Epistemic Status

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initial foundations of the ideas

Tendering a digital garden requires a two way commitment between the reader and the author. In order improve the level of honesty towards my readers, I came across the idea of explicitly mentioning the epistemic status of some the notes I write. I found this quote, even though not referring to a digital garden, very appropriate:

I have received a lot of positive feedback for noting my epistemic status and effort at the top of my posts. This is hilarious, because I originally started using these as a hack in order to publish half-baked ideas that I'd otherwise not feel comfortable sharing.

I think that adding a disclaimer to how much though I have put on what I write, and how much of an expert I am in that specific area, can make a great deal of a difference regarding how much my arguments may change over time. Of course, it adds an extra thing to consider, and therefore it is somewhat contradictory to lower the barrier to writing , one of the main goals of this website.

  • I will report how strongly I hold my beliefs, always reserving the right to be wrong and change my mind.
  • I will report how much experience I have in the topic, by disclosing how much work I have done so far on it and linking to others who will know more.
  • I will link to further resources so that readers can discover influencing and contrasting opinions from the original source.
  • I do think that some topics, when they can be of some sensible nature, deserve an explicit rating of confidence. I do not think that it is required to have a fixed set of levels, that would be cumbersome, but at least a description of where I came from to reach the conclusions of what I wrote.

    I do not think that tech notes (not opinions) deserve an epistemic status. I am still not sure about notes on papers or books.


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    Aquiles Carattino
    Aquiles Carattino
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