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







ieet books

How “God” Works: A Logical Inquiry on Faith
Author
by Marshall Brain

Virtually Human: The Promise—-and the Peril—-of Digital Immortality
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


ieet events

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


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


Hughes on “Using Neurotechnologies to Enhance Virtues”
February 19 , 2015
Smith College, Northampton, MA, 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
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


The End of Religion: Technology and the Future
by John G. Messerly
Jan 24, 2015 • (3) CommentsPermalink

History is littered with dead gods. The Greek and Roman gods, and thousands of others have perished. Yet AllahYahwehKrishna and a few more survive. But will belief in the gods endure? It will not. Our descendents will be too advanced to share such primitive beliefs.


The Power of Pull
by piero scaruffi
Jan 22, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

A general rule that rarely fails is: “Be wary of books written by multiple authors”. Multiple authors tend to amplify each other’s crap instead of edit it down, and the results are often embarrassing ideological pamphlets, no matter how smart the premise.The premise here is interesting. The digital age has changed the world in which we live in not only from the point of the consumers but also from the point of the producers. We live in the age of Web platforms that were not designed top-down but sprung up bottom-up. The future may be more of it, and faster.


Yes, Obama “Won Twice” – as a Progressive. Deal With It, Everybody.
by Richard Eskow
Jan 22, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Today’s American right is burdened with a highly specialized and hyper-amplified sense of outrage. That outrage was triggered during this week’s State of the Union speech, especially by the president’s off-the-cuff response to a group of Republicans who sarcastically applauded the line, “I have no more campaigns to run.”


Religion’s Dirty Dozen—12 Really Bad Religious Ideas That Have Made the World Worse
by Valerie Tarico
Jan 21, 2015 • (4) CommentsPermalink

Some of humanity’s technological innovations are things we would have been better off without: the medieval rack, the atomic bomb and powdered lead potions come to mind. Religions tend to invent ideas or concepts rather than technologies, but like every other creative human enterprise, they produce some really bad ones along with the good.


Problems with Defining an Existential Risk
by Phil Torres
Jan 21, 2015 • (3) CommentsPermalink

What is an existential risk? The general concept has been around for decades, but the term was coined by Nick Bostrom in his seminal 2002 paper, here. Like so many empirical concepts – from organism to gene to law of nature, all of which are still debated by philosophically-minded scientists and scientifically-minded philosophers – the notion of an existential risk turns out to be more difficult to define than one might at first think.


Appleman’s: The Labyrinth: God, Darwin, and the Meaning of Life (Part 2)
by John G. Messerly
Jan 20, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Cosmic evolution gave birth to our sun and planet; chemical evolution brought forth atoms, molecules and cells; biological evolution led to us.  The process ran itself, there was no intelligent designer. But consciousness emerged, we are here, and within limits we are free. And yet we will die.


Why the CIA Is So Eager to Demolish Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling
by Norman Solomon
Jan 20, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Midway through the trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, one comment stands out. “A criminal case,” defense attorney Edward MacMahon told the jury at the outset, “is not a place where the CIA goes to get its reputation back.” But that’s where the CIA went with this trial in its first week — sending to the witness stand a procession of officials who attested to the agency’s virtues and fervently decried anyone who might provide a journalist with classified information.


There are two paths to superlongevity: only one of them is good
by Rick Searle
Jan 19, 2015 • (1) CommentsPermalink

Looked at in the longer historical perspective we have already achieved something our ancestors would consider superlongevity. In the UK life expectancy at birth averaged around 37 in 1700. It is roughly 81 today. The extent to which this is a reflection of decreased child mortality versus an increase in the survival rate of the elderly I’ll get to a little later, but for now, just try to get your head around the fact that we have managed to nearly double the life expectancy of human beings in a little over two centuries.


Review of Appleman’s: The Labyrinth: God, Darwin, and the Meaning of Life (Part 1)
by John G. Messerly
Jan 19, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Philip D. Appleman (1926 –  ) is an American poet, a Darwin scholar, and Professor Emeritus of English at Indiana University. He has recently published a new book: The Labyrinth: God, Darwin, and the Meaning of Life. It is a short book, only about 60 pages, but it is carefully and conscientiously crafted, so I will quote extensively from its beautiful prose.


Today’s Visionary: A Guide to MLK’s 21st Century Insights
by Richard Eskow
Jan 19, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Here it was again. This holiday weekend we saw a lot of media coverage of Martin Luther King, Jr. But we heard very little about who he really was – a brave and visionary leader whose vision is as relevant today as ever. Dr. King’s life and legacy stand as a challenge to an entrenched society of privilege and injustice. Here are nine quotes that reflect that legacy.


Blockchain Thinking: Transition to Digital Societies of Multispecies Intelligence
by Melanie Swan
Jan 19, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

The future world could be one of multi-species intelligence. The possibility space could include “classic” humans, enhanced humans, digital mindfile uploads, and many forms of artificial intelligence: deep learning neural nets, machine learning algorithms, blockchain-based DACs (distributed autonomous organizations), and whole-brain software emulations.


How Religion Can Let Loose Humanity’s Most Violent Impulses
by Valerie Tarico
Jan 18, 2015 • (5) CommentsPermalink

Religion is just one part of the lethal cocktail, but it is a powerful intoxicant. The year 2015 has opened to slaughter in the name of gods.  In Paris, two Islamist brothers executed Charlie Hebdo cartoonists “in defense of the Prophet,” while an associate killed shoppers in a kosher grocery.  In Nigeria, Islamist members of Boko Haram massacred a town to cries of Allahu Akbar—Allah is the greatest!  Simultaneously, the United Nations released a report detailing the “ethnic cleansing” of Muslims in the Central African Republic by Christian militias, sometimes reciting Bible verses.


Neuroenhancement and the Extended Mind Hypothesis
by John Danaher
Jan 18, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Consider your smartphone for a moment. It provides you with access to a cornucopia of information. Some of it is general, stored on publicly accessible internet sites, and capable of being called up to resolve any pub debate one might be having (how many U.S. presidents have been assassinated? or how many times have Brazil won the World Cup?). Some of it is more personal, and includes a comprehensive databank of all emails and text message conversations you have had, your calendar appointments, the number of steps you have taken on any given day, books read, films watched, calories consumed and so forth.


Transhumanism and Religion
by John G. Messerly
Jan 18, 2015 • (1) CommentsPermalink

Transhumanism is: The intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally improving the human condition through applied reason, especially by developing and making widely available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities … transhumanism is a way of thinking about the future that is based on the premise that the human species in its current form does not represent the end of our development but rather a comparatively early phase.1

You Are the Master of Your Universe!
by Tery Spataro
Jan 15, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

If you attended CES 2015, you probably found it was stuffed with the excitement of connected devices, homes, cars, robots and even drones! While record numbers of attendees embarked on CES 2015, I observed every few seconds Twitter buzzing with enthusiasm and wonder for automating routines and tasks will improve our lives. This year’s conference let us in on what is and what will be our future, – at least our future for the next few years. My observations cause me to conclude:


#1 Editor’s Choice Award: Rule by Algorithm? Big Data and the Threat of Algocracy
by John Danaher
Jan 15, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

An increasing number of people are worried about the way in which our data is being mined by governments and corporations. One of these people is Evgeny Morozov. In an article that appeared in the MIT Technology Review back in October 2013, he argued that this trend poses a serious threat to democracy, one that should be resisted through political activism and “sabotage”. As it happens, I have written about similar threats to democracy myself in the past, so I was interested to see how Morozov defended his view.


World Economic Forum highlights risks of emerging technologies
by Andrew Maynard
Jan 15, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

The challenges of governing emerging technologies are highlighted by the World Economic Forum in the 2015 edition of its Global Risks Report. Focusing in particular on synthetic biology, gene drives and artificial intelligence, the report warns that these and other emerging technologies present hard-to-foresee risks, and that oversight mechanisms need to more effectively balance likely benefits and commercial demands with a deeper consideration of ethical questions and medium to long-term risks.


Can Life Have Meaning Without Gods?
by John G. Messerly
Jan 14, 2015 • (1) CommentsPermalink

John Cottingham was born in London in 1943 and received his PhD from Oxford University. He is presently Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Reading and an Honorary Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford. He is a proponent today of the view that life is meaningless without a god.


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The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States. Please give as you are able, and help support our work for a brighter future.

ieet multimedia

Are We Ready for Designer Babies?
Guest image
George Church, Robert C. Green, Francis Collins

Multifunctional fibers communicate with the brain
Guest image
Melanie Gonick/MIT

Exploring the Learning Experience Through Cognitive Science
Guest image
Nascira Ramia, Hideaki Koizumi, Helen Abadzi

Science, Politics & Climate Change
Guest image
Peter Doherty

Science, Politics & Climate Change
(Jan 21, 2015)

“Surviving the 21st Century” (1hr 30min)
(Jan 21, 2015)

Existential Risk: Future of Humanity Institute | University of Oxford
(Jan 21, 2015)



comments

Rick Searle on 'The End of Religion: Technology and the Future' (Jan 24, 2015)

jasoncstone on 'The End of Religion: Technology and the Future' (Jan 24, 2015)

SharZ on 'Problems with Defining an Existential Risk' (Jan 24, 2015)

Lincoln Cannon on 'The End of Religion: Technology and the Future' (Jan 24, 2015)

philosophytorres on 'Problems with Defining an Existential Risk' (Jan 23, 2015)

Knotanumber on 'Religion’s Dirty Dozen—12 Really Bad Religious Ideas That Have Made the World Worse' (Jan 23, 2015)

Knotanumber on 'Problems with Defining an Existential Risk' (Jan 23, 2015)

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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