Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

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


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

MULTIMEDIA: Eco-gov Topics

Why Doesn’t the U.S. Have a Multi-Party Political System?

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

Terrorists Might Be Dumb, but They’re Tech-Savvy

How I started a sanitary napkin revolution!

Capitalism will eat democracy—unless we speak up

Network Society: the coming socio-economic phase transformation

Mira Kwak - Nigeria ICT Fest 2015

The Abundance of Solar Energy

Will technology’s dark side eclipse humanity’s bright future?

Should you be concerned about Gene Drives?

Forget Wi-Fi. Meet the new Li-Fi Internet

Could You Survive Nuclear Fallout?

Crypto Enlightenment: A Social Theory of Blockchains

How We Can Make the World a Better Place by 2030

3-D Printing Guns, Drugs, and DNA Weapons: Organized Crime Is Being Decentralized

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Eco-gov Topics

A Way Forward

by Stephen Yearwood

In its “Vision”statement IEET says that the “liberal democratic revolution” is “still growing strong.” These days, it is difficult to find evidence in support of that statement.

The First Nuclear Power Plant in Belarus Is a Dangerous Fiasco

by George Dvorsky

In July, construction workers at the Astravets nuclear power plant in Belarus dropped a 330 ton reactor shell. Weeks went by before the government admitted an “abnormal situation” had occurred, prompting international concerns about safety at the Russian-built facility—and the Belarusian government’s unwillingness to disclose information in a timely manner.

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.

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.

Review of Phil Torres’ The End: What Science and Religion Tell Us About the Apocalypse

by John G. Messerly

Phil Torres’ new book The End: What Science and Religion Tell Us about the Apocalypse, is one of the most important books recently published. It offers a fascinating study of the many real threats to our existence, provides multiple insights as to how we might avoid extinction, and it is carefully and conscientiously crafted.

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Political Delusions - Do we just rationalize our emotional decisions?

by David Brin

I’ve long maintained that humanity’s greatest gift and greatest curse are one and the same - our prodigious talent for delusion.  For believing things - passionately - that are belied by both logic and evidence. This is the wellspring of great art. Indeed, as a novelist* I cater to the desire of my own customers to - temporarily and knowingly - believe they are experiencing other realities and the thoughts of credible characters, engaged in barely plausible adventures.

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Wendell Wallach at Connecticut Science Center

IEET Fellow Wendell Wallach will be speaking at the Connecticut Science Center on May 5, 2016.

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Satoshi Roundtable: Is Bitcoin Dead due to Scalability Issues?

by Melanie Swan

Scalability was the most prominent issue discussed at the February 26-28, 2016 Satoshi Roundtable (the Bitcoin industry’s annual technical meeting).

This is expected as scalability is an ongoing issue to be resolved for any cryptocurrency to achieve mainstream adoption.

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Introducing the Subfield of Agential Riskology

by Phil Torres

The field of Existential Risk Studies has, to date, focused largely on risk scenarios involving natural phenomena, anthropogenic phenomena, and a specific type of anthropogenic phenomenon that one could term “technogenic.” The first category includes asteroid/comet impacts, supervolcanoes, and pandemics. The second encompasses climate change and biodiversity loss. And the third deals with risks that arise from the misuse and abuse of advanced technologies, such as nuclear weapons, biotechnology, synthetic biology, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence.

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A New Doomsday Argument

by Phil Torres

I want to elaborate briefly on an issue that I mentioned in a previous article for the IEET, in which I argue (among other things) that we may be systematically underestimating the overall probability of annihilation. The line of reasoning goes as follows:

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The one percent discovers transhumanism: Davos 2016

by Rick Searle

The World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland just wrapped up its annual gathering. It isn’t hard to make fun of this yearly coming together of the global economic and cultural elites who rule the world, or at least think they do.

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Transhuman Debate in SF East Bay, co-sponsored by IEET

IEET is co-sponsoring a “Transhuman Debate” event in Oakland, California, on February 6, 2016, at Humanist Hall.

The debate will feature two “Oxford Style” Transhumanist Team Debates on these topics:

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Private vs. Public Blockchains

by Ian Worrall

I am writing this piece in the hope of sparking some insight and viewpoints from fellow industry leaders and innovators because the concept (and increased appeal) of private blockchain networks makes absolutely no sense to me.

For the sake of non-technocrats my goal is to keep this as simple as possible so they can be a part of the debate as well without us going off on a tangent about less important factors.

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#8: If We Can Achieve Gay Marriage and Legal Pot, We Can Fix Climate Change Too

by Ramez Naam

According to IEET readers, what were the most stimulating stories of 2015? This month we’re answering that question by posting a countdown of the top 30 articles published this year on our blog (out of more than 1,000), based on how many total hits each one received.

The following piece was first published here on July 18, 2015,  and is the #8 most viewed of the year.

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#12: Bad luck and cancer; did the media get it wrong?

by Andrew Maynard

According to IEET readers, what were the most stimulating stories of 2015? This month we’re answering that question by posting a countdown of the top 30 articles published this year on our blog (out of more than 1,000), based on how many total hits each one received.

The following piece was first published here on January 3, 2015, and is the #12 most viewed of the year.

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#15: Split the Earth: 50% for Humans, 50% for Protected Biodiversity Zones

by Alex Lightman

According to IEET readers, what were the most stimulating stories of 2015? This month we’re answering that question by posting a countdown of the top 30 articles published this year on our blog (out of more than 1,000), based on how many total hits each one received.

The following piece was first published here on June 21, 2015, and is the #15 most viewed of the year.

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#17: Big Data as Statistical Masturbation

by Rick Searle

According to IEET readers, what were the most stimulating stories of 2015? This month we’re answering that question by posting a countdown of the top 30 articles published this year on our blog (out of more than 1,000), based on how many total hits each one received.

The following piece was first published here on February 15, 2015, and is the #17 most viewed of the year.

Should You Be Concerned About Gene Drives?

by Andrew Maynard

Gene editing and gene drives are rapidly emerging as the disruptive technologies du jour.  But what are they, what can they do, and why should you care?

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Why Steven Pinker’s Optimism About the Future of Humanity is Misguided

by Phil Torres

It’s easy to be seduced by the news headlines into thinking that the world is going to hell. The Syrian war is an international tangle of state and non state actors, some of whom are genuinely motivated by apocalyptic narratives in which they see themselves as active participants. In fact, a growing number of observers have suggested that the Syrian conflict could be the beginning of a Third World War. Here in the US, there are daily mass shootings, campus rapes, racial discrimination, and police brutality, to name just a few causes for moral alarm. In Europe, the past month has seen multiple terrorist attacks in Paris and London and the worst refugee crisis since World War II. And so on.

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IEET Fellows Ramez Naam and Jamais Cascio featured in

Two IEET Fellows - author Ramez Naam and futurist Jamais Cascio - are profiled in

The article is a “fascinating… free-flowing conversation” between the two on topics like “climate change, geoengineering, transportation and energy.”

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Link to Ensia

Economics And The Future of Artificial Intelligence

by Daniel Faggella

Ask any technological expert, and he or she is certain to have their own variation as to the definition of “singularity.” However, no matter which definition of singularity you choose to go by, according to Author, Artificial Intelligence Researcher and Smith College Professor of Economics Dr. James D. Miller, economics will play a big role in its advent.

APM, Nanotech and a Solution to Middle-Eastern Stability

by Stefan Morrone

The region of the Middle East has been in turmoil for more than a decade.  With the advent of the recent terrorist attacks on Paris and the threat of more by the Muslim extremist group ISIS, many have been pondering how the problems plaguing the Middle East can be solved.  I believe that technology can play an integral role in the process of repairing and advancing the region.  The modernization and digitization of the entire region’s infrastructure would provide numerous benefits that would increase stability and redress the damage done to the economy and society from years of war.

Platform Adoption Statement #1 of the Nevada Transhumanist Party

by Gennady Stolyarov II

The following sections are hereby added to the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform. Pursuant to Article I, Section XXV, these sections are not officially considered part of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Constitution at this time, but shall have equivalent standing to the Platform Sections within that Constitution. It will be possible to officially amend the Nevada Transhumanist Party Constitution to include these statements during periodic biennial filings of Certificates of Continued Existence with the Nevada Secretary of State.

A Multifaceted Strategy to Defeat ISIS

by Gennady Stolyarov II

The recent slaughters of hundreds of innocent civilians in Paris, in Ankara, in Beirut, and aboard the Russian Metrojet Flight 9268 illustrate without a shadow of doubt that the threat from the barbaric sect known as ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, and the Islamic State cannot be contained within the Middle East. ISIS is an enemy of humanity, decency, and Western civilization. It will continue killing completely peaceful civilians of Western nations, both in their home countries and abroad, in gruesome ways. ISIS is a cancer upon humanity, and it will continue to metastasize and inflict damage until it is either eradicated or until it completely kills its host. Like cancer, ISIS cannot coexist with a healthy humankind. This cancerous “Islamic State” should be eradicated using the resources of any willing parties.

Understanding the Threat of Algocracy

by John Danaher

On 2nd November, I gave a talk entitled “The Threat of Algocracy: Reality, Resistance and Accommodation” to the Programmable City Project at Maynooth University. You can watch the video of my presentation (minus the Q&A) below.

Technoprogressive Political Platform for the USA

by Ben Goertzel

This year we’ve seen a flurry of activity at the intersection of transhumanism and contemporary politics – the emergence of Transhumanist Parties in several different countries, and Zoltan Istvan’s controversial, mostly theatrical run for US President (see this article for a brief summary of some of the controversy). 

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Did the One Child Policy Matter? Probably Not.

by Ramez Naam

China’s one-child policy is ending. The policy, started in 1979-80, was aimed at slowing population growth, which was much more of a concern in the late 70s than it is now. China’s one-child policy was also horribly coercive.

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Phil Torres Establishes X-Risks Institute

What will the future look like? The further upwards one moves from the basement domain of physics, the harder it often gets to predict long-term trends. Nonetheless, we have some fairly good clues about what to expect moving forward.

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Does Money Poison Everything? Sandel and the Corruption Effect

by John Danaher

(Previous Entry)

There is a serious shortage of kidney donors throughout the developed world. This has obvious consequences for people with severe kidney disease. I’ll use my home country of Ireland as an example. According to one 2009 study, which covered the period 2000-2005, the average waiting time for someone on the transplant list was 8-15 months (with waiting times varying considerably depending on blood type). According to more recent figures from the Health Service Executive’s webpage, the average waiting time is two years, and at present there are over 650 people on the waiting list .

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The Future of SubSaharan Africa - interview with Michael Lee

by Michael Lee

Michael Lee is a futurist who founded the World Future Society’s Southern African Chapter and the Institute of Futurology. He’s also an IEET contributing writer.  His point-of-view is an essential contribution to IEET’s African Futures Project.

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