I came up with the mostly-joky title “metacognitve engineer”in 2014 or so – at the time it was in itself an act of metacognitive self-engineering, since I didn't know exactly what I meant by it and I was sort of forcing myself into the position of having to fill out the term, both definitionally and in what I actually do in my professional life, or at least aim to do.
Hard to believe I didn't already have a page on this (as of May 15th, 2021 at least).
It's pretty capacious – everything from time management techniques to the willpower apps beloved of Rationalists to meditation might be seen as a form of MCSE. But I tend to mean something a bit more particular – the crafting of software to support or transform human thought processes (see Media Science Heroes).
I wanted a term that highlighted the astonishing power of technology to extend our minds, and what that means for me as a practicing software engineer.
The history of metacognitive engineering is the history of media: from orality through literacy and print to digital.
Metacognitive engineering is the design of tools to improve thinking processes. Often these tools are software, but practices or even slogans or maxims count. It is related (in abstraction level) to Sloterdijk՚s anthropotechnics.
Second-brain and other management geeks
I came up with the mostly-joky title “metacognitve engineer” – which was itself an act of metacognitive engineering on myself, since it puts me in the position of trying to fill out the concept.
I have on occasion used the term “metacognitive engineering” as a kind of joking version of my actual job – that is, to build software systems and occasionally try to write about ideas in other spheres like morality, cognition, and politics.
constructivism (or hackish in the best sense)
situatedness, embodiment, and improvisation
affective, spiritual, and otherwise arational or postrational
risky (not sure what I mean by this, but any utterance, any thought, is taking a risk – there are no bland statements of truth)
encompassing (that is, the field should broadly include any kind of religion or self-help system)