TruthMapping.com lists several ways it makes debate more productive in their about page that I summarize here:
- Manage context to keep discussion on topic
- Encourages more content than noise by showing the latest version of an iterated discussion.
- Reduces digressions by breaking the discussion into it’s component parts.
- Removes the time limitations which keeps discussions focused
- Exposes Assumptions because you have to state your assumptions to defend your points
These are fantastic goals that are implemented in this website.
The TruthMapping.com Process
The process on TruthMapping.com can be seen in the video above and I summarize here. A creator creates a topic. The creator can add other single statements or concepts that support the statement. If those statements have supports then they are called conclusions. If not, they are called premises. This is shown in a tree diagram with the topic at the bottom with the conclusions and premises forming a triangle up ad to the right. The creator then publishes the map to the site. Others can comment on individual premises or conclusions and indicate if they agree or not.
Similarities to the Statement Graph (what became Truth Scale)
- Main topic with supporting statements in a tree structure
- Statement without supports are considered assumptions (premises)
Differences from the Statement Graph
- Premises are similar to assumptions but have a slightly different connotation
- A premise implies that it is intentionally not able to be broken down further. An assumption implies that more information can be added inviting others to participate.
- The tree is represented in reverse to the statement graph
- The statement graph starts with the main statement(topic) so the the person reading it can choose if they want to expand it further. If they agree with a statement there is no reason to expand it. If they disagree then they can open it up and find out what they did not know or add what is missing. You can then follow the path to only read what you are interested in and skip over things you already agree with.
- Interactions is through a comment system
- A comment systems appears to work well in TruthMapping.com. For the statement graph we considered and may still add a comment system but the original intent is for others to directly change and add statements. We do not yet have a way for the feedback to the original creator which is a gap in the minimal initial deployment. In the future we believe we will have a way for others send suggested changes to the creator. Comments would only be used if the reader identified a problem but had no suggested solution.
- No Cons
- TruthMapping.com suggests only using supporting statements. The Statement Graph hopes to contain all facts (all angles) on a topic so it has both pros and cons.
- Rating System
- TruthMapping.com has built in ratings and an easy display of the ratings. This in on the potential list for Statement Graph at a later version but I would prefer people to add a statement than to rate one. Rating is a great feature on TruthMapping.com
- No Calculations
- The Statement graph takes all the weighted pros and cons and calculates how truthful a statement is based on it’s children. It is not perfect and may not be of value but it is a features TruthMapping.com does not have.
- TruthMapping.com allows for hyperlinks in the graph to external documents. We have not yet implemented hyperlinks in the Statement Graph site.
TruthMapping.com is a great website for mapping out arguments and reasons. I suggest that you try it out to see how it can benefit your arguments.
TruthMapping.com was initially created in 2006 which was a long time ago in internet years. I was able to chat with the founder and they are working on some enhancements but can’t say yet when they will be available. He agreed to let me know when they are ready to speak about them. I ‘m looking forward to it.