There are a number of human failings that contribute to inefficiencies in public discourse, well-being and progress. This page is dedicated to some of my ideas for software products that might solve for some of these limitations.
I believe that they would increase opportunities for shared understanding and therefore reduce fear and conflict in the world (a personal ambition of mine). I publish them here, in public, in the hopes that one or two might resonate with someone and inspire something.
- Human Health Index (Solving for KPIs)
Is the world getting better or worse? It's tough to tell given media sensationalism and a lack of specific, objective tracking over time. HHI would involve measuring soft and hard metrics for determining the overall wellbeing of the people on the planet using a concrete score. The calculation might be done on a yearly basis to determine trend lines over time.
Update: This seems to be a solved problem
- Long-term Self Interest (Solving for Context)
Human memory seems to be pretty short - especially in the age of 24-hour news cycles and 140 character tweets. Re-establishing context over days, weeks, months and even years or decades, then, would help society better understand the cause and long term effect of individual/localized actions and broad government policies. The product would involve contextualizing any piece of content against related weekly, monthly, yearly and decade long memes to put a headline in better context and help draw a correlation between cause and effect and general context. Think Techmeme with Google Maps zooming capabilities.
- Human Story Project (Solving for Perspective)
It's often hard to understand other people's point of view. What did the moon landing or 9/11 look like to all the different people of the earth, in that very moment. What are the common themes and stark differences seen from person to person, country to country. The product would involve a bookmarking tool that allows users to attach content to a specific point in space and time (E.g. September 11, 2001, NYC) and then allow other users to examine the moment from multiple perspectives. Think of Bullet Time in the Matrix.
- Bias Balance (Solving for Bias)
Unbiased journalism has now been revealed as an unrealistic ideal. Social media audiences understand that bias exists, they just need to know the particular Bias of the content creator so they can put the content/perspective in context. In Silicon Valley tech blogs focus on Investment Bias so you will often see disclosures that relate to portfolio companies in the body of a blog post. Bias, however, can come from more subtle interactions like standard friendships, cultural leanings and more. The product would involve analyzing linkedin/crunchbase/facebook/twitter data to determine potential sources of bias by the author of any given piece of content and finding ways to surface these indicators in popular content consumption experiences (E.g. A browser)