“We won't really know that our point of view is truly strong unless we subject it to the rational scrutiny of others who do not already agree with us.”

Steve Patterson
Concordis COO and Domain Expert in Argumentation and Critical Thinking

Concordis

The peer-review process for the news.

News-style expository prose is old technology and has many inherent flaws:

One voice

Spoken from a single perspective, there is no room for constructive debate

Arguments

Weak arguments and outright lies are unable to be challenged while opposing arguments are easily distorted or excluded

Premises

Assumptions and biases are implicit and cannot be challenged

Story re-telling

Journalists and pundits present the stories of specialists, with no clear hierarchy of credibility
among them

Concordis argument maps resolve the drawbacks of news-style prose

Many voices

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.

Arguments

The best arguments of all sides must be addressed. Anti-social activity – name-calling, misrepresenting arguments, etc – is conspicuous and ineffective.

Premises

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.

Consensus

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

Inform legislators

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.

Phase 1: Bringing the question

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.

Phase 2: Gathering the jury

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.

Phase 3: Gathering the evidence

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.

Phase 4: Rendering the verdicts

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.

Concordis documents

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.

Our pitch deck

Living in a shared reality can sometimes seem elusive. Concordis resolves the obstacles around this essential human need. Here is a short PDF showing in broad strokes what we are doing and why.

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The Concordis concept

Some ideas behind why Concordis can be expected to change minds. A more academic understanding behind our insights and platform design.

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Community guidelines

Some of our innate human impulses have at times hindered well-being and invited confusion. Explicit rules of engagement help to fulfill our platform's goal: to create reliable answers to the most important questions of the day.

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James Tolley

Founder ● Full-stack coder

Steve Patterson

COO ● PhD argumentation

Harlan T Wood

Advisor ● Blockchain coder

Guinevere Nell

Coder ● Economics curator

Sam Small

Media ● Legislative curator

Anand Mani

Corporate identity and design

Drew Phipps

Partnerships

Yael Silbermann

Marketing

Dan Richmond

Graphic design