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

whats new at ieet

American Society for Engineering Education: Why Diversity is so Important

Why there is no mind/body problem

Why Solitary Confinement Is The Worst Kind Of Psychological Torture

The Trifecta of Roommate Selection Technology: Privacy, Prejudice, And Diversity

The Maverick Nanny with a Dopamine Drip: Debunking Fallacies in the Theory of AI Motivation

Chiding CEOs at Walgreens and Other Corporate Defectors

ieet books

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.

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


Giulio Prisco on 'Why We’ll Still Be Fighting About Religious Freedom 200 Years From Now!' (Jul 25, 2014)

Giulio Prisco on 'The Sad Passing of a Positive Futurist' (Jul 25, 2014)

instamatic on 'Should we have a right not to work?' (Jul 24, 2014)

instamatic on 'The Sad Passing of a Positive Futurist' (Jul 24, 2014)

DrJohnty on 'LEV: The Game – Play to Win Indefinite Life' (Jul 24, 2014)

Taiwanlight on 'The Sad Passing of a Positive Futurist' (Jul 24, 2014)

Jønathan Lyons on 'The Sad Passing of a Positive Futurist' (Jul 24, 2014)

Subscribe to IEET News Lists

Daily News Feed

Longevity Dividend List

Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List


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

Nanomedical Cognitive Enhancement
Jul 11, 2014
(5785) Hits
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Is it possible to build an artificial superintelligence without fully replicating the human brain?
Jun 25, 2014
(5736) Hits
(1) Comments

Interview with Transhumanist Biohacker Rich Lee
Jul 8, 2014
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Virtually Sacred, by Robert Geraci – religion in World of Warcraft and Second Life
Jul 3, 2014
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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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Mike Treder

American Spectator reviews Catastrophic Risks

by Mike Treder

“The world will someday end with fire or ice, but we await clarification as to the proximate causes. The menu of looming catastrophes is a long one, growing with our advancing knowledge of the universe and powers of self-immolation.”

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Athena Andreadis

Reflections on the New Star Trek

by Athena Andreadis

I assume that anyone not in a silently running nuclear submarine has seen Star Trek reboot (henceforth ST||, for parallel timeline) by now, so I won’t be coy about spoilers.

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Russell Blackford

Remembering Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

by Russell Blackford

For a generation of science fiction fans who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, Stranger in a Strange Land (1961) was a book that changed lives: a huge, bizarre, magical, loosely-knit satire of nearly everything. It recounts the adventures of Valentine Michael Smith (or Mike), a young man who is born on Mars and raised by the Martians, before being brought to a wacky near-future Earth. He is befriended by wise old Jubal Harshaw, the novel’s authorial spokesman or ‘Heinlein figure’ (though he is presented as much older than Heinlein actually was at the time). Jubal becomes Mike’s mentor and protector, then eventually something more like a disciple.

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Look Up, Look Up! New Header Feedback Requested

The new header is a gift from IEET friend Tristan Hambling. Tell us what you think.

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Life Inc.: The Movie

Life Inc.

This depression didn’t just happen.

In Life Inc., award-winning writer, documentary filmmaker, and scholar Douglas Rushkoff traces how corporations went from a convenient legal fiction to the dominant fact of contemporary life. Indeed as Rushkoff shows, most Americans have so willingly adopted the values of corporations that they’re no longer even aware of it.

This fascinating journey reveals the roots of our debacle, from the late Middle Ages to today. From the founding of the chartered monopoly to the branding of the self; from the invention of central currency to the privatization of banking; from the birth of the modern, self-interested individual to his exploitation through the false ideal of the single-family home; from the Victorian Great Exhibition to the solipsism of MySpace; the corporation has infiltrated all aspects of our daily lives. Life Inc. exposes why we see our homes as investments rather than places to live, our 401k plans as the ultimate measure of success, and the Internet as just another place to do business.

Most of all, Life Inc. shows how the current financial crisis is actually an opportunity to reverse this 600-year-old trend, and to begin to create, invest and transact directly rather than outsourcing all this activity to institutions that exist solely for their own sakes.

Corporatism didn’t evolve naturally. The landscape on which we are living - the operating system on which we are now running our social software - was invented by people, sold to us as a better way of life, supported by myths, and ultimately allowed to develop into a self-sustaining reality. It is a map that has replaced the territory.

Rushkoff illuminates both how we’ve become disconnected from our world, and how we can reconnect to our towns, to the value we can create, and mostly, to one another. As the speculative economy collapses under its own weight, Life Inc. shows us how to build a real and human-scaled society to take its place.

In Life Inc, Douglas Rushkoff presents the unnerving, unbelievable, but ultimately undeniable proof that our world has been overtaken by an absolutely artificial economy.

He shows how our most fundamental assumptions about money and commerce are actually false ones - artifacts of a 400-year-old plan by a waning aristocracy to maintain control of Western Europe. Although the architects of this corporatism have long since passed on, we still live in a landscape defined by their plans and have internalized their values as our own.

Taking on some of the biggest assumptions of our age, this is a book filled with dangerous ideas and rather unspeakable heresies:
# Money is not a part of nature, to be studied by a science like economics, but an invention with a specific purpose.
# Centralized currency is just one kind of money - one not intended to promote transactions but to promote the accumulation of capital by the wealthy.
# Banking is our society’s biggest industry, and debt is our biggest product.
# Corporations were never intended to promote commerce, but to prevent it.
# The development of chartered corporations and centralized currency caused the plague; the economic devastation ended Europe’s most prosperous centuries, and led to the deaths of half of its population.
# The more money we make, the more debt we have actually created.

Most importantly, Rushkoff shows how this moment of financial crisis is actually an opportunity to reinstate commerce and communities based in creating value for one another, rather than continuing to extract it for the benefit of institutions that no longer exist.

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Mike Treder

Life Values: Quantity, Quality, and Meaning

by Mike Treder

The current IEET reader poll asks: If you could be any age you desired, for as long as you chose, would you opt for it? To answer, we may have to consider whether we most value quantity, quality, or meaning in life.

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Doug Rushkoff

Life Inc. pt 1: Your Money or Your Life: A Lesson on the Front Stoop

by Doug Rushkoff

IEET Fellow Doug Rushkoff is posting online most of his book, Life Inc: How the world became a corporation and how to take it back, over the next two weeks. We won’t be able to put it all up here, but we will post links to the full text. Also check out his guest-blogging at Boing Boing, where he also posting these excerpts.

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Transhumanism: Does Enhancement Kill “You”?

UPenn Media Seminar on Neuroscience and Society

Dr. Susan Schneider, IEET fellow and assistant professor of philosophy and an affiliated faculty member with Penns Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science, speaks at a UPenn Media Seminar on Neuroscience and Society on philosophical controversies surrounding cognitive enhancement.

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Debate on AGI: Utopia or Apocalypse?

Artificial General Intelligence conference, 2009

(Hat tip to Blogging the Singularity and a big thanks to Jeriaska for filming and posting the debate) Utopia or Artilect War? A debate between J. Storrs Hall and Hugo de Garis. J. Storrs Hall, president of the Foresight Institute, takes the position in this debate that the rise of artificial intelligence levels will create a utopia for humanity. Hugo de Garis, Wuhan University, China, takes the opposite position, namely that the rise of godlike massively intelligent machines will be catastrophic for humanity, leading to the worst, most passionate war humanity has ever known, using late 21st century weapons, killing billions of people.

This debate between J. Storrs Hall and Hugo de Garis took place at the 2nd AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) conference, 2009

First - J. Storrs Hall - Utopia

AGI: The Pathway to a Much, Much Better World from Jeriaska on Vimeo.

Second - Hugo de Garis - Artilect War

Engineered Utopia or Artilect War? from Jeriaska on Vimeo.

Rebuttals -

Future of AGI Debate - Rebuttal from Jeriaska on Vimeo.


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Russell Blackford

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

by Russell Blackford

The new Wolverine movie is dividing opinions even as it rakes in tens of millions of dollars day by day, and obviously makes the fans happy. The critical reviews may be bad to mixed, but the word-of-mouth is very different. Go out into the wilds of the blogosphere and you’ll find plenty of over-the-top glorying and raving (much of this from female science fiction fans expressing their admiration for Hugh Jackman’s muscled and much-revealed body).

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Sustainable Mobility

Art Center

The video of the talk Jamais Cascio gave at the Art Center Summit on Sustainable Mobility a couple of months ago is now available. It runs about 40 minutes, and plays only through their site (which is why there isn’t an embedded version here). They don’t make a point of showing every slide in his presentation, so if you’re interested, you can follow along at home with the slideshare version.

The talk weaves together several themes that run through much of my work—resilience, intelligence as adaptation, scenaric thinking, and, above all, agency:

I want you to think through these three scenarios as lenses, to understand the choices you’ll be making in your own designs, in your own businesses, in your own communities over the course of the next decade or so. Understand how the choices and the actions that you take fit with the choices and actions of others.

  Because one of the critical things I want you to walk away with is the recognition that the future is not a destination, it’s not some place we go to, it’s a process, and we enter the future minute by minute. The worst thing you can do is to give up your power to create that future, to leave it to somebody else and say, “well, it’s out of my hands.” When you give up that kind of agency, when you give up your capacity to shape and recreate and transform your own future, you’ve really given up your role in civilization.

  This is ultimately the most important thing you can do: to think through what you want to do, what you can do, to create the future you want.

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Mike Treder

Live from New York: Two Cultures, Part Two

by Mike Treder

In 1959 the prominent British scientist and novelist C.P. Snow gave a pivotal lecture before a crowd of his colleagues in Cambridge. The lecture focused on what he saw as a serious divide between the sciences and the humanities. As a researcher and creative writer he had a unique perspective on the problem and its impact on society at large. Now, 50 years after that famous lecture, a wide array of experts are gathered together to discuss whether or not the divide still exists and how it affects contemporary society.

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Mike Treder

Live from New York - It’s Two Cultures!

by Mike Treder

From the 40th floor of the 7 World Trade Center building in downtown Manhattan, I’m live-blogging today to cover an important symposium exploring the historic gulf between science and the humanities.

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Poll: What to do about North Korea?

IEET readers are more likely to want the US and UN to get tougher on North Korea than to ignore them.

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Transcendent Man

Transcendent Man

Transcendent Man introduces the life and ideas of Ray Kurzweil, the renowned futurist who journeys the world offering his vision of a future in which we will merge with our machines, can live forever, and are billions of times more intelligent ... all within the next thirty years.

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Jamais Cascio

Should Creative Workers Use Cognitive-Enhancing Drugs?

by Jamais Cascio

We may face a choice between altering our brain chemistries and falling behind in the global economy.

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Michael Anissimov

Nanofactory Regulation Revisited

by Michael Anissimov

I noticed that a post of mine was linked via the Wikipedia article on post-scarcity — my post about nanofactory regulation.  In it, I proposed a DRM-like system to prevent any old nanofactory from manufacturing things like bombs.  Radical and Luddite, I know.

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Mike Treder

Getting Past Us vs. Them

by Mike Treder

A stone age hunter-gatherer, coming upon a conflict where danger was present, didn’t have time to carefully analyze the situation, look for nuances, or seek points of commonality between combatants. Instead, driven by adrenalin, heart pumping, thoughts racing, pupils dilated—within seconds a choice was made: pick a side and join the fray, or turn and run away.

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Andy Miah

Make me a superhero: The pleasures and pitfalls of body enhancement

by Andy Miah

We should welcome with open arms the rich possibilities of technologically enhancing our bodies. Just so long as we don’t all end up looking, and thinking, and acting the same.

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Mike Treder

When Numbers and Words Collide

by Mike Treder

If we had unique words for ten thousand and a hundred thousand, for ten million and a hundred million, it might make understanding of really big numbers more intuitive.

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Martine Rothblatt

What Are Mindclones?

by Martine Rothblatt

A mindclone is a software version of your mind.  He or she is all of your thoughts, recollections, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and values, and is experiencing reality from the standpoint of whatever machine their mindware is running on.  Mindclones are mindfiles being used and updated by mindware that has been set to be a functionally equivalent replica of one’s mind.  A mindclone is your software-based alter ego, doppelganger, or mental twin.  If your body died, but you had a mindclone, you would not feel that you personally died, although the body would be missed more sorely than amputees miss their limbs.

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Athena Andreadis

Forever Young

by Athena Andreadis

Eleven years ago, Random House published my book To Seek Out New Life: The Biology of Star Trek.  With the occasion of the premiere of the Star Trek reboot film and with my mind still bruised from the turgid awfulness of Battlestar Galactica, I decided to post the epilogue of my book, very lightly updated — as an antidote to blasé pseudo-sophistication and a reminder that Prometheus is humanity’s best embodiment.  My major hope for the new film is that Uhura does more than answer phones.

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Mike Treder

The Two Cultures in the 21st Century

by Mike Treder

We live in a time when more scientists are being trained than ever before, yet scientists find themselves frustrated by inaccurate media coverage, poor science education, public science illiteracy, a resurgence of anti-evolutionism, and challenges to scientific expertise on issues like climate change. On May 9, 2009, visionaries, scientists, authors, and the media will join together in New York to explore the persistence of the “two cultures” gap—a serious divide between science and the humanities—and how it can be overcome.

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