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




whats new at ieet

How do you explain consciousness?

LEV: The Game – Play to Win Indefinite Life

When risk gets personal

The Sad Passing of a Positive Futurist

A vote for stem cells

The Singularity Is Near Movie Trailer


ieet books

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

Intelligence Unbound: The Future of Uploaded and Machine Minds
by Russell Blackford and Damien Broderick eds.

Between Ape and Artilect: Conversations with Pioneers of AGI and Other Transformative Technologies
by Ben Goertzel ed.

Human Purpose and Transhuman Potential: A Cosmic Vision for Our Future Evolution
by Ted Chu


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Lincoln Cannon on 'The Sad Passing of a Positive Futurist' (Jul 23, 2014)

Rick Searle on 'The Sad Passing of a Positive Futurist' (Jul 23, 2014)

Giulio Prisco on 'Wild ride ahead: glimpse at humanity's long range future' (Jul 23, 2014)

John Danaher on 'The Sad Passing of a Positive Futurist' (Jul 23, 2014)

Giulio Prisco on 'The Sad Passing of a Positive Futurist' (Jul 23, 2014)

DutchCon on 'The Sad Passing of a Positive Futurist' (Jul 23, 2014)

Kris Notaro on 'The Sad Passing of a Positive Futurist' (Jul 23, 2014)







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JET

Transhumanism and Marxism: Philosophical Connections

Sex Work, Technological Unemployment and the Basic Income Guarantee

Technological Unemployment but Still a Lot of Work…

Hottest Articles of the Last Month


Is it possible to build an artificial superintelligence without fully replicating the human brain?
Jun 25, 2014
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Nanomedical Cognitive Enhancement
Jul 11, 2014
(5524) Hits
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Interview with Transhumanist Biohacker Rich Lee
Jul 8, 2014
(5321) Hits
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Imagine a time when aging, death no longer dominate our lives
Jun 23, 2014
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RSS feedETHICAL TECHNOLOGY


How do you explain consciousness?

TED

Our consciousness is a fundamental aspect of our existence, says philosopher David Chalmers: “There’s nothing we know about more directly…. but at the same time it’s the most mysterious phenomenon in the universe.” He shares some ways to think about the movie playing in our heads.

Image: http://erosastrology.proboards.com/thread/627/

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Gennady Stolyarov II

LEV: The Game – Play to Win Indefinite Life

by Gennady Stolyarov II

LEV: The Game is a work in progress, whose potential to spread the message of indefinite life extension to the general public encourages me greatly. Developed by a team from Belgium – consisting of Anthony Lamot, Mathieu Hinderyckx, and Maxime Devos – this Android mobile game is currently in its Alpha phase. 

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Andrew Maynard

When risk gets personal

by Andrew Maynard

When you’re facing a life or death situation, what do the odds mean – to you personally?  As Brian Zikmund-Fisher from the University of Michigan School of Public Health pointed out to Robert Siegel on NPR yesterday, “We’re never 95 percent alive. We either live or die. We experience outcomes”. 

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The Sad Passing of a Positive Futurist

IEET

I was just informed that Dick Pelletier, one the IEET’s most beloved writers, passed away this evening from Stage 5 Parkinson’s Disease. I have worked with Dick for the past two years and he taught me more about the next step in human evolution than most doctors and professors I have met. His Positive Futurist stance on humanity and mind will continue to inspire us all.

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A vote for stem cells

nature video

The $3 billion California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the world’s largest stem cell research agency, is funded by the state - not the federal government. We asked fans on their way to a baseball game near CIRM’s headquarters whether they’ll approve $5 billion more for the research.

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The Singularity Is Near Movie Trailer

The Singularity Is Near (The Movie)

The Singularity is Near, A True Story about the Future, based on Ray Kurzweil’s New York Times bestseller, intertwines a fast-paced A-line documentary with a B-line narrative story.
Director: Anthony Waller (Mute Witness, An American Werewolf In Paris, The Guilty)
Producers: Ray Kurzweil, Ehren Koepf, and Toshi Hoo
Executive Producer: IEET Trustee Martine Rothblatt

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Rick Searle

Plato and the Physicist: A Multicosmic Love Story

by Rick Searle

So I finally got around to reading Max Tegmark’s book Our Mathematical Universe, and while the book answered the question that had led me to read it, namely, how one might reconcile Plato’s idea of eternal mathematical forms with the concept of multiple universes, it also threw up a whole host of new questions. This beautifully written and thought provoking book made me wonder about the future of science and the scientific method, the limits to human knowledge, and the scientific, philosophical and moral meaning of various ideas of the multiverse.

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Andrew Maynard

The gathering storm of lab safety: Pathogen safety in federal labs

by Andrew Maynard

Over the past few weeks, revelations of potentially dangerous errors in US federal labs handling pathogens have placed health and safety high on the national agenda.  In June, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced as many as 75 of its staff may have been exposed to anthrax due to safety issues at one of its labs.  At the beginning of July, vials of smallpox virus were found in an unsecured room at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Then earlier this week came the revelation that in the same room were over 300 vials containing pathogens such as dengue virus, influenza, and the bacterium that causes Q fever.

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John Danaher

Should we have a right not to work?

by John Danaher

Voltaire once said that “work saves a man from three great evils: boredom, vice and need.” Many people endorse this sentiment. Indeed, the ability to seek and secure paid employment is often viewed as an essential part of a well-lived life. Those who do not work are reminded of the fact. They are said to be missing out on a valuable and fulfilling human experience. The sentiment is so pervasive that some of the foundational documents of international human rights law — including the UN Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR Art. 23) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR Art. 6) — recognise and enshrine the “right to work”.

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Eric Schulke

Fighting to Save Lives - The Struggle for Indefinite Life Extension

by Eric Schulke

This is a statue of Dick Winters from the Allied 101 airborne and Easy Company of World War II. He didn’t let us down with the war against the Nazis, battling through Normandy, Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge and the invasion of Germany to get to them and capture and shoot them so they would stop threatening all of our freedoms. I’m very sorry and eternally saddened that the world couldn’t get to the goal of indefinite life extension therapy available for all, in time for more people like Dick.

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Amon Twyman

Liberal Democracy, The Third Way, & Social Futurism (pt. 2 of 3)

by Amon Twyman

Most broadly, Social Futurism stands for positive social change through technology; i.e. to address social justice issues in radically new ways which are only just now becoming possible thanks to technological innovation. If you would like some introduction to Social Futurist ideas, you can read the introduction page at wavism.net and there are links to articles at http://IEET.org listed at the top of this post. In this post I will discuss the Social Futurist alternative to Liberal Democratic and Authoritarian states, how that model fits with our views on decentralization and subsidiarity, and its relevance to the political concept of a “Third Way“.

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Artificial Intelligence - We Had Better Start Thinking About it Now!

Adam Ford

Adam Ford asks the author of The Artilect War: Cosmists Vs. Terrans: A Bitter Controversy Concerning Whether Humanity Should Build Godlike Massively Intelligent Machines, Hugo de Garis, some vital questions about the future of the intelligence explosion.

What are the stakes in building Strong Artificial Intelligence?

What do we stand to loose if the gamble does not pay off? What do we stand to gain if it does pay off?

Prof. Hugo de Garis is 64, and has lived in 7 countries (Australia, England, Holland, Belgium, Japan, US, China). He got a PhD in Artificial Life and Artificial Intelligence from Brussels University in 1991. He was formerly director of the Artificial Brain Lab (ABL) at Xiamen University in China, where he was building China’s first artificial brain, by evolving large numbers of neural net modules using supercomputers. He guest edited, with Ben Goertzel, the planet’s first special issue of an academic journal on Artificial Brains, and is currently writing a book Artificial Brains : An Evolved Neural Net Module Approach for World Scientific.


Hugo de Garis & Ben Goerzel on the Singularity

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John Danaher

Feminism and the Basic Income (Part Two)

by John Danaher

This is the second part of my series on feminism and the basic income. In part one, I looked at the possible effects of an unconditional basic income (UBI) on women. I also looked at a variety of feminist arguments for and against the UBI. The arguments focused on the impact of the UBI on economic independence, freedom of choice, the value of unpaid work, and women’s labour market participation.

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Primitivism, Progress, the Transhuman & the Technological Avalanche

Adam Ford

Adam Ford talks with John Zerzan about Primitivism, Progress, the Transhuman & the Technological Avalanche.
Why can’t we solve the problem of the progress trap with the use of technology?

It is through technology (i.e. computation) we really understand how fragile the environment is, approach understanding butterfly effects

Describe the incremental progress to Primitivism?
Were we ever purely biological? Without artifacts and instruments? Where do you draw the line…how primitive are we talking? where do you draw the line? what sorts of technology are ok?

is Primitivism an all or nothing approach? Can it co-exist with Transhumanism?
ability to encode ideals/philosophies with or without advanced language and recording?

Technological advancements in bio-engineering, nanotechnology, cybernetics, amongst others, have the potential to be progress traps, and the global scale of modern society means that a societal collapse could impact all of mankind.

 

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Andrew Maynard

How safe is the world’s darkest material?

by Andrew Maynard

Over the past few days, the interweb’s been awash with virtual “oohs” and “ahs” over Surrey Nanosystems’ carbon nanotube-based Vantablack coating.  The material – which absorbs over 99.9% of light falling onto it and is claimed to be the world’s darkest material – is made up of a densely packed “forest” of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (see the image below).  In fact the name “vanta” stands for Vertically Aligned NanoTube Array.

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Kelly Hills

Ziploc: There’s No Better Way to Protect Your Select Agent Investment

by Kelly Hills

A lot of interesting testimony came out of yesterday’s House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing, which was titled “Review of CDC Anthrax Lab Incident,” but broadly covered the numerous slapstick-’cept-it-ain’t-funny errors around dangerous pathogens research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Maria Konovalenko

What Should Be Done to Achieve Radical Life Extension?

by Maria Konovalenko

Theoretically the problem is already solved. It is now quite obvious what kind of research should be done for life extension. For example, testing various combinations of different things that extend lifespan in old mice. Particularly important is longevity gene therapy development.

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Evan Selinger

Why We Should Be Careful About Adopting Social Robots

by Evan Selinger

Although Jibo, designed by MIT professor Cynthia Breazeal to be the “world’s first family robot,” isn’t set to ship until 2015, folks are already excited about this little bot with a “big personality.” While there’s much to be said for Breazeal’s vision of “humanizing technology” so that the smart home of the future doesn’t “feel cold and computerized,” we might want to pause a bit before rushing to build the type of world depicted in the movieHer. Although it is easy to imagine we’ll be better off when we’ve got less to do, we don’t actually know the existential and social implications ofoutsourcing ever-more intimate tasks to technology.

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History of a Time to Come

Adam Ford

Adam Ford: “Michio is the author of many best sellers, most recently “the Future of the Mind” - We are entering a golden age of Neuroscience - today it seems much of the discourse today seems to be it’s use in helping understand and treat mental illness (which is great) - though you suggest there will also be other uses…”


What is it that is driving this revolution?

How do you think your background in Theoretical Physics shape your view on the future of the mind?

Intelligence enhancement, Internet of the mind - brain-net, like a hive mind? Where are we at with AI?

Many AI experts and scientists agree that some time in the future a Singularity will be possible (often disagreeing about when). What are your thoughts on the Singularity?

What about advances in Nanotechnology?
Is the Sticky Fingers problem a show stopper?

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Harry J. Bentham

Homo Sapiens versus Nature?

by Harry J. Bentham

There is often imagined to be a struggle between humans and nature. How does this struggle originate, and what is its resolution? Such a question is central to some religious traditions, and has much room to be explored in literature.

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Nikola Danaylov

Bitcoin: The Financial Singularity is Here

by Nikola Danaylov

I have to admit – I was a total bitcoin skeptic. But after spending several months learning about cryptocurrencies I have come to believe that bitcoin is the financial singularity – the most disruptive technology of our present day beyond whose event-horizon human affairs as we know them – be it financial or otherwise, will be fundamentally transformed.

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Andrew Maynard

Responsible innovation key to the success of emerging technologies

by Andrew Maynard

The World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies on February 25, 2014 released its annual list of breakthrough technologies. The list highlights 10 trends in technological advancement that could offer innovative solutions to a range of pressing global challenges.  As a member of the council that compiles the list each year, I’m excited to see technologies here that could be truly transformative.  At the same time, realizing the benefits they offer will require a good dose of responsible innovation mixed in with the technologies each trend represents.

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John Danaher

Feminism and the Basic Income (Part One)

by John Danaher

The introduction of an unconditional basic income (UBI) is often touted as a positive step in terms of freedom, well-being and social justice. That’s certainly the view of people like Philippe Van Parijs and Karl Widerquist, both of whose arguments for the UBI I covered in my two most recent posts. But could there be other less progressive effects arising from its introduction?

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Cyborg Buddha

Adam Ford

IEET Board member Mike LaTorra - a Zen priest and author of A Warrior Blends with Life: A Modern Tao - runs the Trans-Spirit list promoting discussion of neurotheology, neuroethics, techno-spirituality and altered states of consciousness.

IEET Executive Director James Hughes - a former Buddhist monk and attenuated Buddho-Unitarian - is writing a book tentatively titled Cyborg Buddha: Using Neurotechnology to Become Better People.

IEET Board member George Dvorsky - a practicing Buddhist - writes and podcasts frequently from a rationalist, transhumanist, and Buddhist point of view, winning him an award this year as one of the best Buddhist blogs.

The three of us are launching the IEET Cyborg Buddha Project to combine our efforts and promote discussion of the impact that neuroscience and emerging neurotechnologies will have on happiness, spirituality, cognitive liberty, moral behavior and the exploration of meditational and ecstatic states of mind.

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Andrew Maynard

Do we need a better definition for synthetic biology?

by Andrew Maynard

Jim Thomas of the ETC Group has just posted a well reasoned article on the Guardian website  on the challenges of defining the the emerging technology of “synthetic biology”.  The article is the latest in a series of exchanges addressing the potential risks of the technology and its effective regulation.

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John Danaher

Widerquist on Freedom and the Basic Income

by John Danaher

This post is part of an ongoing series I’m doing on the unconditional basic income (UBI). The UBI is an income grant payable to a defined group of people (e.g. citizens, or adults, or everyone) within a defined geo-political space. The income grant could be set at various levels, with most proponents thinking it should be at or above subsistence level, or at least at the maximum that is affordable in a given society. In my most recent post, I looked at Van Parijs’s famous defence of the UBI. Today, I look at Widerquist’s critique of Parijs, as well as his own preferred justification for the UBI.

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Richard Eskow

Disabled Americans: Pawns in a Larger Social Security Game?

by Richard Eskow

William Galston writes in the Wall Street Journal about a Republican senator’s plans to force a confrontation on government disability benefits. Though Mr. Galston doesn’t seem to see it this way, it sounds as if Sen. Orrin Hatch plans to hold benefits for disabled Americans hostage in order to force Social Security cuts on everyone.

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IEET Affiliate Scholar, Dick Pelletier, Hospitalized for Stage 5 Parkinson’s Disease

IEET

We the Family first would like to thank each and every one of you for your positive thoughts and wishes.  We are asking for your assistance to keep Dick on a positive road to recovery.  At this time we just don’t have the means to assist Dick with all the finances for his recovery.

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Buddhism & Transhumanism

Adam Ford

Adam Ford interviews IEET Director, Mike LaTorra about Buddhism & Transhumanism.

Mike LaTorra writes and teaches in Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA. He is author of A Warrior Blends with Life: A Modern Tao. He serves as President of the Daibutsuji Zen Temple, and is on the Board of Directors of the IEET and Humanity+.

 

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Andrew Maynard

Nanojuice for GI tract imaging – is it safe?

by Andrew Maynard

Over the past few days, my news and social media streams have been inundated by articles on “nanojuice”.  The “juice” – developed by researchers at the University of Buffalo and published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology – is a suspension of light-absorbing nanoparticles which, when drunk (and only mice have had this privilege so far), allow an unprecedented level of real-time imaging of the small intestine.  It also presents an unusual series of safety challenges as the particles are designed to be intentionally ingested.

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