Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Political Empowerment & Participation



MULTIMEDIA: Political Empowerment & Participation Topics

3 ways to fix a broken news industry

The Dark History Of Immigration Bans In The U.S.

Like It Or Not, Obamacare Affects Everyone

Americans Need Mexico, Here’s Why

Big Problems Brewing Between Trump And California…

Trump’s Lawyers Unprepared For Muslim Ban

Trump: Nobody’s Complaining About DAPL

Elizabeth Warren On Why Republicans Attempted To Silence Her

Jeff Sessions Confirmed As Attorney General

Why Trump and Obama’s Travel Bans Are Not The Same

Police Unions Want Obamas Reforms Gutted

Liberalism Under Siege: Mark Blyth, Margaret Weir with Ed Steinfeld

Andy Zee Talks RefuseFascism With John Iadarola On The Young Turks

MLK to BLM: The Internet and Civil Rights In 2017

Trump On Obamacare Repeal




Subscribe to IEET Lists

Daily News Feed

Longevity Dividend List

Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List









Political Empowerment & Participation Topics




Trump’s Lying Reveals That He Is Empty Inside

by John G. Messerly

Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late. ~ Jonathan Swift

In response to my recent post “Why Truth Matters,” Chris Crawford provided a biological explanation for Trump’s lying.



Is Class War as Inevitable as the Return of Karl Marx?

by David Brin

I’ve long written how we should envision America as a continuing revolution against the failed feudal model that crushed human hope in 99% of human societies, across 6000 years. Indeed, our major issues today have little to do with the hoary, lobotomizing “left-right axis.” Not when Enterprise, markets, entrepreneurship and national defense all do vastly better across Democratic administrations, and the state gathers more power into its hands, across Republican ones.



Start planning the revolution! In real life and in sci fi

by David Brin

First items you all have probably heard by now - news that Donald Trump’s senior staff all use the same RNC email server that mysteriously disappeared 22 million messages during George W. Bush’s administration and one that U.S. intelligence services believe was compromised by the Russians at the same time as the DNC’s. The Trump campaign hammered Hillary Clinton for her using a private email server, during her tenure as Secretary of State.  Also five members of DT’s staff turn out to have been registered to vote in more than one state.  Ah, consistency.



The USA Overthrows Democracies Abroad, Will They Overthrow Their Own?

by John G. Messerly

All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage—torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians—which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ‘our’ side.
~ George Orwell



Douthat’s “How Populism Stumbles” and Frum’s “How To Build An Autocracy”

by John G. Messerly

(I keep intending to return to my existential concerns about the meaning of life, but the troublesome situation in my home country keeps bringing me back to politics.)

In today’s New York Times conservative columnist Ross Douthat penned, “How Populism Stumbles.” Douthat argues that movements like Trump’s fail because of bigotry, extremism and, especially, hubris. With this in mind Douthat dismisses my worries about authoritarianism:



Want to Investigate Electoral Fraud? Start with whistle blowers and judo!

by David Brin

== Calling all henchmen! ==

I’ve called for this since way back in the last century, illustrating it in The Transparent Society and in novels like Earth. We must unleash whistleblowers on the world. Envision Edward Snowden and the Panama Papers revealer, only far more extensively, with protections and rewards that lure secrets out of shadows.



How Donald Trump Skillfully Taps into Twitter’s “Ocean of Emotional Chaos”

by Doug Rushkoff

Author Douglas Rushkoff, who coined the term “viral media,” reveals how POTUS successfully pushes buttons on the social media site, which “rewards those who can generate an immediate response.”



Fast Company - the Silver Lining of Anti-Globalism Might be the Creation of a True Digital Economy

by Doug Rushkoff

The folks at Davos this week are trying to behave as if everything is normal. Sure, England is Brexiting from Europe and the United States appears to be retreating from the global stage altogether. But somehow the word from Switzerland is that a mix of the right interest rates, investment strategies, and business optimism will keep free trade and globalization on course and safe from this boorish surge of populism.



CNN - Trump as A Job Creator - Hope or Hoax?

by Doug Rushkoff

The power of the tweet is in full force.

Corporations give the appearance of buckling under pressure from Donald Trump to create more jobs in America. GM just announced it will be investing $1 billion more in US factories, and hiring as many as 7,000 workers over the next two years. Walmart claims it will add 10,000.



Utopia Now!

by Rick Searle

Given all the chaos and pessimism lately and in light of the fact that with the inauguration of Trump we will be walking into very dangerous times, it’s perhaps a good moment for a little bit of hope, though the progressive rallies over the last few days certainly make me feel hopeful.



The new (and very old) political responsibility of data scientists

by Marcelo Rinesi

We still have a responsibility to prevent the ethical misuse of new technologies, as well as helping make their impact on human welfare a positive one. But we now have a more fundamental challenge: to help defend the very concept and practice of the measurement and analysis of quantitative fact.

Full Story...



While Democrats Chase Russians, Republicans Keep Rigging Elections

by Richard Eskow

What does it tell us when leading Democrats are more upset about alleged Russian election-rigging than they are about proven Republican election-rigging? After all, American oligarchs like the Koch Brothers have no more right to undermine our democracy than Russian oligarchs do.



By Picking Tillerson And Perry, Trump’s Pretty Much Just Trolling Us Now

by Richard Eskow

When it comes to Cabinet-level appointments, Donald Trump hasn’t lost his ability to astonish and dismay. At this point his staffing process has pretty much turned into an extended exercise in trolling, a test to see how much humiliation the American people will endure.



Is Trump A Legitimate President?

by John G. Messerly

In his blog Erasmatazz, Chris Crawford recently published the thoughtful piece: “The Crisis of Legitimacy.” His main thesis is that the legitimacy of Trump’s forthcoming presidency is very much in question. First of all, Clinton received almost 3 million more votes than Trump  so it is “reasonable to conclude that Mr. Trump won on a legal technicality …” In addition the legitimacy of the election itself is questionable, inasmuch as it was affected by Trump’s mendacity, fake news stories, FBI intervention, Russian influence, voter suppression targeting minority voters, flawed vote counting, and more. As Crawford puts it, the election hardly looks“free and fair”.



Beyond Resistance: The Story of 2016

by Richard Eskow

This is the time of year when people try to make sense of the preceding twelve months. It’s a fool’s errand, in one sense. A year is an arbitrary division of time. We decide what it means in retrospect, and we never get it exactly right. But the meaning we give it will guide our actions in the future, in thousands of conscious and unconscious ways.



The Dullest Moment In Trump’s Press Conference Was Also The Most Shocking

by Richard Eskow

“I’m also very much of a germaphobe, by the way, believe me.”

Try not to think too much about the story that led to this comment from the President-Elect of the United States. It’s not easy, I know. We’re only human, after all, and that story is so ... so out there. It’s hard to turn away.



Healthcare and Healthcare Ethics in the Trump Era

by Arthur Caplan

Hi. I am Art Caplan from the Division of Medical Ethics at the New York University Langone School of Medicine in Manhattan.

We have a newly elected president, Donald J. Trump. He will be making many changes to the policies of the Obama years. What will his election mean for healthcare? What will it mean for ethical issues that come up in the context of healthcare?



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:



Will Trump Be Impeached?

by John G. Messerly

Yesterday’s post, “Yes, America Is Descending Into Totalitarianism,” elicited a thoughtful response from Chris Crawford. I will publish his reply in two parts.



Yes, America is Descending in Totalitarianism

by John G. Messerly

“In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and that nothing was true. … Mass propaganda discovered that its audience was ready at all times to believe the worst, no matter how absurd, and did not particularly object to being deceived because it held every statement to be a lie …



Donald Trump, les mexicains et les robots

by Alexandre Maurer

Donald Trump a promis de ramener ses emplois à l’Amérique profonde. Mais qui les a vraiment “volé” ? Et si c’était en fait un faux problème ?

Published on 15 November 2016 on Technoprog



American Authoritarianism, Coming 2017

by John G. Messerly

The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. Power is not a means; it is an end … The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power”~ George Orwell



Articles About American Authoritarianism

by John G. Messerly

“Is ours a government of the people, by the people, for the people, or a kakistocracy rather, for the benefit of knaves at the cost of fools?” ~ James Russell Lowell

For the past few weeks, I have been reviewing articles about the trend toward authoritarianism in the USA. Unfortunately, articles appear faster than I can read and review them, so I’ll have to stop and move on soon. With this in mind, I list a few of the pieces I won’t get to, followed by excerpts from some other good ones.



Michael Brenner’s: “America, The Disgraced Super-power”

by John G. Messerly

Another great piece that conveys the severity of our situation is “America, The Disgraced Super-power: The America we have known and imagined is ended. It never will return,” The Huffington Post, November 16, 2016, by Michael Brenner, Senior Fellow, the Center for Transatlantic Relations; Professor of International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh. Brenner’s thesis is that, although America has always been a seriously flawed nation, the USA has taken a cataclysmic turn, and it is slowly becoming a failed state. Here are a few excerpts:



Digital Trends - Trump is a Media Virus

by Doug Rushkoff

We’ll likely never touch the man, sit in the same room, or establish rapport with him. But he has nonetheless infected all of us quite intimately — some of us willingly, and some less so. That’s because he is less invasive as a person than he is as a virus. Yes, Donald Trump is a media virus, in the truest sense of the term.



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:

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 

HOME | ABOUT | STAFF | EVENTS | SUPPORT  | CONTACT US
JOURNAL OF EVOLUTION AND TECHNOLOGY

RSSIEET Blog | email list | newsletter |
The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
35 Harbor Point Blvd, #404, Boston, MA 02125-3242 USA
Email: director @ ieet.org