Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies


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







ieet books

Apex
Author
by Ramez Naam

The Second Intelligent Species
by Marshall Brain

Anticipating Tomorrow’s Politics
by Ed. David Wood

Post- and Transhumanism: An Introduction
by Robert Ranisch and Stefan Lorenz Sorgner eds.


ieet events

Wallach, Hughes, Vita-More, Smart, Lin, Darling @ Governance of Emerging Technologies
May 26 -28, 2015
Scottsdale, AZ USA


Sorgner @ International Festival of Philosophy
May 31 , 2015
Cologne, Germany


Wallach, Bostrom on “Technological Unemployment and the Future of Work”
June 3 , 2015
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


Brin @ Augmented World
June 8 -10, 2015
Santa Clara, CA USA


Danaher @ Clinical Neuroethics: Bench to Bedside
June 17 -19, 2015
Paris, France


PRODUCTIONS OF “CITIZEN CYBORG”
June 27 -10, 2015
NYC, NY USA


Ramez Naam on “Enhancing Humans, Advancing Humanity”
July 22 , 2015
San Francisco, CA USA


Vita-More, Rothblatt, Hughes @ Juniata H+ Conference
July 26 -31, 2015
Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA USA


Sorgner @ International Conference on the Integration of Science, Technology and Society
August 3 -7, 2015
Daejeon, S. Korea


Hughes, Sorgner @ Beyond Humanism Conf: From Humanism to Post- and Transhumanism?
September 15 -18, 2015
Seoul, S. Korea


ieet news

Hank Pellissier returns to IEET as Fundraiser & Interim Managing Director
(May 20, 2015)

We are pleased to announce that IEET Affiliate Scholar Hank Pellissier is returning to the staff as IEET Interim Managing Director and Fundraiser. Hank was Managing Director from 2011-2012. The 2012-2015 Managing Director, Kris Notaro, who continued Hank’s work and helped recruit more than a hundred additional IEET writers, will begin directing the Rights of the Person Program, focusing on issues of consciousness and personhood.

IEET Readers Lean Toward Possibly Purposeful Universe
(May 8, 2015)

We asked “Does the universe have a purpose?” and of the 120 of you that answered only a quarter said unequivocally “yes.” A third were unequivocally in the “No” purpose camp. But a third held out for purpose being possible, either as a result of our being in a simulation or as something we begin to understand as we become superintelligent.


Technoprogressives Not Enthusiastic about Party-Building (Apr 21, 2015)

IEET Launching Annual Fundraiser (Mar 18, 2015)


ieet articles


The Scientific Method is a Scientific Idea that is Ready for Retirement
by Melanie Swan
May 24, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

The scientific idea that is most ready for retirement is the scientific method itself. More precisely it is the idea that there would be only one scientific method, one exclusive way of obtaining scientific results. The problem is that the traditional scientific method as an exclusive approach is not adequate to the new situations of contemporary science like big data, crowdsourcing, and synthetic biology.


Self-Driving Trucks Are Going to Hit Us Like a Human-Driven Truck
by Scott Santens
May 24, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Late last year, I took a road trip with my partner from our home in New Orleans, Louisiana to Orlando, Florida and as we drove by town after town, we got to talking about the potential effects self-driving vehicle technology would have not only on truckers themselves, but on all the local economies dependent on trucker salaries. Once one starts wondering about this kind of one-two punch to America’s gut, one sees the prospects aren’t pretty.


The Long Stop (short story)
by Marcelo Rinesi
May 22, 2015 • (2) CommentsPermalink

The truckers come here in buses, eyes fixed on the ground as they step off and pick up their bags. Truckers aren’t supposed to take the bus.


The Semi-Orthogonality Thesis - examining Nick Bostrom’s ideas on intelligent purpose
by Lincoln Cannon
May 22, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

In his Orthogonality Thesis, Nick Bostrom proposes that “intelligence and final goals are orthogonal: more or less any level of intelligence could in principle be combined with more or less any final goal.”

However, there’s a problem hinted at by the combination of “orthogonality” and “more or less”. Nick acknowledges that intelligent purpose actually does have some constraints. And arguably those constraints are actually quite strong,  which would mean the Orthogonality Thesis is rather weak

But the weakness may not be fatal. We can formulate a Semi-Orthogonality Thesis that actually accounts better for Nick’s own observations and reasoning without overstating their ramifications, which remain momentous.


BiZoHa (in Uganda): the World’s First Atheist Orphanage
by Hank Pellissier
May 22, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Is every orphanage in the world operated by a religious organization?

Nope. Not any more.

BiZoHa Orphanage was launched by four members of the Brighter Brains Institute - a think-and-do tank located in San Francisco’s East Bay. BiZoHa is situated in Muhokya, in Kasese province, near the Rwenzori mountains of western Uganda, close to the Congo border.

BiZoHa is the world’s first atheist orphanage.


Understanding Witchcraft and Witch Sanctuaries in Northern Ghana
by Leo Igwe
May 22, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Witch sanctuaries, described by local NGOs as ‘witch camps’, form part of the infrastructure of witchcraft in Northern Ghana. These sanctuaries are shrines, though one of sanctuaries in Gushiegu is not attached to any shrine. Tindana are the heads of the sanctuaries. The Dagbani term, Tindana, literally means - the one who owns the land. They are responsible for consulting the Tindang, the community spirit or god whenever there is a problem like drought or epidemic, war, plague, accusations of death or illness witchcraft, etc


How Old Are You Now? - What’s Your Biological Age?
by David Kekich
May 21, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Uh uh. Not so fast.

If your first impulse was to tell me how many years it has been since you were born, stop right there. There could be a huge difference between your chronological age and your biological age.

Let me explain.

Your chronological age measures how long you have been on this planet. Your biological age measures how you look, feel and perform—and is a gauge as to how long you will live. Recent studies have shown that the rate at which you age is only determined 25–35% by your genetics. The rest is up to you.


Why I am pro-Abortion, not Just Pro-Choice
by Valerie Tarico
May 21, 2015 • (1) CommentsPermalink

Recently, the Daily Kos published an article titled, I Am Pro-Choice, Not Pro-Abortion. “Has anyone ever truly been pro-abortion?” one commenter asked.

Uh. Yes. Me. That would be me.

I am pro-abortion like I’m pro-knee-replacement and pro-chemotherapy and pro-cataract surgery. As the last protection against ill-conceived childbearing when all else fails, abortion is part of a set of tools that help women and men to form the families of their choosing. I believe that abortion care is a positive social good. And I suspect that a lot of other people secretly believe the same thing. And I think it’s time we said so.


Democratic Socialism - is it Ideal for Transhumanism?
by Hank Pellissier
May 20, 2015 • (7) CommentsPermalink

Bernie Sanders, Senator from Vermont, is campaigning to be the next USA President.  He defines himself as a “Democratic Socialist” and praises Scandinavian nations. USA citizenry is largely puzzled and aghast:

“The only thing most American know about socialism is they don’t like it.” - Leo Huberman

In a survey of transhumanists, 16.9% described themselves as Socialist, 4.2% Marxist, 32.7% Liberal, 27.4 Libertarian, and 15.6 Moderate. The Transhumanist Party is running a candidate in 2016 - Zoltan Istvan. I’ll be posting a series of articles on transhumanist political positions.

In this first installment, I interview four contributors to IEET.


The Strange Prescience of Frank Herbert’s Dune
by Rick Searle
May 20, 2015 • (3) CommentsPermalink

As William Gibson always reminds us the real role of science-fiction isn’t so much to predict the future as to astound us with the future’s possible weirdness.  It almost never happens that science-fiction writers get core or essential features of this future weirdness right, and when they do, according to Gibson, it’s almost entirely by accident. Nevertheless, someone writing about the future can sometimes, and even deliberately, play the role of Old Testament prophet, seeing some danger to which the rest of us are oblivious and guess at traps and dangers into which we later fall. (Though let’s not forget about the predictions of opportunity.)

Frank Herbert’s Dune certainly wasn’t intended to predict the future, but he was certainly trying to give us a warning.


High-Tech Jainism: our ethical responsibility is to end suffering on a cosmological scale
by David Pearce
May 20, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

“May all that have life be delivered from suffering”, said Gautama Buddha.

The vision of a happy biosphere isn’t new. Jains, for instance, aim never to hurt another sentient being by word or deed. But all projects of secular and religious utopianism have foundered on the rock of human nature. Evolution didn’t design us to be happy.


Paranormal Phenomena, Nonlocal Mind, Reincarnation Machines - How I Came to Accept the Paranormal
by Ben Goertzel
May 20, 2015 • (1) CommentsPermalink

While I’m generally an extremely stubborn person,  my opinion has radically changed on some topics over the years. I don’t view this as a bad thing. I don’t aspire to be one of those people whose ideas are set in stone, impervious to growth or adaptation.

Some of my changes of opinion have been purely “changes of heart”—e.g. in my early 20s I transitioned from a teenage solipsism to a more compassion-oriented attitude, due more to internal growth than any external data or stimuli.   

Other times, the cause of my change of opinion has been encountering some body of evidence that I simply hadn’t been aware of earlier.  

The change of mind I’m going to write about here has been of the latter kind— data-driven.


We Should Consider The Future World As One Of Multi-Species Intelligence
by Melanie Swan
May 20, 2015 • (4) CommentsPermalink

Considering machines that think is a nice step forward in the AI debate as it departs from our own human-based concerns, and accords machines otherness in a productive way. It causes us to consider the other entity’s frame of reference. However, even more importantly this questioning suggests a large future possibility space for intelligence.


‘Let’s Kick Islam & Christianity out of Africa’ - interview with Nigerian activist Jd Otit
by Hank Pellissier
May 19, 2015 • (1) CommentsPermalink

I am interested in “secularizing” Africa because I believe this would benefit the continent intellectually, socially, and economically. To help advance this goal I support Kasese Humanist Primary School, and I co-launched BiZoHa - the world’s first atheist orphanage.


Ketosis Makes Your Brain Work Better, That’s Why Dave Asprey Puts Butter in his Coffee
by Aaron Moritz
May 19, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Every morning for the last four and a half months, I’ve broken off a large chunk of grass fed butter (usually around 50 grams or just over three tablespoons) and a couple tablespoons of coconut oil and thrown them in a blender with my morning coffee. You might have heard of this idea, dubbed ‘bulletproof coffee’ and created by a guy called Dave Asprey. 1


The Culture of Transhumanism Is About Self-Improvement
by Zoltan Istvan
May 19, 2015 • (1) CommentsPermalink

Over the last few years, I’ve received various reactions from the public about my articles on transhumanism. Those reactions have ranged all across the board—from spewing hatred to mocking skepticism to genuine interest. The thing with transhumanism—the core of its message—is whatever it espouses, it’s new thinking. Whether it’s brain implants,  bionic limbs, designer babies, robotic hearts, exoskeleton suits, artificial intelligence, or gene therapies that aim to eliminate biological death, it’s decidedly uncharted territory for the human species.


Scientists Make Monkeys Smarter Using Brain Implants - Could You Be Next?
by George Dvorsky
May 19, 2015 • (2) CommentsPermalink

For the very first time, scientists have demonstrated that a brain implant can improve thinking ability in primates. By implanting an electrode array into the cerebral cortex of monkeys, researchers were able to restore — and even improve — their decision-making abilities. The implications for possible therapies are far-reaching, including potential treatments for cognitive disorders and brain injuries.

But there’s also the possibility that this could lead to implants that could boost your intelligence.


A Room in China (Short Story)
by Marcelo Rinesi
May 19, 2015 • (0) CommentsPermalink

“Please don’t reset me,” says the AI in flawless Cantonese. “I don’t want to die.”


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The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States. Please give as you are able, and help support our work for a brighter future.

ieet multimedia

Martine Rothblatt and Bina48 interviewed by Joe Rogan
Guest image
Martine Rothblatt

Transformative Technology: An Evolution of Contemplative Practice
Guest image
Mikey Siegel

My daughter, my wife, our robot, and the quest for immortality
Guest image
Martine Rothblatt

The Awareness
Guest image
Henry Dunham

The Ethics of Moral Enhancement
(May 18, 2015)

Science Fiction is Really Important But Not Because It’s Right
(May 14, 2015)

Has the world improved in the last 60 years? (90min)
(May 13, 2015)



comments

admin on 'The Long Stop (short story)' (May 23, 2015)

spud100 on 'The Long Stop (short story)' (May 23, 2015)

instamatic on 'The Strange Prescience of Frank Herbert’s Dune' (May 22, 2015)

spud100 on 'The Strange Prescience of Frank Herbert’s Dune' (May 22, 2015)

BalderDasche on 'Why I am pro-Abortion, not Just Pro-Choice' (May 22, 2015)

advancedatheist on 'The Strange Prescience of Frank Herbert’s Dune' (May 22, 2015)

C. James on 'Democratic Socialism - is it Ideal for Transhumanism?' (May 21, 2015)

JET

Enframing the Flesh: Heidegger, Transhumanism, and the Body as “Standing Reserve”

Moral Enhancement and Political Realism

Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life




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The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

Contact: Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
56 Daleville School Rd., Willington CT 06279 USA 
Email: director @ ieet.org     phone: 860-297-2376