Armistral .

WeSolver Administrator, WeSolver.org

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create a wiki based website which will allow everyone to collaborate to solve the most important problems that face all of us.

An opensource and inclusive site where people can submit problems and solutions to those problems which will retain the best of what we know now in terms of solutions and evolve as we do in our understanding of what works and what doesn't through trial and error (if nothing else) could be of immense value to everyone. If the same site could provide a way to collaborate on projects to implement solutions it could become an incredible resource. I am attempting exactly that with WeSolver.org please take a look and let me know what you think of the idea

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    Jan 20 2012: I think you might be making the mistake of missing the inherent strength of the internet: its distributed and decentralized nature. We don't necessarily need "The One True Wiki". We have lots and lots of websites, blogs, wikis, and documents with the answers to all sorts of different problems. We have search engines to help us find the answers we need. The whole point of this thing, in my view, is to get away from central points of failure, of concentrated power and information.

    Now that said I think you've got a great site going. I encourage you to think of it as a part of a much larger whole, however. Be a member of a global community. One stall in the bazaar, not a cathedral. Don't attempt to draw everyone inward onto one island of information; instead, work to build bridges between islands.

    Also, I discourage you from looking at many very small problems and making the mistake of generalizing them into big problems, then expecting to find big solutions. For instance, the world does not have a "drug problem", the world has several billion individuals who use mind- and metabolism-altering substances, and not all of them want this "solved" or find it detrimental. There is no correct one-size-fits-all answer to what to do about drugs. When you frame the problem that way, you aim yourself right toward a very terrible non-solution and set off toward it like a locomotive. Instead, think about it as it is: a whole lot of individuals with their own needs, desires, preferences and circumstances. Instead of looking for "the best answer", look for "all the answers that have ever worked for anybody". Tie them together. Make them relatable. Make them searchable. Allow them to be analyzed and redistributed and remixed. Don't centralize, instead network. Empower people to solve their own problems. Be the servant, instead of trying (and failing) to be the master. I hope that makes some sense.
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      Jan 20 2012: I essentially agree with everything you are saying. Perhaps "A central source" is better than "The central source". The site actually uses a variant of the MediaWiki software that allows data to flow between it other wikis in order to facilitate (one day) the sharing of data (problems/solutions/projects etc) globally at will. Beyond that the plan is to highlight and connect to other sites, projects, resources etc as one hub in a network of networks.

      How the problems and solutions are defined and organized is going to be up to the people that engage with the site, I am kicking it off but over time am not looking to dictate only serve a community of people that want to do their best to make the world a better place, no matter how they define that activity. It will be up to the community to determine which answers they like best and use them as they see fit, I hope to have some rating/ranking features to assist with that soon. Everything is searchable and a lot of my focus is on relating problems to problems and solutions to solutions as much as problems to solutions. Again everything you say not only makes sense but I hope it will show through that it is exactly what I am trying to accomplish. Thanks for the encouragement!
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        Jan 21 2012: Best of luck with the project :) I'll keep it in mind in case I have anything to contribute or tie in with.
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    Jan 18 2012: Beautiful idea. Computer electronic communication inherently destroys ALL heirarchical social forms and allows peer to peer lateral connectivity where we can autonomously compare notes and derive rational policies freed from the corruption of high pressure politics. Technology is INHERENTLY democratizing and humanizing. How many geniuses are languishing unrealized and unheard in the far corners of the planet? We desperately need a way to outflank the power structures and the Internet is it. This also means that we must struggle ardently to protect the Internet from political machinations. I'm talking about protecting it with our lives.
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      Jan 19 2012: Hi Walter, I agree with you about the democratizing aspects of technology and believe that we are experiencing a exponentially increasing democratization of the entire human society. I also hope to keep free of any corruption due to monetary relationships through the WeSolver non-profit foundation and never selling it as a platform for advertising or bowing to political pressures by modeling it as a truly democratic tool for everyone to use.

      Thanks for your words of encouragement.
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      Feb 13 2012: Open sourcing a problem and collective intelligence works in science and in other fields like math, but there are inherent reasons this hasn't works for social issues. There are some talks here at TED that deal with what they refer to as the 'last mile' problem, where problems exist long after solutions are found because of irrational thinking. There is also the 80/20 distribution where 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people.
      Perhaps the single largest issue is that we continue to model patterns of behavior for our children that are rooted in outdated belief systems. We are solving tomorrow's problem with yesterday's brain. We instead need to anticipate the future by foregoing instant gratification, a trait that is found in only 33% of children.
      We are also not teaching them that certain kinds of sharing are in ones self-interest
      Howard Rheingold's TED talk explain, " Garrett Hardin used it to talk about overpopulation in the late 1960s. He used the example of a common grazing area in which each person by simply maximizing their own flock led to overgrazing and the depletion of the resource. He had the rather gloomy conclusion that humans will inevitably despoil any common pool resource in which people cannot be restrained from using it."
      But he also mentions research by Elinor Ostrom, a political scientist, in 1990 asked the interesting question that any good scientist should ask, which is: is it really true that humans will always despoil commons?
      Rheingold adds however, "She discovered, I think most interestingly, that among those institutions that worked, there were a number of common design principles, and those principles seem to be missing from those institutions that don't work. "
      http://www.ted.com/talks/howard_rheingold_on_collaboration.html

      "I don't think that this transdisciplinary discourse is automatically going to happen; it's going to require effort".
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    Feb 13 2012: Good points. Yes, yesterday's brain is a severe hindrance to progress in problem solving and that includes yesterday's Malthusian applications of Darwinian survival of the fittest notions to human affairs. Malthus' ideas on animal species' tendency to exploit their environments to the point of extinction simply cannot be applied to human affairs where the capacity for technological invention blatantly overthrows all Malthusian calculations about the inevitable scarcity of resources. In this regard humans are emphatically not animal-like and computations about animal populations do not apply.

    Humans have the _unnatural_ capability to discover or engineer new or more efficient methods of finding or creating necessary resources, and as such, are defined by their ability to expand populations regardless of the sustaining power of the "natural" environment. In short, we transcend nature to create our own environments with forms of lawfulness that don't appear in nature. The mind of a contemporary human being owes less to Mother Nature than it does to its enveloping culture and civilization. Nature throws numbers and time at the problem of evolution. Humans engineer their own evolution.
  • Jan 25 2012: Ethical forum discussions and allowing the world to act as one's jury rather than going through a legal nightmare will make people feel less alone when someone harms them. Also, if a company or organisation is blacklisted on my website, the company will be listed near the top of google results as being blacklisted, so potential customers will probably read about the offenses they've committed. I also print Department of Investigation - Investigative Reporter business cards for people, so that when they walk into a store, they can give the managers an ultimatum - cease current offensive action or be listed in top google results as BLACKLISTED. COPO is all about accountability. I originally made the website so people didn't need to suffer stress from helplessness. Now there is an outlet. Frustrated people tend to wipe their pain on others because companies and organisations are too big to listen. Now the world can listen. As far as ads are concerned, I just wanted to add colour. Also, like Amnesty International etc, more can be accomplished with money. Site improvements, legal staff to arrange frequent class-action lawsuits etc. I am also building Earthlover.org. I have created a few youtube ads that have appeared on television, such as 'I wanna be Prime Minister' and other political comedy songs. I admit the website needs to be restructured. My other intention was to create something similar to your site. I estimate there to be a trillion problems in the world. Using an algorithm, they can be categorized and prioritize. Then the path to perfection can be made clear. I'm not saying social perfection is possible, but we should definitely TRY to achieve it.
  • Jan 23 2012: Hi all, I created a new wiki and bought the domain http://Atheism2.org. I just started it up, so there is nothing on the site right now. I would like to invite everyone to help create the site. I don't want it to be "the" central repository, just "a" central repository, which can be a free resource of knowledge and wisdom, and a portal to other web resources (like wesolver.org). While I am currently hosting the site, I promise that it will always remain a free resource.
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      Jan 24 2012: Hello Samuel,
      A great idea (I obviously agree), I would like to suggest we join forces! If you are motivated enough to create a website on your own we could use your help to make WeSolver.org everything it should be. If you are interested please do contact me armistral@gmail.com MediaWiki is an excellent platform for this kind of thing and since we are of a like mind on that perhaps we can collaborate rather than divide and conquer?

      Please let me know your thoughts.

      Regards,

      Armistral
  • Jan 18 2012: As good as is it, this is not a unique idea. The problem is not finding a solution to any problem at all, the problem is implementing this solution into practice and actually realizing it. And obviously in order to do that you would need money and mostly power. Which once again leads to the ignorant of the government and this ignorant system we are all living it. All the human problem we are facing can be solved, but are not because of the governments, and not because of the lack of solutions.
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      Jan 18 2012: WeSolver is unique in exactly that sense. The plan is to provide a place for people to actually share resources (money, skills, time, attention) and collaborate to make changes without being channeled or directed by governments or even waiting for their "approval". This means creating new ways of getting things done and not relying on or being impeded by existing government structures or systems to address problems (including the problem of government itself).

      Solutions exist everywhere but there is not a central place to share them with a focus on the most important problems.
      • Jan 18 2012: That's not the problem at all. Even if we share our resources, even if gather million of dollars, that wouldn't be enough to implement anything at all. We will not be able to implement anything as long as it contradicts with the the huge corporations and banks businesses. That has been the case for decades now. There are millions of examples. Like, a car without oil. A car that does not breaks. Free energy. Improving a lot of things that will only bring development to our society. But all of those things will not be good for the businesses of the huge corporations and therefore they will oppose it just like they oppose it now. Like i said, solutions are not the problem. Implementing them is the problem.
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          Jan 19 2012: Hi. Sadly I agree with you Tisho, but I think that Armistral is on the right track, and we need to start somewhere! A defeatist attitude has never progressed humankind...people who rise above these attitudes do! Who knows - Armistral might be on the cover of Time Magazine one day!

          I am currently running a global collaborative "open innovation" medical research program, aimed at expediting treatment options for patients with prostate cancer. Its a novel model and there are lots of challenges involved in challenging and changing traditional paradigms around the way research is conducted, but as I say...we have to start somewhere!
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          Jan 19 2012: Hi Tisho,

          I have to say that history teaches that despotic power is always eventually overcome, the main questions involved are what will overcome it, peace or violence and what will replace it, more or less democratic structures. We the people have a lot to say about how things turn out and we are learning over time to build better and better things together.

          I would argue that even though power now exists in global finance backed up by undemocratic governments who use military force to suppress dissent, we the people (for the first time in history) are actually learning to act on a global scale without any government, military or corporate "permission". Amazing things have and are happening the world over and the rate of change, like the rate of technical progress is accelerating over time.

          There is no true power without people, and there are so very many people that are waking up to that fact. It seems veritably inevitable to me that we are going to radically democratize global human society, it is not a question of if, only when.

          Mark (above) is just one example of what I am talking about, even though he agrees with your point he is actually working against the idea of corporate ownership of ideas and even the established medical community (thanks Mark!). There are uncountable other examples of this kind of thinking and behavior in every field of human endeavor all over the world.

          Implementing solutions is (I agree with you) the greatest challenge. Actions are the only things that count in the long run and people are acting and learning through trial and error what works and what doesn't. Oppressive beliefs are dying out over time and cooperative, collaborative ones are flourishing (as they should). It takes time, it goes slow but it sticks and it stays and keeps coming back stronger than before.

          I can only say I have been where you are (in point of view) and have moved beyond that place of stasis into one of action. It's more fun!
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    Feb 15 2012: I agree that the Malthusian interpretation of Darwinian evolution as applied to human society and survival is (unintentionally) nihilistic and does not account for a number of fundamental (and easily observable) human capabilities and adaptabilities in pursuit of our common survival.

    Personally I cannot divorce the human from the animal though. I see all the "human traits" in them as much as I see the "animal" in ourselves. There are of course many differences however it seems to me that these are more about scale, context, intention and time than anything else. Even human "vs." (or just separated) from "nature" is problematic for me compared to the idea that we (humans) are a force of nature ourselves but that is off topic.

    I do agree that we have the ability to affect our evolution by design as well as accident. The way I read history our social evolution has been successful as much due to trial and error as insight or inspiration. Both have been there in abundance. It is exciting for me to think about what happens next as the entire human species becomes more and more interdependent in ways that have not existed since the first tribe of us. We have and are so much more than we have ever been. What we do with it all promises to be very interesting to say the least.
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    Feb 15 2012: Thank you very much Theodore. This is definitely makes my reading list!
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    Feb 13 2012: Perhaps this is paper on " COMMONS-BASED PEER PRODUCTION AND VIRTUE" can be helpful.
    https://apps.lis.illinois.edu/wiki/download/attachments/15979/Benker+et+al+(Peer-production+and+virtue).pdf
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    Jan 28 2012: Thank you Zhiyue. I really appreciate the encouragement :)

    There is a Facebook page, Twitter account and a blog. YouTube not yet but someday when warranted.

    There is a long way to go, but it is worth the journey.
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    Jan 25 2012: I would love to see more detail about your proposed solutions. You are more than welcome to use WeSolver. As you pursue these initiatives please keep me updated so they can be added, they should not be lost!

    Regards,

    Armistral
    • Jan 28 2012: You have a wonderful idea, and I hope that it will gain more publicity. Does WeSolver have a facebook page, a twitter account, or a youtube channel?
  • Jan 23 2012: I have created a similar website called 'The Court of Public Opinion'. www.publicopinion.co

    COPO is a worldwide forum of ethics.
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      Jan 24 2012: That is great Paul! I admire your drive to make the world a better place. I hope you will consider that taking ad revenue might put you in a compromised position with some people you might want to recruit to your cause. It is a definite distraction for me when I look at the site.

      I also wonder what the main point of the site is other than allowing a forum to discuss issues. True collaboration and follow through to action in the real world doesn't seem to be easy based on your current structure. A parallel is another idea I presented (on TED) about creating a site that would support people filing lawsuits on behalf of future generations https://www.ted.com/conversations/8838/create_a_site_to_support_filin.html this would seem to be an ideal situation for your site to address (given your stated purpose) but I don't understand how it would actually enable this. I would enjoy understanding this as I am definitely in support of any site that could accomplish this goal.

      Please let me know your thoughts.

      Regards,

      Armistral
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    Jan 22 2012: I added this in your honor http://www.wesolver.org/wiki/Suppression_of_Internet_Access with some proposed solutions and this http://www.wesolver.org/wiki/Immoral_and_Unethical_Ideas_Retard_Personal_and_Social_Evolution I already had but hope it covers your broader point about people being motivated by a "higher purpose".

    Thank you for the feedback!

    Regards,

    Armistral
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    Jan 22 2012: TED is taking a lot of my time, fun as it is, so please feel free to post on WeSolve.
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    Jan 21 2012: Thank you Justen, your critique was much appreciated! I hope you do contribute and/or find a way to tie in.

    Regards,

    Armistral
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    Jan 21 2012: This is a great idea, not a new one however the same ideas are reinvented as technology moves forward allowing for new iterations of the same idea. I would be concerned about the role of sharing of and/or pooling of large quantities of capital for public use. Sharing of knowledge, ideas, through open and clear communication is the paramount goal here.
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      Jan 21 2012: Thanks, I definitely understand that this is not a new idea, in fact I am fascinated and encouraged by how many people have come up with it (TED Conversations is yet another flavor). If you have heard of this talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_johnson_where_good_ideas_come_from.html it (I think) explains something behind what is happening right now in terms of crowd sourcing the solving of problems (of all kinds) I used to be kind of depressed when I would have a good (and what I thought was unique) idea and it turned out that others had already had it. The fact does remain though that it is a great idea that needs a great execution. It is that execution I am working on now and there is obviously far to go :)

      The main things I aim to do differently with WeSolver is execute better in every way and to support it entirely through donations (no Ads), keep it open to everyone (even anonymous users) and the most important part (the part I have not been able to accomplish yet) is to provide exactly what you are concerned with, a way for sharing and pooling not just capital in terms of money, but skills, time, energy and material resources! I absolutely agree that this is a critical concern, unfortunately at the moment I need some help, it is on it's way but not here yet. When it arrives, that is where WeSolver goes.
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    Jan 21 2012: I'm with you but worry about the battle damage that will follow. The Internet is being used heavily in the various "Arab Spring" movements. Large quantities of suffering don't seem to phase religious zealots who are acting out of a "higher purpose". A deeper understanding of that higher purpose mentality needs to be acquired.
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      Jan 21 2012: You should submit this as a problem to solicit solutions to it on WeSovler! If you don't I hope you don't mind if I do :)
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    Jan 20 2012: But don't forget that the democratizing effect of the Internet will not be welcomed in much of the world. It will break down ALL hierarchical structures, including religion.
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      Jan 20 2012: I am counting on the creative destruction of hierarchical structures and support it with all my heart and hope even if the internet is unwelcome the solutions to problems get through regardless.
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    Jan 18 2012: Great idea. I'm stimulated by the potential of being able to work out the greater problems of the world; like political corruption, monopolization, pollutant energy addiction. We might even be able to discuss strategies of how other nations involved in civil wars could gain leverage for their cause of liberation. Yesss!
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      Jan 19 2012: Hi Chris, Yes! and Yes! and Yes! please join/start the discussions to do exactly that!
  • Jan 17 2012: This is actually a great idea, but what kind of problems are you thinking of, and how do you decide which solutions are the best among many ideas?
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      Jan 17 2012: The big ones, war, poverty, famine etc. At first just a dialogue but would like to have user ratings to promote the most liked to the "top" I have the beginning of it already @ wesover.org if you want to take a look, it is based on mediawiki so each problem/solution has a discussion page associated with it. Will enable ratings soon once I figure out how to customize the extension.