I’m an answerer on Askers

There’s a new app for your phone or mobile device called “Askers“, which you can download for free (and get the details at this site).  What happens is that there are “experts” in some areas whom you can ask a question, presumably about their area.  If they choose to answer it (and answers, which are recorded, are limited to one minute), you pay something like five bucks, and the answerer gets a cut. But if other people listen to the answer to your question, for which they pay 33 cents, you get some money back. The more people who listen, the more you get back.

I guess for now I’m the resident evolutionary biologist, and have answered exactly one question (which I got today),  but the people on board look good, including Sean Carroll and Lawrence Krauss in physics, Peter Boghossian in philosophy, and a diverse group of authors, experts in foreign policy, and so on.

For a short while listening to some of the answers is free (e.g. Krauss on “What came before the Big Bang”?, Sean Carrol on “Does loop quantum gravity hold promise?” and Peter Boghossian on “Should ‘street epistomologists’ focus their effort on educators?”).  Eventually it will nearly all be pay for play.

It sounds like a good idea, which is why I agreed to participate, because all of a sudden anybody can ask you anything they want. Now, we get to choose which questions to answer, but it’s hard to imagine a juicy question on evolution I wouldn’t field. I’d suggest downloading the “Askers” app and then fire away.

Here’s a video introduction to the site:

 

22 Comments

  1. Posted January 26, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    This is well cool, Jerry!

  2. jaxkayaker
    Posted January 26, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Very cool. Good idea.

  3. Ann German
    Posted January 26, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Might be the only reason I get a smartphone!

  4. Graham Head
    Posted January 26, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Stand by for ‘why are there still monkeys? questions.

    • yiamcross
      Posted January 26, 2017 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      If they’re going to pay for the privilege…

  5. Posted January 26, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like a great idea… until Deepak Chopra shows up as a verified answerer and starts getting popular listens because: famous. I’m a little concerned here because I can’t find anywhere that says you have to be a real expert in the field with a degree or otherwise sufficient experience. It’s great that so many actual experts have signed up to participate, but when word gets out and the loonies start showing up, who is going to clean up the mud? Especially if the app is making money off of wrong answers. If the same question could be provided multiple answers, that would be one thing, but if someone asks David Sloan Wilson about kin selection and he calls it bollocks, who will be there to argue the point? Or worse, anyone from AiG!

    • Posted January 26, 2017 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      Well, you know, some of us will be watching who participates. I would have NO trouble resigning, and I suspect others wouldn’t either, if someone like Chopra came on board.

    • BJ
      Posted January 27, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      This was the first thing that popped into my mind as well when I read the description of the app. If the app becomes popular enough, it will become another battleground for the culture, religious, and anti-intellectual wars.

  6. Paul S
    Posted January 26, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    $50 according to the video intro, I’ll have to think of a really good question.

    • Posted January 26, 2017 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know anyone who pays more than $5 to ask someone a question, though I haven’t looked at everyone’s price. We set our own. Mine is five bucks, as is Krauss’s, and we get a bit less than that.

      • Paul S
        Posted January 26, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        In that case, a bargain. I’ll still need to think of a really good question.

  7. yiamcross
    Posted January 26, 2017 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Congrstulations. Added bonus is it should cut out all the rubbish, I mean how many trolls are going to pay to play?

  8. Posted January 26, 2017 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Interesting. Is this for when google just won’t do?

  9. Dale Franzwa
    Posted January 27, 2017 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    I bookmarked the site. I downloaded I Tunes. But I don’t know where to find the free questions and how to listen. I want to listen to Krauss on what came before the big bang. What do I do? I would appreciate any info anyone can give. Thanks.

    • Posted January 27, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      You have to have it as an app on the phone. It won’t work otherwise. Believe me, I tried doing it on the computer, too, and it didn’t go. Just get it free on your iPhone or other smartphone as an app, and it’s self explanatory there (also see video above).

      • Dale Franzwa
        Posted January 27, 2017 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

        Oh my. I don’t have an iphone or a smart phone. All my phone does is talk to me. It doesn’t even text. In the information age, I’m being left behind. Thank you for replying to me. Always enjoy your posts.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted January 31, 2017 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

          Oh my. I don’t have an iphone or a smart phone. All my phone does is talk to me. It doesn’t even text.

          Are you sure of that? I thought that the analogue-only cellphone services were turned off some years ago, while all the digital services have at least text message services.
          But that doesn’t mean the app will be available for your phone. That’s down to whether the developers have thought it worthwhile to write a version for your phone’s OS. I only see iPhone and Android options – they obviously (and correctly) consider Win4Phones to be dead meat. Blackberry dead too.

  10. araujo
    Posted January 27, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Is the principle of natural selection a tautology? And is natural selection a force? A process? The answers are not simple.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 31, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      The answers are not simple.

      And from PCC(E) :

      answers, which are recorded, are limited to one minute

      And there’s the problem, IMO. It may be an idea worth trying, but one minute for an answer? That’s going to hugely restrict the sort of questions that can be answered.
      Going to my field – a basic concept such as stratigraphical correlation (fundamental to dating work) is going to be very difficult to answer in one minute.

  11. Posted January 27, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Cool. A reinvented ask.com or whatever it was.

  12. Siggy in CR
    Posted March 15, 2017 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    I’m among the ludites that doesn’t have a smart phone yet. Has our host gotten any interesting questions yet?


Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *
*
*

%d bloggers like this: