Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

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


Santens @ North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress
September 30-

New Worlds 2015
October 16-17
Austin TX USA

Hughes, Brin, Anderson, Pellissier, Sirius, Gillis, Kuzsewski @ Future of Politics
October 18
Oakland, California

Sorgner @ Transhumanism: Perspektiven, Chancen, Risiken
December 5
Nürnberg, Germany

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

MULTIMEDIA: Contributors Topics

Basic Income and other ways to fix capitalism

Is Xenophobia Inherent in Organized Religion?

Is it Time to Start Worrying About AI?

Gene Therapy is NOT a Monstrous Science / Singularity 1on1

Practopoiesis Tells Us Machine Learning Isn’t Enough

What is the Future of Brain-Computer Interfaces?

Don’t Fear the AI Apocalypse

The dilemma of human enhancement

We’re approaching humanity’s make or break period

What is the Future of Movies?

What is the Future of Advertising?

Ideasthesia: How do ideas feel?

Cyborg Sex - Greg Stevens and B.J. Murphy discuss sexuality and gender in a transhumanist future

Finding Future X in Cape Town

Singularity 1-on-1: PJ Manney on her sci-fi novel (R)Evolution

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Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List

Contributors Topics

Visioneer Your Future - how do young people conceive of and understand the future?

by Emilie Whitaker

Visioneering has imbued these pages of late be it the important role played in fuelling the creative and visionary spirit through the crafting of an image, or the political necessity of such work for breaking binaries and embarking on a creative destruction of sense in order to produce new canvases, ideas and actions befitting the 21st century (see Cabrera and Peake).

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Transhumanists Donate Incubators to Afghanistan to Combat Infant Mortality

by Micah Redding

Earlier this year, the Christian Transhumanist Association made its public debut with an open invitation to membership, and a small fundraising campaign that brought in approximately $1200. Now, as our first substantial financial act, the membership advisory council, the donors, and the board have decided to contribute that money towards a project that combines technology, compassion, and respect for human life.

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Mindfulness-Based Therapy – Does it Work? (Summary, Part 3)

by Gareth John

Which brings me to my critique of mindfulness as therapy:

1.  Firstly, mindfulness is not and should not be viewed as the latest cure-all for those with mental health issues. It is not a panacea. By the time the Buddha started employing it within his teachings it had already had a long history of incremental development within a broader spiritual tradition and this continued up until the end of the last century. Within this tradition it is viewed as a powerful tool designed to do to the brain what the brain specifically does not want to do, i.e. remain uninvolved with thought patterns and feelings as they pass before the practitioner.

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Mindfulness-Based Therapy – Examining the Studies (Part 2)

by Gareth John

So is there any hard evidence that mindfulness-based therapies work? Well, the clinical evidence for mindfulness as a way to prevent depression, stress and anxiety appears at first glance to be sound. A review of the eight-week course was published in 2011 in Clinical Psychology Review by Jacob Piet and Esben Hougaard of Aarhus University, Denmark.

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What’s on your Mind? - Mindfulness-Based Therapies and Mental Health (Part 1)

by Gareth John

Before I begin, full disclosure and some caveats:

* In my youth I trained for thirteen years as a Buddhist priest, first with the Japanese Zen tradition and then within the Tibetan tantric tradition. As such, mindfulness based meditation formed the basis of my practice, even when, later in my training, other methods began to be employed.

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Reverse Missionaries: Are African Churches Exporting Homophobia to the West?

by Leo Igwe

In recent years, the issue of gay rights in Africa has generated intense debate and discussions. Some countries have tried to tighten the laws against homosexuality and prohibit same sex marriage. They claim homosexuality is an evil, corrupt and immoral lifestyle which western societies are trying to impose on African nations.

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Manipulate Much? A Professional Video Editor Discusses Carly Fiorina’s Claims and the Campaign

by Valerie Tarico

What did you really see and hear? Don’t be so sure you know the answer.

Garth Spruiell has spent the last thirty years working as a professional video editor, most recently creating promotional content for The Weather Channel and before that tweaking everything from ads to religion to porn for an independent editing shop in Los Angeles. He knows the tricks of the trade: how to grab your attention, heighten emotion, create seamless transitions, or even weave a compelling story from a whole lot of nothing.

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Driverless Cars: the Catalyst Towards Futuristic Smart Cities

by Richard van Hooijdonk

Have you ever considered how many hours are wasted, traveling to work and back every day? Now picture a scenario where you can work while you are being driven to your destination along the fastest and safest routes – without it costing you anything extra? Wouldn’t that be great? Brace yourself – cities are about to change forever. It’s already happening in the backyards of tech and automobile giants like Google, Audi and Mercedes where driverless cars or self-driven automotive technology is being developed and fine-tuned.

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How Nature Plays the Lottery

by James Cross

Rick Searle has a post Life: Inevitable or Accident?  where he discusses the somewhat contrasting ideas of Jeremy England and Henry Gee. I touched a little on Jeremy England in a post here.

England’s idea seems to be that the Second Law of Thermodynamics makes life inevitable. He has been quoted as saying that “You start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be so surprising that you get a plant.”

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Egalitarianism is not Radical

by Valkyrie Ice McGill

Hank Pellissier asked me to write about my views on “Radical Egalitarianism”, due to some recent experiences he has had with politics. While it’s a convenient term, it’s one often used with derision and scorn, with those who see the world this way being dismissed as hopelessly “utopian.”

However, it’s a world view more and more people are starting to share.

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Anti-Abortion Group Touts Virtue of Suffering

by Valerie Tarico

Catholic Pro-life organization wants you to just put up with suffering—and actually says so!


The American Life League [ALL] mobilizes devout Catholics against medical options that, to their way of thinking, violate God’s will. If you should drive past a Planned Parenthood and see elderly women fingering rosary beads next to pictures of the Virgin Mary, or young men holding Bibles and praying, American Life League probably had a hand in their presence there. Ironically, ALL also spreads misinformation about birth control, for example via a Pill Kills campaign—which means they feed the line-up of Catholic women waiting for abortion services.

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The Electronic Frontier of Longevity and Control

by Brian Hanley

I have been pursuing gene therapies for aging, so my decision to discuss this goes against my current direction. We really don’t know what the limits are of what we might be able to do by playing the autonomic nervous system, but here are some thoughts to chew on.

The human brain is large, but 90% of your nervous system is outside your head. Researchers have found that interrupting vagus nerve signals to the brain can treat rheumatoid arthritis, as well as septic shock symptoms, however, some body subsystems may,  or may not be responsive to this manipulation. We know that nerves signaling the spleen is critical for interruption of sepsis.

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DeepDream: Today Psychedelic Images, Tomorrow Unemployed Artists

by Kaj Sotala

One interesting thing that I noticed about Google’s DeepDream algorithm (which you might also know as “that thing making all pictures look like psychedelic trips“) is that it seems to increase the image quality. For instance, my current Facebook profile picture was ran through DD and looks sharper than the original, which was relatively fuzzy and grainy.

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Book Review: The Transhumanist Wager by Zoltan Istvan

by Nicole Sallak Anderson

I’ve found time to review another author’s work, “The Transhumanist Wager” by Zoltan Istvan. I had the pleasure of first meeting Zoltan at a Transhumanism conference near Berkeley, CA. In general, he’s a staunch advocate of the Transhuman movement - Zoltan is passionate about his work and he doesn’t mind stepping on a few toes to get his message out there.

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Digital, Physical, and Religious Immortality - is there Common Ground?

by Agbolade Omowole

I grew up with the mindset to make a difference because life is short. It is said that life is not a measure of your duration on earth, but a measure of your donation to humanity. I have stopped believing that.

There are two ways to live one’s life: by default or by design.  By default, humans grow and become very energetic between ages 18 to 40, after that his/her strength begin to fade. At old age, s/he becomes weak and age related disease make him/her die. His average healthspan is 80 years (in developed countries) and nothing can be done to live beyond a century. That’s the status quo.

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“My Life With Bipolar Disorder: Non-Pharma Treatments” - interview with Gareth John (Part 2)

by Hank Pellissier

Gareth John is an IEET reader and supporter who lives in Mid Wales; he’s an ex-Buddhist priest with a MA in Buddhist Studies at the University of Bristol, and a PhD focusing on non-monastic traditions of Tibetan tantric Buddhism. He has Bipolar disorder. In this Q & A, he generously shares his experience.  This is Part 2 of two parts.

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In this Digital Age, your Privacy is Continuously Invaded

by Richard van Hooijdonk

Nothing that you thought only you could see is safe anymore. Digital privacy cannot be trusted. I say this because something happened recently which prompted me to write this post. Spotify, the popular music application, revamped its privacy policy which contained shocking revelations regarding its use of personal user data. Spotify’s new policy declares that the company can access the photos, contacts and other personal data of its users. 

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“My Life With Bipolar Disorder” – interview with Gareth John (Part One)

by Hank Pellissier

Gareth John is an IEET reader and supporter who lives in Mid Wales; he’s an ex-Buddhist priest with a MA in Buddhist Studies at the University of Bristol, and a PhD focusing on non-monastic traditions of Tibetan tantric Buddhism. He has Bipolar disorder. In this Q & A, he generously shares his experience.

Hank Pellissier: Can you explain in your own words what Bipolar disorder is, for our readers?

Gareth John: Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out daily tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.

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Against Sainthood for Benedict Daswa: Why Replace Sangoma Witchcraft with Catholic Witchcraft?

by Leo Igwe

I am against the ongoing efforts and campaign by the Catholic Church to make the late South African schoolteacher, Benedict Daswa, a saint. While I acknowledge the heroic struggle waged by Daswa against witchcraft based violence and exploitation of his Venda people, a struggle that eventually led to his brutal murder; while I understand the need to celebrate and commemorate his life, legacy and achievement, this initiative to make him an object of ‘worship’ or reverence by the catholic establishment is a self-serving scheme and is literally an insult on the memory of this critical and courageous mind.

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Eleven Inane and Insulting Anti-abortion Arguments (and How I Shed the Shamers)

by Valerie Tarico

If recent right-wing insanity has driven you over the edge and you’ve decided to tell the world that you think Planned Parenthood is a good place or abortion care is a good thing (or even decided to share a personal story), you will need to get prepared for the muck that’s likely to get slung your way. Fortunately, once you move beyond your inner circle of people who matter, much of what flies through the air will be ignorant comments and insults from people who don’t. As someone who is public about why I am pro-abortion, and about my own story, here are eleven lame shaming themes I’ve encountered, along with my responses.

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Voluntary Collaborationism: The Emergent Economic Model?

by RU Sirius


I wrote this article in May 2011 for H+ magazine.  I am sharing it on IEET today, with updated commentary.

I am forming the US Open Source Party in with Krist Novoselic, Jon Lebkowsky and others, as an example of voluntary collaborationism towards a political goal.

2015 commentary is in bold and italics.

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Should the Amount of Basic Income Vary With Cost of Living Differences?

by Scott Santens

The question of an unequal UBI

A common first question in response to the idea of unconditionally guaranteeing a monthly cash stipend to everyone sufficient to meet their basic needs is in regards to a potential need for differing amounts of basic income. Let’s examine this question from two perspectives: that of the individual and that of the location.

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Technology Will Expose the Iniquities of Our Hearts

by Christopher J. Benek

As technology continues to increasingly develop it exposes human intention while eliminating our privacy. The result of this accelerating trend is that the confidentiality that we currently maintain as persons will continue to erode. As such, we should begin to prepare ourselves for the biggest reveal of all: The day when technology exposes the thoughts of our mind.

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Death - The Cunning Frontier

by Brian Hanley

We evolved to die. Our thymus involutes (withers away) in large part due to down-regulation of FoxN1. Once the thymus goes, it’s just a matter of time. Critical mitochondrial genes, GCAT & SHMT2, are turned off, and that causes oxidation damage that we interpreted as the cause of mitochondrial aging when it’s really the outcome. Upregulation ofATF4 expression results in muscle loss in aging. This list will lengthen the more we learn. Aging and death is no accident. It’s got value.

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La transition laborale

by Cyril Gazengel

A l’heure des technologies émergentes, alors que l’intelligence artificielle et l’adaptabilité des robots va grandissante, peut se poser un problème nouveau : la machine va-t-elle accaparer tous les postes actifs de la société ? Cette crainte, déjà d’actualité, a permis la réactualisation et la modernisation de la pensée luddite.(1)

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Our Mind-Meld Future - WE are The Singularity

by Brian Hanley

The singularity is not going to do away with humanity. If there is one, we will be at the center of it. We will be the singularity, together.

Today we are doing brain stem stimulation for treating Parkinson’s disease. Vagus nerve stimulation stops rheumatoid arthritis and can control other immune activity. Cortical arrays pick up brain activity allowing control of robot arm and decoding of speech.  Rejection and scarring are problems with electrodes, but recent advances in injectable micro-electrodes and flexible, stretchable interconnects are changing that. We are slowly improving this technology.

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Heart of Humanism Award and Witch-hunts in Africa

by Leo Igwe

Thank you Foundation Beyond Belief for selecting me as the recipient of the Heart of Humanism Award for 2015. I believe I have just received the best award the world has to offer. 

Superstition confuses the mind. It distorts reality, hardens the conscience and poisons the heart. Irrational belief drains the well of human compassion causing suffering, death, darkness and destruction. As Voltaire once noted, “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities”.

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Ending Suffering Is The Most Important Cause

by Andrés Gómez Emilsson

In my junior year at Stanford I started inviting David Pearce (IEET Fellow, who advocates the “abolition of suffering”) to give talks there. I was able to hang out with him over the course of many afternoons, and even had the chance to interview him once.  He made me aware of the causal relevance of the Stanford Transhumanist Association (it is a force multiplier, memetically speaking), and solidified my commitment to prioritizing suffering over everything else. 

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What a Serious Anti-Abortion Movement Would Actually Look Like

by Valerie Tarico

Forty years after Roe v. Wade, the anti-abortion movement is a radical failure by the very metrics that Pro-life leaders cite to inspire their base. What would an effective anti-abortion movement look like?

U.S. women have obtained nearly 53 million legal abortions since 1973. At least in part, that is because self-described abortion foes ignore or oppose the most powerful strategies for making abortion obsolete. The anti-abortion movement is dominated by religious fundamentalists whose determination to control sex—who has it, with whom, for what purpose—takes priority over their desire to reduce abortions. This focus has seriously interfered with eliminating the supply and demand for abortion services.

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IEET is now Tri-Lingual - German, French added. Spanish and Italian are next?

IEET has expanded from ten years of English-only essays, to now include articles in German and French. The move represents IEET’s global reach; although we’re a USA-based think tank and non-profit, a significant proportion of our readership is international.

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