This is an open letter to Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye and Adam Savage, because I would really love to have their support, and hopefully, with a bit of a community push, the emails which I have sent them won’t end up lost in their endless stream of emails from adoring fans.
I have emailed them all directly, but experience has taught me that most people ignore cold contact emails of this sort, no matter how brilliant what you are offering is. So if anyone reading this could tweet @TheScienceGuy @neiltyson and @donttrythis links to this article, or if you actually know how to get in contact with any of these great men, please ask them to have a serious look at rbutr.
Tweet: Hey @TheScienceGuy @neiltyson @donttrythis Have a look at @rbutrcom! http://ow.ly/1VoqOM #rbutr
Subject:The Destruction of False Beliefs…
Dear Neil, Bill and Adam,
I want to destroy misinformation on the Internet.
And I have a plan on how to do it.
I have been working for a little over a year now on a startup called rbutr which I believe can make a huge impact on reducing the amount of, and power of misinformation online. It is simple, user friendly, and it makes sense. All we really need at this stage it to follow through on our strategic growth plan.
I am contacting you because I am sure you are all aware of, and care about, the problems of misinformation on the internet. How easy it is for people to get stuck reading bad information (myths, mysticism, anti-science, conspiracy etc) and find themselves persuaded by the repetition of the same arguments without any rational counter-balance. They never hear from the real scientists or a scientific perspective.
rbutr allows users to connect pages to one another, on the basis that one article rebuts the other.
It is that simple.
Whenever someone lands on a rebutted page, they get an alert, and can easily click to read the rebutting article.
We don’t claim that one page or the other is right – who are we to do that? Our users will decide what they believe based on the contrary arguments they encounter. Since people are going to do that anyway, we might as well do our best to ensure they get the best information in doing it…
We also don’t stop people from submitting rebuttals from alternative perspectives and agendas – because we want all of the population engaged. If only scientists installed our app, we would be yet another source of ‘talking to the converted’.
No, rbutr is about engaging the entire population in a cross-bias-discussion. A genuine engagement of contrary opinions. A DISCUSSION like the world has never seen.
People will install because of their beliefs. And they will be exposed to a variety of arguments and facts which they had never heard before, and their false beliefs will slowly be vanquished.
And it will work.
We just need your support…
Support like what?
Ideally, you would spend a bit of time looking at http://rbutr.com or talk to me, and get a firm grasp of what my vision for rbutr is, and understanding the rationale behind it. And in doing so you would become a true fan and supporter, and therefore genuinely want to see us succeed. Not because we ask for help, but because you can see the value in us succeeding, and how possible it is.
Your support would then mostly consist of simple things, like blogging about rbutr. Or Tweeting about us occasionally. Or helping us get in touch with other well known people who would also want to help improve the nature of online information.
This is my hope.
Thank you for reading,
I hope to hear from each of you soon.
It looks like the email address Michael gave me for NDGT was old, and it has bounced, so I haven’t even got my direct email through to him! So I really need help reaching him now!