At first sight LinkFacts is a social mind mapping platform, but only at first sight! Conceptually there are major differences to other mind mapping platforms, the most notable one being that under the hood there is semantic graph technology. That this is big news and why will be covered in another blog post. But today I want to explain why LinkFacts has been conceived in the first place and how it is rooted on humanist values and a moral foundation.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence currently dominate the scene when discussions turn around information and knowledge. But what most people overlook, is that these technologies are focused on extracting knowledge from existing data. If like myself, you fundamentally are of the humanist kind, you might believe that on one hand liberty exists and on the other hand that there is something precious and unique about each person: his or her individuality. Both ideas combined convey something very essential : if you are free and unique, what you are going to do next, to say next, to write next is not only unique, but also impossible to predict and also potentially very valuable. No one, no company, independently on their respective technological advancement, can predict, anticipate or substitute the new information the free individual is about to convey. This is the very essence about liberty.
The LinkFacts project has the goal to seed, protect and grow these jewels of the free people’s minds and provide a tool suite to make them develop and flourish.
The optimistic stance on the progress of humanity relies on the expectations of progress of each person individually. Furthermore, as social beings, we are capable to communicate, to exchange, to inspire, to cooperate, to learn from each other. Arguments and competition of ideas make us move on. That way we might be able to turn data into information, information into knowledge and ultimately knowledge into collective wisdom. It is LinkFacts’ ambition to contribute and to assist this construction process and to be a platform of fruitful exchange and cooperation.
In current times, our world does not look very promising. Relativistic and nihilistic traits of Post-Modernism are combined with the omnipresent narcistic culture. We are fear driven and in our consumerism we develop a sterile thirst for security and safety, losing the focus on a fulfilling and sensemaking existence. The erosion of reason and truth as values, the extreme concentration of power among very few, the progress of poisonous identity ideologies and the cultivation of partisan cultures add to these substantial threats to peace and prosperity. But the untrue, the lies and falsehoods can only prosper in isolation, and the best strategy of those seeking honesty and truth is transparency and exposure. Once we start connecting the dots, lies and falsehoods are being existentially threatened. LinkFacts aims at providing a semantic technology where contradictions may openly exist, but where the spotlight of a collective user community makes them apparent and subject to debate.
This might sound very ambitious and idealistic, I admit, but there is also a more down to earth aspect: Thinking might be the most relevant human activity and in this domain we have the least efficient tools to improve our thinking. Yes, we have pen and paper, we have text documents, videos, databases – but they do an incredibly lousy job when it comes to connect pieces of information. LinkFacts is foremost a productivity tool for the knowledge worker, for the researcher, for the journalist and many others. LinkFacts allow to organize and to connect information and knowledge in extensible graphs, nodes, links and attributes that allow a much wider expression that any notes, texts, videos or databases. And where appropriate it allows to directly connect to the online or document sources of the information.
Get started, play around with a free LinkFacts account to know more. Help us to create useful content and give us feedback in any form so that we can continue to improve the platform.
Written by Hubert Schumacher, the founder.