Reasons to agree
- It doesn't prove anything if you make a good argument, and you only allow facts that support your conclusion onto your page.
- Ayn Rand said: "No concept man forms is valid unless he integrates it without contradiction into the sum of his knowledge." In the same way our beliefs can make lots of sense when we talk to ourselves, with limited amount of information, but you are stupid if you don't try to see the other side.
- Steven Wright said; “A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.” We all have to make decisions, in order to live, but someone should keep thinking... there should be a site that people can map the reasons to agree and disagree.
If we separate our reasons to agree and disagree, and classify the reasons we could do some pretty cool stuff with computer software. Each reason can become its own post, with reasons to agree and disagree with it.
Every issue should have it's own comprehensive list of reasons to agree or disagree. This would allow us to perform a Google duel between all the items that agree and disagree, which could represent the overall strength of the idea.
Books as reasons to agree and disagree
"What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books." ~ Thomas Carlyle
We should allow users suggest books as reasons to agree or disagree with an idea. Now start thinking ahead what an algorithm could do, if someone says that a book agrees with their beliefs. Data is readily available from Amazon or E-bay or the New York Times best selling list of how well a book has sold.
So there would be three fields. One place where you submit the item that agrees or disagrees with the original idea. The second field would let you classify the object. Is it a book, awebsite, or simply a logical argument. The third field would be a place where the user explains why he thinks the book supports the conclusion that he/she has come to. Of course, people would be allowed to vote weather or not the book actually does support the side that the original user said that it would.
This is where the algorithm could get very sophisticated. Would you want to give more credibility to those who said they had actually read the book? Would you want to give even more credibility to those who had bought the book, as more proof that they actually read the book. Or how about people that used the website mediachest and could prove that they have the book, by the fact that they have let others use the book. What about people who wrote an essay on the book on the website. If Google was doing this, they could provide a place for users to write essays on books, similar to how Amazon lets users write essays. Perhaps they could not let people copy and paste essays into the form. It would only allow people to type their essays directly, to prevent stealing of essays. Perhaps people could vote on weather the book-essays were good or not similar to how Amazon lets users rate reviews, as to weather the review was "helpful" or not.
So, as an example, you could submit a best selling book as a reason to agree with an idea, and then right a thoroughly convincing explanation of why this book agrees with the idea, and an essay that proves that you understand the main points of the book.
If Google really wants to organize the worlds information, they must do this. We have plenty of books, we have plenty of content on the internet. We need ways of organizing this information into what it all means, and how all this information should affect us. The only good way information can affect us, is for it to help us make better decisions. In order for us to make better decisions, we must know all of the reasons to agree or disagree with a particular course of action. In order to do this, we should not start at ground zero, with only our own thoughts in our head. We should bring together all of the great thinkers from the ages from every corner of the planet, and organize all of their great thoughts, so that we can make the right decisions.
As you can see, this algorithm could be very simple, but it could also offer programmers hundreds of years of challenges to make it more sophisticated. I believe this is a strength of the idea, because it allows for continual improvement.
People as reasons to agree or disagree
This website is built upon the premise that we can organize data in such a way, that we can promote good ideas, and demote bad ideas.
We will play with letting information related to those who agree or disagree with an idea affect the idea’s score. For instance, how many google search results come up with a given name? How many news stories? How many Google Scholar citations the person being cited?
In order for us to have any hope in mankind’s future, we have to believe that good ideas are recognized by smart people and carried forward throughout history. If this is true, smart people from the past will be remembered today. Plato, Aristotle, and Newton were all remembered because they said something true.
Algorithms are working today that rank scholars according to how often they are cited by their peers.
We will use similar techniques to promote ideas that are supported by many trained experts.