I'm not sure where better to ask this, maybe Philosophy either English SE are better places than Academia?

My question:

From computer games like Civilizations, we know the concept of the technology tree, i.e. different technologies and innovations are conceived to be interlinked in a graph.

Is there actually such a thing (maybe not exactly but comparable) in reality* in terms of research and technology management and if yes what is the proper term for that (given that the "TechTree" term is specific to games?

* Besides the paper citation graph


I agree it is off-topic for Academia. However, I think it is suitable for History of Science and Mathematics, but you should read their question guidance first.

However, you are not the first to be interested in these interlinking threads of technology. You may be interested in the work of James Burke: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connections_(TV_series)

You should also look at the terms Praxeology, Mesology, Teleology etc which relate to the philosophy of human knowledge.

  • I am not sure about the whole scope of your answer, but the hint about the History of Science and Mathematics is very helpful! thank you. I love learning new terms. While indeed a tech tree might be a purpose oriented thing in a game we can't tell same for our reality; nevertheless as it seems there is some anti-entropic information synthesis taking place. Well the term "information" itself can't exist beyond the frame of semiotics I think. – J. Doe Jan 4 at 13:40

I don’t see how your question would be on-topic on Academia SE, as this is not a concept relevant to academic processes or culture. Specific academics may care about this kind of thing, namely anthropologists, but that would make this about the contents of research and teaching, which are explicitly off-topic here.

As there is no Anthropology SE, there is no spot-on site for this. I would guess that History SE is best suited, at least it does have an anthropology tag. If you ask there, it may help to put your question in a historic context.

General questions looking for a term can also be suited for English Language & Usage, but given the specificity of your request, I would consider your odds for a good answer to be worse there.


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