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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Life

Sorgner @ Posthuman Politics
September 25-28
University of the Aegean, Lesbos, Greece


Sorgner on “three types of posthuman perfection”
September 30
Erlangen, Germany


CyborgCamp ‘14
October 2-4
MIT's Media Lab, 75 Amherst St. Cambridge, Boston MA, USA


Brin @ TERADYNE Corp. biannual internal technical conference.
October 7
San Diego, CA USA


Brin on the future of technological change.
October 10
NY, NY USA


Brin @ New York Comic-con
October 11-12
NY, NY USA


Brin @ University of Kansas
October 13
University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS USA




MULTIMEDIA: Life Topics

Politics & Abolition From Suffering

Primer on Nuclear Fusion and Photos from the People’s Climate March (Sep, 21, 2014)

On Wellbeing, Bliss and Happiness

The World Transhumanist Association (WTA)

A message about the power of free expression

Secrets of the Mind: Can Science Explain Consciousness? (34 min)

Popular Science picks best inventions for 2014

Access for Everyone: A Model for Free Online Learning, with Duolingo’s Luis von Ahn

Morality Lessons for Robots

What is Transhumanism? – the 3 Supers

Beyond The People’s Climate March

Multitask Humanoid Control with a Brain-Computer Interface

Cell-mediated Delivery of Nanoformulated Antioxidants for Treatment of Neurodegenerative Disorders

Singularity 1 on 1: Practopoiesis Tells Us Machine Learning Is Not Enough!

A Debate on the Right to be Forgotten




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Life Topics




How We’re Turning Digital Natives Into Etiquette Sociopaths

by Evan Selinger

Let’s face it: Technology and etiquette have been colliding for some time now, and things have finally boiled over if the recent spate of media criticisms is anything to go by. There’s the voicemail, not to be left unless you’re “dying.” There’s the e-mail signoff that we need to “kill.” And then there’s the observation that what was once normal — like asking someone for directions — is now considered “uncivilized.”



Religious Trauma Syndrome: How Some Organized Religion Leads to Mental Health Problems

by Valerie Tarico

At age sixteen I began what would be a four year struggle with bulimia.  When the symptoms started, I turned in desperation to adults who knew more than I did about how to stop shameful behavior—my Bible study leader and a visiting youth minister.  “If you ask anything in faith, believing,” they said.  “It will be done.” I knew they were quoting the Word of God. We prayed together, and I went home confident that God had heard my prayers.



The human experience: cave-dwellers to an amazing ‘magical future’

by Dick Pelletier

Historians place the beginning of culture about 10,000 years ago, when our early ancestors abandoned hunter-gathering in favor of settling into communities, cultivating crops, and domesticating live stock.



Charlie Brooker’s ‘Black Mirror’ - Analysis and Review

by George Bickers

‘Black Mirror’ purports to be one thing - “a hybrid of The Twilight Zone and Tales of the Unexpected that taps into our contemporary unease about the modern world”, and a single viewing of any episode will affirm this statement. Covering issues of privacy, mob justice, televisual spectacle, relationships in the modern age and the movement of communication, ‘Black Mirror’ ties all these strands together through our use of technology.



Stupidest Budget Cuts Ever – or, Why Cutting Contraception Is Not Conservative

by Valerie Tarico

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A stitch in time saves nine. One dollar spent on contraception saves three on pregnancy and newborn care, and that is just the beginning.




The Importance of Qualia to Transhumanism and Science pt1

by Kris Notaro

This is a starting point to investigate the ongoing mission of computer scientists to create AI which is self-aware and conscious. Is qualia simply materialist/physicalist information? What is going on with all the biological experiments done on people and animals?



“Alpha Thinkers” are the Transhuman Wave of the Future

by Eric Schulke

Alpha thinkers are creatives, innovators, pioneers. They acutely and agilely navigate an abundance of diverse, fallacy aware thinking.



Sub-Saharan Africa’s expectation gap

by Lee-Roy Chetty

Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) exhibited significantly better economic and social indicators than Asia in the immediate post-independence era in the 1960s. Existing historical records and evidence suggest that the region had higher average per capita income and better human development indicators.



The Ubiquitous Conflict between Past and Future

by Rick Searle

Perhaps one of the best ways to get a grip on our thoughts about the future is to look at the future as seen in the eyes of the past. This is not supposed to be a Zen koan to cause the reader’s mind to ground to a screeching halt, but a serious suggestion. Looking at how the past saw the future might reveal some things we might not easily see with our nose so close to the glass of contemporary visions of it. A good place to look, I think, would be the artistic and cultural movement of the early 20th century that went under the name of Futurism.



My Shockingly Ordinary Rape Story— and What I Want to Tell my Daughters

by Valerie Tarico

In the summer of 1983, I was ambling along a beach in Ecuador talking and flirting with a local high school boy. We rounded a curve. The long open stretch we had been walking disappeared from sight and we were alone—or almost alone. Ahead of us on a rocky outcropping four guys sat, watching the shore. As we approached, they hopped down and sauntered toward us.



Virtual Assistants

by Valkyrie McGill

I should in all fairness start by telling you I am not an Apple fan. I haven’t been one since Apple was founded, and haven’t seen much evidence over the years for a need to change my opinion of them. But even I have to grudgingly admit that Apple has provided significant contributions to the advancement of technology.



Questions I am frequently asked about… (Part IV) Prediction and the Future

by David Brin

Continuing this compilation of questions that I’m frequently asked by interviewers. This time about…..



Home enhancement

by Ilkka Vuorikuru

As the world gets more and more wired, the wire has to turn inside, that is: inside our culture. This means more of our everyday experiences are liable to change. And it’s very likely that our slow pacing culture will fall behind.



The Dublin Declaration on Secularism and Advancing Australia’s Secularism

by Russell Blackford

Russell Blackford on The Dublin Declaration on Secularism and Advancing Secularism in Australia. How will the church, the state, and the people decide on the need for a secular government?



Prominent Gamifiers: Andrea Kuszewski on the Science of Gamification and Motivation

by Andrea Kuszewski

What makes receiving a badge for completing a task so exciting? Why does seeing a progress bar almost full make us itch until we finish it? Gamification—the combination of game-design principles and elements—implements cognitive psychology and decision-making theory as its scientific foundation. If gamification were stuffed shells, science is the shell, and everything else is stuffing.



Should pornography be considered “speech”? (Part Two)

by John Danaher

This is the second part in my series looking at pornography and the free speech principle. The series is focusing on the arguments analysed in Andrew Koppelman’s article “Is Pornography “Speech”?”. In part one, we looked at Frederick Schauer’s argument. In this post, we will look at John Finnis’s one. Both authors suggest that pornography is not covered by the FSP.



Teach the Children War

by David Swanson

The National Museum of American History, and a billionaire who has funded a new exhibit there, would like you to know that we’re going to need more wars if we want to have freedom.  Never mind that we seem to lose so many freedoms whenever we have wars.  Never mind that so many nations have created more freedoms than we enjoy and done so without wars.  In our case, war is the price of freedom.



Futures of Human Cultures

by Jamais Cascio

My friend Annalee Newitz, editor at io9.com, asked me a short while ago for some thoughts on the possible futures of human cultures. The piece (which also includes observations from folks like Denise Caruso, Maureen McHugh, and Natasha Vita-More) is now up, and is a fun read. And while I captures the flavor of what I said, here's the (slightly edited to fix typos) full text of my reply to Annalee…



Raising the Digital Generation

by Andy Miah

Even before my two-year-old son was born, digital technology engulfed his life. We spent money on a 4D ultrasound scan, which gave us a glimpse of him a few weeks before he arrived. We used apps on our mobile phones to monitor my wife’s contractions and, when he eventually did arrive, his first few minutes were captured on a digital camera, and a video monitor ensured we never worried about his safety, nor needed to rush to attend to him when he cried. It even played lullabies to help him sleep.



A Contraceptive Revolution: Lowering remaining barriers

by Valerie Tarico

Imagine a future in which every child is a chosen child.Imagine a future in which a woman becomes fertile only when she wants to have a child—a future in which high school and college students can pursue their dreams and women can plan their lives according to their own values without being derailed by a surprise pregnancy. Imagine a future in which every child is a chosen child.



The value of technology: The USA will not decline any time soon

by piero scaruffi

In the age of self-defeatism it may sound strange to claim that the USA has never been so powerful, but critics forget that technology has always been a major driver of conquest and supremacy.



End of aging: life in a world where people no longer grow old and die

by Dick Pelletier

If predictions by future thinkers such as Aubrey de Grey, Robert Freitas, and Ray Kurzweil ring true - that future science will one day eliminate the disease of aging - then it makes sense to consider the repercussions a non-aging society might place on our world.



The coming Golden Age of neurotech

by Giulio Prisco

All seems to indicate that the next decade, the 20s, will be the magic decade of the brain, with amazing science but also amazing applications. With the development of nanoscale neural probes and high speed, two-way Brain-Computer interfaces (BCI), by the end of the next decade we may have our iPhones implanted in our brains and become a telepathic species. Ramez Naam’s great sci-fi novel NEXUS is a fascinating preview.



Should pornography be considered “speech”? (Part One)

by John Danaher

This post considers whether or not pornography should be covered by the free speech principle (FSP). According to this principle, all (or most) forms of speech should be free from government censorship and regulation. But this raises the question: which types of symbolic productions are covered by the FSP? And is pornography among them?



Potential drought resilience strategies for the Horn of Africa

by Lee-Roy Chetty

The Horn of Africa (HoA), which comprises of eight countries, has an estimated combined population of 210 million people and is one of the world’s most food-insecure and vulnerable regions on the planet, with the majority of the inhabitant’s pastoralists and agro-pastoralists, living on marginalized lands.



How Much Longer Until Humanity Becomes A Hive Mind?

by George Dvorsky

Last month, researchers created an electronic link between the brains of two rats separated by thousands of miles. This was just another reminder that technology will one day make us telepaths. But how far will this transformation go? And how long will it take before humans evolve into a fully-fledged hive mind? We spoke to the experts to find out.



Did My Daughter Have to Grow Up Because Selena Gomez Did?

by Evan Selinger

For the past few weeks, my six-year-old daughter has been obsessed with Selena Gomez reprising her role as Alex Russo on the Disney show Wizards of Waverly Place. Like many of her friends, Rory has seen every episode of Wizards and religiously listens to Selena's music.



The Ethics of a Simulated Universe

by Rick Searle

This year one of the more thought provoking thought experiments to appear in recent memory has its tenth anniversary.  Nick Bostrom’s paper in the Philosophical Quarterly “Are You Living in a Simulation?”” might have sounded like the types of conversations we all had after leaving the theater having seen The Matrix, but Bostrom’s attempt was serious. (There is a great recent video of Bostrom discussing his argument at the IEET). What he did in his paper was create a formal argument around the seemingly fanciful question of whether or not we were living in a simulated world. Here is how he stated it…



Corn, Ethanol, Farms, Food and the Logic of the Granary

by David Brin

I haven’t said much political in a while. Moreover, amid all the talk of budget balancing and sequesters, I’d like to shift attention to a topic that may - at first sight - seem a bit wonkish and detached: farm subsidies.  In fact, they are an area where Blue America remains frightfully ignorant and where the flood of entitlement spending merits closer attention, in times of near bankruptcy.



2113 (part one) – Immortality and Taxes

by Khannea Suntzu

It is the year 2113. It is a very strange future, and one that has been shaped by the world we are already forming. 2113 is a the result of good 21st century where people didn’t die, and there was no major collapse or instability, and very few people died. There was no “great reset” and humanity made it through a number of massive challenges. This 2113 is the best world we could have inherited out of many.

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