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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Eco-gov



MULTIMEDIA: Eco-gov Topics

SETI Institute: Risky tales: Talking with Seth Shostak at Big Picture Science

Newberry Geothermal Project (Can power a city of 80,000 people!)

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

Beyond The People’s Climate March

The future is going to be wonderful (If we don’t get whacked by the existential risks)

We Need a Carbon Tax!

First Formula E Electric Car

The link between unemployment and terrorism

Futurists discuss The Transhumanist Wager

Can technology solve our big problems?

Risky Business: The Economic Impacts of Climate Change in the US

Environmentalism, Innovation & Economics

Infinite Resource: Full 1Hour Lecture @ Singularity University

Living in a Finite World

The Love Police: Megaphone the Drone




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Eco-gov Topics




12 Technologies We Need To Stop Stalling On And Develop Now

by George Dvorsky

The pace of technological change is governed by many factors — including public demand. Which is why we need to be demanding more. Here are 12 transformative technologies whose development should be expedited right now. To make this list meaningful, I only included those items that are within reasonable technological reach. Sure, it would be nice to have molecular assemblers, warp drives, and the recipe for safe artificial intelligence, but it’ll be decades before we can reasonably embark upon such projects.



The Future As History

by Rick Searle

It is a risky business trying to predict the future, and although it makes some sense to try to get a handle on what the world might be like in one’s lifetime, one might wonder what’s even the point of all this prophecy that stretches out beyond the decades one is expected to live? The answer I think is that no one who engages in futurism is really trying to predict the future so much as shape it, or at the very least, inspire Noah like preparations for disaster.



The gathering storm of lab safety: Pathogen safety in federal labs

by Andrew Maynard

Over the past few weeks, revelations of potentially dangerous errors in US federal labs handling pathogens have placed health and safety high on the national agenda.  In June, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced as many as 75 of its staff may have been exposed to anthrax due to safety issues at one of its labs.  At the beginning of July, vials of smallpox virus were found in an unsecured room at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Then earlier this week came the revelation that in the same room were over 300 vials containing pathogens such as dengue virus, influenza, and the bacterium that causes Q fever.



When Global Catastrophes Collide: The Climate Engineering Double Catastrophe

by Seth Baum

It could be difficult for human civilization to survive a global catastrophe like rapid climate change, nuclear war, or a pandemic disease outbreak. But imagine if two catastrophes strike at the same time. The damages could be even worse. Unfortunately, most research only looks at one catastrophe at a time, so we have little understanding of how they interact.



The Kingdom of Machines

by Rick Searle

For anyone thinking about the future relationship between nature-man-machines I’d like to make the case for the inclusion of an insightful piece of fiction to the canon. All of us have heard of H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov or Arthur C. Clarke. And many, though perhaps fewer, of us have likely heard of fiction authors from the other side of the nature/technology fence, writers like Mary Shelley, or Ursula Le Guin, or nowadays, Paolo Bacigalupi, but certainly almost none of us have heard of Samuel Butler, or better, read his most famous novel Erewhon (pronounced with 3 short syllables E-re-Whon.)



Project Citizen Through the Lens of Big History

by Dustin Eirdosh

The future of civic education may just lie in the past - the deep past that is. Here at the PEAR Lab we are hard at work weaving a new thread within the acclaimed civics curriculum Project Citizen - to enable to students to explore public policy issues through the lens of Big History. Let me briefly review Why we must do this, How we plan to get it done, and finally, What it is looking like.



Snowden Docs: U.S. Spied on Negotiators At 2009 Climate Summit

by Ryan Grim

The National Security Agency monitored the communications of other governments ahead of and during the 2009 United Nations climate negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark, according to the latest document from whistleblower Edward Snowden. The document, with portions marked "top secret," indicates that the NSA was monitoring the communications of other countries ahead of the conference, and intended to continue doing so throughout the meeting.



Libertarianism and the Basic Income (Part Two)

by John Danaher

This is the second part in my series on libertarianism and the basic income. The universal basic income (UBI) is a proposal for reforming the way in which welfare is paid. It is thought to be radical because it is paid to everyone, regardless of their work status, or other sources of income. Libertarianism, on the other hand, is a political philosophy associated with robust negative and property rights, the promotion of the free market, and a minimal state.



Libertarianism and the Basic Income (Part One)

by John Danaher

I have recently become interested in the case for an unconditional basic income (UBI). In large part, this has been prompted by an increasing fascination with the phenomenon of technological unemployment and its future progression. Some argue that increasing levels of technological unemployment, and the associated capital-labour income inequality that comes with this, would be best solved by something like the UBI. This strikes me as a prima facie plausible argument.



Optimistic Environmentalism: A Guide for the Responsible Educator

by Tsvi Bisk

My Educational Due Diligence.

  Energy and environment are the central issues of human civilization in the 21st century.  K-12 must educate for scholarship and core skills, but also for hope, optimism and the shared values of national and societal myths.  In other words the educator must walk a fine line between the radical skepticism of the critical scientific approach and a hopeful optimism without which life is not worth living.  This balancing act has always been difficult – never more so than today.  



Maximizing Africa’s agriculture for economic growth

by Lee-Roy Chetty

There are few development challenges in Africa more as pressing and fraught with controversy as the issue of land ownership and its persistent gap between rich and poor communities.



Call for Papers for Special Issue of JET on “The Ethics of Geoengineering”

Submissions are invited for a special issue of the Journal of Evolution and Technology on the topic of the Ethics of Geoengineering. Deforestation, animal husbandry, the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities have resulted in the rise of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere. The rapid rise in temperature is having dramatic impacts from massive storms to droughts near the equator, and it is vital to nearly all species on Earth that we actively reduce greenhouse gases. Geoengineering – a variety of massive projects to deflect sunlight or sequester carbon - is one possible way to slow and mitigate this environmental crisis, although the various methods being proposed all have attendant risks and ethical concerns.

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If Everyone Has Something to Hide, Then It’s Not Surveillance that is the Problem

by Jon Perry

Alex Tabarrok at Marginal Revolution recently wrote a post called No One is Innocent:
“I broke the law yesterday and again today and I will probably break the law tomorrow. Don’t mistake me, I have done nothing wrong. I don’t even know what laws I have broken. Nevertheless, I am reasonably confident that I have broken some laws, rules, or regulations recently because its hard for anyone to live today without breaking the law. Doubt me? Have you ever thrown out some junk mail that came to your house but was addressed to someone else? That’s a violation of federal law punishable by up to 5 years in prison…



Fear of a Geo-engineered Planet

by Wesley Strong

The climate crisis demands our immediate attention. Climate change could devastate thousands of at-risk communities beyond repair and leave the face of the earth scarred. We cannot be alarmist enough about continued climate change and the threat it poses to life on this planet. This is the first time in the history of this planet that a species altered global climate to such a degree. The future of life on this planet is entering a period of extreme risk and few are offering rational solutions.



The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet, by Ramez Naam

by Brenda Cooper

There are writers and futurists who are swimming upstream against a tide of people screaming about the sky falling. Ramez Naam is one of the them, offering practical tools and illuminating the power of imagination and initiative.



No Natural Resources? Lucky You!

by Tsvi Bisk

Roger Howard presents plausible scenarios regarding the geopolitical dangers of peak oil. Equally plausible scenarios could envision some positive impacts, because countries dependent on natural resources are often poor and undemocratic, while countries dependent on human resources are often rich and democratic.



Do Robots Deserve the Right to Unionize?

by B. J. Murphy

In 1979, sociologist Prof. Albert J. Szymanski once said:
The energy for change comes from the emotions. It comes from feelings of frustration that arise when people's needs are not met. If people were computers that could be programmed to do anything their masters wanted, there would be no pressure for change, even if some computers were treated much worse than others…



Why We Allow the Destruction of Our Planet

by David Swanson

It’s not enough to point out that our political system is completely corrupted by money, including money from coal and oil and nukes and gas.  Of course it is.  And if we had direct democracy, polls suggest we would be investing in green energy.  But saying the right thing to a pollster on a phone or in a focus group is hardly the extent of what one ought sensibly to do when the fate of the world is at stake.



Delegating in eDemocracy, my Way!

by Pietro Speroni di Fenizio

Recently I wrote a very long post in which I tried, as exhaustively as possible to discuss if it was the case to let people delegate their vote in eDemocracy. The conclusion was that it would be better not to introduce it. Which is a bitter conclusion, because it halts the conversation before it starts. I also suggested that IF we wanted to allow delegated voting, it should be done in a “non linear” way. In other words, it should be possible to delegate someone, but it’s not a good deal.



Managing mineral and agricultural wealth better on the African continent

by Lee-Roy Chetty

Continued demand for Africa’s natural resources as well as the recent discoveries of oil, gas and minerals in, among others, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique, together with an improved macro-economic environment, sustain prospects for robust economic growth on the continent.



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 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.



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.



South Africa’s economic outlook in 2013

by Lee-Roy Chetty

Following a strong recovery from the downturn of 2008−09, economic momentum in South Africa is losing steam against the backdrop of a weaker external environment. As the recovery took hold, macro-economic policies moved towards a less accommodative stance from early 2010.



Transhumanism and Money

by Zeev Kirsh

Money is at the very center of how human beings communicate with one another in complex societies and yet it is almost completely ignored in all private k-12 education in the united states and most nations. Money isn’t economics, Money is human behaviour, it is group and individual psychology.Particularly now, as the world body of nations and central banks escalate currency wars(and trade wars), more people are turning their attention to money.



Seven Reasons For Integrated Emerging Technologies Governance

by Seth Baum

This past December I was at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Society for Risk Analysis. Several sessions focused on emerging technologies governance. Each presentation nominally focused on one technology, mainly synthetic biology and nanotechnology. But most of the ideas discussed applied equally well to any emerging technology.



What do We Do About Multinational Corporations that Help Oppressive Governments?

by Jonathan Lin

Telecommunications is an industry that is evolving at an increasingly rapid pace, manifest not only in technological advances, but also the influence of regulation, legal policy, market forces, and security.



Machines Will Outsmart Humans. We Better Be Ready

by Federico Pistono

Today, large streams of data, coupled with statistical analysis and sophisticated algorithms, are rapidly gaining importance in almost every field of science, politics, journalism, and much more. What does this mean for the future of work?



There’s no alternative to ecological interventionism

by Marcelo Rinesi

If we want the ecosystem richness we once had, we are going to have to let go of the ecosystems we have left.

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A To-Do List for the 21st Century: 6 Things for 6C

by Marcelo Rinesi

Now that well-known eco-extremist orgainzation PricewaterhouseCoopers has issued a report indicating that, as things stand now, their best guess is for 6C of warming across the world by the end of the century, it’s a good time to reconsider our global to-do list for the century.

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