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In video games, characters can often aquire new skills, weapons, tools, etc. Usually one must achieve skills in a particular order. This is called a "tech tree". I am working on such a system, but not for a video game. I don't want to call it a tech tree, because search engines would have a hard time finding this particular thing in all the noise. I am looking for some plain spoken alternatives. (All my alternatives end up sounding pompous or outrageous, like translating tech tree into Latin, etc)

@Amy asked for more context. I should probably put that context up here in the main question too...

Carl Sagan once said, "If you want to bake an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the Universe." For a long time I have been collecting books, papers, and sometimes artifacts, that would allow a person to follow the trail of some topic in the library all the way down to first principles. I am now looking into doing this digitally, and I have been stumped trying to name the project. I've always just called it my library, but that doesn't work well as a public name.

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    How about "lesson plan". – Hot Licks Dec 19 '19 at 1:21
  • Maybe... That might seem slightly condescending. I am not trying to claim that this project has all the answers. Just that it has some answers – Craeft Dec 19 '19 at 3:57
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    Knowledge Bush ? – Smock Dec 19 '19 at 13:17
  • What kind of topics are in the library? Technology? Science, Art? Everything? – Matthew Smith Dec 19 '19 at 21:31
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Forgive me if you've already thought of this, but is "hierarchy" an acceptable alternative here? More vague but much more commonly used/searched.

If you want something that means exactly the same thing, "skill tree" might be more intuitive than "tech tree"

Some context on what your specific use case would help people give more suitable answers.

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  • Carl Sagan once said, "If you want to bake an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the Universe." For a long time I have been collecting books, paper, and sometimes artifacts, that would allow a person to follow the trail of some topic in the library all the way down to some first principles. I am now looking into doing this digitally, and I have been stumped trying to name the website. – Craeft Dec 19 '19 at 21:12
  • @Craeft - What's wrong with "Universe"? Or "Apple Pie"?? – Hot Licks Dec 19 '19 at 22:12
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What does tracing a phenomenon down to first principles look like? A binary decision tree? Likely not. If I hold an arrowhead in my hand (an artifact as you say), do I follow an inquisitive path regarding the history of stone tools, the idea of human culture and social cooperation, the relationship of humankind to a changing environment and climate? Or possibly I am interested in the geologic principles behind the raw materials of early hominid tools. The 'hierarchy' of your system sounds to me more as a web of connections, a NEXUS of ideas. In education, the "layering" of ideas or skills is often termed SCAFFOLDING. It evokes an ability to "climb" between the layers of knowledge at ones own pace.

From Merriam Webster: scaffolding

  1. A framework serving as a supporting structure, base, or outline for something (as a literary work or a part of an organism)

2 Evidence or explanatory matter tending to confirm, validate, or bolster something (as an argument)

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The way you describe it, it seems like the opposite of a tech-tree, since you're working your way back... so

  • Tech Roots
  • Learning Lineage
  • STEM Roots
  • STEM Seeds
  • STEM Sources
  • Seeds of Knowledge
  • Truth Tubers
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Revisiting 11 months later... how about

Epistemology Tree?

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