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




whats new at ieet

Transhumanism Needs to Establish a Meaning to Life

The Lima Accord on Climate Change – A New Hope for Health?

Anti-Koch: The Fight For Green Energy is a Fight for the 99 Percent

Fairness on the Public Airwaves

10 Reasons Popular Versions of Christian Heaven Would be Hell

Time to Start Looking At ‘Cyborg’ As a Gender Identity


ieet books

How “God” Works: A Logical Inquiry on Faith
Author
Marshall Brain

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

A Taxonomy and Metaphysics of Mind-Uploading
Keith Wiley

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


comments

CygnusX1 on 'Transhumanism Needs to Establish a Meaning to Life' (Jan 31, 2015)

CygnusX1 on 'Can We Avoid a Surveillance State Dystopia?' (Jan 30, 2015)

instamatic on 'If There Are Gods, They Are Evil' (Jan 29, 2015)

Lincoln Cannon on 'The End of Religion Misrecognized' (Jan 29, 2015)

Pastor_Alex on 'If There Are Gods, They Are Evil' (Jan 29, 2015)

kddubb on 'The End of Religion Misrecognized' (Jan 29, 2015)

CygnusX1 on 'Cosmic Evolution and the Meaning of Life' (Jan 29, 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


Bad luck and cancer – did the media get it wrong?
Jan 3, 2015
(18406) Hits
(5) Comments

The End of Religion: Technology and the Future
Jan 24, 2015
(14867) Hits
(5) Comments

Religion’s Smart-People Problem
Jan 1, 2015
(7411) Hits
(3) Comments

#2 Editor’s Choice Award: 2040’s America will be like 1840’s Britain, with robots?
Jan 9, 2015
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(0) Comments



RSS feedETHICAL TECHNOLOGY

Natasha Vita-More

Epoch of plasticity: The metaverse as a vehicle for cognitive enhancement

by Natasha Vita-More

This article discusses simulation as an optimal vehicle for brain plasticity, a primary and distinct area of neuroscience and essential to human enhancement. By speculating on second-order enhancement cybernetics, the article links the 3D, virtual world of the metaverse to an epoch of plasticity, and also frames the practice of enhancement as taking place in this epoch. An arguable key issue of simulation and enhancement is the tension between desire and feasibility: a desire for greater than human attributes and what is technologically feasible for designing and developing such post-biological attributes. For example, a person may desire to have 24-hour remote brain integration with the metaverse but this is not feasible because (1) the technology has not been developed to do this safely; (2) the costs of research and development of artificial general intelligence and nano-robots to build a metabrain integration with the metaverse is vastly expensive; (3) patents have to be secured and take time; (4) the FDA may intervene preventing a human from integrating the brain with the net or metaverse. Further, while a person may desire to be an upload he or she has to face similar circumstances: (1) the technology has been developed to integrate the brain and computer safely; (2) the costs of R and D are enormous; (3) the ethical and moral issues are predominant; (4) this new construct for personhood may have a social and ideological impact.

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Kelly, Johnson & Krulwich on the Singularity

Fora TV

In this talk, sponsored by the New York Public Library and FORA.tv, science commentators Kevin Kelly, Steven Johnson, and Robert Krulwich discuss accelerating technologies and whether they will benefit or harm our society.

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Akansha Bhargava

Biopolitics and the “Culture of Life”

by Akansha Bhargava

Many of the controversies in bioethics and medicine today stem from differing views on life: when it begins, when and how we should protect it, and what our views on life say about our culture and society as a whole.

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Kyle Munkittrick

Does Technology Help Us Be More Ethical?

by Kyle Munkittrick

Ronald Bailey over at Reason Magazine has noticed a trend. When a new technology comes out, particularly if it impacts birth or death, people have a very powerful initial reaction: “Yuck!” However, within a few years, that “yuck” quickly shifts to “yippie!”

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George Dvorsky

Is low sex drive a disorder? It is if you think it is

by George Dvorsky

Lots of fuss these days over Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD), particularly as it pertains to women’s health. The disorder, which used to be called Inhibited Sexual Desire Disorder, is in the DSM-III-R and is characterized as a lack or absence of sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity for some period of time. It’s important to note that, for this to be regarded as a disorder, it must cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulties and not be better accounted for by another mental disorder (i.e. depression), a drug (legal or illegal), or some other medical condition.

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Ben Goertzel

The Singularity Institute’s Scary Idea (and Why I Don’t Buy It)

by Ben Goertzel

I recently wrote a blog post about my own AI project, but it attracted a bunch of adversarial comments from folks influenced by the Singularity Institute for AI‘s (rather different) perspective on the best approach to AI R&D. I responded to some of these comments there.

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Kurzweil, Turkle, Arkin, Hughes on being a Human Being in an Inhuman Age

Hannah Arendt Center for Ethical and Political Thinking at Bard College

Bard College’s Hannah Arendt Center had a two day conference on Human Being in an Inhuman Age: What does it mean to be human amidst super-human technological advances?”. The entire conference video is online, Ray Kurzweil’s (hard to hear) keynote (min26), Ron Arkin’s excellent talk on ethical controls on autonomous military robots (min493) and Sherry Turkle’s marvelous talk about the effect of constant connectedness on kids (min425). The IEET’s J. Hughes spoke (min594) as part of the panel “Will Machines Realize Their Potential as the Masters of Man?”

 

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How close are we to being replaced by robots?

PBS NewsHour science correspondent Miles O’Brien reports on efforts to engineer robots that are eerily similar to humans and animals.

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Kris Notaro

The Posthuman Mind Continued: On Simulating Conscious Awareness of Homeostasis

by Kris Notaro

When we sit back and think about how matter in its simplest stable macro form like protons, neutrons, and electrons, with properties that have the ability to retain information about how to carry on its complexity within different environmental factors, we reach a point where we can imagine these stable forms of matter becoming processes of life. We naturally use our mind to create conceptions of the nature of physical and chemical processes.

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IEET Readers Would Relax Drug Laws

Only 5% of IEET readers would keep drug laws as they are or would make them even more restrictive, according to a recently concluded poll. A large majority favors more liberal approaches.

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Brains are to Minds as Birds are to Flight

Here are the slides presented by IEET Trustee Martine Rothblatt at the recent TransVision 2010 conference in Italy.

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Andrew Maynard

Beyond the Obvious – Lessons from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

by Andrew Maynard

The immediate lessons from the Deepwater Horizon disaster are pretty obvious - we (or at least somebody) messed up!  But what about the less obvious lessons, especially those concerning technology innovation and how it’s handled?

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Faith and Science pt1

Changesurfer Radio

Dr. J. chats with neuroscientist William Church about his exploration of the relationship of religion and science, and his hope that the two can eventually be mutually enriching instead of antagonistic. Part 1 of 2.

 

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Mike Treder

Are we in the future yet?

by Mike Treder

This is a version of the talk I delivered at the recent TransVision 2010 conference in Milan, Italy.

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Russell Blackford

What you can’t say about Islam - The backlash against Elizabeth Moon

by Russell Blackford

Here is the thoughtful, rather temperately-worded blog piece by Elizabeth Moon that led to her being disinvited as a guest of honour at the feminist science fiction convention, Wiscon 35 (to be held in May next year in Madison, Wisconsin).

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George Dvorsky

Designing Lions to Lie with Lambs

by George Dvorsky

This is one of the most important and thought-provoking articles I’ve read in the New York Times in quite some time: The Meat Eaters by Rutgers philosopher Jeff McMahan.  In the article, McMahan asks the question, “Would the controlled extinction of carnivorous species be a good thing?” His conclusion is yes:

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New Articles in JET

JET has published two new essays: Stefan Sorgner’s “Beyond Humanism: Reflections on Trans- and Posthumanism ,” a response to the essays responding to his original JET essay on Nietzsche and posthumanism, and Edgar Dahl’s “Gendercide? A Commentary on The Economist’s Report About the Wordwide War on Baby Girls.”

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Singularity: Distraction or Legitimate Scenario Exercise?

Pictures for Sad Children

Is the Singularity simply a subcultural distraction for affluent male techno-geeks from all the actual suffering in the world? Is it for some, but a legitimate futurist scenario exercise for others?

Rapture of the Nerds

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Marcelo Rinesi

The Year Doesn’t Matter Anymore

by Marcelo Rinesi

We don’t live in scientifically or technologically advanced times. We live in a scientifically and technologically patchy world, one in which different societies, industries, individuals, and even specific roles of individuals have all adopted widely separated levels of technology.

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Kyle Munkittrick

Sir, Could I See Your Breeding License?

by Kyle Munkittrick

The whole discussion about what we’ll find immoral in the future got me thinking about that little group often described as our collective “future”: children. We often hear about children as our future when someone says, “Think of the children!” or “We shouldn’t leave this problem for our children to solve!”

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We Are From the Net and We’re Here to Help

BBC Superpower Series

It wields enormous influence, acts as a catalyst for social change and empowers its users to become both consumers and creators of information on a global scale. This March, the BBCs international news services - BBC World Service, BBC World News and BBC.com - are exploring the ways in which the internet is transforming the world in a special season of programming called Superpower - go to www.bbc.com/superpower to find out more.

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Mike Treder

At TransVision 2010 in Milan, Italy

by Mike Treder

I am attending today’s session of the transhumanist conference, Euro-style, where I will speak this afternoon. I will also offer brief reports throughout the day on other presentations.

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Andrew Maynard

Limited resources and emerging technologies: China does the math

by Andrew Maynard

New technologies depend on uncommon materials, and society depends on new technologies. Which means that economies that develop the former and control the latter have something of an upper hand in today’s interconnected and technology-dependent world.

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Surviving the Future

This week, CBC TV (Canada) will show Surviving the Future, an hour-long documentary on the major challenges facing humanity over the next half-century and the amazing technologies and social shifts underway to meet those challenges.

Directed by the award-winning documentarian Marc de Guerre, Surviving the Future is an intense piece of work, featuring interviews with a wide variety of scientists, writers, and other thinkers, including the IEET’s Jamais Cascio.

Edited down, here are the thoughts that Jamais contributed, adding up to about 5 minutes out of the (commercials subtracted) 43 minutes of the documentary.

Surviving the Future: Jamais Cascio excerpts from Jamais Cascio on Vimeo.

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George Dvorsky

It’s a control thing: Religion and human reproduction

by George Dvorsky

Christianity is, like many other religions, a reproduction control system.

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Jamais Cascio

Terraforming the Earth, Taken Seriously

by Jamais Cascio

It’s amazing what can happen in five years.

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Natasha Vita-More

Zone of Life Prolongation

by Natasha Vita-More

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Marcelo Rinesi

The Unaugmented Consumer is Obsolete

by Marcelo Rinesi

There is no part of our daily thoughts that is more relentlessly, skillfully, and resourcefully manipulated than our decisions on whether and how we spend or invest our money.

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Kris Notaro

How Can Human V2.0 Find Meaning?

by Kris Notaro

This article is not about nihilism, but about epistemology and ontology, the end result in the form of scientific value of existence. Ethics from a nihilist-like world makes sense in light of current theories of existence.  Human V2.0, or posthumans, will have to deal with the same scientific paradigms as we do today.  Their sped-up cognition may allow for paradigms to come and go quickly, but let’s imagine that the meaning to existence is still not answered, that it all comes down to agnostic, atheistic value.

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Andrew Maynard

Rehabilitating “Risk”

by Andrew Maynard

Now that I’ve had some time to get to grips with my new position as Director of the University of Michigan Risk Science Center, I thought it was high time I started letting people know something about where the Center will be heading over the next few years.

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