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IEET > Security > Rights > Life > Vision > Technoprogressivism > Staff > J. Hughes > Advisory Board > Marc Roux > Affiliate Scholar > Amon Twyman > Contributors

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Technoprogressive Declaration - Transvision 2014


Posted: Nov 22, 2014

Here at the Transvision 2014 in Paris we just concluded a meeting of the technoprogressive caucus to draft a statement of common principles. The meeting consisted of the members of Technoprog!: AFT, Amon Twyman representing Zero State/Institute for Social Futurism, David Wood from the London Futurists, and me (J. Hughes) from IEET. The result is below. We are inviting individual and organizational co-signators. Please let me know if you would like to add your or your organization’s name.  We would like to collect co-signators between now and the end of the year, so you don’t have to decide immediately.

Technoprogressive Declaration

The world is unacceptably unequal and dangerous. Emerging technologies could make things dramatically better or worse.  Unfortunately too few people yet understand the dimensions of both the threats and rewards that humanity faces. It is time for technoprogressives, transhumanists and futurists to step up our political engagement and attempt to influence the course of events.

Our core commitment is that both technological progress and democracy are required for the ongoing emancipation of humanity from its constraints. Partisans of the promises of the Enlightenment, we have many cousins in other movements for freedom and social justice.  We must build solidarity with these movements, even as we intervene to point to the radical possibilities of technologies that they often ignore. With our fellow futurists and transhumanists we must intervene to insist that technologies are well-regulated and made universally accessible in strong and just societies. Technology could exacerbate inequality and catastrophic risks in the coming decades, or especially if democratized and well-regulated, ensure longer, healthy and more enabled lives for growing numbers of people, and a stronger and more secure civilization.

Beginning with our shared commitment to individual self-determination we can build solidarity with

- Organizations defending workers and the unemployed, as technology transforms work and the economy
- The movement for reproductive rights, around access to contraception, abortion, assisted reproduction and genomic choice
- The movement for drug law reform around the defense of cognitive liberty
- The disability rights movement around access to assistive and curative technologies
- Sexual and gender minorities around the right to bodily self-determination
- Digital rights movements around new freedoms and means of expression and organization

We call for dramatically expanded governmental research into anti-aging therapies, and universal access to those therapies as they are developed in order to make much longer and healthier lives accessible to everybody.  We believe that there is no distinction between “therapies” and “enhancement.”  The regulation of drugs and devices needs reform to speed their approval.

As artificial intelligence, robotics and other technologies increasingly destroy more jobs than they create, and senior citizens live longer, we must join in calling for a radical reform of the economic system. All persons should be liberated from the necessity of the toil of work. Every human being should be guaranteed an income, healthcare, and life-long access to education.

We must join in working for the expansion of rights to all persons, human or not.

We must join with movements working to reduce existential risks, educating them about emerging threats they don’t yet take seriously, and proposing ways that emerging technologies can help reduce those risks. Transnational cooperation can meet the man-made and natural threats that we face.

It is time for technoprogressives to step forward and work together for a brighter future.

Signators (in formation- contact director@ieet.org to add your name/organization):

Organizational:

Technoprog! French Transhumanist Association

De:Trans (German Transhumanist Association)

Transhumanist Party of Germany

Terasem Movement

Alianza Futurista (Spain)

Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

Zero State/Institute for Social Futurism

Transhumanist [H+] Research & Media Center

Individual:

Australia
Adam Ford, President, Science Technology & the Future, Board member, Humanity+
Russell Blackford, Ph.D., LL.B., philosopher and author, University of Newcastle, NSW

Belgium
Didier Cournelle, Vice-Pres., Technoprog-French Transhumanist Association; co-chair, HEALES

Canada
George Dvorsky, IEET Board Chair, journalist

Estonia
David Latapie, Technoprog-French Transhumanist Association

France
Marc Roux, Spokesperson, Technoprog-French Transhumanist Association
Olivier Nerot, Technoprog-French Transhumanist Association
Cyril Gazengel, Treasurer, Technoprog-French Transhumanist Association

Germany
Günter Bachelier, Ph.D., Computer Artist
Daniel Wuttke, Chair, De:Trans (German Transhumanist Association)

Hungary
Giulio Prisco, IEET Board, Italian Transhumanist Association

India
Avinash Singh, founder, India Future Society

Israel
Ilia Stambler, PhD., Chair, Israeli Longevity Alliance

Italy
Giancarlo Stile Ph.D., Coordinator, Italian Transhumanist Network
Stefano Vaj, Secretary, Italian Transhumanist Association
Riccardo Campa Ph.D., Chair, Italian Transhumanist Association & Sociology, Jagiellonian University
David De Biasi, Co-founder of Italian Transhumanist Network
Bruno Formicola, Member, Italian Transhumanist Network

Serbia
Milan Ćirković Ph.D., Physics, University of Novi Sad

Spain
Sergio Tarrero, President, Alianza Futurista
Javier Ruiz Alvarez, Alianza Futurista

UK
David Wood D.Sc., chair London Futurists, Board member, Humanity+
Steve Fuller Ph.D., Prof. Sociology, University of Warwick, England
Naomi Curtis, Cardiff, United Kingdom
Alexander Karran Ph.D., Liverpool John Moores University
Amon Twyman Ph.D., organizer Zero State/Institute for Social Futurism
Olga Pavlovska, London Futurist
Julian Snape Cert Ed., Norfolk & London Futurist’
Gareth John, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom

USA
Natasha Vita-More Ph.D., Chair, Humanity+, Fellow, IEET
Martine Rothblatt Ph.D., J.D., founder, Terasem Movement
PJ Manney, author and futurist
Hank Pellissier, Brighter Brains Institute
John Smart, President, Acceleration Studies Foundation
Paul Eckstein, Philosophy, Columbia College
John G Messerly Ph.D, philosopher
Susan Schneider Ph.D., Philosophy, University of Connecticut
Philippe van Nedervelde, Director of International Development, 2045 Initiative
Ken Goffman aka R.U. Sirius, Author/Editor/Publisher
B.J. Murphy, Editor, Serious Wonder
Stuart Mason Dambrot, Synthesist, Futurist, Board member, Humanity+
Linda M. Glenn, J.D. LL.M., Cal State U Monterey Bay, Alden March Bioethics Institute, Board, Humanity+
Bryce Alexander Lynch, Member, Zero State
Kent Gemre
J. Hughes Ph.D., Executive Director, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
Kris Notaro, Managing Director, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
Michael LaTorra, IEET Board, English, New Mexico State University
Mark Walker Ph.D., IEET Board, Philosophy, New Mexico State University
Jonathan Lyons M.F.A., IEET Affiliate Scholar
Franco Cortese, IEET Affiliate Scholar
Nathan A. Sonnenfeld; Human Factors researcher, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Alex Hamilton, Government Fishbowl
Mark Larkento, Member, Zero State
Jon Perry, Review the Future podcast
Ted Kupper, Review the Future podcast
Frazer Kirkman, Memetic engineer and Founder of United Visions
Rob Boyle, Posthuman Studios



Additional readings:

Overview of Biopolitics

TransVision 2014 - “What is Technoprogressive Thought? Origins, Principles, Agendas” James Hughes (Nov 22, 2014)

“Values and objectives of the French techno-progressivism” Marc Roux (2013)

David Wood Explains Technoprogressivism (2013)

“Towards a Transhumanist Techno-progressive Divorce” Rick Searle (Aug 20, 2013)

“Live Long and Prosper: A Program of Technoprogressive Social Democracy” Dale Carrico (July 31, 2005)

“TechnoProgressive Biopolitics and Human Enhancement,” J. Hughes, Progress in Bioethics, ed. Jonathan Moreno and Sam Berger, 2010, MIT Press, pp. 163-188

“Technoprogressives and Transhumanists: What’s the difference?” Mike Treder (Jun 25, 2009)

“Who are the Technoprogressives?” J. Hughes (Jul 14, 2013)

“Transhumanism, Technoprogressivism and Singularitarianism: What are the Differences?” J. Hughes (Jul 28, 2013)

 


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COMMENTS


I endorse this declaration. The next task is to get it on a significant politician’s agenda!





Oh how delightful.





Interesting Initiative.

Before signing, is it possible to know how do you want to get your goals?

Just because, before signing, I’d like to know better





The goal is to mobilize technoprogressives to intervene in the Left (or the Right for that matter) and social movements in an organized way to articulate the risks and benefits of emerging technologies that they ignore, and to intervene in the futurist communities to highlight the social and political questions they ignore. That can take many forms, from individual writing and action, to caucuses, committees, alliances, thinktanks, mailing lists, conferences, journals, websites, and in some countries, like Italy or Spain, political parties.





I unequivocally endorse this declaration.





“The goal is to mobilize technoprogressives to intervene in the Left and social movements in an organized way to articulate the risks and benefits of emerging technologies that they ignore, and to intervene in the futurist communities to highlight the social and political questions they ignore. That can take many forms, from individual writing and action, to caucuses, committees, alliances, thinktanks, mailing lists, conferences, journals, websites, and in some countries, like Italy or Spain, political parties.”

Thanks for the answer





I would express the goal very slightly differently - using three fewer words grin

The goal is to mobilize technoprogressives to intervene in social movements in an organized way to articulate the risks and benefits of emerging technologies that they ignore, and to intervene in the futurist communities to highlight the social and political questions they ignore. That can take many forms, from individual writing and action, to caucuses, committees, alliances, thinktanks, mailing lists, conferences, journals, websites, and in some countries, like Italy or Spain, political parties.





I agree with the majority of this statement, however, I have some reservations about signing a declaration with claims to be left or progressive in orientation but does not explicitly address the problem of first peoples and the history of colonialism in general. This might not seem as pressing in an “old world” context but in a colonial context such as Australia, colonization and the issue of indigenous sovereignty are very pressing and significant issues for the left. I think it will be important to include indigenous perspectives into the technoprogressive movement as much as possible, as the failure to incorporate these perspectives may be a lost opportunity as we come to grapple with how we should relate to our own nature, as well as nature in general.
Furthermore, I think it will be important to evaluate the ways different social arrangements of technology will impact indigenous cultures. We should strive for arrangement that “preserve” and “augment” indigenous cultures and knowledges, rather than arrangements and attitudes that might “displace” and “erase” such peoples. To do so would be to enact mindful of the way a technocratic attitude towards progress has often served a colonial agenda, and so, we should be mindful as technoprogressives that we avoid becoming yet another colonialist discourse.

Finally, on the topic of race more generally, I think we should also be mindful of the legacy of racist eugenics when tackling the challenges of human enhancement on the horizon. Just as any other social justice movement is expected to take responsibility and hold itself accountable for its racist legacy (feminism, for example), so we, as technoprogressives, should hold ourselves similarly responsible and accountable, as we move forward.





I have spent much of my adult life fighting “egalitarianism”, but I certainly meant something radically different from what is discussed in this Declaration because, but for a a few minor qualifications I would have added had I been the drafter (but when is it not the case ever?), I am quite comfortable with it. So, you can consider myself a signatory. grin





Hi James,

I quite like this declaration and I am just commenting on a small technical point surrounding the use of the words “person” and “human”.

I think the distinction is unclear to the lay reader not aware of the issues or background on this subject.

Also, this seems like it could be problematic for translations into various languages where the distinction could get very confused.

I spent a few days trying to come up with a good solution for this before posting, but frankly I was not able to do so.

I do think some care is going to be needed with translations and perhaps the distinction could be clarified with an additional sentence or phrase.

Best Regards,

Peter





Hey Peter

Yes, the sentence “We must join in working for the expansion of rights to all persons, human or not.” was given quite a bit of discussion. The first draft was more explicit about joining with the call for rights for some animals (implicitly apes and dolphins). Some thought that would draw too much derisive attention, so we dropped the nonhuman personhood clause altogether. Then there was an amendment to put it back in, and we consensed on this sentence as sufficiently vague. It obviously references the nonhuman personhood issue for us, without being clear about what kinds of nonhumans might be rights-bearing persons. Could be animals, or just posthumans, robots etc. But I’m too embedded in the issues to see it without that lense. I’m looking forward to hearing from the translators about the complexities.





I am happy to sign this declaration.

But I also summarise some of the concerns I had had with one of the original wordings:

1. That cognitive liberty not apply to addictive substances for example, which we confirm should be regulated as they remove liberty

2. That age extension research not ignore foregone opportunities in other fields which may be more urgent to civilization

3. That while we seek new answers to a better financial system we not over-sell simplistic solutions in particular in light of the disruptive technologies in this area which may / may not be long term answers.





I believe this is a very important and well crafted document with many hard to achieve but worthy goals. I whole heartedly support this declaration.  I love my job as an architectural designer too much to be liberated from it, however I would still practice architecture as a hobby if my design work was no longer needed due to being replaced by an automated process in the future.  I’d hate to see anyone else toil in their workings as I know many do.





Happy to support this; 
Michael Nuschke
RetirementSingularity.com





Happy to suport this declaration, complete data for subscrition:

Organization: Aliança Renovadora Nacional ARENA
Country: Brazil
President: Cibele Bumbel Baginski

Our credentials and documentation can be send to you soon if you need. Just contact the presidency in arena.cibele@gmail.com

Thanks for your great job.





Seriously, Hank, did you think I WOULDN’T agree to this? You know, I DID just write that article on egalitarianism.  *sigh*

9.9





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