We are pleased to announce that IEET Affiliate Scholar Hank Pellissier is returning to the staff as IEET Interim Managing Director and Fundraiser. Hank was Managing Director from 2011-2012. The 2012-2015 Managing Director, Kris Notaro, who continued Hank’s work and helped recruit more than a hundred additional IEET writers, will begin directing the Rights of the Person Program, focusing on issues of consciousness and personhood.
The onset of transhumanism, political or not may rally many people against technological innovations such as the integration of the human species with computers and re-designing of our specie’s DNA for enhancement purposes. The people of the world need to cooperate and value education so that we never see any of the dystopian posthumanist scenarios play out the way many think they might.
Geoengineering has come under attack recently by conspiracy theorists, scientists, to “greens.” There have been many kinds of proposals for geoengineering, and even a legal/illegal experiment pouring 200,000 pounds of iron sulfate into the North Pacific which was supposed to increase plankton that would absorb carbon dioxide. The experiment did not work and pissed off a lot of scientists. China also recently stopped their “flattening of mountains.” Therefore this article is not purely about techniques of combating global warming, but about the need for people to understand that geoengineering is a must, not only a must, but also a “human right.”
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.
It is 2014 and we still do not have a comprehensive theory of consciousness, yet transhumanists want to create consciousness on a computer ASAP. In this article I will look at reductionism, supervenience and emergentism and their applications towards a solution to the mind-body problem. I will defend the claim that emergentism must be mixed with supervenience given that we know considerable amounts of information about the human brain and the properties that it produces.
In this article it is my hope to highlight some of the most important aspects of gender and sexual identity within the confines of hardcore science: psychology, biology, and sociology. It is my personal opinion that we have not figured out the science behind gender, rather it be sociological or biological in nature. This article is simply an overview of how modern day scientists and sociologists look at gender and sexual identity. For all I know, we are all born genderqueer and pansexual, but biological science is showing us the rainbow of diversity which comes along with being a sexually complicated evolved species.
In order to communicate with super intelligent beings (in this context, extraterrestrials that have figured out how travel many light years to reach our planet) we should first start with something we all share. A fundamental starting point – that is, pure consciousness.
When we say “we” “one” or “I” in a context of “ought to think” we are referring to intellectuals in which we assume have a grasp on “rationality”. I assume that I am rational and that the material in which influenced me to write this paper on intellectualism and rationality was rational in itself. But not all “intellectual” media is rational.
As I was reading over the comments of Dick Pelletier's recent article, he suggested that “although our brain and body will be considered non-biological, our consciousness will forever preserve our definition as a human being.” I have to agree with him here, which leads me to the concept of “mindspace” and a LessWrong article written by Eliezer Yudkowsky in 2008 suggesting it is impossible to understand what mind will be like.
This is a starting point to investigate the ongoing mission of computer scientists to create AI which is self-aware and conscious. Is qualia simply materialist/physicalist information? What is going on with all the biological experiments done on people and animals?
Social Darwinism, Ayn Rand’s objectivism, capitalism and eugenics are all catastrophes of human thought: How to create a federation of anarchist-socialist / anarchist-syndicalist workers. Warning: This is a techno-optimist and “politically”-positive article.
Suicide Girls and the IEET Team up to Tackle Feminism, Erotica, Science, and the Future of Technology: An Interview with Voodou Suicide. We discuss everything from sex robots to the future of nanotechnology. It was a pleasure interviewing her, and I think you will enjoy the questions and answers and learn something at the same time!
Radicals! Are you sick of being spontaneously overcome by blistering rage and horrified vertigo on a daily basis? Do you find yourself foolishly opening comment threads on gender issues thinking yourself desensitized to the mind-warping misogyny that invariably pops into existence like a quantum foam of entitlement underpinning the internet? Are you sick of wasting precious minutes standing slackjawed in front of some new twisting complex of deep psychological issues couched as grandiose social analysis? Do you find yourself humbled into quiet bitter despair while pondering just how long it would take to fight their misrepresentation of reality? Are you sick, in short, of time-burglaring gender-essentialists? Then Anarcho-Transhumanism might be right for you!
I want to make some claims about the future of brain cognition that will lead to rational, logical, empathetic thought. The notion of “friendly SAI” and “unfriendly SAI” is a fallacy and should be abandoned, that is, the notion that we can program AI in the SAI setting to be friendly is an attempt to undermine intelligence and the domain of empathy and altruism.
Our brains are slopping over full at this point at the end of the Humanity+ San Francisco 2012. Congratulations to Natasha and her team for putting on a great conference. Hopefully next time we’ll have control of the weather.
Its apoco-raining this weekend in San Francisco, proving that the transhumanists neither see the future clear enough to choose a nice weekend nor have magical evil powers over the natural world. But they do put on incredibly fascinating parties at wild warehouse-cum-commune spaces full of smart technophiles. We had to drag ourselves back in to the conference this morning so we wouldn’t miss Andrea Kuscewski, David Pearce, Ben Goertzel, Jamais Cascio, Ramez Naam and the others folks speaking today.
IEET Readers are split on the question “When Aspergers is curable, will parents be morally obliged to cure it in their children”? One reason readers may be split is because there is such a huge variety of personalities someone with Asperger syndrome can take on. It can affect how one acts towards others, however theres many cases where Asperger syndrome increases compassion. Who is to say what the social norm should be? There is such a broad “norm” for symptoms of Asperger syndrome that it takes great expertise to identify it in some people.
Therefore the “social norm” of everyday culture is not much different then some patients with Asperger syndrome. However, in the end modern culture can only learn from people who have been diagnosed who are proud that they have it and the benefits of having it. We might even want to add some aspects of the syndrome to ourselves for example the ability of some to focus just on one subject for a long period of time.
In a future world where every brain is enhanced however, someone born with a “normal” brain will be looked at like they have a “disability.” We may be more likely to learn from Asperger syndrome than to treat it.
Autistic people have advocated a shift in perception of autism spectrum disorders as complex syndromes rather than diseases that must be cured. Proponents of this view reject the notion that there is an “ideal” brain configuration. and that any deviation from the norm is pathological; they promote tolerance for what they call neurodiversity. There is a contrast between the attitude of adults with self-identified AS, who typically do not want to be cured and are proud of their identity, and parents of children with AS, who typically seek assistance and a cure for their children.
This may also explain the split between the IEET readers.
392 readers responded to this poll
As of this morning millions of people in the Northeast of the United States are still without power, and many are stranded in homes damaged by flooding with transportation blocked by fallen trees. We hope you are all safe and restored as soon as possible.
What happens when you mix Sartre’s Existentialism with Existential Risks? Human responsibility and being true to oneself (not lying to oneself) becomes a center point for experts, “leaders”, intellectuals, and all of rational humanity.
Gradually in the next few weeks, there’s going to be a shift in staffing at IEET. Hank Pellissier - the present Managing Director - is handing over those duties to long-time IEET contributor Kris Notaro.
Paper presented at the 39th annual Bertrand Russell Society’s Conference. Russell was famous for writing about the future of humanity dealing with science, society, and politics. If he was alive today, he would surely be concerned about existential and catastrophic risks, but would put a negative and positive attitude towards emerging technologies in his classic Agnostic writing. He would also be very serious about the issues that lie ahead of us with strong philosophical and scientific arguments.
It’s a simple but very scary concept – that we live in an “Existential Atheistic Nihilist” world and universe. As Mike Treder wrote online “A clear comprehension and acceptance of existential reality, a recognition of ultimate truths – the absurd randomness, pointlessness, and futility of everything – can only be depressing for most of us and typically produces a bleak outlook.”... “This does not mean that existential nihilists, like me, must always be gloomy. We can and do still have fun, still care about others, still try to be good people. But we know, deep down, that it all adds up to nothing, and this leaves a dark hollowness at the center.”