Anthropology was originally the scientific study of human culture, habits, beliefs, traditions, and origins when humans were the only sophont Terragens. Long ago the field was extended to cover sophonts in general.
Anthropology includes analysis of comparative sophont biology, memeticities (beliefs, customs, and local cultures), language, development, history, and so on. Anthropologists may specialize in a single culture or clade, or have a vast database that includes millions of cultures and subcultures. Often they have spent years or centuries of real or virtual time studying their favourite culture, clade, or phyle.
Sometimes the term is preceded by a suffix. To list just a few:
AI-anthropology - study of ai cultures
Comparative Anthropology - studies and compares different (even millions) clades or cultural differences.
Cyber-anthropology - includes the study of virtuals, cyberians and so on
Nano-anthropology - study of solid-state civilizations
Xeno-anthropology - study of alien cultures
- Asymptote System - Text by Anders Sandberg
A place where many species converge. Usually trading and network nexuses, and generally core systems for a Cooperative Venture. As time goes by, many species end up in asymptotes when their outside branches die out, go static or transcend. Asymptotes can often be quite dynamic civilizations with vital internal politics, but most long-lived asymptotes have developed stabilizing systems that keep them viable even when the constituent species die out, merge or transform.
- Cymbiotic - Text by John B
Beings unable to self-reproduce without physical/nanotech manipulation of their bodies.
- Ethnobotany - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Study of how plants are used in various (mostly prim, neo-prim, or bioborg) hu, tweak, splice, provolve, and xenosophont cultures.
- Ethology - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, from the original by Robert J. Hall
Originally the study of animal behavior and psychology, especially in the wild; later came to mean the study of the behaviour of any sentient creature of at least one toposophic node below the level of the observer.
- Political Science - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
The branch of the social sciences concerned with the description and analysis of polities, government, politics, and political institutions and processes. Fields of study include political parties and ideology, types of government, administration, regulation, statecraft, foreign policy, war, civil rights, political thought, constitutions, historical politics (specializing in a particular polity or era), comparative politics, xenopolitics, the relation between people and government, or between lower toposophic citizens and higher toposophic sovereigns.
- Sociology - Text by M. Alan Kazlev based on original by Robert J. Hall
Branch of science dealing with the study of the societies of sentient beings
- Strong Convergence Hypothesis - Text by Nick Bostrom in Anders Sandberg's Transhuman Terminology
The postulate that all sufficiently advanced cultures converge towards the same state. A rival hypothesis is the divergent track hypothesis.
Text by M. Alan Kazlev
modified from the original write-up by Robert J. Hall
Initially published on 13 September 2001.