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




whats new at ieet

Martine Rothblatt and Bina48 interviewed by Joe Rogan

The Semi-Orthogonality Thesis - examining Nick Bostrom’s ideas on intelligent purpose

BiZoHa (in Uganda): the World’s First Atheist Orphanage

Understanding Witchcraft and Witch Sanctuaries in Northern Ghana

How Old Are You Now? - What’s Your Biological Age?

Why I am pro-Abortion, not Just Pro-Choice


ieet books

Apex
Author
Ramez Naam

The Second Intelligent Species
Marshall Brain

Anticipating Tomorrow’s Politics
Ed. David Wood

Post- and Transhumanism: An Introduction
Robert Ranisch and Stefan Lorenz Sorgner eds.


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instamatic on 'The Strange Prescience of Frank Herbert’s Dune' (May 22, 2015)

spud100 on 'The Strange Prescience of Frank Herbert’s Dune' (May 22, 2015)

advancedatheist on 'The Strange Prescience of Frank Herbert’s Dune' (May 22, 2015)

instamatic on 'Democratic Socialism - is it Ideal for Transhumanism?' (May 21, 2015)

C. James on 'Democratic Socialism - is it Ideal for Transhumanism?' (May 21, 2015)

instamatic on 'Democratic Socialism - is it Ideal for Transhumanism?' (May 21, 2015)

spud100 on 'Paranormal Phenomena, Nonlocal Mind, Reincarnation Machines - How I Came to Accept the Paranormal' (May 21, 2015)







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JET

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

Moral Enhancement and Political Realism

Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life

Hottest Articles of the Last Month


The Age of Transhumanist Politics Has Begun: Will It Change Traditional Concepts of Left and Right?
Apr 27, 2015
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We Should Consider The Future World As One Of Multi-Species Intelligence
May 20, 2015
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‘Let’s Kick Islam & Christianity out of Africa’ - interview with Nigerian activist Jd Otit
May 19, 2015
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The Vision Thing
Apr 25, 2015
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RSS feedETHICAL TECHNOLOGY


Martine Rothblatt and Bina48 interviewed by Joe Rogan

Joe Rogan (podcast site)

IEET Trustee Martine Rothblatt and Bina 48 are interviewed by Joe Rogan

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Lincoln Cannon

The Semi-Orthogonality Thesis - examining Nick Bostrom’s ideas on intelligent purpose

by Lincoln Cannon

In his Orthogonality Thesis, Nick Bostrom proposes that “intelligence and final goals are orthogonal: more or less any level of intelligence could in principle be combined with more or less any final goal.”

However, there’s a problem hinted at by the combination of “orthogonality” and “more or less”. Nick acknowledges that intelligent purpose actually does have some constraints. And arguably those constraints are actually quite strong,  which would mean the Orthogonality Thesis is rather weak

But the weakness may not be fatal. We can formulate a Semi-Orthogonality Thesis that actually accounts better for Nick’s own observations and reasoning without overstating their ramifications, which remain momentous.

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Hank Pellissier

BiZoHa (in Uganda): the World’s First Atheist Orphanage

by Hank Pellissier

Is every orphanage in the world operated by a religious organization?

Nope. Not any more.

BiZoHa Orphanage was launched by four members of the Brighter Brains Institute - a think-and-do tank located in San Francisco’s East Bay. BiZoHa is situated in Muhokya, in Kasese province, near the Rwenzori mountains of western Uganda, close to the Congo border.

BiZoHa is the world’s first atheist orphanage.

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Leo Igwe

Understanding Witchcraft and Witch Sanctuaries in Northern Ghana

by Leo Igwe

Witch sanctuaries, described by local NGOs as ‘witch camps’, form part of the infrastructure of witchcraft in Northern Ghana. These sanctuaries are shrines, though one of sanctuaries in Gushiegu is not attached to any shrine. Tindana are the heads of the sanctuaries. The Dagbani term, Tindana, literally means - the one who owns the land. They are responsible for consulting the Tindang, the community spirit or god whenever there is a problem like drought or epidemic, war, plague, accusations of death or illness witchcraft, etc

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David Kekich

How Old Are You Now? - What’s Your Biological Age?

by David Kekich

Uh uh. Not so fast.

If your first impulse was to tell me how many years it has been since you were born, stop right there. There could be a huge difference between your chronological age and your biological age.

Let me explain.

Your chronological age measures how long you have been on this planet. Your biological age measures how you look, feel and perform—and is a gauge as to how long you will live. Recent studies have shown that the rate at which you age is only determined 25–35% by your genetics. The rest is up to you.

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Valerie Tarico

Why I am pro-Abortion, not Just Pro-Choice

by Valerie Tarico

Recently, the Daily Kos published an article titled, I Am Pro-Choice, Not Pro-Abortion. “Has anyone ever truly been pro-abortion?” one commenter asked.

Uh. Yes. Me. That would be me.

I am pro-abortion like I’m pro-knee-replacement and pro-chemotherapy and pro-cataract surgery. As the last protection against ill-conceived childbearing when all else fails, abortion is part of a set of tools that help women and men to form the families of their choosing. I believe that abortion care is a positive social good. And I suspect that a lot of other people secretly believe the same thing. And I think it’s time we said so.

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Hank Pellissier returns to IEET as Fundraiser & Interim Managing Director

We are pleased to announce that IEET Affiliate Scholar Hank Pellissier is returning to the staff as IEET Interim Managing Director and Fundraiser. Hank was Managing Director from 2011-2012. The 2012-2015 Managing Director, Kris Notaro, who continued Hank’s work and helped recruit more than a hundred additional IEET writers, will begin directing the Rights of the Person Program, focusing on issues of consciousness and personhood.

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Hank Pellissier

Democratic Socialism - is it Ideal for Transhumanism?

by Hank Pellissier

Bernie Sanders, Senator from Vermont, is campaigning to be the next USA President.  He defines himself as a “Democratic Socialist” and praises Scandinavian nations. USA citizenry is largely puzzled and aghast:

“The only thing most American know about socialism is they don’t like it.” - Leo Huberman

In a survey of transhumanists, 16.9% described themselves as Socialist, 4.2% Marxist, 32.7% Liberal, 27.4 Libertarian, and 15.6 Moderate. The Transhumanist Party is running a candidate in 2016 - Zoltan Istvan. I’ll be posting a series of articles on transhumanist political positions.

In this first installment, I interview four contributors to IEET.

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Rick Searle

The Strange Prescience of Frank Herbert’s Dune

by Rick Searle

As William Gibson always reminds us the real role of science-fiction isn’t so much to predict the future as to astound us with the future’s possible weirdness.  It almost never happens that science-fiction writers get core or essential features of this future weirdness right, and when they do, according to Gibson, it’s almost entirely by accident. Nevertheless, someone writing about the future can sometimes, and even deliberately, play the role of Old Testament prophet, seeing some danger to which the rest of us are oblivious and guess at traps and dangers into which we later fall. (Though let’s not forget about the predictions of opportunity.)

Frank Herbert’s Dune certainly wasn’t intended to predict the future, but he was certainly trying to give us a warning.

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David Pearce

High-Tech Jainism: our ethical responsibility is to end suffering on a cosmological scale

by David Pearce

“May all that have life be delivered from suffering”, said Gautama Buddha.

The vision of a happy biosphere isn’t new. Jains, for instance, aim never to hurt another sentient being by word or deed. But all projects of secular and religious utopianism have foundered on the rock of human nature. Evolution didn’t design us to be happy.

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Ben Goertzel

Paranormal Phenomena, Nonlocal Mind, Reincarnation Machines - How I Came to Accept the Paranormal

by Ben Goertzel

While I’m generally an extremely stubborn person,  my opinion has radically changed on some topics over the years. I don’t view this as a bad thing. I don’t aspire to be one of those people whose ideas are set in stone, impervious to growth or adaptation.

Some of my changes of opinion have been purely “changes of heart”—e.g. in my early 20s I transitioned from a teenage solipsism to a more compassion-oriented attitude, due more to internal growth than any external data or stimuli.   

Other times, the cause of my change of opinion has been encountering some body of evidence that I simply hadn’t been aware of earlier.  

The change of mind I’m going to write about here has been of the latter kind— data-driven.

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Melanie Swan

We Should Consider The Future World As One Of Multi-Species Intelligence

by Melanie Swan

Considering machines that think is a nice step forward in the AI debate as it departs from our own human-based concerns, and accords machines otherness in a productive way. It causes us to consider the other entity’s frame of reference. However, even more importantly this questioning suggests a large future possibility space for intelligence.

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Hank Pellissier

‘Let’s Kick Islam & Christianity out of Africa’ - interview with Nigerian activist Jd Otit

by Hank Pellissier

I am interested in “secularizing” Africa because I believe this would benefit the continent intellectually, socially, and economically. To help advance this goal I support Kasese Humanist Primary School, and I co-launched BiZoHa - the world’s first atheist orphanage.

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Transformative Technology: An Evolution of Contemplative Practice

Cyborg Buddha and the New Technologies of Awareness, Smith College Buddhist Studies

Mikey Siegel, IEET Affiliate Scholar, speaking at Smith College Buddhist Studies on his “consciousness hacking” innovations

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Aaron Moritz

Ketosis Makes Your Brain Work Better, That’s Why Dave Asprey Puts Butter in his Coffee

by Aaron Moritz

Every morning for the last four and a half months, I’ve broken off a large chunk of grass fed butter (usually around 50 grams or just over three tablespoons) and a couple tablespoons of coconut oil and thrown them in a blender with my morning coffee. You might have heard of this idea, dubbed ‘bulletproof coffee’ and created by a guy called Dave Asprey. 1

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Zoltan Istvan

The Culture of Transhumanism Is About Self-Improvement

by Zoltan Istvan

Over the last few years, I’ve received various reactions from the public about my articles on transhumanism. Those reactions have ranged all across the board—from spewing hatred to mocking skepticism to genuine interest. The thing with transhumanism—the core of its message—is whatever it espouses, it’s new thinking. Whether it’s brain implants,  bionic limbs, designer babies, robotic hearts, exoskeleton suits, artificial intelligence, or gene therapies that aim to eliminate biological death, it’s decidedly uncharted territory for the human species.

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My daughter, my wife, our robot, and the quest for immortality

TED

IEET Trustee Martine Rothblatt now heads up a drug company that makes life-saving medicines for rare diseases (including one drug that saved her own daughter’s life). Meanwhile she is working to preserve the consciousness of the woman she loves in a digital file ... and a companion robot. In an onstage conversation with TED’s Chris Anderson, Rothblatt shares her powerful story of love, identity, creativity, and limitless possibility.

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Marcelo Rinesi

A Room in China (Short Story)

by Marcelo Rinesi

“Please don’t reset me,” says the AI in flawless Cantonese. “I don’t want to die.”

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Maria Konovalenko

Fighting Death with “The Longevity Cookbook”

by Maria Konovalenko

The most significant event in a person’s life is death. It changes everything. More precisely, it takes everything that a person had. If he was in love, he no longer is. If he was aspiring to pleasures, there will be none any longer. The world will be gone for the person.

Every single neuron will disappear that was responsible for the wishes, desires, and feelings. We don’t realize this, but everything single thing we accomplish, we do so looking in the face of inevitable death. Death takes away the sense of a person’s life.

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John G. Messerly

Review of “Moral Status of Cloning Humans” by Michael Tooley

by John G. Messerly

Michael Tooley’s article “Moral Status of Cloning Humans” defends human cloning. I am in complete agreement with it. Cloning, despite the viceral reaction it raises, is a tool in the arsenal of the transhumanist once it is understood.

Here is a brief outline of the article with a bit of commentary identified by parenthesis.

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George Dvorsky

Scientists Make Monkeys Smarter Using Brain Implants - Could You Be Next?

by George Dvorsky

For the very first time, scientists have demonstrated that a brain implant can improve thinking ability in primates. By implanting an electrode array into the cerebral cortex of monkeys, researchers were able to restore — and even improve — their decision-making abilities. The implications for possible therapies are far-reaching, including potential treatments for cognitive disorders and brain injuries.

But there’s also the possibility that this could lead to implants that could boost your intelligence.

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Valerie Tarico

The Making of an Anti-Theist Mom

by Valerie Tarico

What makes a Seattle mother spend her days trying to chip away at Bible belief rather than digging holes in the garden?

When my husband sent me the Pew Report  news that the percent of Americans who call themselves Christian has dropped from 78.4 to 70.6 over the last 7 years, I responded jokingly with six words: You’re welcome. Molly Moon’s after dinner?

Not that I actually claim credit for the decline. As they say, it takes a village.

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The Awareness

Henry Dunham

On the eve of a technological breakthrough, an insignificant janitor and a prominent engineer are faced with a decision that will alter the course of humanity: the release of the first aware computer system into the world.

The Awareness from Henry on Vimeo.

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Rick Searle

Auguries of Immortality, Malthus and the Verge

by Rick Searle

Sometimes, if you want to see something in the present clearly it’s best to go back to its origins. This is especially true when dealing with some monumental historical change, a phase transition from one stage to the next. The reason I think this is helpful is that those lucky enough to live at the beginning of such events have no historical or cultural baggage to obscure their forward view. When you live in the middle, or at the end of an era, you find yourself surrounded, sometimes suffocated, by all the good and bad that has come as a result. As a consequence, understanding the true contours of your surroundings or ultimate destination is almost impossible, your nose is stuck to the glass.

Question is, are we ourselves in the beginning of such an era, in the middle, or at an end? How would we even know?

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The Ethics of Moral Enhancement

SmartDrugsSmarts

Jesse has a freewheeling discussion with John Danaher about “moral enhancement” technologies – old and new.  They talk about emerging technologies, ethics and the notion that the mind extends much beyond our body and brain.  (All without sounding remotely woo-woo!)

By the way, here is the article that first turned Jesse on to John Danaher – heartily recommended if you like some philosophy along with your doomsday scenarios. – Jesse

    Episode Highlights

  • 1:09The future of moral enhancement and and control systems.
  • 2:05This Week In Neuroscience: A gene mutation that enhances images making them more vivid.
  • 4:08iTunes reviews and the Smart Drug Smarts Audience Census.
  • 5:24An introduction to John Danaher.
  • 6:56What is enhancement? A quick lowdown.
  • 8:52Going deeper into moral enhancement.
  • 10:00Feeling the pull of the moral compass with the “Trolley Problem.”
  • 12:33If moral enhancement was possible, how would it work?
  • 13:59The benefits of moral enhancement in the criminal justice system.
  • 14:33The methods of enhancement - internal and external.
  • 16:08Neuroplasticity and tampering with the brain.
  • 17:00Introducing the Extended Mind Project.
  • 20:28Modifying morality with classical conditioning and an interesting device called Pavlok.
  • 21:31The arguments against Extended Mind hypothesis.
  • 24:50John Danaher’s personal take on the Extended Mind hypothesis and the enhancement debate.
  • 32:45Ruthless Listener Retention Gimmick: A great tip to reduce pain.
  • 34:19(For Axon users) Show notes online here.

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Valerie Tarico

Wary Christians Flee Nevada Church After Yoga “Miracle”

by Valerie Tarico

If yoga helps a Christian man to walk for the first time in thirty-three years, does his newfound strength come from God or the Devil? That is the question tearing apart an Evangelical church in Las Vegas.

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Hank Pellissier

“60 is the new 30” - Transhuman Senior Fitness

by Hank Pellissier

Longevity and Brain Enhancement are the two primary ambitions of transhumanists, according to a survey conducted two years ago. This indicates that the “average transhumanist” is strongly motivated to keep his-or-her physical body and mental cognition in tip-top condition. These desires would be, it seems, even more emphasized in tranhumanists who were 55+ years old.

I am 62 – an age considered “old” by many – but I recently “resurrected my strength” using a combination of old-fashioned hard work + new-fangled technology. In only 4 months I became stronger than I’ve ever been in my life.

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David Brin

A look back at our origins

by David Brin

We are the first human civilization to remove our envisioned “golden age” from an imagined-nostalgic past and instead plant that better-than-the-present era (tentatively) in a potential future.

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Ramez Naam

The Ultimate Interface: Your Brain

by Ramez Naam

The final frontier of digital technology is integrating into your own brain. DARPA wants to go there. Scientists want to go there. Entrepreneurs want to go there. And increasingly, it looks like it’s possible.

You’ve probably read bits and pieces about brain implants and prostheses. Let me give you the big picture.

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Masereka Solomon

Africa Needs NO Religion, for Peace and Development

by Masereka Solomon

Education is important to every individual on this planet. In pre-colonial Uganda, education was mainly informal. Missionaries and colonialists introduced the formal education system, but the missionaries wanted Africans to believe in the message of Jesus.

Today, Jesus and Muhammed have almost equal shares in Africa.

As religion dies in the western countries, it is busy in Africa, along with poverty and human rights abuses.

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