Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Economic

Santens @ North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress
September 30-


Campa@Third ISA Forum on Sociology
July 12
Vienna, Austria


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




MULTIMEDIA: Economic Topics

How college loans exploit students for profit

Combatting Political Corruption Combats Climate Change

Work/Life Balance Is a Non-Issue If You Find Your Purpose

Poverty Is a Threat to Democracy

Bill Nye: Want to Combat Climate Change? Talk about It

Algocracy: Opportunities and Risks (videocast with Adam Ford)

A provocative way to finance the fight against climate change

US Anti-Drug Laws Aren’t Scientific — They’re Colonialist and Racist

The Algocracy and Transhumanism Podcast: Episode 2

How To Make A Living When Robots Take Our Jobs

Why we should give everyone a basic income

Automate Now? Robots, Jobs and Universal Basic Income A Public Debate

The Digital Economy Should Be about Capital Creation, Not Extraction

Online Companies Like Facebook Have Created a Meaningless Economy

Overcoming the Obstacles on the Path to Post-Scarcity




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Technoprogressive List

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Economic Topics




The Monotony of Work

by John G. Messerly

I corresponded with an old friend yesterday who was communicating the tedium of his work as a software engineer. He is thankful that he earns a six-figure salary, and he understands that most people in the world would happily trade places with him, but that doesn’t change the fact that a future filled with a lifetime of coding doesn’t excite his probing and restless mind. Minds like his need stimulation, and they could contribute so much to the rest of us if they were freed to follow their interests . Moreover, while technology companies pay some of the best wages in the United States, they expect more than 40 hours of work in return, which leaves my friend with less time with his children than he would like.



IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher Interviewed by Futurezone

When machines take all the jobs that people need to find new meaning in life. This could be for the company, according to John Danaher both curse and blessing.

Full Story...
Link to Futurezone



Will Transhumanism Change Racism in the Future?

by Zoltan Istvan

Despite decades of progress, racism and bigotry are still prevalent in the United States. Often, they even dominate the news in American media, like during the Baltimore riots or the Ferguson shooting. Movements like Black Lives Matter remind us that the society we live in still has many biases to be fought against, but that good work can be done to combat bigotry if people unite against it.



Capital Lust, Not Capitalism, is Destroying the Earth and the Economy - See more at: http://ehumanda

by Nicole Sallak Anderson

I don’t like the word capitalism, but not because I’m against the free market. Open trade and markets provide wealth and raise the standard of living for the majority of people in democratic societies. Free markets also allow the exchange of ideas and innovations without the meddling of governments or religion.



What’s Killing the American Middle Class?

by Richard Eskow

A new study by the Pew Research Center spurred a rash of headlines last week about “the dying middle class.” But the word “dying” might be more appropriate if we were watching the regrettable but inevitable effects of natural forces at work. We’re not. We’re seeing the fruits of deliberate action—and sometimes of deliberate inaction—at the highest levels of power.



The Future of PR in Emotionally Intelligent Technology

by Jules Hamilton

PR is essentially the practice of managing the spread of information, and this is a tactical craft. For the PR professional years of experience combine knowledge of pragmatic practice and human intuition to generate desired results, a positive image and receptive message.



Guaranteed Mirage Income?

by Jonathan Kolber

Abstract:

According to Oxford, B of A Merrill Lynch, and other researchers, technological job displacement will increase dramatically in the next decade. Awareness of the threat this poses to societal stability is rapidly rising. Along with this awareness, there is increased discussion of guaranteed income (in various flavors) as a solution. This article explores the myriad challenges associated with permanently implementing any such program on a national basis.



How to maintain a vigorous, positive sum society… in theory

by David Brin

I’ve long urged folks to go have another look at one of the founders of the Western-Pragmatic Enlightenment, Adam Smith. Lately, Smith has been picked up by ever more economists and thinkers seeking to understand how we’ve gone astray.



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.



Your Jobs vs Your Dignity

by James Felton Keith

What we don’t know can hurt us. In the past year, it seems that 15 years of economic erosion has taken its toll on the wisdom of our 20th century experience. Nostalgic sentiments from an analogue age have seeped into the modern political discourse. Not because, they’ll work, but because people can understand them.

Full Story...



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?



The Evolution of Social Values: From Foragers to Farmers to Fossil Fuels

by John Danaher

I was first introduced to the work of Ian Morris last summer. Somebody suggested that I read his book Why the West Rules for Now, which attempts to explain the differential rates of human social development between East and West over the past 12,000 years. I wasn’t expecting much: I generally prefer narrowly focused historical works, not ones that attempt to cover the whole of human history. But I was pleasantly surprised.



Are we heading towards a singularity of crime?

by John Danaher

On the 8th August 1963, a gang of fifteen men boarded the Royal Mail train heading from London to Glasgow. They were there to carry out a robbery. In the end, they made off with £2.6 million (approximately £46 million in today’s money). The robbery had been meticulously planned. Using information from a postal worker (known as “the Ulsterman”), the gang waylaid the train at a signal crossing in Ledburn, Buckinghamshire.



The Penalty for Poverty Should Not Be Death

by Richard Eskow

The Brookings Institution recently issued a report showing that poor Americans die at a much earlier age than rich Americans, and that this life expectancy gap between rich and poor is growing rapidly. A professor of public health at Yale University told the New York Times, “It’s embarrassing.”

Yes, it is.

Full Story...



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.

Full Story...



Danaher published in the journal “Science and Engineering Ethics”

IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher recently published a paper on technological unemployment and the meaning of life in the journal Science and Engineering Ethics.

Full Story...
Link to Science and Engineering Ethics



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.

Full Story...



Understanding Exploitation: Unfair advantage and the lack of consent

by John Danaher

I feel like there is a lot of exploitation in the world. When I buy clothes, I worry that they have been made by exploited workers, labouring in appalling conditions in sweatshops in developing countries. When I use my mobile phone, I worry that the coltan that is used to manufacture the chips has been sourced from exploited workers in conflict zones, and that the phones themselves have been assembled by exploited workers in large factory complexes somewhere in Asia. Of course, I still buy the clothes and use the phone (like pretty much everybody else). So the question arises: should I worry about the exploitation?

Full Story...



Goertzel Launches Indiegogo to create AI Tablets for African Children

IEET Fellow Ben Goertzel is promoting an Indigogo campaign to complete YaNetu, a project that would provide AI tablets to African children.

Full Story...
Link to Indigogo



Let’s Tear Down the Ivory Tower Called School

by Ayesha Khanna

Schools insulated from industry and workplaces do a disservice to young people, as industries of the future require them to innovate and tinker, not just sit in classrooms absorbing lessons.

The industries of the future require students to be innovative and creative so that they can work effectively with technology instead of being replaced by it. They also require resilience and grit, as innovations demand tinkering, and failure is, more often than not, a natural step before success.

Full Story...



Martine Rothblatt at The Women’s Center 30th Annual Leadership Conference

IEET Trustee Martine Rothblatt will be speaking at the 30th Annual Leadership Conference of the Women’s Center.

Full Story...



Inequality Against Democracy: 10 Facts About the 1 Percent

by Richard Eskow

Economic inequality inspired Occupy Wall Street, a movement that in a few short months transformed our political discourse with the concept of the “1 percent” and the “99 percent.” Today the presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders is altering the political landscape with a call to reduce inequality.

Full Story...



Youtube as Motivator - what people can do with their basic incomes

by Scott Santens

As I’ve blogged about previously, being a cord cutter I watch YouTube instead of TV, and it’s because of this I think I don’t see people in the same way many do, where there’s a mistaken belief people do nothing unless paid to do something. To the contrary, it’s clear on YouTube that people love doing all kinds of things when they have the ability to do them. Therefore, YouTube to me is a window into a post-basic income world full of intrinsic motivation, where video after video is made for the love of making and sharing videos with those who enjoy watching them.

Full Story...



How dark epistemology explains the rise of Donald Trump

by Rick Searle

We are living in what is likely the golden age of deception. It would be difficult enough were we merely threatened with drowning in what James Gleick has called the flood of information, or were we doomed to roam blind through the corridors of Borges’ library of Babel, but the problem is actually much worse than that. Our dilemma is that the very instruments that once promised liberation via the power of universal access to all the world’s knowledge seem just as likely are being used to sow the seeds of conspiracy, to manipulate us and obscure the path to the truth.

Full Story...



Technological Growth, Inequality and Property Price Increases: An Explanation?

by John Danaher

This post is a bit of a departure for me. I’m not an economist. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I dabble occasionally in economics-related topics, particularly those concerning technology and economic theory, but I rarely get involved in the traditional core of economics — in topics like property prices, economic growth, debt, wealth inequality and the like. But it’s precisely those topics that I want to get involved with in this post.

Full Story...



Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof: the Diamond Lady of DIY Governance 2.0

by Giulio Prisco

After interviewing my friend Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof, founder of Bitnation, for my recent Bitcoin Magazine article titled “Bitnation Launches World’s First Blockchain-Based Virtual Nation Constitution,” I am thinking of the parallels between Susanne’s vision of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) “Governance 2.0” and my vision of DIY “Religion 2.0.”

Bitnation’s vision of future open societies is, in one word, awesome.

Full Story...



Basic Income Guarantee — my three hesitations

by Hank Pellissier

I support the generous intention of Basic Income Guarantee: the notion of “sharing the wealth”, rescuing people from impoverishment, granting a cushion to help people pursue their dreams.

I am on board with all that but I have three hesitations. Quibbles that trouble me…

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A Way to Pay for Global Citizen’s Income: Project Update and Report

by Margaret Morris

Concerning a way to pay for an Unconditional Basic Income that grows instead of fails or remains just enough to relieve severe poverty:

A Basic Income project was announced at Transhumanity.net on November 24, 2014.(1) The approach described involves a practical way of enlarging the space economy so as to create ongoing revenue for eliminating global poverty.

Full Story...



The Disproportionate Effects of a Universal Basic Income

by Scott Santens

Can UBI function as reparations?

One very interesting but not so easy to understand element of universal basic income is how it disproportionately helps traditionally marginalized groups more than anyone else.

Full Story...

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