Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Life

Melanie Swan @ Rethink/ECONOMICS
September 15
ConsenSys, 49 Bogart Street, Brooklyn NY


Eurosymposium on Healthy Aging
September 29-1
Brussels, Belgium


Robotic Online Short Film Festival
November 20
Universidad Elche, Spain


Humans, Machines, and the Future of Work Conference
December 5-6
Rice University, Houston, Texas


BlockCon 2017
March 28-29
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore




MULTIMEDIA: Life Topics

Robot Overlordz - Emerging Citizens & Cyborgs

A small country with big ideas to get rid of fossil fuels

Rachel O’Dwyer on Bitcoin, Blockchains and the Digital Commons

Augmented Reality: Pokémon GO Is Only the Beginning

Meaning of Life TV Talks with IEET Exec. Director James Hughes

Is Dropping Out of College Throwing Your Life Away?

The jobs we’ll lose to machines — and the ones we won’t

Worrying about the Robo-pocalypse Is a First-World Problem

Can A Robot Feel?

Robots Must Pay For Their Crimes!

Can We Use Genetics To Build NEW Species?

Hey Bill Nye, Can We Bridge the Gap Between Science and Religion?

Why the Internet Is the Greatest Achievement of Any Civilization, Ever

Increase Your Productivity by Mastering Singular Focus and Mindful Meditation

Climate Change Formula: Rising Sea Levels + Coastal Megacities = Forced Migration




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Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List









Life Topics




Rising Sea Levels Threaten Nearly a Trillion Dollars Worth of US Homes

by George Dvorsky

Real estate database company Zillow is warning that nearly 1.9 million homes in the United States could be flooded by the end of the century. That’s about two percent of the nation’s total housing stock, amounting to $882 billion in value.



Interview with Gerd Leonhard and his New Book TECHNOLOGY vs. HUMANITY

by Gerd Leonhard

IEET Managing Director Steven Umbrello interviewed futurist and author Gerd Leonhard about his new book, Technology vs. Humanity.



Paralyzed Patients Learn to Walk Again Using Virtual Reality

by George Dvorsky

A groundbreaking new experiment shows that brain-machine interfaces, when used in conjunction with exoskeletons and virtual reality, can trigger partial recovery in patients recovering from spinal cord injuries.



IEET Affiliate Scholar Phil Torres Publishes New Paper in JET

Imagine that someone points a gun to your head and threatens to pull the trigger. How would you assess the overall risk of your situation? One possibility is to examine the gun: to determine its various properties, how powerful it is, the speed at which bullets emerge from the barrel, and so on. This is what many existential risk scholars have focused on with respect to existential risks: the range of technologies that could be used for harmful ends.

Full Story...
Link to Journal of Evolution and Technology



Liberalism’s Great Challenge: How Can We Critique Ideas while Protecting People?

by Valerie Tarico

Secular and reformist Muslims plead that we learn to tell the difference between analyzing ideas and attacking people.

When Islam is at question, members of the American Left and Right race into opposite corners. After the Orlando nightclub massacre, to cite one recent example, conservatives spewed anti-Muslim invective to the point that ordinary American Muslims were afraid to leave home.



Our emerging culture of shame

by Rick Searle

remember a speech that the novelist Tom Wolfe gave on CSPAN or some such back in the 1990s in which he said something like “Nietzsche predicted that the 20th century would be the age of ideology, and that the century after the age of morality, and I believe him” I’ve never been able to find the source of the quote, but the more the 21st century rolls on, the more I’m finding it to increasingly, frighteningly true.



Peter Thiel is Right About One Thing

by George Dvorsky

Billionaire douchebag Peter Thiel has plenty of crazy ideas, but his commitment to radical life extension isn’t one of them.



Global Warming Will Make It Nearly Impossible to Hold the Summer Olympics

by George Dvorsky

Olympic organizers have made climate change a central theme at the current games—and for good reason. A sobering new study shows that by the 2084 Olympics, rising temperatures will make it practically impossible for most cities to host the summer games.



Vote for IEET’s Managing Director’s Scholarship Competition

IEET Managing Director Steven Umbrello has entered a photo competition in order to be entered to win a scholarship for his graduate studies. In order to help him make the shortlist you can follow the link below to vote for his picture titled ‘Arrogance Dying’.

VOTE HERE



Shedding Light on Peter Thiel’s Dark Enlightenment

by Rick Searle

Lately I’ve been experiencing quite a bit of deja vu, and not in the least of a good kind. The recent bout was inspired by Ben Smith’s piece for BuzzFeed in which he struggled to understand how an Ayn Rand loving libertarian like the technologist Peter Thiel could end up supporting a statist demagogue like Donald Trump. Smith’s reasoning was that Trump represented perhaps the biggest disruption of them all and could use the power of the state to pursue the singularity and flying-cars Theil believed were one at our fingertips.



IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher Publishes New Paper on Moral Enhancement

IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher has a new paper coming out in the journal Neuroethics. This one argues that directly augmenting the brain might be the most politically appropriate method of moral enhancement. This paper brings together his work on enhancement, the extended mind, and the political consequences of advanced algorithmic governance. Details below:

Full Story...
Link to Neuroethics



Clones Age Normally, So Relax

by George Dvorsky

It’s been 20 years since the birth of Dolly the Sheep, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult. Because Dolly died prematurely, scientists have worried that cloning accelerates the aging process. But a new analysis of 13 cloned sheep—including a batch of Dolly’s genetic duplicates—shows this isn’t the case.



Vers une reconnaissance d’un droit à la longévité

by Hadrian Pourbahman

Hadrien Pourbahman, étudiant en Master 2 spécialisé en droit de la santé et des biotechnologies, a effectué un stage au sein de l’AFT Technoprog. Cet article synthétise ses travaux et fournit des références pour vous permettre d’approfondir les sujets.



Piketty on Free Higher Education and the Value of Meritocracy

by John Danaher

I have worked hard to get where I am. I come from a modest middle class background. Neither of my parents attended university. They grew up in Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s, at a time when the economy was only slowly emerging from its agricultural roots. I and my siblings were born and raised in the 1970s and 1980s, in an era of high unemployment and emigration. Things started to get better in the 1990s as the Irish economy underwent its infamous ‘Celtic Tiger’ boom. I did well in school and received a (relatively) free higher education, eventually pursuing a masters and PhD in the mid-to-late 2000s.



Taming the Human Data Stream

by Daniel Faggella

“Big Data” is more of an opportunity than it is a benefit in and of itself. This might hold even more true for data gleaned from the human body itself as it does from the information streams from stock markets and eCommerce.



Ancient Campfires May Have Unleashed Humanity’s Top Bacterial Killer

by George Dvorsky

The ability to control fire brought our ancestors countless benefits, but as a new study by Australian researchers suggests, it may have also triggered the spread of one of the worst blights to afflict our species: tuberculosis.



Is Death the Sculptor of Life or an Evil to be Vanquished?

by John Danaher

My friend Michael Hauskeller recently recommended a paper on academia.edu. It was by Davide Sisto and it was entitled “Moral Evil or Sculptor of the Living? Death and the Identity of the Subject”. I was intrigued. Longtime readers will know that I have, for some time now, been half in love with the philosophy of death. I am always keen to read a new perspective or take on the topic.



Most Americans Fear a Future of Designer Babies and Brain Chips

by George Dvorsky

Most American adults are nervous about the prospect of enhancing humans beyond normal capacities, a new Pew Research Center poll reveals. But while many of those surveyed expressed concerns about brain-boosting chips and designer babies, a significant number had a positive view of technology’s ability to transform humans and society.



Op-ed: Climate Change Is the Most Urgent Existential Risk

by Phil Torres

Climate change and biodiversity loss may pose the most immediate and important threat to human survival given their indirect effects on other risk scenarios.



The friction between necessity and special interests

by Khannea Suntzu

Societal disparity is a hot button topic sure to arouse emotions. Those who currently have or make comparatively more money as always follow heir self-interest and stick to decennia old post cold war talking points best summarized as “anyone who works hard will eventually be successful”. This is clearly a self-validating and wealth consolidating statement and it’s completely understandable from a zero sum perspective. For the lucky few at the top of the economic food chain any compelling statement that “if most people who work hard in life will not be successful”, pretty much means that society is injust and is subject to renegotiation. And we have been at a collective consensus in western society for centuries now that for statistical majorities of the population – society must be just.



Évolution naturelle ou évolution technologique ?

by Alexandre Maurer

Ce parallèle est-il pertinent ? Oui… et non. Dans cet article, nous tenterons d’en cerner les limites. Puis nous expliquerons pourquoi une évolution technologique (dans le cadre du transhumanisme) nous semble largement préférable.



A World Ruled by Networks

by Rick Searle

One of the more confusing characteristics of our age is how it trucks in contradiction. As a prime example: the internet is the most democratizing medium in the history of humankind giving each of us the capability to reach potentially billions with the mere stroke of a key. At the same time this communication landscape is one of unprecedented concentration dominated by a handful of companies such as Facebook Google, Twitter, and in China Baidu.



Record-Setting Hard Drive Writes Information One Atom At a Time

by George Dvorsky

Researchers working in the Netherlands have developed an atomic-scale rewritable data-storage device capable of packing 500 terabits onto a single square inch. Incredibly, that’s enough to store every book written by humans on a surface the size of a postage stamp. Holy shit.



Medical Harpoon Reduces Need for Open-Heart Surgery

by George Dvorsky

An experimental medical device called the Harpoon TSD-5 is proving its worth in clinical trials, repairing heart valves with perfect success—and without the need to perform open-heart surgery.



Crazy Detailed Brain Map Finds Nearly a Hundred New Regions

by George Dvorsky

Neuroscientists working on the Human Connectome Project have compiled the most accurate map yet of the human cerebral cortex. The researchers identified 180 distinct areas of the brain’s outer layer—effectively doubling the previous number of known regions.



Skepticism and the Meaning of Life

by John G. Messerly

I received a correspondence from a reader who wonders about “the triumph of judgment over spontaneity as we emerge from childhood into adulthood and the consequent obstacle it poses for living in psychic comfort.” In other words she worries about how to reconcile “a naturally felt purposefulness and zest for life against an intellectual sense of life’s essential pointlessness and its indifference to human concerns that give rise to the recognition of absurdity.” The only consolation she experiences is with her grandchildren “as they go about engaging the world with perfect unmediated wonder, boundless energy, and demands for attention.”



This Milk Lasts Up to Nine Weeks Without Spoiling

by George Dvorsky

Refrigerated pasteurized milk typically lasts about two to three weeks before turning into a wretched hive of scum and villainy. A new process developed by researchers at Purdue University extends the shelf life of milk up to 63 days—and without the benefit of added chemicals.



Transhumanist Hank Pellissier on Being an “Atheist Missionary”

by Hank Pellissier

Hank Pellissier is certainly an inimitable individual. As a transhumanist and humanitarian, he applies science and technology to inform his approach to alleviating suffering, such as through his efforts to supplement the diet of the Philippines’ Mangyan community with soylent to improve brain health and nutrition. Currently, his work as the director of the Brighter Brains Institute is focused in Uganda, where he spearheads projects to establish and support humanist schools, health clinics, and orphanages.



IEET Fellow Stefan Sorgner to be Featured on Public TV Show

An interview with IEET Fellow Stefan Lorenz Sorgner on transhumanism, evolution, and human perfection will be broadcasted as part of the following public TV show on the 30th of July at 5.30 pm:

http://www.hr-online.de/website/fernsehen/sendungen/index.jsp?rubrik=54283&key=standard_document_61118836



Longévité et surpopulation : déconstruire une idée reçue

by Alexandre Maurer

Lorsqu’on parle d’allonger radicalement l’espérance de vie, on se heurte à une objection quasi-systématique : “Mais cela va conduire à une crise de surpopulation !”

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