This project is inspired by the rash of public apologies that have appeared in the media in the past few months. Everyone from Michael Richards to JetBlue to Silvio Berlusconi has recently apologized publicly for their perceived public missteps. Indeed, the number of public apologies issued is only exceeded by the number of public apologies demanded.
There are two generally accepted definitions for the word apology: 1. an expression of contrition and remorse for something done wrong. and 2. a formal, written justification or defense of an act or idea, from the Greek apologia. When the public demands a public apology, what we are looking for is usually the first definition, but what we receive is often the second. This situation sometimes leads to a renewed call for a public apology, but just as often, the apologia-type apology is accepted as being better than no apology at all.
The website PubicApologist.org will seek to facilitate the process of apologizing to the public by providing Public Apology Posting, a searchable Database of Public Apologies, a Public Apology News Ticker and an interactive Public Apology Submission Form for the easy creation and dissemination of public apologies.
The Public Apology Submission Form will feature an interactive remorse section with blanks to fill in indicating the offender, offense and the offended party. An apology will then be generated to include a randomly selected logical fallacy, e.g., the "straw man" fallacy, which will serve as the apologia section of the apology. The generated apology will be sent to the user-provided email address for acceptance/verification. Once acceptance/verification has been received by PubicApologist.org, the apology will be posted on the site and a press release will be issued.
Celebrities, politicians, churches, corporations and others can take advantage of this last feature to advertise their contrition. Offended parties can use the same form to suggest to offending celebrities, politicians, churches, corporations and others just what shape their public apology should take.
For this project we may require the help of an as-yet-unnamed web programmer to configure the apology generation/submission/posting engine. The website should be ready to go within six months.