Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

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


Santens @ North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress
September 30-

North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress
May 12-15
Manitoba, Canada

MULTIMEDIA: Economic Topics

Sustainable abundance as a political program

Profile of Kevin Russell

Crypto Enlightenment: A Social Theory of Blockchains

Direct Democracy

Technological Unemployment and the Future

The Future of Labor

How About a MAXIMUM Wage?

Technological Unemployment and Basic Income

Creative Destruction

How We Can Make the World a Better Place by 2030

Hands Off My Settings

The Future of Work and Death (Trailer)

Techno-Religions and Silicon Prophets

Robots Are Taking Our Jobs

What is the Future of Virtual Assistants?

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Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

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Economic Topics

Will technological unemployment lead to human disenhancement?

by John Danaher

I have written a lot about the prospects of widespread technological unemployment; I have also written a lot about the ethics of human enhancement. Are the two topics connected? Yes. At least, that’s what Michele Loi tries to argue in his recent paper “Technological Unemployment and Human Disenhancement”. In this post, I want to analyse his argument and offer some mild criticisms. I do so in a constructive spirit since I share similar views.

Benefiting from Exponentials Globally

by David Orban

Singularity University is expanding through the SingularityU Global program. The launch of SingularityU Milan, the first Italian chapter, is part of this program. It allows orders of magnitude more people to directly participate in its events and leverage the power of exponential technologies.

After Paris, can we be both safe and free?

by David Brin

Of course we are all still quivering, following the attacks in Paris last week that killed 129 people, not so very far from where my wife and I lived for a couple of years, as newlyweds during the 1990s.  Our hearts go out to the brave folk of Liberté, Egalité and Fraternité in la Ville Lumiere.

Anonymous vs ISIS: Vigilante justice in the War against Terrorism

by Stefan Morrone

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind centred around the terrorist group knows as the Islamic State.  First, several attacks in Paris left 129 dead and countless others injured, then a bomb threat in Germany and a threat by ISIS to attack the rest of Europe and Washington, D.C. Fear grips the hearts of people around the world in an iron vice. And that is exactly what ISIS wants.  Right now, they are winning.

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.

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.

The Future Business of Body Shops

by B. J. Murphy

The following essay was originally published as a chapter for The Future of Business: Critical Insights Into a Rapidly Changing World From 60 Future Thinkers. The book was edited by Rohit Talwar and published by Fast Future Publishing.

Promising… and worrisome news

by David Brin

Don’t let the gloom industry get you down. The news isn’t all bad. Progress happens. For example…

The beauty of the holonic understanding of reality

by Enrique Lescure

The Universe can be defined in many ways. What is clear is that there are different levels of realities, which are interacting with one another. Matter is arranged in atoms, which taken together turns into molecules. These molecules arrange themselves in larger objects, such as grains of sand, rock, driplets of liquid, single-cell organisms or cells belonging to larger organisms. This diverse symphony of matter forms eco-systems which form a biosphere that constantly develops through evolution – a neverending symphony of beauty and colours.

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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The Case For Universal Prosperity (Part 3)

by Michael Hrenka

What is universal prosperity? My idea of universal prosperity is that we can lift the living standards of everyone to a really decent level within the next decades. This “prosperity” life standard would include the following:

All Cyborgs Are Not Created Equal

by J. Hughes

Robotics promise to enhance human capabilities beyond our imagination, but for whom?  Industrialized societies are becoming more unequal, which is bad for our health, our democracies and our economic vitality. One of the culprits in growing inequality is technological innovation. So we should be very concerned about whether the acceleration of emerging technologies, such as robotics and human cyborgization, will make our societies even more unequal.

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Demanding a Post-Work World: Technological Unemployment and the Human Future

by John Danaher

The political left has long been oriented toward the future. This is clear in its revolutionary ethos: the utopia of the revolutionary is, after all, always just around the corner. But in orienting itself toward the future, the left has not always been actively futurist in its outlook. Many leftists are uncomfortable with technology and science, viewing them as insidious and malign capitalistic projects. As a result, their utopian dreams often end up looking to a mythic historical Golden Age for inspiration.

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The Case For Universal Prosperity (Part 2)

by Michael Hrenka

For the rest of this article I assume a model which I see as suboptimal – but realistic – conservative compromise:
Almost all social security policies get slashed in favour of a sufficient UBI.
Consumption taxes and income taxes are both increased so much that they can cover any additional cost that a sufficient UBI would impose.
Land value taxation and social dividends are not used to finance the UBI, even though that might be seen as preferred solution.

Crypto Enlightenment: A Social Theory of Blockchains

by Melanie Swan

There is something new and fundamental happening in the world which could be the start of the next enlightenment period. The core of this is shifting from centralized to decentralized models in all aspects of our lives, both individual and societally.

The Incoherence and Unsurvivability of Non-Anarchist Transhumanism

by William Gillis

The more means by which people can act the easier attack becomes and the harder defense becomes.

It’s a simple matter of complexity. The attacker only needs to choose one line of attack, the defender needs to secure against all of them. This isn’t just true of small thermal exhaust ports, it’s true in our software ecosystems today and any other system with many dimensions of movement.

Complexity, more degrees of freedom within a system, allow for greater attack surface. When they can come not just from all points on the compass but from above and below as well.

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The gig economy is the oldest one, and it’s always bad news

by Marcelo Rinesi

Let’s say you have an spare bedroom and you need some extra income. What do you do? You do more of what you’ve trained for, in an environment with the capital and tools to do it best. Anything else only makes sense if the economy is badly screwed up.

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Les conséquences d’une automatisation totale

by Alexandre Maurer

Le robot que vous pouvez voir ci-contre se nomme Baxter. Développé par la start-up Rethink Robotics [1], il a pour ambition de remplacer les humains dans des tâches industrielles simples. Son atout ? La polyvalence. Les robots industriels classiques ne savent effectuer que quelques tâches ultra-spécialisées.

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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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Poverty as Precursor to Mental Illness

by Khannea Suntzu

In most of the western world we have a prevailing societal model of self-reliance and personal responsibility. It’s easy to see the limitations of this model – people get old and sick, most people have emotional or other vulnerabilities and significant periods in our life we are just unable to protect ourselves.

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Is Transnational Surrogacy Exploitative? (1) Kirby’s Argument

by John Danaher

Surrogacy is the practice whereby a commissioning parent (or parents) procures the services of a surrogate who will carry a child to term on their behalf. For obvious reasons, all surrogates are thus biologically female. There are two main categories of surrogacy: (i) genetic, whereby a male commissioning parent impregnates the surrogate (typically via artificial insemination); and (ii) gestational, whereby the commissioning parent(s) provide (or procure) an embryo for implantation in the surrogate.

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Taxing Sugar Products to Elevate Brain Health

by Steven Umbrello


Although the overall trends regarding the consumption of added sugars as decreased from 1999-2007, the overall mean intake of added sugars continues to be an area of concern as they exceed the U.S. Dietary Guidelines on recommended intake. Numerous studies show the necessity of sugar on the brains function, however socio-cultural factors, which lead to overconsumption on added sugars, contribute to devastating health consequences.

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Polanyi’s Paradox: Will Humans Maintain Any Advantage Over Machines?

by John Danaher

Previous Entry

There is no denying that improvements in technology allow machines to perform tasks that were once performed best by humans. This is at the heart of the technological displacement we see throughout the economy. The key question going forward is whether humans will maintain an advantage in any cognitive or physical activity. The answer to this question will determine whether the future of the economy is one in which humans continue to play a relevant part, or one in which humans are left behind.

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Blockchain Financial Networks: Rethinking Risk and Finance with Automated Value Transfer

by Melanie Swan

Internet transfers Information, and now Value

Blockchains are important because they constitute the next phase of the Internet,  not just transferring information, but now transferring value: money, assets, and contracts. Blockchains are secure distributed ledgers, which can be implemented as globally-distributed financial networks. Ultimately, blockchain financial networks could automatically and independently confirm and monitor transactions, without central parties like banks or governments.

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Automation and Income Inequality: Understanding the Polarisation Effect

by John Danaher

Previous Entry

Inequality is now a major topic of concern. Only those with their heads firmly buried in the sand would have failed to notice the rising chorus of concern about wealth inequality over the past couple of years. From the economic tomes of Thomas Piketty and Tony Atkinson, to the battle-cries of the 99%, and on to the political successes of Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and Bernie Sanders in the US, the notion that inequality is a serious social and political problem seems to have captured the popular imagination.

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Big Red Earth Rises: a Novel NGO for Sustainable Development in Madagascar

by Dustin Eirdosh

In 2012 I formed a collaboration between IEET, the EvoS Consortium, and Madagascar’s southwestern University of Toliara - to form the highly experimental Positive Education Action-Research (PEAR) Laboratory.  Under this umbrella, I worked with students in education sciences and agricultural sciences to explore everything from the big history of the cosmos, to the moral and political psychology of agricultural biotechnology.

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Bitcoin is Steampunk Economics

by Marcelo Rinesi

From the point of view of its largest financial backers, the fact that Bitcoin combines 21st century computer science with 17th century political economy isn’t an unfortunate limitation. It’s what they want it for.

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IEET Audience Divided on Minimum Wage and Technological Unemployment

We asked “Should we promote higher minimum wages even if they accelerate technological unemployment?” Of the 134 of you who responded to our poll, one in six were OK with promoting higher minimum wages because you are skeptical of technological unemployment, and one in four questioned promoting higher minimum wages because you are skeptical of the feasibility of achieving a basic income guarantee. A little more than half of you thought working for higher minimum wages was OK either because a basic income guarantee is inevitable, or because we can simultaneously promote higher minimum wages and a BIG.

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A Techno-Optimist Movement: For an Evenly Distributed Future

by B. J. Murphy

Prominently known as the “noir prophet” of the cyberpunk subgenre, sci-fi novelist William Ford Gibson once said, “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.”[1]

We are living in a point of time in which we can conceivably recognize the emergence of a future once envisioned throughout science-fiction literature. Unfortunately, as stated by Gibson, the future doesn’t appear to be evenly distributed. Whether or not this is merely the hallmark of a future emerging from its infancy, only to then mature over time, shouldn’t prevent us from recognizing the current problems laid before us.

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