This page is an archive workspace for the Issuepedia:Mission page. The text here is either not currently applicable or is in need of updating or context.
This goal is currently on the shelf while I work out a better way of gatekeeping edit privileges. Spambots became a huge problem sometime after 2010, and I had to disable self-registration. Woozle (talk) 15:01, 18 February 2020 (UTC)
Being a wiki, Issuepedia allows anyone to edit or create any article; Issuepedia's goal is to guide this process towards a comprehensive encyclopedia of issues and opinions, in much the same way that Wikipedia (which uses the same wiki software) has become a valuable comprehensive reference work for factual information purely through volunteer efforts.
In traditional formats (such as face-to-face discussion or written editorializing), any argument has always faced a compromise between thoroughly informing and sticking to the point. There is also a similar conflict between the goals of discovering the truth and making a convincing argument.
By providing a location where points of argument (and agreement) on any given issue can be documented and referenced, Issuepedia hopes to eliminate much of the endless circular arguing and side-tracking which has always plagued such discussions. The relatively new (c.1990) technique of embedding hyperlinks within a discussion or argument makes it easier to provide complete source materials and thorough explanations without getting into a side-track and possibly losing the thread of the main thought, while wiki technology makes it possible for casual, non-technical users to participate in this process.
See Issuepedia Technology for further discussion of Issuepedia's technological work, or Dispute Resolution Technology for technology specific to unraveling disputes.
Documentation of Opinion
Although Issuepedia ultimately aims to back up all opinions with reasoning, the fact that someone holds an opinion may be sufficient grounds for including that opinion, especially if the opinion is widely held or is held by a group who makes efforts to have their opinions known. Documenting such opinions makes it possible to begin the process of determining who agrees with that opinion, what arguments exist to support or weaken it, and ultimately whether or not it should be taken seriously.
Issuepedia also has a policy of allowing reasonably sound opinion to stand without qualification, based on the idea that the truth will gradually emerge by a successive-approximation process called Reinforcement by Contradiction.
The Issuepedia Wacky Award is probably still a good idea, but in order to be worth the time-investment, we would need to do some publicity for each award (issue press releases, post on social networking sites, etc.).
I had planned to balance the negativity with some sort of positive award (tentatively named The Issuepedia Member of Civilization Award), but that's a much more difficult call. (Possible nominees as of mid-2008 were Keith Olbermann, Chris Dodd, Ron Paul, Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Lessig, Cory Doctorow.)