editor’s note: IEET prefers what Charlie Stross says in this 2009 interview, far more than what he’s said recently. Two days ago on his blog, Stross labeled H+ as “sordid… rotten… blind.. smugly self-satisfied hypercapitalists.” We regard these attacks as inexcusably sloppy. (interview by RU Sirius)
What did IEET visitors read, watch, and bicker about in May? Sex & gender, religion & atheism, robots, psychopaths, death, space, and the self were all popular topics. Statistics with links are provided to the Top 12 in three categories:
Today I’m going to focus on medical technologies that are available or being researched now that can be implanted into (or onto) humans. Specifically, I am going to talk about tech that promises to restore (and one day replace) faulty biological systems. We will start at the top:
For technoprogressives it can be excruciating to witness the persistence with which spurious objections to promising technologies wield massive influence over public policy, law and attitudes. This article explores what is arguably the main underlying reason for this—namely fear—and what are the options for addressing this underlying fear.
The current socio-political discussion on transhumanism concerns human use of NBIC  technologies and sciences to enhance human biology and to radically extend human life. I address this concern by bringing art and design into the discussion.
What will advanced AI systems — Artificial General Intelligences — be like? How will they relate to human beings? How will they help transform human beings into post human forms? Might they turn against their creators?
The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants to understand the science behind what makes people violent, and then find ways to hijack their minds by implanting false, but believable stories in their brains, with hopes of evoking peaceful thoughts: We’re friends, not enemies.
Nanotechnology leads to novel materials, new exposures and potentially unique health and environmental risks – or so the argument goes. But an increasing body of research is showing that relatively uniformly sized nanometer scale particles are part and parcel of the environment we live in.
I frequently write and talk about things at the intersection of science and religion, spirituality and technology, and I am often asked if I am a believer. I used to give complicated, intellectual answers, but now I prefer giving a simple answer. My answer is YES, I am a believer.
Let’s be real. The majority of transhumanists, scientists, astronomers, computer specialists, etc. became interested in their fields of study through their interest in science-fiction. We know the story of how cellphones were designed with Star Trek‘s communicators in mind, as were tablet computers, ebooks, and other new technologies. That has all been well-documented and I’m relatively certain that it is not news to most of us. Star Trek has been very influential in my life, guiding my thought processes in many areas, like physics, astronomy, quantum mechanics - even politics and economics. Part 2 of the Casual Transhuman.
Imagine going to the grocery store in 25 years in your sleek new auto-drive car: You hop in, voice the destination and off you go. The quiet, electric-powered vehicle drops you off at the supermarket entrance, then auto-parks itself while you shop. As you exit the store, your car drives to the entrance, picks you up and returns home. You marvel at this incredible car that can also run errands without you on board.
In Western cultures, nature is a cosmological, primal ordering force and a terrestrial condition that exists in the absence of human beings. Both meanings are freely implied in everyday conversation. We distinguish ourselves from the natural world by manipulating our environment through technology. In What Technology Wants, Kevin Kelly proposes that technology behaves as a form of meta-nature, which has greater potential for cultural change than the evolutionary powers of the organic world alone.
Will “the self” survive because it can provide people with a greater sense of happiness? Or is it - perhaps along with the constructs “Free Will” and “Determinism” - doomed to the dustbin of history? Should cyborgs, avatars, and a rewired human brain be developed with a stronger or weaker sense of self? An interview with Dr. Garret Merriam, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at University of Southern Indiana.
34.8% of IEET poll responders selected “Cryonics and Resurrection” in a recent survey that inquired about life-after-death preferences. 27.7% selected, instead, the category, “Uploaded in a Non-Biological Medium,” and 24.1% chose “Either is Fine.”
Your relationship is on the rocks. Begrudgingly, you and your significant other visit a marriage counselor in the hopes that there’s still something left to salvage in your relationship. You both spill your guts and admit that the love is gone. The counselor listens attentively, nodding her head every now and then in complete understanding. At the end of the session she offers the two of you some practical words of advice and sees you on your way. Oh, but before you leave she fills out a prescription for the two of you. Your marriage, it would seem, has been placed on meds.
Today I want to talk about three broad categories: Synthetic or engineered medical research or treatments, biological (DNA) research and procedures, and various transplants that have been performed or are being researched.
There is more and more, and often positive, coverage of mind uploading and cybernetic immortality in the press, and it appears that leaving biology behind and becoming cyber angels is an idea whose time has come.
TopTenz.net selected IEET as #1 non-profit in the category, “Straight Outta Science Fiction.” The website touts IEET as the best organization to fund if you want to “fight Terminators by making yourself into an immortal cyborg…” NPOs trailing IEET include the Mormon Transhumanist Association (#5), Humanity+ (#6), and the Singularity Institute (#8).
All buildings today have something in common: They are made using Victorian technologies. This involves blueprints, industrial manufacturing and construction using teams of workers. All this effort results in an inert object, which means there is a one–way transfer of energy from our environment into our homes and cities. This is not sustainable.