Inner workings of our open collective.
First-hand experience with the limits of human thought provides challenges for us to tackle. How can we support people in going beyond a particular limit of cognition? How can we amplify a particular strength in our thinking? For instance, Semantica extends conceptual thinking, while Autocards accelerates learning. These goals are similar to the ones guiding the formal field of cognitive engineering, but we’re tackling them with a more informal attitude that’s closer to the tech industry.
The development process behind Psionica is a project in itself, attempting to overcome some of the challenges identified the field. A series of incremental stages encourage contributors to go from exploring possibilities all the way to building useful tools. This way, projects in early stages implicitly benefit from a rough roadmap of future developments. More importantly, projects in later stages have a higher chance of becoming transformative once they mature, thanks to the exploratory nature of the early stages. It’s all a foraging strategy for effectively navigating the space of tools for thought.
|📝 Stage 1||🛠️ Stage 2||🦾 Stage 3|
|Goal||explore possibilities||identify opportunities||create value|
|Artifacts||mock-ups, wireframes, concept renders, design fictions, future visions, vignettes||working prototypes, proof of concepts, scripts, breadboard circuits, ML models, VR scapes||web apps, standalones, plugins, libraries, usable tools, gadgets|
|Roles||designers, futurists||makers, hackers||developers, engineers|
|Constraints||imagination||imagination, feasibility||imagination, feasibility, utility|
Psionica wouldn’t be possible without a group of slightly idealistic people with visions of how technology could extend our thinking.
They help make new tools for thought a reality, mostly by writing code, designing interfaces, creating resources, or hosting events. You’ll see them listed as authors on project pages, and at the top of the user list on our Discord. They make use of the resources described in the next section in order to bring their ideas to life. To become a contributor, first read about members below.
They help get new projects off the ground by covering the expenses involved. You’ll see them mentioned in acknowledgements on project pages, and just below contributors in the user list on Discord.
They are people interested in using and discussing tools for thought who simply joined our Discord. Members grow into contributors by getting involved with existing projects, or by starting new ones. However, new projects need at least one previous contributor on board to help scale culture.
Psionica offers you a number of perks to help you bring powerful tools for thought to life.
Find collaborators for developing open source projects using our Discord. Get to know like-minded people with diverse backgrounds who share your interests in augmenting the human mind.
You can request hardware (e.g. a VM on DigitalOcean) or software resources (e.g. OpenAI API credits) to support you in building transformative tools for thought. For larger expenses, we can create a project-based crowdfunding campaign and notify our supporters about it.
Our website helps you gain the initial traction necessary to get open source projects off the ground. Publish your ideas through our growing collection of tools and increase the visibility of your projects.
Grow your network and learn about the latest opportunities in cognitive augmentation (e.g. job openings, hackathons, conferences), offered both by Psionica and others.
The name Psionica is inspired by psionics, the fictional discipline concerned with applying principles of engineering to the study of otherworldly mental abilities, such as telepathy or psychokinesis. Despite its strong association with science fiction, the discipline of psionics highlights an increasingly tangible ideal – using technology to radically extend mental abilities. What’s more, the fictional connotations of psionics capture an ambitious drive to explore the ever fuzzier border between science and fiction. It’s precisely this ideal and attitude which define Psionica.