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




whats new at ieet

Siegel @ Palenque Norte, Burning Man

Can Brain Implants Make Us Smarter?

Death Threats, Freedom, Transhumanism, and the Future

While the world watches Ebola, Meningitis continues to kill in West Africa

Karlsen on God and the Benefits of Existence

Witch hunts, Misogyny and the Imperative of Enlightenment in Black Communities


ieet books

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies
Author
by Nick Bostrom

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

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

Between Ape and Artilect: Conversations with Pioneers of AGI and Other Transformative Technologies
by Ben Goertzel ed.


comments

Giulio Prisco on 'Death Threats, Freedom, Transhumanism, and the Future' (Aug 27, 2014)

rms on 'Robots Are People, Too' (Aug 27, 2014)

Rick Searle on 'Death Threats, Freedom, Transhumanism, and the Future' (Aug 26, 2014)

CygnusX1 on 'Death Threats, Freedom, Transhumanism, and the Future' (Aug 26, 2014)

Rick Searle on 'Resuscitation, by Cryonics or Otherwise, Is a Religious Mandate' (Aug 25, 2014)

instamatic on 'Nick Bostrom Testifies on Cognitive Enhancement for Obama BRAIN Initiative' (Aug 25, 2014)

Lincoln Cannon on 'Resuscitation, by Cryonics or Otherwise, Is a Religious Mandate' (Aug 25, 2014)







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JET

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


What is the Difference between Posthumanism and Transhumanism?
Jul 28, 2014
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Enhancing Virtues: Self-Control and Mindfulness
Aug 19, 2014
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Is using nano silver to treat Ebola misguided?
Aug 16, 2014
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“Lucy”: A Movie Review
Aug 18, 2014
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RSS feedETHICAL TECHNOLOGY


Law and Order: BPU (BioPolitical Unit)

Biopolitics of Popular Culture Seminar

Like the popular TV series,  sometimes the law is prescriptive, restricting human behavior, but it is also fluid and evolves, reflecting social norms.  Solving recurrent problems, setting standards for desirable behavior, proclaiming symbolic expressions of communal values (such as autonomy and privacy), resolving disputes about facts, and such, are just some of the important functions which the law serves in our society.  However, law is not the only domain that regulates behavior in our culture; morality, religion, social conventions, etiquette, moral and ethical values also guide human conduct in many ways which are similar in altering and shaping human performance.  Technological advances in human enhancement will not only change social norms and conventions, but will challenge our current laws and our current legal systems.

Linda MacDonald Glenn is a bioethicist, healthcare educator, lecturer, consultant and attorney. Formerly a fellow with the Institute of Ethics of the American Medical Association, and current Women’s Bioethics Project Scholar, Linda Macdonald Glenn’s research encompasses the legal, ethical, and social impact of emerging technologies and evolving notions of personhood.  Linda currently holds faculty appointments at the University Of Vermont College Of Nursing and Health Sciences, Department of Medical Laboratory and Radiation Sciences, and the University of Sciences in Philadelphia, Department of Biomedical Writing. An active lecturer, Linda has spoken at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Loyola University at Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical School and various law schools. She has also addressed numerous public and professional groups internationally. 

PPT slides

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Zero-Sum Superheroes:  Can Transhumanism Overcome 30 Centuries of Bad PR?

Biopolitics of Popular Culture Seminar

This presentation will study radical enhancement as a marketing challenge.  We will start with the centuries-old tropes that make it a hard sell today, study positive models, then briefly outline what a marketing campaign for Transhumanism would look like.  Western culture has been on an invisible, centuries-long campaign against the concept of human enhancement.  The vision of a technologically-enhanced human being has been locked in mortal combat with Rousseaus Noble Savage and the concept of Man-As-God-Intended.  The result is a conflict between our programmed fear of Frankensteins and our instinctive human fascination with knowledge, change, and increased power.  This has produced a cultural stalemate: a zero-sum trope of enhancement and transhumanism where each advancement in capability must be met with an equal amount of tragedy and loss.  From Adams expulsion from Eden to Robocops banishment from his own family, from the fall of Icarus to the Silver Surfers exile, cultural tropes have led us to believe that great gain must be accompanied by great loss.  In the game of radical evolution, the winners must also be losers.  While this presenter is agnostic about many Singularitarian and Transhumanist concepts, its clear were going to change a lot.  How do advocates for significant change break down public resistance?  And how can one overcome the more subtle age-old programming behind the zero-sum vision of what might be called Tragic Transhumanists, tormented heroes like Spiderman and Spawn?  The surprising answer may come from the one aspect of modern culture where great power does not typically mean great loss:  advertising.  From Mr. Clean to the eSurance Saleslady, from the White Tornado to the guys in those Viagra ads, ad agencies have been modeling unambiguously powerful meta-humans as happy, well-adjusted success stories. With tongue only slightly in cheek, we discuss how guys with ED may represent one of several ways to market radical enhancement as a uniquely healthy and uniquely human endeavor.

Richard Eskow is a consultant with a background in IT, social science, health care, public policy, and long range planning. He pioneered the use of informatics to study and influence provider/patient behavior, helped lead national health transformation in several former Communist countries, and has had executive positions in several companies.  His consulting projects typically involve systems development & marketing strategies (especially in health care), finance & insurance, public policy, or related issues. Richard’s also a writer who covers health, politics, religion, and pop culture. He has been published in a number of print and online venues, and was anthologized in Best Buddhist Writing of 2008. 

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Talking Transhumanism at the Table: Designing Games for Non-Transhumanist Audiences

Biopolitics of Popular Culture Seminar

In creating, publishing, and promoting Eclipse Phase we wanted to make a product that made an deliberate effort to engage with explicitly transhumanist and political themes but would deal with these issues in a way that complete novices to them would be able to grok.  I’ll discuss some of the issues that we encountered in making a game with an agenda, how we tried to make complicated transhuman and ethical issues interesting to play with, and some of the complications that have arisen since the game was published.

Brian Cross is co-founder of Posthuman Studios, co-creator of Eclipse Phase a transhuman roleplaying game, and a sociologist researching the effects of new technologies on the law and politics. 

PDF slides

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Closing remarks

Biopolitics of Popular Culture Seminar

Jamais Cascio (openthefuture.com) is a Senior Fellow of the IEET. He writes about the intersection of emerging technologies and cultural transformation, and specializes in the design and creation of plausible scenarios of the future. His work focuses on the relationships between disparate forces and systems, and the importance of long-term, systemic thinking, particularly regarding the environment and technological development. In 2003, he co-founded WorldChanging.com, the award-winning website dedicated to finding and calling attention to models, tools and ideas for building a “bright green” future. His articles at WorldChanging covered topics including energy and the environment, global development, open source technologies, and catalysts for social change. Foreign Policy magazine named Jamais one of the top 100 “global thinkers” of 2009.

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Myths That Help the Enlightenment … and Others That Tear It Down

Biopolitics of Popular Culture Seminar

We are all descended from the harems of kings, who somehow talked other men into fighting to preserve aristocracy.  How did those kings and priests and bards manage such a spectacular trick, over and over again… and is there any chance of escaping that cycle? Does it start with telling Joseph Campbell to shove off, and reclaiming the art of storytelling for the people?  For progress and freedom? 

David Brin is a scientist, speaker, technical consultant and world-known author. His novels have been New York Times bestsellers, winning multiple Hugo, Nebula and other awards. At least a dozen have been translated into more than twenty languages.

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To Age or Not to Age?

To Age or Not to Age

Aubrey de Grey will be speaking at the nationwide premiere of TO AGE OR NOT TO AGE Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010 in New York City.

More information - More screenings


The New York City screening will be followed by a live panel discussion which will be simulcast to venues screening the film nationwide and will stream live online.

Panelists include:

Dr. Robert Butler, Gerontologist, Psychiatrist & Pulitzer-Prize Winner; President and CEO of the International Longevity Center

Dr. Aubrey de Grey, Biomedical Gerontologist; Chief Science Officer, SENS Foundation

Dr. Leonard P. Guarente, Novartis Professor of Biology, MIT; Director, Paul F. Glenn Lab for Science of Aging

Dr. Gordon Lithgow, Biomolecular Geneticist; Head of the Lithgow Lab, Buck Institute on Aging

Moderated by Robert Kane Pappas, director of TO AGE OR NOT TO AGE

The scientists featured in TO AGE OR NOT TO AGE have found the means to postpone and possibly mitigate diseases tied to aging, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and diabetes. Genes that control aging, among them SIRT2/SIRT1 genes, when altered, may, as a side effect, increase our lifespans.
New York City, NY USA

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George Dvorsky

Rebooting Haiti: Eliminating poverty to reduce the impacts of disasters

by George Dvorsky

With the search and rescue efforts officially called off in Haiti, the time has come for reconstruction. But with nearly 200,000 dead and one in nine Haitians currently homeless, it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers and lose sight of the primary lesson learned from the catastrophe. That poverty kills. And it kills big time.

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Captain Picard on Digital Life

Digital Nation

Digital Nation – Doug Rushkoff’s new PBS documentary – airs Tuesday February 2 on PBS

Doug will be hosting a series of roundtable discussions following each broadcast. One per month, with invited guests and running commentary from the viewing audience. The above clip – Patrick Stewart on Twitter, the iPhone, and his passion for gaming – is not in the show. But it is an example of the kind of conversations and guests Doug will be having in the Roundtables – both by text and video.

So please, go to pbsdigitalnation.org after the show and share your thoughts with the people who were in it, see the discussion in progress, and push the participants to go deeper. Most important, suggest topics and guests – including yourself – you’d like to see on there.

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Andrew Maynard

Owning the Carbon Cycle

by Andrew Maynard

For past 100 years—from the tail end of the industrial revolution, through the chemicals revolution and into the digital revolution—we have been passive observers of our effects on the planet. Over the next 100 years, we will need to take an active role in managing these effects if we are to avoid potentially catastrophic impacts on large numbers of the world’s population.

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Cascio and Treder on Bloggingheads.tv

IEET Managing Director Mike Treder in conversation with noted futurist Jamais Cascio about climate chaos and other issues.

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Martine Rothblatt

Why Cyberconsciousness Won’t Take Aeons to Evolve

by Martine Rothblatt

Humanity is devoting some of its best minds, from a wide diversity of fields, to helping software achieve consciousness. The quest is not especially difficult as it is a capability that can be intelligently designed; there is no need to wait for it to naturally evolve.

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Andy Miah

Extraterrestrial Ethics

by Andy Miah

Are there no ethical principles we can share to help guide our colonization of outer space? If not, then how do we deal with some of the fundamental questions that govern such work? For instance, what obligations do we owe to the various life forms we send there, or those we might discover? Can we develop a more considerate approach to colonizing outer space than we were able to achieve for various sectors of Earth?

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Adventures of Spirit



image

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David Brin

Defending the Enlightenment

by David Brin

Associating the Enlightenment with abstract reasoning runs smack up against what should be considered the Enlightenment’s greatest insight—that humans are inherently delusional beings, able to talk ourselves into anything at all.

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Edward Miller

I am You, and You are Me…. Maybe

by Edward Miller

Pretty early on in my philosophical journey I decided that I was a pantheist, of the naturalist sort. Pantheism is all about the one-ness and unity of everything… and I do mean everything.

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Kyle Munkittrick

Misunderstanding Sex

by Kyle Munkittrick

If sex is messy and imperfect, we need to improve it, not get rid of it.

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Latest Update on the iPad

Mad TV had the “lowdown” three years ago…

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Kristi Scott

Examining Free Reign over Vacant Eyes

by Kristi Scott

Based on the amount of interest in my previous article, and conversations I’ve had or seen in the interim, I thought it was necessary to go back to sex, robots, and ethics.

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Russell Blackford

Blame it on Nietzsche

by Russell Blackford

In her book A History of God, Karen Armstrong notes that atheistic ideologies can lead to atrocities as readily as theologies. But then she smears Nietzsche by repeating the falsehood that he was somehow an inspiration for Nazism, and that his atheism somehow contributed to Nazi atrocities. The accusation is an insult not just to Nietzsche but to the victims of the Holocaust.

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Campa Publishes Book on Transhumanism in Italian

IEET Fellow Riccardo Campa has just published a new book on transhumanism in Italian, as part of Bergamo University Press’s new book series “Transumanisti.”

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Mike Treder

Is extinction in your future?

by Mike Treder

In the next 24 hours, more than 150,000 individual humans will become extinct. Over the past three decades, upwards of 1.6 billion people have disappeared from the Earth forever.

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Ben Goertzel

Some Cosmist Principles

by Ben Goertzel

If Cosmism could be fully summarized in a list of bullet points, I wouldn’t write a whole manifesto about it, I’d just write a few bullet points.

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Dear News Media

A proper understanding of statistics…

image

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Russell Blackford

Does a child need both a mother and a father?

by Russell Blackford

Does a child need both a mother and a father? Apparently not, according to this report in ScienceDaily, which summarises a new article in the Journal of Marriage and Family.

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J. Hughes

Problems of Transhumanism: Liberal Democracy vs. Technocratic Absolutism

by J. Hughes

Transhumanists, like Enlightenment partisans in general, believe that human nature can be improved but are conflicted about whether liberal democracy is the best path to betterment. The liberal tradition within the Enlightenment has argued that individuals are best at finding their own interests and should be left to improve themselves in self-determined ways. But many people are mistaken about their own best interests, and more rational elites may have a better understanding of the general good. Enlightenment partisans have often made a case for modernizing monarchs and scientific dictatorships. Transhumanists need to confront this tendency to disparage liberal democracy in favor of the rule by dei ex machina and technocratic elites.

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Ben Goertzel

Sexuality and Beyond

by Ben Goertzel

A futurist friend of mine likes to tell people of his aspiration to somehow remove all sexuality from his brain.

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Doug Rushkoff

Corporations as Uber-Citizens

by Doug Rushkoff

Yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling was positive in one respect: it made law out of what was already happening. While corporations earned “personhood” back in the 1860’s when a court clerk (likely bribed) added this language into the margins of another court decision, they never quite had the rights of citizenship before. They already write our laws (through lobbies) elect our leaders (with money) and create public opinion (with money and PR).  If you’re interested in how and why that happened, please read my book Life Inc.  But they have always tended to do so by working around government’s efforts to limit their influence.

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Doug’s Frontline Series ‘Digital Nation’ Airs February 2 at 9pm

Over a single generation, the Web and digital media have remade nearly every aspect of modern culture, transforming the way we work, learn and connect in ways that we’re only beginning to understand. FRONTLINE producer Rachel Dretzin (Growing Up Online) teams up with one of the leading thinkers of the digital age, IEET Fellow Douglas Rushkoff (The Persuaders, Merchants of Cool), to continue to explore life on the virtual frontier.

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Mike Treder

Sex and Gender: Women, Men, and Androids

by Mike Treder

How much are things going to change between the sexes during the next four decades?

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Last Decade Not Good: IEET Readers

According to the results of a recently concluded poll, IEET readers are decidedly down on the “social and political developments” of the past ten years.

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