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



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The SuperIntelligence Control Problem - Oxford Winter Intelligence

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Former Topics




Sad News: Ben Hyink

Ben Hyink was a passionate transhumanist and secular activist, and an intern and intern coordinator with the IEET. He helped organize and lead the Humanity+ Student Network (H+SN) and the Chicago chapter of Humanity+, co-wrote the “Humanity+ Student Leadership Guide,”, and was the recipient of the 2007 JBS Haldane award for outstanding Transhumanist Student of the year. Having struggled with depression he ended his life last week.

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In Favor of the Functional Separation of Uploaded Minds and Simultaneous Mind Clones

by Ben Hyink

Exposure to some types of information can constrain one’s real options and impose responsibilities one might rather avoid. To set the stage for a flourishing culture of mind uploads, we need to enable people to live with a freedom from some kinds of potentially harmful information.

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The Basic Income Is Dead

by Edward Miller

Technological progress is accelerating faster than ever before. Are robots going to “take our jobs?” Do we require a Basic Income to solve this? Let’s examine some basic principles.

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Which Strange Existence Do You Prefer?

by Edward Miller

Existence is the most fundamental thing which is taken for granted. When we actually think about it, we all find it pretty mysterious, but I wonder if you realize just how mysterious it really is. Here’s a few things to consider.
The first is Occam’s Razor. A simple logic tool, right?

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We Can Have It All: The Beauty of Value Capture

by Edward Miller

As anyone familiar with classical political economy knows, true property rights are rooted in self-ownership. You own yourself, and by extension you own what you make through labor or voluntary transactions thereof. Land, however, is not a fruit of labor.

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The Only Economic Reform Worth Talking About

by Edward Miller

The real solution has nothing to do with techno-utopianism, monetary reform, austerity, or any of the other ideological cul-de-sacs currently being promoted.

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Sad News: IEET Affiliate Len Sassaman Has Died

Thirty-one years old, Len was an Affiliate Scholar of the IEET since 2010. He was an internationally acclaimed cypherpunk and privacy advocate, a PhD candidate at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, and a researcher with the COSIC research group. Suffering from depression, Len ended his own life on July 3, 2011.

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Advance Directives and Transhumanism

by Ben Scarlato

Advance directives are documents which give guidance on what should be done when your health deteriorates to the point where you can no longer make decisions for yourself. Sadly, these documents are often neglected by the general public until it is too late, but it’s even more crucial for transhumanists to think about and complete these documents.

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In Opposition to Liberty and Progress

by Edward Miller

You may have heard of Peter Thiel, the right-wing “libertarian” co-founder of Paypal and early investor in Facebook. He seems to be a magnet for controversy and intrigue, with his penchant for casual misogyny and exotic philanthropic endeavors. So, who or what is he really?

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What is Progressive in the 21st Century?

by Edward Miller

I have often referred to myself as a progressive but I have felt increasingly uneasy doing so. The word -progressive’, like virtually every other term which refers to a political ideology, has become so broadly applied as to become virtually meaningless.

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Uploading for Life Extension Will Be Valid

by Ben Hyink

While it may be impolitic now for technoprogressives to focus on uploading, for radical life extension advocates it is invaluable to have access to brief and compelling arguments in favor of the efficacy of such a process.

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LORCS Abound

by Mike Treder

Continuing our extraordinarily popular series of LORCs (Links Of Required Clicking), we’re back again with a new quartet of links that you simply must click.

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Thanks to Carrico and Corwin

IEET Fellow Dale Carrico and IEET intern Anne Corwin have given great service to the IEET project and we’re sad to report that they won’t be part of the IEET this year.

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De-Immanentize the Eschaton?

by Vladimir De Thezier

Since I ended my technoprogressive manifesto with a dire warning about “barbarians within our midst”, I’ve been asked by a few of my readers to more clearly identify the threat to democracy I am so concerned about. Two words: Christian fascism.

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The Technodevelopmental Quartet

by Dale Carrico

I am fascinated by a few broad concurrent “trends” (to use that awfully abused and debased word of the corporate-militarist Futurological Congress) that seem to me likely to articulate (but never to determine) especially forcefully (but always unpredictably) the politics of technoscientific change, and emerging longevity and modification medicine (so-called) is one of these.

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A Superlative Schema of Critiques of Transcendentalized Technology

by Dale Carrico

Believing that our technology will become, or make us, god-like is fundamentally undemocratic. We need to remain critical of this transcendentalizing tendency in techno-utopian discourse in order to work towards real liberatory uses of technology.

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The Singularity Won’t Save You

by Dale Carrico

Musing on a somber topic (the fraught “intersection of crisis-response thinking and transformational-future thinking”), but in a playful mood, fellow IEET Fellow Jamais Cascio has proposed a bumper sticker that pithily captures an attitude I endorse heartily myself: “Singularity is not a Sustainability Strategy.”

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Genetic Engineering and Space Exploration

by None

Genetic engineering has advantages that outweigh those of terraforming by a wide margin, in my opinion.

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Two Faces of Techno-Progress

by Dale Carrico

Technoprogressive analyses and campaigns take on wide-ranging (and not necessarily comfortably compatible) forms, but they all assume two definitive ideas about progress.

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TechnoRadicalism: An Ethic of Risk?

by Vladimir De Thezier

Today when we listen to conservative ethicists, whether they be bioethicists, infoethicists, nanoethicists, neuroethicists, roboethicists or technoethicists, one would think that ethics can be reduced to a taboo.

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TechnoProgressive: The Manifesto of a Technoscience-Focused Progressive Artivist

by Vladimir De Thezier

The IEET would like to re-introduce one of our contributors, Vladimir De Thézier.

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The Emerging Technoprogressive Mainstream and the New Democratic Agenda

by Dale Carrico

The New Year has provided the occasion for the usual spate of to-do lists, wish-lists, and so on for the upcoming Congress.  I for one am quite pleased to note how many of these lists have testified to what I have been calling here at Amor Mundi the politics of an emerging technoprogressive mainstream.

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Election Postgame from the Technoprogressive Perspective

by Dale Carrico

I am so pleased about the victories of Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders, so pleased at the prospect of good folks in the Progressive Caucus finding their way into Leadership and oversight positions, and from a technoprogressive angle of view especially so pleased at what nearly everybody is coming to see as the indispensable role of peer-to-peer formations (blogs, online small contribution aggregation, rapid-fire online negative campaigning pushback, citizen oversight, and so on) in this election. This is an impact that is growing stronger by the hour, and all to the good for those of us who prefer democratic over nachine politics, whatever party label gets slapped onto the result.

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Technoradical: Rebels Without a Cue?

by Dale Carrico

A friend and colleague of mine has taken to using and even promoting the term “techno-radicalism” to describe what he is up to politically. This is a friend who shares a number of my own idiosyncratic political commitments and who, in consequence of this, has also sometimes described his perspective as a “technoprogressive” one. Of course, I sometimes use that latter term as a shorthand way of describing myself -– since for me (and this doesn’t seem to be true for everybody) the term “technoprogressive” designates nothing more mysterious than being a progressive who is especially interested in questions of technoscientific development, pretty much exactly as it sounds like it designates. Anyway, this friend was rather perplexed to find that the term “techno-radical” makes me really uncomfortable. Given my published arguments on questions of technology, ecology, and democracy, he had probably come to think of me as something of a “techno-radical” like himself. That’s fair enough as far as it goes, but my discomfort has a point and I think it pays to dwell on it a bit.

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Does Technology Really Trump Left vs. Right?

by Dale Carrico

A friend and very interesting interlocutor of mine registered the impression earlier this afternoon that I appear to think technoprogressive folks are closer politically and culturally to what he called “environmental primitivists” than to “tech-positive libertarians.”  I am assuming this means folks like John Zerzan on the one hand and Tim May on the other.  Anyway, my friend wondered, “As time passes, and debates get hotter, can we imagine how the opposite might become true?”

The quick answer is simply to say that I personally feel no closer to luddite Deep Ecologists than to libertopian technophiles. Both perspectives seem to me wrongheaded for multiple, but mostly different, reasons.  But I think it is more important to notice that the question has been framed here in a way that virtually ensures any answer that follows will be misleading.

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Dale Carrico on Technoprogressive Politics

by Dale Carrico

MT Is there a substantial distinction between a technoprogressive and a transhumanist?

DC “Technoprogressive” is just a shorthand way of saying “technology-focused progressive.” My impression from the transhumanist-identified people I know is that most of them see themselves as part of a cultural movement with a unique shared identity and a coherent political program of the kind I would tend to associate with organized parties or membership organizations.

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Two Questions for TechnoProgressives

by Dale Carrico

Over on technoliberation I have tried to provide initial responses to a couple of questions that seem to me pretty pertinent for any technoprogressive stance.  Hopefully, the discussion of these questions will continue on there from here.

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Transformation, Not Transcendence

by Dale Carrico

Human lives have always been defined both by their limits and by the strategies we use to cope with and overcome them.  Many people who are coming now to be ever more fascinated (or appalled) by the spectacle of emerging, disruptive technological developments have begun to voice the hope (or the worry) that human beings are on the verge of a series of profound technological transformations of what have long been deeply definitive human limits.  Is that really true?  How could anyone confidently claim to know such a thing?  How would we sensibly assess our circumstances in the midst of such technodevelopmental churn?  Do we have the critical and ethical vocabularies on hand to cope with such transformations?

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Technology Needs Democracy, Democracy Needs Technology

by Dale Carrico

Over the years of my lifetime, conservative ideologues have seemed to frame their usual corporatist, militarist, deregulatory schemes more and more in apparently revolutionary terms.  They seem to hyperventilate ever more conspicuously and insistently about their customary money-grabs and power-grabs in the faux-revolutionary cadences of “freedom on the march” and with faux-revolutionary visions of “free markets” surging, swarming, crystallizing, and well-nigh ejaculating the whole world over.  And over these same years of my lifetime, the democratic left—already demoralized, perhaps, by the failures of long-privileged revolutionary vocabularies—seemed almost to sleepwalk into the rather uninspiring position of defending the fragile institutional attainments of imperfectly representative, imperfectly functional welfare states in apparently conservative terms.  They have struggled reasonably but too-often ineffectually, spellbound with worry over the real harms to real people that have accompanied the long but apparently irresistable dismantlement of the social democratic status quo, such as it was.

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World Without Work?

by Dale Carrico

World Without Work?

According to an article over at BBC News, “[r]esearchers from Gothenburg University in Sweden have been studying published data on what makes people happy… They believe working to achieve a goal, rather than attaining it, makes people more satisfied[.]”

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