Potential new community tool - research.soylent.me?


Moving this to its own thread, because it could actually be a really cool idea:
Continued discussion from Incomplete list of urgent things we know nearly nothing about:

What do people think about this idea? What does the Soylent team think about this idea? There have been quite a few new threads (as evidenced in the linked topic) on “this needs more research”), and it’s been discussed to death that yes, there are a whole lot of things we either don’t know, or haven’t compiled the research together about nutrition.

The concept I’m starting to form is similar to a wiki, but less geared toward existing, complete information, and more geared toward ongoing compilation of research (although it probably is similar enough in construction that a wiki site format would work, as pages would ideally approach those of a wiki). Users could submit concerns, ideas, or other calls for more knowledge to the site, along with a set of rankings (as mentioned in my original post above), with an overall computed “importance” value for the issue. That issue’s page could then be updated by the community as various people have the time to look for existing research. As more information becomes available, the existing rankings could, potentially, be mutable via a voting system.

I probably don’t, unfortunately, have the time to put this wholly together on my own. But I am in to work on it if anyone else is. And I’m really interested to see if @rob or @JulioMiles think this could at some point in the future follow in the footsteps of diy.soylent.me, and become an official crowdsourcing research tool for both the community and the Soylent team.


I volunteer the @nickp.


It’s a nice idea, but I suspect it wouldn’t get very much participation - research is very hard to do properly, after all, and I don’t know how many of us are really serious enough about soylent. By all means try it, though - I’d love to be proved wrong!


This is a valid point, and I’m hoping to make use of the same mechanics a standard wiki relies upon – if you open the opportunity to enough people, small efforts will add up. Really, the only difference between this and an “actual” wiki is that users are encouraged to start pages which are marked “incomplete/insufficient”. It won’t be perfect, by any means, but I think it could be at least a little more effective/organized than putting it here on discourse.


This is a really good idea. I put it forward before, but for some reason never thought of creating something official and attached to the Soylent site.

I’d love to help out with it. Given the number of pre-made wiki packages, I don’t think there’s any real need for extensive programming. Just slap the main page up and let it fly along with scripts that create ratings by number of references/citations and views - a good indicator of importance + evidence.

I would definitely be willing to help. nickp is almost certainly a better web developer than me but I do have non web-related programming experience if it’s needed.


The only thing with these issues is that you do need a few central people to organize and compile the articles. This is always the hard part. You’re going to need a journal subscription, and at least a willingness to go through review articles and provide citations to the relevant ones.

Finally, is there a reason why you wouldn’t combine this with the Soylent wiki? http://diy.soylent.me/wiki/why-diy-soylent

Edit: Corrected ‘would’ to ‘wouldn’t’


I have a free journal subscription through my college and a subscription to AAS and NASA articles. Also most PubMed articles are free, and many times the abstract, while not revealing methodology, does reveal the conclusions of the study.

Did you mean “wouldn’t”?

The Soylent wiki is a wiki about Soylent, whereas this would be a ‘wiki’, if you would call it that, about topics related to Soylent and of importance to Soylenters. I think they’re different enough to validate separation.


In terms of scope, here is what I care about: I know that there are the typical ingredients in a Soylent recipe. I also know that there are certain recommendations about nutrient amounts and also certain recommendations about preparation methods. What I would be interested-in is a concise listing of review articles that clearly indicate that such-and-such nutrient is recommended in such-and-such grams.

Tables would be extremely helpful, here. A single table with every macro and micro listed in the DIY recipes, with a single (or multiple) recommendations, links to a handful of articles, and a concise summary (in the form of one or two paragraphs) of the findings of these articles. This would almost fit on say 2-4 pages.

The problem with making a separate Wiki is that it doesn’t seem to be any different in scope than the thousands of nutrition posts, threads, and summaries you can find online. My feeling that “a wiki about topics related to Soylent and of importance to Soylenters” is basically a nutrition wiki, which is much larger in scope.

I should finally mention that I don’t exactly plan to help, either, so my opinion is more from an eager audience than a participant :slight_smile:


My intent would be a focus on smaller subset of nutrition data, focused toward the topic of research specifically on aspects, possible improvements, etc of Soylent.

So in other words, an article about “What’s the nutritive content of spinach” wouldn’t be applicable, because that doesn’t directly apply to Soylent. An article about the oft-discussed phytic acid would be a valid addition, because knowledge on the topic potentially affects Soylent composition and/or use (both diy and official).


This is a great idea, count me in!