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


MULTIMEDIA: Contributors Topics

What is the Future of the Sharing Economy?

Suffering & Progress in Ethics (Past & Future)

Singularity 1 on 1: The Singularity is the Secular Apotheosis

Timescales of the Hedonistic Imperative (6min 31sec)

Politics & Abolition From Suffering

How Do You Filter Content in an Age of Abundance?

On Wellbeing, Bliss and Happiness

The World Transhumanist Association (WTA)

What is Transhumanism? – the 3 Supers

Singularity 1 on 1: Practopoiesis Tells Us Machine Learning Is Not Enough!

What if everybody got free cash? Myths and facts about Unconditional Basic Income

Singularity 1 on 1: Quantum Thief Trilogy

Effective Altruism, an Introduction

Skepticism, the Singularity, Future Technology & Favorite Frauds

Singularity 1 on 1: Science is an epistemology in the house of philosophy

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Contributors Topics

Information Technologies Drive The Future

by Dick Pelletier

Information technologies provide the major force for change as we move through the 21st century.

Worker Cooperatives: Retooling the Solidarity Economy

by Sebastian A.B.

Under the cooperative model, workers own the business, reducing injustice because they have a stake in the community and because an individual will find it hard to exploit oneself. Workers often buy into their jobs (upfront or amortized), vote on major decisions in general assemblies or committees, and even voluntarily donate to the co-op for re-investment. Known as “workplace democracy,” this model of authentic self-determination renders state action superfluous.

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.

Software company ScIAM develops ‘Human Intelligence Emulation’?

by B. J. Murphy

Near the end of May of this year I came into contact with Russell Swanborough, Managing Director of ScIAM (Science of Informational Management), a software company located in Johannesburg, South Africa. Mr. Swanborough is also a member of the Lifeboat Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging scientific and technological advancements, while helping humanity survive from any possible existential risks said technological advancements may incur.

The Terrifying Banality of Humanity 2.0

by Rick Searle

Something I think we are prone to forget in this age of chattering heads and two-bit pundits is that ideas have consequences. Anyone engaged in public discourse has some responsibility to wrestle with the ethical implications of their thought, and this is as much the case for the Rush Limbaugh’s of the world as it is for that disappearing class of thinkers who once proudly went by the name intellectuals. In a way, artists have always had an easier time than those engaged in more discursive lines of thought.

Does Advanced Technology Make the 2nd Amendment Redundant?

by Franco Cortese

The 2nd amendment of the American Constitution gives U.S citizens the constitutional right to bear arms. Perhaps the most prominent justification given for the 2nd amendment is as a defense against tyrannical government, where citizens have a method of defending themselves against a corrupt government, and of taking their government back by force if needed by forming a citizen militia.

Major changes in healthcare forecast for future

by Dick Pelletier

By 2030, America will be 150,000 doctors short, just as the median age of baby boomers hits 72. A voracious consumption of health care will far eclipse what can reasonably be provided by the current distribution model, but never fear; technology to the rescue.

Emergence of Decentralization and the Rise of DIY Culture

by Roberta Scarlett

We have our views about how we should establish some more efficient and equitable system depending on how we as individuals view issues facing humanity. Some of us want to ‘save’ the economy, the environment, or deal with political corruption. But when we think about solutions, we should consider that man-made systems are not pre-established, they’re emergent.

The Surveillance State, You, and the Time Traveling Detectives

by Sean Vitka

However disturbing the recently revealed individual surveillance programs are, Reuter’s new documents detailing Parallel Construction, a practice of reinventing how an investigation started, offers the first proof of definite, systemic abuse by the surveillance state. Parallel Construction embodies the dangers, lack of accountability, and opacity that many have feared the modern surveillance state would engender.

Evolutionary psychology, Jerry Coyne, Robert Kurzban, and the so-called creationism of the mind

by Massimo Pigliucci

Time to take a break from philosophy of mind and get back to evolutionary psychology. The occasion originates from a recent post by evopsych researcher Robert Kurzban, on what he calls "creationism of the mind." There Kurzban excoriates our good old friend, PZ Myers for some apparently silly criticisms he leveled at the field. Kurzban goes on commending Jerry Coyne for having recently seen the light, becoming a supporter of the field.

Is Pain a Functional Necessity?

by Khannea Suntzu

I have been active in transhumanism for several years and in most cases I find myself in agreement with many preferences, values and assumptions prevalent in Transhumanism. Transhumanism is an ideology of plausibles, arguables and fictionals. In other words – Transhumanists make statements on future developments that can be commonly regarded to be likely, debatable developments. These “developments” have no arrived yet, but there is merit to deliberate the potential for these developments arriving, even if some of these developments are “futuristic” or “speculative.

Will the Posthuman Age be Postmoral?

by Daryl Wennemann

A great part of the anxiety associated with the prospect of a posthuman age arises from the possibility that a posthuman age will also be a postmoral age. Francis Fukuyama’s work Our Posthuman Future focused on the possibility that genetically altered human beings might be incapable of recognizing traditional moral boundaries. The traditional Western ideal of the equality of all human persons seems to vanish with the development of superhuman beings.

Greater economic integration within the Southern Africa

by Lee-Roy Chetty

The promotion of growth through increased intra-trade and deeper regional economic integration hold much promise in the Southern African region. In particular, with the mixed economies of low and medium income countries within the Southern African Development Community (SADC), regional integration offers tangible possibilities to leverage and extend economic comparative advantage at a regional level in ways not accessible through national programs.

Basic Income Plan: a thought experiment

by Tobias S. Buckell

A basic income (also called basic income guarantee, unconditional basic income, universal basic income or citizen’s income) is a proposed system of social security that regularly provides each citizen with a sum of money unconditionally. Unlike a Guaranteed minimum income, a basic income is entirely unconditional: the only requirement for receiving it is to be a citizen and/or resident of the country without means test. Instead, a minimum income may be conditional upon participating in government enforced labor or other conditional means testing. A basic income of any amount less than the social minimum is sometimes referred to as a ‘partial basic income’. Similar proposals for “capital grants provided at the age of majority” date to Thomas Paine’s Agrarian Justice of 1795, there paired with asset-based egalitarianism.

The future of human evolution revisited 2.0

by Stefan Pernar

I have long held the view that one of the worst thought out yet at the same time most persistent articles on the future of human evolution is Nick Bostrom’swork of the same title. In it, Nick outlines a disastrous outcome for future digital versions of ourselves hashing it out Core War style driven by a skewed understanding of Darwinian dynamics leading to a dystopian cyberspace #ff0000 in tooth and claw.

Project Prevention: The Face of Modern Eugenics: Pt2

by Wesley Strong

Project Prevention paid a total of 4,613 people, including eighty-four men, to get one of these birth-control procedures, including IUDs, tubal ligation, Depo-Provera, implanon, or vasectomy over its first fifteen years of operation.iii The project began in California after Harris failed to pass a bill to establish criminal penalties for mothers who consume. Harris began this crusade after adopting four children of a crack-addicted mother in Los Angeles. She responded in a reactionary manner, blaming parents, without much if any sympathy for those who suffer systemic oppression.

Computation, Church-Turing, and all that jazz

by Massimo Pigliucci

I recently examined (and found wanting) the so-called computational theory of mind, albeit in the context of a broader post about the difference between scientific theories and what I think are best referred to as philosophical accounts (such as the above mentioned computational “theory”). Defenders of strong versions of computationalism (which amounts to pretty much the same thing as strong AI) often invoke the twin concepts of computation itself and of the Church-Turing thesis to imply that computationalism is not only obviously true, but has been shown to be so by way of mathematical proof.

Why Privacy and Freedom Can Sometimes Be Opposed

by Jon Perry

I was recently listening to an interview with Ann Cavoukian on Singularity 1 on 1, in which she began by claiming that privacy and freedom are fundamentally aligned. This may have been true historically. But looking forward, I suspect privacy and freedom are actually opposed. I know that may seem counterintuitive, so let me explain.

Taxing Multinational Corporations Against Global Catastrophic Risks

by Rick Searle

Human beings have a very limited attention span, a fact amplified a thousand fold by modern media. It seems the “news” can consist of a only handful of widely followed stories at a time, and only one truly complex narrative. This is a shame because the recent breaking of one substantial news story was followed by the breaking of another one which knocked it out of the field of our electronic tunnel vision. Without some narrative connecting the two only one can really hold our attention at a time. Neither of these stories have to do with Kate Middleton and the birth of Prince George.

Project Prevention: The Face of Modern Eugenics: Pt1

by Wesley Strong

James Hughes appeared on Huff Post Live on July 26th to defend the work of the controversial Project Prevention led by its Director, Barbara Harris. Project Prevention focuses on paying largely poor, drug-addicted women to not have children by subsidizing them three-hundred dollars each when they secure some form of long-term birth control. Long term birth control methods include Intra-uterine Devices (IUDs), tubal ligation, sterilization, or for their few male clients, vasectomies.

End of aging within reach, experts say

by Dick Pelletier

Anti-aging activist Aubrey de Grey has identified medical advances that will eliminate much of the wear and tear our bodies suffer, as we grow old. Those who undergo continuous repair treatments, de Grey said in a Futurist Magazine article; could remain healthy for millennia without fears of dying from old age.

“Cause India”: Global 100, Tata & ABG (Sustainability in Tech, Part 1)

by Kathryn Cave

Businesses are increasingly being judged within wider social frameworks and one of the most obvious ways to do this is via sustainability initiatives. Today, indexes, awards, and damning reports are popping up left, right and centre, whilst this year’s World Brand Congress is using “sustainability brands” as its overall theme. In the first of a two-part series on sustainability, Kathryn Cave looks at the Global 100, “cause India”… and what all this sustainability stuff really means.

Manning Show Trial Exposes the Fraud of Representative Democracy

by Kevin Carson

Major Ashlend Fein, US Army prosecutor in Bradley Manning’s court martial, caught my attention when he referred to Manning as an “anarchist” in closing arguments. As an anarchist, I’d be proud to share that label with Manning. But I’ve never heard from any reliable source that he considers himself one.

Protected: Making impediments to life extension illegal

by Khannea Suntzu

Whether or not some form of life extension treatment is possible remains to be seen. Even less imminent than extending lifespan is the prospect of some form regenerative therapies (or modifications) that reduce effective lifespan and restore some form of youthfulness. ‘The person on the street’ tends to estimate how close these treatments might be.

Morality Substitutes or Moral Enhancement?

by Richard Stallman

In this response to John Danaher’s piece on Moral Enhancement (Part 1, Part 2,Part 3) Richard Stallman interrogates the difference between morality substitutes and morality enhancers, and the role of cognition in moral behavior.

Maximizing Africa’s agriculture for economic growth

by Lee-Roy Chetty

There are few development challenges in Africa more as pressing and fraught with controversy as the issue of land ownership and its persistent gap between rich and poor communities.

If You Were a Cat, You Would Want More - What More Could You Want as a Human?

by Daniel Faggella

In some ways, we could look upon the life of a cat and be jealous. A life full of loving attention, of warm beds and constant naps, there is something to be envied in the cat’s life. The cat needn’t fend for itself, if she’s indoors, she has everything she needs in an instant. In addition, the cat isn’t responsible for anything, it can do what it pleases with a kind of total autonomy, and at the same time we will love the cat precisely for this kind of behavior.

Fourteen Things That Will Remain Scarce (and Drive Future Job Growth?)

by Jon Perry

Let’s imagine that current trends continue, and technology continues to drive down the price of various goods. We could eventually end up with a world in which artificial intelligence equals human beings in most tasks, household devices can manufacture physical goods with atomic precision, transportation is fully automated, solar energy is plentiful, and high volumes of useful data freely flow from person to person.

America: Where Women and Doctors Need Bulletproof Vests

by Valerie Tarico

In 2009, Dr. George Tiller, family doctor and abortion provider, was shot and killed in his Wichita, Kansas church by an anti-choice extremist. Before the murder, Julie Burkhart worked side by side with Dr. Tiller for eight years. Afterwards, Ms. Burkhart vowed to carry on his vision of safe, accessible abortion care for the women of Kansas. An Interview with Julie Burkhart, reproductive rights hero.

Philosophy not in the business of producing theories: the case of the computational theory of mind

by Massimo Pigliucci

Readers of Rationally Speaking are familiar with my criticism of some scientists or scientific practices, from evolutionary psychology to claims concerning the supernatural. But, especially given my dual background in science and philosophy, I pride myself in being an equal opportunity offender. And indeed, I have for instance chastised Alvin Plantinga for engaging in seriously flawed “philosophy” in the case of his evolutionary argument against naturalism, and have more than once sympathetically referred to James Ladyman and Don Ross’ criticism of analytic metaphysics as a form of “neo-scholasticism.”

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