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







ieet books

Envisioning Politics 2.0
Author
by David Wood and Alexander Karran eds.

The Future of Business
by Ed. Rohit Talwar

A Dangerous Master: How to Keep Technology from Slipping Beyond Our Control
by Wendell Wallach

Artificial Superintelligence: A Futuristic Approach
by Roman Yampolskiy


ieet events

Sorgner, Wallach @ International Conference on the Integration of Science, Technology and Society
August 3 -7, 2015
Daejeon, S. Korea


Sorgner @ Beyond Humanism Conf: From Humanism to Post- and Transhumanism?
September 15 -18, 2015
Seoul, S. Korea


Siegel @ Transformative Technology Conference
October 2 -4, 2015
Sofia University, Palo Alto CA, USA


Stambler, de Grey @ Super Longevity Conference
October 3 -4, 2015
New Delhi, India


Prisco @ Modern Cosmism Conference
October 10 , 2015
NYC, NY USA


Sorgner@TEDxStuttgart
October 19 , 2015
Stuttgart, Germany


Sorgner@7th LUMEN international conference
November 12 -14, 2015
Targoviste, Romania


Sorgner @ FirstGerman Academic symposium on transhumanism
December 5 , 2015
Nürnberg, Germany


ieet news

IEET Audience Sees a Virtual Future for Sex
(Jul 18, 2015)

We asked the IEET audience “In the coming century will face-to-face, in-body sex be more or less common?” given tech that will encourage virtualization such as brainjacks, porn, sexbots, and electronically-mediated sex. Or will we revel in our newly young, perpetually healthy, and hormonally tweaked bodies by having a lot more face-to-face sex. The 140 of you who responded were two-to-one convinced we are headed for more virtual sex.

Danaher Publishes Human Enhancement, Social Solidarity and the Distribution of Responsibility
(Jul 18, 2015)

IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher has a new paper in Ethical Theory and Moral Practice that argues for how human enhancement does not threaten social solidarity.


Wallach Publishes in Prestigious NAS Journal (Jul 17, 2015)

IEET Fellow Stefan Lorenz Sorgner interviewed by Philosophie Magazine (Jul 10, 2015)


ieet articles


The Social Fabric of a Technically Advanced Society
by Nicole Sallak Anderson
Aug 1, 2015 • (1) CommentsPermalink

There is so much human potential. I see it everywhere I turn. Yet something seems to hold us back, ever so slightly, from actually becoming a stable species. Yes, we have come a long way, yet at this moment in time it seems we have but two choices before us, begin to cooperate and live in harmony, or destroy everything, including our planet.


America’s best-kept sex secret: lots of us don’t want it
by Valerie Tarico
Jul 28, 2015 • (1) CommentsPermalink

America’s obsession with sex is rivaled only by America’s obsession with repressing sex—except for the millions of Americans who find the whole thing simply uninteresting.


Free Will Does Not Exist - Should it be a Transhumanist Enhancement?
by Hank Pellissier
Jul 27, 2015 • (22) CommentsPermalink

Humans Do Not Have Free Will.

I agree with that statement. So do the vast majority of today’s scientists; neurology and psychology journals increasingly define free will as “an illusion… a figment of our imagination.”

In his 1932 “My Credo” Albert Einstein wrote “I do not believe in free will.”  In the best-seller Free Will, Sam Harris declares the notion “incoherent.” Neuro-philosopher Garrett Merriam opines in an IEET interview “the notion of ‘free will’.. [is a] useless concept… I have high hopes that neuroscience will…eliminate [it]…”


Will Transhumanism Lead to Greater Freedom?
by John G. Messerly
Jul 26, 2015 • (2) CommentsPermalink

A friend emailed me to say that he believed that transhumanists should strive to be free, if free will doesn’t currently exist, or strive to be freer, if humans currently possess some small modicum of free will. He also suggested that becoming transhuman would expedite either process. In short he was claiming that transhumanists should desire more freedom.


The Yuck Factor — What Planned Parenthood Smears, Homophobia, & Middle School Have in Common
by Valerie Tarico
Jul 26, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Medical procedures and research are yucky. Good healthcare means getting over it. If religious conservatives have their way, reproductive healthcare will be dictated by the same psychology that drives middle school jokes about genitals, dead babies and poop—our instinctive squeamish reaction to things that are disgusting and shocking, especially if they relate to sex. Good thing public health advocates and medical providers have a higher set of priorities.


The King of Weird Futures
by Rick Searle
Jul 26, 2015 • (3) CommentsPermalink

Back in the late winter I wrote a review of the biologist Edmund O. Wilson’s grandiloquently mistitled tract-  The Meaning of Human Existence. As far as visions of the future go Wilson’s was a real snoozer, although for that very reason it left little to be nervous about. The hope that he articulated in his book being that we somehow manage to keep humanity pretty much the same- genetically at least- “as a sacred trust”,  in perpetuity. It’s a bio-conservatism that, on one level, I certainly understand, but one I also find incredibly unlikely given that the future consists of….well…. an awfully long stretch of time (that is as long as we’re wise enough or just plain lucky ). How in the world can we expect, especially in light of current advances in fields like genetics, neuroscience, artificial intelligence etc, that we can, or even should, keep humanity essentially unchanged not just now, but for 100 years, or 1000s year, 10,000s years, or even longer?


Transhumanist Therapy II: A Century of Electronic Psychotherapy
by William Sims Bainbridge
Jul 25, 2015 • (1) CommentsPermalink

While less controversial than it was fifty years ago, psychotherapy is an anomalous feature of modern culture, plagued by defects.  Among its shortcomings, psychotherapy has made remarkably little use of information technologies. This blog considers electronic devices to measure human emotional response, that may have been stigmatized by their use in radical religious movements, or by their origins in primitive attempts a century ago to cure neurotics.  I do not recommend simply adopting those religious or therapeutic practices, but adapting the technology to new uses.  A mentally healthy individual could employ emotion-sensing hardware to identify personal goals, consider the meaning of past events, and explore future possibilities.


Penis 2.0: Here’s What the Penis of the Future Should Look Like
by George Dvorsky
Jul 25, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Like our brains, the human penis hasn’t evolved in tens of thousands of years — and that’s a real shame. Our favorite male body part is capable of so much more. In consideration of pending advances in science and technology, here’s what to expect with penis 2.0.


Altruistic Horizons: Our tribal natures, the ‘fear effect’ and the end of ideologies
by David Brin
Jul 25, 2015 • (1) CommentsPermalink

Social thinkers long yearned for the kind of predictive power offered by universal laws of Galileo, Newton and Einstein—reductionist rules that changed our relationship with the material world, from helplessness to manipulative skill. If only similar patterns and laws were found for human nature! Might we construct an ideal society suited to decent living by all?


Zoltan Istvan’s “Teleological Egocentric Functionalism”: An approach to viable politics?
by Roland Benedikter
Jul 24, 2015 • (2) CommentsPermalink

The current foundation phase of “Transhumanist” politics deserves a critical discussion of the philosophical principles that implicitly underlie its new political organization. As part of the effort towards a self-critical evaluation of political transhumanism, which is undoubtedly still in a very early phase of development, this chapter discusses the philosophy drafted by the founder of the “Transhumanist Party of the USA”, Zoltan Istvan, in his bestselling novel “The Transhumanist Wager” (2013) dedicated to develop the vision of a better society. Istvan called the philosophy underlying his meta-national, if not global, vision “Teleological Egocentric Functionalism”. We discuss the achievements, contradictions and dialectics of and within this philosophy; its possible relation to realistic social policy programs; as well as the potential implications and consequences. The goal is to achieve a more considered overall discourse at the contested new ideological interface between humanism and transhumanism which could define an influential zeitgeist of our time.


Four political futures: which will you choose?
by David Wood
Jul 24, 2015 • (4) CommentsPermalink

Politics is being shaped by our responses to the prospect of accelerating, exponential technological change. Technosceptics deny accelerating change will occur. Technoconservatives accept that accelerating change poses radical questions, and want to stem the tide of change. Technolibertarians believe accelerating change will be for the best, and technology and capitalism just need to be left to work their wonders. Technoprogressives believe accelerating change poses serious risks as well as rewards, and that we can maximize the rewards and minimize the risks through public policy.


Short story: At the End of the World
by Marcelo Rinesi
Jul 23, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

As the seas rose and the deserts grew, the wealthiest families and the most necessary crops moved poleward, seeking survivable summers and fertile soils.


Can transhumanism avoid becoming the Marxism of the 21st century?
by Steve Fuller
Jul 23, 2015 • (1) CommentsPermalink

Is there any politically tractable strategy for transhumanism to avoid the Bismarckian move, which ultimately curtails the capacity of basic research to explore and challenge the fundamental limits of our being? My answer is as follows: Transhumanists need to take a more positive attitude towards the military.


Mapping Approaches to AI Safety
by Alexey Turchin
Jul 22, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

When I started to work on this map of AI safety solutions, I wanted to illustrate the excellent 2013 article “Responses to Catastrophic AGI Risk: A Survey” by Kaj Sotala and IEET Affiliate Scholar Roman V. Yampolskiy, which I strongly recommend. However, during the process I had a number of ideas to expand the classification of the proposed ways to create safe AI.


Mind Uploading and The Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything
by Keith B. Wiley
Jul 20, 2015 • (3) CommentsPermalink

We stand at the cusp of guaranteeing the survival of fundamental purpose in the universe, reality, and existence by insuring the continuation of consciousness. This is a far grander calling than merely enabling individual life extension. Existential metaphysical purpose is our foremost responsibility as conscious beings, and computer intelligence is the method of achieving it.


If We Can Achieve Gay Marriage and Legal Pot, We Can Fix Climate Change Too
by Ramez Naam
Jul 18, 2015 • (1) CommentsPermalink

A decade ago, it was nearly inconceivable that in 2015, gay marriage would be legal across the US and marijuana fully legal in four states plus the District of Columbia. Yet it happened. It happened because citizens who wanted change led, from the bottom up, often through citizens initiatives.


Specifications: An engineer’s approach to upgrading politics
by Rene Milan
Jul 18, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Politics 2.0 – what might that mean?  Like most people probably would, i immediately associated it with the numbering system commonly used in software releases, but having worked as a programmer for 30 years i could not see how this could be applied to something as complex and diffuse as politics.  However if taken as something like a cognitive metaphor i still could not clearly grasp its meaning, beyond the vague implication of improvement over Politics 1.x, presumably what humanity is struggling with today.


Losing Your Religion in Sin City – An Interview with Sociologist Lori Fazzino
by Valerie Tarico
Jul 18, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

What do vampires and Las Vegas atheists have in common? Ethical rules, social stigma, and a hunger for community. When people think about Las Vegas, most picture some combination of gambling, burlesque, night clubs and legalized prostitution—the pleasures that earned Vegas the nickname Sin City. But when Sociologist Lori Fazzino thinks about Las Vegas, she pictures churches.


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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

10 Scientists Killed by Their Own Experiments
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Marie Curie

Partiality to Humanity and Enhancement
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Julian Savulescu

What if Nothing is Sacred? Politics and Bioethics without Sanctity
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Russell Blackford

10 Technologies That Could Make Humans Immortal
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Emergence, Reduction & Artificial Intelligence
(Jul 22, 2015)

Neurolaw
(Jul 18, 2015)

What is the Future of Advertising?
(Jul 18, 2015)



comments

Khannea Suntzu on 'The Social Fabric of a Technically Advanced Society' (Aug 2, 2015)

johnmesserly on 'Transhumanist Therapy II: A Century of Electronic Psychotherapy' (Jul 31, 2015)

Peter Wicks on 'Free Will Does Not Exist - Should it be a Transhumanist Enhancement?' (Jul 31, 2015)

johnmesserly on 'America’s best-kept sex secret: lots of us don’t want it' (Jul 30, 2015)

spud100 on 'Free Will Does Not Exist - Should it be a Transhumanist Enhancement?' (Jul 30, 2015)

Peter Wicks on 'Free Will Does Not Exist - Should it be a Transhumanist Enhancement?' (Jul 30, 2015)

jayjay on 'Transhumanism – The Final Religion?' (Jul 30, 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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The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

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Email: director @ ieet.org     phone: 860-297-2376