Online Creative Research Project by HeThens
Hello everyone. I presume we all have different reasons for being a part of this online community, but I also feel that we all share the desire to attain new knowledge. That is why I think we are capable to creating new knowledge simply by the synergy we can harvest through our collaboration. Research projects are the domain of academics, but who says we can’t conduct a secular project not tied to any institution, that is funded by our collective creativity, efficacy, and motivations? This is what I am proposing to anyone who is interested: to undertake a research project that is entirely original and powered by the enthusiasm for new knowledge, facilitated via the world wide web.
To undertake something like this, we’ll need affirmation of who wants to be involved, and the facilities we have at our disposal individually (unique skills such as programming) and collectively. Firstly, we have this website for communication and organization purposes. We need to chart out a domain of knowledge that we want to pursue i.e it could be anything from politics to neuroscience. Then, we need to establish a methodology; a technology that can facilitate our research and analysis. What I ultimately hope is that this project can demonstrate the power of collaboration via the world wide web, and add second-hand insights to the domain of knowledge we seek to pursue, perhaps even raising awareness of this website.
Part of the vagueness of my proposition is that I would like to have a lot more input from people here as to what this is going to be. So Phase 1 is called “Idea Building”. Once we have a good idea of what we want to do, we can start talking about the “how” and “when” questions. To create the “domain list”, we can simply use this website’s discussion section categories:
Creativity (music, art)
Body (exercise, diet, sleep)
Mind (psychology, neuroscience)
Social (relationships, sex)
Following Your Bliss (money, business)
Personal Mastery (goals, productivity, motivation)
Metaphysical (lucid dreaming, astral projection, out-of-body experience)
Knowledge Mastery (science, technology, philosophy)
Global Awareness (news, politics, global issues)
I suppose we can have a “verbal vote” on these domains, and once selected we can try and narrow down exactly what we want to examine. We don’t have to narrow it down, and can have an overlap of domains that we would like to investigate simultaneously. This is why this is in the Epiphanies & Ideas section. Ultimately, this is going to be a process that evolves according to what we deem feasible, but lets start big for now.
Initiating Phase 1…
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I think that @veritus had the right idea, we need to get access to a database, which allows for better communication than a forum like this. I really love the idea of collaboration, but someone would have to put it all together. Either way I’m seeing themes of internet and education. Perhaps something involving these themes?
Maybe we could all send in a piece of writing on these subjects or a subject that we collectively decide upon. and then @pseudojudo could do one of those tag chart things. And we could categorize and share our discoveries.
Wow lots of ideas floating around. Seems that the first hill is an agreement.
I am good at scanning for organization. I am a writer and general communicator.
Personally…. I would love to work on something that would be like a fb for voting in my community and all of the US/other countries.
A book called Citizenville came out this year. (http://www.amazon.com/Citizenville-Square-Digital-Reinvent-Government/dp/1594204721) In in the San Fran governor discusses how behind we are in gov technology. Helping that aspect of interaction out would be beneficial and exciting.
I want to vote in my community while sitting on my tush… I want to chat with my actual neighbors……… and I want access to all public info to be clear simple and fun to look through.
Just a random. <3
I like the idea of a collective story of the universe. I’ve been thinking about that for awhile, I have a chart in my room that I began with all the questions I’ve had. I think it would work well as a web.
As for skills, mine are more physical rather then… intangible. I’m a builder. So I can’t really transfer my skills over the internet :P
But if you need anything built, bring it on over and I’ll get er done!
@Nikki Helen, I think the methodological basis for this should be in producing an internet tool. I think each of us going out and finding everything we can on the internet and summarizing it into an “online encyclopedia” is not particularly original and creative as it stands. But if we can develop a technology, perhaps a multimedia tool (consisting of video, text, images, and audio etc.) that augments people’s exploration of these different domains of knowledge, or just simplifies it in a way that is easily accessible, that could have some value. For now I will call this idea the “Canvas of Discoveries” project, and we can continue discussing and narrowing down what we want this to be and how we can execute it.
@Clementine, Glad to have you on board, I am also working towards a Psychology degree :-)
@TheisThatway, This might go hand in hand with the “Internet Usage” idea we have. Specifically, how does accessibility to knowledge on the internet vary in accordance with the kind of information we seek to find? From what I understand of this, I think it could be an interesting pursuit.
I like the ideas we are suggesting and the enthusiasm so far. Let’s start fleshing out some of the ideas we already have, and as a way to figure out the resources we have available, let’s all mention at least 3 unique skills or qualifications we might have. Some of you have already done this, but others may not have yet.
- University student (so I have access to online journals and databases etc.)
- Health Coach trainee (providing counseling for patients with chronic illness or sedentary lifestyles)
- Writer (for a music recommendation website)
Perhaps listing these resources will help derive a collaborative method.
I’m completely on board but like many of the rest conclude, we need to find a research project to conclude on. Perhaps we can start by making a list of Ideas already offered. It would be neat if we could find a way to utilize the CouchSurfing program as an associated asset for this project!
I also think we should start with something simple. Like a social experiment that we could all do and then make a record of the results everyone got. Or pick a subject and everyone could do something on that subject according to their own area and skill (could be a photo, an essay, a song, an experiment, an installation, a performance…) and then put it all together in an online sort of gallery where you could browse through all the resulting works.
I’m a professional dancer and choreographer, so those are my strongest areas, but I’m good at many other things, and I’m willing to try pretty much anything.
Ok, so I’ve given this a few days to “marinate”. So far, we’ve got some broad ideas, but haven’t figured out how to facilitate the research. I think it may be wise to consider employing a more traditional research method – gathering info through surveys. We may not have the resources to create a massive online library of knowledge, or to create software that carries out some form of new age communication, but we can simply sit down and figure out what questions we want to answer (and there are lots of easy ways to create online surveys). If we were to build a questionnaire in order to gather information, we need to identify a “big” question that can be divided up into a lot of “little” questions. For example, the question “what makes people worry” is a broad enough question that can be divided into lots of dimensions that we want to examine. The “what” can turn into “who”, “where”, “when”, “why”, and “how”.
Now if we want to be “cutting-edge”, we can orient this research as a way to figure just how much people are willing to disclose about their personal life online. Methodologically, we could think a new way to administer surveys online that could improve info gathering on the world wide web. Analytically, we could explore the ways in which in the internet is used as a diversion from reality or an instrumental tool for personal problems.
Of course, the subject matter doesn’t have to concern any of what I just mentioned. I was merely using that as an example. What is more important is that we agree on a method that we can execute, and this one seems simple enough to be doable, but also allow us to push some boundaries.
I’m definately in… Creativity being my mode of expertise, namely music and writing. I’m game for whatever though and hereby offer my skills/knowledge to this project, whatever direction it takes root… Peace HEthens!
@frustratedpanda, @feren6, @laskey, @lechuza, @epgohlke, @alexmayle, @feren6, @strawnament, @peteroth, @eldude, @mumbojumbo63, @xyver, @birdflyinghigh, @clementine, @roguenet, @beyond, @mowgli1, @eyesopen, @nan0fire, @killopatra, @billhicks, @cgriffiths90, @cantbe123, @nilocortex,
Good work – what is it? How do we do it?
I know it’s hard work and it’s important for you to know that. Finding out how and why it’s hard, and how we can work better is part of our research.
If good research involved no pain, we’d see and do a lot more good research. It involves pain and, while we’re trying to minimize that pain, it’s good to know its sources. There’s uncertainty. Of course, you want eye-opening, if not world-changing results and one’s in constant ‘danger’, so to speak, of not getting the kinds of results you want. Furthermore, you can often get into the emotional roller-coaster that happens when believing you’ve got ‘something’ (some significant findings) that then become ‘illusion’ when further analyses are done. Somehow we’ve got to develop ‘equanimity’ about what we’re going to find – and not find – and see it fitting into a bigger picture of the scientific and cultural change of our society.
Then, there’s the cognitive exhaustion that occurs. It takes several forms. There’s the anticipated exhaustion and then there’s the reactive exhaustion of feeling fundamentally fatigued after hard intellectual labour. The fatigue doesn’t necessarily ‘lift’ once you stop working, or even when you finish a ‘body’ of work.
Neurophysiologically, it makes sense your brain gets exhausted. I can personally attest to deep states of cognitive exhaustion when the idea of thinking another thought, or word-processing another word seemed impossible.
The important point is trusting in your own resilience (capacities). I’d say I get cognitively exhausted each and every day (at some point) until I take time to ‘let go’, meditate and notice the resilience in mind and body as a completely natural process. What we call sometimes, meditation, is just a way of stopping yourself and allowing that natural resilience to happen. It’s just a way of turning off your mind by embracing simplicity. ‘Simple’ but, it does help a lot…when you need it.
Last, but not least, there’s what I term the sublime and ridiculous of research. It’s bad enough you have to think hard and come up with subtle, well formed thoughts and ideas, but then you must move from the ‘sublime’ of verbal expression to some ridiculous clerical task that’s very tedious but entirely necessary to the research process: there’s organizing; collecting data; forming a method; and sometimes hassling with each other, rather than supporting your progress.
Despite the pain (which is again overcome with resilience, humour and patience), research is like mountain climbing. It doesn’t involve climbing average peaks but, instead, some real high peaks where the oxygen gets thin near the top. You can get an amazing view but very soon afterwards you need to get down quick, where the oxygen is thicker and the surroundings more familiar and ‘normal’.
The important part is realizing you can always get down and take in the needed, thicker oxygen. Your visitation to the mountain top hopefully helps transform society, healthfully and peacefully. You have communicated some part of having seen the mountain top and others can now see better, as a result.
Today is our convergence day….let’s try to cultivate collective creativity. That will make it much less painful and much more enjoyable. I hope I’ve inspired you to recommit, for some, or become more seriously involved in the undertaking we’re going to be embarking upon. Let’s not only think harder, but imagine with force and purpose, and arrive upon a pursuit of knowledge we all deem worthy.
Re-initiating Phase 1…
@Bryan Hellard, Building is SUCH a useful skill. You know how to plan your time, select materials, build a framework, and execute. VERY VERY useful skills to have! :)
I really like the idea of online collaboration, I think I will be most helpful if you guys get a project going and then somehow leave it open for others to leave comments on and perhaps help revise. Sort of like a Google Doc with several layers of comments.
Due to the collaborative nature, it also might make sense to research something that would require a lot of data points, each “researcher” helping to provide a data point. We are fairly randomized by geographical location; if we decided to take a random sample of something “irl” then we would have a good randomized sample.
I like language a lot – would love to study it with you fine people.
I’m definitely willing to do this. I think the biggest hump will be actually coming up with something to research.
As far as unique skills go, I’m a music producer and I have a full studio at my disposal. So, anything music related I can help out with.
@anonymity, This is a side note, but I think that the growing popularity of rage comics is an example of an organic evolution of a visual vocabulary. There’s a paper in there somewhere, I just know it.
I think a broad project that is built upon examining the advantages of internet usage is both intellectually stimulating and increasingly practical. The advantage being how exactly a certain tool improves our ability to interact with both the virtual and the real. I am leaning towards a hybrid of what Max and Anonymity have suggested, whether internet tools that track our progress in certain areas are actually reinforcing enough to warrant adoption, and how that is reflected in their usage. We could create an original internet tool, or examine already established ones i.e how social networks enable us to be social creatures. We are still in Phase 1 as we need more ideas, and more people interested.
I haven’t had time to read every message but I would like to say that I am absolutely interested in joining this project. I don’t know how effective my contributions can be but I do have access to a plethora of research material through my college’s library system and I have a propensity for learning and interpreting material quickly. I’d want to be able to help in anyway possible. This endeavor excites me.
@anonymity, That is intriguing. To me it sounds like you are integrating various tools of media in order to enhance virtual communication. I think this has promise as a kind of augmented reality app for communication. I like that people can have the option to be as elaborate as they want in how they want to express themselves. Let’s keep brainstorming this one.
@Bryan Hellard, @Uza, I’m hearing a growing sentiment for this kind of wide “Canvas of Discoveries” idea, and it is rather ambitious. It’s promise is in involving people with a variety of different interests all specialized in their areas and creating something expansive. However, we still need a methodological midpoint. How do we ensure that the way we examined/navigated this information is original, innovative, and creative, while being collaborative? For this idea to grow, we need to start discussing this. I think the tag cloud idea I mentioned is along those lines, because you can make a tag cloud for any piece of text technically speaking. So we need to start considering technology along those lines; something that is universally adaptable and relevant to all domains. I know it seems like a difficult thing to do, but that’s why we’re all here ;-)
@feren6, I love the charity idea, although maybe it would be to ‘unlock’ certain tracking sections of HE, you would have to donate on the front-end. Something like 80-85% of proceeds going to charity, other 15% going to Jordan to keep HE up and running.
We have enough skills on this site to be able to provide services that we could ‘charge’ for!
Although maybe forcing donations takes the beauty out of it, maybe just encouraging donations will be sufficient.
Interesting. Maybe a site on 30-Day Trials, but turn each one into a collaborative effort, then create a document at the end that contains anecdotal evidence, correlations, feedback, effectiveness, etc..a research paper, if you will. Although you don’t need create a website, for that..
@BirdFlyingHigh, The Evolution of Online Meme Culture? Yes, sounds fascinating. I would love to examine this in some way, perhaps chronicle the frequency and contexts in which the meme images are used, or just the process by which an online meme is born. Interesting….
I would be most interested in investigating “Following/Finding your Bliss” , for I haven’t found my own yet.
I’m studying history. I could translate (Dutch, English, French) I could help with design (photoshop), you name it!
This sounds intersting… Perhaps if we are going to associate this with the use of internet, focus on the social or physcological factors. Or if this is going to be more creative, perhaps a contrast on how the internet allows people to learn (like an instrument, language, anything really) compared to physically going out to learn it? I’m not sure, just trying to get some ideas to flow. This is intriguing though.