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


MULTIMEDIA: Fiction Topics


Shifter: Live Action Sci Fi Short Film by the Hallivis Brothers

Into the Nexus—FastForward Radio

Some very funny sci-fi pranks and gags done on people

Beyond Machines: The Year 3000

Make: Believe - Making Movie Miniatures with Fon Davis

‪Nnedi Okorafor on The Africa Channel’s “Behind the Words” Part 1‬

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Fiction Topics

The Long Game (Short Story)

by Marcelo Rinesi

We might call the opening the Kasparov Gambit, with the (human) World Champion playing against the (AI) World Champion, the only match capable of drawing big audiences, large sponsorships, and, in the case of this quaintly dominant player in a decade that had resigned itself to a flawlessly trained phalanx of geniuses, the rare thrill of being the underdog.

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And Call it Justice (Science Fiction)

by Marcelo Rinesi

In a Texas left empty by global warming, the last outlaw and the last lawman face each other over a crime that might be too big for justice.

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Science Fiction and our Dreams of the Future

by David Brin

An essay in Wired: Is Dystopian Sci Fi Making us Fear Technology? ponders the pandemic plague of cheap dystopias and apocalypses and feudal fantasties that have metastacized and infected science fiction. Michael Solana muses that a certain amount of dire warnings can be a tonic, but it becomes poisonous in the kind of excess that we are now seeing, in which the fundamental rule seems to be “never show any possibility of a better world.”

Sci Fi Flicks! Some looks back and forward

by David Brin

Are we on the verge of the new Golden Age of science fiction cinema, in which it becomes about matters more interesting than explosions?  Let’s start as Ray Kurzweil and company give us a sneak peak at the forthcoming movie Autómata: “Starring Antonio Banderas, here we have a believable future (2044, thirty years from now) in which desertification is threatening society, and a single company is leading the way in intelligent robotics.” says one George Mason university blogger.  Indeed, it appears to be part of the new crop of films that treat AI with some attempts at subtlety.

Last Things: Cold Comfort in the Far Future

by Gregory Benford

Robert Frost’s famous imagery—fire or ice, take your pick—pretty much sums it up. But lately, largely unnoticed, a revolution has unwound in the thinking about such matters, in the hands of that most rarefied of tribes, the theoretical physicists. Maybe, just maybe, ice isn’t going to be the whole story. Of course, linking the human prospect to cosmology itself is not at all new. The endings of stories are important, because we believe that how things turn out implies what they ultimately mean. This comes from being pointed toward the future, as any ambitious species must be.

What would you do?

by Martin O'Shea

In breaking news an international conglomerate of scientists is to release their stem cell therapy rejuvenation injections next month. They have stated that for everyone injection paid for they will provide two free versions to designated countries and welfare recipients in non-designated countries.

The Treatment

by Jonathan Stars

Martin flicked away the news Vid. “They’re not giving me The Treatment, and that’s all there is to it.”
“So how you gonna stop them?” Shirley examined her nails as if they held the secrets to the universe.
He flung himself from the white couch and paced the living room, picking at his gray hair. “They don’t have the right.”
“Law says they do.” She rolled her hands out, palms up, and leaned back in the lounger. “Besides, it’s not so bad.”

Should Transhumanists Abandon the Corporatist Capitalist model?

by Khannea Suntzu

In Khannea SunTzu remarkable new novel she’ll never write - The NeoProgressive’s New Deal - the leader character, Cassandra Assange (Daughter of Julian Assange, born in 2003), is the target of literal micro drone assassination attempts, a vicious media campaign and endless incapacitating litigation. She became a political activist like her father in the mid 2020s, and exemplified the new counter-cultural ideal. Militantly lesbian and technoprogressive she gave birth of a clone of her wife, and her wife gave birth to a clone of Cassandra in the late 2020s.

Made for You

by Richard Stallman

Growing old, and having lost hope of finding love again, I read about the Lifemates Co-op and was intrigued.  “Mr or Ms Right doesn’t exist in nature.  If you want someone that was made for you, come to us.”  I made an appointment to visit their office and talk with a salesperson…

Nexus: Chapter 1 - The Don Juan Protocol (pages 9-18)

by Ramez Naam

Pages 9-18 of chapter 1 of the riveting science fiction book Nexus by Ramez Naam brought to you by the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. This is the last installment of Chapter 1 to be published on the IEET. You can order Nexus via Amazon by clicking Here

Nexus: Chapter 1 - The Don Juan Protocol (pages 1-8)

by Ramez Naam

First nine pages of chapter 1 of the riveting science fiction book Nexus by Ramez Naam brought to you by the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. Check back here tomorrow for another nine pages of this fascinating book!

Nexus by Ramez Naam, Reviewed by IEET’s Katherine McCarthy

by Katherine McCarthy

If it isn’t the cinematic handling of some very futuristic images or the curious immersion of cybernetic pondering into the narrative flow; Ramez Naam’s Nexus will impress a reader with one very unusual device: it is the unadulterated humanity with its entire heritage that is the most alien and unfamiliar of this world.

Existence, Uplift, and Science News

by David Brin

David Brin here, coming back for one of my infrequent guest blogs. Amid the election, I’ll alternate political posts (also to be found at http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/) with others about science, fiction and the future.  And so, for relief, let’s have a miscellany of cool techie stuff!

St. William at the Pearly Gates (Science Fiction)

by Nathaniel K. Miller

What happens at the funeral of Bill Gates - “pioneering post-humanist” - when he dies at the age of three hundred?

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Virus (Science Fiction)

by Jonathan Dotse

Hacking is dangerous in the future world of IEET’s Ghanaian contributor. Dela’s inexperienced ‘biocore’ takes on a ‘Grid hub’ in Accra…

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Turning off, Turning On (Science Fiction)

by Jaap Boekestein

Cyborg high-risk erotica… trusting each other intimately… turning off safety protocols… adjusting bio-levels… using non-recommended software…

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“Singular” Chapter 1 (Fiction)

by Travis James Leland

IEET Contributor Travis James Leland offers the first chapter of his current work-in-progress, about the world’s first posthuman being and how he impacts the world. In this selection, we meet Alpha and his online girlfriend, ‘Loo. They are attracted to each other online. Should they risk a meat-meeting?

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by Katherine McCarthy

Disturbingly beautiful science fiction by a new IEET contributor. What’s it about? “Catastrophic implications of a literal technological virus that finds its host in human brain tissue.”

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In Memory of Old Tools (Fiction)

by Jaap Boekestein

‘It won’t hurt,’ assured the little medbot. It looked all efficient and professional, but it had a nice female voice. A voice you trusted.

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Kingmaker (Fiction)

by Hugh Marman

“You know they’re calling you the kingmaker?”

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When Evening Comes (Fiction)

by Beth Turnage

“The apocalypse came, but not in the way we expected. There was no violent overthrow of governments, no alien invasion, no deadly Armageddon between nations or even of “good” and “evil”. Rather a genius, some say a madman threw, literally threw, his Gift into the waters of the world and it was forever changed.

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Floating Butterflies

by Jaap Boekestein

When we become immortal, visiting “old friends” for nostalgic reminiscing will require an enormous amount of time. But - we’ll have eternity at our disposal… Here’s a short Science Fiction gem from a new contributor.

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IEET Wants Short Science Fiction

IEET wants short science fiction pieces that reflect on the social, moral, political, economic or philosophical consequences of future technologies, in particular pieces that touch on the IEET’s core issues - the ethics and policy dimensions of life extension, human enhancement, moral enhancement, non-human personhood, structural unemployment and catastrophic risks.

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IEET Looking for Short Science Fiction

IEET wants short science fiction pieces that reflect on the social, moral, political, economic or philosophical consequences of future technologies, in particular pieces that touch on the IEET’s core issues - the ethics and policy dimensions of life extension, human enhancement, moral enhancement, non-human personhood, structural unemployment and catastrophic risks. 

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The Ontociders (Chapter I: The End of the World)

by Marcelo Rinesi

Do you savor your science fiction dark and wry? If so, you’ll enjoy this twist on the apocalyptic-zombie motif from IEET’s Associate Director.

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by David Brin

One of the most vexing questions for technoprogressives and transhumanists is how to maintain the hard-won gains toward political equality among citizens as we become more diverse in our bodies and abilities. Francis Fukuyama pointed to the challenge in Our Posthuman Future, and Nicholas Agar addressed the issue in Humanity’s End. Technoprogressives believe that an expanded transhuman solidarity is possible if enhancement is made widely and equitably available, and if we we fight for a society committed to the rights of all persons. But it won’t be easy. In this story David Brin reflects on political and even theological challenges of the advent of a society with radical enhancement.

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by Daniel Hero

Global fertility is declining so fast that, at current linear trends, global population would stabilize in this century at 9 or 10 billion. Progress in agriculture, energy and manufacturing technologies will hopefully make it possible to support these numbers in an increasingly ecologically sustainable way. But accelerating progress in the treatment of disease and slowing of aging will also be pressing down mortality rates, keeping unsustainable population growth a threat. Some have suggested that draconian controls on fertility would be an acceptable trade-off for the benefits of longer lives. This short story by Daniel Hero suggests another possible adaptation to the longevity-population dilemma. - J.

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by Janine Donoho

Intelligent life is a fragile accident in an indifferent universe, and the first duty of intelligent life is to figure out how to transform itself and its environment in order to survive. Unfortunately intelligent creatures sometimes evolve suicidally conservative memetic straitjackets - condoms are a sin, the climate isn’t changing, doing this ghost dance will stop bullets, unregulated markets are always right.  In this short story Ms. Donoho imagines a far future descendant of ours forced to witness the unnecessary deaths of the descendants of today’s Luddites and bioconservatives.

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by Alex McGilvery

One of the catastrophic risks that technoprogressives take more seriously than most policy analysts is the emergence of self-willed artificial intelligence and robotics. We are skeptical of the focus on “hard take-off” scenarios, which tend to lead to fatalistic or magical thinking approaches to risk mitigation, and we emphasize instead the importance of incremental steps such as regulation of computing to avoid the creation of self-willed machine minds until we have a better handle on how to safely integrate them. In this short story Alex imagines one way that the tension between human control and the self-awareness of machine minds might play out.

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by Mike Treder

I should mention that the IEET staff read the fiction submissions without the authors’ names on them. So the fact that a submission from our former Managing Director was selected was not the nepotism that it might otherwise appear to be. Mike reflects here thoughtfully on the generation gap we already see playing out between those accustomed to more-or-less attentive face-to-face communication, and the younger generation who are growing used to a fragmented attention that makes little distinction between face-to-face and virtual presence. - J. Hughes

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