... to sober-arguments.net.
This web application aims to facilitate
constructive discussions. Each discussion consists of so called bricks.
The basic brick for every discussion is a Thesis-Brick. A response to a thesis
must have one of the following types:
- Improvement Suggestion
Sober was developed out of the experience that discussions via email, social media, comment areas or classical forums in many cases are frustrating. Some observed reasons:
- The lack of reference and unsupported claims.
- The lack of focus (vulnerability to so called red herrings).
- Important arguments are hidden in volumes of less important text.
- The lack of overview (which argument relates to which).
- Formation or manifestation of rival camps.
Sober was designed to avoid these problems as much as possible, while still being easy to use. The intended audience are groups of people who in principle are willing to collaborate and making decisions based on reasonable arguments.
Main features are:
- Discussions are strongly formalized and split up into atomic contributions, so called bricks (see Details above)
- The quality of each brick can be rated.
- Theses can evoke more or less agreement.
- Arguments can have more or less cogency (persuasive power).
- Other bricks can have more or relevance.
- Users are enabled and encouraged to gradually improve bricks: find better references, use more clear formulation, etc.
- Authorship of bricks is not shown to emphasize content over social interdependencies.
Sober is free software and aims to be easily deployable on self hosted infrastructure.
Main use cases are:
- Support running processes of formation of opinion and collective decision-making within groups.
- Document such processes (which might have taken place on other media or offline) for later reference.