"The real problem of humanity is the following: we have Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions, and god-like technology."
debate at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, Cambridge, Mass., 9 September 2009.
Edward O. Wilson 1929–
A biologist with a special interest in eusocial ants.
(eusocial means they live in a cooperative group in which usually one female and several males are reproductively active and the nonbreeding individuals care for the young or protect and provide for the group)
It's important as technological innovation and societal change accelerate that we also accelerate the understanding of the human beings whose condition we want to improve by these changes.
This website is a hub to organise a multiplatform multimedia massive on and offline campaign to spread knowledge of evolutionary psychology and related fields. This campaign is run by self motivated learners themselves as a motivating and tribe building learning activity helping us cement our own knowledge of this fascinating field. The best learning activity is to teach we feel and we are enjoying the camaraderie of uniting with others with similar interests. Please read through our ideas below and give us feedback on our plans for how to gradually go viral.
As part of our campaign, our effort to expand and deepen the conversation about psychology, we want to involve people in book clubs, discussions with experts in the field, produce videos / blog posts explaining topics to various audiences, provide monetary support to other selected content producers and host e-learning courses done in a slightly different way than with other e-learning platforms, with much more audience engagement and participation. We will hold each other to account to stick closely to what the evidence and expert opinion tells us about this very consequential field and avoid too much wild speculation.
Improving science communication (science education and journalism) will speed up the understanding and improvement of psychology
We propose a new way of thinking about how to learn in this age of the internet. We want this web site to be the center of our community but will use other social media type platforms to reach people and also want to extend into the legacy media too, when we are ready. We recognise that higher education and the legacy media are being disrupted by new technology, we hope to help to guide that disruption so that what results better serves the needs of humanity. We see the disruption happening in the education and news industry as similar to the disruption in business in general, we have seen a move away from big institutions to smaller nimbler upstarts that have thought about how to use the new possibilities of technology innovatively and have taken over whole areas of industry.
- we are a community of self motivated learners who have a passionate interest in learning about human nature and individual differences. We feel this is probably the most important and valuable subject for any human to be interested in - the nature of the human mind through which we experience reality, we relate to each other and experience all our emotions. Optimum social organisation is probably predicated on understanding these minds, their motives and goals. Important insights into the human mind are emerging through applying evolutionary theory.
- learn together:
- we are united and can find strong community bonds through collectively building a passionate interest in this subject area of our choosing. In this modern age the vast amount of material available for our consumption means that everyone can do deep dives into their area of interest and we must do deep dives in order to really grasp our areas of interest. This is a problem as it can be a lonely process, we want to make it a uniting process utilizing the internet more intentionally and wisely to connect us more.
- inform each other and the public:
- we enable self motivated learners to compete with paid science journalists, who often are disinterested and ill informed, to extend and improve the conversation about this area of our interest.
- in doing so we will:
- be doing a service to humanity in helping humanity understand itself better.
- virally market this community.
- be engaging in a powerful learning activity which will be motivating and cement our learning as we learn how to express what we are learning to different audiences, anticipate objections of different audiences and get self correcting feedback in these efforts.
- civilly and respectfully hold each other to account so that we do the best job we can to faithfully represent this very consequential science.
- bridge the gap between scientific research and the public and speed up the process of iteration where:
- scientific research is done.
- it is communicated to the public.
- it's importance is recognised.
- more effort is allocated to doing this research.
We can improve upon how learning is done in this modern age vastly and at the same time improve science communication.
Specifics of how we will do better
- Provide more real interaction
- Citizen science, micro-targeted journalism and peer to peer learning - Group projects with aim to widen the reach of the conversation about improving psychology
- Become financially self-sustaining
- Attend academic conferences
- Become the most attractive platform for experts in the field of psychology to teach and discuss
- Continue community led evolution
Provide more real interaction
The problem with screens
We have all the world's information at our fingertips! What is holding us back from taking more deep dives into whatever topic interests us? Is one of the main problems that it is far from motivating to spend hours and hours having a one way interaction with a computer screen. E-learning courses, despite having content that is world class often, have very high dropout rates as the best you can often hope for in terms of a more human interaction is to interact with others with text on a discussion forum. If you get deep into studying what might be at present a niche interest it is obviously valuable to have real conversations with others who have the necessary background knowledge and interest to discuss that area of study with you as well as finding ways to engage with people around you.
We want to make our little corner of the internet more human friendly. We feel that one obvious area to address is to encourage a new norm of nearly everyone doing at least some of their communication on the internet using video conferencing which may optionally be recorded, chopped into manageable sections and shared more widely.
We imagine that people might first agree to do some background reading on an area of mutual interest and those people would then video conference. We are wanting to help people past the self consciousness and scheduling problems that understandably make video conferencing with strangers very rare. Our web site can help people to find interested others to converse with. Video conferencing used correctly can make discussion with people around the world on topics of interest fun, fulfilling and a valuable learning opportunity.
Communication through the medium of text (reading books, e-books, blogs posts, scientific papers, taking part in discussion on social media, forums, etc.) also has its uses of course and we will use it as the main form of communication. We note the success of ClubHouse and that might be a platform to use for discussion with possibly some coordination done through our platform. Video conferencing tools have long been available though and video is a superior medium to audio for more real interaction.
Citizen science, micro-targeted journalism and peer to peer learning - Group projects with aim to widen the reach of the conversation about improving psychology
- we will study areas of our interest. And discuss them amongst ourselves utilising video conferencing where appropriate.
- think about who would be interested in this area, where to reach them, how to pique their interest and deliver or link to learning materials suitable for them and engage in conversation in a smart way.
- conversation with interested parties will be our method of testing and further deepening our learning. And also help to motivate us as we see a positive impact on the world.
- thus we will be self promoting and bring more people onboard our website.
- we will often link back to our own site and using technology and links identifying referrers commonly used to track site referrals for tracking affiliate and advertising campaigns, we will track how many people are clicking through to our site related to each topic. Thus we will get metrics on the success of different outreach attempts. We'd love to offer academic credentials to people who participate in our program, in the meantime we will give them metrics of how their ideas have impacted people in the real world.
Engaging others in conversation will be the motivation for our learning and will be the equivalent in our learning community of writing an essay to demonstrate and deepen learning. Thus our web site and efforts will be self promoting as well as promoting interest in the latest research in psychology.
We recognise it can be difficult to change minds but we will endeavour to curiously explore how to have good conversations. We believe that good productive discussion, reason and rationality themselves and the scientific process are a competitive but cooperative effort where we help each other to see past our motivated thinking and blind spots.
Become financially self-sustaining
Once established we will introduce some kind of affordable subscription model to support this community. We want to keep most of our content freely available but will offer levels of rewards for supporters of our site who will pay a monthly subscription fee of their choosing.
Help content creators be financially self supporting
We will offer discussion areas of our site to content creators. If they have an existing Patreon fan base or use another such service then in their area of the site there will be prominent badges identifying their supporters, the badges will appear on the supporters posts and the content creators may optionally have private areas only accessible to their supporters.
We will pull data from Patreon about supporter’s and their level of support but will also directly use the Stripe payment gateway that Patreon uses to take payments without the fees that Patreon charges.
We can pull in new podcasts or blog posts automatically from podcast and blog feeds into the content creators area of the web site.
Attend academic conferences
We will attend academic conferences such as :
- The Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES)
- The International Society for Human Ethology (ISHE)
- The Northeastern Evolutionary Psychology Society (NEEPS)
We hope that when we have some level of success in our endeavours the highly undervalued experts in evolutionary psychology that gather at these conferences will be interested to talk to us.
Become the most attractive platform for experts in the field of psychology to teach and discuss
As we grow we will begin to be able to offer to pay selected experts for the materials we as a community are interested in them producing.
Continue community led evolution
Discussion amongst our community members will guide future developments.
Please let us know what you think of our plans! The best place to do so would be on this Facebook post on our Facebook page. Click below.