IEET > J. Hughes
Emergence - IEET News for May 1, 2008
May 1, 2008  

CONTENTS

1. A Note From Dr. J.
2. IEET News
3. Articles
4. Multimedia
5. TechEthx News
  - Existential Risks List Posts
  - Trans-Spirit List Posts
6. Events
  - with IEET Speakers
  - all events

A NOTE FROM DR. J.

Happy May Day fellow mutants! Golly am I happy that the end of the semester is here (five Masters defenses in five days!). Not that anything will really slow down in the IEET corner of the noosphere…

We started the IEET Longevity Dividend distance learning course last week, and folks are doing their reading, watching, listening and op-ed writing. They are generating some great stuff that I hope we will start filtering out for public consumption.

We’re organizing a day long seminar on Existential Risks in California for November 14, 2008, which will focus on the new Global Catastrophic Risks volume Nick Bostrom and Milan Cirkovic edited. That seminar will take place the day before the two day (Nov 15-16) Futurist UnConference co-sponsored by the World Transhumanist Association, the Foresight Institute, the Immortality Institute and the Singularity Institute. So plan to be in Mountain View California that weekend.

Nick Bostrom’s essay on why the lack of evidence of alien life may be a good thing for humanity’s future inspired a lot of discussion this week, such as a review from George Dvorsky. (See below)

I finally launched the IEET technoprogressive policy wiki, though of course all the real work is still ahead. Our goal is to have a set of links, ideas and language outlining technoprogressive perspectives that policy makers around the world can turn to for ideas, on everything from reforming the FDA to climate change.  (Also check out the list I launched on Yahoo, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/technoprogressive/, for sharing partisan technoprogresive ideas, rants and whatnot that aren’t appropriate for a staid, nonpartisan nonprofit like the IEET.)

Russell is charging full bore on the Journal of Evolution and Technology, with the special issues of papers from WTA Book project and the Human Enhancement and Human Rights conference out shortly.

I’m writing an (overdue, naturally) book chapter on the “Anthropology of Transhumanism” and then an essay on mood regulation, and then I really really intend to start blogging a weekly section of the Cyborg Buddha project.

This Saturday my son’s documentary about the Scopes trial and intelligent design goes to the State History Day competition, and then I’m interviewing Shannon Vyff about her book 21st Century Kids.

Hope your summer is shaping up well, and that we’ll have the opportunity to meet in Second Life if not at one of the shin digs listed in the conference schedule below.

J.

________________________________

IEET NEWS

Technoprogressive, the list
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/tplist08/
Interested in developing the “technoprogressive” political perspective? Then join the the technoprogressive list.

Welcome our new IEET Fellow, Dr. Ben Goertzel http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/goertzel20080421/
The IEET Board of Directors and I are delighted that the esteemed artificial intelligence researcher Dr. Ben Goertzel has accepted our invitation to become an IEET Fellow.

________________________________

ARTICLES

George Dvorsky: Sorry ladies, the male birth control pill is not about you (May 1, 2008) http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/dvorsky20080501/
There’s been considerable media attention surrounding a recent breakthrough in the development of a male birth-control pill (MBCP).

Andy Miah: Engineering Greater Resilience or Radical Transhuman Enhancement?
(May 1, 2008)
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/miah20080501/
Abstract: This article investigates the conceptual distinctions between therapy and various forms of human enhancement. It begins by proposing a typology of human enhancements in order to make more rigorous and grounded discussions about the distinction between therapy and enhancement. Three types of human enhancement are proposed: 1) engineering traits of accepted value, 2) engineering traits of contested value and 3) radical transhuman enhancements. Subsequently, the paper explores the distinctions between the ethical justifications that are advanced for therapeutic interventions, comparing them with human enhancements, concluding that the salient characteristic of health-related suffering enables enhancement to gain legitimacy from the perspective of traditional medical ethics. Finally, the paper considers a number of practical obstructions to the realization of radical transhuman enhancements. Specifically, it discusses procedural obstacles to approving experimental medical research for human enhancements, the likely commercialization of human enhancements that would ensue from their development, and the need to develop experimental medical interventions via animal models.

Mike Treder: Nano Motors
(May 1, 2008)
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/treder20080501/
Products put together by a nanofactory (see here for some fun examples) can be expected to be far more powerful and sophisticated than today’s best-built products.

Jamais Cascio: Feedback, Tipping Points, and Hard Choices (Apr 29, 2008) http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/cascio20080429/
I have one thing to say: depopulation is not a global warming strategy.

George Dvorsky: Nick Bostrom: “Why I hope the search for extraterrestrial life finds nothing.”
(Apr 28, 2008)
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/dvorsky20080428/
Transhumanist philosopher (and IEET Chair) Nick Bostrom desperately hopes that we never find signs of extraterrestrial life—advanced or otherwise.  Why? Because he understands the Fermi Paradox.

Athena Andreadis: The Shifgrethor of Changelings (Apr 27, 2008) http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/andreadis20080427/
“Maybe there are only two sexes: men and mothers.” Alice Sheldon, writing as James Tiptree Jr. to Joanna Russ

Nick Bostrom: Why I hope the search for extraterrestrial life finds nothing (Apr 27, 2008) http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/bostrom20080428/
If we are alone it may be evidence that we have sneaked past the huge hurdles in the way of any species becoming an intelligent star-faring civilization. Then again, we could still be extinguished at any moment.

Mike Treder: Geoengineering: Go slow!  Carbon reduction: Hurry!
(Apr 25, 2008)
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/treder20080425/
We need a crash development program for wind, solar, tidal, wave, geothermal - and possibly nuclear - energy infrastructures. Geo-engineering is too risky except as an absolute last resort.

Jamais Cascio: The Earth Will Be Just Fine, Thank You (Apr 23, 2008) http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/cascio20080423/
The grand myth of environmentalism is that it’s all about saving the Earth. It’s not. The Earth will be just fine. Environmentalism is all about saving ourselves.

Russell Blackford: Transhumanism still at the crossroads (Apr 22, 2008) http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/blackford20080422/
In 2004, I wrote a piece called “Transhumanism at the Crossroads,” which has been one of my most popular essays. It was originally published as part of my old “Eye of the Storm” irregular column on the Betterhumans site.

Ben Goertzel: Artificial Wisdom
(Apr 20, 2008)
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/goertzel20080420/
Every now and then, someone suggests to me that, alongside the pursuit of Artificial Intelligence, we should also be pursuing “Artificial Wisdom”

Jamais Cascio: Roll +3 vs the Future
(Apr 20, 2008)
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/cascio20080420/
Dungeons & Dragons made me a professional futurist.

________________________________

MULTIMEDIA

Twitter, Annihilation and a Dude Pill (04/29) http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/sd20080429/
# An overview of my recent talk at the Center for Inquiry # Discussing Twitter and Google Apps # Part 3 of my Fermi Paradox talk: Possible solutions and next steps # Why the male birth-control pill is so important for men; sorry, ladies—this pill isn’t about you

Emerging Brain Plasticity Research (04/28) http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/braintrain08/
Scientists, with the help of Buddhist monks and the Dalai Lama, are unlocking mysteries of the brain.

________________________________

ETHICS & TECH IN THE NEWS

FROM EXISTENTIAL RISKS LIST

Hawking argues for moon & Mars colonies as x-risk hedge http://www.mailbucket.org/existential-5987286.html

Odds of ETI revised down
http://www.mailbucket.org/existential-5944248.html

NS: Will a pandemic bring down civilisation?
http://www.mailbucket.org/existential-5793680.html


FROM TRANS-SPIRIT LIST

Albert Hofmann has passed away April 29, 2008
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Trans-Spirit/message/1302

Report on the latest ASU Workshop on Transhumanism and Religion
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Trans-Spirit/message/1301

Documented IQ increase from brain training software http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Trans-Spirit/message/1300

Documented IQ increase from brain training software
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Trans-Spirit/message/1299

Religion as a product of the brain’s “transcendetal social”
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Trans-Spirit/message/1298

________________________________

IEET SPEAKER EVENTS

Miah @ Olympic Legacy Conference
London, UK
2008 May 8-9
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/miah20080508/

Bainbridge @ Convergence of the Real and the Virtual: First Scientific Conf in World of Warcraft World of Warcraft
2008 May 9-11
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/convwow08/

Miah @ Enhancement Medicine
Brussels, Belgium
2008 May 9-10
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/miah/

Treder, Cascio @ SciVestor Disruptive Technologies Conference New York City
2008 May 22-22
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/sdtc08/

Hughes, Bainbridge @ The Future of Religions/Religions of the Future Second Life
2008 Jun 4-5
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/slrel08/

Hughes @ World Humanist Congress
Washington, DC
2008 Jun 6-8
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/hughes20080606/

Aubrey @ Bioengineering Approaches to Aging UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA
2008 Jun 27-29
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/uabba08/

Hughes, Bostrom, Treder @ Global Catastrophic Risks Conference Oxford University, Oxford, UK
2008 Jul 17-20
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/gcr20080717/

Treder @ World Future Society
Washington, DC
2008 Jul 26-28
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/trederwfs2008/

Treder @ Basque Country Program on Globalization San Sebastian, Spain
2008 Sep 3-5
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/treder20080903/

IEET SEMINAR: Preventing Extinction
Computer History Museum, Mountain View, CA
2008 Nov 14-14
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/ieet20081114/


ALL EVENTS

Ethical, Legal, Social Implications of Genomics Cleveland, Ohio, United States
2008 May 1-3
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/elsi2008/

Knowledge Politics and Converging Technologies Brussels, Belgium
2008 May 6-8
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/eunbic2008/

Miah @ Olympic Legacy Conference
London, UK
2008 May 8-9
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/miah20080508/

Bainbridge @ Convergence of the Real and the Virtual: First Scientific Conf in World of Warcraft World of Warcraft
2008 May 9-11
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/convwow08/

Miah @ Enhancement Medicine
Brussels, Belgium
2008 May 9-10
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/miah/

Treder, Cascio @ SciVestor Disruptive Technologies Conference New York City
2008 May 22-22
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/sdtc08/

Reproductive Ethics
Cape Town, South Africa
2008 May 26-28
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/repro08sa/

Hughes, Bainbridge @ The Future of Religions/Religions of the Future Second Life
2008 Jun 4-5
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/slrel08/

Hughes @ World Humanist Congress
Washington, DC
2008 Jun 6-8
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/hughes20080606/

Neural Interfaces Conference
Cleveland
2008 Jun 15-18
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/neural_interfaces_conference/

Ethics, Technology and Identity
Delft, Netherlands
2008 Jun 18-20
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/eti2008/

Online Deliberation and Advanced Computing Berkeley, CA USA
2008 Jun 26-29
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/ocadel/

Aubrey @ Bioengineering Approaches to Aging UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA
2008 Jun 27-29
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/uabba08/

Visions of the Human in Cyberculture, Cyberspace and Science Fiction Oxford UK
2008 Jul 1-3
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/humancyb08/

Hughes, Bostrom, Treder @ Global Catastrophic Risks Conference Oxford University, Oxford, UK
2008 Jul 17-20
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/gcr20080717/

EuroScience Open Forum
Barcelona, Spain
2008 Jul 18-22
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/esof2008/

Treder @ World Future Society
Washington, DC
2008 Jul 26-28
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/trederwfs2008/

International Philosophical Congress
Seoul, South Korea
2008 Jul 30-5
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/ipcxii/

Augmentative and Alternative Communication Montreal, Canada
2008 Aug 2-7
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/augaltcom2008/

Governing Emerging Technologies
Big Sky, MT
2008 Aug 17-22
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/20080817gordon/

Treder @ Basque Country Program on Globalization San Sebastian, Spain
2008 Sep 3-5
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/treder20080903/

9th World Congress of Bioethics
Rijeka and Opatija, Croatia
2008 Sep 3-8
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/9wcbioethics/

Science in the 21st Century
Waterloo, Ontario Canada
2008 Sep 8-12
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/sci21c08/

International Congress of AI & Nano
Bogotá, Colombia
2008 Sep 25-26
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/incainano08/

Psychiatry and Freedom
Dallas, Texas USA
2008 Oct 6-8
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/psychfree08/

World Academy of Art And Science
Hyderbad, India
2008 Oct 16-20
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/waas2008/

Singularity Summit 2008
San Jose, CA
2008 Oct 17-18
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/singsum2008/

Bioethics Futurism - Am Soc for Bioethics and Humanities Cleveland, OH, USA
2008 Oct 23-26
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/asbh2008/

H+ & Religion session at American Academy of Religion
Chicago, IL USA
2008 Nov 1-3
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/aarh08/

Philosophy and Engineering
London, England.
2008 Nov 10-12
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/philosophy_and_engineering/

Neuroethics Society meeting
Washington, DC
2008 Nov 13-14
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/ns2008/

IEET SEMINAR: Preventing Extinction
Computer History Museum, Mountain View, CA
2008 Nov 14-14
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/ieet20081114/

Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness Portland, Oregon
2009 Apr 1-5
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/anthcon09/

First World Congress on Positive Psychology Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
2009 Jun 18-21
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/pospsycon2009/


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Contact:
Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies http://ieet.org/ Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes Williams 229B, Trinity College 300 Summit St.
Hartford CT 06106 USA
Email: director @ ieet.org
Phone: 860-428-1837

________________________________

Emergence is published weekly. Emergence encourages submissions for publication. Please send submissions to: director@ieet.org. Submissions will be reviewed by the IEET staff, and final determinations regarding publication are at the sole discretion of the IEET.




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