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J. Hughes
Medical ethics through the Star Trek lens by J. Hughes

(with John Lantos) Science fiction, which started out on the edges of literature and pulp fiction, has become more than mainstream; it is now an essential way of interpreting the world.—Eric P. Nash Throughout the twentieth century, science fiction has been deeply entwined in the popular moral imagination about the future. Novels, stories, and movies about science, technology, and moral decisions have shaped the way we think about people and the choices they make. From Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or Aldous Huxley’s Brave Ne...

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Wrye Sententia
Brain Fingerprinting: Databodies to Databrains by Wrye Sententia

While in some respects, the sheer proliferation of information and data means no one particular entity can control it, current applications of technological monitoring are allowing governments to compile extensive “databodies” of individuals. Whether criminal or not, anything from a fingerprint to an intercepted e-mail can be tracked, and more and more of what we say and do is recorded. The global trend, in terms of personal data, is toward total monitoring.

Vision > Directors > Nick Bostrom > J. Hughes > CSR
World Transhumanism Changesurfer Radio

Interview with Nick Bostrom, co-founder World Transhumanist Association

Rights > HealthLongevity > CognitiveLiberty > Vision > Staff > J. Hughes > Enablement > Futurism > Technoprogressivism
J. Hughes
The Future of Death:  Cryonics and the Telos of Liberal Individualism by J. Hughes


This paper is addressed to four questions: First, what is trajectory of Western liberal ethics and politics in defining life, rights and citizenship?  Second, how will neuro-remediation and other technologies change the definition of death for the brain injured and the cryonically suspended? Third, will people always have to be dead to be cryonically suspended?  Fourth, how will changing technologies and definitions of identity effect the status of people revived from brain injury and cryonic suspension? I propos...

Rights > Personhood > Vision > Bioculture > J. Hughes
J. Hughes
The Intelligent Other in Science, Fantasy and Horror Fiction, 1895 to the Present by J. Hughes

Images of non-human intelligence in popular culture reflect our attitudes about the desirability and feasibility of a liberal democratic society. This study tests for a trend toward more positive depictions of non-human intelligence in popular culture, reflecting the gradual expansion of rights and inclusiveness of American liberal democracy. A second, more pessimistic, hypothesis of growing misanthropy also suggests there will be a positive trend in depictions.

Examples of depictions of non-human intelligence are collected from the...

Rights > HealthLongevity > J. Hughes
J. Hughes
Paying injection drug users to educate and recruit their peers by J. Hughes

Why participant-driven interventions are an ethical public health model

The criminalization of drug use has made it difficult to reach injection drug users (IDUs) with public health interventions. The “peer-driven intervention” (PDI) makes use of the existing social network of IDUs to educate and recruit participants in the intervention. Participant IDUs are given nominal financial rewards for being interviewed, for recruiting IDUs to the program, and for educating their recruits. Using peers as educators, PDIs build a di...

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Nick Bostrom
How Long Before Superintelligence? by Nick Bostrom

Abstract This paper outlines the case for believing that we will have superhuman artificial intelligence within the first third of the next century. It looks at different estimates of the processing power of the human brain; how long it will take until computer hardware achieve a similar performance; ways of creating the software through bottom-up approaches like the one used by biological brains; how difficult it will be for neuroscience figure out enough about how brains work to make this approach work; and how fast we can expect su...

Rights > Vision > FreeThought > CyborgBuddha > J. Hughes > ReproRights
J. Hughes
Buddhism and Abortion: A Western Approach by J. Hughes


I once believed it important to determine the “Buddhist view” on many social and political questions. Today I’m much more circumspect. Buddhist texts offer few coherent views outside of the core doctrinal elements. Consequently, Buddhists, to an even greater degree than most religionists, are required to address contemporary problems in the spirit of their teachings, rather than according to the letter of their law.

In the case of abortion, classical Buddhist texts, from the Pali canon through t...

Rights > HealthLongevity > Personhood > Enablement > J. Hughes
J. Hughes
Hirntod und technologischer Wandel by J. Hughes

Personale Identität, neuronale Prothesen und Uploading

Biotechnologien, die es bereits gibt und deren Entwicklung wir voraussehen können, greifen in unser Verständnis des Lebens ein und zwingen dazu, die Grenzen zwischen Leben und Tod neu zu ziehen. Das ist heute immer weniger eine philosophische oder religiöse Aufgabe, sondern ein praktischer Bestandteil der Lebenswirklichkeit, die stets neuen Anlaß zu Auseinandersetzungen provoziert und zeigt, wie stark die Techniken buchstäblich in das Leben eines jed...

Rights > J. Hughes > ReproRights
J. Hughes
Duplicity about Duplication: Cloning as Lens for Millenial Angst by J. Hughes

In late February a wave of hysterical, technophobic paranoia swept the world with the announcement that Scottish scientists had cloned a sheep. Reported as the first successful cloned mammal, it was quickly followed by American claims of successfully cloned monkeys. The media promoted stories as heralding the immanent cloning of humans. The mantra of “brave new world” was intoned endlessly, as reporters breathlessly conjured images of millions of pencil-mustachioed Austrian painters.