List of Proposed New Fields

  • Computational Philosophy: not philosophy of computation, but philosophy using computational tools and methods.
  • Mathematical Systems Optimization: for social, biological, and cosmic challenges: (This would probably be mainly theoretical now, but could be applied post-singularity).
  • Virtual Sociology: how to manage a society that lives inside a simulated universe. Especially when the people in the simulated universe might be able to manipulate their reality at will. For instance: how do we prevent non-productive forms of hedonism + antisocial behavior from predominating in such a society?
  • Neuronanotechnology. Not enough people focus on applying bionanotechnology in neuroengineering, I think that having neuronanotechnology as a named field could help bring more people into the area.
  • Neuropoetry: kind of like cyberpoetry, but even more interactive. Example: you’re reading a poem and your brain is being stimulated at the same time to shape the experience in a unique, artistically meaningful way.
  • Non-Invasive Cellular Connectome Mapping: methods and tools for in vivo imaging of neurons, synapses, and dendrites.
  • Bioarchitecture: going beyond bionic architecture to actually incorporate biology and biotechnology into the structures of buildings. Example: growable buildings and partially growable buildings.
  • Neuroaesthetics: new flavors of artistic meaning emerge from considering both the observer’s brain and the artwork being observed as part of a unified system.
  • Physical Affective Neuroscience: attempting to quantify the exact physico-informatic structures that give rise to emotional qualia. The central goal of the field is to formally explain what arrangements of matter and energy states will lead to “positive” qualia and distinguish them from those that lead to “negative” qualia.
  • Objective Ethics via Utilitarianism, Integrated Information Theory, and Panpsychism: research into an objective framework for morality. If an action will increase the net “positive” qualia across spacetime (as understood by panpsychic integrated information theory), the action is morally “good.” However, since we cannot measure qualia over all spacetime, we must establish a set of rigorous, probabilistic methods for estimating what will have “good” and “bad” effects.
  • Theoretical Engineering: detailed proposals for engineering systems that are beyond current technology, but may be possible in the future. For instance, we don’t have a practical way to develop wormhole-based technology yet, but we have some theoretical basis for explaining wormholes mathematically. We might propose a method for developing ways to use wormholes in a technological fashion.
  • Entomological Cybernetics: engineering-oriented study of control systems and communications within insect physiology and social organizations. Application of this research to develop artificial systems that mimic insects and cyborg insect systems (so long as these systems are demonstrated to be important enough that any harm done to the insects is outweighed by their benefit to other organisms; this means that the cyborg insects should not be used as toys).
  • Human ecology: the study of humans from an ecological perspective. Care should be taken to avoid biases from harming the objectivity of this research (i.e. social Darwinism should be avoided).
  • Ecoengineering: the engineering of ecological systems to maximize “good” qualia and minimize “bad” qualia. Computational ecoengineering may serve as a test ground for ecoengineering techniques.
  • Dynamical Systems and Genius: there is a hotly debated correlation between genius and insanity. This field would study that relationship from the perspective of dynamical systems (stability, fixed points, bifurcations, etc.)
  • Literary Exploration of Genius, Love, Risk, Imagination, and Madness: a literary body of work that deals with exploring themes that interrelate genius, love, risk, imagination, and madness. Also, the analysis of that body of literature.
  • Romantic Rationalism: the development of a rational framework that does not ignore emotion as part of the human experience and recognizes the intrinsic value in “positive” emotional qualia. In fact, this form of rationalism would revolve around emotion while still using data, objectivity, and logic to help maximize the net gain in “positive” qualia across the universe.

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