Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Economic



MULTIMEDIA: Economic Topics

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?

The 19-Year-Old Luminary Building A Cheaper, Better Prosthetic Limb

Review the Future: What is Technoprogressivism?

Morality for a Godless Generation

Inequality: Are the rich cashing in?




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Economic Topics




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.



Emergence of Decentralization and the Rise of DIY Culture

by Roberta Scarlett

We have our views about how we should establish some more efficient and equitable system depending on how we as individuals view issues facing humanity. Some of us want to ‘save’ the economy, the environment, or deal with political corruption. But when we think about solutions, we should consider that man-made systems are not pre-established, they’re emergent.



The Surveillance State, You, and the Time Traveling Detectives

by Sean Vitka

However disturbing the recently revealed individual surveillance programs are, Reuter’s new documents detailing Parallel Construction, a practice of reinventing how an investigation started, offers the first proof of definite, systemic abuse by the surveillance state. Parallel Construction embodies the dangers, lack of accountability, and opacity that many have feared the modern surveillance state would engender.



IEET Madagascar

Recently the IEET has begun a collaboration with Dustin Eirdosh, who is currently serving as the Visiting Assistant Professor in Social and Evolutionary Neuropsychology at the University of Toliara, a unique biological and human sciences institution in the Atsimo Andrefana (southwestern) region of Madagascar. Dr. Eirdosh will serve as the coordinator for the Madagascar branch of the IEET Africa Futures Project (AFP).

Full Story...



Basic Income Plan: a thought experiment

by Tobias S. Buckell

A basic income (also called basic income guarantee, unconditional basic income, universal basic income or citizen’s income) is a proposed system of social security that regularly provides each citizen with a sum of money unconditionally. Unlike a Guaranteed minimum income, a basic income is entirely unconditional: the only requirement for receiving it is to be a citizen and/or resident of the country without means test. Instead, a minimum income may be conditional upon participating in government enforced labor or other conditional means testing. A basic income of any amount less than the social minimum is sometimes referred to as a ‘partial basic income’. Similar proposals for “capital grants provided at the age of majority” date to Thomas Paine’s Agrarian Justice of 1795, there paired with asset-based egalitarianism.



Project Prevention: The Face of Modern Eugenics: Pt2

by Wesley Strong

Project Prevention paid a total of 4,613 people, including eighty-four men, to get one of these birth-control procedures, including IUDs, tubal ligation, Depo-Provera, implanon, or vasectomy over its first fifteen years of operation.iii The project began in California after Harris failed to pass a bill to establish criminal penalties for mothers who consume. Harris began this crusade after adopting four children of a crack-addicted mother in Los Angeles. She responded in a reactionary manner, blaming parents, without much if any sympathy for those who suffer systemic oppression.



Taxing Multinational Corporations Against Global Catastrophic Risks

by Rick Searle

Human beings have a very limited attention span, a fact amplified a thousand fold by modern media. It seems the “news” can consist of a only handful of widely followed stories at a time, and only one truly complex narrative. This is a shame because the recent breaking of one substantial news story was followed by the breaking of another one which knocked it out of the field of our electronic tunnel vision. Without some narrative connecting the two only one can really hold our attention at a time. Neither of these stories have to do with Kate Middleton and the birth of Prince George.



Project Prevention: The Face of Modern Eugenics: Pt1

by Wesley Strong

James Hughes appeared on Huff Post Live on July 26th to defend the work of the controversial Project Prevention led by its Director, Barbara Harris. Project Prevention focuses on paying largely poor, drug-addicted women to not have children by subsidizing them three-hundred dollars each when they secure some form of long-term birth control. Long term birth control methods include Intra-uterine Devices (IUDs), tubal ligation, sterilization, or for their few male clients, vasectomies.



Manning Show Trial Exposes the Fraud of Representative Democracy

by Kevin Carson

Major Ashlend Fein, US Army prosecutor in Bradley Manning’s court martial, caught my attention when he referred to Manning as an “anarchist” in closing arguments. As an anarchist, I’d be proud to share that label with Manning. But I’ve never heard from any reliable source that he considers himself one.



Protected: Making impediments to life extension illegal

by Khannea Suntzu

Whether or not some form of life extension treatment is possible remains to be seen. Even less imminent than extending lifespan is the prospect of some form regenerative therapies (or modifications) that reduce effective lifespan and restore some form of youthfulness. ‘The person on the street’ tends to estimate how close these treatments might be.



Maximizing Africa’s agriculture for economic growth

by Lee-Roy Chetty

There are few development challenges in Africa more as pressing and fraught with controversy as the issue of land ownership and its persistent gap between rich and poor communities.



Fourteen Things That Will Remain Scarce (and Drive Future Job Growth?)

by Jon Perry

Let’s imagine that current trends continue, and technology continues to drive down the price of various goods. We could eventually end up with a world in which artificial intelligence equals human beings in most tasks, household devices can manufacture physical goods with atomic precision, transportation is fully automated, solar energy is plentiful, and high volumes of useful data freely flow from person to person.



Let them eat bugs

by R. Dennis Hansen

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) wants us to eat insects. The international agency recently reported that there are more than 1,400 species of recorded edible bugs. It turns out that many varieties are rather nutritious. A serving of grasshoppers, for instance, provides nearly the same amount of protein as ground beef. And insects can be farmed more inexpensively, on much less land and using less water.

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