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

whats new at ieet

Transhumanism - Considering Ideas From Existentialism and Religion

Why and How Should We Build a Basic Income for Every Citizen?

Can Machines Be Moral Actors?

Are hierarchical theories of freedom and responsibility plausible?

Is Anarchy (as in Anarchism) the Golden Mean of the future?

Living, intelligent patterns in Conway’s Life

ieet books

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

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies
Nick Bostrom

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

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


dobermanmac on 'Can Brain Implants Make Us Smarter?' (Sep 15, 2014)

dobermanmac on 'Genetically Engineered Ethical Super Babies?' (Sep 15, 2014)

PhilOsborn on 'Do Cognitive Enhancing Drugs Actually Work?' (Sep 13, 2014)

spud100 on 'Longevity Research Program is Established in Israel' (Sep 12, 2014)

spud100 on 'I, Quantum Robot' (Sep 12, 2014)

David Pearce on 'What Does Utopia Look Like?' (Sep 12, 2014)

PhilOsborn on 'Enhancing Virtues: Caring (part 1)' (Sep 11, 2014)

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Longevity Dividend List

Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List


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

Enhancing Virtues: Self-Control and Mindfulness
Aug 19, 2014
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“Lucy”: A Movie Review
Aug 18, 2014
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Enhancing Virtues: Caring (part 1)
Aug 29, 2014
(5079) Hits
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An open source future for synthetic biology
Sep 9, 2014
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IEET Affiliate Scholar Rick Searle was a 3rd place winner of a $2,000 prize from FQXi


IEET Affiliate Scholar Rick Searle was a 3rd place winner of a $2,000 prize in this spring’s FQXi essay contest “How Should Humanity Steer the Future?” The contests are regular events held by the Fundamental Questions Institute whose mission is “To catalyze, support, and disseminate research on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology, particularly new frontiers and innovative ideas integral to a deep understanding of reality but unlikely to be supported by conventional funding sources.”

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IEET Fellow Stefan Sorgner on German public radio (WDR)


With more than 100,000 podcast users alone, IEET Fellow Stefan Sorgner was interviewed by Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln (WDR, West German Broadcasting Cologne.) Below is the audio in German…

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What if everybody got free cash? Myths and facts about Unconditional Basic Income

Federico Pistono

What if everybody received every month enough money to live by? Will society collapse? Will we all become slackers? Myths and facts about Unconditional Basic Income, with analysis from a real world experiment conducted in India between 2011-2013. Keynote speech by Federico Pistono at the Future of Work Summit, NASA Ames Research Park, California, June 30, 2014.

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Melanie Swan

Top 5 Killer Apps: QS-Automotive Sensors

by Melanie Swan

The Internet of Things means not just that computing devices have connectivity to the cloud but that they are connected to each other, and therefore that novel applications can be developed in this rich ecosystem. One area for development is linking quantified self wearable sensors with automotive sensors for applications including Fatigue Detection, Real-time Parking and Assistance, Anger/Stress Reduction, Keyless Authentication, and DIY Diagnostics.

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Rick Searle

City As Superintelligence

by Rick Searle

A movement is afoot to cover some of the largest and most populated cities in the world with a sophisticated array of interconnected sensors, cameras, and recording devices, able to track and respond to every crime or traffic jam ,every crisis or pandemic, as if it were an artificial immune system spread out over hundreds of densely packed kilometers filled with millions of human beings.

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CBS Approves Pilot of TV Drama Based on Work of IEET Advisor Arthur Caplan

CBS will produce a pilot of “Austen’s Razor,” a drama inspired by the career of bioethicist and IEET Advisor Arthur L. Caplan.

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Wendell Wallach and Nick Bostrom finalists for World Technology Award in Ethics

Nick Bostrom and Wendell Wallach are finalists for the World Technology Award in Ethics this year. Other finalists include Julian Savulescu and Pat Churchland.

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IEET Fellow David Eagleman to Host PBS Series on The Brain

IEET Fellow David Eagleman has written and will host a six hour television series on The Brain for PBS.  The series will premeire in 2015, and deals with tough questions of ethics and emerging neurotechnologies.

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IEET Scholar Ted Chu Appointed Chief Economist at World Bank’s International Finance Corporation

Ted will be moving to Washington D.C. to lead the Global Economics and Strategy Department and be responsible for IFC’s strategy and development impact functions, leading a global team of approximately 100 people.

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Genetically Engineered Ethical Super Babies?

TYT University

“Professor Julian Savulescu said that creating so-called designer babies could be considered a “moral obligation” as it makes them grow up into “ethically better children”.
The expert in practical ethics said that we should actively give parents the choice to screen out personality flaws in their children as it meant they were then less likely to “harm themselves and others”.” Via The Telegraph. John Iadarola and Lisa Ferguson discuss on TYT University.

Oooook so what do you think about this Oxford professor’s call for genetical engineering of human babies as a moral obligation? Should we be tampering with our baby’s DNA to enhance them physically or psychologically? If you could go back and modify yourself, would you? If you have children, would you be willing to tweak them a bit? Where do you think this will end up in fifty years? Leave a comment down below letting us know what you think!

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John Danaher

Do Cognitive Enhancing Drugs Actually Work?

by John Danaher

I’ve been writing about the ethics of human enhancement for some time. In the process, I’ve looked at many of the fascinating ethical and philosophical issues that are raised by the use of enhancing drugs. But throughout all this writing, there is one topic that I have studiously avoided. This is surprising given that, in many ways, it is the most fundamental topic of all: do the alleged cognitive enhancing drugs actually work?

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Evan Selinger

Robot Servants Are Going to Make Your Life Easy. Then They’ll Ruin It

by Evan Selinger

Jibo, the “world’s first family robot,” hit the media hype machine like a bomb. From a Katie Couric profile to coverage in just about every outlet, folks couldn’t get enough of this little robot with a big personality poised to bring us a step closer to the world depicted in “The Jetsons” where average families have maids like Rosie. In the blink of an eye, pre-orders climbed passed $1.8 million and blew away the initial fundraising goal of $100k.

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Robot Sex Workers of Tomorrow (w/ Lynn Parramore)

The Zero Hour with RJ Eskow

Published on Sep 3, 2014

Dr. Lynn Parramore, founding editor of New Deal 2.0, discusses the possibility - and ethics of - of human/robot sexual interactions in the near future. 

Subscribe to The Zero Hour with RJ Eskow for more:
If you liked this clip of The Zero Hour with RJ Eskow, please share it with your friends… and hit that "like" button!
Some of the music bumpers featuring Lettuce,



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J. Hughes

Enhancing Virtues: Intelligence (part 1)

by J. Hughes

The ability to think clearly and make good decisions is on almost every society’s list of virtues. In this essay I discuss the debate over different aspects of intelligence, the degree to which they are shaped by genes, chemistry and society, and the role of intelligence in other virtues.

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IEET Fellow Susan Schneider Interviewed in the cover story for The Humanist (Sept/Oct)

The Humanist

Can consciousness be created in a machine? Is the mind/brain simply a computational system? IEET Fellow and University of Connecticut philosopphy professor, Susan Schneider, was interviewed by The Humanist on these pressing topics. What kind of technology will exist in a transhumanist world the humanists are starting to question…

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Character Is A Vital Lie

Shots of Awe

“This is one aspect of the basic human predicament, that we are simultaneously worms and gods.”
- Abraham Maslow


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Biohacking - the forefront of a new kind of human evolution


Ever wished you could unlock doors, turn on your lights, or log into your computer with a simple swipe of your hand? Amal Graafstra does just that as one of the first and most well-known “do-it-yourself” RFID (radio-frequency identification) implantees in the world. In this talk, Amal talks about his journey as a pioneer in RFID implementation and what you should know about biohacking.

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David Brin

Snowden, Sousveillance and Social T Cells

by David Brin

Wired has a long form interview with Edward Snowden: The Most-Wanted Man in the World. A must-read… as far as it goes. Only keep ahold of your ability to parse complexities and contradictions, because my reflex is always to point out aspects that were never raised. I refuse to choose one "side's" purist reflex.  So should you.

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Andrew Maynard

Fumed silica: Another nano material we need to worry about?

by Andrew Maynard

Pick up a jar of chili powder, and the chances are it will contain a small amount of fumed silica – an engineered nanomaterial that’s been around for over half a century.  The material – which is formed from microscopically small particles of amorphous silicon dioxide – has long been considered to be non-toxic.

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Kevin Carson

Why the Pope is Less Wrong Than Keith Farrell

by Kevin Carson

Pope Francis’s remarks on poverty, inequality and capitalism — most recently at his open air mass in Seoul — don’t sit well with many conservatives and right-leaning libertarians. The Pope’s remarks include criticism of growing economic inequality and a call to “hear the voice of the poor.”

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J. Hughes

Enhancing Virtues: Caring (part 3)

by J. Hughes

We can encourage empathy and compassion through social policy and individual practices. But fully realizing our capacities for empathy and compassion will require careful, nuanced neurotechnological intervention.

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John Danaher

Why the Price of Theism is Normative Skepticism

by John Danaher

Street defends a form of constructivist antirealism, which I find quite attractive. I was thus pleasantly surprised to find that she had also recently written a paper dealing with one of my favourite topics in the philosophy of religion: the problem of evil and its moral implications. It’s a very good paper too, one that I’m sure will provide plenty of fodder for discussion.

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Our Miserable Future (1hr)


Published on Nov 12, 2013
Krauss’ final lecture of his 2013/2014 lecture series he takes NCH students to the frontiers of their existence.

Following a summary of his previous lectures where Krauss emphasizes the value of the tools of a scientist he presented to our students, Krauss discusses the puzzling discovery that velocity remains constant even at the edge of our galaxy, and the profound implication that Newton’s laws must break down in order to accommodate this fact. Krauss then moves from demonstrating how we can weigh the universe, to finding out the curvature of the universe and the its total energy. We are then guided through the exciting implications of conclusions drawn from these calculations. One of these could be realisation of Krauss’ depressing prediction of our miserable future.

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The Human Brain (1hr 22min)


Published on Jan 22, 2014
Professor Steven Pinker takes an hour and twenty minutes to discuss the exciting field of the neuroscience with NCH students. He opens with an introduction to the ‘astonishing hypothesis’ - the hypothesis that our cognition and sensibility are results of neuro-physiological activity in the tissues of the brain. That is, there is a material basis for our consciousness. Pinker displays his intellect - literally, in this lecture - and in doing so he furnishes our students with the basic principals of the human brain and then guides them through more complex conclusions found from scientific experiments. This is a fascinating lecture worth watching for those who are looking for an introduction to neuroscience.


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Why did Einstein write a love poem to Spinoza? (1hr 10min)


Published on Jan 22, 2014
Yes, yes he did. Einstein did write a love poem to Spinoza. But why? This is the question that Rebecca Goldstein attempts to answer in her lecture given during the 2013/14 academic year at New College of Humanities. Following an overview of Baruch Spinoza, Goldstein discusses the doctrine of Rationalism and provides an exposition of Spinoza’s account of the nature of the world. Einstein was exposed to Spinoza’s views and Spinoza’s philosophy of science is a view that Einstein took very seriously. It was in this exposure that a passion was born.

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Singularity 1 on 1: Quantum Thief Trilogy

Singularity 1 on 1

Socrates of Singularity 1 on 1 interviews Hannu Rajaniemi about science fiction, physics, and mathematics.

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

Hannu Rajaniemi is a Ph. D. in string theory and fellow SU alumni best known  for his popular science fiction trilogy The Quantum Thief [Jean Le Flambeur]. His work has risen to prominence both because of its own merits but also because of the legend surrounding his signing up with a major book publisher. Rajaniemi has been suggested numerous times as a strong guest-candidate for my Singularity 1 on 1 podcast and I am extremely happy to have had the opportunity to finally fulfill those requests.

I have to admit that I enjoyed immensely reading Hannu’s Jean Le Flambeur trilogy and took that as an excuse to interview him on a variety of topics for over 90 min. During our conversation with Rajaniemi we cover: his math background, writing passion and entrepreneurial ventures; ethics, science and science fiction; the Higgs Boson, the multiverse and other cosmological models; the definition of science fiction and the distinction between sci fi and fantasy; the importance of “constraints and suffering” for creativity; how he sold the Quantum Thief trilogy to a major publisher; tips and tools for novice sci fi writers; determinism, free will and the quest for self-knowledge; his take on transhumanism and the technological singularity

Please note that the first 3 people who share the most interesting quotes from this interview with Hannu [on twitter or within the comments section of either this blog post or on YouTube] will receive a free copy of his latest book – The Causal Angel!

As always you can listen to or download the audio file above or scroll down and watch the video interview in full.

To show your support you can write a review on iTunes or make a donation.

The Quantum Thief Book Trailer:

Who is Hannu Rajaniemi?

Hannu Rajaniemi is the author of science fiction novels The Quantum Thief (Jean Le Flambeur), The Fractal Prince and The Causal Angel, as well as several short stories. He holds a Ph.D. in string theory from the University of Edinburgh and co-founded a mathematics company whose clients included the UK Ministry of Defence and the European Space Agency. Currently, he divides his time between writing fiction and working as a co-founder at Helix Nanotechnologies, a biotechnology startup.

Other 1 on 1 interviews with Sci Fi Authors

Tagged as: Fractal Prince, Hannu Rajaniemi, Jean Le Flambeur, Quantum Thief, The Causal Angel


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Stanford Laptop Orchestra (1hr 30min)

Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics

The Stanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk) presents new works for electronic chamber music, by members of the SLOrk ensemble and seminar. You are cordially invited to an evening of new music crafted for laptops, humans, and hemispherical speaker arrays!

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The Nature of Categories and Concepts (1hr 30min)


Douglas Hofstadter talks at the Stanford Symbolic Systems Distinguished Speaker Lecture about “The Nature of Categories and Concepts” and cognitive science.

Douglas Hofstadter, College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Comparative Literature. Indiana University What is a quintessential category? Bird, perhaps? Or maybe chair? And what is a quintessential concept? Two? Number? Prime number? I’m not trying to put words into your mouth—I’m just trying to get you to ask yourself these questions. Also, I wonder if by any chance you thought that these are really exactly the same question, in which case you might have wondered why I asked you the same question twice. Or did you perhaps think something along these lines: “A category is a set of objects
out there in the real world, whereas a concept is a mental entity that gets activated whenever one sees a member of the corresponding category”? In that case, you would essentially be equating a category with the extension of a set, and a concept with the intension of a set. (Those are notions borrowed from mathematical logic and set theory.) Actually, none of the notions above is at all close to the viewpoint that I wish to convey to you about concepts and categories. My viewpoint is, I think, quite unorthodox and quite radical, and it claims that concepts and categories include many extremely commonplace, dime-a-dozen notions that you might never have thought of as being categories or concepts. (Sorry—I’m not going to list any of them here; you’ll have to come to the talk to find out what I mean!) I will try to convince you that, despite any initial skepticism, these are primordial, quintessential cases, and I hope that this novel view will have a serious impact on what you think thinking is.

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Kevin LaGrandeur

Emotion, Artificial Intelligence, and Ethics

by Kevin LaGrandeur

The growing body of work in the new field of “affective robotics” involves both theoretical and practical ways to instill – or at least imitate – human emotion in Artificial Intelligence (AI), and also to induce emotions toward AI in humans. The aim of this is to guarantee that as AI becomes smarter and more powerful, it will remain tractable and attractive to us. Inducing emotions is important to this effort to create safer and more attractive AI because it is hoped that instantiation of emotions will eventually lead to robots that have moral and ethical codes, making them safer; and also that humans and AI will be able to develop mutual emotional attachments, facilitating the use of robots as human companions and helpers. This paper discusses some of the more significant of these recent efforts and addresses some important ethical questions that arise relative to these endeavors.

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J. Hughes

Enhancing Virtues: Caring (part 2)

by J. Hughes

The growth of our empathetic ability may have been key for the growth of civilization, and civilization may have selected for it. Two social policies that we can implement today to further empathy are reducing inequality, and screening and treating autism and psychopathy.

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Contact: Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
Williams 119, Trinity College, 300 Summit St., Hartford CT 06106 USA 
Email: director @     phone: 860-297-2376