Organized list?

From: David Clark (
Date: Thu Dec 16 2004 - 14:21:06 MST

I have been thinking of a way of getting more structure into the discussions
of the SL4 group and/or other groups. I have contributed to the sl4 wiki
and I have been to other wikis but even though they have more structure than
just a mailing list, they don't show the reasons *why* the different
theories are believed. They also don't show how many others share the
opinion of the author of the information.

One of the starting pages for the SL4 list says to study the SL4 archives to
determine what has and hasn't been said before posting. With over 10,000
emails, however, that is impossible for anyone. Also, the above complaint
about how many others agree (or disagree but didn't make a rebuttal) is not
there. Another mailing list I have been on has a word search capability
that is nice but still no organized theories backed by the reasons you
believe them and how many people agree/disagree. In some cases it would be
nice to see 2 or more mutually exclusive ideas and their reasons for/against
if no consensus can be found.

I am wondering how many other posters to the SL4 would be interested in
participating in a web system that solved the above problems. There might
be other programs that can do what I have described and I would be happy to
hear any information on these. I have looked at how the wikipedia was
created and the ongoing battles when anyone can just write or change
whatever they like. This is not the solution I envision.

The end result of what I am talking about would show a collapsible structure
of topics with the current theory specified and the arguments for/against
right underneath. Rebuttals and changes to the theory would be voted on in
such a way that multiple arguments that are essentially the same would be
consolidated and only rebuttals/support to the current theory would be
allowed. No off topic material would be allowed by voting out the offending
material. If someone wanted to revisit a discussion that some had thought
closed in the past, they could do so by posting new and significant material
to back up their proposed changes. New topics and there position in topic
structure could be started by many but not necessarily everyone. New
posters would have the structure of current theories and their supporting
reasons so that they could contribute quickly, even if only in a small area
of the system. Whole sections could be ignored by disinterested people so
that all topics wouldn't have to be answered by all posters.

The SL4 list is *owned* by Eliezer and I am not proposing that that would
change or that a rival site would steal it's members. If Eliezer doesn't
like the idea then this list will hear no more from me on this topic.

-- David Clark

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