Good criminologists are interpretively flexible, searching to read situations from the different angles illuminated by multiple theories. Plural understandings of a crime problem stimulate a disparate range of action possibilities that can be integrated into a hedged, mutually reinforcing package of preventive policies. Positivist criminology has its uses in informing the kind of research-policy interface advanced. Its limitation is that it focuses on short-term, decontextualized policies that are intentionally disentangled from integrated policy packages. This when it is long-term, dynamically responsive, and contextualized, integrated assaults that are more likely to bear fruit. Some suggestions are made on how to reform criminology so that its creative and evaluative focus is more directed at what Bateson in 1972 called “systemic wisdom.” The alternative is to settle for a positivism that almost inevitably leads to a policy analysis of despair about the intractability of the crime problem. That “nothing works” is not an empirically established fact, but an artifact of the epistemology of a science with a particular structure. This structure can be reformed.