As we develop our ideal vision of the future and the strategy for achieving it, we will identify a number of holes in our knowledge. These gaps will only be filled with focused, often deep, research. This page will capture our proposed research projects, prioritised using an impact-feasibility assessment, as well as the running list of research questions, grouped by theme and in loose priority order.
Title: Veil of Ignorance Experience
Description: A project to determine a democractically determined 'fair' level of weath and income inequality, and to shift attitudes towards greater equality. Full proposal.
How do we bring everyone onto the same page when wars have been fought between religions?
To what extent are the wars over different values vs different truths?
If truths, is it possible to do the investigation necessary to find that actual truth, and convince over time with logic?
Are we able to distill the major religions into their hierarchy of values? Would it be right to do so?
Can we then compare each religion to the 'ideal' to identify where the differences lie - either differences in a certain value (I.e., abortion) or on the hierarchy between shared values?
How do we maintain freedom in the generation of new ideas while aligning to a set of shared values?
Justice and Fairness
What is the 'fair' level of income/wealth inequality?
To what extent would a Veil of Ignorance experience change attitudes towards 'fair' inequality?
To what extent does social mobility exist?
Precisely how much can we attribute income/wealth to luck versus attainment?
Should we impose high marginal tax rates on high income?
Should we tax wealth?
How can we identify an individuals pre-disposition to happiness early, such that we might develop policies to ensure equitable outcomes?
Integration and cooperation
Is a global society a shared vision of an ideal future world?
Are shared values a prerequisite for a global society?
How might one balance a global society of shared values with the desire for new ideas and innovation?
How do we get to a society of shared values?
Are we trending toward or away from this outcome?
Are there economic motivations for alignment of values?
Is it important to maintain unique cultures and histories within a global society of shared values?
If so, is it necessary to have all nations opt-in to the society, rather than have any join through coercion or force?
Are we willing to accept that some cultures will need to change to reflect a set of global values?
What level of human-augmentation is ideal?
How would this impact society?
Is human expansion beyond Earth part of our ideal future vision?
What technology would be required to make this ideal?
What are the risks of galactic expansion?
The nature of biological sex differences
In an ideal world, should people be free to choose their gender and sexual-orientation?
What is the moral obligation to pro-create? Now, and in an ideal future world?
Are we/when will we be technologically advanced enough for gender and sexual orientation to be irrelevant for procreation?
What is the optimal approach to gender choice in children/adolescents?
What traits will be seen as 'attractive'?
What would it take to eradicate the perception and negative impact deriving from gender differences?
What other negative impacts of differences exist in global society today that we would not want present in our ideal future?
What differences have positive impacts that we would we want to maintain?
What other stories imagine worlds without such differences, and what could we learn from them?
Role of Sexual Intercourse
In a post-work future, how much time will people dedicate to recreational sex?
What is the risk that humans appetite for sex pushes us into the hedonistic dystopia imagined, for example, in Huxley's Brave New World?
What would it take for our society and culture to reach full acceptance of sexual desire and freedom?
What existential risks do we face?
How would we adapt to the loss of control if we develop AI superior to human-level?
To what extent could an AI play the planning role of government?
We update the research agenda every month. In the meantime, please share your thoughts if you have any feedback on our research agenda.