Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Rights

BlockCon 2017
March 28-29
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore


Sorgner @ German Humanist Day
June 16
Nürnberg, Germany




MULTIMEDIA: Rights Topics

Andy Zee Talks RefuseFascism With John Iadarola On The Young Turks

Bernie Has Some Questions For Trump’s Education Pick…

MLK to BLM: The Internet and Civil Rights In 2017

Digital Culture: Learn the Language before You Dismiss It

What happens when you have a disease doctors can’t diagnose

Trump On Obamacare Repeal

Trump Refuses To Give Up Business Ties

The Science of Bias, Empathy, and Dehumanization

The Science of Political Judgment and Empathy

Bernie Sanders Warns About Dangers Of Corporate-Controlled Media

How to Ethically Analyze Reproductive Technologies

Patent Battle Over CRISPR Gene Editing

Changing Utopia - or what Guy Standing learned from the Lady of the Future

ContentoNowTV Hosts Tsvi Bisk

State Will No Longer Go After Dead Students’ Loans




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Rights Topics




Et si l’enfance devenait rare ?

by Marc Roux

Les perspectives démographiques envisagées par les transhumanistes n’impliquent pas seulement un allongement radical de la durée de vie en bonne santé mais aussi une diminution de la part des plus jeunes dans la population. Quelles conséquences pourraient avoir une raréfaction de l’enfance ?

Published on 20 November 2016 on Technoprog



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.



Algocracy as Hypernudging: A New Way to Understand the Threat of Algocracy

by John Danaher

It is a noticeable feature of intellectual life that many people research the same topics, but do so using different conceptual and disciplinary baggage, and consequently fail to appreciate how the conclusions they reach echo or complement the conclusions reached by others.



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.



Perceptive and myopic views of our transparent future. Especially police cameras.

by David Brin

Let’s veer from either science fiction or politics into our politically science-fictional new world of light. Starting with a reminder that my new anthology (with Stephen Potts) Chasing Shadows, is released this week by Tor Books, featuring contributions by William Gibson, James Gunn, Neal Stephenson, Vernor Vinge and many others, offering stories and insights into a future when light flows almost everywhere. Prepare yourself!  This might be a good start.



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?



Une vie plus longue

by Alexandre Maurer

Vivre beaucoup plus longtemps en bonne santé : est-il raisonnable d’y croire ? Et pour quoi faire ?

Published on 16 November 2016 on Technoprog



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.



2016 Isn’t to Blame for Deaths, Aging Is.

by B. J. Murphy

The year 2016 has been rife with unexpected deaths by some of our most beloved celebrities. Whether it’s Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds, comedian Ricky Harris, or pop star George Michael, there has been no shortage of death this year that has left our hearts aching. Many (including myself) have turned this into a meme of sorts, blaming these deaths on the year 2016 itself.



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



IEET Audience Divided on Best Way to Resist Global Fascism

We asked “How should technoprogressives resist the rise of global fascism?” You were divided in your preferred strategies.

Full Story...



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.



DARPA hands off LUKE Arm to Military Medical Center

by B. J. Murphy

It’s that time of the month where we all come together and exchange gifts. Keeping this in mind, DARPA showed some holiday spirit when it provided Walter Reed National Military Medical Center the greatest gift the 21st century can offer: LUKE – the most revolutionary bionic arm available to date!



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.



Le progrès doit-il se conformer au droit ?

by Hadrian Pourbahman

Avis d’un juriste sur la question.

Hadrien Pourbahman est étudiant en droit et membre de l’Association Française Transhumaniste. En début d’année, il avait effectué un stage avec Didier Coeurnelle sur le thème « Vers une reconnaissance d’un droit à la longévité », dont vous pouvez lire le résumé ici.



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:



The Tyee - Next Economy: Tech Capitalism’s Impossible Dream

by Doug Rushkoff

Read this interview at The Tyee

Douglas Rushkoff has been observing the Internet’s trajectory since the 1990s, writing 16 influential books about digital culture along the way including Media Virus and Present Shock. Rushkoff’s latest work, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, focuses on the business and investing practices of today’s leading tech companies like Uber and Snapchat, and how they are exaggerating the worst aspects of an economic system that pushes for growth at all costs.



Tomorrow’s Problem of Good and Evil: The Challenges of Trans- and Post- Humanism

by Steve Fuller

A conception of evil that carries over from the Abrahamic religions into secular modernity is that of the ‘disorganization of the soul’. The idea here is that evil isn’t something separate from good but something that arises from the malformation or malfunctioning of good parts. Thus, Satan in Milton’s Paradise Lost is God’s best angel gone rogue, the template for the villains faced by comic book superheroes. Many if not most mental illnesses, from neurosis to autism, are defined as some sort of ‘disorder’. In a similar but grander vein, cybernetics founder Norbert Wiener regarded entropy – the ultimate expression of disorganization in physics – as the material equivalent of evil, the source of all suffering, decay and death.



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:



Pour en finir avec les accusations d’eugénisme

by Alexandre Maurer

Le transhumanisme se retrouve régulièrement accusé d’eugénisme. Ces accusations sont-elles fondées ?



The best political countersurveillance tool is to grow the heck up

by Marcelo Rinesi

The thing is, we’re all naughty. The specifics of what counts as “wrong” depend on the context, but there isn’t anybody on Earth so boring that haven’t done or aren’t doing something they’d rather not be known worldwide.

Full Story...



Eliezer Yudkowsky on Politics – Part 1

by John G. Messerly

In our previous post we examined how prospect theory helps explain why so many American voters were willing to risk voting for such a manifestly unqualified candidate for President as Donald Trump. Of course what citizens who are willing to take these risks fail to understand, as the artificial intelligence and decision theory expert Eliezer Yudkowsky writes on his Facebook page, is “how there’s a level of politics that’s theater and a level of politics that’s deadly serious.” For example, it’s deadly serious when a President talks about scrapping the NATO alliance or using nuclear weapons. In such cases you would hope that competent and conscientious people exercise power in the international relations realm.

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