Topic categories that reflect core Humane Tech themes

OK, if we have to get rid of TWS as a category (for being too vague), so be it.

Currently there are efforts to gather research about harms + opportunities in some of these category areas.
Research topics include:

  • health & wellbeing,
  • security & privacy
  • attention & cognition,
  • critical thinking,
  • relationships,
  • democracy & civics,
  • children & parenting
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Forgive me for asking such a basic question: other than organizational, what purpose do the categories serve? That is, where does the information thus classified go? How is it used?

I get the impression that we have big discussion groups: those interested in parenting, please meet at table 12; those interested in developing new phone apps, please meet at table 3; and so forth. Is the information thus collected channeled to the founders? Or does it serve some other purpose in defining the group, the forum, CHT?


Categories are just the structure available via Discourse, for us to create separate discussion groups, and keep the whole from feeling too large to browse. It gets channeled back to use, the readers and posters. And yes, it helps us define and focus: I at least think about this in terms of how to efficiently span the breadth of relevant topics in the world.

One thing I’d like to do is organize research, data, and public essays about the central risks, harms, and opportunities of [in]humane technology. There isn’t a great central place to look for the latest information on mind-hacks and types of addiction, tools for recovery and protection, and enhancements or health improvements. There also isn’t a single place to look for studies one can participate in or try to carry out. In addition to free-ranging discussions, we could have focused knowledge-collecting threads such as Arnold’s summary of great books and papers to read.


I just found the Discourse forum where themes about ‘Dougnut Economics’ by Kate Raworth are discussed. This forum has, I think, a beautiful categorization into different themes. And also the Categories view with a descriptive text above it is the default landing page when you surf to the URL. Check it out:

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It`s seems to be right categories, more focused than before

I think we must going to concentrate the posts within clear topics and categories

If not , it will be confusion to read and to post

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Can you please give us some examples, using your own contributions to the forum? Don’t want to clutter up the wiki with unnecessary things.

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Yeah, sure, though it is a bit hard to guess what are unnecessary things given the absense of direction from the founders, but going from @metasj’s suggestion for forum categories:

  • health & wellbeing,
  • security & privacy
  • attention & cognition,
  • critical thinking,
  • relationships,
  • democracy & civics,
  • children & parenting

These could be top-level wiki sections as well. Given my interests I would pick security & privacy and democracy & civics and on which I have posted quite a bit. So I would process all of that and think of interesting ways to compile that into wiki pages…

But… all of this effort really needs a project/ideation space, where we can come up with and brainstorm on the proper information model and titles + content of separate page. I could easily create a Github repository for that, which has issue + project management, but I am hesitant to do that until we know more on what CHT plans are.

So my advice is to have a bit more patience, before we start all of this :slight_smile:


This sounds like an excellent idea, both the categories (I’m biased of course!) and starting w/ a github repo as a simple multitool.

Arnold, let’s try to synch with Mamie later this week (I believe she stops travelling tomorrow) about any tools or other support needed for the project/ideation space. I just had a great quick chat about this.


I think the categories @aschrijver and @metasj identified are a great place to start!

I love the idea of organizing this community around those topics.

Then here are some ideas for what we could do next:

  • Identify community “facilitators” or “hosts” for each topic – I prefer that language to moderators, since it is more about welcoming people to the party, facilitating conversation, and then helping conversation move into action when necessary

  • Reorganize this Discourse around those topics – we can start a whole other thread on how to make the Discourse a better / more effective commons for connection + conversation!

  • Match community members to topics – make sure people are connecting with the other community members + topics they care most about

  • Define next steps for each topic area – could be to identify & agree upon the most pressing issues that need to be discussed, could be actions beyond the Discourse… it will vary from topic to topic, but the topic host / facilitator can help lead this process & perhaps the tooling @aschrijver describes (Github, wikis) will be useful (see also: Ideas for additional CHT tooling)!


There are so many good ideas for how to improve this forum & community – let’s jump in!

As proposed in the last post, let’s re-organize this forum around a few topics/themes that are core to CHT. As both @patm and @metasj discussed earlier in this thread, categories are a way to:

  1. provide focus / direction for the overarching community
  2. enable different community members to convene around the topics they are interested in
  3. make this whole collection of conversations easier to navigate and participate in

I’m meeting with @randy today and will get his feedback on the categories previously suggested to ensure they are each aligned with CHT’s mission. In the meantime, I think it would be helpful for us to collectively define what each category is about.

:point_right: I’d love your help defining & describing the purpose of each category below. This post is a wiki, which means it is editable!

Please edit this post to define & describe each category:

Health & Wellbeing: [Subtopics? Most important elements?]

Security & Privacy: [Subtopics? Most important elements?]

Attention & Cognition:[Subtopics? Most important elements?]

Critical Thinking: [Subtopics? Most important elements?]

Relationships: [Subtopics? Most important elements?]

Democracy & Civics: [Subtopics? Most important elements?]

Children & Parenting: [Subtopics? Most important elements?]


Thanks – nice to experiment w/ wiki posts, and these still strike me as good topics for areas of research.

But there are also cross-cutting categories of how we’re thinking about something: problems + opportunities; general analysis; outreach + activism; design + coding. Discourse makes us choose one dimension for categories, leaving the rest to tags… which makes sense for the most visible categories?


Just now I`ve experiencied what you said about cross-cutting categories

This experience introduces me into a synergic lab where elements are meeting and striking , changing from their original form , and developing into a new and more sophisticated level

Recently I`ve found latest post “Seeking feedback on Apple petition” and “Principles or Humane Tech Design” and easy found relation with my posts “10 principles for humane technology” and "Keys for putting in practice the 10 principles., so I posted in both new topics

I think energy increased synergic movement.

Because of that it`s time to have not unidimensional categories , but mutidimensional ones

We need such kind of organization that makes it possible


Oh I like this point about “multidimensional” categories needed.

In some ways, I think certain community members can play that role… acting like honeybees by buzzing around from topic-to-topic and category-to-category, cross-pollinating ideas and making connections. :honeybee:

I also wanted to share an update about the forum re-organization that we started to discuss a few weeks ago.

I’ve been working with core community members & members of the CHT team to architect a new structure for this forum to better focus/direct the conversations that happen here – and make sure they are aligned with CHT’s goals. Here’s a preview into what the new categorization might look like:


Excelent metaphor “honeybees by buzzing around…” !
You put it life and heart to the multidimensional concept.
Great !

Thank you very much for your commitment with this forum and with the ideas we are offering as draft concepts.
I want to highlight that you usually comment about the work process in which you are involved, and always tried to inform us the probably next steps.
This attitude produces , al least to me , confidence and makes strong my commitment with all of you, feeling in this way close to the CHT Team
Best for you

Just made the new categories visible to everyone! Our hope is to guide the conversations that happen on this forum to address the following topics / themes:

  • Awareness: Let’s use this forum to raise our individual and collective awareness of the difference between technology designed to extract the most attention from us, and technology whose goals are aligned with our own. Based on the interests of this community & the most pressing problems identified by CHT, we’re seeding this category with the following topics: wellbeing, civics, privacy, children, and relationships.

  • Advocacy: Let’s use this forum to rally our community, prepare campaigns, and take action so companies and governments adopt smarter policies and better user protections.

  • Humane Design: Let’s share ideas for how we might redesign technology to align better with humanity, both at the individual and societal levels.

  • Community Commons: This is our forum commons. It is a place for us to get to know each other, stay up-to-date on the latest “humane tech” news, and share the apps and tools that this community is working on.

Now that this scaffolding is in place, the work begins. :slight_smile: We want to recategorize existing topic threads to map to these new categories… and as we go through the treasure trove of conversations that have happened here over the last few months, let’s harvest the most useful information related to each category / subcategory in a wiki post.

Does anyone want to help with this process? We can call ourselves the cybrarians!


In case you want to reach out to a cybrarian in Hawaii:


This new categoies are a very important step to:

a) be more focused to read and to write
b) help community to identify critical topics
c) Not to lose anything that was wrote down

Great !

In this long road , where we have to explore , walk and taste different paths , and keep together all the time , your words are not only kindy words , they are necessary ones.
As ussualy you add so gently “velvet” words that makes feel so good…

Yes , I want to help with this process

I like that the forum shows great improvement at this point.
I`m feeling now that the fluently develop of the ideas are natural claiming for next steps

From this @Mamie suggestions posted on May 4th to now It seems clear that there were opened a lot of new topics.

In one hand, surely this new topics had opened the scope of ideas , but in the other hand when I log in and read the latest, I find me standing in the crossing of such number of guide arrows that turns me paralyzed…

This may be only a personal feeling and no more. But in anycase (and excuse me for refering again to the Big Bang metaphor) I think that in the Big Bang process of this forum, we need at this point that the gravity forces fluently generates nuclear material that may shows trends and direction of the collective creation within the forum.

Surely you can say to me , that this could be a natural process , but that`s not sure , it depends on if forces to concentrate are stronger that foreces to not concentrate , similar had ocurred in the Universe.

So , like steps just walked , like “suggested topics” I think that the ideas wrote down by @Mamie would be the next.

To be clear , I`m not suggesting to stop the creation of new topics at all, but facilitate match community members to topics.

In summary , we need both , the input of creating new material and topics , and in the same process generate the conditions of proximity of ideas that by itself and naturally produces the gravity force to strengthen nuclear materials.

All this looking for better and better conditions to share , to think and to create.

You expressed this well, Alfredo. Also, a lot of the discussion is being generated by people are new, and we are going over old ground, old ideas. This could be addressed by producing and sharing some of sort of newcomer’s guide or introduction to the forum.

You notice a point that i hadn.t @patm.
That`s very important , and in this way you suggest a very useful tool to avoid going over old ground.

Looking from a higher dimension , this tool may be very clear for induce newcomer’s to bring a smart collaboration , just from the collective work did it out, and not from an continuos beginning

In this way we are helping to all the forum writers into the same attitude , investigate first what was just wrote down , and then improve it.

Please moderators, , is it possible to analyze and take this or similar proposal ?

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