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




whats new at ieet

Politics & Abolition From Suffering

How Do You Filter Content in an Age of Abundance?

“Think Locally, Act Globally”: 6 Takeaways From The Scotland Vote

Peering into the Future: AI and Robot brains

Can blogging be academically valuable? 7 reasons for thinking it might be

Primer on Nuclear Fusion and Photos from the People’s Climate March (Sep, 21, 2014)


ieet books

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

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies
Nick Bostrom

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

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


comments

AmbassadorZot on 'Why and How Should We Build a Basic Income for Every Citizen?' (Sep 22, 2014)

Peter Wicks on 'Is Anarchy (as in Anarchism) the Golden Mean of the future?' (Sep 22, 2014)

instamatic on 'Is Anarchy (as in Anarchism) the Golden Mean of the future?' (Sep 21, 2014)

Peter Wicks on 'Review of Ilia Stambler’s “A History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth Century"' (Sep 21, 2014)

Peter Wicks on 'Is Anarchy (as in Anarchism) the Golden Mean of the future?' (Sep 21, 2014)

Kris Notaro on 'Review of Ilia Stambler’s “A History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth Century"' (Sep 21, 2014)

Kris Notaro on 'Is Anarchy (as in Anarchism) the Golden Mean of the future?' (Sep 21, 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


Why and How Should We Build a Basic Income for Every Citizen?
Sep 16, 2014
(12318) Hits
(6) Comments

Enhancing Virtues: Caring (part 1)
Aug 29, 2014
(5431) Hits
(1) Comments

An open source future for synthetic biology
Sep 9, 2014
(4657) Hits
(0) Comments

MMR Vaccines and Autism: Bringing clarity to the CDC Whistleblower Story
Sep 14, 2014
(4479) Hits
(1) Comments



RSS feedETHICAL TECHNOLOGY

Mike Treder

Blog Action Day ‘09: Climate Change

by Mike Treder

Among the silliest arguments against the reality of global warming are anecdotal reports that “our weather here has been colder than usual,” or “it’s snowing way earlier than most years,” or “look at all this rain!”

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George Dvorsky

Limits to the Biolibertarian Impulse

by George Dvorsky

I’ve often said that transhumanism is supported and strengthened by three basic impulses, namely the upholding of our reproductive, morphological and cognitive liberties. Should any one of these be absent, the tripod cannot stand. We transhumanists stand divided on any number of issues; put us in a room together and you’re guaranteed to get an argument. But one aspect that unites virtually all of us is our steadfast commitment to biolibertarianism —the suggestion that people, for the most part, deserve considerable autonomy over their minds, bodies and reproductive processes.

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The Problem of Evil

University of Melbourne Secular Society

A public forum at the University of Melbourne on “The Problem of Evil” with Dr Russell Blackford (Bioethics and Philosophy at Monash University), Barney Zwartz (religion editor of The Age), Rev. Peter Adam (Principal of Ridley Theological College) and Lyn Allison (former Senator). MCed by Catherine McDonald (co-founder of Melbourne’s Philosophy Cafe). Hosted by the University of Melbourne Secular Society.

UMSS - The Problem of Evil from Kang Wei Tan on Vimeo.

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Randall Mayes

Is Nanotechnology Regulatable? Reporting from the Nano Summit

by Randall Mayes

On October 8-9, roughly 150 invited guests—graduate students, researchers, government officials, and consultants gathered in North Carolina to discuss priorities and provide recommendations to businesses and policy makers to ensure the safe development of nanotechnology.

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Marcelo Rinesi

Don’t Buy Green

by Marcelo Rinesi

Consumption, goes the tale, is the great driver of ecological disruption. Hence, green consumers will save the planet (a safe planet being one with sustainable ecological and energy systems). Right? Wrong.

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The Future of Money

/message

Jamais chatted with Stowe Boyd about money.

Some highlights:

  * Jamais starts by stating that “All money is a fantasy,” and then sets the stage for the problem for local, alternative money: you have to get a critical mass of people to agree in a new fantasy.

  * He points out that virtual currency doesn’t have to be geographically constrained, and so that groups with shared purposes could in fact have new currencies.

  * He hit on cell minutes being used as a virtual currency in Africa, and discusses how it counters potential governmental meddling, like intentional hyperinflation. His point is that these ‘practical’ currencies are in a sense apolitical. I draw the point that the unbanked are the source of many innovations in the world, right now.

  * Eve Online is one of the leading companies in the wounded economy of Iceland, and Jamais points out that their virtual currency has a fairly steady transfer to fiat currency, and it has become a large company in that very damaged market. But the Chinese government recently stepped in to block the conversion of virtual goods to real world goods. This is also where governments step in with gambling, for example: when you convert your chips into cash, they tell the government about your winnings. Jamais points out that this is really where governments start to care: when economies arise.

  * I think the question of anonymous money and the roll of cell phones in future money was the a big part of our conversation, and one that we could have spent hours more on.

A far-ranging and engaging discussion with one of the most thoughtful thinkers of our time.

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Jamais Cascio

Singularity Scenarios

by Jamais Cascio

If we do have something we can describe as a Singularity, what then?

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Kris Notaro

Singularity Summit Coverage - Day 2

by Kris Notaro

Some words and photos from the 2nd day of the 2009 Singularity Summit in NYC.

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IEET

Stefano Vaj and the Complicated Politics of Italian Transhumanism

by IEET

Recently the fight between the two transhumanist groups in Italy has spilled over onto English language blogs. One side is accused of harboring fascists, the other of being conservatives and closet Papists. I’ve asked one of the individuals at the center of the controversy, Stefano Vaj, to present a statement of his political stance here which will hopefully help clarify this very confusing and troubling situation.

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Arthur Caplan

Right to reform

by Arthur Caplan

I am often asked what is the single most important issue that needs to be resolved in order to insure that health care reform moves forward in America. The answer is actually quite simple. If the key reason to reform the health care system is to extend health insurance coverage to the tens of millions of Americans who have none, then all those promoting reform but especially President Obama must drive home the ethical position that health care is a right.

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Colin Farrelly

Idealism Meets Realism: Tackling Chronic Disease Via Age Retardation

by Colin Farrelly

An idealist is one who aspires to bring about a better state-of-affairs than those realized in the status quo.

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Kris Notaro

Singularity Summit Coverage - Day 1

by Kris Notaro

One day away from the Singularity Summit in NYC!  I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be posting reports to this blog from the Summit on behalf of the IEET.

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Jamais Cascio

The Singularity and Society

by Jamais Cascio

If the Singularity proponents are right, the world is going to get really weird—but not in the way they expect.

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The Future of Human Enhancement

FastForward Radio

Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon welcome futurist George Dvorsky back to FastForward Radio to discuss the future of human enhancement and explore the mystery of whether there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. (MP3)

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Future Of Growing Older

CBS News

Mo Rocca talks with Ray Kurzweil and the IEET’s J. Hughes about the future of human beings and the increasing longevity of human life.


Watch CBS News Videos Online

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Mike Treder

LORCs of High Coolness

by Mike Treder

In this week’s episode of LORCs (Links Of Required Clicking), we’re going to focus on items with a very high coolness quotient.

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Mike Treder

Promoting Principles, Not Predictions

by Mike Treder

(This entry has been amended to correct mistaken interpretations of polling data.)

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Colin Farrelly

Political Theory and Aging Research

by Colin Farrelly

As a political theorist who works on issues that intersect the biological sciences and medicine, I frequently get puzzled looks when I tell students and colleagues I am working on aging and longevity science.  Their puzzlement is understandable, as these topics do not currently receive much attention in the discipline.

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Mike Treder

Two New IEET Publications

by Mike Treder

We have recently completed a thorough revision of two introductory pieces of IEET literature that are ideal for handing out at the next relevant event you might attend.

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Mike LaTorra

Cyborg Buddha: Science and Spirit

by Mike LaTorra

Science and spirituality in Western civilization began to go their separate ways centuries ago, when astronomy, biology and other observational and experimental disciplines showed in no uncertain terms that the religious world-view inherited from the Bronze Age religions of the Middle East did not correspond to the world that could be measured. The Earth most definitely revolves around the Sun, and not the other way round.

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Mike Treder

Global Governance Made Easy

by Mike Treder

National sovereignty is a privilege, not a right.

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Is the Singularity Near?

All in the Mind

Imagine a future where computers exceed our own intelligence; where problem solving is no longer limited by human thinking—what then? It’s a moment in technological time some call ‘The Singularity’. But how much is technological reality, and how much fantasy? Science writer Mike McRae catches up with AI researchers and sci-fi writers to ponder the possibilities and probabilities for the radio program All in the Mind. (MP3)

Guests

Professor Nick Bostrom
Director of the Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford University
http://www.fhi.ox.ac.uk/staff_info/research_staff/nick_bostrom

Associate Professor Marcus Hutter
Research School of Information Sciences and Engineering
Australian National University
Canberra
http://people.cecs.anu.edu.au/user/470

Professor Noel Sharkey
Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
University of Sheffield
UK
http://www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/~noel/

Nigel Dobson-Keeffe
Cognitive Scientist
Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation
Australian Government Department of Defence
http://www.dsto.defence.gov.au/

Richard K. Morgan
Science fiction author
http://www.richardkmorgan.com/

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Biopolitics of Popular Culture Seminar - Dec 4, 2009 - Irvine, California

The IEET is organizing a day-long seminar in Los Angeles in December to promote more sophisticated, complex images of the future and emerging technologies in popular culture.

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Art Caplan Joins IEET Board of Trustees

We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Arthur Caplan, one of the world’s foremost bioethicists, has agreed to serve on the IEET’s Board of Trustees. The other current member of the Board is Martine Rothblatt. We are in the process of gathering a few more members for this body to help the IEET establish a serious philanthropic base, and promote our technoprogressive policy options in the marketplace of ideas.

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Cosmopolitans Outnumber Anarchists Three to One

In a recently concluded poll of IEET readers, 60% favor some form of global governance, while 20% prefer anarchism, a “complete elimination of the state.”

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Natasha Vita-More

Nano’s Neo Normal

by Natasha Vita-More

Would a person whose immune system starts declining after puberty, and finally gives up before 123, be normal? This statement largely sums up my transhumanist view that “normal” is misunderstood. The physiological (cognitive and the somatic) state of human existence “normality” ought to be a state of enhancement.

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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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