Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



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



UPCOMING EVENTS: FreeThought

“A Dangerous Master” by Wendell Wallach (Lecture & Book Signing)
May 5-
Connecticut Science Center | Downtown Hartford, CT


Rushkoff on “Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus” @ Personal Democracy Forum
June 10
New York City, NY


Humans, Machines, and the Future of Work Conference
December 5-6
Rice University, Houston, Texas




MULTIMEDIA: FreeThought Topics

The Neuroscience of Enlightenment

US Anti-Drug Laws Aren’t Scientific — They’re Colonialist and Racist

The Key to Universal Science Writing Is Subjectivity and Personalization

The Algocracy and Transhumanism Podcast: Episode 3

Why we should give everyone a basic income

Enhance Creativity by Utilizing Both Your Conscious and Unconscious Mind

The Digital Economy Should Be about Capital Creation, Not Extraction

How Your Brain Rewards Love Is a Double-Edged Sword

How Meditation Can Lead to a Vegan Diet

Algorithms: Killing Jobs, Narrowing Our Personalities

Online Companies Like Facebook Have Created a Meaningless Economy

Episode #1- Tal Zarsky on the Ethics of Big Data and Predictive Analytics

Immortality: When We Digitally Copy Our Minds, What Happens to Humanity?

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus

Cyborg Buddha – IEET’s James Hughes on Transhuman Enlightenment and Basic Income




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FreeThought Topics




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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.



Benefiting from Exponentials Globally

by David Orban

Singularity University is expanding through the SingularityU Global program. The launch of SingularityU Milan, the first Italian chapter, is part of this program. It allows orders of magnitude more people to directly participate in its events and leverage the power of exponential technologies.



Anonymous vs ISIS: Vigilante justice in the War against Terrorism

by Stefan Morrone

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind centred around the terrorist group knows as the Islamic State.  First, several attacks in Paris left 129 dead and countless others injured, then a bomb threat in Germany and a threat by ISIS to attack the rest of Europe and Washington, D.C. Fear grips the hearts of people around the world in an iron vice. And that is exactly what ISIS wants.  Right now, they are winning.



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.



Platform Adoption Statement #1 of the Nevada Transhumanist Party

by Gennady Stolyarov II

The following sections are hereby added to the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform. Pursuant to Article I, Section XXV, these sections are not officially considered part of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Constitution at this time, but shall have equivalent standing to the Platform Sections within that Constitution. It will be possible to officially amend the Nevada Transhumanist Party Constitution to include these statements during periodic biennial filings of Certificates of Continued Existence with the Nevada Secretary of State.



A Multifaceted Strategy to Defeat ISIS

by Gennady Stolyarov II

The recent slaughters of hundreds of innocent civilians in Paris, in Ankara, in Beirut, and aboard the Russian Metrojet Flight 9268 illustrate without a shadow of doubt that the threat from the barbaric sect known as ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, and the Islamic State cannot be contained within the Middle East. ISIS is an enemy of humanity, decency, and Western civilization. It will continue killing completely peaceful civilians of Western nations, both in their home countries and abroad, in gruesome ways. ISIS is a cancer upon humanity, and it will continue to metastasize and inflict damage until it is either eradicated or until it completely kills its host. Like cancer, ISIS cannot coexist with a healthy humankind. This cancerous “Islamic State” should be eradicated using the resources of any willing parties.



Will At-Home Therapeutic Miscarriage Make Abortion Clinics Obsolete?

by Valerie Tarico

At the turn of the millennium, the FDA approved a pill that could replace most abortions with early at-home therapeutic miscarriage.  When will that potential be realized?



Promising… and worrisome news

by David Brin

Don’t let the gloom industry get you down. The news isn’t all bad. Progress happens. For example…



The beauty of the holonic understanding of reality

by Enrique Lescure

The Universe can be defined in many ways. What is clear is that there are different levels of realities, which are interacting with one another. Matter is arranged in atoms, which taken together turns into molecules. These molecules arrange themselves in larger objects, such as grains of sand, rock, driplets of liquid, single-cell organisms or cells belonging to larger organisms. This diverse symphony of matter forms eco-systems which form a biosphere that constantly develops through evolution – a neverending symphony of beauty and colours.



Religion and the Meaning of Life: The Problem (Part 2)

by John G. Messerly

1) Is Life Meaningful Even If Religion Is True?

Yesterday’s post discussed some problems with grounding the meaning of life on religious beliefs. However, there is another argument which severs the connection between religious truth and the meaning of life. And that argument is that the truth of religion is irrelevant to the question of life’s meaning. In other words, even if some religion is true, it does not matter for our concerns. We can see this if we try to state exactly how it is that religion gives life meaning, something surprisingly hard to formulate.



Religion and the Meaning of Life: The Problem (Part 1)

by John G. Messerly

Are Religious Claims True?

The main problem with any proposed religious answer to the question of the meaning of life is that, in general, religious beliefs are probably false. After all, there is no convincing evidence for the gods, an afterlife, or other supernatural phenomena that persuades most philosophers. (Only a small minority of professional philosophers are theists.)

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