Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

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Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Overview of technopolitics

whats new at ieet

It’s a tough world out there: and now a drumbeat for war on Iran.

Will Superhuman Intelligence Be Our Friend or Foe?

Don’t fear superintelligent AI

Can you be friends with a robot? Aristotelian Friendship and Robotics

3 ways to fix a broken news industry

Pétition : Pour un plan national de lutte contre le vieillissement

ieet books

Chasing Shadows: Visions of Our Coming Transparent World
David Brin

TECHNOPROG, le transhumanisme au service du progrès social
Marc Roux and Didier Coeurnelle

Philosophical Ethics: Theory and Practice
John G Messerly

eHuman Deception
Nicole Sallak Anderson


Enframing the Flesh: Heidegger, Transhumanism, and the Body as “Standing Reserve”

Moral Enhancement and Political Realism

Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life


Zombie Rights - Singularity Summit Australia 2012

Adam Ford - TheRationalFuture

“A discussion of the rights of sentient entities. Drawing inspiration from quantum complementarity, defends a complementary notion of ontological dualism, countering zombie hypotheses. Sans zombie concerns, ethical discussions should therefore focus on assessing consciousness purely in terms of the physical-functional properties of any putatively conscious entity.” - Adam Ford

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Artificial Intelligence: Will Superhuman Computers Take Over?

WSJ Live

From WSJDigitalNetwork “The Singularity Summit brought thought leaders and renowned scientist in the fields of robotics, brain studies and artificial intelligence to San Francisco last weekend. Executive Director of the Singularity Institute Luke Muehlhauser talked with WSJ’s Monika Vosough at the event about efforts to create superhuman computers.”

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Christopher de la Torre

Systems, Simulation and the New Collectivism

by Christopher de la Torre

We are a burgeoning collective, unlike anything before us. The rapid communalization of cities, brought about by the Internet (specifically social web culture and practice), supports the notion that “community” and “collective” are best treated synonymously, wherein the whole values each individual beyond the basic tenets of production.

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Evan Selinger

The Online Funeral

by Evan Selinger

My grandfather died on Halloween. Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, none of the New York family members could attend the funeral in Massachusetts. Fortunately, another option became available: The ceremony was streamed online, and so my wife, daughter and I gathered around a laptop in our living room to watch the live webcast.

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Magnets Gone Crazy

More Magnets - Sixty Symbols

“Professor Bowley is talking magnets again - this time with a copper pipe, coil and small pieces of metal.” - Sixty Symbols

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Physics Nobel Prize 2012

Sixty Symbols

“Nobel Prize days always create a great buzz in university science departments - I hope this video shows some of that. The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics was won by Serge Haroche and David Wineland.”

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Dick Pelletier

Future of war: bioweapons, cyber-warfare, mind-control and more

by Dick Pelletier

In The American Way of War, historian Russell Weigley describes a grinding strategy of destruction employed by the U.S. military over the last 150 years. To end the Civil War, Grant felt he had to destroy lee’s soldiers; in World War I, Pershing relentlessly bombarded and wore down Germany’s proud fighting machine; and the Army Air Corps pulverized major German and Japanese cities to win World War II.

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The neurons that shaped civilization


“Neuroscientist Vilayanur Ramachandran outlines the fascinating functions of mirror neurons. Only recently discovered, these neurons allow us to learn complex social behaviors, some of which formed the foundations of human civilization as we know it.” - TED

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Evan Selinger

Why We Need New Rights to Privacy

by Evan Selinger

Because of technological advances, we must spell out what used to be taken for granted.

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Gene Therapy: The Time Is Now


“What if we could fix a patient’s own cells and cure their disease once and for all instead of treating a chronic illness over their lifetime? The solution exists, but it’s expensive. Nick Leschly, chief bluebird, explains how biotechnology can deliver corrective genes into a patient’s diseased cells and disrupt the medical and insurance industries along the way”

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Kris Notaro

No Dystopian Future For Me!

by Kris Notaro

How can we save our planet, ourselves, and increase the quality of life world wide?

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Finland’s Revolutionary Education System

TYT Network

“Finland’s educational system. Fascinating thing about three decades ago Finland has an educational system that is doing terribly and they look around and they go okay what are we going to do about this, we gotta revamp the whole thing.” Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian discuss the revolutionary educational system Finland has instituted and the results of that system on the education of their children.” - TYT

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Can the World Learn From the Anarcho-Socialist System of Finland?

Right Wing doesn't want Finnish "socialist" education system

No private schools, no competition, better educated teachers, and technology = the best education system in the world!

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Andrea Kuszewski

Your Brain on Politics: The Cognitive Neuroscience of Liberals and Conservatives

by Andrea Kuszewski

Can neuroscience provide evidence for a liberal and conservative thinking style?

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George Dvorsky

Researchers interact with rats by becoming virtual rats themselves

by George Dvorsky

A wise man once said, “In order for us to understand the rat, we must become the rat.” Now, it’s quite possible that no one has ever actually said this, but that doesn’t matter. But what does matter is that it’s the driving sentiment behind a project that’s seeking to bridge the gap that’s separating us humans from rodents. By using telepresence, immersive virtual reality, and robotic technologies, researchers are hoping to see things from a rat’s point of view.

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Greening the ghetto

Majora Carter: Greening the ghetto

“In an emotionally charged talk, MacArthur-winning activist Majora Carter details her fight for environmental justice in the South Bronx—and shows how minority neighborhoods suffer most from flawed urban policy.

Majora Carter redefined the field of environmental equality, starting in the South Bronx at the turn of the century. Now she is leading the local economic development movement across the USA.” - TED


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EuropaBio’s Most Innovative European Biotech

SME Award 2012 - Highlights

“In an exciting twist, two companies have been announced as winners of EuropaBio’s Most Innovative Biotech SME Award 2012. Commission Vice President Tajani who presented the award, during the event hosted by Dr. Kay Swinburne MEP at the European Parliament on 19th September, named both Austrian healthcare biotech SME ProtAffin AG and Global Bioenergies a French industrial biotech SME- as joint winners of the award.” - EUXTV

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Hank Pellissier

Fracture the Empire-States to Enhance Democracy - Global Separatism

by Hank Pellissier

Does your vote really count? Is your bio-region dominated by a far-away demographic? Is your community powerless? Is progress in your city halted by small-brained conservative dinosaurs hundreds of miles away?

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IEET Top Essays in October

What did IEET readers peruse most fervently in October? 3D Printing articles by L. S. McGill took the top two slots, followed by anything and everything, from apocalyptic forecasts to Buddhist cognitive enhancement. Here’s the cream of the crop below:

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IEET Readers are split on Aspergers Question

IEET Readers are split on the question “When Aspergers is curable, will parents be morally obliged to cure it in their children”? One reason readers may be split is because there is such a huge variety of personalities someone with Asperger syndrome can take on. It can affect how one acts towards others, however theres many cases where Asperger syndrome increases compassion. Who is to say what the social norm should be? There is such a broad “norm” for symptoms of Asperger syndrome that it takes great expertise to identify it in some people.

Therefore the “social norm” of everyday culture is not much different then some patients with Asperger syndrome. However, in the end modern culture can only learn from people who have been diagnosed who are proud that they have it and the benefits of having it. We might even want to add some aspects of the syndrome to ourselves for example the ability of some to focus just on one subject for a long period of time.

In a future world where every brain is enhanced however, someone born with a “normal” brain will be looked at like they have a “disability.” We may be more likely to learn from Asperger syndrome than to treat it.

From Wikipedia:

Autistic people have advocated a shift in perception of autism spectrum disorders as complex syndromes rather than diseases that must be cured. Proponents of this view reject the notion that there is an “ideal” brain configuration. and that any deviation from the norm is pathological; they promote tolerance for what they call neurodiversity. There is a contrast between the attitude of adults with self-identified AS, who typically do not want to be cured and are proud of their identity, and parents of children with AS, who typically seek assistance and a cure for their children.

This may also explain the split between the IEET readers.
392 readers responded to this poll

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Marcelo Rinesi

The Soft Tyranny of Data-Driven Expectations

by Marcelo Rinesi

I fear insurance. To be precise, I fear the paradoxical risks of ubiquitous data-driven “insurance-ization.”

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How Much Less Coal Must Be Burned to Slow Climate Change?

How Far Can Climate Change Go?

From “Coal-burning remains the single largest source of all the greenhouse gases dumped into Earth’s atmosphere. As a result, climate change continues to gather speed, and molecules of CO2 released into the atmosphere today will continue to trap heat for centuries. In order to mitigate global warming, the world needs to transition to energy technologies that emit dramatically reduced quantities of greenhouse gases as quickly as possible. Even with such an energy transition, it will take decades for the pace of climate change to slow noticeably, as this video explains.”

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Why I must speak out about climate change

TED: James Hansen: Why I must speak out about climate change

Top climate scientist James Hansen tells the story of his involvement in the science of and debate over global climate change. In doing so he outlines the overwhelming evidence that change is happening and why that makes him deeply worried about the future. - TED

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Ramez Naam

Hurricane Sandy and Climate Change

by Ramez Naam

Hurricane Sandy fizzled out over Quebec Wednesday morning, leaving a trail of devastation along the US East Coast and into southern Ontario. As I write this, Sandy’s death toll stands at 132 people – 71 in the Caribbean and 61 in the United States. Since making landfall in the US, it flooded the New York City subway system, left 8 million people without electricity (6.5 million of whom still lack it), destroyed the Atlantic City boardwalk, and shut down the New York Stock Exchange for 2 days.  Estimates of its economic damage are up to $50 billion, making it the 2nd most expensive storm in US history, after Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans.

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Valerie Tarico

Why I Hope Conservatives Will Fight Gay Marriage Tooth and Nail Till Their Teeth and Nails Fall Out

by Valerie Tarico

With marriage equality battles in front of the voters in four states, the faithful are out in flocks to defend traditional matrimony. I don’t know exactly what traditional means in this context. It certainly doesn’t mean biblical, or it would include captive virgins and sex slaves and fathering children for your deceased brothers. It certainly doesn’t mean Mitt Romney’s version of traditional, since his great grandfather had five wives and his great-great grandfather had twelve.

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Dick Pelletier

New you by 2022: biotech enhancements will help you ‘grow young’

by Dick Pelletier

In just ten years, many of today’s older citizens might look in the mirror and ask, “Who is that gorgeous person?” Their reflection would reveal a revitalized body overflowing with enthusiasm, sporting a dazzling smile, wrinkle-free skin, perfect vision, natural hair color, real teeth, and an amazing mind and memory.

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Sad News: Ben Hyink

Ben Hyink was a passionate transhumanist and secular activist, and an intern and intern coordinator with the IEET. He helped organize and lead the Humanity+ Student Network (H+SN) and the Chicago chapter of Humanity+, co-wrote the “Humanity+ Student Leadership Guide,”, and was the recipient of the 2007 JBS Haldane award for outstanding Transhumanist Student of the year. Having struggled with depression he ended his life last week.

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Marios Kyriazis

The Myth of the Longevity Elixir

by Marios Kyriazis

The search for a single elixir or combination of elixirs, which can allow substantial longevity, is false.

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Brave New Nano: Flexible phones & graphene gadgets in RT’s

RT News

What exactly is ‘nano’? It’s become a buzzword, spawning many gimmicky products over the recent years, but what role will the real nano technology play in our lives? From smart metro tickets to futuristic flexible electronics, RT’s Technology Update’s got the future covered.

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Our Thoughts With IEET Readers Affected by Hurricane Sandy

As of this morning millions of people in the Northeast of the United States are still without power, and many are stranded in homes damaged by flooding with transportation blocked by fallen trees. We hope you are all safe and restored as soon as possible.

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