I would like to introduce everyone to rbutr , a project which we first encountered at The Amazing Meeting 2012 (TAM2012) and have been following the progress of ever since. Here is a brief description of the project from the founder:
rbutr is a browser extensions which tells you when the page you are viewing has been disputed elsewhere on the net. This achieves more than just exposing you to opposing perspectives, it incorporates critical analysis and critical thinking in to your everyday experience of the web.
Imagine a future where the internet continues to allow people to indiscriminately seek out the information they want, but provides that self-selected-information within a framework which reminds them to consume the information critically. Imagine the consequence of always having the option to access a directly opposing counter-argument. Imagine a world where critical analysis was just the natural next step to take after being exposed to new information... Perhaps we can create a world where logical fallacies, cognitive biases, and statistical deceptions will all become part of how we screen the information we read?
Changing people's minds can be hard. But creating an internet which teaches people to be cautious about making their minds up in the first place...? This could be the way to break the cycle. This could help save children from being brain washed in to false beliefs, or being manipulated in to biased thinking patterns.
Help us transform the internet from a passive, bias-confirming, information delivery system in to an educational tool which teaches critical thinking through demonstration.
So with rbutr, the internet will give people a much more comprehensive view of complex issues, and will teach them how to critically consume the information they encounter. This could be a big breakthrough in resolving the problem of how misinformation seems to spread faster on the internet than the correcting information. If we attach the correcting information directly to the misinformation, then it can't escape it...
The mission of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science is to support scientific education, critical thinking and evidence-based understanding of the natural world in the quest to overcome religious fundamentalism, superstition, intolerance and suffering. We think that rbutr could help achieve these aims, and therefore we support their efforts. We hope that you do too, and will start participating in their project with us.
For more information on rbutr, see here: Getting to Know rbutr