The peer-review process for the news.
News-style expository prose is old technology and has many inherent flaws:
Spoken from a single perspective, there is no room for constructive debate
Weak arguments and outright lies are unable to be challenged while opposing arguments are easily distorted or excluded
Assumptions and biases are implicit and cannot be challenged
Journalists and pundits present the stories of specialists, with no clear hierarchy of credibility
Concordis argument maps resolve the drawbacks of news-style prose
All credible perspectives are included and able to challenge one another, with the ideas of all stakeholders included in the resulting document as first-class citizens.
The best arguments of all sides must be addressed. Anti-social activity – name-calling, misrepresenting arguments, etc – is conspicuous and ineffective.
Assumptions and biases are explicit and stated separately. This allows each of them to be questioned and challenged. The process repeats until foundations of community consensus are found.
Thought leaders define the bounds of what is credible. The specific areas of community consensus – or lack thereof – are revealed.
Concordis provides several new products
Legislators may submit requests for comments to their constituents, lobbyists, and activists. All stakeholders contribute their perspectives and evidence. Challenging and checking each other’s work, each will be expected to engage their opponents’ strongest arguments. Legislators will receive a detailed representation of community belief, in an easy-to-understand format. They are empowered and informed.
The community may then track their representatives’ votes over time, relative to the information provided.
Crowdfund and crowd-source conclusive answers to difficult questions
The public may post value to entice topic experts to collaborate openly, e.g. a jury of at least 500 people, all of whom worked in significant roles in the State Dept, the Defense Dept, the White House, Congress, and the CIA at the time, may be requested to share their beliefs around whether the George W Bush administration lied us into the Iraq War. The resulting document could be fairly regarded as “the best obtainable version of the truth.”
Pressure public figures to address difficult topics
The public may crowdfund campaigns to engage specific public figures on difficult topics. Creating an argument map which describes an uncomfortable topic in a fair and neutral way, the crowd may then entice a public figure to contribute their beliefs and evidence to the map. Crowdfunded value would be released to needy third parties when the requested perspectives were provided. Politicians will no longer be free to simply ignore certain of their constituencies.
Reputation hierarchies among thought leaders
Concordis will implement Liquid Democracy in its verdict rendering process, enabling thought leaders to optionally delegate their votes to trusted peers. This feature will reveal the hierarchies of trust in any field of consequence. With a reliable external reference, the public will be better able to weigh the relative value of testimony between differing pundits.
The public expresses its desire to have a specific community discuss a claim or question by posting value. The minimum number of jurors is defined, along with their required credentials. The end date of the process is defined, as well.
If there is sufficient public interest – represented by the value posted – potential jurors will be motivated to participate. Jurors may also be motivated to participate in order to network among their peers, improve their reputations, share strongly-held beliefs, etc.
The jury details builds out the argument map which naturally grows more and more refined in the areas of greatest remaining disagreement. Each node helps the public to better understand the conversations and contentions within the community which knows the most among us on the topic.
After the argument map is satisfactorily detailed, jurors then express their beliefs around each argument and piece of evidence. Liquid Democracy streamlines the process and reveals hierarchies of trust among jurors. Bell curves of community consensus become clear, along with the most important reasons which support those beliefs.
The life-cycle of a crowdfunded argument map
Similar to a court trial, these phases are designed to provide the rest of us with the best possible information on a topic.
The resulting document
An unprecedentedly intimate and accurate window into the actual conversations taking place within the most knowledgeable community available.
At Concordis, we believe in the transformative nature of responsible communication to invite insight and dissolve divisions. Below are some defining documents which outline the spirit and intent of our mission.