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




whats new at ieet

Dvorsky, Bostrom @ Moogfest 2014

Does radical enhancement threaten our sense of self?

Yeb Saño: We are at war with climate change and hunger

How a public-private healthcare partnership threatens to bankrupt Lesotho

Hughes @ Translational Bodies: Ethical, Legal and Social Issues

Study Gerontology! This Frontier Provides Hope for the Future


ieet books

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

Human Purpose and Transhuman Potential: A Cosmic Vision for Our Future Evolution
by Ted Chu

Personality Capture and Emulation
by William Sims Bainbridge

Humanity Enhanced: Genetic Choice and the Challenge for Liberal Democracies
by Russell Blackford


comments

Frank Glover on 'Study Gerontology! This Frontier Provides Hope for the Future' (Apr 21, 2014)

instamatic on 'Social Futurist revolution & the Zero State' (Apr 20, 2014)

rmk948 on 'War Is Good for Us, Dumb New Book Claims' (Apr 20, 2014)

Peter Wicks on 'Social Futurist revolution & the Zero State' (Apr 20, 2014)

instamatic on 'Is the US an Oligarchy? Not So Fast.' (Apr 19, 2014)

instamatic on 'Social Futurist revolution & the Zero State' (Apr 19, 2014)

rmk948 on 'Is the US an Oligarchy? Not So Fast.' (Apr 19, 2014)







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JET

Sex Work, Technological Unemployment and the Basic Income Guarantee

Technological Unemployment but Still a Lot of Work…

Technological Growth and Unemployment:  A Global Scenario Analysis

Hottest Articles of the Last Month


The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears
Mar 27, 2014
(15350) Hits
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Future of love and sex: monogamy no longer the default, say experts
Mar 30, 2014
(12284) Hits
(3) Comments

Will sex workers be replaced by robots? (A Precis)
Apr 18, 2014
(9563) Hits
(0) Comments

Quest for immortality spurs breakthroughs in human-machine merge
Apr 6, 2014
(6575) Hits
(1) Comments



RSS feedETHICAL TECHNOLOGY

Michael Anissimov

Uploading and The Big Freeze

by Michael Anissimov

No, I’m not talking about Heat Death or another Ice Age. I’m talking about what could happen if mind uploading becomes universally or near-universally adopted and every mind is accelerated by a factor of several million or billion. Such an outcome seems inevitable if mind uploading is actually possible.

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Mike Treder

Memo to Pres. Obama: Advanced Nanotechnology - What, When, and Why

by Mike Treder

Nanotechnology is the engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale. [1] In its advanced form, which should be achieved within the next decade or two, the technology will allow a revolution in manufacturing—building powerful products with atomic precision from the bottom up—and could fundamentally alter our ability to confront challenging issues such as climate change.

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Peter Bebergal

Mystics Under the Microscope

by Peter Bebergal

Until 2006, John Hayes, a psychologist and self-described Zen-Catholic, had never taken a hallucinogenic drug. In the 1960s, Hayes was a Franciscan friar watching with curiosity while the counter-culture used psychedelics with impunity. Through his own meditation and religious practice, Hayes believes he has had sensations that he would label mystical. But these mystical states—which he described to me as “moments of unitive experience” —were significant enough that when he heard about a surprising research project at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine he was more than intrigued. Doctors at JHU were investigating the effects of psilocybin—the active ingredient in the more common variety of hallucinogenic mushroom—and looking for volunteers.

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Enlightenment for the Rest of Us

Buddhist Geeks

On Buddhist Geeks Shinzen Young discusses a new way to deliver classical enlightenment to the masses using an artificial intelligence system with virtually led home meditation retreats.  This Home Practice Program is what is currently being offered at BasicMindfulness.org. Finally Shinzen discusses the “crowning glory” of his mission to unify Western and Eastern technologies, and that is to help nurture the emergence of a “neuro-scientific paradigm for classical enlightenment.”  This paradigm could help lead to the emergence of technologies which have the potential to bring classical enlightenment to the masses and hence make large-scale social and individual change.  This is part 3 of a 3-part series.  Listen to part 1, Shinzen Young: The Hybrid Teacher & part 2, Building a Dharma Successor.

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Humanity+ Board Elections

Some of you are members of our sister organization Humanity+ (formerly World Transhumanist Association), so I wanted to just drop a quick note about this week’s elections for the Humanity+ Board of Directors. (If you aren’t a voting member you have until Thursday to join and vote).  All the candidate statements are here.  There are four IEET folks in the running that I thought you should be aware of including IEET Board members Michael LaTorra and George Dvorsky, and IEET Fellows Mike Treder and Ben Goertzel.

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Digital Serfs and Cyborg Buddhas

Convergence08

IEET’s Michael LaTorra & James Hughes led a group discussion on structural unemployment and the Cyborg Buddha opportunities and pitfalls in the coming age of neurotechnology at Convergence 08. The alternative to a dystopia of digital serfdom and widespread impoverishment is one of a basic income guarantee and life-enhancing uses of emerging technologies, which could provide both technological abundance and the opportunity for self-examination and personal growth. Thanks again to Jeriaska for taping and uploading this talk.


Digital Serfs and Cyborg Buddhas from Jeriaska on Vimeo.

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Russell Blackford

This postmillennialism nonsense

by Russell Blackford

Wikipedia succinctly defines postmillennialism as “an interpretation of chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation which sees Christ’s second coming as occurring after (Latin post-) the ‘Millennium’, a Golden Age or era of Christian prosperity and dominance.”

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George Dvorsky

We Have the Technology to Rebuild Ourselves

by George Dvorsky

Julian Smith has penned an excellent overview of prosthetic technologies for New Scientist. Smith describes the current state-of-the-union as far as assistive devices goes and looks at the potential for these devices to not just mimic normal human functioning, but to surpass it as well.

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Michael Anissimov

Inevitable Positive Outcome with AI?

by Michael Anissimov

For those who believe that human-level AI isn’t far off and that a rosy scenario isn’t inevitable, 2009 is a somewhat sad and depressing time. Popular opinion is that AI won’t be here for centuries, but that isn’t a huge problem or issue. (In fact, it makes things easier by limiting the number of people involved in AI research, thus allowing me and my confederates to keep a closer eye on them.)

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Daschle on the Myth of American Health Care Quality

Fora TV

National Constitution Center - Philadelphia, PA - Jun 17th, 2008

“I would call it a myth that we have the best healthcare system in the world,” says Daschle, who is now the Obama nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the administration’s advocate for health care reform. He outlines specific reforms essential to repairing the United States healthcare system.

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Russell Blackford

What about the children?!

by Russell Blackford

Would-be censors often justify themselves by claiming that certain kinds of material are harmful to children, and so must be kept out of public sight. It’s worth thinking about this before we simply accept it at face value.

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Rushkoff’s Life Incorporated: The Course

Doug is teaching an online course, Life Incorporated, through the MaybeLogic Academy beginning January 12, for six weeks.

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Edward Miller

Sanjay Gupta, the first anti-aging Surgeon General?

by Edward Miller

The Washington Post reported that Sanjay Gupta - CNN chief health correspondent, assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine, and author of Chasing Life: New Discoveries in the Search for Immortality to Help You Age Less Today - has been approached to be the new Surgeon General.

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New issue of JET

We have started on the new issue of the Journal of Evolution and Technology with a brief editorial by Russell Blackford and articles by Eric Steinhart (on the relationship between transhumanism and the work of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin) and Colin Farrelly (a dialogue about fundamental public policy priorities).

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All the Global Catastrophic Risks Talks Online

IEET Seminars

All the talks from the November 14, 2008 Global Catastrophic Risks: Building a Resilient Civilization seminar, co-sponsored by the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology and the Lifeboat Foundation, are now online, thanks to Jeriaska.

Welcome and IntroductionsWATCH - LISTEN
Anders Sandberg PhD, Oxford University
“Global Catastrophic Risks: An Overview, and Caution about Risk Assessments”
WATCH - LISTEN
Jamais Cascio, IEET Fellow, and research affiliate, Institute for the Future
“Building Civilizational Resilience”
WATCH - LISTEN
Eliezer Yudkowsky, Research Associate. Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence
“Cognitive Biases in the Assessment of Risk”
WATCH - LISTEN
Martin Hellman PhD, Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University  
“Risk Analysis of Nuclear Deterrence”
WATCH - LISTEN
Bruce Damer, CEO, DigitalSpace & Director, Contact Consortium
“Asteroids and Comets: Mitigating Impact Risks and Stepping Stones to a Sustainable Space Program”
WATCH - LISTEN
Mike Treder, Executive Director, Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
“Nanotechnology’s Global Risk and Promises of Resilience”
WATCH - LISTEN
Tad Hogg PhD, Social Computing Laboratory, Hewlett Packard
“Distributed Surveillance with MEMS or Nano-scale Sensors”
WATCH - LISTEN
Kattesh V. Katti PhD, Director, Cancer Nanotechnology Platform, Professor of Radiology, University of Missouri
“Green Nanotechnology: An Economic And Scientific Initiative For the Future Of Human Civilization”
WATCH - LISTEN
Alan Goldstein PhD, CEO of Industrial Nanobiotechnology
“The A-Prize: Tracking The Global Race To Break The Carbon Barrier”
WATCH - LISTEN
J. Storrs Hall PhD, author Beyond AI
“The Weather Machine: Nano-enabled Climate Control for the Earth”
WATCH - LISTEN
George Dvorsky, Director, IEET
“Risks Posed by Political Extremism”
WATCH - LISTEN
James J. Hughes PhD, Exec. Director, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
“Strengthening Transnational Governance to Mitigate Risks”
WATCH - LISTEN
Jamais Cascio, IEET Fellow, and research affiliate, Institute for the Future
“Strategies for Civilizational Resilience in the Face of Global Catastrophic Risks”
WATCH - LISTEN

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George Dvorsky

Pleasure’s perils: Why the ‘sex chip’ may not be such a good idea

by George Dvorsky

Scientists have taken us one step closer to achieving permanent bliss. Neuroscientists Morten Kringelbach and Tipu Aziz recently announced that they were able to stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain by implanting a chip that sends tiny shocks to the orbitofrontal cortex. This is the same area that is responsible for feelings of pleasure induced by such things as eating and sex.

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The Implications Of An Increasingly Automated Economy

Singularity Institute

IEET Fellow Marshall Brain gave this speech on the inevitable structural unemployment that automation and artificial intelligence will create at the Singularity Summit 2008. The astonishing thing about Marshall’s talk was the amount of outrage from the libertopians in the audience who were all perfectly content to imagine that we would soon have super-robots doing things a gazillion times better than humans, and that that transition might wipe humans out or bring about a utopian society, but they couldn’t accept that such a transition might cause unemployment and require any redistribution of the wealth. History apparently shows that the market solves all structural unemployment, even after an historical discontinuity so radical that we make up a word for it - Singularity - which precisely means that we can’t predict anything after that point. Libertopians would be funny if they hadn’t just ruined the world economy.



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Jamais Cascio

Aspirational Futurism, Uncertainty and Resilience

by Jamais Cascio

One of the secondary effects of the latest set of crises to grip the world is the rise of essays and articles from various insightful folks, laying out scenarios of what the future will look like in an era of limited resources, energy, money, and so forth. Most of these follow a similar pattern: a list of reasonable depictions of a more limited future, and at least one item that seems completely out of the blue.

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Bostrom, de Grey, Rushkoff answer Edge’s Big Question for 2009

Edge.com asked 150 of the most visionary minds on the planet - including the IEET’s Nick Bostrom, Aubrey de Grey and Douglas Rushkoff - the question “What will change everything?”

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Edward Miller

The Realities of Tomorrow (and today)

by Edward Miller

Virtual Reality (VR) has advanced to incredible heights. For those who haven’t kept up with the gaming scene, the newest game renowned for impressive graphics is Fallout 3. Of course, graphics aren’t all that matters to gamers, which is why another one of the hottest games on the block right now is Spore, which looks very cartoonish.

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Brains, Power, Technology

Changesurfer Radio

Wireheaded pleasure. Brain damage causes religious selflessness. Powerful people are less compassionate. The US is become more unequal. Obama and the Congressional Democrats want to fund science, respect science and use science. Three rules for knowing when technology will - and won’t - fix a social problem. Jonathan Coulton salutes the worst President in US history. (MP3)

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Global Catastrophic Risks Overview

Changesurfer Radio

Dr. Anders Sandberg gave the opening keynote address at a conference on Global Catastrophic Risks on Nov 14, 2008 in Mtn View CA. The meeting was sponsored by the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology and the Lifeboat Foundation. Sandberg spoke on threats to the future of humanity, natural and man-made. (MP3)

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Emergence - IEET News for Dec 26, 2008

1. A Note From Dr. J.
2. IEET News
3. Articles
4. Multimedia
5. TechEthx News
6. Events
  - with IEET Speakers
  - all events

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OED adds “transhumanism”

The Oxford English Dictionary has added “transhumanism” as a new word. Only fifty years since Julian Huxley coined it, but the OED needs to be sure of these things.

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George Dvorsky

Future risks and the challenge to democracy

by George Dvorsky

As we prepare for the emergence of the next generation of apocalyptic weapons, it needs to be acknowledged that the world’s democracies are set to face their gravest challenge yet as viable and ongoing political options.

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The Future of Mac vs. PC

Thoughtware TV

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George gets io9ed and Metafiltered

George’s recent article on sex selection got reviewed by Annalee Newitz of the fantastic io9 blog, and his “must-know terms” piece was linked from a post on transhumanism at the snarky Metafilter blog.

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Jamais Cascio

Cycles of History

by Jamais Cascio

A new economic superpower undermines established economic leaders. The collapse of complex financial instruments turn a boom into a bust. Banks fail in waves. Unemployment reaches up to 25% in some areas. A global depression holds on for more than two decades. Class warfare breaks out. Transportation networks stall—along with industries dependent upon them—as the main “fuel” for transportation disappears. Pandemic disease exacts a terrible toll. Religious fundamentalism skyrockets. Totalitarianism rises around the world.

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A True Cure for Human Aging

4th EUROPEAN FUTURISTS CONFERENCE LUCERNE

It may seem premature to be discussing approaches to the effective elimination of human aging as a cause of death at a time when essentially…Alles » It may seem premature to be discussing approaches to the effective elimination of human aging as a cause of death at a time when essentially no progress has yet been made in even postponing it. However, two aspects of human aging combine to undermine this assessment. The first is that aging is happening to us throughout our lives but only results in appreciable functional decline after four or more decades of life: this shows that we can postpone the functional decline caused by aging arbitrarily well without knowing how to prevent aging completely but instead by increasingly thorough molecular and cellular repair. The second is that the typical rate of refinement of dramatic technological breakthroughs is rather reliable (so long as public enthusiasm for them is abundant) and is fast enough to change such technologies (be they in medicine, transport, or computing) almost beyond recognition within a natural human lifespan. In this talk I will explain, first, why (presuming adequate funding for the initial preclinical work) therapies that can add 30 healthy years to the remaining lifespan of healthy 55-year-olds may arrive within the next few decades, and, second, why those who benefit from those therapies will very probably continue to benefit from progressively improved therapies indefinitely and thus avoid debilitation or death from age-related causes at any age.

 

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Celebrating our past, imagining our future

Russell Blackford, editor of the IEET’s Journal of Evolution and Technology (JET), has just published the first three items for JET’s new 2008-2009 volume (Volume 20 of the journal). The first of these is Russell’s editorial, entitled “Celebrating our past, imagining our future” which sets out his vision for the journal ... and for some mild celebration of its first decade.

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