Thanks Eric - I admit I'm probably obsessing a bit much about this, but on the other hand I think that if we state a quantitative goal it should be something that we believe in and can achieve; even if highly ambitious, it should be a genuine goal we can rally around. Otherwise it's just a distraction.
@tblomseth asked some months ago: if our goal is to scale everyday science, what exactly are we scaling? That is, what is the "unit of production." A good question!
Out of the discussion this question produced came the idea that a discovery is "shared project." It's basically a "show&tell" but not necessarily one that is presented live at a meeting and shared as a video. Maybe a project log also counts. But some requirements are:
It has an author. Doesn't have to be a real name (can be anonymous), but part of the definition of a project is that it is carried out by an individual who is both the subject and the investigator, who takes responsibility for it.
It involves making self-observations. Usually this would be "generates data" but we've seen some that are minimal/edge cases where the observations were made but no data was collected or preserved. I think we can make room for these, but saying "observations" rather than "data" keeps it user centric rather than data centric.
Is publicly shared. It's partly up to us to define how the sharing takes place, and creating the right context and framework for sharing is partly what QS has done and Article 27 should support.
I think it is easy to see how we go from 100 to 200. Even doing this will teach us a lot. Going from 200-400 is also something we can plan. It may cause us to do some new things, like create user accounts for people sharing projects so they can update them without our intervention (if we do this outside the forum). If we think it is needed, we can also rally the community around different topics where there is a lot of activity already: Blood pressure, cholesterol, ovulatory cycling, blood sugar, sleep, etc. If we focused on it for a few months we could support 20-30 projects in any of these areas, I think.
So I see a path to maybe 500 discoveries, where discoveries are defined as shared projects. That is, they are not the "few times in a lifetime" level of discoveries, but more basic bits of learning. For instance, even my learning that my hand tremor is made worse when I stiffen the digit counts as a discovery, and I learned this from just trying to refine my measurement protocol, not from doing an experiment. But it was really interesting, and gives me some useful ideas. (Somebody might appreciate this idea for tracking their own tremor, but we don't really have enough density and ease of sharing to make this plausible yet.)
Going from 500 to 1000 or 8000 is another phase shift, and I think by year two we would be ready to think about this.
And from 8000 to 128,000, other shift... and so on.
I'm resistant to pretending I know what happens at this point, since we have such a better chance of knowing after we get to 1000.