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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Contributors



MULTIMEDIA: Contributors Topics

What is the Future of Suffering?

Science, Politics & Climate Change

What is Technoprogressivism? Part II (A follow up)

Review the Future: What is Technoprogressivism?

Five hot topics in Risk Science for 2013

Dave Ross on “What is the Future of Comedy?”

What is the Future of Virtual Reality?

The Shaky Foundations of Science: An Overview of the Big Issues

An update on Cosmology and thoughts on Education - Cosmologist with Attitude

THE IMMORTALISTS

Ambition: A Short Sci Fi Film Celebrates the Rosetta Mission (5min)

Longevity Cook Book

John Danaher on “Will the Future be Ruled by Algorithm?”

What is Technoprogressivism?

SENS Foundation: 2014 Buck Institute Summer Scholars




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Longevity Dividend List

Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List









Contributors Topics




#10 The difference between people and machine will blur as we trek through the decades ahead

by Dick Pelletier

As we move into the late 2030s and 2040s, the most salient scenario is that we will merge with our technology gradually, not overnight. We may not experience a single great leap like a “Singularity;” instead, we could see many small steps as we slowly become more machine-like.



Dear @Twitter: I don’t want your head, but can I borrow your ear?

by Kelly Hills

As just about everyone who uses Twitter is likely aware, on Thursday the company attempted to roll out changes to the “block” feature. Instead of the previous policy, which didn’t allow blocked users to follow you or interact with your Tweets, “block” was going to function more like “mute”: blocked users would still be able to follow you and interact with (RT, MT, favourite, etc) your Tweets, you’d just never see it happening.



#12 Religious Trauma Syndrome: How Some Organized Religion Leads to Mental Health Problems

by Valerie Tarico

At age sixteen I began what would be a four year struggle with bulimia.  When the symptoms started, I turned in desperation to adults who knew more than I did about how to stop shameful behavior—my Bible study leader and a visiting youth minister.  “If you ask anything in faith, believing,” they said.  “It will be done.” I knew they were quoting the Word of God. We prayed together, and I went home confident that God had heard my prayers.



The Fork On The Road For Homo Futura

by Steve Fuller

To think about the existential prospects that lie ahead for Humanity 2.0, or Homo futura, imagine yourself in 1900 faced with two investment opportunities for the future of personal human transport: on the one hand, a specially bred – that is, genetically modified – horse; on the other, a mass-produced automobile. Which prospect would you pursue?



#13 Human enhancement: does nature know best?

by George Deane

An ardent objection common to human enhancement and transhumanism is that it is both perilous and foolhardy to try to ‘play God’, or to question the wisdom of Mother Nature. As with most mental shortcuts, there is some truth in the ‘nature knows best’ argument. Cognitive enhancement, perhaps the most challenging and promising of all, is no mean feat. Naïve intervention into the mechanisms of the most complex system in the known universe could disrupt the delicately poised equilibrium struck by evolution over millions of years with unknown consequences.



But which one is ME? Letting go of our mono-being identity orientation: Poly-beings, here we come!

by Chris T. Armstrong

Audience for this essay: You can save yourself from wasting some of your finite and far too short lifespan by totally ignoring this essay if you fall into any of the following three categories…



Non-biological brains could become reality by the 2050s

by Dick Pelletier

As wild as this idea seems, within 40 years, neurons made from nanomaterials could enable humans to survive even the most horrendous accident, and as a bonus, acquire some remarkable new abilities.



Life Extension and Risk Aversion

by Gennady Stolyarov II

A major benefit of longer lifespans is the cultivation of a wide array of virtues. Prudence and forethought are among the salutary attributes that the lengthening of human life expectancies – hopefully to the point of eliminating any fixed upper bound – would bring about. Living longer renders people more hesitant to risk their lives, for the simple reason that they have many more years to lose than their less technologically endowed ancestors.



Analysis of STRATFOR Leaks Misrepresents Nonviolent Movements

by David Swanson

Carl Gibson and Steve Horn have done an important service in writing their article outlining Srdja Popovic’s inexcusable collaboration with the global intelligence company STRATFOR and his disclosure of the activities of movements and activists with whom he has worked.  Unfortunately, as will be spelled out below, the article falls into a rather simplistic and reductionist analysis of Popovic’s motivations and, more critically, misrepresents the nature of the popular uprisings in Serbia and other countries. The article also contains a number of factual errors and misleading statements. 



#16 ‘Big Bang’ Theory Wrong?

by Dick Pelletier

The ‘Big Bang’ theory, widely regarded as the leading explanation for the origin of the universe, goes something like this: space and time instantly appeared about 14 billion years ago in a hot, expanding fireball of nearly infinite density.



#17 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.



#18 Abortion As a Blessing, Grace, or Gift–A Renewed Conversation about Reproductive Rights

by Valerie Tarico

Can we reclaim the moral high ground in the debate about abortion as a part of thoughtful, wise loving and living? We won’t know until we try.Most Americans think of childbearing as a deeply personal or even sacred decision. So do most reproductive rights advocates. That is why we don’t think anybody’s boss or any institution should have a say in it. But for almost three decades, those of us who hold this view have failed to create a resonant conversation about why, sometimes, it is morally or spiritually imperative that a woman can stop a pregnancy that is underway.



5 Ways Conservatives Promote Shirking and Freeloading

by Valerie Tarico

Early in high school my daughters learned a lesson about group projects: some people don’t like to pull their weight. It wasn’t the kids who struggled to produce quality work that the girls found most frustrating. As fiery Ohio State Senator Nina Turner says, “We don’t all run the race at the same pace,” and the girls got that. It was the shirkers. I myself used to want one of those bumper stickers that say, “Mean people suck.” The girls would have wanted one that said, “Freeloaders suck.”



Mathematical Universe? I ain’t convinced

by Massimo Pigliucci

So the other day Julia Galef and I had the pleasure of interviewing mathematical cosmologist Max Tegmark for the Rationally Speaking podcast. The episode will come out in late January, close to the release of Max’s book, presenting his Mathematical Universe Hypothesis (MUH). We had a lively and interesting conversation, but in the end, I’m not convinced (and I doubt Julia was either).



#20 Global Rescue Plan

by David Swanson

When the wealthy nations of the world meet as the G8 or in any other gathering, it’s interesting to imagine what they would do if they followed the golden rule, valued grandchildren, disliked unnecessary suffering, or wished to outgrow ancient forms of barbarism, or any combination of those.



Future of surveillance: a world that anticipates our every move

by Dick Pelletier

  What kind of privacy will be left for humans in a future world of ubiquitous computing, with sensors everywhere, and with algorithms that draw alarmingly reliable inferences about our intentions and plans?



Will Today’s Handicapped Become Tomorrow’s First Post-Human?

by B. J. Murphy

Needs will almost always come before wants. When it comes to Transhumanism, the ability to differentiate the two tends to blur, because a need could also be a want, depending on the various methods of achieving a need. There’s the “getting by” need, and then there’s the “thriving” need.



“You May not Die” Exhibit Starts December 9th in Marat Guelman’s Gallery in Moscow

by Maria Konovalenko

One of the best art galleries in Moscow is going to host the first art exhibition about radical life extension – “You may not die”. This message is addressed primarily to the artistic community, and is a proposal for cooperation – let’s stand together and convince people that we have the opportunity to stay alive.



Privacy, Social Media, and Public Health: A Changing Landscape

by Donna Hanrahan

Communications technology use is growing at a near exponential rate on a global scale.1 A recent United Nations study shows that more people have access to cell phones than toilets, as 6 billion of the world’s 7 billion people (85 percent) have access to mobile phones, while only 4.5 billion (64 percent) have access to working toilets.2



Google’s Anti-Facial Recognition Policy for Glass is Deadly

by B. J. Murphy

I believe Google is making a huge mistake in completely banning facial recognition systems for its Glass product. In my opinion, such a system could be used to help save thousands of lives. But then, we’re too damn caught up on absolute privacy that we’re willing to sacrifice actual, physical lives to ensure our privacy remains untainted. Such individualist dogma is deadly.



Is there such a thing as moral expertise?

by Massimo Pigliucci

Good question, right? I’ve been thinking more about it for a few weeks now as a result of an interesting talk by Gopal Sreenivasan (Duke University) entitled “Moral expertise and the proto-authority of affect,” which he gave at CUNY’s Graduate Center.



Don’t Drag Me Along into Your Grave, Daniel Callahan

by Maria Konovalenko

I don’t want to die, but apparently Daniel Callahan wants me to.  He wants me to say nothing, do nothing about aging and just wait until I am 75 and die quietly. Well, that’s not going to happen, mister. Bioethicisits like Callahan are the ones responsible for our suffering from the horrors of aging-related diseases and death. And here’s why. The opinion of bioethicists prevents the progress from being fast enough to cure aging. The decision-makers rely upon what senior “thinkers” like Callahan have in mind on the problem of life extension.



Love-‘bots: future robots could become ideal lovers, experts say

by Dick Pelletier

Although some people might find the idea of love with a machine repulsive, experts predict that as the technology advances and robots become more human-like, we will view our silicon cousins in a friendlier light. As the future unfolds, robots will fill more roles as family caregivers, household servants, and voice-enabled avatars that manage our driverless cars, automated homes, and entertainment systems.



How to Survive the Pre-Singularity Era (Part I)

by Christine Gaspar

I have worked a number of years in trauma and emergency medicine, and have learned a few lessons about human nature along the way that I think may be of benefit to others.  Our tendency as human beings to carry around an Optimism Bias is probably one of our most deadly traits.



Thanksgiving Message from Toys R Us Reveals More than Miley Cyrus

by Valerie Tarico
Thanks to last summer’s twerking extravaganza and her follow-up naked Wrecking Ball video, Miley Cyrus is front runner in polls for Time Person of the Year (to be announced December 6). Cyrus’s trademark this year is “nasty,” so when she exposes her back side, we know at least that she’s done it on purpose. But Toys R Us?  You gotta wonder.



What is Parents’ Responsibility to Protect Children’s Privacy Online?

by R. J. Crayton

There’s a new “viral” video making the rounds. It’s a 15-minute pro gay-marriage film that interviews children about the concepts of prejudice, fairness and gay marriage. All the children in the video except one seem to think that basic principles of fairness should apply to men marrying men and women marrying women. However, throughout the video, one kid insists gay marriage “is just wrong.” When pressed for why this is so, the boy (who appears to be a five- or six-year-old) can provide no reason for his assertion.



What World War Z and Washington State Have in Common

by Valerie Tarico

Did anyone see the World War Z scene where the zombies reach the top of a massive zombie-proof wall and start pouring over? The same thing has finally happened to Jefferson’s wall of separation between church and state. Council members in Pierce County, Washington got busted last week because they allocated taxpayer dollars to fund not one, but two evangelical missionary organizations that target public school kids for conversion.



Thanksgiving 2063: ‘Turkey Day’ 50 years into the future

by Dick Pelletier

Of course, no one can predict with 100% accuracy how the future will unfold, but by combining present day knowledge with anticipated advances, we can make plausible guesses about what to expect in 2063.



Enter “CyberMonarchism”. This may actually be a good idea…

by Khannea Suntzu

For the United States. Not for Europe. For the US. We tried this crap in Europe and we didn’t like it. But if it works for you, feel free. The term CyberMonarchy is mine, and expresses my sentiments. I am coining the term on account of this alarmist article. Of course the sentiments described in this article are nothing new, and hearken to the start of the Transhumanist community, and are specifically relevant to the roots of the eugenic ideology. Classical eugenics is a feudal belief system, well grounded in fact. It states that nature is capricious, humans are capricious and humans have objective flawed characteristics.



Internet Security Is Our Responsibility

by William Sheppard

As we learn more and more details regarding government spying, it seems more and more foolhardy to trust our security to third party businesses.The state requires information on its subjects to be effective. From the first census in Egypt more than 5000 years ago, states have sought personal information on their citizens, especially in tyrannical states, where informants and secret police gather information on any and all potentially subversive activities.

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