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




whats new at ieet

Enhancing Virtues: Caring (part 2)

On Steven Pinker’s “The Better Angels of our Nature”

Cyberwarfare ethics, or how Facebook could accidentally make its engineers into targets

The Next X Prize: Artificial Intelligence!

Sequencing the Ebola virus

The Near Future Of Implantable Technology


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

Rick Searle on 'How our police became Storm-troopers' (Aug 31, 2014)

instamatic on 'How our police became Storm-troopers' (Aug 31, 2014)

Rick Searle on 'How our police became Storm-troopers' (Aug 31, 2014)

instamatic on 'How our police became Storm-troopers' (Aug 31, 2014)

Rick Searle on 'How our police became Storm-troopers' (Aug 31, 2014)

instamatic on 'How our police became Storm-troopers' (Aug 31, 2014)

Rick Searle on 'How our police became Storm-troopers' (Aug 31, 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


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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High Tech Jainism
Aug 10, 2014
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RSS feedETHICAL TECHNOLOGY

Mike Treder

On Being a Skeptical Transhumanist

by Mike Treder

How critical are you of transhumanist assumptions? Are you convinced that uploading human personalities to computers is possible? Do you believe that some people currently preserved cryonically will be successfully revived? Is a technological singularity inevitable?

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The Ethics of Human Enhancement

Intelligent Talk Radio

We have had more ability to increase our physical functionality in the last 25 years than in the last 2500 years combined. What’s coming next, and how do we handle the complicated ethical questions that arise? Two rabbis engage in an interesting conversation with IEET Managing Director Mike Treder.

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Extropy - The Trailer

Extropy Film Site

One scientist’s quest to solve the mystery of human aging.

Written and Directed by Jonathan Sanden

Extropy - Trailer from Imagine Science Films on Vimeo.

Credits
2006, Trailer. (NYU).
Director/Writer/Editor: Jonathan Sanden
Producers: Jonathan Sanden and Alexis Ward
Director of Photography: Chris J. Lytwyn
Cast: Gregory Waller, Austen Cooke, Clare Stevenson, Gene Morra, Ralph DeMatthews.

About
image
From Ponce de Leon to Dorian Gray and beyond, the quest to halt aging has been one of the key sources of legend and imaginative literature. “I first became interested in the subject,” says filmmaker Jonathan Sanden, “because it’s such a fundamental human yearning that has been explored throughout all art, literature, and religion: the fear of death and the desire to live forever.” In Sanden’s film Extropy, a geneticist whose own father is succumbing to Alzheimer’s believes he had discovered a way to stop the aging process. He turns to an eccentric businessman to fund his endeavor, but with time running out for his father, begins testing his discovery on himself.

Says Sanden of his film, “I wanted to explore the idea of viewing aging as a disease (which some people do as part of a movement known as transhumanism). Biological aging is partly the result of wear and tear, but it is still controlled by a precise genetic mechanism (or mechanisms) which means that there might be a way to influence it or even control it.”

In particular, says Sanden, telomeres, the “sections of DNA on the ends of each chromosome” may “be one of the core causes of the aging process, and research is being conducted today to explore the regenerative implications of this.” In the course of his research for the film, Sanden met with a Yale geneticist “who is attempting to use telomerase-based gene therapy to regenerate damaged tissue.”

Sanden was as influenced by current debates on the limits of science as much as he was by contemporary genetic research. “What will be the limit of our ability to control our own biology with technology - if there is any?” he asks, “How are we going to morally and ethically evaluate this limit, and then how do we enforce those decisions?” And certainly the intersection of advances and ethics is represented by another subject of the film, the 1990s biotech boom with the merger of science and industry.

Before becoming a filmmaker, the Connecticut-born Sanden was pursuing the field of genetics. A number of short films made as undergraduate at New York University led him to graduate work in film at the school. Extropy, his senior thesis, “brought me back to the world of genetics. At a time when a lot of popular culture seems so trite,” says the filmmaker, “and amazing discoveries in technology, medicine, and genetics that are changing the world seem to be overlooked or ignored by the popular culture and media, I was moved to make a film that embraced realistic scientific material.”

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Arthur Caplan

Spinning the globe offers lessons in health care

by Arthur Caplan

We are 37th! We are 37th! No, this is not the cheer to be heard this week at a Notre Dame football pep rally. Rather, it is, according to the last rankings done by the World Health Organization, the chant appropriate for the U.S. health care system. What does the rest of the world know that we don’t?

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Colin Farrelly

Life Expectancy, Priorities and Aging Research

by Colin Farrelly

There are many different ways to arrive at a list of the top priorities a society should set for itself.  One could set priorities based on the intuitions or “gut instincts” people happen to have at any given time.  Or, alternatively, one could base priorities on the empirical data we have concerning what harms individuals and societies and what the magnitude of the benefits of mitigating such harms would be.  I prefer the latter approach.

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The Neuro Revolution pt 2

Changesurfer Radio

Dr. J. chats with Zack Lynch, author of The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World, and founder of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization. They discuss the coming “neurosociety,” in which every part of life - work, commerce, law, relationships, recreation, religion, war - will be reshaped by neurotechnologies. Part 2 of 2. (First half here.)

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The Neuro Revolution pt 1

Changesurfer Radio

Dr. J. chats with Zack Lynch, author of The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World, and founder of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization. They discuss the coming “neurosociety,” in which every part of life - work, commerce, law, relationships, recreation, religion, war - will be reshaped by neurotechnologies. Part 1 of 2. (Second half here.)

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Mike Treder

LORCS Abound

by Mike Treder

Continuing our extraordinarily popular series of LORCs (Links Of Required Clicking), we’re back again with a new quartet of links that you simply must click.

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Jamais Cascio

Futures Thinking: The Basics

by Jamais Cascio

The first in an occasional series about the tools and methods for thinking about the future in a structured, useful way.

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Mike Treder

The Meaning of Freedom

by Mike Treder

Freedom stands for something greater than just the right to act however I choose—it also stands for securing to everyone an equal opportunity for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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Dale Brownfield

The Sky Is Falling Now!

by Dale Brownfield

Every asteroid that will ever strike Earth is already out there and already on course to strike Earth. Every future asteroid impact event is already an event in progress.

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Mike Treder

Is tomorrow the end?

by Mike Treder

Millions of potential planet-killers lurk in the Kuiper belt, any one of which could be jostled from its orbit and sent plummeting toward the Earth at any time.

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Aubrey de Grey

The singularity and the Methuselarity: similarities and differences

by Aubrey de Grey

Abstract: Aging, being a composite of innumerable types of molecular and cellular decay, will be defeated incrementally. I have for some time predicted that this succession of advances will feature a threshold, which I here christen the “Methuselarity,” following which there will actually be a progressive decline in the rate of improvement in our anti-aging technology that is required to prevent a rise in our risk of death from age-related causes as we become chronologically older. Various commentators have observed the similarity of this prediction to that made by Good, Vinge, Kurzweil and others concerning technology in general (and, in particular, computer technology), which they have termed the “singularity.” In this essay I compare and contrast these two concepts.

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Mike Treder

A Better World: Ten Big Ideas

by Mike Treder

Technology is a double-edged sword, but science and reason have made our lives immeasurably better overall—and only through science and reason can we hope to make a real difference in the future.

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IEET folks in latest h+ magazine

Lots of great stuff in the Fall 2009 issue of h+ magazine, including an interview with Martine Rothblatt, and these pieces from IEET folks.

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Mike Treder

How Atheists View Religion

by Mike Treder

The struggle between religion and reason for the hearts and minds of the people goes back at least as far as ancient Greece and has been played out time and again through the ages.

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Edward Miller

Thinking Outside the Box on Healthcare

by Edward Miller

The healthcare debate is shockingly narrow. We have the do nothing crowd, the privatize it more crowd, the single-payer people, and the public option folks. On the more radical end of the mainstream debates are those calling for more general practitioners, preventive care/incentives, and co-ops. Of the bills pushing through congress now, I have a feeling the public option is the only one with any teeth, but there are a million other non-mutually-exclusive ideas which could be implemented.

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Giulio Prisco

The Telepathic Communication Era

by Giulio Prisco

Many people, including me, are now used to being always online. With my smartphone powered by Google’s Android operating system, I am used to sending and receiving email and IMs anytime, from anywhere. It is easy to see how this trend will evolve: most routine computing applications will migrate to smartphones, the coverage and bandwidth of wireless networks will go up, and their price will go down. In only a few years, we will be used to being permanently plugged in the global Internet, and of course the user interfaces will improve. For example, as described by the visionary science fiction author Charlie Stross in his novel Halting State, augmented reality technology based on smart glasses will soon permit overcoming the limitations due to the small size of phones. A first generation of suitable smart glasses is already available, but there is something much better on the horizon: instant telepathic communication.

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We’re Number 37

Blog of War

The “Rock Tank” analysis of the healthcare reform debate. (Hattip Neuron Culture)

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George Dvorsky

New Assistive Walking Device

by George Dvorsky

So, get this: there’s actually a Cyberdyne Corporation out there working on a device called HAL. But it’s probably not what you think.

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California’s Real Death Panels

Democracy Now!

A look at California’s “real death panels,” the private insurers, as new data reveals they have denied one of every five claims in California over the past seven years. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! speaks with Charles Idelson of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee.

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Better Public Policy Via Brain Reading

Changesurfer Radio

Dr. J. chats with California Institute of Technology economist Antonio Rangel about the paper from his neuroeconomics research group published in Science, “Using neural measures of economic value to solve the public goods free-rider problem.” They talk about the deconstruction of the idea of rational choices in politics and economics by neurological and behavioral research. (MP3)

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Mike Treder

More LORCs

by Mike Treder

Last week we brought you our first edition of LORCs (Links Of Required Clicking). Now we’re back with a new quartet of links that you simply must click.

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Andrew Maynard

Living in a Post-Chemistry World

by Andrew Maynard

Regulators around the world are currently grappling with how to manage the possible risks associated with first generation nanotechnologies.  But increasingly sophisticated nanotechnology-based products are coming—will the old regulations still cover these emerging nanotechnologies, or is a re-think in how substances are regulated in order?

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Omnivores and Vegans Together

The family of IEET readers comprises all sorts of eaters, from full-on vegans to unapologetic omnivores.

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Mike Treder

A Poll on Global Governance

by Mike Treder

Are you in favor of a world government?

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Jamais Cascio

Application Progamming Interfaces Are Not a Substitute for Ethics

by Jamais Cascio

As tempting as it is to rely on well-structured tools to prevent disastrous outcomes, even the best tools are ultimately insufficient. Good interfaces need to be accompanied by strong ethics.

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Mike Treder

The Democratization of Virulence

by Mike Treder

A mistake in a factory can result in scores of injuries or deaths. A mistake at a chemical plant can kill thousands. But a mistake in a biological laboratory could result in a pandemic.

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George Dvorsky

Postgendered athletes in sports: Should intersexed persons be allowed to compete?

by George Dvorsky

So, the mystery has been solved: world 800-meter champion Caster Semenya of South Africa has both male and female sexual organs.

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Comment Problem Fixed

Some IEET readers have been unable to submit comments for the past several days due to a glitch with our ‘captcha’ software. That problem is now fixed. We apologize for the temporary outage in two-way communication.

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