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




whats new at ieet

Aristotle, Robot Slaves, and a New Economic System

India: little real progress for most people during the 20-year economic boom

Three Transhumanist Organizations Fund “Science & Literacy Centre” in Uganda

From Children of ‘Witches’ to ‘Child Witches’ in Ghana

What, Me Worry? - I Don’t Share Most Concerns About Artificial Intelligence

If We No Longer Force People to Work to Meet Their Basic Needs, Won’t They Stop Working?


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.


comments

Peter Kinnon on 'What, Me Worry? - I Don’t Share Most Concerns About Artificial Intelligence' (May 26, 2015)

instamatic on 'Does the Biblical God Exist? - I Think We Can Do Better' (May 26, 2015)

spud100 on 'The Argument for Legalizing Psychedelics - Part 1: Cognitive Liberty and Creativity' (May 26, 2015)

spud100 on 'What, Me Worry? - I Don’t Share Most Concerns About Artificial Intelligence' (May 26, 2015)

Lincoln Cannon on 'The Semi-Orthogonality Thesis - examining Nick Bostrom’s ideas on intelligent purpose' (May 26, 2015)

rms on 'Self-Driving Trucks Are Going to Hit Us Like a Human-Driven Truck' (May 26, 2015)

dobermanmac on 'The Semi-Orthogonality Thesis - examining Nick Bostrom’s ideas on intelligent purpose' (May 26, 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 Scientific Method is a Scientific Idea that is Ready for Retirement
May 24, 2015
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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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RSS feedETHICAL TECHNOLOGY

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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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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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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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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Marcelo Rinesi

The post-Westphalian Hooligan

by Marcelo Rinesi

Last Thursday’s unprecedented incidents at one of the world’s most famous soccer matches illustrate the dark side of the post- (and pre-) Westphalian world.

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Giulio Prisco

UnSingularity - Let’s Enjoy the Slow Hike to the Future

by Giulio Prisco

As a child of the 60s I spent most of my life regretting that we didn’t build those cities on the Moon and the planets. Now I realize that the Apollo adventure was too far from our supply lines to be sustainable. But we are still doing space, and someday (not soon) we will go back to the Moon, and then to Mars, to the planets, and to the stars.

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Science Fiction is Really Important But Not Because It’s Right

Singularity 1on1

Socrates talks to Seth Godin, the author of 18 books that have been bestsellers around the world and have been translated into more than 35 languages. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. You might be familiar with his books Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip and Purple Cow.

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John Danaher

Are AI-Doomsayers like Skeptical Theists? A Precis of the Argument

by John Danaher

Some of you may have noticed my recently-published paper on existential risk and artificial intelligence. The paper offers a somewhat critical perspective on the recent trend for AI-doomsaying among people like Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates. Of course, it doesn’t focus on their opinions; rather, it focuses on the work of the philosopher Nick Bostrom, who has written the most impressive analysis to date of the potential risks posed by superintelligent machines.

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Has the world improved in the last 60 years? (90min)

Oxford Martin School

Anders Sandberg, Brian Nolan, Max Roser and Robert Walker review the evidence in a wide-ranging talk on May 11 at the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford.


During a speech in 1957, Prime Minister Harold MacMillan declared “most of our people have never had it so good”. Now, more than half a century later, are we fundamentally any better off? Through discussion of technological advances, social changes, political reforms, and economic shocks and recessions, this panel will seek to question whether the world we currently live in is indeed a better place than it was in the 1950s.

Chaired by Professor Brian Nolan, Professor of Social Policy, the panel consisted of:

Dr Max Roser, James Martin Fellow at The Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School
Dr Anders Sandberg, James Martin Fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute
Professor Robert Walker, Professor of Social Policy

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Massimo Pigliucci

Reflections on the skeptic and atheist movements

by Massimo Pigliucci

Groucho Marx, one of my favorite comedians of all time, famously wrote a telegram to a Hollywood club he had joined, that said: “Please accept my resignation. I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.” I have recently considered sending such a letter to the skeptic and atheist movements (henceforth, SAM), but I couldn’t find the address.

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John G. Messerly

Thoughts on Lauritzen’s “Stem Cells, Biotechnology, and Human Rights”

by John G. Messerly

Any reader of this blog knows that I am a transhumanist; I believe in using technology to overcome all human limitations. What follows is a summary of an article by Paul Lauritzen, a Professor Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic, Jesuit John Carroll University near Cleveland Ohio. I believe his argument worthless, and contrary to everything I believe in, but I will summarize it as best I can. As I proceed I will provide a few parenthetical comments, as well as a few critical remarks at the end.

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Richard Eskow

Social Security, Ten Years From Now

by Richard Eskow

For the Huffington Post’s 10th anniversary I was invited to predict what Social Security might look like 10 years from now. That future is filled with both possibility and shadowed by danger.

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Is the Universe a Giant Computer Simulation?

Motherboard

This week’s Motherboard talks to IEET co-founder Nick Bostrom, who originally came up with the simulation hypothesis. According to Bostrom, it makes at least as much sense for us to be living in a simulation as it does for us to not be. Then, they switch gears ever so slightly to talk with Craig Hogan, a Department of Energy researcher who is actively trying to prove that we’re living not in a simulation, but in a hologram, which is a completely different thing. Finally, the Motherboard staff talks about glitches in the Matrix or moments that seem totally unreal.

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George Dvorsky

China’s Manufacturers Are Shifting Towards Zero-Labor Factories

by George Dvorsky

A company in South China’s Guangdong province is building the city’s first zero-labor factory. It’s an effort to address worker shortages and rising labor costs, but the rise of semi-autonomous “smart factories” could be a sign of things to come, in China and elsewhere.

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George Dvorsky

9 Bizarre Jobs That Will Redefine Our Lives In The 2050s

by George Dvorsky

The fields of biotechnology and medicine are rapidly evolving, and with them their associated employment opportunities. Here are nine biomedical professions to look for in the coming decades.

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Are We Heading for a Jobless Future?

Review the Future

Review the Future talks with Martin Ford about his new book Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future. They discuss which job sectors are most vulnerable to automation in the near future and to what degree technology might be the driving force behind troubling economic trends. Martin describes his version of a basic income, which features built-in tiers and incentives. He also responds to some of the skepticism leveled at his writing by reviewers such as Robin Hanson. All in all, we found it to be a fascinating discussion.

Play

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IEET Readers Lean Toward Possibly Purposeful Universe

We asked “Does the universe have a purpose?” and of the 120 of you that answered only a quarter said unequivocally “yes.” A third were unequivocally in the “No” purpose camp. But a third held out for purpose being possible, either as a result of our being in a simulation or as something we begin to understand as we become superintelligent.

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Ilia Stambler

Metchnikoff Day – in honor of the founder of gerontology – a chance to promote longevity

by Ilia Stambler

On May 15, 2015, we celebrate the 170th anniversary of the founder of gerontology, a foundational figure of modern immunology, aging and longevity science, and of modern medicine generally – Elie Metchnikoff (May 15, 1845 – July 15, 1916).

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David Wood

An introduction to tomorrow’s politics

by David Wood

Chapter 1 of the Transpolitica book “Anticipating tomorrow’s politics.”

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