Socratic Search; Questioning our questions


'I know one thing: that I know nothing'
- The Socratic paradox

Socratic Search is a speculative search engine based based upon the principles of Socractic Questioning, and built on Google Custom Search technology. It's aim is to guide users into a deeper, more disciplined ways of questioning the worlds information that Google organises and returns to us every day. Rather than seeking a single 'right answer' Socratic Search, like socratic questioning, allows us to explore our questions for multiple purposes including;

• Uncovering assumptions
• Considering implications
• Investigating complex ideas
• Getting to the truth of things
• Opening up issues and problems
• Distinguishing what we know from what we don't know




Why Google Custom Search?

NB: else have no commercial or contractual affiliation with Google, Google Custom Search or Alphabet Inc. else currently have no commercial or contractual affiliation with any entity other than it's single founder (Ted Hunt).

This site is a working alpha prototype of Socratic Search / else for demonstration purposes only. As a prototype Information Retrieval (IR) model this demo seeks to subverts Google Custom Search to illustrate the differentiation of biases seen between a wide spectrum of search queries and information sources.

The further development of else as a search platform to beta stage is intended to decouple future prototypes from Google Custom Search in order to perform search queries independently and autonomously. The reality of infrastructural capacity (operational / technical / financial ) needed to index the web in todays digital landscape in effect dictates that independent and alternative search engines have no ability enter the market without subverting an existing open platform (and perhaps provide further reasoning why domestic search engines are currently in a state of stasis). Such realities are especially restrictive when alternatives are being explored by single individuals attempting to provide points of nano-resistance to increasingly monolithic narratives of progress.

The limitations of using an existing search platform do not yet allow Socratic Search to offer a fully intuitive and intelligent service. Only a single search button upon the landing page works at present. Search results can be filtered using the same titled tabs, however.




How it works

The below illustration provides a top line overview of how this alpha prototype works.

Questioning our questions




In order to expand our horizons beyond simple information gathering we can ask certain questions that may better lead us to reflect upon, and consider the assumptions underlying our own, and others, ideas.

• Why do we ask that?
• What assumptions are we basing this upon?
• What generalisations are we making?
• How can we verify or disprove that assumption?
• What could we assume instead of this?
• What are the consequences of that assumption?
• What would be an alternative?
• What is a counter argument for this?