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




whats new at ieet

Steven Wise of Nonhuman Rights Project on Colbert Report

How do you explain consciousness?

LEV: The Game – Play to Win Indefinite Life

When risk gets personal

The Sad Passing of a Positive Futurist

A vote for stem cells


ieet books

Virtually Human: The Promise—-and the Peril—-of Digital Immortality
Author
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.

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


comments

Kris Notaro on 'How do you explain consciousness?' (Jul 23, 2014)

instamatic on 'The Sad Passing of a Positive Futurist' (Jul 23, 2014)

hankpellissier on 'The Sad Passing of a Positive Futurist' (Jul 23, 2014)

Lincoln Cannon on 'The Sad Passing of a Positive Futurist' (Jul 23, 2014)

Rick Searle on 'The Sad Passing of a Positive Futurist' (Jul 23, 2014)

Giulio Prisco on 'Wild ride ahead: glimpse at humanity's long range future' (Jul 23, 2014)

John Danaher on 'The Sad Passing of a Positive Futurist' (Jul 23, 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


Is it possible to build an artificial superintelligence without fully replicating the human brain?
Jun 25, 2014
(5597) Hits
(1) Comments

Nanomedical Cognitive Enhancement
Jul 11, 2014
(5555) Hits
(0) Comments

Interview with Transhumanist Biohacker Rich Lee
Jul 8, 2014
(5357) Hits
(0) Comments

Virtually Sacred, by Robert Geraci – religion in World of Warcraft and Second Life
Jul 3, 2014
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RSS feedETHICAL TECHNOLOGY

Marcelo Rinesi

The Swans are Black, not Invisible

by Marcelo Rinesi

A collective failure of judgment is not the same thing as a freak accident.

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Poll: Life Extension Choices

By a wide margin, IEET readers say they would like to stay youthful indefinitely.

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Jamais Cascio

The Transparency Dilemma

by Jamais Cascio

Last week’s and this week’s “Open Future” columns for Fast Company make up a two-part examination of the dilemmas surrounding transparency.

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Ben Scarlato

Terminator: Salvation and the Sarah Connor Chronicles

by Ben Scarlato

[Contains spoilers.] Overall, although Terminator: Salvation was a well produced and enjoyable movie, it wasn’t particularly deep. I was at least hoping for a more interesting exploration of Marcus Wright’s identity and the meaning he found in his existence after discovering he was the first genuine cross between a human and a machine, but even that was handled predictably. The movie evaded any of the complexity that the recently canceled Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles television series had been beginning to develop.

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AI and the Future of Human Morality

Humanity+

Steve Omohundro, Ph.D. is president of Self-Aware Systems a Silicon Valley think tank aimed at bringing human values to emerging technologies. This talk in March 2008 to the Silicon Valley Transhumanist group examines the origins of human morality and its future development to cope with advances in artificial intelligence. It begins with a discussion of the dangers of philosophies which put ideas ahead of people. It presents Kohlberg’s 6 stages of human moral development, evidence for recent advances in human morality, the theory underlying co-opetition, recent advances in understanding the sexual and social origins of altruism, and the 5 human moral emotions and their relationship to political systems. It then considers the likely behavior of advanced AI systems, showing that they will want to understand and improve themselves, will have drives toward self-preservation and resource acquisition, and will be vigilant in avoiding corruption and addiction. We end with a description of the 3 primary challenges that humanity faces in guiding future technology toward human-positive ends.

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The Future of Subjectivity

Technoprogressive Multimedia

A recent talk by IEET intern Ed Miller. Ed’s description: “This is a systems perspective on the future of our civilization. I hope that by understanding how resilience allows systems to survive, and how those systems influence our subjectivity, we can build a better future.

By advocating the end of involuntary suffering for all sentient life, and “gradients of bliss,” I am borrowing David Pearce’s vision for the future direction of human civilization which transcends many of the myopic utopian scenarios of previous thinkers. This grand vision is needed to motivate us sufficiently to achieve true progress.

To my friends who believe that recursively improving artificial Intelligence is all that matters, let me just say that even if it is likely to happen, which I doubt, we have to worry about the social conditions from which it springs.”

The Future of Subjectivity - Edward Miller from Edward Miller on Vimeo.

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Silke Fauve

Gay Marriage: Waking the American Conscience

by Silke Fauve

Despite the recent outcome on Proposition 8 in California, I believe that the American conscience has awakened concerning the right of gay people to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in this country.  Yes, there remain groups of people who would deny gays their human rights out of fear, blind adherence to religious dogma, or a simple hatred of what they don’t understand, but those groups are shrinking.

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Video Stream from the Future of Humanity Institute

Future of Humanity Institute

The Future of Humanity Institute, directed by IEET Chair Nick Bostrom, has begun posting its videos to Vimeo. Subscribe to the FHI video feed. The site currently features five of Nick’s talks:

- Extraterrestrial Life
- The Fable of The Dragon Tyrant
- The Future and You
- Nature Podcast
- Mission of The Future of Humanity Institute

Also, all the talks from the FHI’s 2008 Global Catastrophic Risks conference at Oxford University have been posted there, including talks by IEET’s J. Hughes, Mike Treder, Nick Bostrom and Milan Cirkovic.

 

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Mike Treder

How to stop global warming. Or not.

by Mike Treder

A few weeks ago I described a continuum sliding from global warming to climate chaos to geoengineering and ultimately to planet-scale engineering. Now we’ll look into what some of those geoengineering proposals might be, why they might or might not work, and what the potentially catastrophic results could be—whether or not we try to solve global warming.

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Athena Andreadis

Equalizer or Terminator?

by Athena Andreadis

Athena Andreadis is guest-blogging at Sentient Developments this month. Years ago, I saw a short in an animation festival.  It showed earth inhabited by men who happily bopped each other and propagated by laying eggs.  A starship crash interrupted the idyll.  Presaging Battlestar Galactica, the newcomers proved miraculously interfertile with the men who handed them the job of propagation along with all other disagreeable chores.  Things went swimmingly, at least for the men, until a rescue ship arrived.  After the women left, the men were once again free to pursue manly things – until they realized they had forgotten how to lay eggs.

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Mike Treder

Face-to-Face Still Beats Byte-to-Byte

by Mike Treder

We can hold conference calls with colleagues from all over, and do it basically for free. Tiny videocams built into laptop computers—that are themselves millions of times more powerful than the computers used to fly men to the moon in the 1960s—allow real-time visual meetups, saving time and money, making business run better and progress move faster. Still, no matter how far we have come, in-person meetings are better than data-mediated connections.

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Mike Treder

Participatory Panopticon Trial One: FAIL

by Mike Treder

It is 2007 on the steamy tropical streets of Rangoon, Burma, where journalism is against the law, and where no outside reporters are allowed. Fed up with living under the oppression of a heavy-handed military dictatorship, a few courageous citizens dare to speak out. They are quickly silenced and carried off by police and plain-clothes thugs—but a small band of video journalists is able to capture the events and begin leaking the news to the outside world.

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Russell Blackford

Killer robots in war

by Russell Blackford

This thought experiment is not as far-fetched as it may seem at first glance. Many experts believe that we will be able, not too many decades down the track, to build a device with the capacities that I’ll be describing. My Generation Y philosophy/international studies students may still be young enough to be involved in real-world decisions when this sort of technology is available. Even I may still be alive, to vote on it, if it’s an election issue in 30 or 40 years time. Though it may be at an early stage, the necessary research is going on, even now, in such places as the US military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

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Mike Treder

(Unrelated?) Huge News Stories

by Mike Treder

They may not dominate the headlines or lead the evening newscasts like any kidnapping of a young blond girl usually does, but two seemingly unrelated recent news stories grabbed my attention.

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J. Hughes

Five Major Changes to American Life By 2020

by J. Hughes

My response to a journalist’s inquiry about what I thought the five biggest changes would be in American life and society between now and 2020.

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Martine Rothblatt

Why Worry About This Sci-Fi Stuff Now?

by Martine Rothblatt

The term “mindclone” evokes a wide range of sci-fi images from the “Cylons” of Battlestar Galactica to the “Mr. Smiths” of The Matrix.  While it is indisputable that we are creating large mindfiles, as described in Question 1, and surely there are geeks working hard on mindware, as reviewed in Question 2, how close could we be to an actual mindclone when computers can’t converse on their own much better than a two-year old kid?

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The Ethical Issues of Enhancement

Philosophy Bites

Philosophy Bites looks at ethical questions raised by enhancement with Allen Buchanan of Duke University, co-author of From Chance to Choice.

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Emergence - IEET News for May 18, 2009

1. A Note From Dr. J.
2. IEET News
3. Articles
4. Multimedia
5. Events

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Technology, Humanity and the Future

Humanity+

IEET Executive Director J. Hughes answered some questions about technology and its impact on humanity at Convergence 08, November 15, 2008 in Mountain View California. This video is one of a dozen that will be hosted shortly on the new Humanity+ website. If its too slow to stream you can download various versions from Archive.org.

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J. Hughes

Choosing Our Imaginary Communities and Identities

by J. Hughes

In June 1983 I arrived in Sri Lanka with a starry-eyed commitment to grassroots Buddhist social change, and a lot of romanticism about national liberation movements and Asian Buddhism. The Sri Lankan civil war that started five days later forced me to confront how dangerous all identities and communities are unless we understand that they are fundamentally imaginary. My two years in Sri Lanka convinced me of the desperate need for a new project of global citizenship.

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Mike Treder

The playing field is tilted—in our favor!

by Mike Treder

If we take a long view of human civilization and history, it is hard not to be impressed by how far we have come. Sure, we could always do more, and yes, I’m as impatient as you for the next steps forward. But it doesn’t hurt once in a while to pat ourselves on our collective backs for what we’ve accomplished over the last few thousand years.

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Athena Andreadis

If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want to Be Part of Your Revolution!

by Athena Andreadis

(incorrectly but fittingly ascribed to Emma Goldman, feminist, activist, trouble-maker)

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The Case for Perfection

Hartford Ethics Group

Miller Brown (Philosophy, Trinity College) debunks arguments against human enhancement, specifically in sports, before the Hartford Ethics Group, May 14, 2009. (Apologies about the loud air conditioner in the background.)

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Designer Apocalypse

Changesurfer Radio

When the apocalypse comes who ya gonna call? Not the rich, hiding in their bunkers. And which apocalypse? Designer babies? Asteroids? Skynet? (MP3)

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Economic Rights

Changesurfer Radio

Economic rights are fundamental human rights. European social democracies are the best at providing for basic economic security. Some of the evidence for Euro-socialist superiority comes from comparative studies of happiness. We can start providing more economic security here by expanding public options and universal access to healthcare. (MP3)

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Mike Treder

Widening Divides, or Bridging Them

by Mike Treder

We are on the brink of technological breakthroughs that could augment our mental powers beyond recognition. It will soon be possible to boost human brainpower with electronic “plug-ins” or even by genetic enhancement. What will this mean for the future of humanity?

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Mike Treder

Planet-scale Engineering

by Mike Treder

Given the accumulating effects of global warming and the increasing potential for disastrous climate change, some form of geoengineering likely will be attempted within the next decade or two. As advanced nanotechnology moves ahead, it could enable—for better or for worse—truly epic planet-scale (re)terraforming projects.

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Ben Scarlato

Caprica: Battlestar Galactica Makers Hit It Again—A Transhumanist View

by Ben Scarlato

Caprica is a new series from the producers of Battlestar Galactica.

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Mike Treder

The Mother of All Sci-Fi Wonders

by Mike Treder

“The convergences of the past, like small streams flowing together to form a great river, have created stronger currents that carry the potential for even faster and more dramatic changes as they converge in the near future. These include information technology, genetic engineering and biotechnology, nanotechnology (the manipulation of matter at the molecular level, which may allow manufacturing without factories as we know them), and cognitive science (how we know and learn).”

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Ben Scarlato

Misconceptions of Cryonics in Popular Culture

by Ben Scarlato

[May contain spoilers for various movies or TV shows.]  It is important to understand how issues such as cryonics are presented in the popular media, so as to gauge public perception of them and understand how to correct common misconceptions and appeal to popular values as much as possible. Unfortunately, in the case of cryonics a large portion of the portrayals in television and movies are negative and are rife with those misconceptions.

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Email: director @ ieet.org     phone: 860-297-2376