Research Is a Perfect System
In research, knowledge progress is pursued to be the fastest. So a perfect research system can also imitate universe, just like society. Since knowledge progress is pretty fast now, our research methodology is not too bad, at least in some great thinkers' mind. In the following, I shall establish mapping between basic concepts in a research system and universe.
In a research system, facts and theories are pursuers, similar to protons and electrons in universe.
In a research system, knowledge is the pursued quantity, similar to negative action in universe.
There is contradiction between theories, similar to repulsion between like charges. There is explanation-verification relation between theory and fact, similar to attraction between opposite charges.
When a fact verifies a theory, it is also explained by the theory, this mutual explanation-verification relation is similar to mutual attraction in universe. When a theory explains better or when a fact proves a theory more, it corresponds to larger negative potential energy in universe.
In research, the main reason for its progress is that there is mutual explanation-verification relation and mutual contradiction relation between pursuers, and that pursuers choose states toward places with more knowledge. This is also proposed to be the reason for universe expansion.
In research, every fact and theory pursues more explanation-verification relation and less contradiction relation. In universe, particles are attracted to places with low potential energy. A fact or theory is always accelerated to states with more knowledge. Researching in the opposite way--accelerating toward bad states, is unimaginable and can not succeed. In science of pursuit, this is an experimental proof for the advantage of basic natural laws. In research, a serious contradiction influences research stronger; similarly in universe, acceleration is proportional to field strength.
In research, expected knowledge of a theory or fact, representing researcher¡¯s belief for its truthfulness, is similar to particle¡¯s momentum-energy in universe.
In research, each fact is explained by many theories together, and each theory participates to explain many facts. Similarly in universe, a charge interacts with all the other charges.
In research, a theory or fact outputs its possible influences to all the other pursuers. In universe, particles output field.
When there are many possible solutions for a problem, the one with the largest probability to succeed is thought first. Thinking from the largest probability to the smallest probability is similar to field propagating from the nearest to the furthest in universe, and similar to searching possible contracts from large expected profit ratio to small expected profit ratio in economy.
In universe, there is gravity between mass. Similarly, there is attraction between knowledge in a research system. A theory with larger truthfulness tends to be used more. For example, theories like mechanics and geometry are used in many sciences. So, there are subjects and subject groups in research, similar to that there are stars and galaxies in universe, and similar to that there are many cities and city groups in economy.
A mature theory, stable relation between pursuers, is similar to atoms in universe.
An unexplained fact or unproved theory is similar to a free charge. Stable explanation-verification relation is similar to an atom. Sometimes, in order to solve a contradiction or explain a fact well, some stable knowledge can be partially or totally sacrificed. Similarly in universe, an atom can be excited and lose electron(s).
Contradiction in research is different from contradiction in a mature theory. In research, contradiction will help knowledge progress, similar to photons help the expansion of universe. The research system will make progress by solving contradictions, similar to universe expands by absorbing photons.
If you have understood freedom in universe and economy from other articles at this site, you will understand why research freedom is also a good method.
In research, when a pursuer has many choices with identical knowledge, these states are similar to eigen states in quantum physics.
More Properties about Knowledge Pursuit
From science of pursuit, we can learn some more properties about knowledge.
In a pursuit system, pursuer¡¯s state is described relative to other pursuers. When a fact changes its explanation, it is better to say there is relative change between the fact and the other facts and theories. Every fact and every theory can be treated as invariant no matter how large its relative change is. It is similar to relative motion in physics. Is it possible to create a new language with this relativity? In all present languages, reference system is defined in the language. For, example, ¡°a researcher changes his subject¡± uses the definition ¡°a subject is defined to be static¡±, similar to ¡°a star is appointed to be static¡±.
Sensations are basis of our description for natural laws. Formalization helps to describe abstractly, but is there a way to express truth with sensation-invariance? ¡°Just do it¡± might be the only way. Invariant methods behind behaviors are the only things could be understood by all sensations with enough intelligence. If so, all intelligent living things observing universe can understand basic natural laws and can organize their societies by imitating universe, no matter how weird their sensations and languages are. By imitating universe, method of contract will ensure that those intelligent living things in the universe will never oppress human beings. Maybe all perfect living things in the universe have already established a perfect society by following basic natural laws, and the only way for human beings to enter is to establish our society as a perfect pursuit system.
In a close pursuit system, a pursuer¡¯s pursuit quantity totally comes from exchange with other pursuers. So, knowledge exists in the relation between facts and theories. Without other facts and theories, a fact or theory contains no knowledge. In universe, this means mass of a particle comes from interaction with all the other particles.
In a pursuit system, the pursued quantity exists in whole pursuit process. In research, knowledge exists in whole knowledge pursuit process, not just contained in the final mature theory. A mature theory just means some static relation between pursuers. Its stability represents how well a local structure of pursuers is.
From above, mechanism for research is also the nature for intelligence. If a perfect pursuit system could be artificially built, then perfect intelligence can be artificially realized. The converse proposition is also true.
Some Perfect Methods for Research
Just like society and economy, researchers can learn are some perfect methods to increase research efficiency by imitating nature.
Stronger imagination ability provides more choices so that there is larger probability to include a better, and the best, choice. The strongest imagination will include all possible choices in his mind, similar to space-time of universe. Inspiration is statistical result of imagination and correct judgment. If a researcher has thousands of original ideas before the right one, it is not lucky.
Stronger judgment is similar to the ability to choose the best state from all possible choices. In universe, a particle always makes the correct choice¡ªsatisfying largest pursued quantity principle, representing its perfect judgment.
Since problems are important for knowledge progress, a researcher ought to learn and find more problems, including contradictions. Knowledge is necessary just because they help to resolve problems.
Larger percentage of free charges will lead to larger photon absorption speed, so researcher need unexplained facts and unverified theories to increase research efficiency.
In a pursuit system, importance is valued by ¡°marginal pursued quantity¡±. So, for a current researcher, problem got from unit effort is statistically more important than knowledge got from unit effort. Researcher ought to spend time on more important things. Since marginal importance decreases with effort, researcher will find equilibrium between all efforts.
Every dominating theory came from evolution, and had been a bad theory once. A bad theory should not be discriminated. Give a bad theory some time and let it evolve with the system, it will be quite different from its original form. Researchers often underestimate potential of development. Existence of a bad explanation is often better than no explanation, because the wrong part can be gradually substituted, but a good theory can not jump out. In universe, a particle¡¯s mass increases gradually, but a new particle is hard to create.
Solving problems need time, even if researcher follows correct methods. Researcher following bad methods needs more time. A diligent researcher with bad methodology can succeed; a lazy researcher with perfect methodology can fail.
In society, people realized the importance for equality among all persons; why discriminating a theory only because it is very different from most theories(similar to particles far away from other particles in universe)? Its probability to become a mature theory is small, similar to origin of a new star. But if it becomes a mature theory, it develops knowledge much more than an "orthodox" theory. "Expected knowledge progress"(knowledge progress when it is true multiplied by possibility to be true) is the standard to value a research task.
Apart from the above perfect methods for individuals, it is also necessary to improve whole research system. The most important thing is to increase exchange between researchers, although it is also necessary to guarantee the quality of exchange.
In present research system, a researcher usually thinks independently and can not exchange opinions with others well. A larger research system is always better than many isolated research systems. Science has developed to a level at which a scientist has become more and more specialized, so exchange is more and more important for research.
It is necessary to establish a system in which knowledge can be exchanged in a common market freely. I think it is unnecessary to explain why self-sustained economy is worse than free market economy.
The key problem is to establish a commonly accepted pursued quantity in research, just like action in universe or "money" in economy. If pursuers exchange ideas, each idea marked with a pursued quantity. If one can not sell any more, he can not buy. Then in perfect research system, a new theory will be result of many researchers' working, similar to that many workers participate in producing a product in present economy. Contribution of each researcher is clearly marked.