Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Bioculture



MULTIMEDIA: Bioculture Topics

Laura Cabrera on Human Enhancement, Communication and Values

The Ways That Technology Has Changed the Definition of Death

Will Robots Be Made of Living Tissue?

"> Human by Design - Ethical Framework for Human Augmentation

Gene editing can now change an entire species—forever

How Netflix Implements Big Data Is All about You

YaNetu: AI Teaching Tablet for African Children—IndieGogo Campaign

Should you be able to patent a human gene?

Cyborg Art- Prefigurative, Performative, Inhuman, Hybrid?

Powerful Nonsense Ep 95 - Finding meaning in an automated world

Episode 237 - The Sofalurity Is Near

Transhumanism: Are We Decommissioning Evolution?

Bill Nye Explains How Evolution Gave Us the Golden Rule

Blackstar

Bulletproof Radio 2015 Q&A




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Bioculture Topics




Is Cheap Oil a Bad Thing?

by David Brin

I cannot understand the markets’ panic over lower oil prices.  Sure, it hurts if you own Exxon or drilling-fracking services companies, or work for one, or if you are Saudi or Venezuela or Russia or Iran.  But for most of the world, it amounts to a spectacular tax cut and cost discount for all manufacturers, transportation and consumers of almost anything. See this article on much cheaper airline deals

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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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Marc Roux at the French National Assembly

IEET Affiliate Scholar and Advisory Board Member Marc Roux has been invited to the French National Assembly, this Thursday February 4, 2016.

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Link to 100 ideas for a digital France



Death is an Ultimate Evil

by John G. Messerly

The story of Ivan Ilyich indicates an inseparable connection between death and meaning. The precise connection is unclear, but surely it depends in large part on whether death is the end of our consciousness. While beliefs in immortality have been widespread among humans, such beliefs are extremely difficult to defend rationally.

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Top Five Features to Expect from Your Future Car

by B. J. Murphy

If someone were to ask you nearly 30 years ago what your future car will be by 2016, I’d assume that you would base your ideas on Back to the Future Part II. The flying car would almost always come to mind. But then, despite the fact that flying cars do exist in 2016, they’re incredibly expensive and not very popular. What Back to the Future didn’t expect were cars that could drive themselves, were connected to online systems, and were increasingly abandoning fossil fuels.

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Made for You (Fiction)

by Richard Stallman

Growing old, and having lost hope of finding love again, I read about the Lifemates Co-op and was intrigued.  “Mr or Ms Right doesn’t exist in nature.  If you want someone that was made for you, come to us.”  I made an appointment to visit their office and talk with a salesperson…

 

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Deer Antler Velvet Efficacy and Ethical Concerns Demystified, and Ensured

by Peter Caramico

Deer Antler Velvet is a complex of hormones, growth factors, and minerals extracted from the antlers of a specific deer. It is used for general health and well being, wound and injury recovery, as well as to enhance libido and improve youthful functions. It is surrounded by many arguments and opinions on efficacy.

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Mythic Singularities: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and (kind of) Love Transhumanism

by Anthony Miccoli

As a critical posthumanist (with speculative leanings), I found myself always a little leary of transhumanism in general. Much has been written on the difference between the two, and one of the best and succinct explanations can be found in John Danaher’s “Humanism, Transhumanism, and Speculative Posthumanism.

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Book review: Zoltan Istvan’s The Transhumanist Wager

by Russell Blackford

“Scorned by over 500 publishers and literary agents around the world,” says The Transhumanist Wager’s back page blurb, “[Zoltan Istvan’s] philosophical thriller has been called ‘revolutionary’ and ‘socially dangerous’ by readers, scholars, and religious authorities.” Well, surely that ought to whet your appetite!

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Review of ‘Against Transhumanism’ by Richard Jones

by Giulio Prisco

Physicist Richard Jones, author of the (highly recommended) nanotechnology book “Soft Machines: nanotechnology and life” and editor of the Soft Machines blog, has written a short book provocatively titled “Against Transhumanism – The delusion of technological transcendence.” The book, an edited compilation of essays previously published on Soft Machines and IEEE Spectrum, is free to download.

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The Goods of Work (other than Money) in a Postwork Future

by John Danaher
Let’s distinguish between two senses of the word ‘work’:

Work 1: The performance of some skill in return for, or in the ultimate hope of receiving, an extrinsic economic reward.

Work2: Activities performed by human beings, individually and in groups, for both intrinsic and extrinsic reasons, not necessarily for economic reward.

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Why Transhumanism Will Not (And Should Not) Become The Political Mainstream

by Brett Gao

-A discussion on Zoltan Istvan’s The Transhumanist Wager

Transhumanism is a rising international intellectual movement that seeks to greatly enhance human capacities through emerging science and technologies, with life extension as one of its main goals. However, for many decades, the movement has remained outside of the political mainstream and a large part of it has only been active on the internet. 

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Seneca On the Proper Use of Time

by John G. Messerly

Yesterday I wrote about the impending death of the great neurologist and author Oliver Sacks. I was particularly struck by this line from Sachs’ public goodbye: “I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential.” This brought to mind the Stoic philosopher Seneca who touched on a similar theme in his short piece, On the Shortness of Life:



Kevin LaGrandeur is organizing a Posthuman Futures conference

IEET Fellow Kevin LaGrandeur is co-organizing a conference at New York University (NYU), titled PostHuman Futures. The event will be held on April 22, 2016.

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First Successful Gene-Editing in Live Mammals Brings Us Closer to Human Treatments

by George Dvorsky

For the first time ever, scientists have used the CRISPR gene-editing tool to successfully treat a genetic muscle disorder in a living adult mammal. It’s a promising medical breakthrough that could soon lead to human therapies.

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Is Resistance Futile? Are we already Borg?

by John Danaher

From the days of the Acheulean hand-axe on, humans have always had a symbiotic relationship with technology. How far will that relationship go? One haunting vision of the future is provided by the Borg — one of the main villains of the Star Trek universe.

 

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Can You Effectively Rewire Your Brain?

by Daniel Faggella
When someone is asked to name one thing they’d like to change about themselves, rarely do they answer, “I’d like to change my brain.” But changing the way your brain works is possible, according to Author and Neuroanatomist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, and ongoing research into the inner workings of the human brain will have a profound effect on today’s younger generation and many more generations to follow.

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IEET Article by Roland Benedikter Translated into Arabic

Roland Benedikter’s IEET article “The Age of Transhumanist Politics has Begun” will soon be published in a translation into Arabic.

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Link to Al Thaqafa Al Alamiyah



Report on Nigeria ICT Festival 2015

by Agbolade Omowole

Mascot Information and Technology Solutions held the maiden edition of Nigeria ICT Fest on December 4, 2015 at Magrellos fast food, Festac Town, Lagos, and December 5, 2015 at Radisson Blu Anchorage hotel at No. 1A, Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Victoria Island, Lagos, to bridge the technology gap between Nigeria and the developed world.

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Becoming the First Transhuman: A Call For The Right Stuff

by Margaret Morris

Who will officially be the first transhuman? Will it be you? Why wait decades? This article explains one approach to speeding up the process and also the challenge involved.

Defining the Object of the Goal:

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Effective Altruism: A Taxonomy of Objections

by John Danaher

The effective altruism (EA) movement has been gaining quite a lot of notoriety recently. Although EA ideas have been common in academic circles for years, two major books have been published in the past year presenting the central tenets of the movement to the wider public. The first was from the movement’s godfather, Peter Singer, and was called The Most Good You Can Do. The second was from the movement’s precocious young figurehead Will MacAskill and was called Doing Good Better. MacAskill’s book in particular received widespread media coverage, no doubt in part fueled by the impressive resume of its young author.

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Can Humanity Rein In The Rise Of The Machines? - interview with Steve Omohundro

by Daniel Faggella

Opinions expressed by Hawking, Gates, and Musk about the dangers of artificial intelligence rang loud and clear in 2015, and continue to echo into the new year. Since then, there have been plenty of predictions of humanity’s doom at the hands of autonomous machines. But there have been leading thinkers in the AI space who have also come out from behind the curtain to play devil’s advocate and make clear opposing positions.

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The Singularity: Fact or Fiction or Somewhere In-between?

by Gareth John

In my continued striving to disprove the theorem that there’s no such thing as a stupid question, I shall now proceed to ask one. What’s the consensus on Ray Kurzweil’s position concerning the coming Singularity? [1] Do you as transhumanists accept his premise and timeline, or do you feel that a) it’s a fiction, or b) it’s a reality but not one that’s going to arrive anytime soon? Is it as inevitable as Kurzweil suggests, or is it simply millennial daydreaming in line with the coming Rapture?

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Who Controls the Internet?

by David Brin

The End of the Internet Dream?

Ever since Congress passed Al Gore’s bill, around 1990, setting the Internet free to pervade the world and empower billions, repressive governments have complained, seeing their despotic methods undermined. And yes, democratic governments have often muttered: “Why’d we go and do that?” as their citizens became increasingly rambunctious, knowing and independent-minded!

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“Technology Could Bring Heaven on Earth, or Create Hell” - interview with futurist Gerd Leonhard

by Hank Pellissier

Gerd Leonhard is an acclaimed European futurist; his popular video was recently featured at IEET and he will soon be an IEET contributing writer. To introduce him to our audience, I interviewed him on his forecasts, ideas, and values.

IEET: Can you expand on your comment in the video, where you say: ”we will see more changes in the next 20 years than we did in the previous 300” ?

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Le choix d’une vie très longue en bonne santé : pourquoi ? (1/4)

by Marc Roux

Pourquoi une durée de vie considérablement augmentée pourrait signifier une amélioration de l’humanité, au sens physique comme au sens moral ?



Radical Life Extension can be Developed Quickly for the Mainstream: Interview with Didier Coeurnelle

by Hank Pellissier

Didier Coeurnelle is a leading European spokesperson in the radical life extension movement, plus he’s an IEET Advisory Board member. I queried him on via email on his anti-aging activities and opinions.

IEET: Let’s being with you introducing yourself and the groups you work with.

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Genetic editing and the tyranny of opinion

by Russell Blackford

Do we need a broad consensus in society before rolling out vital new medical therapies?

CRISPR-Cas9 is a dramatic development in genetic technology. It is a powerful, relatively simple, and increasingly precise technique for editing the DNA of living organisms. Its potential application to human beings was highlighted in April 2015, when researchers in China reported their experiments on non-viable human zygotes.

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Was Nazi Evil Unique?

by Rick Searle

‘The God of Israel said, to the Rock of Israel [David]; I rule man; who rules Me? It is the righteous: for I make a decree and he may annul it’.

Babylonian Talmud 16b

A few weeks back I was sitting in a laundromat watching my clothes spin round and reading a book on the Holocaust. Not quite sure why such a situation would lend itself to commentary from strangers, but I was approached by a 50ish or so middle class looking guy who felt it his duty to point out to me that Stalin and Mao had killed a lot more people than Hitler. 

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“We Want to Stop Diseases that Hold Us Back at Every Age” - LongeCity interview with Peter Caramico

by Hank Pellissier

LongeCity is a high-functioning life extension organization with a forum where 30,000 members share their cutting-edge health knowledge. But that’s not all. To learn everything about the multiple offerings of this spectacular group, I interviewed Peter Carimico, the Lead Navigator. 

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