Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Hank Pellissier

Hughes, Brin, Anderson, Pellissier, Sirius, Gillis, Kuzsewski, Istvan @ Future of Politics Conferenc
October 19-
Oakland, California




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Hank Pellissier Topics




Meditation Apps Evaluated - “Headspace” Receives the Highest Score

by Hank Pellissier
Research from the School of Psychology and Counseling at Queensland University of Technology in Australia identified 700 apps associated with “mindfulness” on either iTunes and Google Apps Marketplace. Inclusion criteria was stringent; only apps that cost less than $10 were included.

Full Story...



Transhumanism will be a Victorious Revolution (my modest predictions)

by Hank Pellissier

I get annoyed when my friends and family tell me I’m going to die. They taunt me regularly, of course, because I’m a transhumanist, opposed to mortality.

“You’re a nutter,” says my British friend Paul.

“You’re just afraid of death,” says Curt.

“Everybody has to die, or the world will get over-populated,” says my 15-year-old daughter, indoctrinated by environmentalism.

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Obsolete the President - Replace with Direct Democracy (interview with Nicole Sallak Anderson)

by Hank Pellissier

Election day in the USA is fifteen months away. Every citizen is braced for the onslaught of bickering candidates, obsessive media attention, vicious advertising, and billions of dollars raised and spent to persuade us to pick a Leader.

A commander-in-chief of the military, a vetoer of bills, an appointee of judges, a figurehead, a symbol, an ambassador to the world - an instant super-celebrity that we will scrutinize and hate on and wonder what pets they’ll pamper in the White House and where they’ll take their kids on vacation.

It’s Boring and It Belittles Us.

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Africa’s Population Explosion: 5.6 Billion Forecast by 2100 - is this Catastrophic?

by Hank Pellissier

A recent United Nations study predicts Africa’s population will more than quadruple in the next 85 years, rising from today’s 1.2 billion to 5.6 billion.

Africans, if the present trend continues, will comprise 50% of the global population of 11 billion, by 2100.

The study, released by the UN Population Division director, John R. Wilmoth, in Seattle, suggests that Nigeria’s population will leap from today’s 182 million to 752 million people.

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Biafra Survives: the Igbo people, 45 years after the Civil War

by Hank Pellissier

The Biafra Civil War from 1967-1970 resulted when the small West African region – primarily populated by the Igbo tribe – attempted to secede from Nigeria, a former British colony.  An estimated 1-2 million people were killed in the conflict; 40% were Igbo children who died of starvation and malnutrition. The Igbo thought the global community would support them, but they gained little assistance, whereas Nigeria was massively armed by the British and Russians. Biafra was invaded and the Igbo were eventually subdued.

How are the Igbo doing today?  Have they survived economically? Are they participating in Nigerian political affairs?  Have enmities been forgiven?

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Thailand’s Royal Problem: Democratic Grumblings in The Land of Smiles

by Hank Pellissier

My family and I are the only “white people” on this flight to Thailand, where we’ll spend a 4-week vacation. My initial observation of Thais on our flight over is:

1) everyone is polite
2) everyone is smiling
3) everyone is quiet
4) no one is fat

Our fellow passengers are ethereally peaceful, with subtle Buddha-grins as they quietly move about in their slender forms. The Boeing interior is so silent it seems like we’re the only passengers:

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Free Will, Buddhism, and Mindfulness Meditation - interview with Terry Hyland

by Hank Pellissier

Terry Hyland is Emeritus Professor at University of Bolton, UK and Lecturer in Philosophy at Free University of Ireland, teaching courses in mindfulness. He has written over 150 articles, 19 book chapters and 6 books. His book Mindfulness and Learning was published by Springer in 2011. I interviewed him via email.

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Memory Erasure, Distortion & Fabrication - a Transhumanist Enhancement We Want?

by Hank Pellissier

Want to forget a tragic event or catastrophic relationship?

Want total recall of everything wonderful about your job or life or vacation or family, with deletion of the wretched aspects?

Want to feel camaraderie with your new in-laws, co-workers, or neighbors, but you weren’t there for all the deeply bonding moments?

If you answered “Yes” to anything above, Memory Manipulation is what you need, perhaps available in the future, via neuropsychologists who could specialize in “hippocampus tweaking.”

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Free Will Does Not Exist - Should it be a Transhumanist Enhancement?

by Hank Pellissier

Humans Do Not Have Free Will.

I agree with that statement. So do the vast majority of today’s scientists; neurology and psychology journals increasingly define free will as “an illusion… a figment of our imagination.”

In his 1932 “My Credo” Albert Einstein wrote “I do not believe in free will.”  In the best-seller Free Will, Sam Harris declares the notion “incoherent.” Neuro-philosopher Garrett Merriam opines in an IEET interview “the notion of ‘free will’.. [is a] useless concept… I have high hopes that neuroscience will…eliminate [it]…”

Full Story...



“H+ Clinic” is 100% Funded - Transhumanitarian Project in Uganda

by Hank Pellissier

“Transhumanitarians” have contributed hundreds of dollars via a GoFundMe campaign to establish a “H+ Clinic” in an isolated Ruwenzori mountain village of western Uganda.

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DIY Philanthropy - Four Simple Tips on Helping Directly

by Hank Pellissier

I critiqued the Effective Altruist movement in a previous essay, and suggested a superior alternative: DIY Philanthropy. My recommendation is to erase the ‘middleman” in charitable giving by donating directly to the people you want to assist. Instead of spending hours trying to decide the best non-profit to scribble a check to, you can travel directly to those in need and hand them cash, food, medicine or supplies. Face-to-Face.

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5 Ancient Ways to Survive Drought: Public Baths, Veganism, Nudity, Eco-Latrines, Eating with Hands

by Hank Pellissier

“Blue Gold.” Water is becoming dangerously rare and valuable in drought-stricken areas around the globe, including my home in California.

Today citizens in developed nations each wastefully splash away 100s of gallons per day. But what if fresh H2O continues to dwindle? Suppose humans were rationed a meager allotment, like 10, or 5, or even 2 gallons per day?

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Effective Altruism has Five Serious Flaws - Avoid It - Be a DIY Philanthropist Instead

by Hank Pellissier

In an earlier essay I recommended the Effective Altruism (EA) movement, the humanitarian crusade spearheaded by philosopher Peter Singer.

Today, I retract my support. Although EA’s core intention is morally commendable - donating “expendable income” to world-improving causes - there are multiple details in its strategy and organization that are sloppy, simplistic, ethically dubious and downright foolish.

It pains me to reach this conclusion. Here’s how it happened:

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Transhumanism: there are [at least] ten different philosophical categories; which one(s) are you?

by Hank Pellissier

In Nick Bostrom’s essay, Transhumanist Values, he states in the first sentence that transhumanism is “a loosely defined movement.”  Further into the essay, he lists five “examples of currents within transhumanism.”

They are:

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The “Immortality Bus” Will Soon Be Rolling Across America

by Hank Pellissier

The “Immortality Bus” - appearing as a 40-foot coffin - will soon be rolling down American highways as a “pro-science symbol of resistance against aging and death.”  The bus will stop at rallies and events to argue “for science and technology to overcome death.”

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IEET co-sponsors “Transhuman Superpowers and Longevity Conference” in Oakland, CA

The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology is co-sponsoring a conference in San Francisco’s East Bay, at Humanist Hall in Oakland, on July 12.

The event is called “Transhuman Superpowers and Longevity”

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Human Brain 2.0 - what is the most essential upgrade? Increased Rationality, Empathy, or Happiness?

by Hank Pellissier

Our human brains obviously needs improvement, in multiple different capacities. But - what is the most important upgrade? Increased Rationality? Increased Empathy? Elevated Happiness?

I posed this question to members of IEET’s new Advisory Board, and I received a variety of answers:

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My Gay Marriage in USA Prediction was Incredibly Wrong, by 20 Years - Hooray!

by Hank Pellissier

In one of my first IEET articles, State-by-State Gay Marriage Acceptance, written in September 2010, I predicted that gay marriage would become legal in all 50 United States by 2035, with Mississippi being the last holdout.

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Do You Fear Eugenics? China Does Not, and that’s a Problem - interview with Chad White

by Hank Pellissier

Four years ago I wrote a trio of essays that generated a barrage of hate mail. The feedback I received wasn’t 100% venomous, but it was more than 50% negative, with one essay getting a thumbs-down 80% of the time.

The three essays were Ban Baby-Making Unless Parents are Licensed, Why is the IQ of Ashkenazi Jews So High?, and Why is Confucian Culture so Wildly Successful?

My triplet articles were threaded together by a politically-incorrect taboo: Eugenics, also known by its more acceptable term - Human Genetic Engineering.

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Robots Should Play Football - Not Humans

by Hank Pellissier

For 140 years, American human male skulls have bashed each other on gridirons in the battle sport that brain-cripples many participants, leaving high schoolers dead, college students comatose, pro pigskin-players mentally-maimed.

Today, we hear regular reports of retired footballers wobbling forgetfully into awards banquets, crashing their cars suicidally, blowing their disturbed, demented & depressed brains out with revolvers.

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Should Politicians be Replaced by Artificial Intelligence? Interview with Mark Waser

by Hank Pellissier

Robotic Machines with Artificial Intelligence might soon replace farm laborers, factory workers, fast food employeespreschool teachers, airplane pilots, and car and truck drivers

Why? Because rational, focused machines are more efficient at these tasks; they’re cheaper to employ and less error-prone.

Should AI also replace politicians?

Full Story...



Pre-owned “American Girl Dolls” are Recycled to Support Girls Education in Uganda

by Hank Pellissier

An innovative project that recycles the popular American Girl Dolls is raising funds to help Uganda girls stay in school.

“World Girl Dolls” is capitalizing on the immense popularity and resale value of American Girl Dolls. The project, organized by Zenobia Lloyd (11-years-old) works like this:

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Three Transhumanist Organizations Fund “Science & Literacy Centre” in Uganda

by Hank Pellissier

The Mormon Transhumanist Association (MTA) members of the Christian Transhumanist Association,  and Alcor Life Extension Foundation  have teamed up to establish a “Science & Literacy Centre” in Kyarumba, a small village in western Uganda. The project has attained 100% of its funding via generous individuals who donated money primarily at the GoFundMe campaign site.

Full Story...



The Argument for Legalizing Psychedelics - Part 1: Cognitive Liberty and Creativity

by Hank Pellissier

Marijuana is increasingly being legalized; there are presently ten nations that have either decriminalized cannabis, or are moving rapidly in this direction.

Will psychedelics - psilocybin, LSD, peyote, ayahuasca - soon follow?

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BiZoHa (in Uganda): the World’s First Atheist Orphanage

by Hank Pellissier

Is every orphanage in the world operated by a religious organization?

Nope. Not any more.

BiZoHa Orphanage was launched by four members of the Brighter Brains Institute - a think-and-do tank located in San Francisco’s East Bay. BiZoHa is situated in Muhokya, in Kasese province, near the Rwenzori mountains of western Uganda, close to the Congo border.

BiZoHa is the world’s first atheist orphanage.

Full Story...



Hank Pellissier returns to IEET as Fundraiser & Interim Managing Director

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.

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Democratic Socialism - is it Ideal for Transhumanism?

by Hank Pellissier

Bernie Sanders, Senator from Vermont, is campaigning to be the next USA President.  He defines himself as a “Democratic Socialist” and praises Scandinavian nations. USA citizenry is largely puzzled and aghast:

“The only thing most American know about socialism is they don’t like it.” - Leo Huberman

In a survey of transhumanists, 16.9% described themselves as Socialist, 4.2% Marxist, 32.7% Liberal, 27.4 Libertarian, and 15.6 Moderate. The Transhumanist Party is running a candidate in 2016 - Zoltan Istvan. I’ll be posting a series of articles on transhumanist political positions.

In this first installment, I interview four contributors to IEET.

Full Story...



‘Let’s Kick Islam & Christianity out of Africa’ - interview with Nigerian activist Jd Otit

by Hank Pellissier

I am interested in “secularizing” Africa because I believe this would benefit the continent intellectually, socially, and economically. To help advance this goal I support Kasese Humanist Primary School, and I co-launched BiZoHa - the world’s first atheist orphanage.

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“60 is the new 30” - Transhuman Senior Fitness

by Hank Pellissier

Longevity and Brain Enhancement are the two primary ambitions of transhumanists, according to a survey conducted two years ago. This indicates that the “average transhumanist” is strongly motivated to keep his-or-her physical body and mental cognition in tip-top condition. These desires would be, it seems, even more emphasized in tranhumanists who were 55+ years old.

I am 62 – an age considered “old” by many – but I recently “resurrected my strength” using a combination of old-fashioned hard work + new-fangled technology. In only 4 months I became stronger than I’ve ever been in my life.

Full Story...



DIY Soylent wants to feed a starving school of indigenous children

by Hank Pellissier

Can DIY-Soylent cure the pangs of World Hunger? Can the alchemists of future food collect sufficient funds to fill the bellies of famished children?

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