In this episode I talk to Brett Frischmann and Evan Selinger about their book Re-engineering Humanity (Cambridge University Press, 2018). Brett and Evan are both former guests on the podcast. Brett is a Professor of Law, Business and Economics at Villanova University and Evan is Professor of Philosophy at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Their book looks at how modern techno-social engineering is affecting humanity. We have a long-ranging conversation about the main arguments and ideas from the book. The book features lots of interesting thought experiments and provocative claims. I recommend checking it out. I highlight of this conversation for me was our discussion of the ‘Free Will Wager’ and how it pertains to debates about technology and social engineering.
- 0:00 – Introduction
- 1:33 – What is techno-social engineering?
- 7:55 – Is techno-social engineering turning us into simple machines?
- 14:11 – Digital contracting as an example of techno-social engineering
- 22:17 – The three important ingredients of modern techno-social engineering
- 29:17 – The Digital Tragedy of the Commons
- 34:09 – Must we wait for a Leviathan to save us?
- 44:03 – The Free Will Wager
- 55:00 – The problem of Engineered Determinism
- 1:00:03 – What does it mean to be self-determined?
- 1:12:03 – Solving the problem? The freedom to be off
- Evan Selinger’s homepage
- Brett Frischmann’s homepage
- Re-engineering Humanity – website
- ‘Reverse Turing Tests: Are humans becoming more machine-like?’ by me
- Episode 4 with Evan Selinger on Privacy and Algorithmic Outsourcing
- Episode 7 with Brett Frischmann on Human-Focused Turing Tests
- Gregg Caruso on ‘Free Will Skepticism and Its Implications: An Argument for Optimism’
- Derk Pereboom on Relationships and Free Will