What is The Hitchhiker's Guide to Reality Beta? We built the Hitchhiker’s Guide to Reality to explore immersive online conversation via gamification, which is just the use of game mechanics like points and teams to try and focus and motivate engagement. Online conversation can be more than the confrontational, chaotic cacophony that is common today. Conversation can be a beautiful co-creation of a shared reality, a mutually beneficial informational and emotional communication that leaves everyone involved in a better place than where they started.
Conversation becomes combative when success is graded in terms of consensus, fighting to convince everyone that a given idea is the best. This divisive style of discourse is literally tearing our societies apart. We want to suggest a different style of conversation: conversation as conceptual triangulation.
Remember that awesome movie Reign of Fire where Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey fought dragons? The part where the people on bikes planted a bunch of little broadcasters that bounced a signal off each other to create a picture of the space in the middle of them so they could track the dragons? Complex ideas are wild and powerful things, and like dragons they can be tricky to grasp. Each of us acts like one of those little broadcasters in conversation, gaining more clarity on the concept in our midst by virtue of the difference in our perspectives.
We are convinced that better online conversation is possible, but we don't necessarily know what "better conversation" even looks like. We need you to show us, so we are opening our beta to invite anyone to help us all get better at hunting conceptual dragons.
Goals of the Beta:
PRIMARY GOAL: Promote development of collaborative online conversational skills, that is, approaching conversation as:
something built together, not contested among each other
something to be enjoyed, not merely survived
calibrating one’s confidence, not concretizing one’s certainty
having a goal of conceptual triangulation, not consensus
celebrating distinct perspectives, not pursuing hierarchal dominance
leaving everyone more than they had been, not advancing some at the expense of any of the others
discovering where you have been wrong in order to no longer be wrong that way, not convincing everyone (including yourself) that you have been right
Promote a diverse technosocial culture and environment of inclusion and validation
Get as much feedback as possible as to how to make a better space for immersive conversation
Build the foundation of an Archive with rich and diverse conversations while funding the development of the Archive via Merch on our online store (available now!), pre-sold subscriptions (coming soon!), and investors (hopefully also coming!)