FAQs

What is the goal of the 15mc initiative?

The 15mc goal is to help the Internet become a more valuable global library for humanity – where interesting, reliable resources increase their popularity at the expense of silly, vacuous, gratuitously shocking or fake-information sites. We have a plan for that

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What does “15mc” mean?

15mc stands for Fifteen Million Credits, and is a reference to an episode of the series Black Mirror, called Fifteen Million Merits.

In such episode, a future version of the Internet has degraded to a point where it has no educational or informational substance, and is dominated by silly, vacuous or gratuitously shocking contents.
The system of Merits in the referenced episode is dystopian, because there is nothing valuable in such Merits. Instead, Credits, are units traditionally used in Academia to weight the learning of valuable things. (It’s a bit of an elaborate joke, but if you watch the episode you will see why Fifteen Million Credits is better than Fifteen Million Merits).

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I hear that the Academic system is broken everywhere. So why you rely on Universities to help building a better Internet?

The Academic system is like the global food supply: you will always find plenty of people with really, really good reasons to criticize it. But if you want to better feed the world, there is no more reasonable place to start.

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What’s the point? Don’t people just go where they want, on the Internet?

People certainly go where they want on the Internet – and it is important that it always stays like that!
But when you go to a mall, you are more likely to discover interesting books if they are on the shelves. Think of 15mc as an attempt to place interesting sites prominently on the shelves of the Internet.

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My site is great, by it’s not affiliated or linked with any Academic Institutions. Why shouldn’t my site be worth to be super-popular?

Good luck with your site! Your site can be extremely popular no matter what. But if our system works, when your site is interesting it can become even more popular by being linked from an Academic Institution, thus reaching the status of DAI (Directly linked from an Academic Institution).

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Aren’t the likes of Google already rewarding sites with plenty of good incoming links?

Google and others have historically placed algorithmic importance on good links to webpages, such as the links from Academic resources. But the Internet has changed from its earlier days, and there are notable reasons for society to adapt

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What’s an ODMT?

An ODMT (Online Driver of Massive Traffic) is a site like Facebook or Google.
Any minimal change in the internal algorithms of an ODMT, or in the variables parsed by their algorithms, has global consequences on the shape of the Internet – and by extension on the shape itself of the civilization.

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What are WAI and DAI?

WAI and DAI are categories of sites that society at large has an interest to promote.
WAI includes Websites affiliated with Academic Institutions.
DAI includes sites that are directly linked from Academic Institutions. That’s based on the assumption that Academic Institutions tend to link valuable sources. While this is not always true, the practice is sufficiently widespread to warrant on balance a positive impact.

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How do you know that Academic Institutions are not evil?

We don’t.
In fact, we are pretty sure there’s plenty of Academic Institutions that might be evil one way or another. They may spread false information; hold self-serving views; or perhaps encourage people to embrace their particular religion, credo or ideology. Academics are humans.
However, society has a long established tradition of dealing with that, and Academia on balance tends to self-correct its mistakes. If the Academic system was irremediably broken, we would have no standing bridges and no successful heart-surgeries.
On the other hand, society has no tradition of dealing with the spread of poor information online, and it seems logical to help with a new problem by piggybacking on social structures that overall, more or less, work.

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Who do I contact?

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Is 15mc a national initiative? Where are you based?

By its nature, the issue we are addressing is as global as the Internet itself, and is not particularly tied to any country or place other than planet Earth. The initiative currently operates purely online.

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How can I join the 15mc initiative?

There is no ceremonial to join the initiative –  anyone who feels we might be onto something, is welcome to contribute

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Who runs the 15mc initiative?

15mc is a grassroots, non-profit, informal initiative. It’s open, and anyone can engage

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Are you affiliated with a political party or other organization?

15mc has no political party or other affiliation, and is an independent, grassroots initiative. Anyone interested is welcome to meet on a mailing list which is public

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