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Open Synthesis

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The purpose of the Open Synthesis project is to empower the public to synthesize vast amounts of information into actionable conclusions.

To this end, the platform and its governance aims to be:

  1. Inclusive
  2. Transparent
  3. Meritocratic

Our approach is to take best practices from the intelligence and business communities and adapt them to work with internet communities.

Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH)

Initially, the platform will support the Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH) framework. ACH was developed by Richards J. Heuer, Jr. for use at the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The ACH framework is a good candidate for public discourse because:

  • ACH's hypothesis generation and evidence cataloging benefit from a diversity of perspectives
  • ACH's process for combining the viewpoints of participants is straightforward and robust
  • ACH can account for unreliable evidence, e.g., due to deception

The initial implementation will be similar to However, we will adapt the implementation to address the challenges of public discourse.

Platform Design Principles

The platform will host the analysis of politically sensitive topics. Therefore, its design must strike a balance between freedom of speech, safety, and productivity. More specific concerns include:

  • Open-Source Licensing and Governance
  • Privacy
  • Accessibility
  • Internationalization and Localization
  • Moderation vs. Censorship

Deploying to Heroku

Detailed instructions for deploying your own instance can be found on the Custom Deployments wiki page.



Copyright (C) 2016-2020 Open Synthesis Contributors. See file at the top-level directory of this distribution.

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see