Stephan Schleim, Telepolis, 12.10.2009
“Ein deutsches Expertengremium legt seine Empfehlungen zum Umgang mit “Neuro-Enhancement-Präparaten” vor
Sieben Expertinnen und Experten haben die geistige Leistungssteigerung sowie die Verbesserung der psychischen Befindlichkeit mithilfe pharmakologischer Mittel untersucht. Aus ethischer, medizinischer und rechtlicher Perspektive widmen sie sich dem “Neuro-Enhancement”, um eine gesellschaftliche Handlungsempfehlung abzugeben. Dabei bleiben jedoch viele Fragen offen. Ob der Liberalismus, der sich auf dem Papier gut macht, bei der tatsächlichen Entscheidung für oder gegen den Konsum der Substanzen aufgeht, darf bezweifelt werden. Schließlich wird in dem Dokument die Chance verspielt, die bestehenden Missverhältnisse unserer Leistungsgesellschaft einer kritischen Prüfung zu unterziehen. Dabei ist dieser gesellschaftliche Kontext für eine Bewertung der auf uns zukommenden Praxis und ihrer Probleme unerlässlich.” [zum Originalartikel]
Riccardo Campa – Toward a transhumanist politics (re:public)
„The central transhumanist idea of self-directed evolution can be coupled with different political, philosophical and religious opinions. Accordingly, we have observed individuals and groups joining the movement from very different persuasions. On one hand such diversity may be an asset in terms of ideas and stimuli, but on the other hand it may involve a practical paralysis, especially when members give priority to their existing affiliations over their belonging to organized transhumanism.“ [read original article]
On the Importance of Being a Cyborg Feminist (written By: Kyle Munkittrick, h+ magazin, July 21, 2009)
„Transhumanism’s relationship with postmodern philosophy and critical theory is a strange one. For example, Nick Bostrom’s influential “A History of Transhumanist Thought” spans centuries, covering the gamut from Utnapishtim to the President’s Council on Bioethics, but makes little mention of those who radically challenge the core Enlightenment narrative upon which he builds his history. Figures like Nietzsche, Marx, and Donna Haraway do all receive a nod in Bostrom’s essay, including Haraway’s cyberfeminist motto, “I’d rather be a cyborg than a goddess,” but their ideas go unanalyzed. Of course, the context for these thinkers is often ignored and their works simply mined for epigraphs and potent, argument-punctuating lines such as Haraway’s. Make no mistake: Bostrom’s essay (indeed, his entire corpus of work) is essential reading for any serious transhumanist. But there are gaps in his history that are reflective of a larger dismissal of certain philosophers by transhumanist intellectuals. Among those neglected, I would list Jean Baudrillard, Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Donna Haraway, Bruno Latour, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, and Jurgan Habermas. Clearly there is insufficient time and space to even begin to discuss all of these figures properly, so I would like to draw your attention to just one in particular, Donna Haraway, and her work with cyberfeminism.“ [read original article]
Obama Plans to Replace Bush’s Bioethics Panel
By NICHOLAS WADE, New York Times, Published: June 17, 2009
„Members of the President’s Council on Bioethics were told by the White House last week that their services were no longer needed and were asked to cancel a planned meeting, a council staff member said Wednesday.
The council was disbanded because it was designed by the Bush administration to be “a philosophically leaning advisory group” that favored discussion over developing a shared consensus, said Reid Cherlin, a White House press officer.
President Obama will appoint a new bioethics commission, one with a new mandate and that “offers practical policy options,” Mr. Cherlin said.“ [read original article]
Singularity University to Study Accelerating Technologies, Launches at NASA Ames
KurzweilAI.net, Feb. 3, 2009
„With the support of NASA, Google and a broad range of technology thought leaders and entrepreneurs, a new university will launch in Silicon Valley this summer with the goal of preparing the next generation of leaders to address “humanity’s grand challenges.”
Singularity University (SU) (www.singularityu.org) will open its doors in June 2009 on the NASA Research Park campus with a nine-week graduate-level interdisciplinary curriculum designed to facilitate understanding, collaboration, and innovation across a broad range of carefully chosen scientific and technological disciplines whose developments are exponentially accelerating.“ [read original article]
Ritalin für alle!
Laurin Rötzer 08.12.2008 (TP)
Medikamente können unsere geistige Leistungsfähigkeit steigern. Ist das Einnehmen dieser „kognitiven Enhancer“ ethisch korrekt, sollte es jeder tun können?
Diese Fragen stellen sich die Autoren eines in Nature vorab online veröffentlichten Essays: [extern] Towards responsible use of cognitive-enhancing drugs by the healthy Es gibt einige Medikamente, die die geistige Leistungsfähigkeit steigern können. Das bekannteste dürfte Methylphenidat (Ritalin) sein, welches vor allem für Kinder mit dem Aufmerksamkeitsdefizitsyndrom (ADHS) verschrieben wird. Andere sind Amphetamine und Modafinil. Sie haben gemeinsam, dass sie die Konzentration von bestimmten Neurotransmittern im Gehirn variieren und so längere und intensivere Aufmerksamkeitsspannen ermöglichen. […]
Towards responsible use of cognitive-enhancing drugs by the healthy
Henry Greely, Barbara Sahakian, John Harris, Ronald C. Kessler, Michael Gazzaniga, Philip Campbell & Martha J. Farah
Society must respond to the growing demand for cognitive enhancement. That response must start by rejecting the idea that ‘enhancement’ is a dirty word, argue Henry Greely and colleagues.
Today, on university campuses around the world, students are striking deals to buy and sell prescription drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin — not to get high, but to get higher grades, to provide an edge over their fellow students or to increase in some measurable way their capacity for learning. These transactions are crimes in the United States, punishable by prison. […]
Democracy and Transhumanism
By Max More
(»Are transhumanists democrats? Should they be committed to and defined by democracy?
Let‛s go back to the seventeenth century. Monarchy is the prevailing system in the Western world. Suppose a group of progressive early humanists wanted to associate their views about the status of human beings – views radical for the time – with the best political orders of the time. They might declare that “modern 17th Century humanism is a constitutional monarchist philosophy”. Such a statement would show that they reject outdated forms of unlimited monarchy or theocracy.
We would find such a quickly-dated commitment amusing today. “What does humanism have to do, in essence, with constitutional monarchy?” we might ask. Humanism asserts the value of progress. Tying it to the political system of the time – even though the system was the best of the time – would confuse ends (human dignity, personal sovereignty, and so on) with a means.
Transhumanist organizations that declare themselves to be “democratic transhumanists” make an even bigger mistake. Transhumanist perspectives look further ahead, into much more drastic change to the human condition. To identify transhumanism with any current political system must appear short-sighted and blinkered to some. To others it may simply appear to be a transparent attempt at posturing – like telling Americans that transhumanism is all about “motherhood and apple pie” or telling Europeans that transhumanism is committed to universal, government-provided health care.
A transhumanist organization should no more describe its core commitments as “democratic” than it should describe itself as an “Internet organization” when in practice and in aspiration the organization interacts by means of any effective medium of communication. [...]«)
Dale Carrico: Technoprogressivism Beyond Technophilia and Technophobia
(»Technocentrism, Technophilia, and Technophobia
A technophile is a person to whom we attribute a naïve or uncritical enthusiasm for technology, while a technophobe is a person to whom we attribute a no less uncritical dread of or hostility to technology. But what does it tell us that there is no comparably familiar word simply to describe a person who is focused on the impact of technology in a critical way that is attentive both to its promises and its dangers?
Why is it that any technocentric perspective on cultural, historical, political, and social questions is always imagined to be either uncritically technophilic or technophobic? Is it really so impossible to conceive of a critical technocentrism equally alive to real promises and alert to real dangers? [...]«)
James Hughes: Democratic Transhumanism 2.0
(»Biopolitics is emerging as an axis of modern politics alongside economic politics and cultural politics. Transhumanists, people who embrace technologies that extend and enhance regardless of their effect on “natural” life spans, limitations or social institutions, are the progressive end of the new biopolitical continuum. BioLuddites, who call for bans on technologies that threaten the “natural,” are conservative end of the new biopolitics.
But biopolitics only complicates the preexisting political landscape, they doesn’t supplant it. There are Christian fundamentalists, centrists and socialist-feminists forming alliances to to oppose human genetic engineering and nanotechnology. But the transhumanists are, so far, much less diverse, mostly adhering to one or another flavor of libertarianism. Democratic transhumanists, pro-scitech social democrats or Left technoutopians are conspicuously absent from their theoretical niche in this new political landscape. This essay is an attempt to identify democratic transhumanists and urge their coalescence.
Read the rest of this entry »
UPWINGER – News from The Singularity: (“Daily human social developments including political, economic and global events forecast by Buckminster Fuller, RCW Ettinger, FM 2030, Ray Kurzweil and other early “upwingers,” transhumanists and singularitarians.”)
Cyborg Democracy (“is a nexus for techno-progressives, transmitting a sexy, high-tech vision of a radically democratic future.”)
Anarcho-Transhumanism – The Ultimate Synthesis (“Anarcho-Transhumanism stands for: – Political Freedom: Against the tyranny of government. – Economic Freedom: Against the tyranny of capitalism. – Biological Freedom: Against the tyranny of genes.”)
The Politics of Transhumanism. Version 2.0 (James J. Hughes, Ph.D.)
The Political Diversity of the World Transhumanist Association (“But I’m sure the CybDemites will be curious about the results of the political self-identity question. Very little change since the December 2003, although there was an uptick in left-wing identities.”)
Cyborg Democracie “Cyborg democracy is a nexus for techno-progressives, or as we say “for democratic transhumanists, nanosocialists, revolutionary singularitarians, non-anthropocentric personhood theorists, radical futurists, leftist extropians, bioutopians and biopunks, socialist-feminist cyborgs, transgenders, body modifiers, basic income advocates, world federalists, agents of the Culture and the Cassini Division, Viridians and technoGaians – transmitting a sexy, high-tech vision of a radically democratic future.”) (Die Seite bietet ein riesiges Angebot an transhumanistisch orientierten Texten zum Themenspektrum Politik. Auf der Seite findet sich auch eine sehr hilfreiche Übersicht: Overview of Transhumanist and Bioconservative Politics.)
The Consensus (“The closest concise description is something like “Libertarian Green technophile global nationalist” with elements from the traditional Left and Right and an underpinning of Transhumanist philosophy. It is this latter aspect which provides an overarching vision of what the future should be – a vision that is lacking in current politics.”) Transhumanistisch orientierte Klein-Partei aus England.
James Hughes: Den Wandel mit aller Entschlossenheit ergreifen – Ein posthumanistisches Plädoyer für die Gentechnologie (“Über eine Bioethik wird in Deutschland noch wenig öffentlich diskutiert. Die neuen Biotechnologien werfen jedoch viele Fragen und Probleme auf, die tief in unser Verständnis von Leben und Person eingreifen werden. Der Bioethiker James Hughes hat ein entschiedenes und provozierendes Plädoyer für die intensive Nutzung der Gentechnologie verfaßt, das wir in Telepolis zur Diskussion stellen wollen.”)