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Does machine consciousness matter?

Andy Clark on Extended Mind and the Future of Intelligence

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Altered States of Consciousness and Transcendence

  • Trans-Spirit list a transhumanist research program into religion and spirituality. It seeks to understand religion and spirituality in terms of cognitive science and evolutionary psychology, and to project the future of religion and spirituality in the dawning transhuman era.
  • "Trans-Spirit: Religion, Spirituality and Transhumanism," Michael LaTorra, Journal of Evolution and Technology 14(1) August 2005: 39-53.
  • Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies Promoting clinical research on psychedelics
  • Council on Spiritual Practices

  • Scientific Study of Consciousness and Neurotechnology

  • Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness
  • NeuroInsights a neurotechnology consulting firm directed by Zack Lynch
  • Mind and Life Institute Works on establishing research partnerships between modern science and Buddhism, especially the Dalai Lama.
  • The "neurodharma" project of psychologist Rick Hanson and neurologist Rick Mendius, both of whom are Buddhist meditators. They teach a "Train the Brain Course" and have a many talks, slides, and articles at the site.

  • Neuroethics and Cognitive Liberty

  • Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics
  • Wikipedia on Cognitive Liberty
  • Neuroethics Society scholars, scientists and clinicians who share an interest in the social, legal, ethical and policy implications of advances in neuroscience.
  • Neuroethics at UPenn a source of information on neuroethics, provided by Martha Farah of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience

  • Happiness, Positive Psychology and The Virtues

  • Positive Psychology Center at UPenn, directed by Martin Seligman
  • Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification by Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman.
  • Wikipedia on Positive Psychology
  • Ethics of Mood Enhancement NY Academy of Sciences
  • The Hedonistic Imperative Advocates the development of neurotechnology to permit the elimination of all suffering
  • Abolitionist SocietyPromotes eliminating involuntary suffering and increasing lifelong individual happiness through science

  • Cyborg Buddha Project

    IEET Executive Director James Hughes - a former Buddhist monk and attenuated Buddho-Unitarian - is writing a book tentatively titled Cyborg Buddha: Using Neurotechnology to Become Better People.

    IEET Board member Mike LaTorra - a Zen priest and author of A Warrior Blends with Life: A Modern Tao - runs the Trans-Spirit list promoting discussion of neurotheology, neuroethics, techno-spirituality and altered states of consciousness.

    IEET Board member George Dvorsky - a practicing Buddhist - writes and podcasts frequently from a rationalist, transhumanist, and Buddhist point of view, winning him an award this year as one of the best Buddhist blogs.

    The three of us are launching the IEET Cyborg Buddha Project to combine our efforts and promote discussion of the impact that neuroscience and emerging neurotechnologies will have on happiness, spirituality, cognitive liberty, moral behavior and the exploration of meditational and ecstatic states of mind.

    Jul 21, 2012

    Creating/Discovering New States of Mind

    by Ben Goertzel

    Our society puts a fair bit of energy, these days, into creating new technologies and discovering new scientific facts. But we don’t put hardly any effort at all into creating/discovering new states of mind. I think maybe we should – at the end of this blog post I’ll suggest a specific type that synthesizes spiritual mindfulness and intense scientific creativity.

    Full Story...

    Jul 20, 2012

    ‪Interview - Jeffery Martin - Hacking Your Enlightenment‬

    The Rational Future

    Interview with Jeffery A. Martin - “Hacking Your Enlightenment”.
Focusing on parallels and differences between Transhumanism and Enlightenment, states of consciousness after we expand upon human physiology, designing our experience, offloading our minds onto different substrates, and parallel existences.
Questions are raised such as “Can robots be conscious?” and “Are we living in a simulation?”


    Jun 15, 2012

    Buddhism and Transhumanism: The Technologies of Self-Perfection

    Changesurfer Radio

    James Hughes, IEET Executive Director, speaking at the August 5, 2004 Faith, Transhumanism and Hope Symposium, Trinity College, University of Toronto. (and yes, seven years later I’m still working on that book…)


    Jun 7, 2012

    Is Transhumanism a Religion?

    by Gabriel Rothblatt

    Transhumanism is often accused of being a religion. It is rarely clear if this is meant as an insult, a compliment, or merely an observation. Probably all of the above have been used at different points in time, from different perspectives, which only adds to the hysteria.

    May 11, 2012

    The Biointelligence Explosion

    by David Pearce

    How recursively self-improving organic robots will modify their own 
source code and bootstrap our way to full-spectrum superintelligence.

    Apr 27, 2012

    George Dvorksy offers Online Seminar on Transhumanism

    IEET Director and Board Member George Dvorsky is offering an online four-week seminar on transhumanism at The Center for Free Inquiry, teaching alongside John Shook, CFI director of education and AHA education coordinator. The course will run from May 1 to May 31.

    Full Story...

    Apr 11, 2012

    Stelarc Ear-on-Arm Suspension (warning: not for the squeamish!)

    Fine Eye Productions

    Confronting, fascinating, transcendent, profound, horrifying, self-flagellating, decadent, courageous, empathetic, which of the above accurately describes Stelarc’s 26th Suspension performance at the Scott Livesey Gallery in Melbourne? With 16 shark hooks piercing his back, elbows, and legs, the transhumanist artist Stelarc was supported by wire cables and cranked high above an oversize marquette of his own arm with embedded third ear). Is it body art/sculpture? Or something more or less? Any expression of the excessive physical pain he was experiencing may have unleashed the near palpable anxiety among the audience of 40 present. 


    Apr 6, 2012

    Moral Brain Conference Summary with Twitter Round-up

    by George Dvorsky

    The Moral Brain conference was one of the most fascinating and provocative events I have ever attended.

    Full Story...

    Apr 1, 2012

    (Enhancing) The Moral Brain: Day Three (J.‘s Notes)

    by J. Hughes

    After two days of serious neuroscience (Day One, Day Two morning, Day Two afternoon) I confess that my note-taking and summary abilities flagged a bit on the third day.

    Full Story...

    Apr 1, 2012

    The Moral Brain: Day 3 Morning

    by Hank Pellissier

    After a breakfast bagel feast on the ground floor Green Room of NYU’s Silver Building, the early-Sunday morning audience trooped up to the 7th floor auditorium to hear the final day’s lecturers. Here’s the better-brain information I gleaned:

    Full Story...

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