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Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Quick overview of biopolitical points of view







ieet books

Virtually Human: The Promise—-and the Peril—-of Digital Immortality
Author
by Martine Rothblatt

A Taxonomy and Metaphysics of Mind-Uploading
by Keith Wiley

A History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth Century
by Ilia Stambler

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies
by Nick Bostrom


ieet events

Brin on SETI @ AAPT
January 4 -5, 2015
San Diego, CA USA


Brin @ NASA NIAC Meeting
January 27 -30, 2015
Orlando, FL USA


Brin @ AAAS Annual Meeting
February 12 -16, 2015
San Jose, CA USA


Brain @ North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress
February 26 -1, 2015
New York, NY USA


Wallach, Hughes @ Governance of Emerging Technologies
May 26 -28, 2015
Scottsdale, AZ USA


Hughes @ Juniata H+ Conference
July 26 -30, 2015
Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA USA


Hughes, Sorgner @ Beyond Humanism Conf: From Humanism to Post- and Transhumanism?
September 15 -18, 2015
Ewha Woman's Univ, Seoul, S. Korea


ieet news

For a Longer, Brighter and More Just Future
(Dec 20, 2014)

2014 has been an exciting year for emerging technologies, and we want to share some of our news. We hope we can count on your continued support and involvement in the coming year.

IEET Audience Wants Regulation of DIY Biohacking
(Dec 14, 2014)

We asked “Should DIY biohackers be subject to the same safety regulations and oversight as corporate biological research labs?” Of the 573 of you that responded six out of ten (61%) believed that biohackers should be subject to some kind of regulation.


Technoprogressive Declaration - Transvision 2014 (Nov 22, 2014)

New Affiliate Scholars: John Messerly and Amon Twyman (Nov 21, 2014)


ieet articles


Superintelligences Are Already Out There!
by John G. Messerly
Dec 20, 2014 • (0) CommentsPermalink

“I think it very likely—in fact, inevitable—that biological intelligence is only a transitory phenomenon… If we ever encounter extraterrestrial intelligence, I believe it is very likely to be postbiological in nature …” Paul Davies


Self Absorption
by Joseph R. Carvalko
Dec 19, 2014 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Looking back on my early experience as a young engineer, I am reminded how little my colleagues and I appreciated that what we did would change the world, for good and for bad. I am also reminded how Marcel Golay, one of my early mentors understood the duality of technology and how this feature plays large in its application for the right purpose.


Wage Slavery and Sweatshops as Free Enterprise?
by David S. D'Amato
Dec 19, 2014 • (1) CommentsPermalink

The conservative American Enterprise Institute offers yet another defense of sweatshops from a self-styled advocate of liberty and free markets, Professor Mark J. Perry. Indeed it is more than just a defense; it’s a selective compilation of quotes and anecdotes hailing sweatshops as perfectly praiseworthy routes out of poverty.


Currency Multiplicity: Social Economic Networks
by Melanie Swan
Dec 17, 2014 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Cryptocoin multiplicity is just one kind of currency multiplicity in the modern world. More broadly, we are living in an increasingly multi-currency society with all kinds of monetary and non-monetary currencies.


#21: Your nanorobotics future: life truly becomes ‘magical’
by Dick Pelletier
Dec 17, 2014 • (0) CommentsPermalink

"You enter the wellness center and tell the receptionist avatar that you're here for an annual restoration, and though your real age is 110, you would like to be restored to the age of a 20-something. A nurse then injects billions of genome-specific 'bots non-invasively through the skin; you're now set for another year."


Meaning, Value and the Collective Afterlife: Must others survive for our lives to have meaning?
by John Danaher
Dec 17, 2014 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Samuel Scheffler made quite a splash last year with his book Death and the Afterlife. It received impressive recommendations and reviews from numerous commentators, and was featured in a variety of popular outlets, including the Boston Review and the New York Review of Books. I’m a bit late to the party, having only got around to reading it in the past week, but I think I can see what all the fuss was about.


Torture and the Ticking Time Bomb
by John G. Messerly
Dec 16, 2014 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Why do people torture others? Why do they march others into gas chambers? Because some are psychopaths or sadists or power hungry. Depravity is in their DNA. Some are not inherently depraved but believe the situation demands torture. If others are evil and we are good, then we should kill and torture them with impunity. Such ideas result from the demonization of others, from a simplistic worldview in which good battles evil. If others torture, they are war criminals; if we torture are motives are pure. But the world is more nuanced than this. There is good and evil within us all.


#22: Ray Kurzweil on Rationality and the Moral Considerability of Intelligent Machines
by Daryl Wennemann
Dec 16, 2014 • (1) CommentsPermalink

In his new work, How to Create a Mind [HCM], Ray Kurzweil reflects on the moral considerability of intelligent machines. He believes that in the near future we will be confronted with machines that have cognitive abilities and emotive expressions that closely emulate those of humanB beings. (I use the term “HumanB” and its cognates to designate biological humanity and the term “HumanM” and its cognates to designate moral humanity, i.e., persons). The issue for him is whether we humanB beings will be able to identify morally with non-humanB artificial persons that do not have a biological existence.


Should we criminalise robotic rape and robotic child sexual abuse?
by John Danaher
Dec 16, 2014 • (0) CommentsPermalink

I recently published an unusual article. At least, I think it is unusual. It imagines a future in which sophisticated sex robots are used to replicate acts of rape and child sexual abuse, and then asks whether such acts should be criminalised. In the article, I try to provide a framework for evaluating the issue, but I do so in what I think is a provocative fashion. I present an argument for thinking that such acts should be criminalised, even if they have no extrinsically harmful effects on others. I know the argument is going to be unpalatable to some, and I myself balk at its seemingly anti-liberal/anti-libertarian dimensions, but I thought it was sufficiently interesting to be worth spelling out in some detail. Hence why I wrote the article.


#23: Indefinite lifespan in our future; experts ponder responses
by Dick Pelletier
Dec 16, 2014 • (0) CommentsPermalink

To begin this article on living longer, we focus on a fascinating TED talk where science writer David Duncan poses questions based on "When I'm 164".


Ten Bonus Health Benefits of Birth Control
by Valerie Tarico
Dec 15, 2014 • (0) CommentsPermalink

We women hear a lot about side effects of birth control, but we don’t hear as much about the side benefits. If you haven’t had a conversation with your doctor lately about family planning, you may be in for some surprises, like the fact that lighter, less frequent periods may be healthier for you.


2014: The death of the Human Rights Movement, or It’s Rebirth?
by Rick Searle
Dec 15, 2014 • (0) CommentsPermalink

For anyone interested in the issues of human rights, justice, or peace, and I assume that would include all of us, 2014 was a very bad year. It is hard to know where to start, with Eric Garner, the innocent man choked to death in New York city whose police are supposed to protect citizens not kill them, or Ferguson Missouri where the lack of police restraint in using lethal force on African Americans, burst into public consciousness, with seemingly little effect, as the chilling murder of a young boy wielding a pop gun occurred even in the midst of riots that were national news.


#24: Cosmic Beings: Transhumanist Deism in Ted Chu’s Cosmic View
by Giulio Prisco
Dec 15, 2014 • (0) CommentsPermalink

In Human Purpose and Transhuman Potential: A Cosmic Vision for Our Future Evolution, IEET affiliate scholar Ted Chu, a professor of Economics at New York University in Abu Dhabi and former chief economist for General Motors and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, argues that post-humanity is a logical and necessary evolutionary next step for humanity, and we need a new, heroic cosmic faith for the post-human era. “The ultimate meaning of our lives rests not in our personal happiness but in our contribution to cosmic evolution,” says Chu…


Review of Michio Kaku’s, Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century
by John G. Messerly
Dec 15, 2014 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Summary of Michio Kaku’s Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century (1997) “There are three great themes in science in the 20th century—the atom, the computer, and the gene.” – Harold Varmus, NIH Director. Three centuries ago Newton said that he was a boy, playing on the seashore while a “great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.” Life in Newton’s time was, as Hobbes said, “nasty, brutish, and short.” But Newton unleashed a revolution that he could never have imagined. Within a few generations “the basic laws of matter, life, and computation were … solved.” [3-4]


#25: Cryptocurrencies as a Single Pool of Wealth
by Gennady Stolyarov II
Dec 14, 2014 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Thoughts on the Purchasing Power of Decentralized Electronic Money
 The recent meteoric rise in the dollar price of Bitcoin – from around $12 at the beginning of 2013 to several peaks above $1000 at the end – has brought widespread attention to the prospects for and future of cryptocurrencies. I have no material stake in Bitcoin (although I do accept donations), and this article will not attempt to predict whether the current price of Bitcoin signifies mostly lasting value or a bubble akin to the Dutch tulip mania of the 1630s. Instead of speculation about any particular price level, I hope here to establish a principle pertaining to the purchasing power of cryptocurrencies in general, since Bitcoin is no longer the only one.


The Slut Shaming, Sex-Negative Message in the Christmas Story: It’s Worth a Family Conversation
by Valerie Tarico
Dec 14, 2014 • (1) CommentsPermalink

The birth story of baby Jesus celebrates the promise of new life, but for girls it also sends a harmful message. How can we acknowledge this without spoiling the rest?Most Americans, even many who are not very religious, look forward to Christmas as a time to celebrate warmth, friendship, generosity and good cheer. Familiar festivities weave together stories and traditions from many cultures, which makes it easy to find something for everyone. But maybe it’s time to look a little closer at the Christmas story itself.


#26: The Internet of Things, the industry and AI
by Kamil Muzyka
Dec 14, 2014 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Communication is the basic principle of social interaction. We know that microbes use a method of communication called quorum sensing1, cetaceans have their whale song2, plants have airborne chemical communication and fungal signal transfer via their roots3. Let us take a moment to think about how do machines communicate with each other.


Cure for Aging Can Be Created Using Directed Evolution
by Maria Konovalenko
Dec 14, 2014 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Accumulating evidence suggests that microbiota plays an important role in modulating lifespan. This makes possible to use symbiotic bacteria as “living drugs”, which live in the host organism and promote its longevity. We propose to create bacteria, which dramatically extend lifespan of its host. Such bacteria have to produce not one, but a set of longevity-promoting substances with optimal concentrations and dynamics of secretion. To obtain such bacteria we propose to use directed evolution, a process that mimics Darwinian selection on a laboratory scale.


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comments

AmbassadorZot on '#22: Ray Kurzweil on Rationality and the Moral Considerability of Intelligent Machines' (Dec 20, 2014)

pansi4 on 'The Slut Shaming, Sex-Negative Message in the Christmas Story: It's Worth a Family Conversation' (Dec 20, 2014)

Vigrith on 'Technoprogressive Declaration - Transvision 2014' (Dec 20, 2014)

ericscoles on 'The small and surprisingly dangerous detail the police track about you' (Dec 20, 2014)

instamatic on 'Wage Slavery and Sweatshops as Free Enterprise?' (Dec 19, 2014)

instamatic on 'Four questions for Social Futurists, and others' (Dec 18, 2014)

CygnusX1 on 'Four questions for Social Futurists, and others' (Dec 18, 2014)

JET

Enframing the Flesh: Heidegger, Transhumanism, and the Body as “Standing Reserve”

Moral Enhancement and Political Realism

Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life




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