What is the difference between Quora and Yahoo forums or internet Newsgroups if there is no way to insulate questions and answers that meet scientific standards of argument from segmental and moral opinions and surveys?
For example. A few commenters have referred to physics as a good topic to follow. However physics has a high barrier to entry and a low sympathetic access and low normative content. There is nothing special about quora – its the nature of the topic. All discussions if physics are of this nature.
My specialty is political theory. Political theory is extremely difficult to insulate from cognitive bias and logical error. This is because not only is it difficult to test, but political ideology unlike the the discipline of political economy, has evolved, largely by design, to insulate ideological statements from rational and empirical criticism, by adopting the rhetorical techniques of the monotheistic religions.
And so separating ideological statements from institutional statements is nearly impossible. Ideology works precisely because it is non rational and it amplifies our biases and preferences. Ideology is populist, and political economy is organizational theory.
Statements in political theory can correspond with the facts or fail to, but those facts are open to subjective interpretation.
Means and ends produce empirical truths not subjective preferences, but means and ends are chosen by subjective preference.
Humans say and desire many things, but humans demonstrate, and we can empirically measure, their actual behavior – and there is very little relationship between the two.
Morals and norms are habits not truths, that largely reflect structures of production and reproduction – and some are necessary for certain outcomes and some are arbitrary, and some produce ‘bad’ outcomes over time. But humans almost universally defend habits as true goods.
The relationship between logic math science and philosophy has been based on only one or two specious mathematical arguments using irrational sets. The profound implication of Einstein has been mysticized by Cantor, and given permission to philosophers to undermine the institution of reason.
Rights for example must be contractual. Some may be necessary, and some preferable, and some luxuries. But they cannot be intrinsic.
Socialism and communism arent possible because economic calculation isnt possible nor can people possess incentives to act without the information in prices made possible by money, property and contract. Its not a choice.
These are just some of the scientific criteria that bounds the discipline. Yet almost all questions are some variation of “chocolate ice cream tastes good”. They are not rational.
So, likewise, any CURRENT survey of Quora users will of necessity produce nothing more than the confirmation bias of users making self judgements. But empirically speaking, unless there is some way to filter ratio-scientific questions and comments from sentimental-moral-normative questions and comments, then it is an unstoppable race to the bottom for Quora. Just like amy other commodity, value is the result of scarcity and quora is making the mistake of a mass market consumer companies : destroying the brand by overextending its market, thus degrading booth supply and demand.
That my argument is a description of a socioeconomic law, is probably lost on the audience.
But unless quora creates a barrier to entry, or a veil between each category of argument from the sentimental to the ratio empirical, then surveys will continue to present a positive opinion but quality of the product will in fact decline until a precipitous decline.
This is deterministic.
It cant change.