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




whats new at ieet

Review The Future: What is the Future of Education?

Neuroscience Symposium: Genetics in psychiatry

Drug That Lost High-Stakes Political Fight For Funding Now Being Used Against Ebola

Planetary Boundaries And Global Catastrophic Risk

Morality and God

Random Neuron Connections


ieet books

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

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


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rms on 'Smut in Jesusland: Why Bible Belt States are the Biggest Consumers of Online Porn' (Oct 21, 2014)

instamatic on 'Smut in Jesusland: Why Bible Belt States are the Biggest Consumers of Online Porn' (Oct 21, 2014)

rms on 'Science Fiction and our Dreams of the Future' (Oct 20, 2014)

rms on 'Sousveillance and Surveillance: What kind of future do we want?' (Oct 20, 2014)

dobermanmac on 'Transhumanism and the Will to Power' (Oct 20, 2014)

instamatic on 'Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?' (Oct 18, 2014)

CygnusX1 on 'Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?' (Oct 18, 2014)







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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


Google’s Cold Betrayal of the Internet
Oct 10, 2014
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Dawkins and the “We are going to die” -Argument
Sep 25, 2014
(5573) Hits
(21) Comments

Should we abolish work?
Oct 3, 2014
(5029) Hits
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Will we uplift other species to sapience?
Sep 25, 2014
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RSS feedETHICAL TECHNOLOGY

Martine Rothblatt

Would Mindclones Have Rights?

by Martine Rothblatt

What is the path of philosophical and political struggle ahead of us to secure the rights of virtual, uploaded persons?

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Richard Eskow

Cerebral Imperialism

by Richard Eskow

Could it be that there is no intelligence without a body? That there’s only computation? That cognition is the byproduct of biological processes, and never the driver of them?

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Transhumanist Aesthetics: A Theoretical Approach to Enhanced Existence

MetaNexus Institute

Natasha Vita-More spoke at the MetaNexus Institute conference July 18-21, 2009.

The emergent course of our human bio-technological transition is leading toward a species transformation. In light of this, approaches to transhumanism are varied and some are without clear conceptual apparatus; people want to extol its far-out promise or decry its fearful premise. How can the forecasts of converging sciences and technologies be better understood? Discussions need to include how we might experience an enhanced existence. I suggest aesthetics as a means by which we can gaze onto the topography of human enhancement and into the core of transhumanist experience.

Human enhancement aesthetics pursues a perceptual grasp of human futures, including the cyborg, transhuman, posthuman, and possible whole-brain emulation upload. The qualities of each of these transitional stages must be gauged by the uniqueness of each stage. The elements of aesthetics that cultivate perception are brought about by new experiences. The aesthetics of human enhancement suggests that the link toward understanding enhanced existence is located in the “experience”, not in a proviso for human preconditions as critical reflections on the current state of existence. That would be like a shamanistic Bushman preconsidering a human life by his standards and needs, without any awareness of a thing called the Internet. Therefore, if we are to discuss transhumanism, we must engage in transhumanist experiences in order to perceive what the transhuman or posthuman might value.

The basic concepts of aesthetics of enhanced existence could be imagined by introducing new media’s immersive, interactiverole in constituting experience (Dewey). This offers an opportunity to partially, if not naively, experience the sentiment of what enhanced existence might be like.In media aesthetics, logical description cannot replace personal participation (Schirmacher).Yet, there still remains a tension between the act of experiencing the world and a need that it depict a world worth living (as a precondition) (Nozick).

Enhanced existence evokes dramatic narratives, which generate uncertainty. Taking it from one posthumanist perspective, embodiment will give way to its reconfigurement by the machine (Hayles); from another it would upload (Kurzweil). Taking it from alate-transhumanist perspective, identity will give way to multiple selves or distributed selves (Vita-More). The scenarios, if approached like events, forgo the experiential exploration into aesthetics of enhanced existence. Life simply is not a blatant shift in materiality; it includes sensory and emotional experiences along the way.

Nevertheless, the issue remains: How can we thoughtfully assess an enhanced human existence if we cannot identify and gauge the existence through our current sensory-emotional apparatus? My task is to address this question.

2009 07 19 Transhumanism-PerilsAndPromises Vita-More-H.264 800Kbps from Metanexus Institute on Vimeo.

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Free book on automation and structural unemployment

Martin Ford and his publishers have decided to make the PDF version of his The Lights in the Tunnel free to download and free to share.

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Andy Miah

The DREAM Gene for the Posthuman Athlete

by Andy Miah

I have a chapter in a new scholarly anthology just published. The book is The Anthropology of Sport and Human Movement: A Biocultural Perspective, and my piece is titled “The DREAM Gene for the Posthuman Athlete: Reducing Exercise-Induced Pain Sensations Using Gene Transfer.”

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Phil Torres

Will posthumans all be atheists?

by Phil Torres

There is good reason for thinking that posthumans will, on the whole, be atheists. And there is good reason for thinking that widespread apostasy would, on the whole, be desirable.

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Ben Goertzel

Goals and Meta-Goals

by Ben Goertzel

Ever have the experience that you seriously think you’re trying to achieve one thing, but then in hindsight, years later, you look back and feel like your past self was actually trying to achieve something else entirely?

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J. Hughes

Defining Disability in an Age of Enhancement

by J. Hughes

Last week I made a presentation at a conference on disability rights held at Union College in Schenectady, New York. I was invited by my former student, Joe Stramondo, who is now teaching philosophy in Michigan. The topic that our panel addressed was the impact of enhancement technologies on the understanding of disability.

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Russell Blackford

Teenage births and abortions - responsibility is better than moralism

by Russell Blackford

Citing a new study in The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, The Globe and Mail reports that Canada experienced a significant drop (36.9 per cent) in teenage births and abortions between 1996 and 2006. This is attributed to better access to contraception, better sex education, and changing social norms, but not to a decline in actual sex among teenagers. Rather, Canadian teenagers are now more likely to use condoms and/or the contraceptive pill than was the case in the mid-1990s.

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Giulio Prisco

Telepresence Education for a Smarter World

by Giulio Prisco

(co-authored with J. Simone Riccardi)  There can be no doubt that the explosion of Internet technology started in the 90s has had a huge impact on our culture. For the first time in history, geographically distributed large groups of people have been able to interact in near-real time. Usenet groups and mailing lists, and then the Web, message boards, blogs, social networks, IP voice and video conferencing, have enabled and empowered global communities held together by common interests and world-views instead of geographical proximity.

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Join Us At H+ Summit at Harvard

Humanity+

The H+ Summit June 12-13, 2010 at Harvard University in Cambridge Massachusetts will explore how humanity will be radically changed by technology in the near future. Visionary speakers - including the IEET’s James Hughes, George Dvorsky, Aubrey de Grey, Ben Goertzel, Natasha Vita-More, Patrick Lin and Ramez Naam - will be speaking.  What will it mean to be a human in this next phase of technological development? How can we prepare now for coming changes?

We foresee the feasibility of redesigning the human condition and overcoming such constraints as the inevitability of aging, limitations on human and artificial intellects, unchosen psychology, lack of resources, and our confinement to the planet earth. The possibilities are broad and exciting. The H+ Summit will provide a venue to discuss these future scenarios and to hear exciting presentations by the leaders of the ongoing H+ (r)evolution.

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Christian Groups: Biblical Armageddon Must Be Taught Alongside Global Warming

The Onion Network News

Constitutional debate continues over whether public schools should include biblical Armageddon alongside global warming in end-of-world curriculum. (The Onion News)

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Kris Notaro

Technological and Political Progressivism in Historical Buddhist Thought

by Kris Notaro

An overview of the history of progressive politics and Buddhism written by Andrej Cvercko and edited by Kris Notaro.

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Andrew Maynard

The Future Safety of Synthetic Biology

by Andrew Maynard

Last week’s announcement from the J. Craig Venter Institute that scientists had created the first-ever synthetic cell was a profoundly significant point in human history, and marked a turning point in our quest to control the natural world. But the ability to use this emerging technology wisely is already being dogged by fears that we have embarked down a dangerous and morally dubious path.

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Bugs, Bits and Engineering Bioforms

Warring Futures: How Biotech and Robotics are Transforming Today's Military

George Poste, Chief Scientist, Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative, Arizona State University gives the keynote address to a May 24th, 2010 meeting on “Warring Futures: How Biotech and Robotics are Transforming Today’s Military—and How That Will Change the Rest of Us.” Dr. Poste’s talk was titled “Bugs, Bits and Engineering Bioforms: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” The meeting was sponsored by Arizona State University, New America Foudnation, and Slate magazine.

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Critical Thinking

A look at some of the principles of critical thinking.

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Ben Scarlato

Caprica, Gamer, & Surrogates: Overlooked Benefits of Virtual Worlds

by Ben Scarlato

In its first season, Caprica has done an excellent job of exploring the ethical issues relating to V-World (the virtual world created by the ultra-rich Daniel Graystone), looking at the dangers of becoming overly immersed in V-World, and whether an avatar constitutes a real person. Also in the past year, we’ve seen Gamer and Surrogates, two movies that explore some common themes with interesting parallels to those in Caprica.

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JET rated “A” by Australian government

The IEET’s Journal of Evolution and Technology has received an “A” ranking in Australia’s official government process for ranking peer-reviewed journals, which means that publication in JET will now carry significant kudos and funding for Australian academics in federally-funded institutions.

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Mike Treder

A Range of Reactions to Venter’s “Breakthrough”

by Mike Treder

Last week, researchers announced that they had achieved a long-anticipated breakthrough: the creation of the first synthetic organism. So, is this a huge step forward? The biggest thing ever? Does it herald exciting possibilities—or maybe ominous dangers? Is it much ado about nothing? That all depends on who you ask.

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Uncertainty About Alien Threats

In a recently concluded reader poll, more than 40% of respondents said we don’t have enough information to know whether space aliens potentially could pose a threat to Earth.

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Russell Blackford

Irish University Goes Batty

by Russell Blackford

An academic in Ireland has been disciplined for sexual harassment because he supposedly showed an article to a female colleague in a spirit of sexual innuendo.

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Miniature Quadruped Robot

This experimental robot, created by researchers at the University of Southern California, is completely autonomous and trained by machine learning algorithms. The video is real-time, i.e., not sped up.

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Jamais Cascio

Give My Creation… Life!

by Jamais Cascio

The Venter Institute announcement that it had successfully crafted the first self-replicating synthetic organism caused quite a stir, even among people who are otherwise pretty jaded about emerging tech.  It’s useful to understand exactly what is—and what isn’t—going on here.

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Aubrey de Grey

Aubrey de Grey at TEDMED 2009

by Aubrey de Grey
TEDMED 2009

Aging can be cured and should be cured. Dr. Aubrey de Grey is a biomedical gerontologist, a Fellow of the IEET, the Chief Science Officer of the SENS Foundation and editor of Rejuvenation Research.

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Web 3.0

In this compelling 15-minute documentary, NYU Journalism/Psychology major Kate Ray explores the future of the information explosion.

Web 3.0 from Kate Ray on Vimeo.

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Andrew Maynard

At the Dawn of a New Technology

by Andrew Maynard

One of the most anticipated technological breakthroughs in years hits the streets, and I’m completely off the web – holed up in an Italian hotel with no Internet and no phone.

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The Great Singularity Debate

Science Saturday

Research Fellow Eliezer Yudkowsky of the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence and Philosophy Professor Massimo Pigliucci of the City University of New York debate the meaning of intelligence and the possible limits of AI.

The Singularity and the outer limits of physical possibility (08:38)
Do human brains run software? (09:58)
Consciousness, intelligence, and computation (03:14)
What could minds be made of? (13:08)
Is mind-uploading a dualist dream? (19:18)
Would the Singularity be a Vonnegut-style catastrophe? (10:56)

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Arthur Caplan

Now ain’t that special? The implications of creating the first synthetic bacteria

by Arthur Caplan

What seemed to be an intractable puzzle, with significant religious overtones, has been solved. J Craig Venter, Ham Smith, Clyde Hutchinson, Daniel Gibson and a team of scientists at the Venter Institute in Rockville, Md., have made a new living bacterium from a set of genes they decoded, artificially combined and then stuck into the cored out remains of the bacterium of another species.  In other words, they created a living thing from man-made parts.  Or, in more important words, they created a novel lifeform from man-made parts.

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Volcano Time Exposure

Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull Volcano

Iceland, Eyjafjallajökull - May 1st and 2nd, 2010 from Sean Stiegemeier on Vimeo.

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Phil Torres

Is Progress always progress?

by Phil Torres

As the historian Robert Nisbet writes, “No single idea has been more important than, perhaps as important as, the idea of progress in Western civilization for nearly three thousand years.” But let’s understand what we mean by progress.

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