I'm working on modeling how a civilization can progress from some known state making conscious choices about the fields in which to apply its resources. Is there some good / theoretically sound / well-known nomenclature for various branches of science & technology as well as other areas of life to somehow classify all possible choices?
We know how in many computer games you can decide to "research pottery" after which you gain a pre-defined list of improvements and access to further (also known in advance) techs in the research tree. Not so IRL where you don't know what you'd get eventually (and even less so, what you'd get first) if you start spending 80% of your GDP on agricultural research centers. And it may even occur that while you are spending enormous researchers on agriculture a break-through comes in some other field, like nuclear physics. Simply because some genius was enthusiastic enough about that field to work their despite the lack of support. And I'm not even starting on commercialization and inter-relationships between government vs private funded research.
Still, it should be possible for a civilization or some group within to decide "Let's focus our efforts on XXX", and spend it's resources on that in various forms (grants, time, social pressure, access to rare capabilities/equipment/research, competitions, etc) to increase the probabilities of the progress in the chosen area.
Ideally, I'm looking for a universal classification system that includes not only the things, which are traditionally included in science & tech (physics, chemistry, biology, health sciences, ... ; transportation, energy, ...), but also other aspects of life. They may decide "Let's focus on improving education methods", "reducing crime", "optimizing our financial system", "improving ethics/morale", "working on nurturing stoutness and courage in each individual".
But I realize that such universal system is unlikely to exist. So, I'd appreciate pointers to the systems that cover some large facets of our life.
A separate question is how to measure rough order of the magnitude for the progress in a given area. For natural sciences and technologies one good approach is thinking in the terms of various measurement units. Did they reach the stage when they understand the processes and can operate at nano/pico/femto (or otherwise, at light-years or galaxy-size scale) in various disciplines. Or, the same thing for energy units - the famous Kardashev scale. But what about other areas, like social sciences and aspects of life. To some extent linear/energy scale approach is applicable there (ability to operate at nano-level may affect our educational process or crime prevention). But I feel like I measure everything through "physics", missing out on other important factors.