For topic:

Reward is a feature that we hope will inspire experts to answer important questions and make their answers available to everyone. It allows a sponsor to signal that they think a question is particularly important by offering a financial prize for established arguments that contribute to the establishment or refutation of the topic. A prize winner can keep the money, apply it to reward other questions, or donate it to charity.

Reward Name :
Reward Description:
Closing Date:

Payout Rules:
The total reward is divided among all statements that were created during the period after the reward is offered and are established at the payout date.

The total reward is divided among all save events occurring during the period after the reward is offered that add one or more statements that change the status of the root and are established at the payout date.

Half of the reward is divided among all statements that were created during the period after the reward is offered and are established at the payout date and the other half is divided among all save events occurring during the period after the reward is offered that add one or more statements that change the status of the root and are established at the payout date.


Reward is a feature that we hope will inspire experts to answer important questions and make their answers available to everyone. It allows a sponsor to signal that they think a question is particularly important by offering a financial prize for established arguments that contribute to the establishment or refutation of the topic. A prize winner can keep the money, apply it to reward other questions, or donate it to charity.

Rewrd Name :
Reward Description:
Offered By:
Closing Date:

Payout Rules:



Reward is a feature that we hope will inspire experts to answer important questions and make their answers available to everyone. It allows a sponsor to signal that they think a question is particularly important by offering a financial prize for established arguments that contribute to the establishment or refutation of the topic. A prize winner can keep the money, apply it to reward other questions, or donate it to charity.

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How it Works

The world hasn't had a good method for deciding truth and establishing it in a transparently correct way. TruthSift solves this problem.

TruthSift members engage in a process analogous to publishing in the scientific literature, but easier. If you think you can prove something, you can post a topic of your proof. Or if you have a statement you'd like to know if others can prove or refute, you can post that. To get started you can just "Add Topic", which will give you an edit window for a first statement in a new topic. Or if you see a post that is wrong, and can give a not-yet-posted reason why, you can post a challenge.

Topics are composed of statements, represented by rectangles, with connectors represented by colored arrows: proofs are black arrows, assumptions blue, challenges red, remarks purple, and tests pink. Statements have a title and a body. The title is shown on the topic, the body may be viewed as a web page by selecting View from the menu displayed after selecting the statement.

Topics may be browsed in different layouts. Clicking on the Gold, Red, or Blue Box on the home page will take you to a view centered, respectively on either the Topic, most recent Con, or most recent Pro statement. You can walk around to see the rest of the topic by double click on other statements or selecting them and choosing center. A focused view is recommended for large topics. Alternatively, Clicking on the Topic Title on the home page will display the whole graph. The layout may be changed using the layout menu in the upper right corner of any topic.

TruthSift rates a statement "Tentatively Established" (usually abbreviated simply as "Established") only when there is a proof of it with no step in active dispute. A demonstration that begins from observations that are unchallenged and proceeds through unchallenged proofs with no step of the demonstration in dispute. Tentatively Established statements have thick black borders.

Example 1: A proposed Demonstration. The topic statement ele0 in gold has thick borders and is established, as are all other statements. ele7 is a citation statement. The zoom and translate control is shown on the right.

If anybody disputes any component of your proof, and can state a reason why its in error, they can add a challenge to the component, and if they want a supporting network of proofs and assumptions for their point of view. (EXAMPLE 2)

Example 2: Previous topic after Challenges. The statement menu is shown open on ele41 in position to add a challenge. The Topic Statement is refuted. Blue statements are "Pro" and red ones are "Con".

Now you or someone else may respond to this challenge. For example, you may edit the challenged component of your proof to fix the problem that was pointed out, or explain more clearly why the challenge is mistaken if it is. And you may counter-challenge the challenge if you believe the challenge was mistaken, or is mistaken after your edits, and you can state why. (EXAMPLE 3)

Example 3: After responses to challenges. The whitespace menu open in position to select a layout. The Topic Statement is established.

TruthSift keeps track of which statements are established by demonstrations that have no actively disputed assumption or proof. Every established statement is easily recognized by its thick border and thick outgoing connectors. To have a thick border, a statement needs all of its incoming blue assumption connectors to be established (thick), no incoming thick challenge (every challenge has been rebutted by an established counter-challenge), and if it has incoming proofs, at least one must be thick (it has at least one established proof).

TruthSift members lay out all the proofs and refutations members believe are pertinent to an issue until they run out of rational objections. Like the scientific literature, the process naturally divides up a question and its field into important underlying issues and harnesses group intelligence in an optimized way. At the end what can and what cannot be rationally established, and why, is laid bare, together with a demonstration that no member can raise objection to any point in the proof. Every statement is either proved by an established demonstration, or refuted by an established refutation.

Where users still unavoidably disagree, TruthSift topics include stipulations. Stipulations make explicit any underlying assumptions that some still challenge, the arguments against them, and the differing consequences if they are true or misguided. Statements whose status depends on any of the stipulations in the topic are shown with rounded corners. A statement that would be established if all of the stipulations are true, and refuted if some of them fail, will have rounded corners and thick borders. A statement that will be refuted if all the Stipulations are true but established if some of them fail will have rounded corners and thin borders.

Example 4: A Stipulation has been added that ele11, shown in green, is true. Ele11, ele33, and the topic statement ele0 all have conditional status and rounded corners. The topic node has thin borders, because it is refuted conditional on the stipulation.

TruthSift Probability Mode supports construction of flexible and powerful statistical and causal models. TruthSift supports probability values to be entered into the statements, and then estimates the probability each different statement is true, marginalized over all the probabilities entered in all the statements of a topic. Test statements affect only probabilities, but not the establishment status of statements. Test statements include an estimate of the likelihood some observation would have occurred given that its Target statement is True, and an estimate of the likelihood the observation would have occurred given the Target statement is False. All statement types also have a Proposed Probability, which indicates the expected probability the statement has its claimed effect. For example, statement A may be a cause (proof) of statement B 0.3 of the time. Probability Mode does a Monte Carlo calculation reflecting all of the causes and tests in the topic, and reports for each statement its probability of being true, printed at the bottom of the q-tip displayed when the mouse pointer hovers over the statement.


TruthSift asks of its members that you believe every public post you make is correct, not duplicative of a parallel post in the topic, and clearly stated.

By correct we mean, does rationally prove or refute its conclusion. Ad hominem attacks are not permitted. The goal should be to create a clear exposition of what can be proved, and how the principal challenges fail. Think of yourself as publishing a paper in the scientific literature.

Don't get hung up on whether a statement should be added as a proof or an assumption of another until the matter is challenged. Frequently you want to assemble arguments for a proposition stating something like "the preponderance of the evidence indicates X", and these arguments are not individually necessary for X, nor are they individually proofs of X. It is safe to simply add them as proofs of the above proposition.They are not necessary assumptions, and if not enough of them are established, the target may be challenged on that basis.The goal is a diagram that transparently explains a proof and what is wrong with all the objections people have found plausible, with noone finding more rational objections. Edits that move in that direction are useful and desired.

TruthSift also encourages editing of previously posted statements to improve clarity of the topic. The default setting on statements is collaborate, which allows others to edit your statements, but if you don't like their edits you can restore your previous statement from your my participation page (found on the my account dropdown) or edit the setting at the bottom of the statement's edit window.

Description of Features

In TruthSift, statements are represented on topics by boxes displaying a title, and containing a body that may be viewed as a web page. Connectors are represented by colored arrows joining the boxes: proofs are black arrows, assumptions blue, challenges red, remarks purple, and tests pink.

The topic statement of a topic has a gold box, and the other statements are boxes shaded blue if they support the topic (PRO), red if they oppose it (CON), or grey if they don’t definitively do one and not the other.

Selecting (clicking on) any statement or any connector will display a menu. These menus control most features.

Topics are represented on the home page by a title and 3 boxes. The gold box is the topic statement, and it is established if its border is thick, else it is refuted. The blue box represents the most recent PRO Statement, and the red box the most recent CON statement. Clicking on a box will take you to a focused view of that statement and its immediate neighbors in the topic. The title links to a view of the full topic. From the full topic, Center statement (available from the menu or by double-click on the statement) focuses on any selected statement and its incomers and outgoers.

The ADD TOPIC button at the top of every page launches an edit window where the title and body of a new topic statement may be added, initiating a new topic. Additional statements may be added to a topic by selecting an existing statement, which displays a menu, selecting “Manage Statement” and then selecting “Add In Statement” or “Add Out Statement” and then selecting the type of connector. Selecting a connector type will pop an edit window where the title and body of an additional statement may be added.

It is often advisable to drag the edit window larger before proceeding. Scroll down the edit window, if you want to designate the statement as a citation. It will then be drawn with a dashed border. This may be used to indicate statements linking to (and perhaps summarizing) some trusted source, like a publication in the peer-reviewed literature. (Citations are treated exactly like ordinary statements in terms of computing establishment status, however, considered established until refuted.) Also lower on the edit window is the Probability setting for use in Probability mode.

Choose save from the menu to save one’s new topic, or one’s edit of an existing topic.The default save of a new topic is to Draft mode, but there is a choice on the save menu to choose Public, or drafts may be published from your My Drafts Page on the My Account dropdown. Select manage topic below the three boxes and there is a selector that will allow you to change the status from draft to public or private. Once it is saved to Public, others will be able to view or edit it.

Every new statement that is added is initially established, because it has been asserted and nobody has challenged it. This means that if you raise a challenge to any statement anywhere on any topic, your challenge statement will be established, and the statement you challenge will be classified refuted until your challenge statement is responded to, and any other statements that are relying on that challenged statement in their demonstration, will also be considered refuted until your challenge is responded to. Your challenge of an underpinning deep in a topic may change the status of the topic statement, if it’s demonstration logically relies on the statement you challenge.

A statement will be established if and only if all of its incoming assumption connectors are thick (established), none of its incoming challenge connectors are thick, and, if it has incoming proof connectors, at least one of them is thick. Once proofs are added for a statement, we insist it have at least one established proof to be established. (If no proof has been added to a statement, we presume it self-evidently provides its own proof but it is perfectly valid to challenge it demanding further proof if you argue it doesn’t.) (If you want to post a statement that you have no proof for, for example as an assumption, you should also post a challenge to it saying "Needs proof". Each time the topic is edited, the system rates all statements by starting at the statements with no incoming connectors, which are established by definition, and updating statements once all of their parent statements have been updated.

If you see a statement that is bordered in thick, you know there is a demonstration for it nobody has validly rebutted any statement of. On the other hand, if it has thin borders, then there is an established challenge of it, or of every proposed demonstration of it.

The key to creating useful content with TruthSift, required for all posts by the Guidelines, is that every statement you add to an existing topic should have a body you believe is rational and novel within the topic. For example, if you add a proof for a statement, your proof should in your view prove the statement is true, and it should not duplicate a statement already added to this topic, and likewise if you add a challenge for a statement, it should rationally show (and give a novel proof) that the statement is not true. If you believe an existing statement can be re-used for another purpose, you may add an additional connector to it by first selecting the target and then selecting the existing statement and then choosing Add extra connector to from the Manage Statement submenu and then selecting the connector type. If you can supply a reason why a statement does not imply a result given by an outgoing connector, you may challenge the connector after clicking on it. It is valid to challenge a proof connector if you can state a reason why it does not provide a proof or to challenge a challenge connector if you can state a reason why it is not a valid challenge.

As long as people only post serious proofs and challenges, statements and connectors respecting the guidelines, a topic should be created where people explain what is wrong or right with the proofs and challenges that are suggested, and which publishes transparently whether there is or is not demonstration for each statement to which nobody has raised a valid objection.

One suggested way of dealing with difficulty in providing absolute proof of statements, is to edit the statement into a form that can be proved, eg if "X" can’t be proved, you may be able to prove "All of the peer reviewed papers in the literature report X." Note this latter is readily challengeable with a counterexample.

As noted in the Quick Start Guide, TruthSift can be useful intuitively to construct a plan or a proof that some decision is best (which decision may not be clear when you start) or a proof that some statement is true, without worrying too much in the early stages about what is a proof and what an assumption. Keep in mind though the conclusion, or any intermediate statements, are always subject to challenge if the proofs offered for it have been too sloppy.

If there are underlying differences that simply can’t be resolved, statements may be stipulated using the manage statement submenu. A topic with stipulations added may then be created (leaving the topic without the stipulations intact). In this new topic, statements then will be rated relative to the stipulations. In this case we provide the next best thing to consensus establishment: consensus establishment relative to key stipulations, and provide (as an aid to the user to form an opinion), the proofs of and challenges to the stipulation. Statements whose establishment status depends on the stipulations are drawn with rounded corners. Stipulated statements on a topic are shown in green.

Please collaborate with others in the search for and transparent publication of truth and proof, avoiding ad hominem attacks and other such banned frivolity. Users repeatedly posting irrational or ad hominem or other banned content will be banned. Unpopular content or content others feel is stupid is ok so long as you are genuinely trying to be rational; If someone feels its stupid they should explain why.

It is encouraged to edit a challenged statement, if you can improve it so the challenge is no longer correct, and then to add a challenge to the challenge pointing out that it has been responded to. It is also encouraged where appropriate to split the original challenged statement into a small multiplicity of statements, for example breaking down part of the original intent into a separate assumption or proof, if the challenge seems to be addressed to only part of the original statement, thus breaking out the parts where there is no discord, and specifying more precisely and narrowly points for which differences remain.

The edit history of each statement is available on its View page, which may be displayed choosing View from the menu.

Comments may be added at the bottom of the view page.

The edit window for a statement may be launched by choosing edit statement from the manage statement submenu. Scroll down the edit window to upload images, set the statement as a citation, modify the collaboration status, or modify the Proposed Probability. It is often convenient to expand the edit window. The default setting for statements is collaboration mode, others will be able to edit your statements if they believe they can improve the proof or the clarity. If they do and you don’t like the change, you may restore your version using the history available from your My Participation page (and may change the setting).

The "History" at the bottom of the 3 box representation of each topic (on the home page or on the pages listing one's public, private, and draft topics, or on one's "My Participation" page, all available on the My Account dropdown) lists all the statements in the topic in order of most recently edited. Each entry has a link that centers on the statement, and a "details" link that links to the edit history of the statement. The creator of a statement may restore old versions. The History page may be sorted on any column heading by clicking on the column heading.


The Layout submenu shows a selection of Layouts, 3 showing only a single statement and a small neighborhood of the topic, and two showing the whole topic. Center statement available from the menu allows one to step around the topic in tight focus. You may also center a statment by double click on the statement. If a statement has connectors not shown in a focused view, they are indicated with an inward pointing triangle or an outward pointing triangle. The full topic layout shows all statements arranged with all connectors pointing right to left. In the Community Layout, statements may be dragged and positioned. The Community Layout shows the last saved positioning. As new statements are added, they will require hand positioning to be well placed on the Community Layout.

If you position the mouse pointer anywhere on the document, you may zoom in or out of the pointer using the mouse roller. There is also a slider bar interface on the right hand side for this purpose. If you position the mouse pointer on whitespace and hold the mouse button down for a few seconds, it will display a small dark circle and you may then drag the topic, allowing to look around a large topic.

Preferences Panel

The Preferences panel toggles open and closed in the upper left of any topic by clicking on the gear. The default is initially open, and with the Legends open. Mouse-over any term will show a definition.

Click on Settings to open the settings panel.

Probability Mode may be toggled on or off.

Also Citations Mode may be toggled on or off. In citations mode a statement will not be considered established unless it is a citation or has an established proof (and would also be established in normal mode.)

If either of those changes are made, the topic may be "Saved-As" by clicking on a statement and selecting save-as. The Probability Mode status and Citations Mode status will be saved with the new diagram copy.

Un-Saved Mode allows one to edit locally without the changes being updated to the public topic. You will have to turn it back off again if you want to save.

Statement tip toggles on and off the q-tip that is by default displayed when you mouse over statements.

Probability Mode

Probability Mode is turned on for some topics, as discussed in the section above. If it is on, the depth of shade of the statements indicates the probability attributed to the statement. Statements are still pink or blue depending on whether the are CON or PRO, but the darkness of the shade indicates their probability. Also the specific numerical probability assigned to the statement may be viewed by hovering the pointer over the statement, and is shown at the bottom of the q-tip.

TruthSift Probability mode supports the easy collaborative construction of powerful probabilistic models related to Bayesian Networks . Each statement has a parameter called proposed probability(PP) which is 1 by default, but may be set between 0 and 1. Scroll down in the edit window for the statement to see the setting. The proposed probability sets the likelihood with which the statement claims something happens. If the statement is established, then this something will happen with likelihood PP. For example, the statement may be a proof, in which case it will establish the proof with likelihood PP. Or it may be a challenge, in which case it will establish the refutation with likelihood PP. A proof can be used, for example to model a statement that will sometimes cause another statement to become true, or a challenge to sometimes prevent its being true.

Test statements claim that some observation provides evidence some other target statement is more likely True or more likely False. Test statements have two additional parameters: Likelihood if Target True, and Likelihood if Target False. The likelihood if Target True estimates the likelihood of some observation given that the target of the Test connector is True. The Likelihood if Target False estimates the likelihood of the observations if the target statement is false. These parameters are set by members, (who may add proof statements to justify them). TruthSift then assigns the Test a Likelihood Estimate (LE) = Likelihood if True/(Likelihood if True + Likelihood if False)

For example, an epidemiological test may report results that would have likelihood 95% of happening if the test is unbiased and the target statement is true, 5% of happening if the test is unbiased and the target statement is false. If the test is hopelessly confounded, the test results tell us nothing about the statement. The Probability of the Test Statement itself estimates the likelihood the Test statement is an accurate test, and when it is an accurate test, it estimates the target statement has a Likelihood Estimate of .95=.95/(.95+.5)

TruthSift then displays a Monte Carlo estimate of the probability each statement in the whole topic is true, marginalized over all the above parameters. Instances are generated uniformly from the distribution implied by the model, and weighted according to the Tests. The probability of a statement is given as the weighted likelihood it is true.

Instances are generated starting from the leaves and assigning a 1 or a 0 to each statement in turn once its parents have all been assigned. If a statement has all its assumptions from 1 statements, no 1 challenges, and if it has proofs, at least one must be from a 1 statement, then it is assigned a 1 with probability its proposed probability. Otherwise a statement is assigned a 0. After an instance has assigned a 0 or a 1 at each statement in the topic, the instance is assigned a weight by the product over test connectors, of 1/2 if the Test statement has a 0, of the Likelihood Estimate(LE) if the Test statement has a 1 and the Target a 1, and of (1-LE) if the Test statement has a 1 and the Target a 0. This weights the instances exactly according to the probabilities asserted by the true Tests, and treats the false tests as uninformed about their target. Thus the Monte Carlo samples directly from the stated distribution.

This model allows members to create directed acyclic graphs of possible causes (that act independently with a proposed probability to cause or imply a statement to be True), challenges, that act independently (with a proposed probability) to cause a statement to be False, overruling any proofs of it, necessary factors, that will make a statement false if they are not true, and tests, that assert some hypotheses are favored over others by some observation. TruthSift samples exactly the distribution specified by the model, and reports the likelihood each statement is true. These topics could be used for collaborative, verified, risk models; to support proofs with additional confidence tests; to reason about hidden causes; or many other novel applications.

Private Topics and Invitations

All members may post and edit public topics. Premium membership (automatically included now, later free for the first 3 months, $2/month thereafter) allows a user to host and participate in private topics for associates or colleagues. We hope you will find this useful for your work, planning, and studying. You may invite individuals or groups using the my sharing link below the topic listing on your my private topics, or my public topics page. Friends may be invited either by supplying an email address or a TruthSift username. They will receive an email invitation to participate with a link. (If they are not yet members, they will have to sign up to edit.) You may specify either View Only or Edit access (for Private topics). If you want to repeatedly invite a group, you may create groups on your My Groups page. Individuals who haven’t been invited to a private topic will be unable to see it.

Profile and Settings

You may sign up for different levels of notification on your Profile and Settings page. It is useful to be notified when somebody edits one of your statements, or challenges it. You may also upload an image that will be displayed on your user page.

User Pages

Click on any author’s name to see a page listing the Public Topics he or she has contributed to. At the top will be his or her image, if one has been uploaded. Click Follow to receive an email whenever he or she modifies a topic or adds a new topic. Click Message to send him or her a private message. It will be sent to his or her mail with a link to respond, identifying you only by user-name.

Please Comment or Question

We are in beta and users with questions or comments or suggestions for features or improvements you’d like to see are kindly requested to email them Here( or post or participate in a public topic arguing for them.

More features coming soon.