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Old 17th-February-2017, 05:24 AM   #1
AndyC
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Default Ideas for Research Assignment

At my school, I need to do this year-long research assignment on pretty much anything, and I was wondering if anyone had any ideas? I was thinking something rather abstract, maybe philosophical, I'm sure you understand the kind of thing I'd want to research considering the forum in which I'm posting this on.
Thanks heaps.
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Old 17th-February-2017, 06:24 AM   #2
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Default Re: Ideas for Research Assignment

What year are you in and what subject is it for? What's your word/page limit?

Also, while the forum caters to a particular personality type, we do have a diverse range of interests, so it might be worth specifying further.
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Old 17th-February-2017, 10:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ideas for Research Assignment

Choose a topic you're curious about so that you can deepen and reinforce your understanding of it while making a project.

I'd suggest quantum computing, quaternions (mayhap geometric dimensionality of problem solving in general) or AGI/BCI/AI/VR/ER, but who knows what captures your interest the most.
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Old 18th-February-2017, 09:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: Ideas for Research Assignment

Subject is exclusive to our school, it teaches you philosophy and university research skills, that kind of thing. If I had to specify, in which it's hard because I'm also looking for new ideas, but anything reasonably abstract (other than computers and robots, AI is partly an exception depending on it's relevance to computers and robots) that can be thoroughly researched to answer a somewhat original question. It'd be awesome if you guys you could throw in some ideas like Blarraun (Thanks Blarraun).
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Old 19th-February-2017, 02:34 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ideas for Research Assignment

Topics that tend to be of interest to the forum:

Is MBTI real?
Will the singularity happen?
Why do we have no evidence of alien life?
What makes for good pedagogical practice?
How did Trump get elected?
Is Political Correctness a bad thing?
Should markets go free?
How should achieving equity be approached?
Are video games a positive influence on the mind?

I did a similar project in highschool, I did it on linguistics and how English got to be so complicated. It was one of the few bits of assessment I completed because I was genuinely engaged by the content. Whatever choice you make, try to make sure that it's got enough depth to keep you going the whole year, but also that it can hold your attention that long too.
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"The advantages of being very precise even while not being very accurate" ~ Genitive Of Of

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Unprincipled exceptions rule everything around me" ~ Content of Media
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Old 19th-February-2017, 11:44 AM   #6
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Default Re: Ideas for Research Assignment

You could invent a new cellular automaton and study its properties. I don't think it will be too hard to find one that no one had studied before.
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Old 20th-February-2017, 07:34 AM   #7
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Default Re: Ideas for Research Assignment

Before I give any ideas, do you have access to a clinical lab?
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Old 20th-February-2017, 08:41 AM   #8
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Default Re: Ideas for Research Assignment

I don't have any advice for you on what to do your research project on, but I do have some advice on 'how' to find your research topic. Especially since it seems the method of research that you're undertaking appears to be research via literature review.

One thing you may have noticed about research is that much like Rule 34 of the internet; for pretty much anything you can think of, there is already research(/porn) of it.

So, one of the fundamental things you must first understand is that the point of the research project your school is having you undertake is not to find new knowledge. Rather, the point is to critically analyse the existing research and identify gaps that you might be able to fill, and probably take some educated guesses on what answers might fit in the gaps.

Ergo, what you should be focusing on at this point is educating yourself on the existing research surrounding a topic and building up a context. You say you want to research something philosophical, so there's your starting point.

So, go to the library, figure out how to search for academic journals and start building up a pile of reading materials on anything philosophy based. Maybe spend 2 hours hoarding reading materials, and start reading. Don't build up too much to read, because you want to be able to explore tangents and follow rabbit holes. Just keep reading and thinking. Your notes should focus on what you find interesting, what you agree with and what you disagree with. Sooner or later you should start to see patterns of scholars agreeing/disagreeing with each other. Build your own opinions.

Just keep reading for a while. After a couple of weeks, you should be able to narrow down on what you've found most interesting. Stick with it and keep following your curiosity. Eventually you'll be looking for something and won't be able to find the answer, or you won't be satisfied with the answers you do find.

Congratulations. You've just found your research topic! Hooray! If you've found something that genuinely interests you, the hard part is over.


I guess that's probably thoroughly confusing, so if I were in your shoes, here is what my search might look like:
I want to write embark on research in philosophy.
What are my interests? Hmm I like food. I wonder if there's much philosophical works relating to food?
[google]
Oooh who is this Brillat-Savarin chap?
[falls into rabbit hole]
[???]
[2 weeks later, chooses to write thesis on Philosophy, Rubik's cubes and Artificial Intelligence.]

My point: choose a place to start within your field of interest, build a mental context of the topic, and follow your curiosity, questioning everything along the way.

One last thing, don't underestimate the importance of a bibliography. For bonus points, build up an annotated bibliography as you go. Those things are useful AF. When I wrote my thesis, I'd have been lost without it.
Oh and speaking of referencing, never ever procrastinate it. It'll make things so much harder. Learnt that one the hard way time and time again.

Anyway, I hope that helps.
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Old 21st-February-2017, 05:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: Ideas for Research Assignment

Have at least 5 reference journal articles handy when selecting your topic. As you continue building your research, it must grow into a good stack of references (20 for a master level study, even more for doctorate). You'll need those to craft your methodology, qualify the validity of your research and defend your research in front of the faculty members.
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Old 22nd-February-2017, 06:29 AM   #10
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Default Re: Ideas for Research Assignment

My teacher added some new conditions: The research has to expose moral/ethical blind-spots to make the world a better place (a more tangible alternative could be, make the world a more equal place).
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Old 22nd-February-2017, 07:06 AM   #11
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Default Re: Ideas for Research Assignment

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyC View Post
My teacher added some new conditions: The research has to expose moral/ethical blind-spots to make the world a better place (a more tangible alternative could be, make the world a more equal place).
Then you should start looking at Journals on Ethics. Narrow your search based on your adviser's field. If they are in the field of biology then go for Journals on Bioethics. Of course you can play it safe and go for Research Ethics instead.
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Old 22nd-February-2017, 07:12 AM   #12
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Default Re: Ideas for Research Assignment

I would say to think of one key world issue (for example, war) and try to explain what it is, what is good and what bad about it, and what could hypothetically be done about it.
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Old 3rd-March-2017, 09:16 AM   #13
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Default Re: Ideas for Research Assignment

Hey guys, thanks for all the help. I think I know what I'm looking to research, and I was wondering if you guys had any ideas for where I could start looking.
The idea was perception, the thought processes that influence the way we use a priori reasoning and a posteriori knowledge selection. To elaborate, perception not with a necessary reductionist analysis of subjectivity, subjectivity itself isn't the focus and would be emergent from the processes Im looking at, which also are not cognitive functions (or the likes) such as Ti, which govern the overall thoughts from an unconscious level, but the governed thought processes in conscious a priori reasoning, and how perception (a posteriori stimulus selection) is influenced, or influences these processes (these processes are what make up conscious thought). I would be glad to clarify myself, but for now I'm a bit busy. Thanks.
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Old 3rd-March-2017, 11:48 AM   #14
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Default Re: Ideas for Research Assignment

I took a screenshot of a video I found relevant to perception. The brain maps out perceptions to actions as a compression algorithm. Learning is simply a zip file that contains all the ways your actions can cause perceptions. This way you can hold a model of the world with the least amount of information possible. Action selection is based on the zip file information. If you know what consequences your actions will result in then to learn more you need new stimulus that can be compressed. To complete a task we need new information if what we know is not enough. So conscious thought is simply knowing what we know and don't know in the compression. We unzip information as accessing a memory.

The title of the video is in the shot if you want to watch it.

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Old 4th-March-2017, 12:40 AM   #15
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The selection process (external) will often involve thematic selection, but not emphasis. Thematic emphasis normally occurs in movies and so on. If one could control the thought processes which influence the thematic selection, they may find ways to emphasise different themes through the use of thematic composition, allowing one to control their perception and live a more fulfilling life.
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Old 8th-March-2017, 07:14 PM   #16
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Default Re: Ideas for Research Assignment

Thanks everyone, I found an idea that will actually work. "Do we need Religion?". If anyone knows any books or good resources, it would be greatly appreciated.
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