Helping people make fully informed decisions
About Us
Structuring Information for Deeper Insight
"We believe that people make good decisions when they have all the information.  Our goal is to help people easily understand and sift through all the information that constantly bombards our lives.  By helping people understand information, we are confident that people will make better decisions and not fall prey to misinformation, partial information or too much information.  This will help society create solutions more quickly for the problems we face."
Sifting through information to restore discourse
Our goal is to sift through information and provide metrics that allow users to get an unbiased window into issues that are important to them.
Drowning in a sea of Irrelevance
"What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance." - Amusing Ourselves To Death
Explanation of the site
Map It – Clicking "Map It" on any item will change the screen to show only items that are linked to that information.
Articles/Speech/Bill
 
Government Power – How many positions increase or decrease government power?
Centralization of Power – How many positions centralize or decentralize power either to government or business?
Fallacy – Number of fallacies in the article?
Position Support – What percentage of the supporting positions supporting the article are valid?
 
Positions
 
Government Power – Is government power increasing, decreasing or staying the same?
Centralization of Power – Is power being centralized or decentralized either to government or business?
Support – What type of support is there for the position? Theory is unsupported by evidence, fallacy contains an error in logic, evidence is linked to some type of evidence.
Evidence Support – What percentage of the evidence related to the position is valid and agrees with the position?
 
Evidence/News/Information
 
Evidence Type – What type of evidence is it?
Evidence Type
Definition
Strengths
Weaknesses
Authoritarianism
Forming and accepting ideas on the basis of communication with others, usually an authority on a subject
Easiest way to get answers
You have to be an authority to know who to trust
Rationalism
Certifying an idea because it agrees with or is deductable from a premise we already believe
If you know you have good premises, you can have good conclusions
It is often difficult to know if you have good premises. Your original premises (Axioms) must be obtained from non-rational sources or beliefs.
Empiricism
The personal use of the physical sense to verify ideas
Excellent way to know things that can be observed.
Limited to the ideas already in the individual's mind and limited to the present since you can't observe the past or future.
Statistical Empiricism
Certifying an idea because it coorelates with other data
Great way to determine correlation, or what happens with what.
Correlation can be coincidence and doesn't prove cause.
Pragmatism
Accepting an idea because it works for you
Good way to figure out success when you have no other way to get at the answer
What works in the short term may not work in the long term or have negative consequences. Can make a correlation error.
 
Evidence Valid – Is the evidence valid or is it flawed / biased?
 
List of Fallacies
Fallacy
Fallacy
Latin or subtypes
Description
Accent: Emphasis that changes the meaning of the sentence.
Accent
Emphasis, Destroying the exception
Emphasis that changes the meaning of the sentence.
Accident: A general rule used to explain a specific case not covered by it.
Accident
Dicto Simpliciter, Sweeping Generalization
A general rule used to explain a specific case not covered by it.
Affirming the Consequent: If A then B. B is true, so A is true.
Amphiboly
Amphiboly
A sentence has two different meanings.
Appeal to Authority: Referencing an 'expert'.
Appeal to Authority
Ad Verecundiam
Referencing an 'expert'.
Appeal to Common Belief: If others believe it to be true, it must be true.
Appeal to Common Belief
Bandwagon, Value of Community, Ad Populum, Appeal to Belief, Appeal to Majority
If others believe it to be true, it must be true.
Appeal to Common Practice: If others do it, it must be ok to do it too.
Appeal to Common Practice
Ad Numeram
If others do it, it must be ok to do it too.
Appeal to Fear: Gaining compliance through threat.
Appeal to Fear
Ad Baculum, Ad Metum, Appeal to Force, Consequences, In Terrorem, Scare Tactics
Gaining compliance through threat.
Appeal to Emotion: If it feels good, it must be true.
Appeal to Emotion
 
If it feels good, it must be true.
Appeal to Novelty: Newer is better.
Appeal to Novelty
Ad Novitam
Newer is better.
Appeal to Pity: Going for the sympathy vote.
Appeal to Pity
Ad Misericordiam, Appeal to Sympathy
Going for the sympathy vote.
Appeal to Ridicule: Mocking the other person's claim.
Appeal to Ridicule
Ad Absurdum, Reductio ad Absurdum
Going for the sympathy vote.
Appeal to Tradition: It has always been done this way, so this way is right.
Appeal to Tradition
Ad Antiquitatem
It has always been done this way, so this way is right.
Argument from Ignorance: Accepting circumstantial evidence.
Argument from Ignorance
Ad Ignorantium, Burden of proof, From Ignorance
Accepting circumstantial evidence.
Assertion: What I say is true.
Assertion
Alleged Certainty
What I say is true.
Attack the Person: Distracting them from their argument.
Attack the Person
Ad Hominem, Abusive Ad Hominem, Circumstantial Ad Hominem
Distracting them from their argument.
Begging the Question: Circular reasoning to prove assumed premise.
Begging the Question
Chicken and Egg argument, Circular Definition, Circular Reasoning, Circulus in Demonstrando, Petitio Principii, Reasoning in a Circle
Circular reasoning to prove assumed premise.
Complex Question: two questions, one answer allowed.
Complex Question
Double Bind, False Question, Loaded Question
two questions, one answer allowed.
Composition: Generalizing from a few to the whole set.
Composition
Faulty Induction, Generalization
Generalizing from a few to the whole set.
Conspiracy Theory: Reframe refutation as further proof.
Conspiracy Theory
Canceling Hypotheses
Reframe refutation as further proof.
Denying the Antecedent: If A then B. A is false, so B is false.
Denying the Antecedent
 
If A then B. A is false, so B is false.
Division: Assuming the parts have the characteristics of the whole.
Division
False Division, Faulty Deduction, False Dichotomy
Assuming the parts have the characteristics of the whole.
Equivocation: A single word with more than one meaning.
Equivocation
 
A single word with more than one meaning.
Excluded Middle: Only extreme views are valid.
Excluded Middle
Black and White Thinking, Polarization
Only extreme views are valid.
False Analogy: X has property Y. Z is like X. So Z has property Y.
False Analogy
False Metaphor, Weak Analogy
X has property Y. Z is like X. So Z has property Y.
False Cause: A causes B (but no proof).
False Cause
Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc, Questionable Cause
A causes B (but no proof).
False Compromise: Extreme views are wrong. The middle way is right.
False Compromise
Splitting the Difference
Extreme views are wrong. The middle way is right.
False Effect: A is assumed to cause B. B is proven wrong, so A is wrong.
False Effect
Non Causa Pro Causa
A is assumed to cause B. B is proven wrong, so A is wrong.
False Dilemma: Choice is A or B. Rejecting A is selecting B.
False Dilemma
Bifurcation, Either/Or
Choice is A or B. Rejecting A is selecting B.
Four Terms: All A is B. All C is D. So all A is D.
Four Terms
 
All A is B. All C is D. So all A is D.
Gambler's Fallacy: Chance can be predicted.
Gambler's Fallacy
 
Chance can be predicted.
Hasty Generalization: Generalizing from too-small a sample.
Hasty Generalization
Converse Accident, Hasty Induction, Inductive Generalization, Insufficient Sample, Insufficient Statistics, Leaping to Conclusion, Lonely Fact, Statistical Generalization
Generalizing from too-small a sample.
Illicit Major: All X is Y. No P (which is a subset of Y) is X. Therefore no P is Y.
Illicit Major
 
All X is Y. No P (which is a subset of Y) is X. Therefore no P is Y.
Illicit Minor: All X are Y. All X are P. Therefore all P are Y.
Illicit Minor
 
All X are Y. All X are P. Therefore all P are Y.
In a Certain Respect and Simply: Extending assumed boundaries too far.
In a Certain Respect and Simply
Secundum quid et simpliciter
Extending assumed boundaries too far.
Insignificance: Making a minor cause seem major.
Insignificance
 
Making a minor cause seem major.
Logical Inconsistency
Logical Inconsistency
Inconsistency
Statements contradict each other
Many Questions: overloading them with lots of questions.
Many Questions
Plurium Interrogationum
overloading them with lots of questions.
Missing the Point: Drawing the wrong conclusion.
Missing the Point
Ignorance of Refutation, Ignoratio Elenchi, Irrelevant Conclusion
Drawing the wrong conclusion.
Personal Inconsistency: Past words or deeds do not match claim.
Personal Inconsistency
Ad Hominem Tu Quoque, You too
Past words or deeds do not match claim.
Poisoning the Well: Discrediting the person before they speak.
Poisoning the Well
Discredit
Discrediting the person before they speak.
Post Hoc: X follows Y. Therefore X is caused by Y.
Post Hoc
ergo propter hoc
X follows Y. Therefore X is caused by Y.
Red Herring: Distracting with an irrelevancy.
Red Herring
 
Distracting with an irrelevancy.
Repetition: Repeating something makes it more true.
Repetition
Ad Nauseum, Nagging
Repeating something makes it more true.
Slippery Slope: Loosely connected statements with ridiculous conclusion.
Slippery Slope
Absurd Extrapolation
Loosely connected statements with ridiculous conclusion.
Social Conformance: Agree with me or be socially isolated.
Social Conformance
 
Agree with me or be socially isolated.
Strawman: Attack a weak argument used by the other person.
Strawman
 
Attack a weak argument used by the other person.
Style over Substance: An attractive presentation makes it more right.
Style over Substance
 
An attractive presentation makes it more right.
Undistributed Middle: All A is B. All C is B. Therefore all C is A.
Undistributed Middle
 
All A is B. All C is B. Therefore all C is A.
Unrepresentative Sample: What is true about any sample is also true about the population.
Unrepresentative Sample
Biased Sample, Fallacy of Exclusion
What is true about any sample is also true about the population.
Wishful Thinking: A is true because I want it to be true.
Wishful Thinking
Appeal to Consequences of a Belief
A is true because I want it to be true.