Canonizer.com is not like a traditional survey, where experts write, and vet a question, and set of answers, before people “take the survey”. Canonizer’s use model is more like Wikipedia, where the crowd does the vetting. Wikipedia works great if everyone agrees, but if someone disagrees, currently, you end up with polarizing edit wars. With Canonizer, when disagreement shows up in Wikipedia, instead of an edit war, you just say: OK, we’ve discovered disagreement, so let’s move the disagreeable part over to canonizer – where both competing camps can be represented in multiple camps, concisely and quantitatively – everyone getting what they want in a win win way.
Canonizer.com is for theoretical fields where there is not yet a scientific census. Consciousness is a good example field. Currently, in this field, everyone writes a book or article. First, they classify the field into the way they perceive the various competing camps, then they point out the flaws they think they see in these camps. However, they often get this wrong, their ideological religions polarize things, and the criticisms usually are just talking past each other.
They present their own theory, in their own language (different than everyone else’s language) and from their own unique religious (including atheism) point of view. Since every expert has their own book, in their own language, from their own point of view – it gives the perception that nobody agrees on anything. Because everyone is using different ambiguous language, nobody can communicate. Nobody talks about what people agree on. And everyone ends up focusing on minor disagreements – completely missing any consensus that may exist.
With canonizer, the first person starts the competition by creating their own camp on the topic. Then when a competing camp comes along, you build as much consensus as possible (canonizing the best terminology and so on through continued negotiation) and build a supper camp on what people can agree on (usually the most important doctrines where most people do agree, like “approachable via science”). Everyone is highly motivated to find some terminology to agree on, because forking the camp reduces the consensus and influence of your camp. More and more competing camps can show up, pointing out different yet to be falsified theories. Obviously, the more diversity the better, as you want to capture and test for all theoretical possibilities.
The focus is always on falsifiability. Everyone is encouraged to come up with and describe experiments that could validate their camp (or falsify it). We ask everyone: “What would falsify your theory, and force you into a competing theory? With this theoretical information, the experimentalists can then perform the experiments being described that people agree would falsify their camp.
Good arguments also work. You can measure the quality of a new argument, by how many people it converts - these can rise to the top and be focused on. Ultimately, the experiments are done till there is one remaining camp that can’t be falsified. We’ve already seen one camp on at Canonizer.com be falsified, by data coming from the large hadron collider. Being able to track things like this makes it better than a very dramatic sporting competition, with definite leaders and losers in the competition as more camps are falsified.
Unlike a traditional survey, At canonizer.com getting everyone into the same camp (or at least as few camps as possible – what communicating concisely and quantitatively means and how you measure progress) is the ultimate goal. Once you get everyone into the same single camp, by experimentally falsifying all the others, you know, rigorously and definitively, you have finally achieved a “scientific consensus”. Then, you can throw it back to Wikipedia, since everyone now agrees. Then you move onto the next yet to be resolved scientific controversy, where you start the competition over – continuing the amplification of the wisdom of the crowd process, significantly accelerating the scientific process, and knowing, concisely and quantitatively, what everyone wants.