Well supported camps at canonizer.com rigorously measure consensus (both scientific, the general population, and any other way) definitively, comparatively, and in real time. In the past there have been few if any attempts to measure scientific consensus
because of many obvious problems in attempting such.
There are many examples of these problems in various methods attempting to show consensus in various ways in controversial topics in wikipedia such as The Oregon Petition
, the list of critics and proponents in the article on Qualia
and the List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming
Jw2035 pointed out 5 problems with systems that attempt to measure consensus, and there are other problems such as:
- Traditional petitions have no way to change the statement once the first signature has signed. Canonizer.com resolves this problem by having proposed changes go into review before going live. If nobody objects, unanimous agreement of all people in a camp can be assumed in a trusted way.
- Petition have no way for someone to change their mind, or remove their signature. Canonizer.com rigorously tracks when people join any camp, and when they leave a camp, or 'convert' to some other camp. The longer people remain in a camp as ever more people recognize it as a mistaken camp the more their reputation in the system will suffer.
- Traditional petitions have no way of being compared to other 'camps'. When someone asks you to sign a petition, what do you do if you disagree with it? Since canonizer.com allows all points of view equally, even with early not yet comprehensive work, you can get a comparative idea of how much support there is for any 'camp' compared to all other competing camps, based on how motivated the members of the camps are to further develop, defend, and recruit new members to them. The more well organized a camp is, the more influence and reputation that camp will have, just as it should be.
A growing group of grass roots volunteers are developing and implementing Many internet based, wiki, social 'crowd sourcing' methodologies to resolve all these problems and provide rigorous unbiased and quantitative ways of measuring consensus. When Jw2035 submitted his 5 reasons for believing canonizer.com was not a trusted source he didn't yet know much about many of these methodologies that have been developed and implemented at canonizer.com to resolve these and other issues.
Our responses to each of these issues are presented here:
- "1) canonizer.com is intrinsically biased by the way it is set up. it is not a neutral source that discusses all viewpoints in a single place. if citing it you would have to cite the opposing 'camps' and discuss their views on the topic as well, not just select one 'camp' that supports your views. this could quite simply continue outward; once you've cited the opposing 'camp', to meet WP:NPOV you must then cite those opposing to the opposing camp!"
canonizer.com is completely open, fair and unbiased. Anyone can work to develop and recruit people to any POV they feel is important. The absence of a particular POV is only an indication that there are less people as motivated to do the work required to develop support for such a POV.
- "2) since anyone can sign up using any username, how on earth do you know that 'A. Expert' is actually who they say they are?"
Canonizer.com resolves this problem in crowd sourcing ways in the spirit of Wikipedia. Everything is very public and social. Experts or anyone can get as involved as they desire at any time. Anyone attempting to pose as some other expert would be instantly exposed as a fraud. Even new not well known or non experts, can be verified in crowd sourcing ways by people in competing camps such as you can see in this forum discussion where the at one time was not well known JohnDe1941 is being grilled to verify he is a legitimate person: https://canonizer.com/thread.asp/23/13/4
Without a well developed reputation in the system, the canonizers can simply ignore you. If anyone suspects fraud of any kind, such can be reported to the operators of the system and all such is fully investigate and remedied.
- "3) i'm sure some experts can contribute, but so can anyone. there is a lot of non-peer reviewed questionable material on there, that i've (flippantly) called crackpot science that make fringe theories look more notable than they are.
Canonizer.com flips the censoring process on its head. Anyone can contribute any theory they believe to be important. Prioritizing and filtering is done on the reading side - since people can select any canonization algorithm they desire on the side bar to order and filter the camps. Yes, if only one person supports a camp, there is a good chance it is a mere 'crackpot' idea. But that one person first in a camp could also be the next Einstein. If there are large numbers of experts in a camp, you can be sure the camp has gone through an extreme amount of work vetting, rewriting, negotiation, and so on, to get it in a good enough state to win the support of lots of experts. This process can rigorously go quantitatively far beyond any mere 'peer review' process used in any scientific journal. The various canonization algorithms also lets people do things like compare the 'scientific consensus' to the consensus of the general population, Christian population, and so on.
- "4) it essentially is a forum for discussion. forums are not a suitable source for wikipedia, since they are not a verifiable or reliable source. see Wikipedia:Verifiability for more information."
- "5) this is not a form of peer review since articles are simply not reviewed before being posted. neither are they necessarily reviewed by those who are working in the field. there are far more, reliable and verifiable, journals out there and plenty of people working in the subject area to validate the review process."
The survey, camp, wiki capabilities, and the way the system is set up to operate to motivate people to negotiate, compromise, and rewrite their statement over and over again to win ever more expert supporters makes this far more than anything out there. Any camp that has earned a large following in a controversial field such as the study of the mind must go through far more continuous review and improvement than any single authors work reviewed by a few peers and finally published.