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…
Definitely down to do this. I have terrible creativity, but if I start spitballing maybe it’ll spark another idea.
Program a part of the site that allows users to track their progress on each of those areas, and provide guidelines for improvements/the next step. For example, creativity: 1) learn how to read music, 2) create a song, 3) etc. And provide hand-selected resources for each, kind of like MIT Open Courseware, but for HEthens. Provide a rank and some kind of donation system..like when you complete a certain course you have to donate $5 to a charity (incorporates global awareness). Could go more into detail, but I think you get the gist.
@Max, That definitely sounds intriguing. I think a great end result of this project would be the development of an original online tool that could has a variety of applications. What you are suggesting to me sounds like an online variation of a tool based on Applied Behavior Analysis. This module for measuring people’s progress in different facets of the site, allows people to track their own growth and reinforces more growth, feeding into a self-sustaining mechanism that is both psychological and tangible. Certainly flesh more of it out, and tell me the details here if you like. This is definitely something we can pursue.
@Paul Laskey, it would be great if people could simply post indicating their interest. Hopefully, we can all contribute to Phase 1 and come up with a unique endeavor to pursue, then move on to role definition and such.
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.
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.
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..
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.
FUCK YEAH this has to be done. but it needs to be good. I think we should get more creative with it.
Im a visual studies major (philosophy and vision of seeing) so that hits on neuroscience, philosophy and metaphysical shit. So I have some knowledge in that area and access to professors with lots of knowledge in that area. Also lots of creative people in my major who concentrate in the fine arts sector instead of the philosophy sector.
In terms of what I think we should some sort of giant collective story of the universe from the perspective of earth (or from within a human mind today):
from the big bang, to the creation of earth, to the beginning of life, go through evolution (of brain, animals consciousness etc), go through humanity (collapse and rise of civilation) the constants of human society- joys etc, previous failings, current failings, then the start of the information age, then into the future…technological singularity all ending with ultimate intelligence being infused into the very atom.
Could really combine a lot of philosphical ideas in a very creative way. Use it to promote some of the ideals of this site.
We could make chapters or something.
Could combine writing (put in some drama, action, narration, lots of philosophy, lots of science etc), video (animation, film, found footage, new footage, abstract, some extremely abstract like impressionistic would be great i think), music (have lots of different music styles from different people)
Should make it free to the public.
I love the idea of a collective internet creative project where everyone works together using their unique skills. Really love it.
Since a lot of us have gone down the rabbit hole I feel like we may as well try to bring everyone else down as well. The hard part would be to make it interesting for those who don’t think about the stuff we do.
Different people would research different areas, then people would write kind of creative scripts/direct the artwork for the different chapters, then all Hethens who wanted to create the art could do it
I think that would be pretty cool but whatever works I just love this idea in general of a collective use of our HEthen knowledge. Looking back this seems way to broad, but still, could be cool. Either way I think taking our research and putting it into a multi-media form would be great and doable using HEthens.
@Peter Roth, I like the enthusiasm, and that seems like a very interesting project. I like the idea of having splinter groups going out and conducting research in the domains they are comfortable. But for that not only will we need sufficient coverage of different domains, but a methodology that unites us. In theory, it sounds like you want to align the event of past with the predictions of future in an extrapolation sense with respect to each different domain of knowledge, which is an ambitious feat. But again, the way in which we go about this has to be identical to preserve the collaborative and creative aspect of this project.
Might I suggest a technique as simple as tag clouds? Being a visual studies major, I think you might see the value in them as a visual tool to depict the most used vocabulary in a particular text. I recently conducted a research project on this for the domain of early psychopathology, and it proved useful. For those who don’t know what a tag cloud is, here is an example: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a7/Web_2.0_Map.svg/320px-Web_2.0_Map.svg.png
We will continue on with Phase 1 until more people weigh in on their interest and different ideas that have already been talked about.
I think an easier, more direct, and more quantifiable collective project would be something like getting 120 HEthens (roughly 1% of the total) to commit to paying forward some nice deeds and recording the responses via writing/audio/video/etc. We could then compile overall statistics, pull out highlights, and wrap everything up with some heartfelt lessons learned. Kind of cheesy but also pretty manageable as a first shot. Some sort of overarching and all-encompassing study of metaphysics is certainly a good goal to shoot for down the road, but first I think we need to first establish the basic infrastructure and processes for coordinating such a diverse and fragmented group via one or more simpler exercises.
maybe we could do something with internet progressiveness? like finding a way to use facebook or something, since most people have it, to vote on bills that are outrageous in congress, propose ideas to our government or something like that.
I feel like we are getting really close to the social media age where our governments are ACTUALLY run by the people, and since almost all the people now have internet or access to it i feel like it could possible work.
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!
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.
@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.
@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 ;-)
@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….
@peteroth, I love this idea! It’s very broad indeed yes, but such a good idea that I think most people on HE could find something to take interest to. I like how it will be an encyclopedia like document relating to the universe from the perception of earth. I think it should include all such as music, art, philosophy, goverment and politics and the general physcological state of humans to be able to summarise the document accuratley. (Meaning everyone could find a topic they have passion/interest for). I understand that we need to make this easy methodically as a collaboration and many people have different thoughts: Which is why I ask, would this project be broad on different views or biased upon one? Because if we were all to write a chapter it may become contradictive, is your idea to have it all confirm one major idea? Maybe we should have a hypothesis then we can venture of into sub-chapters ect?
This is a fantastic idea. When I have more time I’ll read through everyone’s posts above me but for now I’d just like to state what I can bring to the table. I’ve been studying and working towards my degree in Psychology and research has been a fundamental part of what I learn, for obvious reasons. This has made it easier for me to navigate the web and find information from valuable sources. I also have access to hundreds of thousands of online journals and research studies because I’m a student. These journal databases have every possible topic and research that goes along with it. So, sign me up for HEthen research!
@TheisThatway, I’m assuming most people on this site agree with that sentiment so I don’t see it as being really that controversial ;-) That being said, I think the best way for anyone to push a specific topic or agenda would be to brainstorm and pick an idea to test and a collaborative method of doing so.
I was just reading through this thread and saw the new thread on the right of the site: “Naming your Bong”. I laughed. There’s a deep contrast.
Well, as far as I know myself, I am always brainstorming. If I’m to to give only ideas in… Phase 1, what are the chances for a technology that teaches you to be whatever the hell you want for free? Good idea. I’m sure it exists in thousands of forms and variants on the Internet and in everyone’s opinion for a price. :)
Here’s a thought – Let’s be more open and content when sharing insane ideas that might actually work. For example, I don’t care about the history of memes – they are desperately trying to make sense. Of humor. Based on the little things in life of every human being, circumstantially. Point being, this is the first step of knowledge if someone’s interested in any kind of humor – about whatever the hell they don’t know yet. :)
@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.
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.