a perfect teacher, the Master. She is a noble example to all who know her. -Margaret D. Nadauld

I'm not sure why I'm so drawn to heroes who do bad things and to villains who think they're the good guys, but I do find that moral ambiguity and conflict makes for great characters. -Barry Eisler

People who are comfortable with very clear boundaries and group definitions don't like the instability and ambiguity of people who say they are more advanced Christians, or they don't have to do what the bishop says. -Elaine Pagels

The nature of good fiction is that it dwells in ambiguity. -E. L. Doctorow

I've yet to meet a person in my life who doesn't have some moral ambiguity. -Jason Beghe

'Into The Wild' had a great sense of wild, unpredictable freedom that I loved, and 'Unforgiven' is just a great western with characters that walked the line between right/wrong with an ambiguity that felt very true to frontier life. -Brendan Fletcher

It is in middles that extremes clash, where ambiguity restlessly rules. -John Updike

You can have ambiguity in television that you are not allowed in film… at least in Hollywood studio films. -Richard LaGravenese

Wherever we've gone around the world, we've found quite significant gaps: the holy texts, no matter which one you turn to, has ambiguity in it around slavery. That, we knew, was being used as justification by slavers all over the world. -Andrew Forrest

Ambiguity around ambiguity is forgivable in an unpublished poet and expected of an arts student on the pull: for a professional comedian demoting himself to the role of 'thinker', with stadiums full of young people hanging on his every word, it won't really do. -Robert Webb

I think if a poet wanted to lead, he or she would want the message to be unequivocally clear and free of ambiguity. Whereas poetry is actually the home of ambiguity, ambivalence and uncertainty. -Billy Collins

People think of poetry as a school subject… Poetry is very frustrating to students because they don't have a taste for ambiguity, for one thing. That gives them a poetry hangover. -Billy Collins

You have to make decisions – you know what you think. That doesn't mean the audience are aware of your decisions or what you think – the lines you're saying may have ambiguity. -Tom Goodman-Hill

When you look at the social cost of carbon – and there is a lot of ambiguity around that – what you also need to be doing is looking at the benefits of carbon and what that has on increased agriculture production. -Marsha Blackburn

Entrepreneurs have only the murkiest picture of the future in which they are making their bets, and also there is ambiguity: they don't know when they push this lever or that lever that the outcome is going to be what they think it is going to be – there is the law of unanticipated consequences. -Edmund Phelps

The literary story is a story that deals with the complicated human heart with an honest tolerance for the ambiguity in which we live. No good guys, no bad guys, just guys: that is, people bearing up in the crucible of their days and certainly not always – if ever – capable of articulating their condition. -Ron Carlson

Poetry is a pure meritocracy. There's no room for ambiguity: either a poem moves you and opens up new vistas in life, or it doesn't. It's completely objective, and the best always rise to the top. -Jim Goetz

I don't think most people are all heroic or all villainous, so I find ambiguity of motivations to be a natural human condition. -Ann Nocenti

The worldview implied by literary fiction is complex and ambiguous, trying to be faithful to the complexity and ambiguity of life. -Nancy Kress

The awareness of the ambiguity of one's highest achievements (as well as one's deepest failures) is a definite symptom of maturity. -Paul Tillich

Reality television paints a simple black-and-white world of good characters and bad characters; people we want to root for and people we want to see ruined. There is none of the gray ambiguity that colors real life. I no longer watch a lot of reality television, but sometimes I can't look away from 'Honey Boo Boo.' I just can't. -Molly O'Keefe

The position is clear – there is no ambiguity in Sinn Fein's position. We, along with all the other parties, have signed up to a reduced rate of corporation tax of 12.5 % by 2018. -Martin McGuinness

The Elizabethan mind wanted and demanded that one word could mean 50 things. What Shakespeare offers us is not ambiguity; it's choices. -Roger Rees

What's been lost is allowing cinema to be artful, playful, to have ambiguity, to have form, to be contemplative, to wish to be art. This slightly timeless approach to reality, like Chekhov in literature, where you look at all humanity and try to find what's transcendent. -Pawel Pawlikowski

The main business of a lawyer is to take the romance, the mystery, the irony, the ambiguity out of everything he touches. -Antonin Scalia

The problem with Google is you have 360 degrees of omnidirectional information on a linear basis, but the algorithms for irony and ambiguity are not there. And those are the algorithms of wisdom. -William Hurt

Anecdotes are factoids of questionable provenance, burnished to a high gloss, often set in gilded venues and populated with familiar names as background atmosphere, purged of ambiguity in the interest of keeping the narrative flowing smoothly. -John Gregory Dunne

I think what human beings need is to be able to laugh at the absurd, hold on to ambiguity, and learn to love nuance, instead of making everything one or the other, and structurally, so much of the Internet and online publishing doesn't have room for any of that. -Tavi Gevinson

If people see anything I do and the way I live my life, there is no ambiguity about me being a feminist. -Twinkle Khanna

As software engineers trained to turn ambiguity into absolutes and fuzzy requirements into ones and zeros, we had a 'eureka' moment when we realized that our training had broader, real-world applications. -Walter O'Brien

Having been raised by actors who love moral ambiguity and flawed protagonists, I feel like it's sort of in the blood to want to take it on. -Laura Dern

A lot of my music has ambiguity and room for people to interpret. -Verite

The novel is a thing of irony and ambiguity. That's at the heart of 'J', a world that has stopped arguing with itself. We have to keep our equilibrium of hate, which is argument. But on the Internet, you find a unanimity of response, and in 'J,' there's a fear of that, that discourse becomes a statement of political or ideological belief. -Howard Jacobson

Zombies sort of typify this ambiguity, that they're not dead and not alive. -Jeff Baena

The reason I fell in love with Buffy was because of the ambiguity, because she was a superhero and a hot mess. I hadn't seen anything like her on TV – ever. -Marti Noxon

When you're allowed to tell stories with ambiguity and darkness and things that are still unresolved, that's the dream scenario as opposed to having to fit into a more procedural mode or something a little more conventional. That's not what's working on TV right now. -Marti Noxon

Managing through ambiguity can be difficult for even the most experienced leaders. Defining a clear set of goals for your team demonstrates that there is an end in sight. However, it's crucial during this time to move through the transition in phases. -Sandra E. Peterson

I have learned to listen and to hone my instincts to be perceptive and be receptive to change, to constantly live in ambiguity. -Angela Ahrendts

There is something special about the beauty in the unclear, the ambiguity, the in-between that you can't totally recognise. -Alessandro Michele

I like ambiguity because you may be the villain in someone else's story and the hero in your own, and I think very often, African-American characters are either one thing or the other. You shouldn't have to be perfectly good or perfectly bad. You don't even have to be magical. -Chadwick Boseman

It's really easy to make a movie that five people understand. It's really hard to make something that a lot of people understand and yet is not obvious, still has subtlety and ambiguity, and leaves you with something to do as a viewer. -Steven Soderbergh

It was about a football program that brought in massive amounts of money. They're going to try to cover something up, because it's about money at the end of the day. That's clear. There's no ambiguity to that. Paterno is much more complicated and contradictory, and that's why he's interesting to me. -Barry Levinson

One of the things I like so much about 'Goodnight Moon' is the way it leaves room for ambiguity. -Celeste Ng

I loathe categorization. I cherish my independence, and I treasure chivalry. I live just fine with ambiguity, and I welcome a good quarrel about all things designed or grown – except for when men misnomer 'confident' with 'poised' and 'passionate' with 'feisty.' I work hard. -Neri Oxman

I keep trying to write happy endings, but my books always end on more of a bittersweet note of ambiguity. -Stephen McCauley

As we wrestle with questions of identity, we imitate those actions we think best fill an ambiguity we have within ourselves. And that goes for everyone; no one is free from this condition. -Lecrae

I really like people to be able to interpret stuff in their own way, I like the ambiguity of the medium. We're just four guys in a band trying to articulate things in a questioning way. Who are we to tell people what to think? -Dan Smith

People get excited about things like 'Swan Lake' because they generate a personal involvement. If you set up the story properly, audiences respond to the ambiguity. People ask, 'What exactly is happening in Act Four?' and I never say. I can't put it into words, but they've got a feeling about it, and that's good enough. -Matthew Bourne

The Internet is a giant 'lab experiment' for corporate America, and those companies that recognise this and play well within the rules of ambiguity and fluidity will survive and win. -Dan Pena

There's a lot of ambiguity in life, and so often, our art is very neatly wrapped up at the end, when our lives never feel that way. -Carrie Coon

One of the things I learned on medical drama 'Bodies' was that actors can't play ambiguity. -Jed Mercurio

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