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Suggestions for an improvement of the Research section - RAT

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As a consequence of the recent Skepticism thread I would like to propose some improvements for the Research board.


Right now I think the board is a mess and many threads should rather be in General Discussion or Q&A as they neither make any predictions nor provide data or results for discussion. And those that actually try to are often of very poor quality. This is not supposed to be an insult, setting up a good research project is very, very hard, just as avoiding mistakes.

Pleeb has given some decent suggestions on how to conduct scientific experiments but I think they can be improved. Including common pitfalls and caveats.


I would propose to divide the board into several sections:


1) Completed projects

Should be presented in an orderly form depending on the project. For a full research project this would lead to a paper including abstract, introduction, material and methods, results and discussion as well as sources.


2) Research proposals

Users wishing to start a project need to submit a proposal, lust like for guides


3) Theoretical discussion

Discussions regarding the tulpa phenomenon on a scientific and / or philosophical level, e.g. trying to find more refined definitions of the terms we use. Having clear definitions and agreeing that we actually are talking about the same specific phenomena are among the most important things when it comes to dealing with both philosophical and scientific problems. Such discussions should be strictly on-topic and any unhelpful comments removed.


4) Research projects

This is a bit controversial for me, as I see lots of problems and only limited potential in practical tulpa - research.

As you may know some users have tried to set up experiments using EEGs or even tried to get fMRI scans done, which of course ended it total failure. I would advise anyone against setting up a project involving scientific or medical equipment as the financial, technological, analytical and legal requirements currently are way beyond the scope of an individual or even this community as a whole. Surveys or self-reported experiments e.g. in the field of parallel processing may hold some potential but even this would need support of large sections of the community.


Due to the considerable difficulties in designing and executing such a project, I propose the formation of a RAT (Research Advisory Team).


I think the GAT members would be good candidates for such a team as well.

Users should only be allowed to open new threads in section 2 (proposals) and would need to submit a detailed proposal to RAT who would evaluate the proposed hypotheses and methods, check the project' s feasibility and point out potential problems. All this before people start into the blue and waste their time on something that is almost certain not going to work out.

RAT should also help in finding potential participants and other helpful individuals among the users and encourage them to get involved. The key is to actively concentrate as many skilled individuals as possible and keep the discussion between them going.

Therefore the researcher must regularly report the current state of his project and the progress achieved to the community and receive feedback.


For both 3) and 4), after completion the results should be presented in a condensed form (ranging from a short summary to a paper) and be made available in section 1. Complete or abandoned projects should be marked as such or even moved (maybe to a section 5)


Now I know this looks like a lot of work and it is. Research is hard.

We would probably get only very few projects going but in my opinion this is way better than a large amount of poorly planned projects that lead to no results at all.


I see nothing wrong with users starting small quick-and dirty poll-like projects in other sections of the forum as they already do, but the Research board should be the place to uphold scientific standards on an academic level. As stated here I do not think such strict limitations are necessary in the general forum but if this community wants to be taking seriously as 'scientific' we need to uphold certain standards when claiming to be conducting actual research.


I hope my proposal leads to some interesting discussion, tell me what you think!

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I think the general idea is pretty neat, and changing the research board this way wouldn't really hurt, since we still have the opportunity to discuss everything tulpa related more openly in the general discussion section like we do now. I'm a bit unsure about your third point "Theoretical discussion". The way you describe it sounds like the very definition of the general discussion board. I don't think we would profit from splitting it up, but maybe it could be a place to discuss the results of completed projects, i don't know.


Still I see problems with this:

As you claimed yourself, there won't be much to research in the first place. So we would need to basically redo the whole section and find some qualified people willing to be part of a Research Approval Team for a longer period of time, probably just to end up with an empty board, because nobody has some serious realizable research ideas to start with.


I'm unsure if we can really benefit from this, but i guess we would leave a more professional impression on outsiders visiting the forum. Maybe we would get something out of it to contribute to the general tulpa.info starting page aswell.

Tulpa: Alice

Form: Realistic Humanoid/Demonic Creation

She may or may not talk here, depends on her.

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the Research board should be the place to uphold scientific standards on an academic level.


My biggest question is what kind of research projects would you expect? You've ruled out anything using expensive equipment. Large, systematised trials of methods or capabilities? I'm not sure.


You're right, doing research projects is hard. And it's complicated by the fact that most of us aren't researchers, and further by a lack of interest (as far as I perceive; there aren't many threads made in Research along your lines).


So I'm not sure what would be done, or who would be doing it.



I would propose to


I'm just not sure that there's enough impetus around here to actually mount and complete significant research projects (and not enough of a few other things as well), much less a formal structure for conducting them.


I see nothing wrong with users starting small quick-and dirty poll-like projects in other sections of the forum as they already do, but


On the contrary, I think that's what Research could actually do. I'd like to be able to gather responses/experiences/participants for a quick something - something that doesn't have to be substandard, just preliminary or rough. But I've found that threads in Research don't tend to get as much attention as they would being posted in GD. If I were to encourage some use of Research it would be that, if only because I think some people might actually take it up.



That's basically the thrust of my concerns. I don't think there is enough interest, or potential, to actually do academic-level research - or even, anything to research, maybe.

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Your objections are of course justified.


But I think sometimes less is more.

As said I do not want to insult anyone but the current research section does not really give a good impression. I have even considered proposing to close the research section for the reasons you stated altogether, as I have not come up with a feasible research project so far. But I think we should start with small steps. A discussion of what's actually achievable would be a good start.


One of the main functions of RAT would be to raise attention for a project and keep the people together. Such projects need coordination and are too much for an individual. This is one of the main reasons most projects quickly die down.


Another big problem I see is the lack of potential test subjects. Take parallel processing. Only very few people are actually capable of it and considering the fluctuation of active users it is hard to get enough of them to take part in an experiment. Identifying and forcing motivating such users to participate would be another job for RAT.


I think we may even need to move away from the idea of one user doing a certain project and turn it into a community project. The key is exchange of information and keeping the discussion going. I'd say we do have several skilled users with academic background as well as motivated 'laymen' willing to learn about how to conduct a scientific study.


But I agree, first of all we should discuss what sort of research we could realistically carry out.

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Guest Anonymous

No trying to prove friggin sentience.

Not even parallel processing does that. We have already seen studies of non-tulpamancers who can do that. It isn't proof of anything other than brain talent.

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