Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: FreeThought



MULTIMEDIA: FreeThought Topics

What Carries Our Personal Identity?

All your devices can be hacked

Cyborg Art- Prefigurative, Performative, Inhuman, Hybrid?

Podcast Interview - Is High Tech Turning Us Into the Borg?

Powerful Nonsense Ep 95 - Finding meaning in an automated world

Switzerland: Basic Income ‘Robot’ causes a commotion in Davos

Singularity 1 on 1: Compassion is the reason to reverse aging!

Chris Hables Gray on Singularity 1 on 1: We Need Strong Citizenship!

Episode 237 - The Sofalurity Is Near

Dead Bodies, Naked Women or Money. Which Excites You More?

8 Intelligences: Are You a Jack of All Trades or a Master of One?

Be Mindful: Your Pot of Gold Could be Your Grave

Understand the Nature of Creativity — and Success

“Hey Bill Nye, How Are Ethics and Morals Related to Science?”

We Need to Teach Kids Creative Thinking




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FreeThought Topics




Apple Search Finally Stops Directing People Seeking Abortions to Adoption Centers

by Valerie Tarico

Ask Siri where to get an abortion and get a list of adoption agencies–for five years that was the experience of Apple users in cities ranging from San Francisco to Philadelphia. Recent technical upgrades appear to have resolved the problem, but advocates seeking to end abortion stigma say they intend to keep an eye on Siri and her competitors.



Epictetus: What Can We Control?

by John G. Messerly

Epictetus (c. 55 – 135 CE) was born as a slave in the Roman Empire, but obtained his freedom as a teenager. He studied Stoic philosophy from an early age, eventually lecturing on Stoicism in Rome. He was forced to leave the city in 89 CE, after the Emperor Domitian banished philosophers from Italy. He then established his own school at Nicopolis on the Adriatic coast in Greece, where he taught and lectured until he died around 135. Today he is regarded as one of the preeminent Stoic philosophers.



Basic Income is certain, but ‘they’ will wait as long as they can to implement it.

by Khannea Suntzu

Looking at the barrage of news on technological unemployment, we may get lucky and avoid the predictable denialism phase altogether. A lot of time gets wasted on denying things that are inescapable. We may get lucky, as in “we might avoid a massively disfunctional dystopian future full of mass-poverty and the consequences thereof“.

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New Evidence Suggests Human Beings Are a Geological Force of Nature

by George Dvorsky

For years, the term “Anthropocene” has been used to informally describe the human era on Earth. But new evidence suggests there’s nothing informal about it. We’re a true force of nature — and there’s good reason to believe we’ve sparked a new and unprecedented geological epoch.



Transhumanismus: Der neue Politiktrend?

by Roland Benedikter

Das humanistische Menschenbild prägte die Entwicklung westlicher Gesellschaften. Doch inzwischen ist der Transhumanismus auf dem Vormarsch. Vertreter dieser neuen ideologischen Strömung beraten westliche Regierungen, Firmen und Entscheidungsträger. Sie streben eine Cyborgisierung des Menschen an. Doch was sind die politischen Folgen?



Religion and Violence Revisted

by Rick Searle

A few weeks back I did a post on religion and violence the gist of which was that it’s far too simplistic to connect religiosity to violence without paying much closer attention to the social context. Religious violence should been seen, I argued, as the response to some real or perceived mistreatment. In addition I also suggested that perhaps what appears to make believers in monotheistic faiths particularly prone to violence is their insistence that they alone possess religious truth.

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Seneca On the Proper Use of Time

by John G. Messerly

Yesterday I wrote about the impending death of the great neurologist and author Oliver Sacks. I was particularly struck by this line from Sachs’ public goodbye: “I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential.” This brought to mind the Stoic philosopher Seneca who touched on a similar theme in his short piece, On the Shortness of Life:



Danaher Publishes The Threat of Algocracy: Reality, Resistance and Accommodation

IEET Affiliate Scholar John Danaher has a new paper in the journal Philosophy and Technology.

Full Story...
Link to Philosophy and Technology



Marcus Aurelius: A Brief Summary of The Meditations

by John G. Messerly

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment. ~ Marcus Aurelius



The Philosophy of Games and the Postwork Utopia

by John Danaher

I want to start with a thought experiment: Suppose the most extreme predictions regarding technological unemployment come to pass. The new wave of automating technologies take over most forms of human employment. The result is that there is no economically productive domain for human workers to escape into. Suppose, at the same time, that we all benefit from this state of affairs. In other words, the productive gains of the technology do not flow solely to a handful of super-wealthy capitalists; they are fairly distributed to all (perhaps through an guaranteed income scheme). Call this the ‘postwork’ world. What would life be like in such a world?



Principe de réalité?

by Marc Roux

Comment le fait de rester les pieds sur terre n’empêche pas de rechercher un futur techno-progressiste.



Getting Human-Like Values into Advanced OpenCog AGIs

by Ben Goertzel

In a recent blog post, I have proposed two general theses regarding the future value systems of human-level and transhuman AGI systems: the Value Learning Thesis (VLT) and Value Evolution Thesis (VET).  This post pursues the same train of thought further – attempting to make these ideas more concrete via speculating about how the VLT and VET might manifest themselves in the context of an advanced version of the OpenCog AGI platform.



Religion and Violence

by Rick Searle

Sometimes, I get the uneasy feeling that the New Atheists might be right after all. Perhaps there is something latently violent in the religious imagination, some feature, or tendency, encouraged by religion that the world would better be without.



Paranoia, Conspiracies and Surveillance

by David Brin

== Another summons to resigned despair ==

Conspiracy theories abound.  They erupt out of human nature, it seems, and your ethnicity or caste or political leanings only affect which direction you credit with devilish cleverness, secret power and satanic values. For sure, as a science fiction author I can concoct plausible schemes and plots with the best of them!  Indeed, let me add that some real life cabals are so blatant and proudly obvious that you just have to admit – sometimes “they” are completely real and up to awful mischief.



#11: The End of Religion: Technology and the Future

by John G. Messerly

According to IEET readers, what were the most stimulating stories of 2015? This month we’re answering that question by posting a countdown of the top 30 articles published this year on our blog (out of more than 1,000), based on how many total hits each one received.

The following piece was first published here on January 24, 2015, and is the #11 most viewed of the year.

Full Story...



Understanding Nihilism: What if nothing matters?

by John Danaher

We spend so much of our time caring about things. Thomas Nagel described the phenomenon quite nicely:



Christians Should Support Scientists and Technologists

by Christopher J. Benek

It is often articulated in society that Christianity and science/technology are at odds. While most people of faith do not hold this belief, it is imperative that the church universal continue to dispute this negative stereotype. The most effective way that Christians can do so is by actively affirming their support for people called to work in the fields of science and technology.

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Don’t Know Mind: Zen and the Art of AGI Indecision

by Gareth John

By now I’ve clocked up a relatively comprehensive slew of reading up on Artificial General Intelligence, in particular concerning its ethical implications. Still mostly in the dark when it comes to any of the difficulties and scientific quandaries that go into creating such a machine, I am at least at a level of understanding whereby I can begin to tease out for myself some of the wider implications AGI would present for humankind.



Man’s Greatest Achievement: Nikola Tesla on Akashic Engineering and the Future of Humanity

by Giulio Prisco

The maverick genius Nikola Tesla was a Cosmist, a pre-transhumanist thinker, and an early proponent of a synthesis of Eastern mysticism and Western can-do engineering spirit. Tesla boldly dared to imagine “Akashic engineering” and Man’s “most complete triumph over the physical world, his crowning achievement which would place him beside his Creator and fulfill his ultimate destiny.”



#22: Time to Start Looking at ‘Cyborg’ as a Gender Identity

by B. J. Murphy

According to IEET readers, what were the most stimulating stories of 2015? This month we’re answering that question by posting a countdown of the top 30 articles published this year on our blog (out of more than 1,000), based on how many total hits each one received.

The following piece was first published here on January 28, 2015, and is the #22 most viewed of the year.

Full Story...



Agnosticism Regarding the Meaning of Life

by John G. Messerly

For the past ten days I have discussed various thinkers whom I’d classify as agnostic on the question of life’s meaning. I’d like to summarize and reflect on all of the now.



Hacktivism: The 21st Century Solution to Communications Disruption

by Nicole Sallak Anderson

My father went to Vietnam. As an ROTC member in college, he had no choice—serve or go to prison. Not being a fan of prison, he went. My father was also an electrical engineer and lifelong ham radio hobbyist. As a result, when he arrived in the hot, sweaty jungles of Vietnam he wasn’t sent to the front line, instead he was assigned to building the communications towers that would keep the US army and its allies connected throughout the war.



#26: Atheism in Zambia - skeptical, rational thought in a very superstitious country

by Leo Igwe

According to IEET readers, what were the most stimulating stories of 2015? This month we’re answering that question by posting a countdown of the top 30 articles published this year on our blog (out of more than 1,000), based on how many total hits each one received.

The following piece was first published here on June 23, 2015, and is the #26 most viewed of the year.

Full Story...



How Games of Thrones Teaches Us About the Syrian Refugee Crisis

by Stefan Morrone

Fans of Game of Thrones were treated to a big piece of news last week. As audiences know, the fan-favorite character Jon Snow was left to die at the hands of his Night’s Watch Brothers at the end of the previous season.  Yesterday, a poster was revealed showing a bloodied image of the character.



#29: A Secular Satanist’s Approach Towards Technoprogressive Transhumanism

by B. J. Murphy

According to IEET readers, what were the most stimulating stories of 2015? This month we’re answering that question by posting a countdown of the top 30 articles published this year on our blog (out of more than 1,000), based on how many total hits each one received.

The following piece was first published here on February 9, 2015, and is the #29 most viewed of the year.

Full Story...



Star Trek Philosophy: “We Were Like You Once, But We Evolved”

by B. J. Murphy

The following dialogue below took place on Star Trek: Enterprise, on episode 18, season 2, titled “The Crossing.” It was between members of the Enterprise crew (Captain Archer, Commander T’Pol, and Lieutenant Reed) and a non-corporeal alien entity known as the Wisp, of which they discuss the Wisp’s past biological existence and how they evolved into a non-corporeal species.



Scientific Illiteracy and the Coming Singularity

by Gareth John

Anyone who’s read any of my previous posts will already know that I am, let us say, technologically challenged. Some twenty years ago I studied towards a PhD in Tibetan Studies and Classical Sanskrit and Tibetan languages. Alas, since then with this knowledge unused it has faded away although I can still say Chandamaharoshana Tantra without bringing on a manic mood swing.



Proliferated Futuristic Weaponry: World’s First 3-D Printed Revolver

by B. J. Murphy

In light of the recent news where the Australian government officially criminalized the mere act of owning blueprints to 3D print a gun, it certainly raises the question of how other countries will handle the future prospect of advanced 3D printed weaponry. The ownership of a gun is already a controversial topic currently being debated here in the United States, and with 3D printed guns now being added into the mix, the controversy is likely to become exacerbated.



Star Trek Philosophy: “Killing Is Wrong, No Matter Who’s Doing It”

by B. J. Murphy

The following dialogue below took place on Star Trek: Voyager, on episode 13, season 7, titled “Repentance.” It was between Seven of Nine (whom is a former Borg drone) and the Doctor (whom is a holographic emergency medical physician), of which they discuss the morality (or lack thereof) behind the act of killing another living being.



Obfuscation: protect privacy by destroying the Web!

by David Brin

Time for a return to the core issue of our time: how shall we best preserve and extend freedom?  Along with freedom’s contingent benefits, like privacy?

In the LA Review of Books, Internet Privacy: Stepping Up Our Self-Defense Game, Evan Selinger reviews a slim book—Obfuscation: A User’s Guide for Privacy and Protest, by Finn Brunton and Helen Nissenbaum.

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