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

whats new at ieet

CyborgCamp ‘14

Extreme Weather

CDC Confirms Patient In Dallas Has Ebola Virus

Personal Drones: Are They a Public Hazard?

Last Things: Cold Comfort in the Far Future

What is the Future of the Sharing Economy?

ieet books

A Taxonomy and Metaphysics of Mind-Uploading
Keith Wiley

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


hankpellissier on 'Supertasking and Mindfulness' (Sep 30, 2014)

bubble13 on 'How Do You Filter Content in an Age of Abundance?' (Sep 29, 2014)

Dick Burkhart on 'The Obvious Relationship Between Climate and Family Planning—and Why We Don’t Talk About' (Sep 29, 2014)

instamatic on 'Dawkins and the "We are going to die" -Argument' (Sep 29, 2014)

Taiwanlight on 'Dawkins and the "We are going to die" -Argument' (Sep 27, 2014)

Farrah Greyson on 'Are Technological Unemployment and a Basic Income Guarantee Inevitable or Desirable?' (Sep 27, 2014)

instamatic on 'Dawkins and the "We are going to die" -Argument' (Sep 26, 2014)

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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

Why and How Should We Build a Basic Income for Every Citizen?
Sep 16, 2014
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MMR Vaccines and Autism: Bringing clarity to the CDC Whistleblower Story
Sep 14, 2014
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An open source future for synthetic biology
Sep 9, 2014
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Steven Pinker’s Guide to Classic Style
Sep 11, 2014
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Valerie Tarico

Biblical “Spare the Rod” Parenting Tied to PTSD and Chilling Revenge

by Valerie Tarico

When is it acceptable for a muscular man who weighs 100 kilos and stands 1.85 meters tall to grab a stick and repeatedly hit a skinny, scared person half his size?

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Politics & Abolition From Suffering

Adam Ford

Adam Ford records IEET Fellow, David Pearce on the topic of “Politics & Abolition From Suffering.” David Pearce believes that libertarian-socialist ideals (a needed term because American Libertarians have hijacked the original definition of “libertarian”) will probably lead the way to the freedom for parents to choose their children’s genes, and for society to abolish any need or want for factory farms, condemning them as one of the cruelest institutions to have ever existed.


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How Do You Filter Content in an Age of Abundance?

Review the Future

We’re back with a new podcast about the growing challenge of digital curation. Every day we digitize more content. As the pile of data grows ever larger, how are we going to find the stuff we actually want? What is it going to take for recommendation algorithms to actually get good? In the future will there be ratings and reviews for literally everything? Is the power of gatekeepers going to get stronger or weaker?

Relevant Links

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Richard Eskow

“Think Locally, Act Globally”: 6 Takeaways From The Scotland Vote

by Richard Eskow

Scotland’s independence vote has been cast, and its citizens chose overwhelmingly to remain part of Great Britain. But this historic vote should be studied by all those who want to affect political and economic change around the world, because there are important lessons to be learned.

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David Brin

Peering into the Future: AI and Robot brains

by David Brin

In Singularity or Transhumanism: What Word Should We Use to Discuss the Future? on Slate, Zoltan Istvan writes: "The singularity people (many at Singularity University) don't like the term transhumanism. Transhumanists don't like posthumanism. Posthumanists don’t like cyborgism. And cyborgism advocates don't like the life extension tag. If you arrange the groups in any order, the same enmity occurs." 

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John Danaher

Can blogging be academically valuable? 7 reasons for thinking it might be

by John Danaher

I have been blogging for nearly five years (hard to believe). In that time, I’ve written over 650 posts on a wide variety of topics: religion, metaethics, applied ethics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of law, technology, epistemology, philosophy of science and so on.

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Primer on Nuclear Fusion and Photos from the People’s Climate March (Sep, 21, 2014)

Ethical Technology

IEET Managing Director, Kris Notaro joined in on the “Scientists Bloc” at the People’s Climate March in New York City where Nuclear Fusion as an energy source was a popular topic. Below are some photos taken by Kris at the march (September 21, 2014) that drew more then 350,000 people in support of clean energy and radical political reform against global warming / climate change. 

Primer on Nuclear Fusion by RT:


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On Wellbeing, Bliss and Happiness

Adam Ford

Adam Ford records philosopher and IEET Fellow David Pearce on the topic of wellbeing, bliss, and what the future has in store for us dealing with happiness-engineering.

David Pearce (born 3 April) is a British philosopher. He promotes the idea that there exists a strong ethical imperative for humans to work towards the abolition of suffering in all sentient life. His book-length internet manifesto The Hedonistic Imperative outlines how technologies such as genetic engineering, nanotechnology, pharmacology, and neurosurgery could potentially converge to eliminate all forms of unpleasant experience among human and non-human animals, replacing suffering with gradients of well-being, a project he refers to as “paradise engineering”.

“Well, there are technical obstacles and ideological obstacles to the abolitionist project. But if one deals first with the technical challenges, I think there are essentially three options. One is wireheading. Wireheading is (probably) a dead-end. But it is illuminating because the procedure shows that pleasure has no physiological tolerance. That is to say, it’s just as exhilarating having one’s pleasure centers stimulated 24 hours after starting a binge as it was at the beginning….”

“The neural basis of our so-called basic moods and emotions is simpler than so-called higher cognitive functions. But undeniably, this neural basis is still fiendishly complicated, the simplicity of wireheading notwithstanding. For instance, the mesolimbic dopamine system may not be, as we’ve sometimes supposed, the final common pathway of pleasure in the brain: dopamine apparently mediates “wanting” (i.e. incentive-motivation) as much as “liking”, which is signaled by activation of the mu opioid receptors. But if we focus here on the simple monoamines, an obvious target for intervention is indeed the mesolimbic dopamine system. One of the most common objections to the idea of abolishing suffering – ignoring here the prospect of full-blown paradise-engineering – is that without the spur of discontent we’d soon become idle and even bored. “If we were all happy, what would we do all day?” But enhanced dopamine function is associated, not just with euphoria, but with heightened motivation; a deeper sense of meaningfulness, significance and purpose; and an increased sensitivity to a greater range of rewards. So one possible option for paradise engineering is to focus on enriching the dopaminergic system to promote (a genetic predisposition to) lifestyles of high achievement and intellectual productivity.

That’s one option at least. Another sort of predisposition is to pursue a lifetime of introspection, meditation and blissful tranquility. If I seem to dwell unduly on ways of enriching dopamine function, that’s because exploring its amplification is a useful corrective to a widespread misconception i.e. that happiness inevitably leads to stagnation. The critical point, I think, is that to be blissful isn’t the same as being blissed out.”

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J. Hughes

Enhancing Virtues: Intelligence (Part 4): Brain Machines

by J. Hughes

The limitations of cognitive enhancement drugs will soon be complemented and surpassed by brain machine interfaces. The most consumer accessible brain machine devices that provide some intellectual enhancement are neurofeedback and transcranial direct current stimulation.  Genetic and tissue engineering may provide avenues for at least the repair of cognitive deficits, and perhaps enhancement. Progress in actual nano-neural brain-machine interfaces, which will require advances in miniaturization, materials and nanotechnology, will enable more profound enhancement.

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The World Transhumanist Association (WTA)

Adam Ford

David Pearce (born 3 April) is a British philosopher. He promotes the idea that there exists a strong ethical imperative for humans to work towards the abolition of suffering in all sentient life. His book-length internet manifesto The Hedonistic Imperative outlines how technologies such as genetic engineering, nanotechnology, pharmacology, and neurosurgery could potentially converge to eliminate all forms of unpleasant experience among human and non-human animals, replacing suffering with gradients of well-being, a project he refers to as “paradise engineering”.

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J. Hughes

Enhancing Virtues: Intelligence (Part 3): Pharmaceutical Cognitive Enhancement

by J. Hughes

There are limits to our ability to enhance intelligence, and the intellectual virtues, through social reform and lifestyle changes. For thousands of years we have used stimulants like caffeine, coca, qat and nicotine to boost attention. Now we have increasingly targeted drugs that improve attention, memory and learning, with fewer side effects.

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Ramez Naam

Actually: You ARE the Customer, Not the Product

by Ramez Naam

Don’t believe the hype. You’re the customer, whether you pay directly or by seeing ads. Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: “On the internet, if you’re not paying for something, then you’re not the customer. You’re the product.”

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A message about the power of free expression


In celebration of Banned Books Week 2014, the California Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee invited authors to share their thoughts on banned books. Ramez Naam shares his thoughts about the global brain, the value of free expression in our democracy, and the attraction of reading books that people want to ban. Naam’s science fiction novel Nexus was the co-winner (tied with Homeland by Cory Doctorow) of the 2014 Prometheus Award for science fiction novels that promote freedom.


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Secrets of the Mind: Can Science Explain Consciousness? (34 min)

Roger Penrose, Iain McGilchrist, Nicholas Humphrey talk about if consciousness can be explained on

Roger Penrose  is an English mathematical physicist, mathematician and philosopher of science. He is the Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the Mathematical Institute of the University of Oxford, as well as an Emeritus Fellow of Wadham College.

Penrose is known for his work in mathematical physics, in particular for his contributions to general relativity and cosmology. He has received a number of prizes and awards, including the 1988 Wolf Prize for physics, which he shared with Stephen Hawking for their contribution to our understanding of the universe.

Iain McGilchrist  is a psychiatrist and writer who practised in London, but now lives on the Isle of Skye, where he continues to write and make a living by lecturing.

He is committed to the idea that the mind and brain can be understood only by seeing them in the broadest possible context, that of the whole of our physical and spiritual existence, and of the wider human culture in which they arise – the culture which helps to mould, and in turn is moulded by, our minds and brains. 

Nicholas Humphrey is an English psychologist, based in Cambridge, who is known for his work on the evolution of human intelligence and consciousness. His interests are wide ranging. He studied mountain gorillas with Dian Fossey in Rwanda, he was the first to demonstrate the existence of “blindsight” after brain damage in monkeys, he proposed the celebrated theory of the “social function of intellect” and he is the only scientist ever to edit the literary journal Granta.

Humphrey played a significant role in the anti-nuclear movement in the late 1970s and delivered the BBC Bronowski memorial lecture titled “Four Minutes to Midnight” in 1981.

His ten books include Consciousness Regained, The Inner Eye, A History of the Mind, Leaps of Faith, The Mind Made Flesh, Seeing Red, and Soul Dust. He has been the recipient of several honours, including the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize, the Pufendorf medal and the British Psychological Society’s book award.

He has been Lecturer in Psychology at Oxford, Assistant Director of the Subdepartment of Animal Behaviour at Cambridge, Senior Research Fellow in Parapsychology at Cambridge, Professor of Psychology at the New School for Social Research, New York, and School Professor at the London School of Economics.

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John Danaher

Chalmers vs Pigliucci on the Philosophy of Mind-Uploading (2): Pigliucci’s Pessimism

by John Danaher

This is the second and final part of my series about a recent exchange between David Chalmers and Massimo Pigliucci. The exchange took place in the pages of Intelligence Unbound, an edited collection of essays about mind-uploading and artificial intelligence. It concerned the philosophical plausibility of mind-uploading.

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Gennady Stolyarov II

Review of Ilia Stambler’s “A History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth Century”

by Gennady Stolyarov II

A History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth Century by Ilia Stambler is the most thorough treatment to date of the ideas of famous thinkers and scientists who attempted to prolong human lifespans. In this detailed and impressively documented work – spanning 540 pages – Dr. Stambler explores the works of life-extensionist thinkers and practitioners from a vast variety of ideological, national, and methodological backgrounds.

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George Dvorsky

10 Horrifying Technologies That Should Never Be Allowed To Exist

by George Dvorsky

As we head deeper into the 21st century, we’re starting to catch a glimpse of the fantastic technological possibilities that await. But we’re also starting to get a grim sense of the potential horrors. Here are 10 frightening technologies that should never, ever, come into existence.

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Popular Science picks best inventions for 2014

CBS This Morning

Dave Mosher, projects editor for Popular Science, joins “CBS This Morning: Saturday” to share some of the year’s winning gadgets from the magazine’s annual Invention Awards.

However, how are our new “gadgets” primarily produced?:

Sweatshop (or sweat factory) is a pejorative term for a workplace that has socially unacceptable working conditions. The work may be difficult, dangerous or be paid a wage that is not commensurate. Workers in ‘sweatshops’ may work long hours for low pay, regardless of laws mandating overtime pay or a minimum wage; child labor laws may also be violated.

A sweatshop is a factory or workshop, especially in the clothing industry, where manual workers are employed at very low wages for long hours and under poor conditions.

More recently, the anti-globalization movement has arisen in opposition to corporate globalization, a process by which multinational corporations move their operations overseas in order to lower their costs and increase profits. The anti-sweatshop movement has much in common with the anti-globalization movement. Both consider sweatshops harmful, and both have accused many companies (such as the Walt Disney Company, The Gap, and Nike) of using sweatshops. Some in these movements charge that neoliberal globalization is similar to the sweating system, arguing that there tends to be a "race to the bottom", as multinationals leap from one low-wage country to another searching for lower production costs, in the same way that sweaters would have steered production to the lowest cost sub-contractor.

Various groups support or embody the anti-sweatshop movement today. The National Labor Committee brought sweatshops into the mainstream media in the 1990s when it exposed the use of sweatshop and child labor to sew Kathie Lee Gifford's Wal-Mart label. United Students Against Sweatshops is active on college campuses. The International Labor Rights Fund filed a lawsuit on behalf of workers in China, Nicaragua, Swaziland, Indonesia, and Bangladesh against Wal-Mart charging the company with knowingly developing purchasing policies particularly relating to price and delivery time that are impossible to meet while following the Wal-Mart code of conduct. Labor unions, such as the AFL-CIO, have helped support the anti-sweatshop movement out of concern both for the welfare of workers in the developing world and those in the United States.

Social critics complain that sweatshop workers often do not earn enough money to buy the products that they make, even though such items are often commonplace goods such as t-shirts, shoes, and toys. In 2003, Honduran garment factory workers were paid US$0.24 for each $50 Sean John sweatshirt, $0.15 for each long-sleeved t-shirt, and only five cents for each short-sleeved shirt – less than one-half of one percent of the retail price. Even comparing international costs of living, the $0.15 that a Honduran worker earned for the long-sleeved t-shirt was equal in purchasing power to $0.50 in the United States.

Anti-globalization proponents cite high savings, increased capital investment in developing nations, diversification of their exports and their status as trade ports as the reason for their economic success rather than sweatshops and cite the numerous cases in the East Asian "Tiger Economies" where sweatshops have reduced living standards and wages. They believe that better-paying jobs, increased capital investment and domestic ownership of resources will improve the economies of sub-Saharan Africa rather than sweatshops. They point to good labor standards developing strong manufacturing export sectors in wealthier sub-Saharan countries such as Mauritius and believe measures like these will improve economic conditions in developing nations.

Anti-globalization organizations argue that the minor gains made by employees of some of these institutions are outweighed by the negative costs such as lowered wages to increase profit margins and that the institutions pay less than the daily expenses of their workers. They also point to the fact that sometimes local jobs offered higher wages before trade liberalization provided tax incentives to allow sweatshops to replace former local unionized jobs. They further contend that sweatshop jobs are not necessarily inevitable. Eric Toussaint claims that quality of life in developing countries was actually higher between 1945 and 1980 before the international debt crisis of 1982 harmed economies in developing countries causing them to turn to IMF and World Bank-organized "structural adjustments" and that unionized jobs pay more than sweatshop ones overall – "several studies of workers producing for US firms in Mexico are instructive: workers at the Aluminum Company of America's Ciudad Acuna plant earn between $21.44 and $24.60 per week, but a weekly basket of basic food items costs $26.87. Mexican GM workers earn enough to buy a pound of apples in 30 minutes of work, while GM workers in the US earn as much in 5 minutes." People critical of sweatshops believe that "free trade agreements" do not truly promote free trade at all but instead seek to protect multinational corporations from competition by local industries (which are sometimes unionized). They believe free trade should only involve reducing tariffs and barriers to entry and that multinational businesses should operate within the laws in the countries they want to do business in rather than seeking immunity from obeying local environmental and labor laws. They believe these conditions are what give rise to sweatshops rather than natural industrialization or economic progression.

In some countries, such as China, it is not uncommon for these institutions to withhold workers' pay.

"According to labor organizations in Hong Kong, up to $365 million is withheld by managers who restrict pay in exchange for some service, or don't pay at all."

Furthermore, anti-globalization proponents argue that those in the West who defend sweatshops show double standards by complaining about sweatshop labor conditions in countries considered enemies or hostile by Western governments, while still gladly consuming their exports but complaining about the quality. They contend that multinational jobs should be expected to operate according to international labor and environmental laws and minimum wage standards like businesses in the West do.

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Data Mining: Twitter, Facebook and Beyond

Companies including Gatorade and Dell are turning to technology to take advantage of what’s being said about them on Twitter and Facebook. A look at the options facing business leaders debating between inexpensive listening tools and more pricey data mining software. (Source: Bloomberg)

Social intelligence is the capacity to effectively negotiate complex social relationships and environments. Psychologist Nicholas Humphrey believes that it is social intelligence, rather than quantitative intelligence, that defines humans. Social scientist Ross Honeywill believes social intelligence is an aggregated measure of self- and social-awareness, evolved social beliefs and attitudes, and a capacity and appetite to manage complex social change.

The original definition by Edward Thorndike in 1920 is “the ability to understand and manage men and women, boys and girls, to act wisely in human relations”. It is equivalent to interpersonal intelligence, one of the types of intelligence identified in Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, and closely related to theory of mind.[citation needed] Some authors have restricted the definition to deal only with knowledge of social situations, perhaps more properly called social cognition or social marketing intelligence, as it pertains to trending socio-psychological advertising and marketing strategies and tactics. According to Sean Foleno, social intelligence is a person’s competence to understand his or her environment optimally and react appropriately for socially successful conduct.

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Access for Everyone: A Model for Free Online Learning, with Duolingo’s Luis von Ahn

Big Think

Luis von Ahn describes the model for the free language-learning platform, Duolingo. The idea, he says, goes back to his childhood, where he imagined a model for a gymnasium that sustained itself by reselling people-produced energy. Von Ahn is the CEO and Co-founder of Duolingo.

Transcript: The problem with language education, there’s about 1.2 billion people in the world learning a foreign language. It’s one of the most common things that people learn in the world, everywhere in the world except maybe for the U.S., it’s not that common in the U.S., but everywhere else it’s about 1.2 billion people learning a foreign language. Now, if you look at it more deeply it turns out about 800 million of them satisfy three properties. The first one is they’re learning English. The second one is that they are doing so in order to get a better job or a job at all, and the third one is that they are of low socioeconomic condition. So basically most people learning a foreign language are poor people learning English to make more money or to make some money.

Now, the kind of ironic thing is that usually the way there are to learn languages, and particularly to learn English, costs a lot of money. So for example, in the U.S. there’s Rosetta Stone, which is $500-$1000, in Latin America there’s a program called Open English, which is about $1000. So it’s this ironic thing that most of the people that need to learn a language are poor people that are doing it so that they can get money but it requires quite a bit of money to do so. Which is why with Duolingo we decided to make a completely free way to learn a language. And that’s the whole premise of Duolingo. When we started we thought we have to make a way to learn a language but it has to be 100 percent free.

When we started Duolingo it was not just me, it was me and my co-founder whose name is Severin Hacker who is very funny because his last name is Hacker. When we started we knew we wanted to do a free way to learn languages. This is what we wanted to do. It’s easy to say that it’s free, the problem is when something is free you got to find a way to finance it and to make it sustainable. So the question really became is how do we teach languages for free but such that we can actually finance the whole thing? The solution to this came from many of my previous projects have had this very similar idea. And it’s an idea that can be traced back to an idea that I had when I was a kid. It was a terrible idea but at the time I thought it was an amazing idea. And it was that I wanted to have a gym where it was free to go to the gym. It’s a free gym, but all the exercise equipment was connected to the power grid and people when they went there as they exercise they would generate electricity that the gym would sell to the power grid. So that’s why it was free. We wouldn’t charge people but we would make money by selling electricity to the electric company.

It turns out this is a bad idea because it turns out humans are actually not very good at making electricity. But I thought it was a good idea at the time. Also there’s another reason why it’s a bad idea. Turns out with gym economics actually most of the money is made from people not showing up, whereas in this case we really needed people to show up because we needed to generate the electricity. [TRANSCRIPT TRUNCATED]

Directed/Produced by Jonathan Fowler, Elizabeth Rodd, and Dillon Fitton

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Morality Lessons for Robots

Colbert Nation

Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report / Colbert Nation / Comedy Central talks about recent robot ethics sweeping the world and nation…

Roboethics is a short expression for ethics of robotics. It is often used in the sense that it is concerned with the behavior of humans, how humans design, construct, use and treat robots and other artificially intelligent beings, whereas * machine ethics is concerned with the behavior of robots themselves, whether or not they are considered artificial moral agents (AMAs).

While the issue is as old as the word robot, the short word roboethics was probably first used by roboticist Gianmarco Veruggio in 2002, who also served as chair of an Atelier funded by the European Robotics Research Network to outline areas where research may be needed. The road map effectively divided ethics of artificial intelligence into two sub-fields to accommodate researchers’ differing interests:
Main positions on roboethics

Since the First International Symposium on Roboethics (Sanremo, Italy, 2004), three main ethical positions emerged from the robotics community (D. Cerqui, 2004):

  Not interested in ethics (This is the attitude of those who consider that their actions are strictly technical, and do not think they have a social or a moral responsibility in their work)
  Interested in short-term ethical questions (This is the attitude of those who express their ethical concern in terms of “good” or “bad,” and who refer to some cultural values and social conventions)
  Interested in long-term ethical concerns (This is the attitude of those who express their ethical concern in terms of global, long-term questions)

Disciplines involved in roboethics

The design of Roboethics requires the combined commitment of experts of several disciplines, who, working in transnational projects, committees, commissions, have to adjust laws and regulations to the problems resulting from the scientific and technological achievements in Robotics and AI.

In all likelihood, it is to be expected that the birth of new curricula studiorum and specialties, necessary to manage a subject so complex, just as it happened with Forensic Medicine. In particular, the main fields involved in Roboethics are: robotics, computer science, artificial intelligence, philosophy, ethics, theology, biology, physiology, cognitive science, neurosciences, law, sociology, psychology, and industrial design.

As roboethics is a human-centered ethics, it should[citation needed] comply with the principles state in the most important and widely accepted Charters of Human Rights:

  Human dignity and human rights.
  Equality, justice and equity.
  Benefit and harm.
  Respect for cultural diversity and pluralism.
  Non-discrimination and non-stigmatization.
  Autonomy and individual responsibility.
  Informed consent.
  Solidarity and cooperation.
  Social responsibility.
  Sharing of benefits.
  Responsibility towards the biosphere.

General ethical issues in science and technology

Roboethics shares with the other fields of science and technology most of the ethical problems derived from the Second and Third Industrial Revolutions:

  Dual-use technology.
  Environmental impact of technology.
  Effects of technology on the global distribution of wealth.
  Digital divide, socio-technological gap.
  Fair access to technological resources.
  Dehumanization of humans in the relationship with the machines.
  Technology addiction.
  Anthropomorphization of the machines.


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Melanie Swan

Proximity Marketing: Opportunity for Rich-Attribute Conveyance

by Melanie Swan

Real-time Location-based Services (RT-LBS or just RT-LS) is an important new concept in mobile marketing. These offerings are starting to tout the ability to deliver information and services based on the real-time location of a person. Some key examples are receiving a mobile phone-based notification of a restaurant offer while walking in a downtown area or a product coupon while shopping in a specific grocery aisle.

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John Danaher

Chalmers vs Pigliucci on the Philosophy of Mind-Uploading (1): Chalmers’s Optimism

by John Danaher

The brain is the engine of reason and the seat of the soul. It is the substrate in which our minds reside. The problem is that this substrate is prone to decay. Eventually, our brains will cease to function and along with them so too will our minds. This will result in our deaths. Little wonder then that the prospect of transferring (or uploading) our minds to a more robust, technologically advanced, substrate has proved so attractive to futurists and transhumanists.

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IEET Fellow Evan Selinger, referenced in New York Times

New York Times

The NY Times picked up on IEET Fellow Evan Selinger’s concerns over the cognitive and characterological downside to using predictive consumer technology, including the new form of texting available on Apple’s iOS8.

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What is Transhumanism? – the 3 Supers

Adam Ford
Three dominant areas of Transhumanism: Super Intelligence, Super Longevity and Super Well-Being.

Within each of the three areas the main intuitions surrounding each area are swiftly brought forward and examined – so, for example, the fact that ageing kills 100,000 people every day yet it is seen as justified and natural, unlike any other killer of this magnitude.


On Super Wellbeing

David Pearce’s main focus is Super Well-being (or Superhappiness).

"there is nothing to stop intelligent agents from identifying the molecular signature of experience below hedonic zero and eliminating it altogether — even in insects…I tentatively predict that the world’s last unpleasant experience in our forward light-cone will be a precisely datable event — perhaps some micro-pain in an obscure marine invertebrate a few centuries hence." - David Pearce
"If we get things right, the future of life in the universe can be wonderful beyond the bounds of human imagination: a “triple S” civilisation of superlongevity, superintelligence and superhappiness." - David Pearce

On Super Intelligence

"Even if one cares most passionately about one of the other two “supers”, superlongevity and superhappiness might not best yield to direct attack. Full-spectrum superintelligence could potentially deliver both. For what it’s worth, I’m much more cautious about the prospect of digital sentience (and hence the possibility of mind-uploading) than most of my transhumanist colleagues owing to the phenomenal binding problem.

Needles to say, I could be hopelessly wrong." - David Pearce


This was the topic of a popular video on Transhumanism released by BIOPS last year.

“Humanity is in an increasingly symbiotic relationship with technology. As it becomes more central to our daily lives, technology is having an ever-greater effect on the human condition, and this trend seems set to continue. Careful consideration and informed debate on a societal scale is essential, as the risks may well outweigh the rewards. We exist to bring that conversation about sooner, rather than too late.” - Biops

Transhumanism (abbreviated as H+ or h+) is an international cultural and intellectual movement with an eventual goal of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities. Transhumanist thinkers study the potential benefits and dangers of emerging technologies that could overcome fundamental human limitations, as well as the ethics of developing and using such technologies. They speculate that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into beings with such greatly expanded abilities as to merit the label “posthuman”.

David Pearce (born 3 April) is a British philosopher. He promotes the idea that there exists a strong ethical imperative for humans to work towards the abolition of suffering in all sentient life. His book-length internet manifesto The Hedonistic Imperative outlines how technologies such as genetic engineering, nanotechnology, pharmacology, and neurosurgery could potentially converge to eliminate all forms of unpleasant experience among human and non-human animals, replacing suffering with gradients of well-being, a project he refers to as “paradise engineering”.

“Humanity is in an increasingly symbiotic relationship with technology. As it becomes more central to our daily lives, technology is having an ever-greater effect on the human condition, and this trend seems set to continue. Careful consideration and informed debate on a societal scale is essential, as the risks may well outweigh the rewards. We exist to bring that conversation about sooner, rather than too late.” - David Pearce

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Beyond The People’s Climate March

Dennis Trainor, Jr

Dennis Trainor, Jr. of Acronym TV in conversation with Timeka Drew, a grassroots organizer with the Global Climate Convergence. In one week the Peoples Climate March in New York, organized by, is expected to draw as many as 200,000 people. The march is to take place only days before a special UN meeting called by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to discuss the November 2015 U.N. Climate Conference in Paris. Christopher Hedges has called this march a “last gasp of climate change liberals;” and “a climate themed street fair.” Our only hope, according to Hedges, “comes from radical groups descending on New York to carry out direct action, including Global Climate Convergence and Popular Resistance.”

Climate march,, People’s Climate March, Climate change, Global warming, Extreme weather, Global Climate Convergence, Timeka Drew, Dennis Trainor Jr, ATV, Acronym TV, 2014 elections, U.S. Elections, System Change not climate change,

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Multitask Humanoid Control with a Brain-Computer Interface


We present our approach to design a brain-computer interface (BCI) that allows the user to perform multitask humanoid control. We efficiently integrate techniques from computer vision and the task-function based control together with the brain-computer interface into an immersive and intuitive control application despite the well-known shortcomings of BCI. This approach is assessed in a user experiment involving 4 subjects who successfully controlled the HRP-2 humanoid robot in a scenario involving both grasping tasks and steering. The user experiences and the interface performances are presented and give a rich insight into future research that can be made to improve and extend such interface.

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Cell-mediated Delivery of Nanoformulated Antioxidants for Treatment of Neurodegenerative Disorders

Winthrop Rockefeller Institute

Elena V. Batrakova talks about “Cell-mediated Delivery of Nanoformulated Antioxidants for Treatment of Neurodegenerative Disorders” at the 2014 Nanotechnology for Health Care Conference put on by the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute.

Dr. Batrakova mentors graduate students and teaches in Innovative Drug Delivery (PHSC851).

Research Activities/Interests:
The main focus of Dr. Batrakova’s research is development of developing a cell-mediated active delivery of therapeutic polypeptides to the brain for treatment of Parkinson’s Disease using inflammatory-response cells as vehicles. Dr. Batrakova is also devoted to the development of a new drug delivery polymer-based system of chemotherapy to treat multi-drug resistant (MDR) tumors, and CNS disorders.

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Alex Nichols

Transhumanism - Considering Ideas From Existentialism and Religion

by Alex Nichols

“Immortality formulas” are often our biggest motivators in our life endeavors. There are similar concepts that philosophers, theologians, and transhumanists have pushed forward. All of which support different means of enhancing ourselves as a way of life. The core of transhumanist values seem to view death as a disease to be overcome, and that science will produce the means to conquer it.

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Marshall Brain

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

by Marshall Brain

What are our goals as a species? This, to me, is the most important question we can ask ourselves as human beings. Another way to say it: What is the meaning of our existence as a species? We never seem to directly ask ourselves these two questions in a collective way, which seems very odd to me. Because if we were discussing these questions openly, collectively and consistently, I believe we would live in a very different society.

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