Hank Pellissier Topics
Transhumanism’s Goal is to Increase Our Capacity for Love - interview with James Ledford by Hank Pellissier
Transhumanists have multiple goals - to live longer, to be more intelligent, to enhance the physical body physically. But what about our feelings? Do we want to “upgrade” our emotional capacity? James McLean Ledford believes the primary goal of transhumanism is to “increase our capacity to love.” I interviewed him via email below:
Our Narcissistic Politicians - should MRI brain scans be required of all candidates? by Hank Pellissier
We want our government officials to be brain-healthy, right? With sanity, integrity, and high moral values?
Sadly, the inverse seems true. Psychologists claim many of our politicians have Narcissist Personality Disorder.
What is a narcissist? What’s the precise definition of this personality malfunction that afflicts 1 - 3% of the population? With huge percentiles on Wall Street and in Washington DC?
The Future of SubSaharan Africa - interview with Michael Lee by Michael Lee
Michael Lee is a futurist who founded the World Future Society’s Southern African Chapter and the Institute of Futurology. He’s also an IEET contributing writer. His point-of-view is an essential contribution to IEET’s African Futures Project.
“My Life With Bipolar Disorder: Non-Pharma Treatments” - interview with Gareth John (Part 2) by Hank Pellissier
Gareth John is an IEET reader and supporter who lives in Mid Wales; he’s an ex-Buddhist priest with a MA in Buddhist Studies at the University of Bristol, and a PhD focusing on non-monastic traditions of Tibetan tantric Buddhism. He has Bipolar disorder. In this Q & A, he generously shares his experience. This is Part 2 of two parts.
“My Life With Bipolar Disorder” – interview with Gareth John (Part One) by Hank Pellissier
Gareth John is an IEET reader and supporter who lives in Mid Wales; he’s an ex-Buddhist priest with a MA in Buddhist Studies at the University of Bristol, and a PhD focusing on non-monastic traditions of Tibetan tantric Buddhism. He has Bipolar disorder. In this Q & A, he generously shares his experience.
Hank Pellissier: Can you explain in your own words what Bipolar disorder is, for our readers?
Gareth John: Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out daily tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.
Want USA Colleges to be Free? Nationalize Energy; Tax Churches; Halt Offshore Tax Evasion by Hank Pellissier
“Free college education for all Americans would be wonderful… it’s a Bernie Sanders goal, and I like it.”
I stated this opinion of mine at a family gathering last weekend. My conservative relatives glared.
“He’s a socialist!” Mom grumbled. She’s leaning towards Ben Carson.
“How you going to pay for that?” Cousin Richard demanded. He’s a Southern California lawyer, happy with Trump. “Where you going to get the money? It’s just not there!”
IEET is now Bi-Coastal - co-headquarters in Connecticut and California
IEET has been headquartered in Connecticut for 10.5 years, ever since its inception. But now - to bring us closer to our numerous West Coast associates and our immense audience there - we’ve expanded into a think tank with Twin Hubs.
Do Transhumanists View Overpopulation as a Global Threat? - interview with Steve Fuller by Hank Pellissier
Transhumanists often disregard overpopulation as a serious problem; perhaps many just accept the relaxed viewpoint Max More expressed in his essay “Superlongevity Without Overpopulation” published in 2005. I am guilty of that mimicry — in 2009 I supported More’s analysis in my hplusmagazine.com essay “To Breed or Not To Breed?”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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:
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.
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.”
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]…”
“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.
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.
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?
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:
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.”
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.”
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”
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 employees, preschool 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?
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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