Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Vision

InsurTech 2016
September 27-28
Suntec Convention & Exhibition Center Singapore


Eurosymposium on Healthy Aging
September 29-1
Brussels, Belgium


Robotic Online Short Film Festival
November 20
Universidad Elche, Spain


Stefan Sorgner @ Meditation & Wirklichkeit Conference in Berlin
November 25-26
Berlin


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


BlockCon 2017
March 28-29
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore




MULTIMEDIA: Vision Topics

Born Poor, Stay Poor: The Silent Caste System of America

Caffeine? That’s So Analog. Introducing Electric Neural Stimulation.

The Ways That Technology Has Changed the Definition of Death

Will Robots Be Made of Living Tissue?

Hacking People For Good

Is It Time To Build Floating Airports?

Deus Ex x Open Bionics

"> Human by Design - Ethical Framework for Human Augmentation

Why Doesn’t the U.S. Have a Multi-Party Political System?

Break Anxiety and Addiction By Examining Your Patterns

The next manufacturing revolution is here

How the blockchain is changing money and business

Hunting for Peru’s lost civilizations — with satellites

Want to Be a Physicist? Develop an Affinity for the Weird

David Gunkel on Robots and Cyborgs




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Vision Topics




BREXIT – some historical perspective

by Tsvi Bisk

Historical Comparison
In 1861 – 72 years after the ratification of the Constitution in 1789 – the southern states of the United States exited the American Union. In 2016 – 70 years after Winston Churchill first called for the establishment of a United States of Europe in 1946 – Great Britain exited the European Union.



Bio-Cryptoeconomy: Nanorobotic DACs for Cell Repair and Enhancement

by Melanie Swan

Blockchains as the new platform for technological innovation invite the creative imagining of applications at both the level of technology use and in the rethinking of economic principles. Some recent developments include optimism about rising Bitcoin prices and the rewards-halving milestone, trepidation about scalability, block size, and the latest hacking scandal of the Ethereum DAO, and fast-paced single ledger adoption by financial institutions.



New Transhumanism Book by Stefan L. Sorgner To Be Printed

by Stefan Sorgner

A new book on transhumanism by IEET Fellow Stefan Lorenz Sorgner is ready to be printed. It is the first introduction to transhumanism in German. Therein, the 12 pillars of his own weak Nietzschean transhumanism get sketched, too. If your order it now, you will receive it at the end of September, when it will get published.



Want to Find Aliens? Look for Planets That Have Become Stars

by George Dvorsky

Jupiter is often referred to as a “failed star,” leading some futurists to wonder if our descendants might set it ablaze in a process called planetary stellification. A new study suggests this is indeed theoretically possible—and that we should be on the hunt for galactic aliens who have already converted their gas giants into stellar objects.



Rising Sea Levels Threaten Nearly a Trillion Dollars Worth of US Homes

by George Dvorsky

Real estate database company Zillow is warning that nearly 1.9 million homes in the United States could be flooded by the end of the century. That’s about two percent of the nation’s total housing stock, amounting to $882 billion in value.



No Mans Sky: A Deist Simulated Universe

by Giulio Prisco

I don’t play No Man’s Sky (yet?), the pictures here were taken by my friend Extropia DaSilva who is busy exploring the simulated universe. Perhaps I will follow, but perhaps not: I am sure I would love No Man’s Sky and find it addictive, but I prefer to develop visions of hope for everyone to visit, one day, the big No Man’s Sky out there. However, No Man’s Sky is the richest simulation that we have developed so far, and an impressive technological feat.



Interview with Gerd Leonhard and his New Book TECHNOLOGY vs. HUMANITY

by Gerd Leonhard

IEET Managing Director Steven Umbrello interviewed futurist and author Gerd Leonhard about his new book, Technology vs. Humanity.



This Is Where Europe’s Upcoming Rover Mission Will Explore Mars

by George Dvorsky

In October, the joint ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars 2016 mission will land the Schiaparelli rover on the Red Planet. Here’s where the probe is scheduled to land, and why researchers chose this particular area.



Paralyzed Patients Learn to Walk Again Using Virtual Reality

by George Dvorsky

A groundbreaking new experiment shows that brain-machine interfaces, when used in conjunction with exoskeletons and virtual reality, can trigger partial recovery in patients recovering from spinal cord injuries.



IEET Affiliate Scholar Phil Torres Publishes New Paper in JET

Imagine that someone points a gun to your head and threatens to pull the trigger. How would you assess the overall risk of your situation? One possibility is to examine the gun: to determine its various properties, how powerful it is, the speed at which bullets emerge from the barrel, and so on. This is what many existential risk scholars have focused on with respect to existential risks: the range of technologies that could be used for harmful ends.

Full Story...
Link to Journal of Evolution and Technology



Liberalism’s Great Challenge: How Can We Critique Ideas while Protecting People?

by Valerie Tarico

Secular and reformist Muslims plead that we learn to tell the difference between analyzing ideas and attacking people.

When Islam is at question, members of the American Left and Right race into opposite corners. After the Orlando nightclub massacre, to cite one recent example, conservatives spewed anti-Muslim invective to the point that ordinary American Muslims were afraid to leave home.



Our emerging culture of shame

by Rick Searle

remember a speech that the novelist Tom Wolfe gave on CSPAN or some such back in the 1990s in which he said something like “Nietzsche predicted that the 20th century would be the age of ideology, and that the century after the age of morality, and I believe him” I’ve never been able to find the source of the quote, but the more the 21st century rolls on, the more I’m finding it to increasingly, frighteningly true.



Peter Thiel is Right About One Thing

by George Dvorsky

Billionaire douchebag Peter Thiel has plenty of crazy ideas, but his commitment to radical life extension isn’t one of them.



Decentralized Crypto-Finance: Blockchains, Automatic Markets, and Algorithmic Trust

by Melanie Swan

A revolutionary set of concepts and underlying technology enablement has arisen in the form of blockchain technology. Blockchains allow the digital payments layer the Internet never had, and more broadly contemplate an era whereby all forms of secure value transfer could take place via the Internet. This includes all monetary assets (the cash or spot market) and all assets and liabilities over any future time frame (the futures and options market, mortgages, debt and equity securities, treasury issuance, and public debt).



Vote for IEET’s Managing Director’s Scholarship Competition

IEET Managing Director Steven Umbrello has entered a photo competition in order to be entered to win a scholarship for his graduate studies. In order to help him make the shortlist you can follow the link below to vote for his picture titled ‘Arrogance Dying’.

VOTE HERE



Shedding Light on Peter Thiel’s Dark Enlightenment

by Rick Searle

Lately I’ve been experiencing quite a bit of deja vu, and not in the least of a good kind. The recent bout was inspired by Ben Smith’s piece for BuzzFeed in which he struggled to understand how an Ayn Rand loving libertarian like the technologist Peter Thiel could end up supporting a statist demagogue like Donald Trump. Smith’s reasoning was that Trump represented perhaps the biggest disruption of them all and could use the power of the state to pursue the singularity and flying-cars Theil believed were one at our fingertips.



IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher Publishes New Paper on Moral Enhancement

IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher has a new paper coming out in the journal Neuroethics. This one argues that directly augmenting the brain might be the most politically appropriate method of moral enhancement. This paper brings together his work on enhancement, the extended mind, and the political consequences of advanced algorithmic governance. Details below:

Full Story...
Link to Neuroethics



The Movie “Spotlight”: Philosophical Reflections

by John G. Messerly

Last night I watched “Spotlight,” one of the finest films I’ve seen in years.

The film follows The Boston Globe‘s “Spotlight” team, the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative journalist unit in the United States,[6] and its investigation into cases of widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area by numerous Roman Catholic priests. It is based on a series of stories by the “Spotlight” team that earned The Globe the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.[7] … The film … was named one of the finest films of 2015 by various publications. Spotlight won the Academy Award for Best Picture along with Best Original Screenplay … (from Wikipedia)



Clones Age Normally, So Relax

by George Dvorsky

It’s been 20 years since the birth of Dolly the Sheep, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult. Because Dolly died prematurely, scientists have worried that cloning accelerates the aging process. But a new analysis of 13 cloned sheep—including a batch of Dolly’s genetic duplicates—shows this isn’t the case.



Vers une reconnaissance d’un droit à la longévité

by Hadrian Pourbahman

Hadrien Pourbahman, étudiant en Master 2 spécialisé en droit de la santé et des biotechnologies, a effectué un stage au sein de l’AFT Technoprog. Cet article synthétise ses travaux et fournit des références pour vous permettre d’approfondir les sujets.



Piketty on Free Higher Education and the Value of Meritocracy

by John Danaher

I have worked hard to get where I am. I come from a modest middle class background. Neither of my parents attended university. They grew up in Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s, at a time when the economy was only slowly emerging from its agricultural roots. I and my siblings were born and raised in the 1970s and 1980s, in an era of high unemployment and emigration. Things started to get better in the 1990s as the Irish economy underwent its infamous ‘Celtic Tiger’ boom. I did well in school and received a (relatively) free higher education, eventually pursuing a masters and PhD in the mid-to-late 2000s.



Taming the Human Data Stream

by Daniel Faggella

“Big Data” is more of an opportunity than it is a benefit in and of itself. This might hold even more true for data gleaned from the human body itself as it does from the information streams from stock markets and eCommerce.



Is Death the Sculptor of Life or an Evil to be Vanquished?

by John Danaher

My friend Michael Hauskeller recently recommended a paper on academia.edu. It was by Davide Sisto and it was entitled “Moral Evil or Sculptor of the Living? Death and the Identity of the Subject”. I was intrigued. Longtime readers will know that I have, for some time now, been half in love with the philosophy of death. I am always keen to read a new perspective or take on the topic.



Most Americans Fear a Future of Designer Babies and Brain Chips

by George Dvorsky

Most American adults are nervous about the prospect of enhancing humans beyond normal capacities, a new Pew Research Center poll reveals. But while many of those surveyed expressed concerns about brain-boosting chips and designer babies, a significant number had a positive view of technology’s ability to transform humans and society.



Op-ed: Climate Change Is the Most Urgent Existential Risk

by Phil Torres

Climate change and biodiversity loss may pose the most immediate and important threat to human survival given their indirect effects on other risk scenarios.



The friction between necessity and special interests

by Khannea Suntzu

Societal disparity is a hot button topic sure to arouse emotions. Those who currently have or make comparatively more money as always follow heir self-interest and stick to decennia old post cold war talking points best summarized as “anyone who works hard will eventually be successful”. This is clearly a self-validating and wealth consolidating statement and it’s completely understandable from a zero sum perspective. For the lucky few at the top of the economic food chain any compelling statement that “if most people who work hard in life will not be successful”, pretty much means that society is injust and is subject to renegotiation. And we have been at a collective consensus in western society for centuries now that for statistical majorities of the population – society must be just.



Évolution naturelle ou évolution technologique ?

by Alexandre Maurer

Ce parallèle est-il pertinent ? Oui… et non. Dans cet article, nous tenterons d’en cerner les limites. Puis nous expliquerons pourquoi une évolution technologique (dans le cadre du transhumanisme) nous semble largement préférable.



Consciousness, Reality, and the Simulation Hypothesis

by Giulio Prisco

Yesterday a post in the Turing Church Facebook group (h/t Martin C.) mentioned a Skeptico interview with filmmaker Kent Forbes, the creator of “The Simulation Hypothesis,” a recent film about the reality-as-a-sim concept, consciousness and quantum physics. Review and related thoughts below.



A World Ruled by Networks

by Rick Searle

One of the more confusing characteristics of our age is how it trucks in contradiction. As a prime example: the internet is the most democratizing medium in the history of humankind giving each of us the capability to reach potentially billions with the mere stroke of a key. At the same time this communication landscape is one of unprecedented concentration dominated by a handful of companies such as Facebook Google, Twitter, and in China Baidu.



Record-Setting Hard Drive Writes Information One Atom At a Time

by George Dvorsky

Researchers working in the Netherlands have developed an atomic-scale rewritable data-storage device capable of packing 500 terabits onto a single square inch. Incredibly, that’s enough to store every book written by humans on a surface the size of a postage stamp. Holy shit.

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