Balanced is an attempt to build software that helps people make sense of an increasingly polarized and interconnected world, while avoiding the pitfalls of moral relativism or ideological dogma.
When you install the Balanced Chrome extension, you’ll be exposed to different opinions on various topics as you consume your daily news. If you’re reading an article from Salon about ISIS, Balanced will recommend you read one from Breitbart. If you’re reading something written about a proposed carbon tax from CNN, Balanced will recommend you read an article written by Fox or the Wall Street Journal.
Exposure to different opinions is crucial and a much better solution towards cultural and political harmony than banning “fake news” like the media establishment is talking about today. People in the West need to develop the skills necessary to discern truth on multiple dimensions while understanding one side of a debate usually doesn’t hold a monopoly on the truth (these skills were once called wisdom).
As more and more people are spending their time in tailored experiences designed to get them to react in ways that don’t take into account anything other than some Key Performance Indicators a Product Manager spec’ed out, it’s critical we regain this ancient skill set else we risk tearing society apart. Exposing people to different perspectives and break the cycle of confirmation bias created by social media and socioeconomic stratification is a good first step.
Balanced is still in it’s very early stages, so expect to encounter some bugs as you use it. Currently, Balanced only knows about articles from a small set of news sources and won’t be able to provide recommendations for breaking news. More information about all of that can be found below.