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

whats new at ieet

A vote for stem cells

The Singularity Is Near Movie Trailer

Plato and the Physicist: A Multicosmic Love Story

The gathering storm of lab safety: Pathogen safety in federal labs

Should we have a right not to work?

Fighting to Save Lives - The Struggle for Indefinite Life Extension

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


instamatic on 'Liberal Democracy, The Third Way, & Social Futurism (pt. 2 of 3)' (Jul 20, 2014)

Frank Glover on 'Fighting to Save Lives - The Struggle for Indefinite Life Extension' (Jul 19, 2014)

instamatic on 'A Biocentric Multiverse' (Jul 19, 2014)

Rick Searle on 'What Should Be Done to Achieve Radical Life Extension?' (Jul 19, 2014)

dobermanmac on 'What Should Be Done to Achieve Radical Life Extension?' (Jul 19, 2014)

CygnusX1 on 'A Biocentric Multiverse' (Jul 18, 2014)

Jønathan Lyons on 'A Biocentric Multiverse' (Jul 18, 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

Is it possible to build an artificial superintelligence without fully replicating the human brain?
Jun 25, 2014
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Nanomedical Cognitive Enhancement
Jul 11, 2014
(5443) Hits
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Interview with Transhumanist Biohacker Rich Lee
Jul 8, 2014
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Imagine a time when aging, death no longer dominate our lives
Jun 23, 2014
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David Brin

May I bring up climate change?

by David Brin

A few days ago, I drove up the Califonia coast to help my son move. The trip coincided with the attempted (3 am) launch from Vandenberg AFB of JPL's Orbiting Carbon Observatiory—OCO-2—which will nail down Earth's CO2 cycle. OCO is part of a constellation of five earth-sensing satellites bring launched just this year. (The first OCO failed, weirdly, and others were canceled, back during the Bush Administration. Whereupon it took a while to re-start the earth-sensing programs.)

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The Turing Test is Insufficient

Adam Ford

Adam Ford interviews IEET Fellow, David Pearce about how the Turing Test is insufficient. They also talk about superintelligence, properties of the mind, and consciousness. David believes that modern “chatbots” are useless for understanding consciousness and thinks that in order to really understand consciousness and intelligence we are going to need a better test in the lab.

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Giulio Prisco

Virtually Sacred, by Robert Geraci – religion in World of Warcraft and Second Life

by Giulio Prisco

Robert Geraci, the author of “Apocalyptic AI – Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality,” has a new book published by Oxford University Press: “Virtually Sacred – Myth and Meaning in World of Warcraft and Second Life.” I recommend this book to all those interested in the history and sociology of religions online, and online religions (there is a difference), and also (especially) to those who wish to participate in new, forward-looking, cosmic religious movements. All are invited to come and to Robert Geraci’s talk in Second Life, on Sunday June 29 at noon EDT (9am PDT, 6pm EU) in Soleri City.

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Kris Notaro

The Importance of Qualia to Transhumanism and Science pt2

by Kris Notaro

In my last article on transhumanism and qualia we looked at the definition of qualia and biological experiments that suggest qualia are nothing more then a physical outcome of a complex system, (for now the brain). But what if qualia is not physical in nature in the same way we think of the typical physicalist notion of an atom? What if qualia was not purely biologically evolved, instead was/is part of the universe like the “strings” in M-theory and String Theory, or the basic hydrogen atom? I will argue in defense of quaila and suggest that logical operators can be “felt” by the current human mind.

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David Brin

Yes, Polarization Is Asymmetric—it’s not about physics… but politics

by David Brin

Back when I published research on optical ellipsometry, “polarization” seemed an innocent-enough term — and indeed, lately there have been applications that let us peer into the very origins of the universe. Alas though, more and more, we hear talk about a polarization of politics — especially in the USA - that has destroyed a great nation’s ability to argue fairly, negotiate pragmatically, and forge the sort of effective compromise solutions that enabled past generations to keep moving ahead.

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Why orthodox medicine must change - the need for preventative/regenerative medicine

SENS Foundation

Most people realize that the world’s population is at the same time expanding and getting older and that these issues present many challenges. This lecture aims to highlight the facts with a view to the cost of ‘orthodox’ medicine- asking the question; should medicine as it exists today be changed from its present criteria?

Many healthcare professionals in the preventative medicine field know that there are many ‘alternative/ unapproved’ solutions, but perhaps lack the details of why it is actually necessary in the first place. This lecture will provide the interested attendee with the facts as issued by the US, UK and WHO authorities.

It will become clear that ‘orthodox’ medicine- as it exists today, cannot continue as-is and that a different path will need to be taken; therefore positioning preventative and regenerative medicine as the most likely and sensible alternative.

In Phil’s indomitable style, he attempts, to challenge who, what and why will be at the fore, what the facts of the aging populous are and the concept of the optimal health pyramid.

Visit to view the rest of our SENS6 videos.


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Domestic Robotics - Leave it to Roll-Oh, our Fun loving Retrobot

Adam Ford

Tongue-in-cheek film showing a domestic robot freeing “housewives” of their chores (and intimating that their work is hardly necessary); actually a promo showing how relays and switches function in the modern automobile.

This promotional spot from Chevrolet was shown at the 1940 World’s Fair in New York and uses Roll-Oh the Robot as a metaphor for all of the things that technology does for people in their everyday lives.

This includes the technology in a Chevrolet automobile of course.

The Robuts Are Everywhere (Video)

Most of us like to think that we are familiar with robots, some of us may actually have a robot toy or two (or more) or have a Roomba doing our floors while we’re out enjoying life. But, even with all of our experience and knowledge of robotics, can we even begin to guess what robots will be like a couple of generations from now?

==The Future Belongs To “Roll-Oh”, The Robot

Of course, we would all like to speculate - to offer our own educated opinions of what the robot world of the future will look like. But, before we jump to conclusions, it might be useful to go back and reflect on what our parents and grandparents thought the future (the future we’re living right now) had in store for us.

Here we have the opportunity to go back and view historical material - text, audio, movies/videos, and other media - from the not too distant past. The “Leave It To Roll-Oh” film (see link below) that was shown at the New York World’s Fair in 1940.

Since the film was obviously funded by the automotive industry, so there are lots of understandable references to automotive ‘robot’ applications. Still, it provides a very good understanding of what the popular image of a robot was in the middle of the last century, and how they thought it would evolve. The film, which runs just under 9 minutes, is worth viewing just for the techno-jargon or in the first few scenes when the technician is explaining things to the stereotypical housewife.

So - why “robuts”? Simply because that’s the way that the film narrator says it. . . .

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Singularity 1 on 1: Ageing is not going to cure itself!

Singularity 1 on 1
Nikola Danaylov of Singularity 1 on 1 talks with Bill Andrews about  "Ageing is not going to cure itself!"

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

Bill Andrews and Aubrey de Grey are “The Immortalists”

Some will say that Bill Andrews is totally crazy – at 61 he runs an average of 10 miles per day and at least one 100 mile marathon per month. He also wants to “Cure Ageing or Die Trying”. No wonder Bill is one of the 2 main protagonists of a new documentary about life-extension aptly titled The Immortalists. As to whether he is crazy or not, I myself hope that he totally is. Because, if we are ever going to defeat ageing, we are going to need a lot more out-of-the-box “crazy” scientists like Andrews. And I totally loved interviewing him on my Singularity 1 on 1 podcast.

During our 1 hour conversation with Bill we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: the relationship between telomeres and ageing; the Hayflick limit and the scientific definition of immortality; how he got interested in finding a cure for ageing; life-extension and overpopulation; supplements and other ways to slow down the pace of telomere shortening such as ultra-marathon running; his book on Curing Aging;Sierra Sciences and the research money needed to make a human cell immortal…

My favorite quotes that I will take away from this conversation with Bill Andrews are:

“Cure Ageing or Die Trying” [I just cannot not start with this one ;-]

“In my opinion nature wants us dead as soon as we’ve raised our young”

“Ageing is not going to cure itself – it requires funding. People think that the government is funding all the research in ageing but the government is not interested… Large pharma is not interested. If people are really out there wondering why nobody is curing ageing right now it’s because we need the private individuals that are passionate about this subject to be funding the research. And not just my research – everybody’s research.”

(You can listen to/download the audio file above or watch the video interview in full. If you want to help me produce more episodes like this one please make a donation!)

The Immortalists Film Trailer:

This is a portrait of two scientists – Aubrey de Grey and Bill Andrews, who want to develop medical technologies which will supposedly make us all live forever. Who are they? How can they do it? And even if they could, what would happen?


Who is Bill Andrews?

Bill Andrews – the Immortalist

Dr. William H. Andrews, Ph.D. is the President & CEO of Sierra Sciences. He has worked in the biotech industry for 28 years, focusing the last 15 years on finding ways to extend human lifespan through the intervention of telomere shortening in human cells.

Dr. Andrews earned his Ph.D. in Molecular and Population Genetics at the University of Georgia in 1981. He was a Senior Scientist at Armos Corporation and Codon Corporation, Director of Molecular Biology at Codon and at Geron Corporation, and Director of Technology Development at EOS Biosciences.

While Director of Molecular Biology at Geron Corporation from 1992 to 1997, Dr. Andrews was one of the principal discoverers of both the RNA and protein components of human telomerase and was awarded 2nd place as “National Inventor of the Year” in 1997 for this work. He is presently a named inventor on 35 US issued telomerase patents.

Dr. Andrews is an avid runner and enjoys participating in ultramarathons in his spare time. His ultimate goal is to run a 7 minute mile at the age of 130.

Related articles

Tagged as: Bill Andrews, Cure Ageing or Die Trying, Sierra Sciences, telomere, the Immortalists

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Evan Selinger

How to Stop Facebook From Making Us Pawns in Its Corporate Agenda

by Evan Selinger

You didn’t know it, but Facebook used some of you to manipulate your friends. Even though you can’t anticipate how a company will integrate your data into its undisclosed activities, you’re still unintentionally providing grist for the manipulation mill.

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Gennady Stolyarov II

Feedback Loops and Individual Self-Determination

by Gennady Stolyarov II

I have always been fond of the concept of feedback loops, and it is indeed the case that much of humankind’s progress, and the progress of a given individual, can be thought of as a positive feedback loop. In the technology/reason interaction, human reason leads to the creation of technology, which empowers human reason and raises rational thinking to new heights, which enables still further technology, and so on.

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Kelly Hills

Hobby Lobby, Contraception, & the Supreme Court Ruling

by Kelly Hills

As expected, the last case ruled on before the Supreme Court of the United States adjourned until October was the Hobby Lobby/Conestoga case. For those unaware, this case is based on the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, classifying contraceptives as preventive healthcare required under all insurance plans without a co-pay. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood both objected to this, saying that covering some forms of birth control, like the IUD/IUS or Plan B, violated their religious beliefs by requiring them to fund abortive medications.1

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Richard Eskow

5 Signs the U.S. Is Failing to Protect Women’s Rights in the Workplace

by Richard Eskow

The Prime Minister of Morocco recently compared women to “lanterns” or “chandeliers,” saying that “when women went to work outside, the light went out of their homes.” His remarks, which ran counter to Morocco’s constitutionally-guaranteed rights for women, promptly provoked both street demonstrations and an “I’m not a chandelier” Twitter hashtag.

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Dick Pelletier

Wild ride ahead: glimpse at humanity’s long range future

by Dick Pelletier

Imagine if you could take an exotic vacation billions of light years from Earth, peek in on the dinosaurs’ first-hand, or jump into a parallel universe where another you is living a more exciting life than yours; and you could swap places if you like.

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Singularity 1 on 1: On the Zero Marginal Cost Society and the Decline of Capitalism

Singularity 1 on 1

Nikola Danaylov of Singularity 1 on 1 interviews Jeremy Rifkin on the Zero Marginal Cost Society and the Decline of Capitalism.

Jeremy Rifkin is a social activist, economist, futurist and best-selling author of twenty books on the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, the workforce, society, and the environment. His books have been translated into more than thirty five languages and are being used in hundreds of universities, corporations and government agencies around the world.

In 2011, Jeremy Rifkin published the New York Times bestseller The Third Industrial Revolution, which captured the attention of the world. Mr. Rifkin’s vision of a sustainable, post carbon economic era has been endorsed by the European Union and the United Nations and embraced by world leaders including Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, President François Hollande of France, and Premier Li Keqiang of China. His latest one – The Zero Marginal Cost Society, describes how the emerging Internet of Things is speeding us to an era of nearly free goods and services, precipitating the meteoric rise of a global Collaborative Commons and the eclipse of capitalism.

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

During our 97 min conversation with Jeremy Rifkin we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: near zero marginal cost as the deeply embedded paradox in the heart of capitalism; the dematerialization (i.e. the digitalization) of material objects; The Third Industrial Revolution and the decline of capitalism; how US and Canada are becoming outliers while Germany and China are emerging as the new leaders; Dutch Disease and the risk of being a one-trick-pony-type of an economy; decentralization of power and bitcoin; Rifkin’s biggest dream and greatest fear; AI and technological unemployment; empathy and the Turing Test

(You can listen to/download the audio file above or watch the video interview in full. If you want to help me produce more episodes like this one please make a donation!)

Who is Jeremy Rifkin?

Jeremy Rifkin is the bestselling author of twenty books on the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, the workforce, society, and the environment. His books have been translated into more than thirty five languages and are used in hundreds of universities, corporations and government agencies around the world.

On April 1st, 2014 Mr. Rifkin’s published his latest book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism. In 2011, Jeremy Rifkin published the New York Times bestseller The Third Industrial Revolution, which captured the attention of the world. Mr. Rifkin’s vision of a sustainable, post carbon economic era has been endorsed by the European Union and the United Nations and embraced by world leaders including Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, President François Hollande of France, and Premier Li Keqiang of China. Mr. Rifkin’s other recent titles include, The Empathic CivilizationThe Age of AccessThe End of WorkThe European DreamThe Biotech Century, and The Hydrogen Economy.

Jeremy Rifkin has been an advisor to the European Union for the past decade. Mr. Rifkin also served as an adviser to President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Jose Socrates of Portugal, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of Spain, and Prime Minister Janez Janša of Slovenia, during their respective European Council Presidencies, on issues related to the economy, climate change, and energy security. He currently advises the European Commission, the European Parliament, and several EU and Asian heads of state.

Mr. Rifkin is the principle architect of the European Union’s Third Industrial Revolution long-term economic sustainability plan to address the triple challenge of the global economic crisis, energy security, and climate change. The Third Industrial Revolution was formally endorsed by the European Parliament in 2007 and is now being implemented by various agencies within the European Commission as well as in the 27 member-states.

Jeremy Rifkin is the President of the TIR Consulting Group LLC, comprised of many of the leading renewable energy companies, electricity transmission companies, construction companies, architectural firms, IT and electronics companies, and transport and logistics companies. His global economic development team is working with cities, regions, and national governments to develop the Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure for a Collaborative Commons and a Third Industrial Revolution.

Mr. Rifkin is a senior lecturer at the Wharton School’s Executive Education Program at the University of Pennsylvania where he instructs CEOs and senior management on transitioning their business operations into sustainable Third Industrial Revolution economies. From 1995-2010, Mr. Rifkin taught in the Advanced Management Program at Wharton.

Mr. Rifkin’s monthly column on global issues has appeared over the years in many of the world’s leading newspapers and magazines, including The Los Angeles Times in the United States, The Guardian in the U.K., Die Süddeutsche Zeitung and Handelsblatt in Germany, Le Soirand Knack in Belgium, L’Espresso in Italy, El Mundo and El País in Spain, Kathimerini in Greece, Informatíon in Denmark, De Volkskrant in the Netherlands, Hospodárské Noviny in the Czech Republic, Wort in Luxembourg, Clarínin Argentina, and Al-Ittihad in the U.A.E.

Mr. Rifkin holds a degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a degree in international affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Rifkin speaks frequently before government, business, labor and civic forums. He has lectured at hundreds of the world’s leading corporations as well as more than 300 universities in some thirty countries in the past four decades.

Mr. Rifkin is the founder and president of The Foundation on Economic Trends in Bethesda, MD. The Foundation examines the economic, environmental, social and cultural impacts of new technologies introduced into the global economy.

Tagged as: Jeremy Rifkin, Third Industrial Revolution, Zero Marginal Cost Society

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Rick Searle

Malthusian Fiction and Fact

by Rick Searle

Prophecies of doom, especially when they’re particularly frightening, have a way of sticking with us in a way more rosy scenarios never seem to do. We seem to be wired this way by evolution, and for good reason.  It’s the lions that almost ate you that you need to remember, not the ones you were lucky enough not to see. Our negative bias is something we need to be aware of, and where it seems called for, lean against, but that doesn’t mean we should dismiss and ignore every chicken little as a false prophet even when his predictions turn out to be wrong, not just once, but multiple times. For we can never really discount completely the prospect that chicken little was right after all, and it just took the sky a long, long time to fall.

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David Eubanks

A Cynical Argument for the Liberal Arts (Parts 7-12)

by David Eubanks

The preceding installments have described a tension between organized human effort and individual freedom. The former entails the adoption of a machine-like way of processing observations and acting on them (nowadays a techno-bureaucracy) that has no inherent morality: human values lie entirely with the people who make judgments within this machine.

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NERSC Nobel Lecture Series

Berkeley Lab

NERSC Nobel Lecture Series: Saul Perlmutter Lecture, June 11th, 2014

Saul Perlmutter is the Franklin W. and Karen Weber Dabby Chair holder in the Physics Department. He graduated from Harvard magna cum laude in 1981, received his PhD from UC Berkeley in 1986. He joined the UC Berkeley Physics Department in 2004. He is also an astrophysicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and leader of the international Supernova Cosmology Project, which first announced the results indicating that the universe will last forever, with its expansion ever accelerating. In 1996, he received the American Astronomical Society’s Henri Chretien Award. Perlmutter has also written popular articles for Sky and Telescope magazine and has appeared in recent Public Broadcasting System and BBC documentaries on astronomy and cosmology. Professor Perlmutter, who led one of two teams that simultaneously discovered the accelerating expansion of the universe, was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, which he shares with two members of the rival team. 




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Charlie Stross on the stop/go nature of technological change


 Charlie Stross's keynote speech to the Yet Another Perl Conference is an inspired riff on the weird, gradual-then-sudden nature of technological change. As Charlie points out, almost everything today—including the people—was around 20 years ago, and most of what's around now will be around in 20 years. But there will be some changes that would shock your boots off. Improbably, he manages to tie this all into perl programming, which, apparently, is the future of smart sidewalks. Charlie's thoughtfully provided a transcript of his talk, and there's a video for those who prefer to hear his rather good comic delivery.


So here's my takeaway list of bullet-points for 2034:

* It's going to superficially resemble 2014.

* However, every object in the real world is going to be providing a constant stream of metadata about its environment — and I mean every object.

* The frameworks used for channeling this firehose of environment data are going to be insecure and ramshackle, with foundations built on decades-old design errors.

* The commercial internet funding model of 1994 — advertising — is still influential, and its blind-spots underpin the attitude of the internet of things to our privacy and security.

* How physical products are manufactured and distributed may be quite different from 2014. In particular, expect more 3D printing at end-points and less long-range shipment of centrally manufactured products. But in many cases, how we use the products may be the same.

* The continuing trend towards fewer people being employed in manufacturing, and greater automation of service jobs, will continue: our current societal model, whereby we work to earn money with which to buy the goods and services we need may not be sustainable in the face of a continuing squeeze on employment. But since when has consistency or coherency or even humanity been a prerequisite of any human civilization in history? We'll muddle on, even when an objective observer might look at us and shake her head in despair.

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Harry J. Bentham

The Problem is not GMOs, Per Se

by Harry J. Bentham

Since giving my support to the May 24 march against Monsanto, I have taken the time to review some of the more unusual opinions in the debate over genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). The enthusiasts for technological development as a means of eliminating scarcity and disparity view GMOs favorably.

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Khannea Suntzu

Money What If – HumanCoin

by Khannea Suntzu

I just watched a video of an event in Amsterdam where the well-known Libertarian Stefan Molyneux spoke. Let me link it for your edification. Immediately after the event his Google+, Gmail and Youtube were deleted, as a result of complain vandalism. In other words, what he said caused a counter reaction. Now I am not usually overly enthusiastic about Peter and his Libertarian ideas, but in this video he makes a pretty much spectacular point against the power of unbridled governance. This particular line of reasoning I really like.

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IEET Audience Overwhelmingly Supportive of Turing Test

Two thirds of the 278 respondents to our poll on the Turning Test believe that “It is a strong indication of a mind like a human’s.”

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Singularity 1 on 1: The Immortalists

Singularity 1 on 1

Nikola Danaylov of Singularity 1 on 1 interviews David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg, who chose Aubrey de Grey and Bill Andrews as the main protagonists for their film The Immortalists.

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

In my opinion The Immortalists is a the most frank, open-minded and uniquely personal documentary about life-extension in general and Aubrey de Grey and Bill Andrews, in particular. I was privileged to attend its international premiere during the Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto, Canada and instantly knew that I have to interview David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg on Singularity 1 on 1. I believe that everyone interested in life-extension – whether they think we should or we should not even attempt it, must see the film.

During our 50 min conversation with David and Jason we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: how they got interested in and decided to make a documentary about life-extension; their goals and motivation; choosing Aubrey de Grey and Bill Andrews as the main protagonists; how their ideas on life-extension evolved before and after the film; why Aubrey is not pleased with the title; why deeply personal details are very relevant for making a good documentary; Transcend and Terry Grossman; the cost, time and effort associated with producing original content; whether life-extension is either feasible or desirable…

(You can listen to/download the audio file above or watch the video interview in full. If you want to help me produce more episodes like this one please make a donation!)

The Immortalists Film Trailer:

This is a portrait of two scientists – Aubrey de Grey and Bill Andrews, who want to develop medical technologies which will supposedly make us all live forever. Who are they? How can they do it? And even if they could, what would happen?


Who are David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg?

David Alvarado is a cinematographer originally from Dallas, Texas where he first worked at the local PBS station on documentary films. He later moved to the San Francisco Bay area to receive his MFA in Documentary film, and now lives and works in New York City as a freelance cinematographer. His feature directorial debut The Immortalists was completed in 2014 and is now on the festival circuit.

Jason Sussberg is an award-winning documentary filmmaker focused on BIG ideas on human progress and social justice. He started his career working in sports television for the San Francisco Giants and the Golden State Warriors. After receiving a MFA at Stanford University in film, he co-founded Dogpatch Films in San Francisco. He is a digital media generalist (with a past life in motion graphics) who trains his lens on social and political topics ranging from jailed journalists, justice system reform and futurism. When he’s not in the classroom teaching, he is directing films about the pioneers of wild ideas such as The Sea Is a Harsh Mistress or The Immortalists.


Related articles

Tagged as: Aubrey de Grey, Bill Andrews, David Alvarado, Jason Sussberg, the Immortalists

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Kate Darling

Extending Legal Protection to Social Robots

by Kate Darling

“Why do you cry, Gloria? Robbie was only a machine, just a nasty old machine. He wasn’t alive at all.”
“He was not no machine!” screamed Gloria fiercely and ungrammatically. “He was a person like you and me and he was my friend.” Isaac Asimov (1950). Most discussions of “robot rights” play out in a seemingly distant, science-fictional future. While skeptics roll their eyes, advocates argue that technology will advance to the point where robots deserve moral consideration because they are “just like us,” sometimes referencing the movie Blade Runner. Blade Runner depicts a world where androids have human-like emotions and develop human-like relationships to the point of being indistinguishable from people. But Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, the novel on which the film is based, contains a small, significant difference in storyline…

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David Swanson

Mapping Militarism

by David Swanson

World Beyond War has created a set of online interactive maps to help us all see where and how war and preparations for war exist in the world today.  You can find the maps we’ve created thus far at and send us your ideas for more maps here.  We’ll be updating some of these maps with new data every year and displaying animation of the progress away from war or the regress toward more war as the case may be.

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Naturalized Telepathy & the Hive Mind

Adam Ford

We already know that we will be able to communicate with other sentient beings, whether it be humans, animals, or machines via future telepathy technology, however lets take a bit of a deeper look into such a scenario. Adam Ford does just that, and asks David Pearce to seriously elaborate on a subject which seems so sci-fi in nature to most.


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NASW/MIT Sci Writing Summit on Women in Sci

Virtually Speaking Science

Research scientist and science writer – York Times, Forbes, Slate, Wired, and Discover – Emily Willinghamrecounts the inaugural Women in Science Writing Solutions Summit. Willingham was the chief organizer of the Summit, which featured a first-ever collection of data regarding women in the science profession, and was funded by the National Association of Science Writers and hosted by MIT." #womeninscience #harassment, discrimination, science writing, #ripplesofdoubt Follow @ejwillingham @rocza

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The Colbert Report /w Martine Rothblatt and BINA48


IEET Trustee, Martine Rothblatt and BINA48, (A robot modeled after her wife, Bina Aspen) are interviewed on The Colbert Report.

BINA48 has variously been called the world’s most sentient robot, an android, gynoid, a social robot, a cybernetic companion, and as “a robot with a face that moves, eyes that see, ears that hear and a digital mind that enables conversation.” BINA48, a project initiated by Terasem Movement, Incorporated (TMI), is designed to test two hypotheses concerning the ability to download a person’s consciousness into a non-biological or nanotech body after combining detailed data about a person with future consciousness software.

BINA48 is a humanoid robot, consisting of a bust-like head and shoulders mounted on a frame, developed by Hanson Robots and released in 2010. BINA48 was modeled after Bina Aspen through more than one hundred hours in compiling all of her memories, feelings, and beliefs. BINA48 engages in conversation with other humans, such as offering an emotional account of her brother’s personality changes after returning home from the Vietnam War.

Martine Rothblatt, a charter member of IEET’s Board of Trustees, is responsible for launching several satellite communications companies including the first nationwide vehicle location system (Geostar, 1983), the first private international spacecom project (PanAmSat, 1984), the first global satellite radio network (WorldSpace, 1990), and the first non-geostationary satellite-to-car broadcasting system (Sirius, 1990). As an attorney-entrepreneur she also was responsible for leading the efforts to obtain worldwide approval, via new international treaties, of satellite orbit/spectrum allocations for space-based navigation services (1987) and for direct-to-person satellite radio transmissions (1992). In the 1990s, Dr. Rothblatt entered the life sciences field by leading the International Bar Association’s project to develop a draft Human Genome Treaty for the United Nations (submitted in 1999), and by founding a biotechnology company, United Therapeutics (1996). Dr. Rothblatt is the author of books on satellite communications technology (Radiodetermination Satellite Services and Standards, Artech, 1987), gender freedom (Apartheid of Sex, Crown, 1995), genomics (Unzipped Genes, Temple University Press, 1997) and xenotransplantation (Your Life or Mine, Ashgate House, 2003). She is also cyberscripted and produced one of the first cybermuseums, the World Against Racism Museum.

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Maciamo Hay

Is it possible to build an artificial superintelligence without fully replicating the human brain?

by Maciamo Hay

The technological singularity requires the creation of an artificial superintelligence (ASI). But does that ASI need to be modelled on the human brain, or is it even necessary to be able to fully replicate the human brain and consciousness digitally in order to design an ASI?

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Why You are Wrong About Death and Aging


BBC HARDtalk speaks to IEET Fellow Dr. Aubrey de Grey who believes it is a proposition that 21st century biotechnology will soon be able to deliver indefinite lifespan.

Dr. Aubrey de Grey is a biomedical gerontologist, a Fellow of the IEET, and the Chief Science Officer of the SENS Foundation. The editor of Rejuvenation Research, the world’s only peer-reviewed journal focused on intervention in aging, he is an advocate of research seeking answers to how molecular and cellular metabolic damage brings about aging and ways humans can intervene to repair and/or obviate that damage.


The central goal of Aubrey de Grey’s work is the expedition of developing a true cure for human aging. In his view, the main obstacle to developing such technology is the position of biogerontology at the boundary between basic science and medicine. He believes that the fundamental knowledge necessary to develop truly effective anti-aging medicine mostly exists, but the goal-directed frame of mind that is best suited to turning research findings into tools is very different from the curiosity-driven ethos that generated those findings in the first place.

As a scientist with a training in an engineering discipline, specifically that of computer science, Dr. De Grey believes himself to be well placed to bridge this gap. He attempt to do so in three main ways: by doing basic biogerontology research, identifying and promoting specific technological approaches to the reversal (not merely the prevention) of various aspects of aging, and by arguing in a wide range of forums, extending beyond biologists, for the adoption of a more proactive approach to extending the healthy human lifespan sooner rather than later. 

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Leo Igwe

How the Separation of Church/Mosque and State Will Benefit Africa

by Leo Igwe

To most politicians across Africa, separating religion and state presents a very difficult challenge. Secularism is viewed with suspicion, and sometimes with opposition. Many countries across the region have the principle of separation enshrined in their constitutions. But this constitutional principle is hardly translated into reality because of enormous influence of religious establishments on politics and governance.

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