Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is arguably.io?
arguably.io is a semantically-organized epistemological database. It seeks to represent all human beliefs or claims, whether they be factual (about facts), ethical (about moral preferences), theoretical (about ideas, such as mathematics) or predictive (about the future). arguably.io represents claims and beliefs whether they are considered true or false.
Why does arguably.io exist?
arguably.io seeks to document and properly represent the richness and diversity of human beliefs and public claims. Think, for instance, about the belief that "Vaccines are good," or that "Vaccines should be made mandatory." What are the underlying assumptions of such beliefs? Can one hold these beliefs while also believing that forcible medical treatment is wrong? Will a belief like "The peer-review process leads to the discovery of truth" or "Submitting to authority must always be done with consent" impact those about vaccines?
We need an encyclopedic approach to document structured human knowledge and its interdependencies. Initially, Wikipedia may have seemed to be sufficient for that purpose as it was marketed as producing a "sum of all human knowledge." However, it has become apparent that Wikipedia is not fit for the purpose of gathering all of human knowledge, for many reasons. First, Wikipedia seeks to express one truth rather than many. Second, Wikipedia does not preserve a semantically-organized trace of the interrelationships between claims. Third, Wikipedia trusts "notable sources" rather than pure reason.
arguably.io is the solution to these problems. Here, every claim, including its steelmans and its strawmans, can be represented properly. We document both true and false human beliefs. Second, we semantically organize claims and their interdependencies. For instance, the claim "I believe in a fair political system" may be held by some, and not by others. The claim also relies on certain assumptions: how does one define a political system and what is fairness? An encyclopedia that claims to represent the sum of human knowledge must have some system to not only document one official narrative, but all the alternative narratives and definitions. Finally, arguably.io does not rely on a notability criteria that gives unfair power to journalists and peer-reviewed publications in making certain subjects relevant and others not. We believe any claim must be evaluated rationally, not by the status of those who hold it.
Will arguably.io be backed up?
arguably.io is very young. We are currently building the first structures for the encyclopedia. You are welcomed to participate to this process by creating pages or modifying existing ones. Eventually, we will be releasing a torrent backup of the entire content of the encyclopedia on a regular basis. The encyclopedia is released under a Creative Commons license so it is available for everyone to preserve and modify.
How will the content on arguably.io be interoperable with semantic search, ontologies of rhetoric, etc.?
As the encyclopedia grows, it will be possible to visualize the interrelationships between the claims documented. Database queries are already available through Special:Ask, a feature of Semantic MediaWiki (see here for the manual of the MediaWiki extension). Basically, any semantically-marked relationship between pieces of knowledge will be readily available on Special:Ask. For instance one could add [[Dependent on::An integer and its successor are co-prime]] in the "Condition" box, and click "Find Results" at the bottom of the page, to see any claim that is dependent on the claim that An integer and its successor are co-prime. For now, this should return that There are infinitely many primes, because the latter's mathematical proof relies on the former.
For another example, one could type [[Commits Fallacy::Fallacy:Attacking a strawman]] at Special:Ask and the results will list any article or claim in which a strawman fallacy has been committed.