Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Philosophy

BlockCon 2017
March 28-29
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore




MULTIMEDIA: Philosophy Topics

Bernie Sanders Warns About Dangers Of Corporate-Controlled Media

How to Ethically Analyze Reproductive Technologies

How AI can bring on a second Industrial Revolution

The Ethics of AI

Moral Machines: From Machine Ethics to Value Alignment

Mathew Liao – AI and Moral Status

Einstein Refused To Accept The Disordered Universe

The Free Press: How a War on Truth Threatens Democracy

Why Socrates Hated Democracy

Blockchain – The Building Blocks for a New Society, with Vince Meens

A political party for women’s equality

Voting Reformation: 3 Alternate Approaches to Participatory Democracy

What Is Obama’s Legacy? Was There Hope and Change in A “Post-Racial” America

Aaron Wright on Blockchains and the Law

The Coming Transhuman Era




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Philosophy Topics




Can We Evolve Fast Enough to Survive?

by John G. Messerly

In response to my post, “Yes, America Is Descending Into Totalitarianism,” the computer game designer Chris Crawford, shared some good news in yesterday’s post—Trump may be impeached. Later he shared his bad news:



Plantoids: The Birth of a Block-Chain-Based Lifeform

by B. J. Murphy

In the age of robotics, the question of life continues to be a puzzling matter of debate. As creatures of biological code, are we more alive than those made up of digital code? Questions like this are debated more so today than at any other time in history.



IEET Fellow Stefan L. Sorgner live on German public radio

IEET Fellow Prof. Dr. Stefan Lorenz Sorgner will be interviewed live on German public radio next Friday. There will also be the option of calling in and asking a question. The radio program will take place on Friday the the 6th of January from 8 until 9 pm. The interview will be particularly concerned with some of his suggestions from his most recent monograph on transhumanism. There will also be a podcast based on this interview!



Major Ideas in Henry Giroux’s “Orwell, Huxley and America’s Plunge into Authoritar

by John G. Messerly

Orwell, Huxley and America’s Plunge into Authoritarianism,” Counterpunch, June 19, 2015, by Henry Giroux, the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest in the English and Cultural Studies Department and a Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Ryerson University.



Summary of Umberto Eco on Fascism & Its Connection to Trump

by John G. Messerly

I venture the challenging statement that if American democracy ceases to move forward as a living force, seeking day and night by peaceful means to better the lot of our citizens, fascism will grow in strength in our land. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt



Should Facebook Censor the News?

by Rick Searle

In the era of information wars knowledge of the past is perhaps the only way we can remain anchored to reality. Such collective memory shouldn’t only consist of an accurate record of the facts, but would also include a sense of the history of knowledge and inforwar itself.



Michael Brenner’s: “How Autocracy Will Come To America”

by John G. Messerly

Another great piece about the rise of American authoritarianism that I’ve read recently is “How Autocracy Will Come To America” by Michael J. Brenner. Brenner is a Senior Fellow, the Center for Transatlantic Relations, and Professor of International Affairs at University of Pittsburgh. Brennan argues that anti-democratic sentiments are clearly leading the way toward fascism. He begins like this:



Eliezer Yudkowsky on Politics – Part 2

by John G. Messerly

Our two previous posts showed how prospect theory in behavioral economics explains why so many gambled on Trump, and why the artificial intelligence and decision theory expert Eliezer Yudkowsky thinks that this was a mistake. In a post written the day before the election, Yudkowsky expanded on both themes, providing a simple explanation of how many of the gamblers reasoned:



IEET Affiliate Scholar Steve Fuller Publish in Confero Journal

The Swedish philosophy journal Confero has just published a special issue on ‘Transhumanist Politics, Education and Design’, which includes an article by IEET Affiliate Scholar, Steve Fuller, on morphological freedom.

Link to Confero



Thiel Fellowships, Singularity University, and the value of good old-fashioned universities

by Ben Goertzel

This Business Insider article on the outcome so far of the Thiel Fellowship experiment is interesting, though not surprising..



It May Not Feel Like Anything To Be an Alien

by Susan Schneider

Humans are probably not the greatest intelligences in the universe. Earth is a relatively young planet and the oldest civilizations could be billions of years older than us. But even on Earth, Homo sapiens may not be the most intelligent species for that much longer.



IEET Fellow Prof. S. Sorgner nominee in the category Ethics for the World Technology Awards 2016

IEET Fellow Prof. S. Sorgner was a nominee in the category Ethics for the World Technology Awards 2016 (http://www.wtn.net/summit-2016/nominee)



The Logical Space of Algocracy (Redux)

by John Danaher

(The following is, roughly, the text of a talk I delivered to the IP/IT/Media law discussion group at Edinburgh University on the 25th of November 2016. The text is much longer than what I actually presented and I modified some of the concluding section in light of the comments and feedback I received on the day. I would like to thank all those who were present for their challenging and constructive feedback. All of this builds on a previous post I did on the ‘logical space of algocracy’)



Necessary Sacrifices: Saving the White Working Class from Neoliberalism?

by Benjamin Abbott

In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election, various class-struggle leftists have been emphasizing neoliberalism as the culprit and highlighting the plight of the white working class. Proponents of these analyses exhort us to organize with the white working class for economic justice as a key component of antiracism.



Trumponomics

by Rick Searle

So, literally overnight, we entered the stage of the great normalization. We’ve gone from the almost universal belief among the elites, media and a large number of the American public that electing Trump would be a disaster for the country, the economy, our liberty to an apparent shrug of the shoulders and sycophantic search for advantage in the new order.



A Summary of Plato’s Political Theory and American Politics 2016

by John G. Messerly

Plato argued that we can’t have a good lives without good government, and he also believed that we can’t have good governments without intellectually and morally excellent leaders.



Summary of: “How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds”

by John G. Messerly

I recently read an article in The Atlantic by Tristan Harris, a former Product Manager at Google who studies the ethics of how the design of technology influences people’s psychology and behavior. The piece was titled: “The Binge Breaker” and it covers similar ground to his previous piece “How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist”.



The Trolley Problem and the Making of a Superhero for Transhuman Times

by Steve Fuller

A slight amended version of this article appears on the 24 October 2016 edition of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Religion & Ethics website, under the title: “The ‘Trolley Problem’ and the Problem of Moral Progress: Postscript to the Trial of Jesus for Transhuman Times

The discourse of transhumanism is notorious for its liberal appeal to ‘enhancement’: ‘physical enhancement’, ‘cognitive enhancement’, ‘moral enhancement’, etc. Much if not most of the discussion is speculative – but in any case, it is aspirational.

 



Alter futurism Manifesto 21

by Pedro Villanueva

Neo Futurism is a movement of the 21st century and developed in the area of design, Urbanism and architecture. This movement could be seen as a deviation from the postmodern attitude. Neo Futurism represents an idealistic belief in the future better. We can read The Neo Futuristic City Manifesto written by Vito di Bari.



Building a Better Human With Science Revisited

by John G. Messerly

My last post discussed public opposition to “Building a Better Human With Science.” People are generally skeptical of both futuristic technologies as well the scientists developing them. It also turns out that future technologies are disproportionately opposed by religious persons, and most accepted by the least religious. This confirms my experience teaching transhumanism in college classes over the decades—a religious worldview is a good predictor of opposition to new technologies.



“Building a Better Human With Science? The Public Says, No Thanks”

by John G. Messerly

A recent piece New York Times article, “Building a Better Human With Science? The Public Says, No Thanks,” reports on a new survey by the Pew Research Center which show public skepticism about improving the physical and intellectual life of the human species. As reported, “Americans aren’t very enthusiastic about using science to enhance the human species. Instead, many find it rather creepy.”



Pour un transhumanisme « open source »

by Alexandre Maurer

Dans les œuvres de fiction, le transhumanisme s’inscrit souvent dans un futur dystopique dominé par l’argent et les multinationales. C’est notamment le cas du jeu Deus Ex, dont le dernier épisode a attiré l’attention des médias.



Breaking into the Simulated Universe

by Eliott Edge

I argued in my 2015 paper “Why it matters that you realize you’re in a Computer Simulation” that if our universe is indeed a computer simulation, then that particular discovery should be commonplace among the intelligent lifeforms throughout the universe.  The simple calculus of it all being (a) if intelligence is in part equivalent to detecting the environment (b) the environment is a computer simulation (c) eventually nearly all intelligent lifeforms should discover that their environment is a computer simulation.  I called this the Savvy Inevitability.  In simple terms, if we’re really in a Matrix, we’re supposed to eventually figure that out.



Le syndrome 1984 ou Gattaca

by Julien Varlin

On accuse souvent le transhumanisme d’être la porte ouverte à une société dystopique totalitaire et à des inégalités extrêmes. Et si on se trompait de cible ?



Why Non-Natural Moral Realism is Better than Divine Command Theory

by John Danaher

It’s been a while since I wrote something about theism and morality. There was a time when I couldn’t go more than two weeks without delving into the latest paper on divine command theory and moral realism. More recently I seem to have grown disillusioned with that particular philosophical joy ride. But last week Erik Wielenberg’s new paper ‘Euthyphro and Moral Realism: A Reply to Harrison’ managed to cross my transom. I decided I should read it.



Brexit for Transhumanists: A Parable for Getting What You Wish For

by Steve Fuller

For the past two years, Zoltan Istvan has been campaigning for the US presidency on the Transhumanist Party, a largely one-man show which nevertheless remains faithful to the basic tenets of transhumanism. Now suppose he won. Top of his policy agenda had been to ensure the immortality of all Americans. But even Zoltan realized that this would entail quite big changes in how the state and society function. So, shortly after being elected president, he decides to hold a national referendum on the matter.



What democracy’s future shouldn’t be

by Rick Searle

As William Gibson has famously pointed out, the job of the science fiction writer is not to predict the future but to construct one plausible version of it from the pieces already laying around.  I assume that Malka Older was trying to do this deliberately low key Gibsonian thing with her novel Infomacracy, but given the bizarre nature of this current election cycle she instead, and remarkably, ended up anticipating not merely many of its real or feared events, but even ended her novel on the same note of exhaustion and exasperation and even dread resulting from the perceived failures of representative democracy now expressed by many among the elites, and from another the other angle, the young.



IEET Scholars Cited in New Book ‘The Posthuman Body in Superhero Comics’

Many of IEET’s scholars have been published in new book, The Posthuman Body in Superhero Comics, this book “examines the concepts of Post/Humanism and Transhumanism as depicted in superhero comics. Recent decades have seen mainstream audiences embrace the comic book Superhuman.” (Palgrave)

Buy Here

Link to The Posthuman Body in Superhero Comics



Interdire le transhumanisme ?

by Marc Roux

Le neuro-oncologue François Berger s’apprête, avec des confrères, à lancer un appel à un moratoire contre le transhumanisme. Ce serait, à notre connaissance, une première mondiale. Voici notre réaction.



Have you ever inspired the greatest villain in history? I did, apparently

by David Orban

In 2010 when I organized the H+ Summit conference at Harvard University, together with my friend Alex Lightman, I would not have imagined that it would be a key event in the history of Inferno. Instead it seems that, according to the protagonists of the book, the villain of the story got his ideas at the conference. On Saturday, October 15 I organized a special screening of the film Inferno, with SingularityU Milan, followed by a debate on the limits of technology and how to apply it in a positive direction for the development of humanity.

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