Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
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Technoprogressive Declaration - Transvision 2014


November 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.


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COMMENTS



Posted by Steve Fuller  on  11/22  at  05:21 AM

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





Posted by Khannea Suntzu  on  11/23  at  07:34 AM

Oh how delightful.





Posted by Omar Immortalist Gatti  on  11/23  at  08:04 AM

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





Posted by jhughes  on  11/23  at  09:58 AM

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.





Posted by johnmesserly  on  11/23  at  12:11 PM

I unequivocally endorse this declaration.





Posted by Omar Immortalist Gatti  on  11/23  at  02:06 PM

“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





Posted by David Wood  on  11/23  at  07:31 PM

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

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.





Posted by Leah Carr  on  11/23  at  08:45 PM

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.





Posted by Stefano Vaj  on  11/25  at  01:23 PM

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. 😊





Posted by dangrsmind  on  11/26  at  11:33 AM

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





Posted by jhughes  on  11/26  at  01:25 PM

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.





Posted by yates9  on  11/30  at  05:36 PM

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.





Posted by Vigrith  on  12/20  at  04:40 PM

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.





Posted by Michael Nuschke  on  12/26  at  06:05 AM

Happy to support this; 
Michael Nuschke
RetirementSingularity.com





Posted by baginski  on  04/26  at  03:17 PM

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 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Thanks for your great job.





Posted by Valkyrie Ice  on  10/07  at  06:13 PM

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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