The FDF initially focuses on the following:
The above diagram represents a model of logical thought. This is distinct from all rhetoric and all thought; a full theory of rhetoric would include, for example, appeals to the character (or lack thereof) of the speaker.
One hypothesis under research is that a political conversation between roughly honest actors can be made to reach an endpoint wherein the parties disagree on, and understand that they disagree on, at least one of the following points mentioned above:
- Critical Estimation Parameters. These are parameters that strongly influence the outcomes of modeling/simulation, but which are themselves difficult to precisely estimate or validate. One example is the overall trustworthiness of people. In theory the model selection would also be influenced by similar considerations, but data science and statistics provide some means to assess the accuracy of a model itself. Furthermore, a particular model itself can be validated against prior and future data, so the question of the model being “right” or “wrong” can be tested over time. Hence, the research more or less presupposes, subject to refutation, that nebulous things like critical estimation parameters are what really underlie arguments about which models to use.
- Value Evaluations and Risk/Volatility Preferences. Individuals’ value assessments are complex and may be difficult to change in the timeframe of a discussion, so this is considered a terminal point for the purposes of this research.
The FDF is also looking at the following:
The above diagram represents part of the archetype of typically nasty problems in the intersection of estimation and value evaluation. A number of problems that involve human behavior are estimated based on some ideations that are believed to roughly correspond to critical estimation factors. Often a few factors dominate the accounting, so the sensitivity analysis of which choice is correct is almost completely based on individuals’ assessment of the disputed items.
The FDF seeks to understand:
- In the above situation, do people usually assent to reducing the communication and debate about these issues to the debate about the decisive estimates related to the critical decision factors? There are values for each disputed area that would cause the minor decision factors to come into play. In real-life problems, this theoretical issue might not be a problem most of the time. If that were not a problem, this would enable us to reduce the large tough problem into something that can be easily briefed, or even social mediaed.
- In these situations, can enough agreement be reached about the factors underlying the disputed areas to enable this factor reduction?
- With 15-30 minutes of engagement/study, can people judge the situation well enough to recognize that the above situation exists, or do they continue to rely on the number of minor factors or other non-rational calculations?