The Human Research Project  (known as TheHeroicJourney.net in the UK, Russia, Philippines, South Africa, Nigeria, South Korea, and Australia, and as Singularitynow.org in France, Germany, Brazil, China, Japan, Turkey, and India)  is a coordinated  series of unique self-directed  experiments designed to locate, explore, and fulfill the needs of the separate 'selves' (personas, archetypes, roles) found in each individual.

  These 'selves' are not parts of the psyche, in the sense of Jung's 'ego' and 'unconscious', but rather individuated complexes of brain circuits, each with its own goals, skills, worldview, problem-solving abilities, and definition of fulfillment. There are many advantages to looking at the person this way; an over-generalized way of expressing it might be to say that each self  wants different things, and by understanding each one's needs and effectively supplying them, one adds to the health of the Whole.

  This idea is not meant to be believed, accepted, or debated; performing the experiments below, which anyone can do, will prove or disprove its value.  This is your personal laboratory where you can find the origins of distinct components of your psyche on an evolutionary timeline, and better understand both how they made you who you are, and what you can do to evolve them further.

 Society, Culture, and Habit convince us that  each of us is a smoothly organized and collated Whole, whose parts fit seamlessly together. But really we’re a loose confederation of parts, or selves, each of whom has its own goals, worldview, and ways of solving problems. As Shermer says:

   "There is no unified “self” that generates internally consistent and seamlessly coherent beliefs devoid of conflict. Instead we are a collection of distinct but interacting modules often at odds with one another. The module that leads us to crave sweet and fatty foods in the short term is in conflict with the module that monitors our body image and health in the long term. The module for cooperation is in conflict with the one for competition, as are the modules for altruism and avarice or the modules for truth telling and lying."

  Discovering this is a good thing, because it allows us to honor and serve each ‘self’  in the unique way it prefers, such that it can serve the Whole successfully.

  Some of our 'selves' appeared at certain times in our evolutionary history. They must have served useful purposes, since they still exist in us today, like strands of personality that go back thousands of years.

  Let's take an educated guess as to when some of the selves first appeared. It's hard to say when 'humor' began, but hominids have been laughing for at least 5 million years.  Art goes back at least as far as African and  European cave paintings from 60,000 years ago.  A bone flute found in Germany dated at 42,000 years tells us that music is at least that old. The beginnings of agriculture around 5000 BC created the need for social organization, and therefore Administrators. The first appearance of a Hero in literature can be traced to the Epic of Gilgamesh from 2100 BC.  

      Laughter                    Art               Music             Administrator         Hero        Philosopher       Compassionate Self            Experimenter                      

5 million years ago  60,000 years ago  42,000 years ago   5000 BC            2100 BC         700 BC              1000 BC                    17th Century-Present                    

These 'selves' still exist as distinct aspects in our personalities today, and are evolving as fast as ever. 

We might metaphorically  view

them as individual strands of wire inside a bundled cable extending from the present to points in history thousands and millions of years ago.

 Just as the cable maintains an apparent singular unity when viewed from the outside, but reveals all its individual strands when seen in cross-section, so do we all present a unified face to the world, but upon closer examination display many unique and quite dissimilar parts.

   The HRP is also a  vast longitudinal crowd-sourced study of human behavior in the 21st century.  In addition, the project aims, through guiding participants through  a compilation of unusual  and sometimes bizarre activities, to  exercise human capabilities which may be lost as our planet approaches the 'Singularity', that event predicted by futurists to occur around 2030 which marks the melding of human and machine intelligence, and species-wide transformation at least as earth-shaking as the rise of Homo Habilis or the demise of the dinosaurs. 

  There is no limit to the number of possible selves. Some of the ones explored by current experiments on this site include the Hero, the Laugher, the Philosopher, the Experimenter, the Administrator, the Awe Experiencer, the Communitarian, the Lover, and the Non-dual (which is really a 'non-self'). 

   Key to the project's goals are what are what might be called the Millennial skills-- a set of capabilities which anyone can improve and refine by doing the experiments seriously.  The skills are useful for shaping the world as its approaches the Singularity, and are also personally growth-inducing--they are good for the planet and the individual.  They include group mind mapping, decision making through swarm intelligence, context-free thinking,  instant development of social enterprises, and remote crowd research.  All of them can be practiced through the experiments found on this site.  Founding participants in the project do them every day, and chart their progress through a series of standard psychological examinations. Write humanresearchproject2017@gmail.com for more information.

   Closely connected to the Millennial skills  are the Noble Emotions-- complexes of feelings and thoughts which at times were central to Human  experience, and powerful components of personal enrichment.  In the distant mythical past these were produced by successfully defeating dragons, defending kingdoms, or building civilizations, but today we can achieve them through rigorous efforts online, alone or in groups. The Noble Emotions include the powerful sense of Communion with a group after a joint accomplishment, the feeling of Awe at the mysteries of natural and human phenomena, and Gratitude for the results of group efforts toward a common cause.  Experiencing them together with like-minded explorers is like falling in love with the world again.  And this leads to both personal and planetary regeneration. This is the aim of the Human Research Project.

“When you enter the room I shall study how to make Humanity beautiful to you” — Bronson Alcott
    The HRP seeks to share the insight that each of us is already a Living Laboratory for hundreds of experiments in thought, experience, and emotion, and that by performing these experiments  there are endless inner vistas we can profitably explore with others. This site is designed so that in a few minutes you can participate in several of the grand human dramas, duplicating and even creatively extending experiences that hominids have had for 1.5 million years.

   Is there a 'Recommended Daily Allowance' for grand thought-feelings that originated with our ancestors, and which occur with  less regularity for most of us? Our claim is that the body-mind actually likes and benefits from large experiences of awe, inspiration, heroism, humor, compassion, and problem-solving every day, and that given the resources afforded us by the internet and other advanced technologies, it’s not hard to provide ourselves with these.    

  Also, each of your selves has a toolkit full of techniques, hacks, fixes, and workarounds that your other selves lack.

“If we really made the effort to understand and love the wise, loving, silly, profound, inspiring personas that inhabit us, we’d solve problems that we thought were unsolvable, have experiences that we thought were un-havable, and know things thought unknowable.”— Amy Chang

  The HRP was created and is conducted by researchers and students from Oxford, Harvard, Berkeley, Yale, Cambridge, Stanford, Princeton, Tsinghua University, the Sorbonne, and the Universities of Tokyo, Moscow, and Delhi. 

General Guidelines


  To participate in the Human Research Project, first go through the experiments below.  Then create your own 3D mind mapped planet, or 'sphere' on Thortspace by going to Thortspace.com.  On your own planet you will place 'continents' which are the component 'selves' that exist within you. Each planet is an Earth-like simulated 3D globe traveling through space amongst other similar bodies. (This will make more  sense after you plunge in). You can use the Human Research Project account on Thortspace, or start your own.

  Creating and playing with 'spheres' can show you hidden relationships between, and insights about your various selves.  Performing the experiments below will teach you enough that you can design your own protocols for examining your other personas.

  When you derive insights about your selves, you can  plot them on our fully interactive online Mind Map, found at wisemapping.com. Project administrators watch the map daily and learn from the results, as you can also. You can also share them with us by writing to humanresearchproject2017@gmail.com. Often our researchers find that newly added insights are powerful enough that they deserve to have a thorough vetting and rigorous discussion in social media.  When they do they will invite you to be a Research Rellow or Insight Leader for the HRP, a title based on the unique idea you represent. They will create an academia.edu page, a press release, a Facebook page, a Tumblr account, a Google+ page, a Twitter feed, and a Pinterest account devoted to you and the idea, so that it can grow organically with your help. As each of these idea clusters interacts with others, new insights are developed, and added to the map.  You become a living laboratory of research into various selves, linked intimately with many other similar 'laboratories'. After that, anything can happen!

  To assist in originating and refining  your ideas, we recommend the following tools.  They have been instrumental in the growth of the Human Research Project. 

   Iris.ai  Iris is a recently developed Artificial Intelligence that gives researchers a shortcut by 'connecting the dots' in a mass of data represented by 30 million scientific papers and 2000 TED talks.  Not only is it free for anyone to use, but by becoming a volunteer 'Trainer' one can actually improve Iris' capabilities so that she becomes a better 'scientist'. Participants will be employing Iris to address problems in NTDs (Neglected Tropical Diseases), Disaster relief, climate change, earthquake prediction, and economic forecasting.

 https://tone-analyzer-demo.mybluemix.net   IBM Watson Tone Analyzer:  This service uses linguistic analysis to detect and interpret emotions, social tendencies, and language style cues found in text. Tones detected within the General Purpose Endpoint include joy, fear, sadness, anger, disgust, analytical, confident, tentative, openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and emotional range.

               Unanimous.ai has developed a type of Swarm Intelligence called UNU  that allows a group of  humans to all think about a problem 
simultaneously, and answer it as  a group, each from their own computer or phone.  In practice, the activity resembles several people
collaboratively  moving the planchette on a Ouija Board, albeit remotely. The resulting predictions have been amazingly accurate.  HRP participants are using UNU to address major issues in poverty alleviation, disease, and social welfare.

https://aiexperiments.withgoogle.com/visualizing-high-dimensional-space This experiment gives you a peek into how machine learning works, by visualizing high-dimensional data. It's available for anyone to try on the web. It is also open-sourced as part of TensorFlow.

  The result of taking the experiments seriously is to show us that we have the capacity to be perpetually curious and inspired, and constantly awe-struck and in love with the world we are creating. And these attitudes lead inevitably to more creativity and innovation.

   You are both  the Creator and the participant in these Great Human Dramas.  By participating fully in the HRP as we suggest, you not only  vicariously enjoy the emotions that the previous heroes, sages, and artists felt, but you create new ones. And you have tools to further the great dramas that they didn’t have.   

  You are both an inheritor and an embodiment of these timeless human characters, all of whom appeared among hominids some time in the last 2 million years. Like tiny coral polyps slowly creating a coral reef with their limestone skeletons, you can be seen both as an individual and as part of a huge evolving structure.

  To really see this is to be constantly in awe, ever curious, never far from being inspired. When you indulge all your 'selves' with the outcomes they really want, you experience more laughter, more love for the world in all its parts, and more fascination with the process of growth in several directions.  You discover a deeper kinship with others, appreciating both how similar and how different they are from you.  The unknown becomes a perpetual adventure, because you can approach it in so many ways. 

   Seeing one’s deepest  thoughts represented as continents on individual worlds, where they can interact with others is an inspiring experience which never gets old. It can be a stunning happening which seems to both expand and obliterate the ego at the same time.

Each also generates the noble emotions like compassion, awe, and inspiration, which, in addition to their inherent value  bring about innovative new thinking that might not appear if the selves’ individual needs are not recognized. 

  The combination of the power of 3D Mind Mapping with Iris AI plus the powerful crowd-sourcing power of Swarm Intelligence, can lead to a   transcendent feeling of communion with the best parts of others.  


Experimenting with Selves

  1. The Awe-experiencing Self
  Few people today TRY to experience awe, but a concerted search to find personally appropriate ways to do so can be life-changing. The Internet, among many other modern innovations, makes it easy to find experiences that cause wonder, amazement, and stupefaction.  Indulging this particular 'self' in this way also tends to induce improvements in the others.

  We are the endpoints of a vast historical heritage stretching back to the Big Bang, 13.8 billion years ago.  Every atom in our bodies was once inside an exploding star. Luckily, since the Big Bang never really stopped exploding, and since many of the chemical and biological processes that preceded us are still occurring, we can use live webcams and other technologies to 'see' and 'hear' our past in the present.  Following is a timeline of cosmological history, together with links to live webcams that display various points of our past that are still happening in real time.

Click on this to hear    Live view of    Aurora Borealis          Jellyfish                       Sharks                Penguins                                       Elephants and other modern mammals
Cosmic Microwave       the Sun           in real time
Background; the 
audio signature of
thermal radiation 
from the Big Bang

1. Cosmic Microwave Background (remnant of Big Bang):    http://web.physics.ucsb.edu/~jatila/CMB-sounds/

To join this experiment, email us at humanresearchproject2017@gmail.com with answers to these questions: Which of the webcam experiences most inspire you
with the wonder of our universe and your place in it?  What are other ways you cultivate Awe?  If you leave a comment on our FB page at
https://www.facebook.com/Human-Research-Project-1771238163196295/ and both like and share us, you may be invited to join us by
becoming a test subject or Researcher. 

Project leaders are from Stanford, Princeton, King's College, Cambridge, Tsinghua University and the University of Delhi.
For more information contact worldmindnetwork@gmail.com

2.  The Communitarian Self

(Assisting Micro-Enterprises in the Developing World through Agenda for Sustainable Development)

   There seems to be a natural human tendency to help those less fortunate than ourselves. This program invites participants to co-create a small social enterprise in the Global South by using commonly available social networking and smart phone tools, using a simpler recipe  that can  be completed in a few hours.  The sense of accomplishment deriving from this often inspires contributors to attempt additional projects and involve their friends and colleagues.  The idea is that global improvement doesn't necessarily require vast sums of money, huge groups, lots of time, or cooperation from governments or corporations.  These projects are free or inexpensive to set up, and produce results quickly.

   Students partner with artisans and merchants in poorer nations in  Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America to modernize their businesses with social media and other tools so that knowledge of their products can reach foreign consumers, and the products themselves can be purchased and shipped in a timely manner. Everything is done via computer, tablet, or phone.

   The formulae  participators employ are designed so that one partner can efficiently  modernize a given social enterprise in about four hours.  Contributors are familiar with the best uses of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, Tumblr, Shopify, LinkedIn, Ebay, and Amazon.  Using the formula, they quickly build a web and social media presence for each company that allows it to dramatically increase its presence in the online retail world.

    Here's a basic formula, subject to many variations, all of which  require only a few hours. First, a small local enterprise is found using one of many Fair Trade sites on the Web.

1.  Create  social media pages for the enterprise (usually Facebook, Twitter, and Google +)

2.  Start a website on Googlesites, Weebly, or Wix, if one does not already exist.

3.  Set up a Pinterest page with photos of products. 

4.  Start an Instagram account for the company.

5.  Embed a Paypal button, if one does not exist.

6.  List products on ASD's Gold Supplier Alibaba account

7.  Create an Amazon or Ebay  listing for products.

8.  Inform ASD of all the above, so a press release can be generated.

  Enterprises selected for the program must make products or provide services which align with the UN’s recently announced 2030 Sustainability Goals.  Goods produced cannot contain toxic substances, pollute the environment, contribute to global warming, derive from illegitimate sources, or be made with child or slave labor.
   Currently we are constructing a database of practical information on  74 developing countries which contains the latest information on how citizens in each one can quickly create social enterprises which not only provide needed revenue, but which also address the UN's 17 goals. We are also creating partnerships between people in the Global South and students in industrialized countries, allowing them to partner together to build NGOs and export businesses.

   Listed below are nations where currently active projects exist. If a country is not listed, it is either because it has no stable government (Syria, Somalia), it is hostile to these efforts (North Korea, Iran), its logistical situation does not allow for reliable shipping of goods (Nepal, South Sudan), or its local currency is not sufficiently stable (Vanuatu, Central African Republic).  Wherever possible, we are working behind the scenes in these countries to remedy these situations. 

   Click on the country links below to view currently supported enterprises. 

Ghana    Ecuador    Cambodia    Haiti    Ethiopia    Nepal   Chile 
Burma (Myanmar)   China (Yunnan)    Bolivia    Bangla Desh            Guatemala   India   Kenya    Mexico    Morocco   Mozambique

Project leaders are from Harvard, Berkeley, University College, Oxford, Tsinghua University, and the University of Moscow. 
Meetings are held on Mightybell, Facebook, Slack, WeChat, LinkedIn, and Google +.
For more information, or to participate, contact fixxer@prodigy.net

 If you leave a comment on our FB page at
https://www.facebook.com/Human-Research-Project-1771238163196295/ and both like and share us, you may be invited to join us by
becoming a test subject or Researcher. 

3. The Administrator

(Leadership and Organization through Group Mind Mapping)

  This Self excels and revels in organizing people, things, and events. 
Mind Mapping is one of the best ways to indulge its love for defining and solving problems employing the abstract, visual, 'Big Picture' capabilities of the Right Brain as well as the more linear, logical style of the Left Brain.    Group Mind Mapping, using a collaborative program like Mind Meister and Webconferencing, allows partners from around the world to participate in
building a map in real time, working from their own computer.
  We are building the largest  group-curated Mind Map ever made which is entirely devoted to continuously finding, examining, and refining solutions to problems involving poverty, clean water, contagious disease, and climate change. When the project is fully operational, any member will be able to add to it at any time from anywhere.

Project leaders are from the Sorbonne, Yale, Pembroke and St. John's Colleges at Cambridge, the University of Delhi, and All Souls and Exeter Colleges at Oxford. 
Webconferencing is done via Zoom; discussions are held on Facebook and Twitter.
For more information, or to participate, contact friendsbeyondborders@gmail.com.

4. The Hero
   (The Hero's Journey)

Many cultures contain stories of brave heroes who go on quests to achieve some noble or sacred goal.  The Nordic Sagas, Homer's epics, and India's Mahabharata are examples.  Societies value stories of such exploits because they remind us of the courage and valor that are rarely called upon in ordinary life, but that  will sooner or later be necessary for all of us.

   How can we moderns duplicate the hero's quest, so as to bring forth and sharpen these qualities, and the feelings of accomplishment which go with them?

   This project does so by means of the Hero Award (heroaward.net).  This prize is given to individuals or groups who make significant contributions to the challenges of the 21st century: climate change, poverty, clean water, renewable energy, sustainability, and education.

  To participate in this project, first one uses search engines to find at least 5  'heroes' who meet the criteria on the heroaward.net website. The candidates are vetted by the Award judges, and announced as winners.  
Then one determines what is needed to further each one's dream: publicity, social networking, media attention, partnerships, or expertise.  With HRP's help, one provides this, and builds a team of the 'heroes'.  The teams function like Xenophon's Ten Thousand or Princess Pingyang's 'Army of the Lady'; they exemplify the noble virtues and provide inspiration for others. Participants feel what it's like to be a hero by vicariously and actually advancing noble causes.

Project leaders are from the Universities of Moscow and Tokyo, Berkeley, Princeton, and Stanford.

For more information, or to participate, contact christinaamberson@gmail.com

 If you leave a comment on our FB page at
https://www.facebook.com/Human-Research-Project-1771238163196295/ and both like and share us, you may be invited to join us by becoming a test subject or Researcher. 

5. The Philosopher


In ancient times people spent a lot more time involved in abstract contemplation of eternal questions than they do now. Today we are experts in many kinds of specialized thinking, but have lost the interest in the Bigger Issues that captivated Plato and Lao Tzu. 

  The HRP conducts live online video discussion groups centered on topics like the nature of the Good, the Beautiful, the Loving, and the Wise.  Participants share their thought while examining and adding to a large Thought Map visible to everyone. When a particular idea becomes identified with one thinker, it is given its own suite of social media sites which add a continual stream of new content, so as to add more input from the world online community.

The Experimental Self

(Crowd Research and Individual Inquiry)

  Human beings like to explore, research things, and pursue the objects of their curiosity. In modern society, we have relegated that role to scientists and academics.  But there's a large part of us which wants to discover new things for no apparent reason.  We call this the Experimental Self. 
  Zooniverse is the world's largest and most popular platform for people-powered research. Thousands around the world participate in projects which have produced a number of published research papers. In some cases volunteers have even made entirely unexpected and significant discoveries. 
   The vast amounts of data collected by modern scientific methods needs analysis by humans, not just computers, because we can recognize patterns and be surprised in ways that machines cannot.
    The process is now used in biology, history, literature, zoology, and astronomy.  Volunteers can choose from up to 49 different projects, in fields like Arts, Climate, Biology, History, Language, Literature, and Medicine.
  To participate in HRP's Crowd Research  Phase 1, go to Zooniverse.org and become trained on at least three projects, preferably all in different fields.  Then write to AnnaChuLin@gmail.com to discuss your experience.  
Project leaders are from Harvard, Stanford, and Tsinghua University.
Researchers share experiences on Tumblr, Google +, Bebo, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
For more information, or to participate, contact rosstomkins@gmail.com

7. The Humor Self

  (Laughter Yoga)

   No one knows when laughter began. But the characteristics that make up the Comedic Self are certainly unique. We find an ancient interest in humor in mythological figures such as Coyote the Trickster from Native American legends.

   Dr. Madan Kataria, a cardiologist from Mumbai, developed Laughter Yoga in the 1990's. It involves a group of exercises which bring about prolonged, spontaneous laughter without cause.  Several studies have indicated that Laughter Yoga may have beneficial effects upon cardiovascular health and mood. An Oxford study found that pain thresholds become significantly higher after induced laughter. It suggested that laughter produces an 'endorphin-mediated opiate effect' which 'could play a crucial role in social bonding'.

  Our groups use laughter yoga in concert with the other experiments to explore transcendent psychological states. Laughter and its causes are not yet  transferable to any Artificial Intelligence we know of.  But it may well be something that is worth studying more to grasp the essence of what it means to be human as we approach the Singularity.
   To participate, first search Youtube for sample Laughter Yoga sessions (there are dozens) to get the idea.  Then go to http://laughteryoga.org/ly-on-skype/ to find live online laughter yoga sessions, available anywhere. Or go here:

  To apply to be a research coordinator, write to amychang423@yahoo.com.
Project leaders are from the University of Delhi, Magdalen and Worcester Colleges at Oxford, and Berkeley.

8. The No-Self



   What you are depends on the range of the observer. At several feet you appear human. At closer ranges you are cells, molecules, particles… At greater ranges you are a city perhaps, a country, the planet, the star, the galaxy… 

But what are you at zero distance? In other words, what are you really? 

Others cannot tell you because they always remain distant from you. But you are at your own centre so you are well-placed to look and see what you are there. But how can you do that? 

The experiments on this website show you how to see your own central reality. 

Once you see what you are at centre – once you see who you really are – then the idea is to get into the habit of living consciously from this boundless, timeless Space. There is a lot  on this website that will inspire and encourage you to do this. Explore! Go to headless.org/experiments.htm.

  To join us in collating results, perform at least the first 8 experiments found at headless.org, and then write to annachulin@gmail.com.

Project leaders are from Stanford, Yale, and  Tsinghua University.  For more information, or to participate, contact annachulin@gmail.com

9. The Artistic Self


We tend to view Art as a separate realm, something that certain talented people do, and that only certain adepts can appreciate fully. But all of us have the capacity to be creative in a myriad of ways. Learning how this self sees the world, and how it sees the other selves, can be immensely valuable.


 In this particular project, students and teachers from the Gurukulam School in India are examining the borderland between Art made by humans, and that made by machine. They are utilizing Google's WebVR experiments:  https://experiments.withgoogle.com/webvr  and creating interactive generative art through Silk, at weavesilk.com.

10. The Musical Self


This could also be called the Sound Self, since many of the audio inputs it values are not music.  But because it is a unique form of communication created entirely by our species, often the ways we express ourselves that invite experimentation involve music.

  An exception is the experiment we are doing with ear-resetting scan tones. Tomatis and others have claimed that learning and attention can be improved by retraining the ear to hear certain high-frequency tones.  People concentrate better and learn more efficiently after a few listening sessions.

  Lower frequency sounds may have the opposite effect, such as inducing relaxation.  Visit Mynoise.net.

11. The Compassionate (Agape, Maitri) Self

  This self is the embodiment of a type of universal love for all sentient beings that appears to have been a lot more prevalent in ancient times than now, a time when personal and romantic love are more important.  Much more than an emotion, this is a whole mind state which seems to be accessible through techniques like brain entrainment with audio tones at 5.5Hz.  You can experiment with this at sites like  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7EHidYj9BQ.   Some contemplators like to hear the vibrations while absorbed in soft-eye gazing at a compelling picture, like the heart-shaped collection of positive emotion synonyms or the orchid below.