WeGetIt

WeGetIt is an experimental communication platform that strives for shared understanding above all else.

Rather than providing a means for completely unrestricted conversations, which are prone to devolving into flame wars and pointless hate, WeGetIt structures conversations around understanding one another's meanings.

How It Works

Below is a list of "threads". Each is a structured conversation, with a name describing it, and a brief detailed overview of the topic under discussion in that thread. You can create a new thread by clicking the text + New Thread.

Within each thread, there are "perspectives", which present a fellow user's way of understanding a word or term of their choosing. Each perspective consists of the word or term, together with the user's personal interpretation of what it means, in their own words. You can add your own perspectives on whatever word you want by clicking the text + New Perspective.

Within each perspective, there are "paraphrases", which are other users rewording of the original user's personal interpretation. These paraphrases are supposed to be mere restatements of the original meaning in the perspective. A good way to write a paraphrase would begin with something like "I understand you as saying ...". You can add your own paraphrase on a perspective by clicking the text + New Paraphrase.

Each paraphrase can be rated by the original author of the perspective that's being paraphrased. The judgments are either "Not Quite", which indicates that the paraphrase isn't exactly what the original author meant, or "We Get It!", which means that the original author things that the paraphrase is a good paraphrase of their meaning. These judgments will show up next to the paraphrases once they are given by the original author.

All parts of this are anonymous and unlinked. A browser cookie is used to allow you to be identified to the server as the author of particular threads, perspectives, and paraphrases, but no login or username is required, and if you clear your browser cookies, the server will no longer know who you are. These conversations are meant to be anonymous, and we don't want people to fight with one another offline over the particular meanings or paraphrases. Rather, we want people to understand each other, first and foremost.

Origins

WeGetIt is a program originally envisioned in Karl Schroeder's short story Degrees of Freedom, in the Hieroglyph anthology. It's intended to form an integral part of a future political system that is more just and fair. It fits in well with the general theme of Hieroglyph as a collection of science fiction stories that inspire people to work on and build a better tomorrow.

We build WeGetIt precisely because we yearn to build a better tomorrow, and were inspired by Schroeder's story. We don't know if WeGetIt can, or will, have the same importance in the real world as it did in his story, but we believe that it's important to explore and experiment with these things. If no one builds the better tomorrow, then we can't expect it to arrive.

Source Code

Source code can be found on Github: github.com/queeriouslabs/wegetit.

Copyright Info

We want people to build and expand on this, so we offer WeGetIt to the world as free software, licensed under AGPLv3.

Threads











+ New Thread

Let's Try WeGetIt!

An initial thread to try out WeGetIt. This thread will center around hackerspaces and hacker culture!

+ New Perspective

Term: hack

Interpretation: a hack is the clever circumvention of imposed limits. the limits are not nec. imposed by authorities — "you're not allowed to do this" — its also your thoughts about things — "i cant do that because its impossible". the hacker responds, "well, i think ill do that!"

+ New Paraphrase

Paraphrases

  1. A hack is a circumvention of the definition of what's considered possible or permissible.

    Judgment: They get it! :)

Term: WeGetIt

Interpretation: The current website we're using.

+ New Paraphrase

Paraphrases

  1. the website located at wegetit.queeriouslabs.net as of 2020-08-18

    No Judgments Yet (not yours)

  2. A notional social media system invented by Karl Schroeder in his short story "Degrees of Freedom." WeGetit tries to do the opposite of typical social media systems, which encourage misunderstanding and disagreement. In the story, WeGetit is used to create communities of people who, while they may disagree about ideas, nonetheless agree on the meanings of the terms they're using when they argue. WeGetit is designed to foster dialogue rather than mutual incomprehension.

    No Judgments Yet (not yours)

Term: anarchism

Interpretation: a political tendency that is centered around questioning power and authority first and foremost, historically including the power of the state, imperialism, capitalism, religion, racism, sexism, queerphobia

+ New Paraphrase

Paraphrases

  1. The absence of law, or more generally, the protections afforded the individual by the State.

    Judgment: They don't get it. :(

  2. A philosophy of resistance, to varying degrees of intensity, to external restraint on thought and action within an individual's personal sphere of influence.

    Judgment: They get it! :)

  3. A way of political thinking opposed to subordination and control, especially in formal structures such as church, government, patriarchy, corporatism, etc

    Judgment: They get it! :)

  4. In The Confessions of a Revolutionary, Proudhon asserted that "Anarchy is Order Without Power"— not *chaos*, as so many people associate with the term, but harmony that emerges without coercion because people choose to be decent to each other.

    Judgment: They don't get it. :(

Term: hackerspace

Interpretation: a (usually, but not necessarily) physical space focused on giving people access and tools to make things that are useful or joyful for them.

+ New Paraphrase

Paraphrases

  1. a workshop or community that provides resources for hacking and making

    No Judgments Yet (not yours)

Term: thread

Interpretation: Threads are intertwined sets of related messages, usually presented in a sequential fashion to allow multi-person conversations. Wegetit appears not to conform to this definition, because there seems to be no way to add to or extend a thread. Therefore, a Wegegit thread is not conversational.

+ New Paraphrase

Paraphrases

  1. A thread is a part of a conversation which can be grouped into a topic, but it remains a conversation itself, which is by nature a dialogue, rather than a collection of monologs. WeGetIt appears to force a dialogue into a collection of monologs, removing the "shared common experience" of the dialectic.

    No Judgments Yet (not yours)

Term: thread

Interpretation: a collection of related ideas or conversational moves, so named because of the linear presentation, but often taking highly non-linear forms

+ New Paraphrase

Paraphrases

No paraphrases yet.

Social Media as Disagreement Factories

Current social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) encourage conversation but not comprehension. Because people of different backgrounds or with different political views often assign entirely different meanings to common words. When people who may have fundamentally similar values converse online they can easily misunderstand one another because the terms the other is using mean the opposite to them. In this way, an open forum for communication causes mutual suspicion, hostility, and contempt.

+ New Perspective