Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Enablement

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




MULTIMEDIA: Enablement Topics

The Digital Economy Should Be about Capital Creation, Not Extraction

Algorithms: Killing Jobs, Narrowing Our Personalities

Hackers Will Be Tempted by Cyborg Vulnerabilities

The Rise of A.I., Shifting Economies, and Corporate Consciousness Will Define the Future

Building Better Humans

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus

Cyborg Buddha – IEET’s James Hughes on Transhuman Enlightenment and Basic Income

What really happens when you mix medications?

Surrogacy Conference

069: What are the Possibilities of Augmented Reality?

Autonomous Cars 101

How a 27yo Poet Became the First Computer Programmer

Why Are We Here? Singularity University Colloquium

Life After Extinction: Posthuman Enhancements for a Neo-Human Species

Where Are All the Women Scientists?




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Longevity Dividend List

Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List









Enablement Topics




Capitalism Mandates a Basic Income Guarantee

by Mark Walker

A Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) is a monthly stipend sufficient to provide the necessities of life. While there is disagreement even amongst friends of BIG as to how much is sufficient, we will work with a figure of $833 a month, $10,000 a year. BIG has been in the news in the last few years with a Swiss referendum on the matter and a pilot program in the works for Finland. Arguments from the left for BIG tend to appeal to social justice considerations. One line suggests that in a wealthy country like the U.S., no one should go hungry or be homeless, and BIG is an efficient means to ensure this minimal standard of care.



What’s happening inside the black box? Three forms of algorithmic opacity

by John Danaher

The debate about algorithmic governance (or as I prefer ‘algocracy’) has been gathering pace over the past couple of years. As computer-coded algorithms become ever more woven into the fabric of economic and political life, and as the network of data-collecting devices that feed these algorithms grows, we can expect that pace to quicken.



Better Birth Control for Men – How Would It Work? What’s in the Pipeline?

by Valerie Tarico

Most people think of contraception as an issue of women’s health and rights. But for millennia, men too have wanted choices—the means to decide whether, when, and with whom they father a child.



Blockchains and the Emergence of a Lex Cryptographia

by John Danaher

Here’s an interesting idea. It’s taken from Aaron Wright and Primavera de Filippi’s article ‘Decentralized Blockchain Technology and the Rise of Lex Cryptographia’. The article provides an excellent overview of blockchain technology and its potential impact on the law. It ends with an interesting historical reflection. It suggests that the growth of blockchain technology may give rise to a new type of legal order: a lex cryptographia. This is similar to how the growth in international trading networks gave rise to a lex mercatoria and how the growth in the internet gave rise to a lex informatica.



Christianity and Transhumanism Are Much Closer Than You Think

by Giulio Prisco

I have long been persuaded that there are strong parallels between transhumanism and religion, not only “new” religions but the traditional religions of our grandfathers as well. There are, of course, differences, but I prefer to emphasize the parallels. After some deep reading and thinking, I realize that Christianity and Transhumanism are closer than I thought, and much closer than you probably think.



Abortion Care as a Spiritual Ministry—An Interview with Dr. Willie Parker

by Valerie Tarico

What kind of person becomes a full time abortion provider, traveling across state lines to end unhealthy or unwanted pregnancy despite screaming protesters threatening death and damnation? Whatever image you may have in mind, Dr. Willie Parker probably doesn’t fit it.



Using P2P value maps and universal darwinism for a crypto basic income system

by Johan Nygren

Back in the early 2000s, Ryan Fugger invented something that will come to change the future of economics. He invented Ripple, a P2P credit clearing system. Some argue that P2P credit is unstable and prone to inflation, and I second that, and I believe Ripple should be combined with some form of stable index. Perhaps something like solarcoin.org — what could be more stable than the energy of a photon?



Longévité, condition féminine et travail reproductif

by Audrey Arendt

L ’allongement net de la durée de la jeunesse biologique soulève à tort les questions de surpopulation et de croissance démographique, lorsqu’au contraire tout porte à anticiper les effets inverses.



Technology and Caregiving go Hand in Hand

by Marie Miguel

Hungry? You can order some pizza and pay for it online. Need to pay your bills? You don’t have to go to the bank or to the billing company to do it. You can either do it online on your desktop or on your smartphone. Need to buy a gift for your nephew whose birthday is this weekend? No need to go out during your lunch break to buy a gift. Just order online and you can have it delivered at your door step.

Full Story...



Google Hedonics

by Andrés Gómez Emilsson

Hello my children!
Hello my sons!
Hello my daughters!
Hello my brothers and sisters!
I’m here to tell you that the world’s last unpleasant experience…
Will be a precisely dateable event!
Yes! It will happen in our lifetimes if we commit all of our energy today…

To the task of Paradise Engineering!

– Yacht, Paradise Engineering

(referencing David Pearce’s Hedonistic Imperative

Full Story...



Review of Michael Bess’, Our Grandchildren Redesigned

by John G. Messerly

Vanderbilt University’s Michael Bess has written an extraordinarily thoughtful new book: Our Grandchildren Redesigned: Life In The BioEngineered Society Of The Near Future. The first part of the book introduces the reader to the technologies that will enhance the physical, emotional, and intellectual abilities of our children and grandchildren: pharmaceuticals, bioelectronics, genetics, nanotechnology, robotics, artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, and virtual reality.



New Technologies as Social Experiments: An Ethical Framework

by John Danaher

What was Apple thinking when it launched the iPhone? It was an impressive bit of technology, poised to revolutionise the smartphone industry, and set to become nearly ubiquitous within a decade. The social consequences have been dramatic. Many of those consequences have been positive: increased connectivity, increased knowledge and increased day-to-day convenience.



VR Will Create Multiple Existences - “meatspace” will not be considered the only true reality

by Brent Logan Reitze

The nature of what is truly real has been pondered by philosophers for centuries. Plato argued we were only seeing shadows of true reality. Descartes pointed out nothing could be proven by your own thoughts. And while we must assume a shared reality to function with other over the course of daily life, that assumption will come to be questioned in the future with the rise of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies. 

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Beauty Will Be in the Bionic Eye of the Beholder

by B. J. Murphy

How might we define beauty in a future of cyborgs and the genetically enhanced?

Today we live in a world that has been radically transformed by the hands of advanced science and technology. Depending on which sci-fi literature you might’ve read, one could accurately portray today’s reality as a sci-fi future. A future where everyone is interconnected using tiny computational devices which fit in their pockets, biological limbs being replaced by advanced bionic prosthetics, and disease being combated using gene-editing tools.

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A Conversation With Bionic Actress Angel Giuffria

by B. J. Murphy

What will the future look like in the eyes of those one step ahead of us?

I’ve been speaking a lot lately about what I believe the future will be like, as envisioned by robotics company Humai. For a change of pace, I decided to reach out to someone else and get their take on the world of tomorrow.

That someone is cyborg and bionic actress Angel Giuffria

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Future Emotions: How Synaesthesia, Technology and Experimental Music Dilate Our Internal Geographies

by Rory Viner

What follows is a description of experiments using the medium of sound and emerging sound technologies to destabilize conceptions and reposition ourselves to histories of social trauma and to our own sense of self. Can we interrogate these intersections of meaning and data in new ways? Can we dilate emotional immediacy through such re­imaginings? Does technology allow and help us to reconsider these approaches?

Full Story...



Brain Implant Will Let Amputees Move Individual Fingers on Prosthetics With Thoughts Alone

by George Dvorsky

For the first time ever, researchers have successfully demonstrated a system that enables a person to move the individual fingers of a prosthetic hand using just their thoughts.

Full Story...



Health Insurance to Cover Exoskeleton Suits, One Step Closer to Humai Acceptance

by B. J. Murphy

According to ReWalk Robotics Ltd. via PR Newswire:

“ReWalk Robotics Ltd., the leading global exoskeleton developer and manufacturer, announced today that a commercial health plan in the Northwest region of the United States has approved coverage and reimbursement for a ReWalk Personal exoskeleton system, following the ruling of an external independent review organization that overturned the health plan’s initial denial of coverage.”

Full Story...



Longévité, IA, risques existentiels : dangers et opportunités (partie B)

by Didier Coeurnelle

Partie B : Que faire ? > Lien vers la partie A de l’article

4. Faire avancer la recherche en matière de longévité sera plus facile avec l’aide de l’intelligence artificielle

De nombreuses approches sont possibles lorsqu’il s’agit d’augmenter notre espérance de vie maximale. La recherche se focalise en général sur les domaines suivants :



These Seven Nootropics are the Real Smart Drugs

by Lincoln Cannon

Nootropics are drugs, supplements, and foods that improve mental function. Sometimes people refer to them as smart drugs. They facilitate desired mental functions like memory and focus, and reduce undesired mental states like stress and depression. I’ve been researching and experimenting with them for years. And I’ve found that most don’t seem to do much more than make expensive urine. But there are exceptions. Below is my list of nootropics that work, based on peer reviewed scientific research and my own experience.

Full Story...



Longévité, IA, risques existentiels : dangers et opportunités (partie A)

by Didier Coeurnelle

1. Aujourd’hui est le jour le plus beau et le plus dangereux de l’histoire de l’humanité

Aujourd’hui, comme presque chaque jour depuis plus de cinquante ans, nous vivons le jour le plus heureux parce que partout dans le monde, notre espérance de vie, notre santé ainsi que notre confort matériel n’ont cessé d’augmenter. Malgré l’impression que nous en donne l’actualité médiatique, la famine et la guerre déclinent.



Refuting Ayn Rand’s “Immortal Robot” Argument

by Gennady Stolyarov II

Here I refute an argument that has been leveled against proponents of indefinite human longevity from a surprising direction – those sympathetic to the Objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand. Some advocates of Ayn Rand’s philosophy believe that indefinite life would turn human beings into “immortal, indestructible robots” that, according to Ayn Rand, would have no genuine values. Both of these claims are false.

Full Story...



Why Wait for Designer Babies? Five Things You Can Do Now to Increase Your Child’s Intelligence

by Nicole Sallak Anderson

Artificial Intelligence. Nanobots. 3D printing of organs. Prosthetics that read your brainwaves. Virtual Reality. Mars colonies. Gene editing. Of all the technologies on our horizon, I think gene editing is the one that will come to the table first.

Full Story...



How ‘Memory Hacking’ Is Becoming a Reality

by George Dvorsky

Movies like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Inception suggest it may eventually be possible to erase, modify, or even implant memories into your brain. An upcoming episode of NOVA introduces viewers to this futuristic possibility and the scientists who are trying to make it happen.



Small Mammalian Brain Prize Winner!

by Michael Cerullo

A team at 21st Century Medicine (http://www.21cm.com/), led by Robert McIntyre has won Small Mammal Brain Preservation Prize, which carries an award of $26,735.

Full Story...



The Small Mammal Brain Preservation Prize Has Been Won

by Giulio Prisco

The Brain Preservation Foundation (BPF) announced that the Small Mammal Brain Preservation Prize has officially been won. The spectacular result achieved by 21st Century Medicine researchers provides the first demonstration that near-perfect, long-term structural preservation of an intact mammalian brain is achievable.

Full Story...



Apple Search Finally Stops Directing People Seeking Abortions to Adoption Centers

by Valerie Tarico

Ask Siri where to get an abortion and get a list of adoption agencies–for five years that was the experience of Apple users in cities ranging from San Francisco to Philadelphia. Recent technical upgrades appear to have resolved the problem, but advocates seeking to end abortion stigma say they intend to keep an eye on Siri and her competitors.



The Value of Deep Work and How to Prioritise It

by John Danaher

My life is filled with trivial, time-wasting tasks. As an academic, teaching and research are the most valuable* activities I perform. And yet as I progress in my career I find myself constantly drawn away from these two things to focus on administrative tasks. While efficient administration is important in large organisations (like universities), it feels like a major time-sink to someone like me because (a) I am not ultimately rewarded for being good at it (career progression depends far more research and, to a lesser extent, teaching) and (b) I don’t have any aptitude for or interest in it.

Full Story...



Le choix d’une vie très longue en bonne santé : pourquoi ? (4/4) : Effets écono

by Marc Roux

Dernière partie dédiée à la réflexion sur “Le choix d’une vie très longue en bonne santé : pourquoi?” Préserver et renforcer la part de l’économie non marchande L’accroissement d’abord progressif, puis éventuellement considérable de la durée de vie en bonne santé a commencé depuis longtemps par se traduire par une augmentation de la quantité d’activité fournie par des personnes curieusement qualifiées par les statistiques françaises de « non-actives ».



Ray Kurzweil’s Basic Ideas

by John G. Messerly

Ray Kurzweil is an author, inventor, futurist, and currently Director of Engineering at Google. He is involved in fields such as optical character recognition, text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments; he is the author of several books on health, artificial intelligence, transhumanism, the technological singularity, and futurism; and he may be the most prominent spokesman in the world today for advocating the use of technology to transform humanity.

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