Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies






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




whats new at ieet

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation - Creating Mystical States in the Temporal Lobe

B. J. Murphy - New IEET Affiliate Scholar

Meditation Changes Your Brain for the Better, Even if You’re Not a Monk

How to Survive the End of the Universe

Existential Risks – my shortlist ranging from conventional to bizarre

Sex, Slavery and the Black Body Count–An Interview with Theologian Kelly Brown Douglas


ieet books

A Dangerous Master: How to Keep Technology from Slipping Beyond Our Control
Author
Wendell Wallach

Artificial Superintelligence: A Futuristic Approach
Roman Yampolskiy

Who Are We?: Religious, Philosophical, Scientific and Transhumanist Theories Of Human Nature
John Messerly

Codebreaking our future: Deciphering The Future’s Hidden Order
Michael Lee


comments

StevenUmbrello on 'Existential Risks – my shortlist ranging from conventional to bizarre' (Jul 2, 2015)

Alexey Turchin on 'How to Survive the End of the Universe' (Jul 2, 2015)

spud100 on 'Existential Risks – my shortlist ranging from conventional to bizarre' (Jul 2, 2015)

spud100 on 'How to Survive the End of the Universe' (Jul 2, 2015)

spud100 on 'Technological Unemployment and Personal Well-being: Does Work Make Us Happy?' (Jul 2, 2015)

Rick Searle on 'Is Pope Francis the World’s Most Powerful Transhumanist?' (Jul 2, 2015)

John Danaher on 'Technological Unemployment and Personal Well-being: Does Work Make Us Happy?' (Jul 2, 2015)







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JET

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

Moral Enhancement and Political Realism

Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life

Hottest Articles of the Last Month


Universal Basic Income—The Foundation of a Technically Advanced Society
Jun 15, 2015
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Should Politicians be Replaced by Artificial Intelligence? Interview with Mark Waser
Jun 12, 2015
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Will Artificial Intelligence be a Buddha? Is Fear of AI just a symptom of Human Self-Loathing?
Jun 17, 2015
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Atheism in Zambia - skeptical, rational thought in a very superstitious country
Jun 23, 2015
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RSS feedETHICAL TECHNOLOGY

Dirk Bruere

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation - Creating Mystical States in the Temporal Lobe

by Dirk Bruere


TMS involves using a computer controlled array of electromagnetic coils placed on or close to the scalp and then activated in such a manner that magnetic “waves” stimulate neural activity in selected areas of the brain. There are essentially two types of TMS technology largely defined by the power levels used. A lot of contemporary research (circa 2005CE) uses extremely high power levels, in many cases involving peak powers flowing in the coils in the megawatt region, to directly “kick” the brain in selected locations.

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B. J. Murphy - New IEET Affiliate Scholar

B.J. Murphy, a popular contributing writer who specializes in technology news, has been invited to be an IEET Affiliate Scholar, and he’s accepted the position.

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Meditation Changes Your Brain for the Better, Even if You’re Not a Monk

Big Think

You don’t have to become a monk to learn from one, says Dr. Wendy Suzuki, professor of neural science and psychology at New York University. Research into how meditation affects the brain is conclusive: Meditating immediately changes the frequency of your brain waves and, after five years, increases the size of white matter bundles in the prefrontal cortex.

But Suzuki’s best advice is to start small. In her book, Healthy Brain, Happy Life: A Personal Program to Activate Your Brain and Do Everything Better (http://goo.gl/udV8ST), she explains that 20 minutes of daily meditation was too large a commitment. So instead of reordering your life, she recommends practicing basic mindfulness exercises like concentrating on your breathing patterns. This technique will help you build your meditation muscle, and start you down a more peaceful and purposeful path.

 

 

 

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Alexey Turchin

How to Survive the End of the Universe

by Alexey Turchin

My plan below needs to be perceived with irony because it is almost irrelevant: we have only a very small chance of surviving the next 1000 years. If we do survive, we have numerous tasks to accomplish before my plan can become a reality.

Additionally, there’s the possibility that the “end of the universe” will arrive sooner, if our collider experiments lead to a vacuum phase transition, which begins at one point and spreads across the visible universe.

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Steven Umbrello

Existential Risks – my shortlist ranging from conventional to bizarre

by Steven Umbrello

The dangers that face Earth and its inhabitants are diverse and intricate. The solutions, if any exists per particular danger, are equally complex and nuanced. Below you will find a shortlist of threats that range from conventional to bizarre.

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Valerie Tarico

Sex, Slavery and the Black Body Count–An Interview with Theologian Kelly Brown Douglas

by Valerie Tarico

“You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.”

So said white supremacist Dylann Roof to black members of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston as he systematically executed nine, leaving one woman and a five-year-old child to bear witness to the slaughter.

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Alex Lightman

US Embargo of Cuba is Immoral - It Prevents Cuban Medicines from Reaching 316 Million Americans

by Alex Lightman

The US and Cuba resumed diplomatic relations today for the first time in 54 years. The US embargo of Cuba continues, in part because of people who have never been to Cuba but claim to be victims of Cuba, like Marco Rubio.

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Danko Nikolic

Machines that Dream: Developing Artificial General Intelligence through AI-Kindergarten

by Danko Nikolic

Abstract: Development of artificial general intelligence (AGI) may not be possible exclusively through human-created algorithms. Many aspects of human brain are not understandable to human scientists and engineers. Instead, AGI may require machines to create their own algorithms i.e., machines that learn to learn. It has been proposed that this can be achieved through AI-Kindergarten. In AI-Kindergarten machines are not left alone to figure out on their own the necessary algorithms, but they are heavily guided through human feedback.

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John Danaher

Technological Unemployment and Personal Well-being: Does Work Make Us Happy?

by John Danaher

Let’s assume technological unemployment is going to happen. Let’s assume that automating technologies will take over the majority of economically productive labour. It’s a controversial assumption, to be sure, but one with some argumentative basis.  Should we welcome this possibility? On previous occasions, I have outlined some arguments for thinking that we should. In essence, these arguments claimed that if we could solve the distributional problems arising from technological unemployment (e.g. through a basic income guarantee), then freedom from work could be a boon in terms of personal autonomy, well-being and fulfillment.

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Joel Marks

Comet Day, Anyone?

by Joel Marks

On this day 245 years ago – July 1, 1770 – humanity had its closest known encounter with extinction (with the possible exception of the Cuban Missile Crisis).

Two weeks before that date the French astronomer Charles Messier had discovered a faint comet in the constellation Sagittarius, which thereafter rapidly brightened and began moving swiftly across the sky. At its peak it was naked-eye, and its coma, according to various observers, the apparent size of from 5 to 16 full moons across. Lexell’s Comet, so named after another astronomer who subsequently calculated its orbit, was then under one-and-a-half million miles from Earth, or less than six times the distance of the Moon, and thus the nearest a comet has ever approached us in recorded history. (Kronk n.d.)

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Did the Evolution of the Brain… Evolve Our Morality?

TechEmergence Podcast

Dr. Patricia Churchland is UC President’s Professor of Philosophy Emerita at the University of California, San Diego. He popular books such as “Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality” grapple with issues at the intersection of philosophy and neuroscience.

In this interview, Dr. Churchland explains how the evolution of the mammalian brain may have influenced our underlying core moral values, and her belief that society must be strong yet flexible enough to deal with the moral quagmire of new technologies / values / ways of living as we transition into the future..

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On Existential Risk and Individual Contribution to the “Good”

TechEmergence

Nick Bostrom is interviewed by IEET Advisory Board member Daniel Faggella, director of TechEmergence Podcast

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The Future of Superhuman Technology

Good Mythical Morning

Would you freeze your brain to become a future cyborg?

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Ramez Naam

Solar: The First 1% Was the Hardest

by Ramez Naam

Solar power now provides roughly 1% of the world’s electricity.  It took 40 years to reach that milestone. But, as they say in tech, the first 1% is the hardest.

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Aaron Moritz

The Revolutionary Potential of Psychedelics

by Aaron Moritz

Psychedelic substances are resurging into the popular culture in ways unrivaled since the starry-eyed, long-haired baby boomers of the 1960’s dropped acid and discovered peace and promiscuity. However, today’s generation of visionary psychonauts are making a much more measured movement to the mainstream than the hundred thousand hippies who descended on San Francisco in 1967’s summer of love.

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Travis James Leland

Miss Metaverse (Kate Aquino) - interviewed by Future/Culture Magazine

by Travis James Leland

Miss Metaverse (Katie Aquino) is a futurist consultant and founder of the Futurista™ agency, and startups FutureFriday.org and Awesome Future TV and she has been a guest on several podcasts, including Robot Overlordz, Inspireland, and On Air With Sir.  She recently had an interview with Future/Culture on a variety of topics. Future/Culture is a magazine run by IEET Contributor Travis Leland.

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Lincoln Cannon

New God Argument (Version 3.2)

by Lincoln Cannon

Here is version 3.2 of the New God Argument, as it appears on the new website I published last week. Changes from version 3.1 include shortening of the main summary, addition of short summaries for each section, addition of a “decentralized” qualification on the destructive capacity mentioned in the Compassion Argument, and removal of the hyphen in “posthumanity”.

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Scott Santens

A Game of Musical Chairs over Hot Coals - an analogy about employment and basic income

by Scott Santens

There’s a common belief that people who don’t have jobs somehow just aren’t trying hard enough, and this belief is therefore based on the idea that there are enough jobs for everyone. To get a job, all one really needs to do is just try hard enough.

“Just go get a job.”

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Hank Pellissier

Human Brain 2.0 - what is the most essential upgrade? Increased Rationality, Empathy, or Happiness?

by Hank Pellissier

Our human brains obviously needs improvement, in multiple different capacities. But - what is the most important upgrade? Increased Rationality? Increased Empathy? Elevated Happiness?

I posed this question to members of IEET’s new Advisory Board, and I received a variety of answers:

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Valerie Tarico

Simple Intervention Cuts Unplanned Pregnancy by Half

by Valerie Tarico

A single half-day training that teaches medical clinics how to provide better birth control can radically improve outcomes for patients, cutting unplanned pregnancies by half according to research published in the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet.

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Basic Income Guarantee in Utrecht, The Netherlands

Reality Check

In an ever-capitalistic world, it may come as a surprise to know that a city in the Netherlands is experimenting with universal welfare. Regardless of status, these Dutch citizens will be recipients of an unconditional living wage.

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Basic Income: The Totally Crazy (Not Crazy) Idea

Redacted Tonight

What would the world be like if everyone was given 1,000 dollars a month… just because? This idea is a lot less crazy than it sounds.

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Dirk Bruere

Fermi Paradox, Doomsday Argument, Simulation Hypothesis—is our view of reality seriously flawed?

by Dirk Bruere

There are three interlocking statistical arguments concerning the nature of the universe in which we live and which provide what I believe to be a strongly convincing indication that our view of reality is seriously flawed on a massive scale. Let’s begin by asking a simple question…

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Rick Searle

Is Pope Francis the World’s Most Powerful Transhumanist?

by Rick Searle

I remember once while on a trip to Arizona asking a long-time resident of Phoenix why anyone would want to live in such a godforsaken place. I wasn’t at all fooled by the green lawns and the swimming pools and knew that we were standing in the middle of a desert over the bones of the Hohokam Indians whose civilization had shriveled up under the brutality of the Sonora sun. The person I was speaking to had a quick retort to my east coast skepticism.

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Maria Konovalenko

The mTOR Story Part 1 – What Makes This Important Pro-Aging Molecule Active?

by Maria Konovalenko

I have mentioned mTOR as one of the main aging genes on multiple occasions. It’s about time I tell you what it is, what it does and why it is so important in aging.

mTOR has a little m in front of TOR, which means I am speaking about mammals. It technically means «mechanistic» TOR, but think of it as the molecule that mice and all of us have, whereas in worms is it just TOR.

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Nicole Sallak Anderson

How To Survive the Robot Apocalypse

by Nicole Sallak Anderson

It’s in the air. It’s in the news.

Our struggling economy. Our struggling democracy. The income gap. Technology and artificial intelligence. At first glance, these things might not seem connected, but upon closer inspection, I find they’re all part of one impulse, and together they create the web of humanity—and our future.

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Dorothy Deasy

Disability Acceptance and Access

by Dorothy Deasy

At almost any minute of any day, your life could change drastically. Our bodies are fragile, our destinies determined second-by-second. Snap your fingers. That’s how suddenly what you have come to expect for yourself, or a member of your family, could change as the result of an illness or accident. What would it mean in terms of work, mobility, relationship, identity? How quickly or slowly would you adapt to a drastically new state of reality?

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Kris Notaro

Transhumanism: The future of Revolutionary Flags and Movement Symbols

by Kris Notaro

A few years ago after voting I went back to my local elementary school where I was taught about liberty, and the “American way of life.” The same old stories, same old lies. I went there to ask them to take down the massive confederate out-of-date flag of Georgia that was still flying since I went to school there.

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Maria Konovalenko

It is Unethical Not to Use Genetic Engineering

by Maria Konovalenko

When I hear that the conversation is about an ethical problem I anticipate that right now the people are going to put everything upside down and end with common sense. Appealing to ethics has always been the weapon of conservatism, the last resort of imbecility.

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Hank Pellissier

My Gay Marriage in USA Prediction was Incredibly Wrong, by 20 Years - Hooray!

by Hank Pellissier

In one of my first IEET articles, State-by-State Gay Marriage Acceptance, written in September 2010, I predicted that gay marriage would become legal in all 50 United States by 2035, with Mississippi being the last holdout.

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