Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Economic

Hughes, Santens @ World Summit on Technological Unemployment
September 29
NYC, NY USA


Hughes, Brin, Anderson, Pellissier, Sirius, Gillis, Kuzsewski, Istvan @ Future of Politics Conferenc
October 19-
Oakland, California


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




MULTIMEDIA: Economic Topics

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

Deep Web

The Age of Robots

We’re approaching humanity’s make or break period

What is the Future of Advertising?

Want to Be a Billionaire? Impact a Billion People

The Most You Can Do: How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas about Living Ethically

Science Fiction is Really Important But Not Because It’s Right

Are We Heading for a Jobless Future?

Let’s kick oil while the price is down

Support the Progressive Caucus Budget

Future Day Online

Mark Lewis on “Have We Reached Peak Education?”

Open Education, Open Educational Resources and MOOCs

Should We Have Control Over Our Consciousness?




Subscribe to IEET Lists

Daily News Feed

Longevity Dividend List

Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List









Economic Topics




A Question on Prostitution and the Left: My response to Meghan Murphy’s analysis

by B. J. Murphy

The question of prostitution has been a matter of debate throughout the progressive left for many years. To engage this topic as unbiased as possible, I must first admit that, as a white male, I cannot say that I am the best subject to take on this particular question under the personal perspective of the oppressed: that of women, who are predominantly not white.



The Road From Here: What About Medicare and Social Security?

by Richard Eskow

As the Bob Dylan song says: “Things should start to get interesting right about now.” You may think they’re already interesting—what with government closings, threats of a debt default, and extremist rhetoric under the Capitol Dome—but chances are we ain’t seen nothin’ yet. In twelve weeks or so our new system of government-by-crisis will resume its regularly scheduled programming: more threats, more confrontations, and even more extreme rhetoric.



DIY Biology or Our Biohacker Future

by David Brin

Biohackers constructed their temple for amatuer bio-creativity in 2009, with the establishment of Brooklyn-based Genspace, the world’s first government-compliant DIY biotech lab.



No, Extreme Human Longevity Won’t Destroy the Planet

by George Dvorsky

It’s only a matter of time before humanity solves the aging problem. And resistance to radical life extension has already begun, driven by fears of overpopulation and the exhaustion of our planet’s resources. Here’s why the critics are wrong.



Improvements in Prenatal Genetic Testing Raise Ethical Issues

by R. J. Crayton

A new study spearheaded at Columbia University aims to provide parents with more information about their unborn children—including potential abnormalities and genetic defects. Spread across 10 different research hospitals that plan to secure 1,000 women each to participate, knowledge gained from the study will contribute to the ethical dialogue surrounding what parents do with more prenatal testing data.



The Singularity and Socialism

by Michael Rectenwald

By definition, a singularity is something utterly peculiar unto itself, a species of being unmatched for its “this-ness.” The term has found usage in a number of domains, most significantly in physics, where a singularity defines a condition of matter whose mass is approaching zero as a function of its density approaching infinity. Cases of singularities or near singularities include black holes and the singularity that preceded the Big Bang.



Longevity Logistics: We Can Manage the Effects of Overpopulation

by Franco Cortese

By far the most predominant criticism made against indefinite longevity is overpopulation. It is the first “potential problem” that comes to mind. But fortunately it seems that halting the global mortality rate would not cause an immediate drastic increase in global population; in fact, if the mortality rate dropped to zero tomorrow then the doubling rate for the global population would only be increased by a factor of 1.75 [1], which is smaller than the population growth rate during the post-WWII baby-boom.



The Robots Are Coming - Now What?

by Richard Eskow

A new study says that nearly half of all American jobs may soon be performed by robots. And the White House has just announced the formation of “the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee ‘2.0,’” which it describes as “part of a continuing effort to maintain U.S.leadership in the emerging technologies that will create high-quality manufacturing jobs and enhance America’s global competitiveness.”



Three Specters of Immortality

by Franco Cortese

I would like to address what I consider to be three common criticisms against the desirability and ethicacy of life-extension I come across all too often – three specters of immortality, if you will. These will be Overpopulation (the criticism that widely-available life-extension therapies will cause unmanageable overpopulation), Naturality (the criticism that life-extension if wrong because it is unnatural), and Selfishness (the criticism that life-extension researchers, activists and supporters are motivated by a desire to increase their own, personal lifespans than by a desire to decrease involuntary suffering in the world at large).



Half of U.S. jobs may be lost to automation in 2 decades, report says

by Dick Pelletier

A study from the Oxford Martin Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology suggests that nearly half of U.S. jobs could be at risk of computerization over the next two decades. The study examined more than 700 detailed occupation types, noting the tasks workers perform and the skills required.



How the pseudoscience of Social Darwinism nearly destroyed humanity

by George Dvorsky

Following the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in 1860, many political theorists and opportunistic politicians applied his findings to human society. In the 20th century, these ideas were put into practice — and it nearly destroyed us. Here’s why Social Darwinism was one of the worst ideas ever.



Neo-Malthusians, Luddites, and the rise of the Anti-Science Left

by B. J. Murphy

As much as I respect Pres. Obama’s senior advisor on science and technology, John Holdren, on his work in fighting against climate change, I’ve come to find out that his political beliefs are almost interrelated with that of Maoist-Third-Worldism (an extremist Leftist ideology).



Bringing back feudalism—is libertarianism an unwitting tool?

by David Brin

R.J. Eskow - on Salon - offers "11 Questions to see if Libertarians are Hypocrites."  And yes, most of Eskow's posers certainly do set up some stark and thought-provoking contradictions - even hypocrisies - in the oft-touted positions held by many who today use the "L-word" to describe themselves. The article is well-worth reading and it does skewer especially those who bow in obeisance to Ayn Rand, the patron saint of resentful ingrates who want desperately to blame society for being  under-achievers. And yet…



Betting Against The Transhumanist Wager

by Rick Searle

There have been glowing reviews at the IEET of Zoltan Istvan’s The Transhumanist Wager. This will not be one of those. As I will argue, if you care about core transhumanist concerns, such as research into pushing out the limits of human mortality, little could be worse than the publication of Istvan’s novel. To put it sharply in terms of his so-called First Law of Transhumanism “A transhumanist must safeguard his own existence above all else”; Istvan, by creating a work that manages to disparage and threaten nearly every human community on earth has likely shortened the length of your life



Techno-Progressives and the Post-2015 Millennium Development Goals

by Rick Searle

What the current crisis in and over Syria makes painfully clear is the extent to which the international system, the way in which global affairs have been organized since at least the 19th century when it became possible to view the various human communities scattered across the landscape of the earth as part of one-world is failing. The system is failing whatever the outcome of current debates in the UN and US over military strikes against Syria.



On Cyborgs, Patents, Property and Open Source

by Kamil Muzyka

When speaking about transhumanism, one might think either about genetically altered human beings, or about ones with cybernetic enhancements and augmentations. Those second ones are popularly known as cyborgs. Most of us, optimists, would be likely to view neuroprosthetics and neural implants as a commodity available for every human being on the planet… to be honest, it’s more like a cyberpunk noir.



Transhumanism and Anti-Imperialism: Why Technoprogressives should say ‘U.S. hands off Syria!’

by B. J. Murphy

As President Obama has continuously sound off the war drums against Syria, and as the people anxiously wait for a response by Congress as to whether or not another U.S. war against a sovereign Middle Eastern country is ethically desirable, the technoprogressive left of the Transhumanist movement has all but declared a voice in this debate.



Combatting the “longer life will slow progress” criticism

by Franco Cortese

We are all still children. As far as the Centenarian is concerned, the only people to have ever lived have been children – and we have all died before our coming of age.



The Philosophy Behind Elysium

by Rick Searle

I finally had the chance to see Elysium this week. As films go, the picture is certainly visually gripping and the fight scenes awesome, if you are into that sort of thing. But, in terms of a film about ideas the picture left me scratching my head, and I could only get a clue as to the film’s meaning as intended by Neill Blomkamp, Elysium’s screenwriter and director, by looking elsewhere.



IEET Work on Technological Unemployment Cited in Hartford Courant

IEET contributor Leo Canty wrote an editorial for the Hartford Courant on the occasion of Labor Day, America’s faux May Day.

Full Story...



The Empire of Equality and Digital Piracy

by Sebastian Pereira

Since the dawn of the new era there has been one phenomenon that has eluded any attempt to restrain it, piracy. As the internet became ever more present in the life of society information flow has serve as the main drive of progress, and with it file sharing and other forms of copyright infringement have evolve.



The importance of universal healthcare

by Lee-Roy Chetty

The strategic aim of universal health coverage is to ensure that everyone can use the health services they need without risk of financial ruin or impoverishment, no matter what their socio-economic situation. The over-arching concept of universal health coverage takes a broad view of the services that are needed for good health and well-being.



Transhumanism and the Politics of Project Prevention

by Wesley Strong

Planning childbirth and discouraging or eliminating factors that contribute to preventable birth complications are a priority for many transhumanists. All people should have access to reproductive services for free to use at their discretion, especially if we concede to live under a capitalist system that requires poverty, which in turn limits access to adequate care. This is a basic concept on which many transhumanists, especially at the IEET, agree.



IEET Audience Divided on Paying Addicts to Use Contraception

More than 180 people answered the question “Would it be ethical to pay heroin and meth addicts $300 to have a vasectomy or tubal ligation?” This was inspired by the debate over Project Prevention, which has paid almost 5000 addicts to use contraception, or have a vasectomy or tubal ligation if they so chose. Most of you were OK with the general idea of such a program under one condition or another, such as being only being run by an independent nonprofit, or if it only offered reversible forms of contraception likes implants.

Full Story...



Longevity’s Bottleneck may be funding, BUT funding’s Bottleneck is Advocacy

by Franco Cortese

When asked what the biggest bottleneck for Radical or Indefinite Longevity is, most thinkers say funding. Some say the biggest bottleneck is breakthroughs and others say it’s our way of approaching the problem (i.e. that many are seeking healthy life extension, a.k.a. “aging gracefully”, instead of more comprehensive methods of indefinite life-extension), but the majority seem to feel that what is really needed is adequate funding to plug away at developing and experimentally-verifying the various, sometimes mutually-exclusive technologies and methodologies that have already been proposed. I claim that Radical Longevity’s biggest bottleneck is not funding, but advocacy.



Worker Cooperatives: Retooling the Solidarity Economy

by Sebastian A.B.

Under the cooperative model, workers own the business, reducing injustice because they have a stake in the community and because an individual will find it hard to exploit oneself. Workers often buy into their jobs (upfront or amortized), vote on major decisions in general assemblies or committees, and even voluntarily donate to the co-op for re-investment. Known as “workplace democracy,” this model of authentic self-determination renders state action superfluous.



A Letter to Sergey Brin

by Maria Konovalenko

I’ve heard you are interested in the topics of aging and longevity. This is very cool, because fighting for radical life extension is the wisest and most humanitarian strategy. I would like to tell you what needs to be done, but, unfortunately, I haven’t got your email address, or any other way to be heard.



Reasons for Optimism and Concern: Can Technology Save the World?

by David Brin

I cannot recommend too highly an excellent article that appeared in The Guardian— Technology as Our Last Best Hope —about the concept of ecological modernism, which sees technology as key to solving big environmental problems.



Killer Apps of Cognitive Nanorobotics

by Melanie Swan

One of the most fun parts of thinking about nanocognition and cognitive nanorobotics is imagining the killer apps that we might have! 



Major changes in healthcare forecast for future

by Dick Pelletier

By 2030, America will be 150,000 doctors short, just as the median age of baby boomers hits 72. A voracious consumption of health care will far eclipse what can reasonably be provided by the current distribution model, but never fear; technology to the rescue.

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