Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: Contributors



MULTIMEDIA: Contributors Topics

Science Fiction is Really Important But Not Because It’s Right

What is the Future of Synthetic Meat?

Review of VRLA Expo 2015

Singularity 1 on 1: Expose Yourself to a Diversity of Inputs!

Singularity 1on1: Interrogate and Engage the World

Toxicologists are Freakin’ Awesome!

What is the Future of Brain Enhancement?

Singularity 1on 1: Marc Goodman on Future Crimes

Future Day Online

Mark Lewis on “Have We Reached Peak Education?”

7 surprising facts about silver nanoparticles and health

Futurology, Future Day & the Millennium Project

Progress in Regenerative Medicine

Attitudes to the Future

The science of “anti-vaccination” – a great primer from SciShow




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Contributors Topics




Can We Really Blame Sociopaths?

by David Swanson

I’ve been hearing increasingly from multiple quarters that the root of our problems is psychopaths and sociopaths and other loosely defined but definitely different beings from ourselves.  Rob Kall has produced a quite interesting series of articles and interviews on the subject.



Confluence: The Connected Human

by Tery Spataro

My past finally catches up to my future self. I’ve been around the collection, gathering, analysis and usage of data since 1986. In 1999, I was invited to the SIME conference in Stockholm.  It was an impressive event that provided simulating and thought-provoking ideas about new technologies.  At that time, these technologies were Bluetooth, wireless and smart phones…



Taxonomy of Technological Unemployment Solutions (and Defeaters)

by Jon Perry

This article represents my latest attempt to categorize the possible solutions to technological unemployment. It’s largely based on episode 14 of my Review the Future Podcast so for a more detailed treatment of this topic, you can listen here.



Granting “Personhood” Status for Great Apes

by R. Dennis Hansen

Humans are classified by biologists as Great Apes, along with orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos.  And geneticists inform us that we share 98 percent of our DNA with chimps. Yet all the Great Apes are in jeopardy.  They are being wantonly killed, sometimes unnecessarily used for research, captured for zoos, and illegally sold as pets.



How To Survive The Pre-Singularity Era: Part II: Time Is Muscle

by Christine Gaspar

It can be said that practitioners of emergency medicine have their own unique language. As a member of this subset of healthcare, I can unequivocally agree that we have invented pseudonyms, algorithms, protocols, expressions and even our unique brand of humour to give expression to what we do every day. Codes come in various colours- blue, black, white, yellow, orange… in order to succinctly convey an emergency in a manner that is efficient, and somewhat covert from the unsuspecting public.



A Fundamental Challenge

by Brenda Cooper

There are colossal challenges that have no specific home but affect every place.  Air is one of them, and frankly most of climate change comes down to managing the air badly. What do we need second only to air? What lives everywhere and takes multiple forms?



Thermonuclear Monarchy and Revolution

by David Swanson

So now we (or at least the 0.03% of us who care to hunt for it) discover that U.S. military spending is not actually being cut at all, but increasing. Also going up: U.S. nuclear weapons spending.  Some of the new nukes will violate treaties, but the entire program violates the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which requires disarmament, not increased armament. 



Wall-E, The Sofalarity, and the Problem with “Super Now” Predictions

by Jon Perry

The Wall-E vision of the future, or what this New Yorker article dubs the “sofalarity”, is not believable to me. It’s a classic mistake of prediction that I like to refer to as “super now.” When making super now predictions, people simply take things that are happening right now and imagine that the future will be just like now only “more extreme.”



Thoughts on ‘The Transhumanist Wager’

by Rene Milan

This is less of a book review than a report on my experiences before, while and after reading it. When it was published and I became aware of it I was quite determined to read it, but because of time restrictions and because my old ereader had just died it took me several months to get around to it. In the meantime I talked to a couple people one of whom had read it and characterized it as libertarian, something I admit tends to make me suspicious, another, who had not, seemed to take issue with the escalating violence throughout the story. Needless to say these things would not deter me in principle, but especially seeing how the book’s reception indicated its growing significance.



Is a programmable RFID chip freedom of expression?

by Khannea Suntzu

An RFID chip is a small electronic device that is implanted in a human body. Such a device is embedded to contain information. These chips are implanted to tell things about a human being, such as identity or contractual information – such as a money debit system. This signifies a risk, since it means the conveyance of information can be cloned.



The Path of Least Resistance: Tracing a Path to Religious Reconciliation with Posthumanism

by Yshua

We are here because we recognize the frailty of human existence and the vastness of our limitations. We are here because we acknowledge that we live in a harsh world which can draw out the very worst of our already-flawed nature. We are here because we believe, in spite of overwhelming challenges, that something better is possible. We believe the path to a higher state of existence demands devotion and sacrifice.



Capitalism, Free Enterprise And Progress: Partners Or Adversaries?

by Darian Worden

The Industrial Revolution is typically regarded as a story of capitalism, free enterprise, and progress in technology and living standards. This paper attempts to disentangle the threads of capitalism, free enterprise, and progress, in the context of the Industrial Revolution, with a focus on Britain and the United States. It aims to bring some historical perspectives into the current discourse.



Putting “Death is Wrong” in Children’s Hands

by Gennady Stolyarov II

After three days of fundraising (in conjunction with the Movement for Indefinite Life Extension) to provide 1000 children with free copies of my illustrated book on indefinite life extension, Death is Wrong, I am pleased to report some promising and exciting developments.



A Critique of The Second Machine Age (Or the Need to Shed our Romantic Ideas About Wage Labor)

by Jon Perry

On the whole, we like The Second Machine Age book. We think it tells a plausible story and for the most part we agree with its perspective. However, we have criticisms of one of the book’s later chapters, the one entitled “Long-Term Recommendations.” Thus the primary goal of this article is to articulate those criticisms. But first, for the sake of background, we will summarize some of the book’s main arguments.



The Right to be or not to be Disabled: A Response to the Center for Genetics and Society: (CGS)

by Evan Reese

In a recent newsletter, The Center for Genetics and Society (CGS) is asking people to sign a letter they’ve drafted requesting the FDA not approve clinical trials of a genetic therapy which could prevent thousands of children a year here in the U.S. from being born with serious disabilities. So how does that square with their claim to be for the rights of the disabled?



It’s Time for Religion to Get Out of the Healthcare Business

by Valerie Tarico

When you have to make hard medical decisions, who do you want in the room? Religious belief is on the decline in the U.S., and medical knowledge is on the increase. This makes it particularly ironic that so much of our health care system is accountable at the highest levels not to science or patient preference but to the dictators of faith and of theology. Metaphorically, more and more medical decisions get made with the Catholic Bishops in the room, regardless of whether the patient wants them there. Not only that, but the Bishops have a religious veto that can trump both doctor and patient.



A scientist-author at the heart of hard science fiction

by Gregory Benford

The following questions are a follow-up on what I see as a long and successful career as an SF writer, exploring certain implications of your work, things left unsaid concerning your ultimate definition of SF and your sense of what SF has become and where it seems to be going. I also what to ask a few questions about SF as a literature of ideas, and what you see as the most appropriate narrative form for developing these ideas. I want to explore your “world view,” how you see yourself, as scientist and writer, in relation to the great rationalist philosophers of science: Descartes and Pascal. Finally, how you see yourself as an SF writer in the future.



The Ethics of Leaks, Linked Timestamping and the Future of Government Secrecy

by Jason C. Stone

All the recent news about government data leaks has got me thinking about the role of government secrecy in a democracy. It seems to me that in order for the government to serve all the functions we ask of it, some temporary veil of secrecy
may be necessary and ethically permissible. The problem is, if there isn’t a way for members of a democracy to know what their government is doing on their behalf, the democracy may lose its legitimacy.



Despite Skepticism, Many People May Embrace Radical Transhumanist Technology in the Future

by Zoltan Istvan

As long as they’re earthbound, most people shrug off the idea of being anything other than a biological human. Some people are even repulsed or angered by the concept of scientifically tampering with the human body and brain too much.



Vegan / Vegetarian vs. Paleo | Brothers-in-spirit..

by Joern Pallensen

Apparently, vegans and paleos /”cavemen” are completely at odds, and may even hate each other, according to numerous articles you can look up yourself.. [ If true, then how, - and to which extent am I wondering.., - does this apply to Transhumanists.. ]



Proposal for International Zones

by R. Dennis Hansen

I hope there will someday be an “International Social Contract” (ISC), based on Enlightenment principles, that allows people who enter into it to live in host countries around the world in a way that is respectful and beneficial to all parties. The goal would be to create explicit agreements that allow members of an ISC to move freely between “International Zones” (IZs) without inflaming right-wing groups or encouraging the abuse of local citizens or indigenous cultures.



Rick Searle’s Rational Monster

by Daryl Wennemann

In his essay Erasmus Reads Kahneman, or why perfect rationality is less than it’s cracked up to be it does not seem that the concept of rationality Rick Searle cites as following the principle of non-contradiction is at work when he asserts, “We could turn even a psychopathically rational monster like Hitler into a buffoon because even he, after all, was one of us.”



Putting Innovation to a Vote? Majoritarian Processes versus Open Playing Fields

by Gennady Stolyarov II

Putting innovation to a vote is never a good idea. Consider the breakthroughs that have improved our lives the most during the 20th and early 21st centuries. Did anyone vote for or ordain the creation of computers, the Internet, smartphones, or tablet computers? No: that plethora of technological treasures was made available by individuals who perceived possibilities unknown to the majority, and who devoted their time, energy, and resources toward making those possibilities real. The electronic technologies which were unavailable to even the richest, most powerful men of the early 20th century now open up hitherto unimaginable possibilities even to children of poor families in Sub-Saharan Africa.



Contingency and Emotion:  The role of affect in the structure of knowledge

by Devin Van Dyke

Perceptible in the background of the texts and discussions around the reception of evolutionary theory in the United States and Great Britain are attempts to explain how best to understand the relationship between the theory as originally articulated by Charles Darwin and the myriad interpretations and addenda of the theory which have since emerged, all claiming direct descent from Darwin’s work.



The End of Nation States May Enhance Humanity

by Harry J. Bentham

Perhaps parallel to the physical enhancement of human ability and longevity through technology, enhancements to civilization must also have cultural and political forms. By far the most important of these could be the neglect and final dissolution of borders and “nations”.



Defeating aging, and the avenues ahead of us: Part 3

by Eric Schulke

There is a nice, succinct “Roadmap to Immortality” (http://mariakonovalenko.files.wordpress.com

/2013/01/roadmap_immortality_eng.pdf
) that is great for visualizing the big picture of the pathways that could take us to indefinite life extension. Teachers like mine have been telling students that there is probably no way forward to defeating aging. I like to think of this roadmap as the totality of the response that rose to meet that challenge.



On Coyne, Harris, and PZ (with thanks to Dennett)

by Massimo Pigliucci

Oh dear, I pissed off the big shots among the New Atheists — again. If you are on Twitter or happen to have checked a couple of prominent NA blogs recently, you will have noticed a chorus comprised of none other than Jerry Coyne, Sam Harris, PZ Myers and, by way of only a passing snarky comment, Richard Dawkins — all focused on yours truly. I’m flattered, but what could I have possibly done to generate such a concerted reaction all of a sudden? Two things: I have published this cartoon concerning Sam Harris, just to poke a bit of (I thought harmless, good humored, even!) fun at the guy, and — more substantively — this technical, peer reviewed, paper in a philosophy journal devoted to a conceptual analysis and criticism of the NA movement, from the point of view of a scientist, philosopher, and, incidentally, atheist.



Snowden Docs: U.S. Spied on Negotiators At 2009 Climate Summit

by Ryan Grim

The National Security Agency monitored the communications of other governments ahead of and during the 2009 United Nations climate negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark, according to the latest document from whistleblower Edward Snowden. The document, with portions marked "top secret," indicates that the NSA was monitoring the communications of other countries ahead of the conference, and intended to continue doing so throughout the meeting.



Defeating aging, and the avenues ahead of us: Part 2

by Eric Schulke

With a clear way forward, what are we waiting for? If we get this done, then we can probably live indefinitely. Can humans be so mentally slothful and negligent that they would be able to do all kinds of things on microscopic scales and yet not be able to clear damage out of biology? Does anybody really think that most mitochondrial proteins can make it through the TIM/TOM complex, but that it’s out of the question for the rest of them?



Life Extension is a Political Task

by Maria Konovalenko

Sooner or later the human life extension problem, the task of achieving immortality will become the main issue of government policies in developed countries of the world. This will happen on its own because of the exponential growth of technologies. At some point of time immortality will become the main political question. This is inevitable.

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