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



UPCOMING EVENTS: FreeThought

Neuro-Interventions and the Law Conference
September 12-14
Atlanta, GA USA




MULTIMEDIA: FreeThought Topics

American Society for Engineering Education: Why Diversity is so Important

The Singularity Is Near Movie Trailer

Primitivism, Progress, the Transhuman & the Technological Avalanche

This Is My Body

"> A Participatory Panopticon

Turing Tests for Morality & Intimacy, Moral Enhancement & Digital Moral Assistants

Wireheading vs the Hedonistic Imperative

Singularity 1 on 1: Flow is the doorway to more that most of us seek!

Accelerating synthetic biology in Europe

How Positive Psychology/Thinking is Concealing some of the Real Causes of our Collective Suffering

Learn Anything, Anywhere

Technofuture Politics

On Technoprogressivism (Full Interview)

A Non-Trivial Pursuit of Happiness

How to break the Internet, destroy democracy and enslave the human race (or not)




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FreeThought Topics




#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.



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.



The undiscreet and unPC charm of vintage science fiction

by Giulio Prisco

I think science fiction is at its best when it ignites our mind with imaginative, daring visions of beautiful possible futures, and the drive to turn them into reality. Recently I joined The World Transformed hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon to discuss the importance of positive stories in science fiction, and why there are not enough positive stories in today’s science fiction.



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.



Irrationality, a Tea Party-Like Discussion Over LGBTQ Marriage and Children

by Massimo Pigliucci

My Facebook account is reserved for close friends and family (if you want to follow my writings, there’s Twitter). One of my very close relatives is a fellow of about my age, self-professed politically progressive, and with whom there is a lot of reciprocal respect and love. The ideal conditions to conduct the occasional rational discourse on politics or social issues, right? Wrong.



How to Stop Fear of Knowledge Undermining our Future

by Peter Wicks

We have all experienced the frustration of trying to impart some kind of knowledge only to be met with obviously fake arguments. What we may be less aware of, however, is the extent to which people come up with such arguments because they simply don’t want to know. And even if we are aware of this, we may not know what to do about it.



Tomorrow’s Wars: bio-weapons, mind-control; is nothing sacred?

by Dick Pelletier

In The American Way of War, historian Russell Weigley describes a grinding strategy of destruction employed by the U.S. military over the last 150 years. To end the Civil War, Grant felt he had to destroy lee’s soldiers; in World War I, Pershing relentlessly bombarded and wore down Germany’s proud fighting machine; and the Army Air Corps pulverized major German and Japanese cities to win World War II.



Immortals, Posthumans – Require Regular Maintenance.

by Kamil Muzyka

Many transhumanist factions point out a need to gain some form of longevity or even immortality. The most common forms are mind upload, life extending drugs and treatments, body part replacement with prosthetics or “spare parts” and lastly, cryonics.



The Problem with Free Speech and Silicon Valley

by Sean Vitka

For Google* there was Innocence of Muslims. For Twitter, there were, and still are, rape threats. For Facebook, now there are decapitations. Facebook’s controversy is the newest in a long line of quagmires that make companies—or at least their customers—question American platitudes about free speech. It comes after Facebook briefly decided not to ban one video of the brutal decapitation of a woman in Mexico to go viral.



Stopping the carnage in central Africa

by R. Dennis Hansen

During a recent weekend, I re-watched the movie Blood Diamonds (2007), an advocacy-entertainment movie trying to raise awareness about the problem of natural resources being used to finance horrific African wars. As illustrated in Blood, conflict diamonds were used to finance a civil war in Sierra Leone. While the movie is heavy flawed, the message is still important: the mining and exploitation of natural resources is creating havoc throughout sub-Saharan Africa.



Intrauterine Bling — 2000 years of IUD’s, from Camel Contraceptives to Body Mod

by Valerie Tarico

Picture a series of copper beads on a fine titanium alloy wire curved in a graceful sphere. It looks like an earring, but you won’t find it in a jewelry store. It’s made to go in your uterus. Intrauterine contraceptives are the fastest growing method of birth control in the U.S.One study showed that use doubled in just two years. Why are IUD’s suddenly hot among young women? And what should you tell your friend or daughter when she says she wants one?



Should we Boycott Ender’s Game?

by Russell Blackford

Prominent free speech advocate Jonathan Rauch – who is gay and also a leading proponent of gay marriage – offers his thoughts about proposals for a boycott of Ender’s Game, the movie of Orson Scott Card’s monstrously successful novel from the mid 1980s.



Pernicious Prometheus

by Rick Searle

It should probably seem strange to us that one of the memes we often use when trying to grapple with the question of how to understand the powers brought to us by modern science and technology is one inspired by an ancient Greek god chained to a rock. Well, actually not quite a god but a Titan, that is Prometheus.



DIY Biology or Our Biohacker Future

by David Brin

Biohackers constructed their temple for amatuer bio-creativity in 2009, with the establishment of Brooklyn-based Genspace, the world’s first government-compliant DIY biotech lab.



The Open Information Revolution

by Roberta Scarlett

Information and knowledge have been both feared and sought in the past.  New information brings change, and change is often met with fear and resistance.  In the past books were burned by the church and new technology destroyed by Luddites.  The change that new information and knowledge brought was often regarded as threat to established interests. But inevitably with time, it brings benefits for all.  New information changes our perception of ourselves, others and our environment.  It breeds ideas and solutions for the obstacles we face and creates a positive feedback loop which is the driving force behind progress.



Posthuman Gender: A Non-Binary Future

by Benjamin Abbott

Though still decidedly secondary, the dream of transcending biological sex and established gender norms occupies a key place transhumanist in thought. Transhumanists extoll transgender people as prescient pioneers of morphological freedom and technological enhancement. This article explores the problem of gender - yes, it is a problem - in relation to feminist theory and proposed transhumanist solutions. I simultaneously critique and embrace visions of transcendence.



Improvements in Prenatal Genetic Testing Raise Ethical Issues

by R. J. Crayton

A new study spearheaded at Columbia University aims to provide parents with more information about their unborn children—including potential abnormalities and genetic defects. Spread across 10 different research hospitals that plan to secure 1,000 women each to participate, knowledge gained from the study will contribute to the ethical dialogue surrounding what parents do with more prenatal testing data.



The Male Pill–Are We Ready?

by Valerie Tarico

For a long time, outdated perceptions have contributed to the lack of investment in birth control for men. Since women traditionally have borne the primary burden of unwanted childbearing and parenting, decision makers have long assumed that men wouldn’t be interested in contraceptives—or would have a very low tolerance for cost, side effects, or hassle. Today, though, in the age of paternity tests and child support, with fathers and mothers sharing parenting responsibility—more and more men want to be in control of their own fertility.



A Transparency Tsunami!

by David Brin

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is working on the Biometric Optical Surveillance System (BOSS) allowing authorities to identify individuals by their faces—from images collected by street cams, driver’s license photos, mug shots or other sources. As Ginger McCall points out, there is little or no "legal oversight of such technologies."  And I agree!  Oversight and "under-sight" or sousveillance is absolutely essential lest this lead to Big Brother!



Emotional Autonomy: Categories and Logics

by Christopher Reinert

Building a robot that can act autonomously in an environment has long been the goal of roboticists. The most common, colloquial definition of an autonomous robot is a robot(s) that can perform desired tasks in unstructured environments without continuous human guidance (1). This a fairly general definition that applies equally well to domestic and military robots, but does not specify how to give the robot autonomy.



On the Space Between the Human and the Post- Human

by Rick Searle

What especially distinguishes human beings from other animals has been the degree to which they seek out and invent ways to leverage the basics of their biology to reach ever more complex levels of thought and action. Early human beings leveraged their fragile and limited bodies with tools including fire, leveraged their own natural psychology using naturally occurring drugs and religious rituals and used music to obtain a more emotional connection with one another and the world.



A Buddhist Approach to AI

by Daniel J. Neumann

Humanity is on the threshold of technologies so great; we may not be mature enough to handle them. The converging technologies predicted by Kurzweil’s Singularity offer technological paradigm-shifts. More interestingly to me, Artificial Intelligence (AI) may become more self-aware than humans. The imperatives for creating smarter-than-human AI sheds light on a possible solution to our blind drive for more technology without consideration.



Neo-Malthusians, Luddites, and the rise of the Anti-Science Left

by B. J. Murphy

As much as I respect Pres. Obama’s senior advisor on science and technology, John Holdren, on his work in fighting against climate change, I’ve come to find out that his political beliefs are almost interrelated with that of Maoist-Third-Worldism (an extremist Leftist ideology).



Betting Against The Transhumanist Wager

by Rick Searle

There have been glowing reviews at the IEET of Zoltan Istvan’s The Transhumanist Wager. This will not be one of those. As I will argue, if you care about core transhumanist concerns, such as research into pushing out the limits of human mortality, little could be worse than the publication of Istvan’s novel. To put it sharply in terms of his so-called First Law of Transhumanism “A transhumanist must safeguard his own existence above all else”; Istvan, by creating a work that manages to disparage and threaten nearly every human community on earth has likely shortened the length of your life



Immanuel Kant: Morality Necessitates Immortality

by Franco Cortese

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) was an 18th century philosopher, one of the earliest philosophers belonging to the enlightenment tradition, and often considered the father of German Idealism. Kant is remembered today more for his moral philosophy than his contributions to metaphysics and epistemology (Rohlf 2010). His contributions to the field of life-extension, however, remain almost completely unexplored, despite the fact that certain claims made in his Theory of Ethics arguably qualify him as a historical antecedent of the contemporary social movement and academic discipline of life-extension.



Synthetic life promises ‘magical future’

by Dick Pelletier

Say goodbye to global warming, toxic waste, and dependency on fossil fuels, and get ready to enjoy perfect health with exotic drugs that could one day cure most diseases and extend lifespan indefinitely.



Should Students Use a Laptop in Class?

by Evan Selinger

Is it OK to use a smartphone in class, email an instructor, record a lecture? A professor offers lessons. There’s a widely shared image on the Internet of a teacher’s note that says: “Dear students, I know when you’re texting in class. Seriously, no one just looks down at their crotch and smiles.”



My Journey Towards Transhumanism

by Christine Gaspar

One of the strongest memories I have of my grandfather’s funeral, was standing next to my mother, trying to hold her sobbing body, as they closed the casket on her father for the last time. I was 14. It was winter. I remember lying awake, weeks later, thinking of him, outside in the darkness, his bones in the frozen ground, lost to us forever.



Subjective Experience and the Existence of Free Will in Bergson

by Melanie Swan

With burgeoning progression in neuroscience projects across a variety of fields including stem cell generation, brain scanning, and natural language processing, the free will / determinism debate remains vibrant.

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