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




whats new at ieet

Engineers are ‘schooling’ themselves on fish maneuvers

The Neuroscience of Learning and Memory and Mindfulness Based Mind Coaching

War and Human Evolution

Social Futurist revolution & the Zero State

Black Death for the Internet?

On Consciousness


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

Nikki_Olson on 'Social Futurist revolution & the Zero State' (Apr 17, 2014)

instamatic on 'Social Futurist revolution & the Zero State' (Apr 17, 2014)

CygnusX1 on 'Black Death for the Internet?' (Apr 17, 2014)

CygnusX1 on 'Social Futurist revolution & the Zero State' (Apr 17, 2014)

Kris Notaro on 'Social Futurist revolution & the Zero State' (Apr 17, 2014)

Kris Notaro on 'Social Futurist revolution & the Zero State' (Apr 17, 2014)

Kris Notaro on 'Social Futurist revolution & the Zero State' (Apr 17, 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

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RSS feedIEET NEWS


Doug’s second Testament Book, West of Eden, is out


The second collected set of Testament is now available at comic shops, bookstores, and links like this one.

This book starts the series over - quite literally, in fact - beginning with the Genesis creation story and its modern parallel: the generation of an AI lifeform by Alan Stern. Of course, the nano-bots all have the shape of the Eye of Horus, and Goddess Astarte manages to insinuate herself into the Garden of Eden as a lovely tree.

The best part of it all is that the volume concludes with a 9000-word set of notes to the entire collection, including the first trade. All the Bible and historical references you need to assure yourself that these stories and their allegories have a basis in exegesis (objective textual and historical study).

This collection offers readers a new entrypoint to the comic, so that it’s not required to have read the first five issues to begin anew here.

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Poll results: Proportion of government science budgets to be devoted to anti-aging research

(Opened Jan 15, 2007; closed Jan 20, 2007) Classic bimodal result.

New poll (closes 2007-01-27): Should doctors in your country be imprisoned for telling pregnant women the sex of their fetus?

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Doctors w/o Borders v. Novartis on Indian generics

The Swiss company Novartis is taking the Indian government to court over its legislation pertaining to generic drugs. Novartis wants to make it more difficult for Indian companies to produce generic drugs. MSF/Doctors without Borders is collecting signatures under a petition calling on Novartis to drop the case. The medical charity points out that ‘India is the pharmacy for the developing world.’

Further information about the background to the MSF campaign can be found here.

The petition is available here.

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Ashley X, Stumbleupon, LinkedIn, XING and Bald Women

Its been a crazy ten days here at the IEET as our site traffic soared after the Ashley X story broke loose.

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Call for Papers and Early Reg for IEET-IHEU Rights Conf in NYC - May 11-13

IHEU- Appignani Humanist Center for Bioethics and
Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

present

Human Rights for the 21st Century:
Rights of the Person to Technological Self-Determination


New York City
May 11-13, 2007

Cocktail Reception: Friday May 11, 6:00 – 9:00 pm (Location: TBD)

Conference: Saturday May 12 and Sunday May 13, 9:00 am – 3:45 pm

Location: 777 UN Plaza, 2nd Floor, New York City, NY 10017

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Hughes on Paula Zahn show Monday, Jan 8 @ 8pm EST to discuss Ashley X

Dr. James Hughes will discuss the Ashley X case with Arthur Caplan on the Paula Zahn show on CNN at 8pm EST, Monday January 8, 2007.

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Special Contribution: Neurophilosophy: Augmented Cognition

Moheb Costandi writes the excellent Neurophilosophy blog. We reprint here, with permission, a recent article he posted there on “augmented cognition.”

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Andy Miah to work with Euro-NBIC group

IEET Fellow Andy Miah will be consulting for the European Union-funded, multi-institutional Nano-Bio-Raise project the goals of which are to “establish a multi-disciplinary expert working group of scientists, ethicists and social scientists to examine ethical and societal issues relating to nanobiotechnology and its converging technologies.”

In December Andy spoke on “Genetic Tests for Performance” at The Hastings Center in New York, and on “Human Enhancement & the Bioethics of Cultural Studies” at Loughborough University. Andy will be speaking on “The Challenge from Posthumanity” at the annual conference of the Australian Sports Commission, Brisbane, March, 2007.

Andy will be lecturing at the Royal College of Art on ‘Posthuman Designs’ for their ‘Design Interactions’ Masters programme, which is interested in provoking public debate about the ethics of new technologies through the construction of prototypes.

Andy also just published (with E. Rich) “Genetic Tests for Ability? Talent Identification and the Value of an Open Future,” in Sport, Education and Society, 2006, 11(3), pp.259-273.

Andy is exemplary for maintaining an attractive and dynamic website, where you can follow his recent recent press and recent appearances.

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Techno-cultural literacy in 2007

George Dvorsky has proposed a list of must-know terms for the modern intellectual, terms used by many of us involved in techno-futurist speculation and biopolitical debates. IEET Fellow Jamais Cascio liked the idea, and followed up with a list of his own.

What key terms do you think the culturally literate layperson, policy wonk, thinker or visionary should know, but probably doesn’t? Look over George and Jamais’ lists, and then give us suggestions here.

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IEET Intern Bradshaw working on disability and enhancement

Heather Bradshaw is working on a thesis on enhancement and disability at the Centre for Ethics in Medicine at the University of Bristol. Heather is a staffer at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford where she is currently managing the editing and publication of a collection of essays on wisdom in Western and East-Asian culture.

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Re-Public prints Rushkoff on Open Source Culture

The online journal Re-public has just published a very interesting issue on The promise of the commons. The issue explores the technocultural openings that the concept of the ‘commons’ presents for contemporary democratic theory and practice. Among the articles are a piece by Richard Stallman on The free software movement, a piece by IEET Fellow Douglas Rushkoff Commons: Creating an alternative value system, and a piece by Michel Bauwens, Peer production, peer governance, peer property, among many others.  (posted on Amor Mundi)

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Anders looking for more cognitive enhancement novels

IEET friend Anders Sandberg is looking for cognitive enhancement novels, stories and films. He has quite a list already, shown below. If you have additional suggestions, let us know.

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CSPO Cognitive Enhancement Policy Seminar Report Available

Last May Dr. Hughes and two dozen other experts on cognitive enhancement technologies convened to discuss future policy scenarios with the Advanced Concepts Group, Sandia National Laboratories and the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes at Arizona State University. The policy frameworks were drawn from Dr. Hughes’ book Citizen Cyborg, laying out four principal ideological positions that policy makers might adopt -
“Laissez-faire” (techno-libertarian),
“Managed Techno-optimism” (techno-progressive),
“Managed Techno-Skepticism” (Left bioconservative) and
“Human Essentialism” (Right bioconservative). After a day discussing the various near-term cognitive enhancement technologies the group broke into these four factions - albeit for purely heuristic purposes and not because of affinity - to devise policies based on the ideological position.

The report, “Policy Implications of Technologies for Cognitive Enhancement,” is available now, and it summarizes the event, the technologies and policy discussion. A better than average introduction to the issues.

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IEET & IHEU Event at United Nations on Cognitive Liberty A Great Success

On Friday, Dec. 1, 2006 the IEET and IHEU-Appignani Center for Bioethics - the bioethics liaison office of the International Humanist and Ethical Union - co-sponsored a panel discussion on “Cognitive Liberty in an Age of Neurotechnology” across the street from the United Nations. About one hundred people attended, from as far away as Connecticut and Pennsylvania, and the event was very successful.

The three speakers were:

IEET Executive Director James Hughes Ph.D. (who also moderated), who spoke on the technoprogressive understanding of cognitive liberty, and the ways that emerging neurotechnologies may further challenge cognitive liberties. [LISTEN TO/DOWNLOAD MP3]  [SLIDES]

Elizabeth Phelps Ph.D., a Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at New York University, who showed some of the work on fMRI brainscanning of learning, memory and decision making being done at her Phelps Laboratory for Cognitive Neuroscience. Dr. Phelps argued that much of the anxieties about threats to cognitive liberty are overblown since the science is being hyped, and nowhere near providing the kind of intimate “brain-reading” that the media sometimes suggests.  [LISTEN TO/DOWNLOAD MP3] 

Bradley Lewis MD, PhD was the third speaker. He read a redacted and fascinating version of his paper “Prozac and the Post-human Politics of Cyborgs” which raises questions about whether SSRIs are as effective as we think they are, why people want to take them, and how it all relates to Harawayan cyborgology. Dr. Lewis teaches cultural studies at the Gallatin School at New York University, with affiliated appointments in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis and the Department of Psychiatry. He is the author of numerous articles published in academic journals, is the cultural studies editor for The Journal of Medical Humanities, and author of Postpsychiatry: Theorizing Psychiatry, Prozac, and DSM.  [LISTEN TO/DOWNLOAD MP3]

Thanks to Drs. Phelps and Lewis for great talks and give-and-take afterwards, and to Ana Lita of the IHEU-Appignani Center for Bioethics for helping to organize this great event.

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IEET Fellow An Ravelingien funded by Belgian Govt to Study Neuroenhancement

An will be visiting North American universities in February conducting research on neuroenhancement.

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HETHR Talks (Slowly) Available Online

Now that I'm just running one international nonprofit organization instead of two I'm working on clearing out the backlog of a year's accumulating to-do items. One was to edit and post all the audio of the May 2006 Human Enhancement Technologies and Human Rights conference. I was a little stymied because it turned out that the recordings were mostly done too loud, so there is a lot of painful distortion that I tried to figure out how to reduce. But tweaking audio tends to introduce nasty artifacts like high-pitched whistles, so I've given up and have started putting the talks up as MP3s.

Fortunately the opening panel with Bailey, Davis and Hurlbut was nice and clean, and these are their talks. Expect the rest shortly.

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William Sims Bainbridge accepts appointment as first IEET Senior Fellow

J. Hughes: The very first sociology essay I ever read, back as a college freshmen in 1979, hooked me. It was an analysis by William Sims Bainbridge and Rodney Stark of the steps used by Mormon missionaries to reel in converts. I saw in that essay that the sciences of human behavior would be the passionate and fascinating pursuit that they in fact turned out to be.

When I got a chance to meet Bill Bainbridge in the 21st century I discovered to my delight that he was the co-mastermind of the very cool NBIC initiative, had written major studies of science fiction, was interested in the project of uploading human personalities into silicon (albeit through the process of endless personality surveys, which sounds even more painful than having your head microtomed off into a laser scanner), was doing research in and on virtual worlds, and had written much more fascinating studies of the religious life. Bill gave keynote addresses at both the 2003 Transvision conference I organized at Yale University, and at the August 2006 Transvision conference in Helsinki Finland.

Bill has now accepted our invitation to be the IEET’s first Senior Fellow, and we are very excited to help make more people aware of his work, and weave his insights into the tapestry of technoprogressive thought and policy.

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Emergence 2006-12-04

IEET News for week ending Dec 4, 2006

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Changes in the IEET communications strategy

Friends of the IEET

As you may know, I recently stepped down from being the Executive Director of the WTA to give my full attention to the IEET. I feel the wind back in my sails. One of the things we need to clean up here is our communications strategy and infrastructure. Marcelo and I are open for suggestions.

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Bostrom starts rationality/bias blog at FHI

A group of transhumanist thinkers including IEET Chair Nick Bostrom, Robin Hanson, Hal Finney, Peter McCluskey and Eliezer Yudkowsky have launched a blog at the Future of Humanity Institute site dedicated to overcoming bias and the importance of rational thought.

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Hughes, Bostrom, de Grey & Campa in Italian documentary

A documentary on transhumanism was shown on Italian television on November 15th, titled Nascita del super-uomo (Birth of the Superhuman). It was produced by Rai TV.

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Hughes quoted on virtue engineering of marriage

Executive Director James Hughes was interviewed for an article in the McGill Daily on the use of neurochemicals to enhance marital bonding and fidelity.

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Declaration in Defense of Science and Secularism

The Center for Inquiry, affiliated with the Council for Secular Humanism, has organized this petition in defense of secular and scientific public policy.

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Journal of Personal Cyberconsciousness features IEET uplift paper

The Terasem Foundation, founded by IEET Advisor Martine Rothblatt, has published its latest edition of The Journal of Personal Cyberconsciousness. An abbreviated version of George Dvorsky’s animal uplift paper, published as the IEET white paper “All Together Now,” is featured in this edition.

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Hughes quoted on cell-phone implants

IEET Executive Director James Hugheswas among the experts quoted on Michael Kruse’s article for the St. Petersburg Times In-your-face interface:

“We’re moving inside” the body with cell phones, said James Hughes, a bioethicist and sociologist at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., and author of Citizen Cyborg. “My opinion is it is realistic. But for at least a couple of decades, I don’t think it’s going to be terribly attractive to open up our heads.”

Longtime mobile industry analyst Bob Egan agrees. “I don’t think the mainstream population is ready to make that leap,” said Egan, with Emerging Technologies in Needham, Mass.

Other well-known experts were quoted, from the Washington Post’s Joel Garreau to Kevin Warwick, but perhaps the most representative voice came from the youngest person interviewed…

Eddie Morrell is 20 and works at one of the two Cingular kiosks in St. Petersburg’s Tyrone Square Mall. He said he sometimes falls asleep with the thing still on his ear.

“Once you start,” he said, “you don’t go back.”

Link

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Mike Treder “live-blogging” Emerging Tech conf at Responsible Nanotechnology

REMINDER: On Wednesday and Thursday this week (Sept 27-28), I’ll be in Boston, “live-blogging” from MIT’s annual Emerging Technologies Conference. I’m planning to cover this conference similar to the way I reported on Stanford’s Singularity Summit earlier this year.

Now in its 6th year, Technology Review’s Emerging Technologies Conference at MIT features a mixture of keynote speakers, insightful panels and breakout sessions. The two-day program will bring together world-renowned innovators and business leaders to discuss emerging technologies.

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Paypal’s Thiel backs Aubrey’s MMP/SENS with $3.5mil

San Francisco Gate  Monday, September 18, 2006

Entrepreneur backs research on anti-aging
  Scientist says humans could live indefinitely

  - Keay Davidson, Chronicle Science Writer

  A controversial scientist who hopes to help humans live for thousands of years has received a multimillion-dollar grant from a Bay Area entrepreneur.

  Peter A. Thiel, co-founder and former chief executive officer of the online payments system PayPal, announced Saturday he is pledging $3.5 million “to support scientific research into the alleviation and eventual reversal of the debilities caused by aging.”

  The recipient will be the Methuselah Foundation, a Springfield, Va., nonprofit started and run by the most colorful scientist in aging
research: Aubrey de Grey, a 43-year-old English researcher who says he hopes to “radically postpone aging, giving indefinite life spans.”

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Pursuing the Longevity Dividend: Scientific Goals for an Aging World

More information : http://www.agingresearch.org/

Aging for both populations and individuals is on the verge of a new era. Humans are approaching old age in unprecedented numbers as a result of large baby boom cohorts born in the middle of the 20th century that are approaching traditional retirement ages.

Increases in the prevalence of age-related disease, frailty, and disability are visible harbingers of the potential costs and social burdens arising from this historic demographic shift. Advances in the scientific knowledge of aging, however, have now created new opportunities that may allow us and those that follow to live healthier and longer lives than our predecessors. We have reached a historical moment as scientists learn enough about aging to allow us to postpone a wide range of fatal and disabling diseases expressed throughout the lifespan, the result of which would be health and economic benefits for current and all future generations.

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Slate’s comment on the human gene story

Slate’s Evan Eisenberg comments wryly on the finding that one gene governing brain function appears to be much more abundant in human genes than in the genes of other primates.

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Transvision & Bostrom covered in Nature

The modern make-over

Scientists and philosophers gathered in Helsinki last week for
TransVision, a conference about ‘enhancing’ humans. Kerri Smith talks to
Nick Bostrom, director of the Future of Humanity Institute at the
University of Oxford, UK, about what’s on the table.

Kerri Smith

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