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An interview with Zoltan Istvan, leader of the Transhumanist …

ExtremeTech has never been particularly interested inpolitics. That being said, as the focus of politics and politicians inexorably shifts towards technology, we might just jump in the water for a dip.

Many might imagine that concerns of a more socio-political nature like who is able to accrue what particular powers or possessions, and from whom would persist independently of technological influence. Others, like the Transhumanist Party founderZoltan Istvan, might offer that socio-political issues already are, at heart, technological issues. Now seizing the day, and a rapidly expanding number of like-minded transhumanists, Istvanhas announced that he will be a contender in the 2016 US presidential race.

If you havent heard of transhumanism, or youre not quite sure what it means, I suggest you read our introductory story about transhumanism before diving into the rest of this story. In short, though, transhumanism (sometimes referred to as H+) is about improving or transforming the human condition through technology. Brain implants, genetic engineering, bionic limbs, indefinite life extension these are all examples of the topics (and elective surgeries) that a transhumanist would be interested in.

In his recentbook The Tranhumanist WagerIstvan outlines three laws:

If energetically adopted, these deceptively simple maxims ultimately compel the individual to pursue a technologically enhanced and extended life. Zoltan and other supporters of transhumanism have come to see the choice to accept or reject these principles as something far more fundamental than the choice between liberal or conservative principles. In other words, it is a more compact predictor, a simpler explanation of your worldview, motivations, and actions than any current party provides.

It is for these reasons that Zoltan has founded the Transhumanist Party and is now taking this first major step to grow it. At this point in the game, the next major step getting access to all the state ballots could prove challenging. With these ideas in mind, we present an interview with (possibly) the next US president: Zoltan Istvan.

Zoltan Istvan

Why did you decide to run for the US presidency?

Zoltan Istvan The most important goal of the Transhumanist Party and my 2016 presidential campaign is to spread awareness of transhumanism and to address the issue that society will be greatly changed by radical science and technology in the next 5-15 years. Most people are unaware how significant these changes could be. For example, we might all be getting brain implants soon, or using driverless cars, or having personal drones follow us around and do our shopping for us. Things like anonymity in the social media age, gender roles, exoskeleton suits for unfit people, ectogenesis, and the promise of immersive virtual reality could significantly change the way society views itself. Transhumanism seeks to address these issues with forward-thinking ideas, safeguards, and policies. It aims to be a bridge to a scientific and tech-dominated future, regardless what the species may eventually become.

While the Transhumanist Party has almost no chance of winning this election, its goal is to get on as many state ballots as possible, so people will see its promise and recognize what it stands for. By doing so, well let citizens know an exciting political movement is afoot that focuses on using technology and science to enhance the human species. And maybe sometime in the future, many people will want to join it. Furthermore, Im hopeful other political parties will take notice of transhumanism and incorporate its ideas into their own philosophies.

On a final note, its my hope that others will start to run for various political offices, both locally and nationally, under the Transhumanist Party banner. This way we can show the country that future politics should be far more science and technology inspired. This would be a great step for the direction of the America.

Next page: On transhumanism and religion

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An interview with Zoltan Istvan, leader of the Transhumanist ...

The Transhumanist Wager – amazon.com

Man vs. machine, cryonics, mind uploading...a science fiction book that's Amazon's #1 book under the category Philosophy is The Transhumanist Wager. Istvan says religious people are challenged by transhumanists."-Fox News Channel

"An Ayn Rand-esque manifesto." -The New Yorker

"The biggest novel on the transhumanist scene is Istvan's. 'The Transhumanist Wager' reads like Dan Brown's undergradudate thesis -- a rollicking plot setting out futurist thought, manifesto style." -The Spectator

"This book is an edgy riveting masterpiece that will long linger with anyone who reads it."-Serious Wonder

"Protagonist Jethro Knights may become one of the grand characters of modern fiction." -Psychology Today

"The Transhumanist Wager tells the story of Jethro Knights, a philosopher who rails against democratic politics and becomes a revolutionary that seizes control of the world in order to enforce a global authoritarian transhuman regime."-BBC

"Istvan, a prominent transhumanist writer...enlightens me. In The Transhumanist Wager, transhumanists manage to launch the third world war."-The Telegraph

"Many sayThe Transhumanist Wageris the newAtlas Shrugged."-Marin Magazine

"It's a page turner. Istvan knows how to tell a compelling story." -io9 / Gizmodo

"IenjoyedThe Transhumanist Wager...an adventurous suspense-filled semi-sci-fi about sailing, love, and life extension." -The Huffington Post

"About a man's quest to live forever using science, medicine, and technology."Popular Science

Thrilling...an important literary work that everyone should read."-Guardian Liberty Voice

"Bestselling The Transhumanist Wager& famous transhumanist Zoltan Istvan...a new philosophy, a new psychology, a new metaphysics...the concept of people taking a Transhumanist Wager is making a strong impact." -RT Television

"Transhumanism is snowballing into an international movement. The current wave of debate surrounding the concept began withThe Transhumanist Wager."-Breitbart

"It's set in a dystopian near-future America in which transhumanists are on the verge of huge technological breakthroughs but are under attack from conservative politicians and radical Christian fundamentalist terrorists."-Vox

"A gripping story...it's my new favorite novel."-Brighter Brains

"Istvan demonstrates great adeptness at crafting complex characters."-San Francisco Book Review

"The story is brilliant. It will challenge your thinking." -33voices

"Fascinating. It'smaking waves."-Good Day Sacramento, CBS TV

"A controversial thriller. As a leading transhumanist, Zoltan presents his reasons for being in favor of humanity merging with machine."-Red Ice Creations

"Istvan's novel has the potential to become a cult book. I hope it will be widely read and discussed." -Kurzweil AI

"A philosophical manifesto...the world becomes ruled by scientists." -Vice (Italy)

"Strongly libertarian...a radical version of transhumanism."-Patheos

"The action sequences in the book are top notch."-New York Journal of Books

"Controversial...a philosopher brings transhumanism to the world."-Wired (Germany)

"The Transhumanist Wagerpromises to become a cult classic among futurists."-SASM Institute

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The Transhumanist Wager - amazon.com

About | Mormon Transhumanist Association

What is the Mormon Transhumanist Association?

The Mormon Transhumanist Association is the worlds largest advocacy network for ethical use of technology and religion to expand human abilities, as outlined in the Transhumanist Declaration and the Mormon Transhumanist Affirmation. Although we are neither a religious organization nor affiliated with any religious organization, we support our members in their personal religious affiliations, Mormon or otherwise, and encourage them to adapt Transhumanism to their unique situations.

Increasingly, persons are recognizing parallels and complements between Mormon and Transhumanist views. On the one hand, Mormonism is a religion of the Judeo-Christian tradition that advocates immersive discipleship of Jesus Christ that leads to creative and compassionate works. On the other hand, Transhumanism is a mostly secular ideology that advocates ethical use of technology to expand human abilities. However, Mormonism and Transhumanism advocate remarkably similar views of human nature and potential: material beings organized according to natural laws, rapidly advancing knowledge and power, imminent fundamental changes to anatomy and environment, and eventual transcendence of present limitations. Resources available through this site provide details on the relation between Mormon and Transhumanist views.

Transfigurism is religious Transhumanism, exemplified by syncretization of Mormonism and Transhumanism. The term transfigurism denotes advocacy for change in form, and alludes to sacred stories from many religious traditions, such as the Universal Form of Krishna in Hinduism, the Radiant Face of Moses in Judaism, the Wakening of Gautama Buddha in Buddhism, the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ in Christianity, and the Translation of the Three Nephites in Mormonism. Transfigurism also alludes to prophecies, such as the Rapture in Christianity and the Day of Transfiguration in Mormonism.

The 14 founding members of the Mormon Transhumanist Association began organizing on 3 March 2006 and adopted a constitution on 13 May 2006. We incorporated in Utah of the United States on 4 August 2006, and received 501c3 nonprofit status in the United States, effective the same date. We affiliated with Humanity+ (formerly the World Transhumanist Association) on 6 July 2006 and renewed our affiliation on 2 October 2010.

As of September 2015, the Mormon Transhumanist Association consisted of 549 members, with approximately 24% living in Utah and 65% living in the United States. According to a survey in 2014, 62% of our members were also members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the largest Mormon denomination) and 59% identified as theists. On social politics, 53% identified as progressive, 20% as conservative, and 18% as moderate. On economic politics, 32% identified as moderate, 32% as progressive, and 29% as conservative. All members of the association support the Transhumanist Declaration and the Mormon Transhumanist Affirmation.

The association requires that all members support the Transhumanist Declaration and the Mormon Transhumanist Affirmation. Support does not entail a specific interpretation or perfect agreement with these statements. A person may be a member of the association in good standing while sincerely holding to an interpretation of the statements that differs from that of another member, or while not fully agreeing or even constructively disagreeing with parts of these statements, so long as that person supports the Declaration and Affirmation on the whole. For example, the gospel of Jesus Christ is defined in the Affirmation as to trust in, change toward, and fully immerse our bodies and minds in the role of Christ, to become compassionate creators. Support for this statement may not require belief in or specific beliefs about the existence of God. Interpretation of the Declaration and Affirmation is ultimately the responsibility of each member. The association does not sanction a specific interpretation, and it does not expect perfect agreement.

The Mormon Transhumanist Association shares media, news, and opinions about the intersection of Mormonism with science and technology and Transhumanism with religion and spirituality. We engage as a community in discussions and conferences about prophetic vision, scientific discovery, technological innovation, as well as opportunities and risks in our rapidly changing world. We also act with common purpose on team projects to cure disease, and extend and enhance life.

Help the Mormon Transhumanist Association promote radical flourishing in compassion and creation through technology and religion. Join the association and engage in online or offline discussions. Link your website to ours. Start a blog on religion, science, spirituality or technology, and tell us about it. Attend a conference. Participate in a team project. Donate to the cause. Thank you!

You may contact us by email:

admin@transfigurism.org

You may also contact us by mail:

Mormon Transhumanist Association 21 Quiet Meadow Lane Mapleton UT 84664 USA

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About | Mormon Transhumanist Association

H+: True Transhumanism – Essentials | Metanexus

In his Global Spiral paper, Of Which Humans Are We Post? Don Ihde wonders whether all this bother about the concepts of human, transhuman, and posthuman arose with Foucault. The answer is no, they did not. Much earlier thinkers raised these questions in one form or another. Foucaults discussion in the Order of Things appeared only in 1973. Even if we limit ourselves to modern discussions of these concepts, Foucault is almost irrelevant. This is certainly true of the kinds of thinkers with whom Ihde concerns himself. The only people he actually names are Hans Moravec, Marvin Minsky, and Ray Kurzweil, but Ihde is clearly commenting on the general thrust of modern transhumanist thought.

Our modern biologically and genetically-defined sub-species, Homo sapiens sapiens, has been around for 100,000 to 200,000 years. Theres some plausibility in Ihdes suggestion that the modern concept of human formed only in the last 3 or 4 centuries: the Cartesian-Lockean human. The emphasis on the rational capacities of human beings, however, lies further back with Plato and Aristotle (in their two quite differing ways). Aristotle didnt have the Lockean notion of individual rights, but they werent a big stretch from the Great Greeks view of the individual good as personal flourishing through the development of potentialdevelopment that would need a protected space. The Cartesian-Lockean human was crucially followed by the Darwinian and Freudian human, which took human beings out from the center of creation and some distance away from the transparently rational human of the old philosophers. Even so, I heartily agree that reassessing our interpretation of the human is timely and important.

The biologists conception of what it is to be a member of the human species so far remains useful: Our species is a group of interbreeding natural populations that are reproductively isolated from other such groups.1 Although useful, that species-based definition and the related genetically-delimited identification of human is becoming increasingly inadequate as our further evolution depends more on the scientific and technological products of our minds. The transhumans or posthumans we may become as individuals (if we live long enough) or as a species may quite possibly share our current DNA, but implants, regenerative medicine, medical nanotechnology, neural-computer interfaces, and other technologies and cultural practices are likely to gradually render our chromosomes almost vestigial components of our individual and species identity.

While I agree with Ihde on the need for (further) discussion of the concepts and significance of human, transhuman, and posthuman, I find many of his comments to be directed at transhumanists who barely exist (if at all). I resonate with the project of understanding potentially obfuscating idols such as Bacon described. But Ihdes discussion of his own four idols seems to be more of a straw man than an accurate critique of contemporary transhumanist views. I find this to be true especially of his Idol of Paradise and Idol of Prediction. The other two idolsof Intelligent Design and the Cyborg contain relatively little critical commentary, and so I find less in them to object to.

True Transhumanism

A few years ago, I received a telephone call from researchers from the Oxford English Dictionary who were looking into the possibility of adding transhumanism to that authoritative bible of word usage. That addition has just now happeneda little behind the widespread adoption of the term around the world. Although Dante and Huxley used the term earlier, I first (and independently) coined the modern sense of the term around two decades ago in my essay Transhumanism: Toward a Futurist Philosophy. My currently preferred definition, shared by other transhumanists is as follows:

Since I will argue that most of Ihdes critical comments and Idols succeed in damaging only views that few or no transhumanists actually hold, it makes sense for me to establish my knowledge of those views. Apart from first defining and explaining the philosophical framework of transhumanism, I wrote the Principles of Extropy and co-founded Extropy Institute to explore it and to spur the development of a movement (for want of a better term) based on transhumanism. That movement has grown from numerous sources in addition to my own work and become a global philosophy attracting a remarkable amount of commentary, both pro and con. In some minds (certainly in that of Francis Fukuyama) it has become the most dangerous idea in the world.

Ihdes own four idols of thought refer more to straw positions than to real views held by most contemporary transhumanists. That doesnt mean that he went astray in choosing Francis Bacon and his four idols from his 1620 work Novum Organum2 as an inspiration. Around the same time that I defined transhumanism I also suggested that transhumanists consider dropping the Western traditional but terribly outdated Christian calendar for a new one in which year zero would be the year in which Novum Organum was published (so that we would now be entering 389 PNO, or Post Novum Organum, rather than 2009). Despite Aristotles remarkable work on the foundations of logic and his unprecedented study On the Parts of Animals, Bacons work first set out the essence of the scientific method. That conceptual framework is, of course, utterly central to the goals of transhumanismas well as the key to seeing where Ihdes Idols (especially that of Paradise) fail accurately to get to grips with real, existing transhumanist thought.

Bacons own four idols still have much to recommend them. His Idols of the Tribe and of the Cave could plausibly be seen as the core of important ideas from todays cognitive and social psychology. These idols could comfortably encompass the work on biases and heuristics by Kahneman and Tversky and other psychologists and behavioral finance and economics researchers. The Idols of the Cave are deceptive thoughts that arise within the mind of the individual. These deceptive thoughts come in many differing forms. In the case of Don Ihdes comments on transhumanist thinking, we might define a sub-species of Bacons Idol and call it the Idol of Non-Situated Criticism. (A close cousin of The Idol of the Straw Man.)

Many of Ihdes comments sound quite sensible and reasonable, but to whom do they apply? The only transhumanists Ihde mentions (without actually referencing any specific works of theirs) are Hans Moravec, Marvin Minsky, and Ray Kurzweil. In The Idol of Prediction, Ihde says In the same narratives concerning the human, the posthuman and the transhuman but never tells us just which narratives hes talking about. The lack of referents will leave most readers with a distorted view of true transhumanism. There are silly transhumanists of course, just as silly thinkers can be found in any other school of thought. I take my job here to be distinguishing the various forms of transhumanism held by most transhumanists from the easy but caricatured target created by Ihde (and many other critics).

Critics misconceptions are legion, but here I will focus on those found in Ihdes paper. I declare that:

From Utopia to Extropia

According to Ihde, technofantasy hype is the current code for magic. As an example, he picks on the poor, foolish fellow (Lewis L. Strauss) who fantasized that nuclear fission would provide a limitless supply of energy too cheap to meter. Technofantasy is magical thinking because magic produces outcomes that are completely free of trade-offs and unclear and unintended consequences. Magical technologies simply make it so. In these technofantasies, only the paradisical [sic] results are desired. It might have been better if Ihde had talked of divine thinking rather than magical thinking since, in a great many fables and other stories, the use of magic does bring unintended consequences (perhaps most famously in the various genie-in-a-bottle tales). Still, the point is clear. But does it apply to actual transhumanist thinkers? After all, Ihdes well-worn example is not from a transhumanist, but from an excessively enthusiastic promoter of nuclear fission as an energy source.

It is easy to throw around a term like technofantasy, but exactly is it? What appears to be fantasy, what appears to be a magical technology, depends on the time frame you adopt. Clearly many of todays technologies would appear magical to people from a few centuries ago. That point was stated memorably in Arthur C. Clarkes Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.3 Take someone from, lets say, the 15th century, and expose them to air travel, television, or Google and they would probably ask what powerful demon or mage created them.

Of course there is such a thing as technofantasy: its imaginary technology that ignores the laws of physics as we currently understand them. Any remarkable technology, so long as it is not physically impossible, cannot reasonably be described as magical thinking. Projecting technological developments within the limits of science is projection or exploratory engineering, not fantasya distinction crucial to separating the genres of hard science fiction from soft SF and outright fantasy. Seamless and magical operation remains a worthy goal for real technologies, however difficult it may be to achieve (as in transparent computing). Hence the ring of truth from Gehms Corollary to Clarke's Third Law: Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.

Although seamless and reliable technologies deserve a place as a goal for transhumanists, the ideas of perfection and paradise do not. We find those concepts in religious thinking but not in transhumanism. There are one or two possible exceptions: Some Singularitarians may be more prone to a kind of magical thinking in the sense that they see the arrival of greater than human intelligence almost instantly transforming the world beyond recognition. But even they are acutely aware of the dangers of super-intelligent AI. In contrast to Ihdes straw man characterization, most transhumanistsand certainly those who resonate with the transhumanist philosophy of extropydo not see utopia or perfection as even a goal, let alone an expected future posthuman world. Rather, transhumanism, like Enlightenment humanism, is a meliorist view. Transhumanists reject all forms of apologismthe view that it is wrong for humans to attempt to alter the conditions of life for the better.

The Idol of Paradise and the idea of a Platonically perfect, static utopia, is so antithetical to true transhumanism that I coined the term extropia to label a conceptual alternative. Transhumanists seek neither utopia nor dystopia. They seek perpetual progressa never-ending movement toward the ever-distant goal of extropia. One of the Principles of Extropy (the first systematic formulation of transhumanist philosophy that I wrote two decades ago) is Perpetual Progress. This states that transhumanists seek continual improvement in ourselves, our cultures, and our environments. We seek to improve ourselves physically, intellectually, and psychologically. We value the perpetual pursuit of knowledge and understanding. This principle captures the way transhumanists challenge traditional assertions that we should leave human nature fundamentally unchanged in order to conform to Gods will or to what is considered natural.

Transhumanists go beyond most of our traditional humanist predecessors in proposing fundamental alterations in human nature in pursuit of these improvements. We question traditional, biological, genetic, and intellectual constraints on our progress and possibility. The unique conceptual abilities of our species give us the opportunity to advance natures evolution to new peaks. Rather than accepting the undesirable aspects of the human condition, transhumanists of all stripes challenge natural and traditional limitations on our possibilities. We champion the use of science and technology to eradicate constraints on lifespan, intelligence, personal vitality, and freedom.

Or, as I put it in a Letter to Mother Nature: We have decided that it is time to amend the human constitution. We do not do this lightly, carelessly, or disrespectfully, but cautiously, intelligently, and in pursuit of excellence. We intend to make you proud of us. Over the coming decades we will pursue a series of changes to our own constitution

Ihdes positioning of transhumanist thinking as paradisiacal is particularly odd and frustrating given the rather heavy emphasis on risks in modern transhumanist writing. Personally, I think that emphasis has gone too far. Reading Ihde and many other transhumanist-unfriendly critics, you get the impression that transhumanists are careening into a fantastically imagined future, worshipping before the idols of Technology and Progress while giving the finger to caution, risk, trade-offs, and side-effects. These critics cannot have actually read much transhumanist writingcertainly not anything written in the last decade. If they had, they would have immediately run into innumerable papers on and discussions of advanced artificial intelligence, of runaway nanotechnology, of existential risk. They would have come across risk-focused worries by organizations such as the Foresight Institute and the Council on Responsible Nanotechnology. They would have come across my own Proactionary Principle, with its explicit and thorough consideration of risks, side-effects and remote, unforeseen outcomes, and the need to use the best available methods for making decisions and forecasts about technological outcomes.

Intelligent Design and Intelligent Technology

In what seems to me like something of a tangent to his discussion of magical thinking, Ihde says that Desire-fantasy, with respect to technologies, harbor an internal contradiction. He sees a contradiction in wanting to have a technological enhancement and in having that enhancement become (a part of) us. On one hand, if we define the terms just right, it has to be a contradiction to simultaneously have an enhancement and to be enhanced.

But there is no contradiction in the idea that a technology can develop so that it enhances us and eventually becomes part of us. I explored this idea in detail in my doctoral dissertation, The Diachronic Self: Identity, Continuity, Transformation.4 If we absorb a technology, integrating it into ourselves, we can both have and be the technology in the relevant senses. This is much like taking a vaccine nowits an externally devised technology that alters our immune system, but it alters and becomes part of us. Or consider how an externally developed technology like gene therapy or artificial neurons can become integrated into who we are.

Ihde refers to the Idol of Intelligent Design as a kind of arrogance connected to an overestimation of our own design abilities, also embedded in these discussions. Again, he provides no referents for these discussions. He contrasts this idol with a human-material or human-technology set of interactions which through experience and over time yield to emergent trajectories with often unexpected results. This idol is indeed a problem. But Ihdes discussion implies that its a problem among transhumanist thinkers. Given the absence of actual examples, its hard to evaluate this implicit claim. His loaded term arrogance doesnt help. When does confidence become arrogance? Were the Wright brothers arrogant in their belief that they could achieve flight?

What really distinguishes transhumanist views of technology is expressed by what I called Intelligent Technology in the Philosophy of Extropy. I declared that Technology is a natural extension and expression of human intellect and will, of creativity, curiosity, and imagination. I expressed the transhumanist project of encouraging the development of ever more flexible, smart, responsive technology. I spoke for practically all transhumanists in suggesting that We will co-evolve with the products of our minds, integrating with them, finally integrating our intelligent technology into ourselves in a posthuman synthesis, amplifying our abilities and extending our freedom. As bold and unapologetic a statement as this is (befitting a transhumanist declaration) it says nothing about expecting perfectly reliable technologies that have no unintended consequences or outcomes that may trouble us.

Along with an overall (practical or active) optimism regarding technology, theres a strong strain among transhumanists (and especially in the Principles of Extropy) of critical rationalism and spontaneous order. Its true that older technophilesespecially those who might reasonably be labeled technocratshave sought to impose on society a technologically mediated vision of a better future. Transhumanists have far more often challenged this approachwhat Hayek called constructivist rationalism, preferring a self-critical rationalism (or pancritical rationalism5). Critical rationalism distinguishes us from Bacon who, like Descartes, believed that the path to genuine knowledge lay in first making a comprehensive survey of what is reliably known rather than merely believed.

Adding to the limits to confidence imposed by critical rationalism as opposed to constructivist rationalism, many transhumanists show a great appreciation for spontaneous order and its attendant unintended consequences, as outlined in my Order Without Orderers.6 Outcomes of people using technologies will never be quite as we might expect. Technology-in-use can differ drastically from technology-as-designed. When particle physicists starting using Tim Berners Lees hypertextual Web at the start of the 1990s, they had no idea what would quickly develop out of it. But these unexpected outcomes and spontaneous developments dont mean that we should stop trying to design better technologies and to improve our abilities at foreseeing ways in which they could go wrong.

The Body in Transhumanism

Ihde is right that the cyborg can be an idol. In his discussion of this idol, however, he never explicitly suggests that transhumanists idolize the cyborg. Thats just as well, since transhumanists generally look down on the Cyborg concept as primitive and unhelpful. It is the critics who try to force the square peg of transhumanist views of the body into the round hole of the cyborg. This most often takes the form of accusing us of seeking to mechanize the human body, or of fearing, hating, or despising our fleshiness, the fallacies of which I discussed in Beyond the Machine: Technology and Posthuman Freedom.7 A classic example of this straw man construction can be found in Erik Davis Techgnosis. Thankfully, Ihde does not repeat this error.

True transhumanism doesnt find the biological human body disgusting or frightening. It does find it to be a marvelous yet flawed piece of engineering, as expressed in Primo Posthuman.8 It could hardly be otherwise, given that it was designed by a blind watchmaker, as Richard Dawkins put it. True transhumanism does seek to enable each of us to alter and improve (by our own standards) the human body. It champions what I called morphological freedom in my 1993 paper, Technological Self-Transformation.

The Role of Forecasting

Idolatrous technofantasies arise again, according to Ihde In the same narratives concerning the human, the posthuman and the transhuman. Which narratives are these? Again, we are left without a referent. The point of his discussion of prediction is to repeat his point about unintended consequences and difficulties in knowing how technologies will turn out. In this section, Ihde does finally mention two people who might be called transhumanistsHans Moravec and Ray Kurzweilalthough Kurzweil definitely resists the label. Ihde calls them worshippers of the idol of prediction and asks if they have any credibility. Instead of addressing that, he makes some comments on unintended consequences that might arise from downloading the human mind into a computer.

Both Moravecs and Kurzweils forecasts of specific technological trends have turned out rather well so far. Of course it is easy to find lists of predictions from earlier forecasters that now, with hindsight, sound silly, and Ihde treats us to a few of them. Even there, and even with the assumption that accurate predicting is what matters in the whole transhuman/posthuman discussion, he fails to make a strong case for the futility or foolishness of predicting. He mentions an in-depth survey of predicted technologies from 1890 to 1940, noting that less than one-third of the 1500 predictions worked out well. He adds: Chiding me for pointing this out in Nature and claiming these are pretty good odds, my response is that 50% odds are normal for a penny toss, and these are less than that!?

The critics who chided Ihde for this are perfectly justified. He just digs himself deeper into the hole of error by bringing up the coin toss analogy. A coin has two sides, yielding two possibilities, so that the chance of a random prediction coming true is 50%. But technologies can develop in innumerable possible ways, not only because of future discoveries about that technology, but because of interactions with other technologies and because how technologies turn out usually depends heavily on how they are used. This error is especially odd considering how frequently Ihde flogs the dead horse of trade-offs and unintended consequences.

More importantly for these discussions of the transhuman and posthuman, it seems to me that Ihde doesnt understand futurology or forecasting. The purpose of thinking about the future is not to make impossibly accurate pinpoint predictions. Its to forecast possible futures so that we can prepare as well as possible for the upsides and downsidesso we can try to anticipate and improve on some of the trade-offs and side-effects and develop resilient responses, policies, and organizations. Rather than throwing up our hands in the face of an uncertain future, transhumanists and other futurists seek to better understand our options.

Ultimate skepticism concerning forecasting is not tenable, otherwise no one would ever venture to cross the road or save any money. Should we look at the uncertainty inherent in the future as an impenetrable black box? No. We need to distinguish different levels of uncertainty and then use the best available tools while developing better ones to make sense of possible outcomes. At the lowest level of uncertainty, there is only one possible outcome. In those situations, businesses use tools such as net present value.

Raise the level of uncertainty a bit and youre in a situation where there are several distinct possible futures, one of which will occur. In these situations, you can make good use of tools such as scenario planning, game theory, and decision-tree real-options valuation. At a higher level of uncertainty, we face a range of futures and must use additional tools such as system dynamics models. When uncertainty is at its highest and the range of possible outcomes is unbounded, we can only look to analogies and reference cases and try to devise resilient strategies and designs.9

Transhumanists are far from being dummies when it comes to looking ahead. But its true that many transhumanists are far from perfect in their approach to forecasting and foresight. My biggest complaint with many of my colleagues is that their vision is overly technocentric. Rather than The Idol of Prediction, a better critical construct would have been The Idol of Technocentrism. Not surprisingly, many transhumanists have a heavily technical background, especially in the computer and information sciences and the physical sciences. With my own background in economics, politics, philosophy, and psychology, I see a paucity of the social sciences among even sophisticated seers such as Ray Kurzweil, which I debated with him in 2002.10

None of Ihdes Idols apply to true transhumanism. But they do add up to a simple message: Peoples actions have unintended consequences, people are clueless about possible futures, and it is arrogant and hubristic to pursue fundamental improvements to the human condition. This ultimately pessimistic and existentially conservative message does indeed conflict directly with true transhumanism. Transhumanists do in fact understand unintended consequences and limits to our understanding, but they continue to strive for fundamental advances. I am wary of all isms, but these kinds of critiques of transhumanism spur me to renew my identification with that label even as I engage more deeply in cleaning up such misconceptions.

Endnotes

8. Vita-More. 1997, 2004.

10. Kurzweil and More, 2002.

Bibliography

Bacon, Francis, 1620, Novum Organum.

Clarke, Arthur C., Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination in Profiles of the Future (revised edition, 1973).

Courtney, Hugh, 2001, 20/20 Foresight: Crafting Strategy in an Uncertain World. Harvard Business School Press.

Davis, Erik, 2005, Techgnosis: Myth, Magic & Mysticism in the Age of Information. Five Star.

Ihde, Don, 2008, Of Which Human Are We Post? The Global Spiral.

Kurzweil, Ray, 2006, The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. Penguin.

Kurzweil, Ray and Max More, 2002, Max More and Ray Kurzweil on the Singularity. KurzweilAI.net. <http://www.kurzweilai.net/articles/art0408.html?m=1>

Mayr, Ernst: 1963, 1970, Population, Species, and Evolution. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

More, Max, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1998, Principles of Extropy

1990, 1994, 1996, Transhumanism: Toward a Futurist Philosophy. Extropy #6.

1991, Order Without Orderers, Extropy #7.

1993, Technological Self-Transformation: Expanding Personal Extropy. Extropy #10, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 15-24.

1994a, On Becoming Posthuman. Free Inquiry.

1994b, Pancritical Rationalism: An Extropic Metacontext for Memetic Progress.

1995, The Diachronic Self: Identity, Continuity, Transformation. <http://www.maxmore.com/disscont.htm>

1997, Beyond the Machine: Technology and Posthuman Freedom. Paper in proceedings of Ars Electronica. (FleshFactor: Informationmaschine Mensch), Ars Electronica Center, Springer, Wien, New York, 1997.

1998, Virtue and Virtuality (Von erweiterten Sinnen zu Erfahrungsmaschinen) in Der Sinn der Sinne (Kunst und Austellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Gottingen.)

1999, Letter to Mother Nature (part of The Ultrahuman Revolution: Amendments to the Human Constitution.) Biotech Futures Conference, U.C. Berkeley.

2004a, The Proactionary Principle. <http://www.maxmore.com/proactionary.htm>

2004b, Superlongevity without Overpopulation, chapter in The Scientific Conquest of Death. (Immortality Institute.)

2005, How to Choose a Forecasting Method, ManyWorlds. <http://contribute.manyworlds.net/301/content/Models/CO1118051055599.pdf>

Vita-More, 1997. Primo Posthuman future Body Prototype http://www.natasha.cc/primo.htm and http://www.kurzweilai.net/meme/frame.html?main=/articles/art0405.html

Vita-More, 2004. The New [human] Genre Primo Posthuman. Delivered at Ciber@RT Conference, Bilbao, Spain April, 2004,

Read more here:

H+: True Transhumanism - Essentials | Metanexus

U.S. Navy Held Meetings With Transhumanist to Discuss …

By Joseph Jankowski

The U.S. Navy has held meetings with American presidential hopeful and TranshumanistZoltan Istvan to discuss thepossibility of implanting humans with microchips fitted with global positioning (GPS) technology, reports The Sun.

AccordingtoVice Admiral Wisecup, who has retired from full-time service to work in a Navy department called the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group, the meeting broadened our understanding of the merger of humans and machines.

A bunch of navy officers came to my house and one of the main topics was this chip implant strategy, Transhumanist and Futurist Istvan said.

Zoltan Istvan is currently running for president of the United States as a part of the Transhumanist Party.

The Transhumanist Party aims to uphold the energy and political might of millions of transhumanist advocates out there who desire to use science and technology to significantly improve their lives.

Istvan told The Sun that the Navy is worried that soldiers could enter service with chips already implanted into them and is struggling to create policy around this issue.

You can imagine how challenging that would be if someone had a non-authorized chip implant on a nuclear base, so policy has to be created and created soon, says Istvan.

I helped the US Navy do some policy work on this issue.

The presidential candidate believes that within 10 to 15 years, artificial intelligence will advance to the point of solving all of civilizations most vexing problems, including death, and he has even traveled around America in an immortality bus mocked up like a coffin to promote his ideas.

According to Istvan, themilitary has already experimented with chipping soldiers so they can be tracked.

Its crazy to me that we dont develop it and use it in ourselves (humans) more, and especially in our children, says the Transhumanist.

Istvan believes that GPS microchipping could be beneficial to parents who want to be able to keep track of their children and could have allowed investigators to find the body of Lane Graves, who was killed in an alligator attack, in just a matter of minutes.

As a father of a twoand five-year-old, Im a big believer in the future that all children will get chipped, perhaps like all children get vaccines in the US, Istvan told The Sun.

Joseph Jankowski is a contributor for Planet Free Will.com. His works have been published by recognizable alternative news sites like GlobalResearch.ca, ActivistPost.com, Mintpressnews.com andZeroHedge.com.

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Nick Bostrom’s Home Page

ETHICS & POLICY

Astronomical Waste: The Opportunity Cost of Delayed Technological Development Suns are illuminating and heating empty rooms, unused energy is being flushed down black holes, and our great common endowment of negentropy is being irreversibly degraded into entropy on a cosmic scale. These are resources that an advanced civilization could have used to create value-structures, such as sentient beings living worthwhile lives... [Utilitas, Vol. 15, No. 3 (2003): 308-314] [translation: Russian] [html] [pdf]

Human Enhancement Original essays by various prominent moral philosophers on the ethics of human enhancement. [Eds. Nick Bostrom & Julian Savulescu (Oxford University Press, 2009)].

Enhancement Ethics: The State of the Debate The introductory chapter from the book (w/ Julian Savulescu): 1-22 [pdf]

TRANSHUMANISM

Transhumanist Values Wonderful ways of being may be located in the "posthuman realm", but we can't reach them. If we enhance ourselves using technology, however, we can go out there and realize these values. This paper sketches a transhumanist axiology. [Ethical Issues for the 21st Century, ed. Frederick Adams, Philosophical Documentation Center Press, 2003; reprinted in Review of Contemporary Philosophy, Vol. 4, May (2005)] [translations: Polish, Portugese] [html] [pdf]

RISK & THE FUTURE

Global Catastrophic Risks Twenty-six leading experts look at the gravest risks facing humanity in the 21st century, including natural catastrophes, nuclear war, terrorism, global warming, biological weapons, totalitarianism, advanced nanotechnology, general artificial intelligence, and social collapse. The book also addresses over-arching issuespolicy responses and methods for predicting and managing catastrophes. Foreword by Lord Martin Rees. [Eds. Nick Bostrom & Milan Cirkovic (Oxford University Press, 2008)]. Introduction chapter free here [pdf]

TECHNOLOGY ISSUES

THE NEW BOOK

"I highly recommend this book."Bill Gates

"terribly important ... groundbreaking" "extraordinary sagacity and clarity, enabling him to combine his wide-ranging knowledge over an impressively broad spectrum of disciplinesengineering, natural sciences, medicine, social sciences and philosophyinto a comprehensible whole" "If this book gets the reception that it deserves, it may turn out the most important alarm bell since Rachel Carson's Silent Springfrom 1962, or ever."Olle Haggstrom, Professor of Mathematical Statistics

"Nick Bostrom makes a persuasive case that the future impact of AI is perhaps the most important issue the human race has ever faced. ... It marks the beginning of a new era."Stuart Russell, Professor of Computer Science, University of California, Berkley

"Those disposed to dismiss an 'AI takeover' as science fiction may think again after reading this original and well-argued book." Martin Rees, Past President, Royal Society

"Worth reading.... We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes"Elon Musk

"There is no doubting the force of [Bostrom's] arguments ... the problem is a research challenge worthy of the next generation's best mathematical talent. Human civilisation is at stake." Financial Times

"This superb analysis by one of the world's clearest thinkers tackles one of humanity's greatest challenges: if future superhuman artificial intelligence becomes the biggest event in human history, then how can we ensure that it doesn't become the last?" Professor Max Tegmark, MIT

"a damn hard read" The Telegraph

ANTHROPICS & PROBABILITY

Cars In the Other Lane Really Do Go Faster When driving on the motorway, have you ever wondered about (and cursed!) the fact that cars in the other lane seem to be getting ahead faster than you? One might be tempted to account for this by invoking Murphy's Law ("If anything can go wrong, it will", discovered by Edward A. Murphy, Jr, in 1949). But there is an alternative explanation, based on observational selection effects... [PLUS, No. 17 (2001)]

PHILOSOPHY OF MIND

DECISION THEORY

BIO

Bostrom has a background in physics, computational neuroscience, and mathematical logic as well as philosophy. He is the author of some 200 publications, including Anthropic Bias (Routledge, 2002), Global Catastrophic Risks (ed., OUP, 2008), Human Enhancement (ed., OUP, 2009), and the academic book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies (OUP, 2014), which became a New York Times bestseller. He is best known for his work in five areas: (i) existential risk; (ii) the simulation argument; (iii) anthropics (developing the first mathematically explicit theory of observation selection effects); (iv) impacts of future technology, especially machine intelligence; and (v) implications of consequentialism for global strategy.

He is recipient of a Eugene R. Gannon Award (one person selected annually worldwide from the fields of philosophy, mathematics, the arts and other humanities, and the natural sciences). He has been listed on Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers list twice; and he was included on Prospect magazines World Thinkers list, the youngest person in the top 15 from all fields and the highest-ranked analytic philosopher. His writings have been translated into 24 languages. There have been more than 100 translations and reprints of his works.

BACKGROUND

I was born in Helsingborg, Sweden, and grew up by the seashore. I was bored in school. At age fifteen or sixteen I had an intellectual awakening, and feeling that I had wasted the first one and a half decades of my life, I resolved to focus on what was important. Since I did not know what was important, and I did not know how to find out, I decided to start by trying to place myself in a better position to find out. So I began a project of intellectual self-development, which I pursued with great intensity for the next one and a half decades.

As an undergraduate, I studied many subjects in parallel, and I gather that my performance set a national record. I was once expelled for studying too much, after the head of Ume University psychology department discovered that I was concurrently following several other full-time programs of study (physics, philosophy, and mathematical logic), which he believed to be psychologically impossible.

For my postgraduate work, I went to London, where I studied physics and neuroscience at King's College, and obtained a PhD from the London School of Economics. For a while I did a little bit stand-up comedy on the vibrant London pub and theatre circuit.

During those years, I co-founded, with David Pearce, the World Transhumanist Association, a nonprofit grassroots organization. Later, I was involved in founding the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, a nonprofit virtual think tank. The objective was to stimulate wider discussion about the implications of future technologies, in particular technologies that might lead to human enhancement. (These organizations have since developed on their own trajectories, and it is very much not the case that I agree with everything said by those who flock under the transhumanist flag.)

Since 2006, I've been the founding director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University. This unique multidisciplinary research aims to enable a select set of intellects to apply careful thinking to big-picture question for humanity and global priorities. The Institute belongs to the Faculty of Philosophy and the Oxford Martin School. Since 2015, I also direct the Strategic Artificial Intelligence Research Center.

I am in a very fortunate position. I have no teaching duties. I am supported by a staff of assistants and brilliant research fellows. There are virtually no restrictions on what I can work on. I must try very hard to be worthy of this privilege and to cast some light on matters that matter.

CONTACT

For administrative matters, scheduling, and invitations, please contact my assistant, Kyle Scott:

Email: fhipa[atsign]philosophy[dot]ox[dot]ac[dot]uk Phone: +44 (0)1865 286800

If you need to contact me directly (I regret I am unable to respond to all emails): nick[atsign]nickbostrom[dot]com.

VIRTUAL ESTATE

http://www.fhi.ox.ac.ukFuture of Humanity Institute

http://www.anthropic-principle.comPapers on observational selection effects

http://www.simulation-argument.comDevoted to the question, "Are you living in a computer simulation?"

http://www.existential-risk.orgHuman extinction scenarios and related concerns

On the bank at the end Of what was there before us Gazing over to the other side On what we can become Veiled in the mist of nave speculation We are busy here preparing Rafts to carry us across Before the light goes out leaving us In the eternal night of could-have-been

CRUCIAL CONSIDERATIONS

A thread that runs through my work is a concern with "crucial considerations". A crucial consideration is an idea or argument that might plausibly reveal the need for not just some minor course adjustment in our practical endeavours but a major change of direction or priority.

If we have overlooked even just one such consideration, then all our best efforts might be for naughtor less. When headed the wrong way, the last thing needed is progress. It is therefore important to pursue such lines of inquiry as might disclose an unnoticed crucial consideration.

Some of the relevant inquiries are about moral philosophy and values. Others have to do with rationality and reasoning under uncertainty. Still others pertain to specific issues and possibilities, such as existential risks, the simulation hypothesis, human enhancement, infinite utilities, anthropic reasoning, information hazards, the future of machine intelligence, or the singularity hypothesis.

High-leverage questions associated with crucial considerations deserve to be investigated. My research interests are quite wide-ranging; yet they all stem from the quest to understand the big picture for humanity, so that we can more wisely choose what to aim for and what to do. Embarking on this quest has seemed the best way to try to make a positive contribution to the world.

SOME VIDEOS AND LECTURES

SOME ADDITONAL (OLD, COBWEBBED) PAPERS

On this page.

INTERVIEWS

POLICY

MISCELLANEOUS

The rest is here:

Nick Bostrom's Home Page

U.S. Transhumanist Party PUTTING SCIENCE, HEALTH …

Gennady Stolyarov II

The Transhumanist Party is pleased to announce the revitalization of an ongoing official activism project one that all members, irrespective of geographical location, can easily join. This is a project that utilizes our favored approach of direct, individually attainable action toward the creation of a brighter future.

You can personally help advance the fight against a multitude of diseases such as Alzheimers Disease, Parkinsons Disease, and many cancers.

The Longevity Meme Folding@home team a group of volunteers who donate their computing power to perform protein-folding simulations that could one day result in cures for major diseases and the lengthening of human lifespans has been operating for years, contributing otherwise idle computer resources to actual meaningful biological research.

To take part in this effort, just download the client for the Folding@home project at http://folding.stanford.edu/. Then join The Longevity Meme team here, and your computer will do the rest over time. I have personally been engaged in this effort for over six years.

If you would like a digital reward for contributing to this project, I am able to give five levels of digital Open Badges via Credly. Here is a page describing the various tiers of badges.Once you have reached the requisite number of Folding@home points to claim each badge, just contact me via e-mailhere with a message that includes your user name and an e-mail address.

The Transhumanist Party supports Lifespan.io and CellAge in their work towards groundbreaking scientific life-extension research. Finding a way to repair age-related damage to senescent cells would be a fundamental breakthrough for transhumanism, and we offer our best wishes and support for those striving towards these new technologies.

From Lifespan.io and CellAge:

Our society has never aged more rapidly one of the most visible symptoms of the changing demographics is the exponential increase in the incidence of age-related diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases and osteoarthritis. Not only does aging have a negative effect on the quality of life among the elderly but it also causes a significant financial strain on both private and public sectors. As the proportion of older people is increasing so is health care spending. According to a WHO analysis, the annual number of new cancer cases is projected to rise to 17 million by 2020, and reach 27 million by 2030. Similar trends are clearly visible in other age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease. Few effective treatments addressing these challenges are currently available and most of them focus on a single disease rather than adopting a more holistic approach to aging.

Recently a new approach which has the potential of significantly alleviating these problems has been validated by a number of in vivo and in vitro studies. It has been demonstrated that senescent cells (cells which have ceased to replicate due to stress or replicative capacity exhaustion) are linked to many age-related diseases. Furthermore, removing senescent cells from mice has been recently shown to drastically increase mouse healthspan (a period of life free of serious diseases).

Here at CellAge we are working hard to help translate these findings into humans!

CellAge, together with a leading synthetic biology partner, Synpromics, are poised to develop a technology allowing for the identification and removal of harmful senescent cells. Our breakthrough technology will benefit both the scientific community and the general public.

In short, CellAge is going to develop synthetic promoters which are specific to senescent cells, as promoters that are currently being used to track senescent cells are simply not good enough to be used in therapies. The most prominently used p16 gene promoter has a number of limitations, for example. First, it is involved in cell cycle regulation, which poses a danger in targeting cells which are not diving but not senescent either, such as quiescent stem cells. Second, organism-wide administration of gene therapy might at present be too dangerous. This means senescent cells only in specific organs might need to be targeted and p16 promoter does not provide this level of specificity. Third, the p16 promoter is not active in all senescent cells. Thus, after therapies utilizing this promoter, a proportion of senescent cells would still remain. Moreover, the p16 promoter is relatively large (2.1kb), making it difficult to incorporate in present gene therapy vehicles. Lastly, to achieve the intended therapeutic effect the strength of p16 promoter to drive therapeutic effect might not be high enough.

CellAge will be constructing a synthetic promoter which has a potential to overcome all of the mentioned limitations. A number of gene therapy companies, including uniQure, AGTC and Avalanche Biotech have successfully targeted other types of cells using this technology. With your help, we will be able to use same technology to develop tools and therapies for accurate senescent cell targeting.

Gennady Stolyarov II

The United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN) has taken notice of the Transhumanist Party on its website, where it republished an article originally written by Dylan Love of NBC News. This November 18, 2016, article is titled The Next Global Race Aims to Perfect Artificial Intelligence and highlights Zoltan Istvans discussion of possibilities for the future of artificial intelligence, as well as concerns about geopolitical competition over AI development.

An excerpt from the article shows how the Transhumanist Party has contributed to discussion of this issue in a manner that the UN has deemed noteworthy:

Zoltan Istvan is founder of the Transhumanist Party, a legally recognized and PR-minded political effort that calls attention to what tomorrows mainstreaming of todays rapidly developing technology could mean for human life.

Istvan campaigned for the U.S. presidency in 2016 on the platform of harnessing existing technologies to maximize both the quality and duration of ones life. Though his theoretical thinking may seem to border on the fantastic, Istvan has enough street cred at the intersection of politics and technology that he has consulted with the U.S. Navy on the geopolitical implications of artificial intelligence. He readily identifies it as nothing less than a national security concern.

The Transhumanist Party encourages a diversity of perspectives from its members regarding the future potential, promise, and risks of artificial intelligence. In accord with its stepwise shift to a more participatory and member-driven governance model, the Transhumanist Party will soon be hosting discussion panels on a wide array of emerging technologies and their political and societal implications. Artificial intelligence will be among the first areas of technology discussed.

Gennady Stolyarov II

The following is the draft sample ballot generated thus far as a compilation of the suggestions provided during the 30-day exposure period for the Transhumanist Bill of Rights. The exposure period will continue until 12:01 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time on December 25, 2016,and comments will continue to be solicited until that time, with any further reasonable suggestions incorporated into the draft sample ballot until the end of the exposure period.

The draft sample ballot is a work in progress and will be revised on this page as further input is received. The purpose of releasing the sample ballot at this time is to provide insight into the structure of the voting and the options that have already been generated, so as to enable any interested members of the Transhumanist Party to read and understand the available options and propose further refinements and alternatives.

After the exposure period, a 7-day electronic voting period will occur from 12:01 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time on December 25, 2016, to 12:01 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time on January 1, 2017. Instructions for electronic voting will be sent to members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party via e-mail. All individuals who are members of the U.S. Transhumanist Partyas of the end of the exposure periodand who have expressed agreement with its threeCore Idealswill be eligible to vote thereafter.

Electronic voting will be conducted by a ranked-preference method on individual articles where more options are possible than would be accommodated by a simple Yes or No vote. Members should keep in mind that the ranked-preference method eliminates the incentives for strategic voting so members are encouraged to vote for the options that reflect their individual preferences as closely as possible, without regard for how other members might vote.

NOTE: The titles of the questions and potential Articles are descriptive and informational only and will not appear in the final adopted Transhumanist Bill of Rights. They are intended as concise guides to the subject matter of the questions and potential Articles. Likewise, the numbers or letters assigned to Articles within this ballot will not reflect the numbering in the final adopted Transhumanist Bill of Rights, which will depend on which Articles are selected by the membership. For purposes of convenient distinction, the original Articles developed by Zoltan Istvan are assigned Arabic numerals (1 through 6), while the new Articles proposed by the membership are assigned Latin letters (A through R, thus far).

NOTE II:The inclusion of any proposals on this ballot doesnot indicate any manner of endorsement for those proposals by the U.S. Transhumanist Party at this time except to place those proposals before the members to determine the will of the members with regard to whether or not the Transhumanist Bill of Rights should incorporate any given proposal.

Rank-order the Preamble Options that you support. Choose 1 for your most highly favored option, 2 for your second-most highly favored option, etc. If you choose Abstain, then do not rank-order any options, as you will be considered to have skipped this question.

Preamble Option 1 [Original Text by Zoltan Istvan]. Whereas science and technology are now radically changing human beings and may also create future forms of advanced sapient and sentient life, transhumanists establish this TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS to help guide and enact sensible policies in the pursuit of life, liberty, security of person, and happiness.

Preamble Option 2. Transhumanist evolution is underway and establishes life principles that allow a sentient entity to alter, augment, and perform self-improvement efforts utilizing science and technology to achieve supreme intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities. This TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS extends sentient rights to enhanced neo-humans, cybernetic, transgenic, anthropomorphic, and avatar beings. The TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS provides a sentient entity the right to procreate, clone, and form, the right to expand and extend life beyond biological fundamental boundaries, and to live life without illness, aging, and catastrophic loss of self in pursuit of immortality. This TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS provides principles for intellectual and inclusive policies for all sentient entities in pursuit of life, liberty, eternal existence, and freedom to be different.

The TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS is not static. As the collective of sentient entities continues to unravel the mysteries of the Universe and discover more facts, the TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS will change. We (sentient entities) must be malleable, inclusive, and understanding in thought and spirit at the same pace as society evolves. We must continue to aspire, gain knowledge, and improve life.

Preamble Option 3. Transhumanist evolution is underway and establishes life principles that allow a sentient entity to alter, augment, and perform self-improvement efforts utilizing science and technology to achieve supreme intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities; to provide a sentient entity the rights to procreate, clone, and adapt form; to expand and extend life beyond present-day boundaries; and to live life without illness and loss of self in pursuit of immortality. We organize to provide principles for intellectual and inclusive policies for all sentient entities in pursuit of life, liberty, and eternal existence. This TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS extends sentient rights to all humans, cyborgs, transgenic, anthropomorphic, avatar, and yet-to-be-identified beings as defined herein.

The TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS is not static. As the collective of sentient entities continues to unravel the mysteries of the Universe and discover more facts, the TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS will change. We (sentient entities) must be malleable, inclusive, and understanding in thought and spirit at the same pace as society evolves. We must continue to aspire, gain knowledge, and improve life.

Preamble Option 4 [Usable if Option II(e) or Option II(f) below is adopted as well]. Transhumanist evolution is underway and establishes life principles that allow a sentient entity to alter, augment, and perform self-improvement efforts utilizing science and technology to achieve greaterintellectual, physical, and psychological capacities. This TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS extends sentient rights to enhanced neo-humans, cybernetic, transgenic, anthropomorphic, and avatar beings as well as any other being that demonstrates meta-cognition and self-directed awareness, which is capable of simultaneously modeling itself and its relation to the external reality, and whose cognitive processes can be described as lucid (characterized by continuous integration of information at Level 5 or a higher level as defined herein). The TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS provides a sentient entity the right to procreate, clone, and form, the right to expand and extend life beyond unenhanced biological fundamental boundaries, and to live life without illness, aging, and catastrophic loss of self in pursuit of immortality. This TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS provides principles for intellectual and inclusive policies for all sentient entities in pursuit of life, liberty, eternal existence, and self-actualization.

The TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS is not static. As the collective of sentient entities continues to unravel the mysteries of the Universe and discover more facts, the TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS will change. We (sentient entities) must be malleable, inclusive, and understanding in thought and spirit at the same pace as society evolves as we push mankind forward. We must continue to aspire, gain knowledge, and improve life.

Abstain.

Version 1 of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights uses the enumeration of human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms in each Article to refer to the entities encompassed by that Article. It has been suggested, instead, that a more concise term might be used in the Preamble to encompass all of the above-enumerated entities and perhaps others.

Such phrasing would be of the following form:

As used in this TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS, the term [CHOSEN TERM] includes human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms.

Shall the Preamble be amended to include the above-quoted statement and, in all Articles, replace the enumeration of human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms withthe term selected as [CHOSEN TERM]?

Rank-order your preference for whether to use such a more concise all-encompassing term and, if so, what that term might be. Choose 1 for your most highly favored option, 2 for your second-most highly favored option, etc. If you choose Abstain, then do not rank-order any options, as you will be considered to have skipped this question.

Option II(a). Keep the enumeration of human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms in each article.

Option II(b). Use thought-capable individuals as the chosen term.

Option II(c). Use advanced sapient life forms as the chosen term and remove that term from the longer descriptive listing. If this option is chosen, advanced sapient life forms will be defined to mean human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other beings of comparable cognitive capability.

Option II(d). Use sentient entities as the chosen term.

Option II(e).Use sentient entities as the chosen term, with a hierarchical definition of sentience as described below:

Sentient entities are defined by information-processing capacity such that this term should not apply to non-self-aware lifeforms, like plants and slime molds. Biological processing substrates are referred to as using an analogue intelligence, whereas purely electronic processing substrates are referred to as digital intelligence (instead of sentient artificial intelligences), and processing substrates that utilize quantum effects would be considered quantum intelligence.

Sentience is ranked as Level 5 information integration according to the following criteria:

Option II(f).Use sentient entities as the chosen term, with a further clarification that sentient entities include all entities exhibiting Level 5 information integration, or lucidity meaning that any such entity is meta-aware aware of ones own awareness, aware of abstractions, aware of ones self, and therefore able to actively analyze each of these phenomena.

Abstain.

Shall the definition of beings to whom the Transhumanist Bill of Rights applies include a specific mention of Gods and Archangels? Select one of the following options?

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Shall the definition of beings to whom the Transhumanist Bill of Rights applies include a specific mention of genetically modified humans? Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Shall the definition of beings to whom the Transhumanist Bill of Rights applies include a specific mention of intellectually enhanced, previously non-sapient animals? Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Shall the definition of beings to whom the Transhumanist Bill of Rights applies include a specific mention of any species of plant or animal which has been enhanced to possess the capacity for intelligent thought? Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Rank-order the Article 1 Options that you support. Choose 1 for your most highly favored option, 2 for your second-most highly favored option, etc. You may include the option for No Article of this sort in your rank-ordering, and it does not need to be your most favored option if you do so. (For instance, some voters might favor some options but think that no language is preferable to some of the other options.)

If you choose Abstain, then do not rank-order any options, as you will be considered to have skipped this question.

Option 1-1 [Original Text by Zoltan Istvan]. Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms are entitled to universal rights of ending involuntary suffering, making personhood improvements, and achieving an indefinite lifespan via science and technology.

Option 1-2. Any sentient entity is entitled to enhance bodily and sensory capabilities, expand life, live free, and achieve eternal existence without suffering by utilizing science and technology.

Option 1-3.All human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms have the right to pursue transcendence of physical and mental limitations.

Option 1-4. Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms are entitled to universal rights of ending involuntary suffering, making personhood improvements, and achieving an indefinite lifespan via science and technology, as well as any other behaviors constituting life enhancement.

Option 1-NO. No Article of this sort.

Abstain.

Rank-order the Article 2 Options that you support. Choose 1 for your most highly favored option, 2 for your second-most highly favored option, etc. You may include the option for No Article of this sort in your rank-ordering, and it does not need to be your most favored option if you do so. (For instance, some voters might favor some options but think that no language is preferable to some of the other options.)

If you choose Abstain, then do not rank-order any options, as you will be considered to have skipped this question.

Option 2-1 [Original Text by Zoltan Istvan]. Under penalty of law, no cultural, ethnic, or religious perspectives influencing government policy can impede life-extension science, the health of the public, or the possible maximum amount of life hours citizens possess.

Option 2-2. Under penalty of law, no cultural, ethnic, or religious perspectives influencing government policy can impede life-extension science, the health of the public, body modification, morphological enhancement, or the possible maximum amount of life hours citizens possess.

Option 2-3. Legal safeguards should be established to protect individual free choice in pursuing peaceful, consensual life-extension science, health improvements, body modification, and morphological enhancement. While all individuals should be free to formulate their independent opinions regarding the aforementioned pursuits, no hostile cultural, ethnic, or religious perspectives should be entitled to apply the force of law to erode the safeguards protecting peaceful, voluntary measures intended to maximize the number of life hours citizens possess.

Option 2-4. Legal safeguards should be established to protect individual free choice in pursuing peaceful, consensual life-extension science, health improvements, body modification, and morphological enhancement. While all individuals should be free to formulate their independent opinions regarding the aforementioned pursuits, no intolerant cultural, ethnic, or religious perspectives should be entitled to apply the force of law to erode the safeguards protecting peaceful, voluntary measures intended to maximize the number of life hours citizens possess.

Option 2-5. No government or irrational group should be permitted to systematically deny any person or persons access to a life-enhancing technology or the freedom to pursue scientific and technological avenues for their betterment.

Option 2-6. No government or irrational group should be permitted to systematically deny any sapient beingaccess to a life-enhancing technology or the freedom to pursue scientific and technological avenues for their betterment or self-actualization.

Option 2-7. No government or private entity should be permitted to systematically deny any person or persons access to a life-enhancing technology or the freedom to pursue scientific and technological avenues for their betterment.

Option 2-8. Under penalty of law, no cultural, ethnic, or religious perspectives influencing government policy can impede efforts at transcending physical and mental limitations, improving the health of the public, or the possible maximum amount of life hours citizens possess.

Option 2-NO. No Article of this sort.

Abstain.

Rank-order the Article 3 Options that you support. Choose 1 for your most highly favored option, 2 for your second-most highly favored option, etc. You may include the option for No Article of this sort in your rank-ordering, and it does not need to be your most favored option if you do so. (For instance, some voters might favor some options but think that no language is preferable to some of the other options.)

If you choose Abstain, then do not rank-order any options, as you will be considered to have skipped this question.

Option 3-1 [Original Text by Zoltan Istvan].Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms agree to uphold morphological freedomthe right to do with ones physical attributes or intelligence (dead, alive, conscious, or unconscious) whatever one wants so long as it doesnt hurt anyone else.

Option 3-2. Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms agree to uphold morphological freedomthe right to do with ones physical attributes or intelligence (dead, alive, conscious, or unconscious) whatever one wants so long as it does not harm others.

Option 3-3. Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms agree to uphold morphological freedomthe right to do with ones physical attributes or intelligence whatever one wants so long as it does not harm others.

Option 3-4. Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms agree to uphold morphological freedomthe right to do with ones physical attributes or intelligence whatever one wants so long as it does not harm others. This right includes the prerogative for a sentient intelligence to set forth in advance provisions for how to handle its physical manifestation, should that intelligence enter into a vegetative, unconscious, or similarly inactive state, notwithstanding any legal definition of death.

Option 3-5. Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms agree to uphold morphological freedomthe right to do with ones physical attributes or intelligence whatever one wants so long as it does not harm others. This right includes the prerogative for a sentient intelligence to set forth in advance provisions for how to handle its physical manifestation, should that intelligence enter into a vegetative, unconscious, or similarly inactive state, notwithstanding any legal definition of death. For instance, a cryonics patient has the right to determine in advance that the patients body shall be cryopreserved and kept under specified conditions, in spite of any legal definition of death that might apply to that patient under cryopreservation.

Option 3-NO. No Article of this sort.

Abstain.

If Article 3 on morphological freedom is adopted, shall one of the followingsentences be appended after the base text of the article?

Choose 1 for your most highly favored option, 2 for your second-most highly favored option, etc. You may include the option Do not add anysentence of this sort in your rank-ordering, and it does not need to be your most favored option if you do so. (For instance, some voters might favor some options but think that no language is preferable to some of the other options.)

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U.S. Transhumanist Party PUTTING SCIENCE, HEALTH ...

Transhumanism and the Technological Singularity

Put simply Transhumanism is the belief that technology can allow us to improve, enhance and overcome the limits of our biology. More specifically, transhumanists such as Max More, Natasha Vita-More and Ray Kurzweil believe that by merging man and machine via biotechnology, molecular nanotechnologies, and artificial intelligence, one day science will yield humans that have increased cognitive abilities, are physically stronger, emotionally more stable and have indefinite life-spans. This path, they say, will eventually lead to "posthuman" intelligent (augmented) beings far superior to man - a near embodiment of god.

Transhumanism 101 with Natasha Vita-More

Transhumanism is both misunderstood and feared. Ignorant people with an ideological agenda have gone as far as labeling it "the most dangerous idea." I thought that it is time to bring some basic intellectual clarity on the topic and who is better prepared to help us do that but "the first female philosopher of transhumanism"!?

Max More - The Singularity and Transhumanism

Some of the main issues here are:

Can humanity continue to survive and prosper by embracing technology or will technology eventually bring forth the end of the human race altogether?

Will humanity get polarized into neo-luddite technophobes (such as Samuel Butler and Ted Kaczynski) or transhumanist technophiles (such as Max More, Natasha Vita-More, Ray Kurzweil, Hans Moravec and Nick Bostrom)?

Does that mean that wide spread global conflict may be impossible to avoid?

Is transhumanism turning into a new "religion" for certain scientists? (with "prophets" such as Ray Kurzweil and Vernor Vinge) Or, is it a viable scientific hypothesis?

Who will be the dominant species?

What is the essence of being human?

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Transhumanism and the Technological Singularity

The Transhumanist Party Supports Bitcoin: Zoltan Istvan …

The Transhumanist candidate for President knows that he isnt going to win in 2016, or at least hes pretty sure. The party was only founded six months ago, so winning the top office in the land isnt necessarily the goal at this point. CCN spoke to Zoltan Istvan, a Californian who once sailed the open seas for seven years, via Skype one night recently. We talked about Bitcoin, politics, and, most interestingly, Transhumanism, or, according to Wikipedia:

an international cultural and intellectual movement with an eventual goal of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.

Zoltan Istvan started out as a philosophy major. Hes been a freelance journalist for years, writing for such publications as Vice. He is the author of the novel The Transhumanist Wager. About Bitcoin, he says:

Basically, Id say most Transhumanists support cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin and new technologies that are coming that way. At the same time, Id say most of the Transhumanist emphasis is actually on the human body. On how to make it better so that we might not in the future make such [political] errors. [] A lot of Transhumanists are very interested in virtual currencies. []

I feel like encryption and ideas that resemble that with computers and technology, thats never going to go away. The further we get into the technological world, the more were going to need to protect ourselves, so that you cant falsify information [referring to the anti-counterfeit nature of Bitcoin], you cant just have hackers come in and take away your existence. We live in a world thats increasingly dominated by 1s and 0s and it requires a lot of security. So certainly I think thats one of the elements that, I think, Bitcoiners share with Transhumanists and people of that nature that are very interested in protecting the things that matter to them.

Many Transhumanists, including Istvan, support a future where robotic labor is the main source of production. Humankind has invented most of the solutions needed to eliminate human labor, they say, but has yet to fully take advantage of it, for economic reasons. Transhumanists propose that a Universal Basic Income is one possible solution to this.

A radical restructuring of the way things are taxed, and the things that are taxed, would lead to a situation where every person in a given economy would be afforded a monthly salary that would cover their basic needs and wants. This would not be akin to communism, as people would still be free to start businesses. The resources that belong to all people, such as air, water, and land, however, would be taxed such that everyone who owns them would be provided for. Income tax would become a thing of the past.

I think right now its not too early to discuss it, but its certainly too early to implement it, because, you know, robots are not taking all the jobs right now. Theyre taking some. But not nearly as much as theyre probably going to take in lets say ten years time. But that said, its a very important conversation to have. I think one of the main problems with futurist issues and technology and politics is that people always address everything too late. If we have designer babies here today, we should have been discussing this five years ago and implementing actual national policy. Instead, they havent even discussed national policy on this, except for a total moratorium or just, you know, not enough. And the point of the story is that we need to address these things ahead of time. And that takes courage, it takes know-how of the experts, and it just takes people kind of standing up and saying yes, politics is thorny and so is law, but lets get down to it and say, what is it that people feel comfortable doing.

And I think the same thing applies to Universal Basic Income. I think most reasonable people agree that youre going to need something like that if you are taking away all the jobs. Because without it, its a matter of basically becoming a dystopian society where the rich become richer and the poor become far, far poorer. [] I think it could come to a point where its so ludicrous that the poor literally say, hey, its worth revolting. Its worth fighting, rather than just saying, this is our piece in life.

The Transhumanist party is working on accepting Bitcoin donations for their political campaigns. Their primary purpose in politics is to advance technologies that will in the near term benefits humans. Things like the elimination of deadly diseases such as cancer are chief on their agenda. Most of their views are in line with libertarian social philosophies, although they do believe in utilizing the government to promote progress. Currently, theyre looking for a Bitcoin expert to help them develop digital currency policy as well as a system for making the most of their Bitcoin donations. For more information, visit their website.

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The Transhumanist Party Supports Bitcoin: Zoltan Istvan ...

Why Im Running for President As the Transhumanist Candidate

Its a wild request to ask a nation to consider electing you as their president, especially when youre a transhumanistsomeone who advocates for using science and technology to radically change and improve the human species. But Im doing it.

Last October, I declared my 2016 US candidacy under the newly formed Transhumanist Party, which I founded, and promised my community of techno-optimists Id do everything I could to use my campaign as a way to speed up the arrival of robotic hearts, brain implants, artificial limbs, exoskeleton suits, and indefinite lifespansall of which are just a small part of the radical science transhumanists aim to make a standard part of peoples lives.

The Transhumanist Party may seem fringe to some, but its not. Its mainly made up of scientists, engineers, futurists, and people who love technology. And while we dont have a formal paying membership process, my officers and I estimatebased on social media, event turnouts, and donationswe now have about 25,000 supporters in the US. We also have approximately 40 volunteers and more signing up every week. Globally, there are now almost 25 Transhumanist Parties on five different continents, each with its own rules that it determines best within its national framework.

My presidential campaign has been nothing short of a whirlwind. Take this morning for example. I woke up to my iPad beeping relentlessly with inbound messagesdozens of emails, Facebook posts, and tweets asking my policies on everything from artificial wombs, to a proposed moratorium on AI research, to the Baltimore riots. After brewing coffee, I answered as many requests as I could.

Later, I began the tedious business of negotiating a reality TV contract on my campaign. After taking my 4-year-old daughter to preschool, I returned to my desk and typed up a blog post supporting Chinese scientists editing the genome, then put together my slideshow for an upcoming speech in Vancouver, then worked with a designer on the Transhumanist Partys latest bumper sticker. Finally, I spent a half-hour checking out bus companies for my campaigns summer bus tour, scheduled to start this July on the West Coast.

By noon I was almost caught up on most urgent campaign matters and starting to look forward to my mid-day jog when the flow was broken by one my communications managers asking how I planned to answer inquiring press on 3D-printed guns. This is a sticky issue.

Generally, transhumanists love anything 3D-printedespecially when it concerns human organs and bionicsbut the question at hand was whether manufacturing a lethal weapon is going too far, especially when anyone could do it by buying a 3D-printer off Ebay for a under $2000?

Guns play an integral part in thousands of accidental deaths, murders, and armed robberies every year in America, so the ability to quickly, cheaply, and anonymously make them in your home or even in your car is highly contentious. I generally advocate for giving people nearly all liberties, but I had no idea how to answer this question, and neither did any of my staff. An advisor said we should check out what the US Constitutions Second Amendment (the right to bear arms) said about 3D-printers. We laughed, thinking it ridiculous to try governing a country with a 226-year old document in the transhumanist age.

People ask me all the timesince they know Im not going to win the presidency (third party candidates never win)if Im enjoying the campaign. Ive never thought about it like that.

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Why Im Running for President As the Transhumanist Candidate

The Age of Transhumanist Politics Has Begun

The founding of the Transhumanist Party of the United States, the intensifying of the U.S. BRAIN-Initiative and the start of Google's project "Ending death" were important milestones in the year 2014, and potential further steps towards "transhumanist" politics. The most significant development was that the radical international technology community became a concrete political force, not by chance starting its global political initiative in the U.S. According to political scientist and sociologist Roland Benedikter, research scholar at the University of California at Santa Barbara, "transhumanist" politics has momentous growth potential but with uncertain outcomes. The coming years will probably see a dialogue between humanism and transhumanism in - and about - most crucial fields of human endeavor, with strong political implications that will challenge, and could change the traditional concepts, identities and strategies of Left and Right.

Roland Benedikter is the co-author of two Pentagon and U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff White Papers concerning the future of Neurotechnology and the Ethics of Neurowarfare (2013 and 2014), several books about global strategic matters (two of those on Xi Jinping's China) and of the upcoming book Neuroscience and Neuroethics: Impacting Human Futures (in cooperation with James Giordano, Springer New York) which will be published in 2015. He has co-authored the commentary "Neuroculture: How to keep ethical pace with the current 'deep' transformations through neurotechnology? for "Leftist Review" with James Giordano in March 2012. Katja Siepmann and Annabella McIntosh conducted the interview.

In the book you co-authored with Pentagon-advisor and Georgetown-neuroscientist and neuroethicist James Giordano "Neuroscience and Neuroethics: Impacting Human Futures" you state that these two fields at the interface between science and politics might lead to bigger changes in the coming years than either conventional politics or science. The reason: Technology is becoming an increasingly more powerful political and social force - not only sectorially or nationally, but globally.

Roland Benedikter: In recent years technology has indeed emerged as a concrete social and political force. 2014 has seen a noticeable intensification of that trend. The traditional political players are poorly prepared for it. What, for example, nowadays takes place in just one year at the interface between the human brain and technology, until recently required a decade. It is an exponential development. The mechanization of society and humanity is occurring within many disciplines- for example, in the form of neurotechnology, which is increasingly used for medical and both dual-use and direct military purposes. But there are other fields too. From neuroeconomics to, neuroaesthetics, neurosprituality, neurosociology and even neuropolitics, the "neuro"-prefix is becoming omnipresent in the understanding and meaning of our time and civilization - and with regard to its self-ascribed identity.

What exactly is going on?

Roland Benedikter: Supporters of "human enhancement"[1], which encompasses scientists, entrepreneurs and politicians and transcends language, cultural and ideological barriers, advocate mechanization of the human body in general and the broad "culturalization" of brain-machine interfaces in particular as the progressive, transformative path for humanity in the 21st century. By playing a consulting role in the "high spheres" of politics, science, and management, representatives of the transhumanist movement (including the World Transhumanist Association), which was initiated in the 1980s, are promoting the fusion of humans and computers. Among other things, they recommend the broad use of implants to enhance cognitive abilities, neural engineering to expand human consciousness and the cyborgization of the body and its tissues and systems in order to increase resilience, flourishing and lifespan.

Sounds gruesome at first. What is the idea behind all this?

Roland Benedikter: The name "transhumanism" is the basic concept that tells it all. Its followers want to go beyond the present human condition. At its core it means to overcome the "natural" limitations inherent in human existence, which is to be born, live relatively short, half-conscious lives, and then die. The supporters of "human enhancement" and "transhumanism" intend to break through these current physical and cognitive (and perhaps even spiritual) barriers. In order to do that, they will pursue biotechnological upgrades to the human body and thus, conceivably, try to eliminate the negative effects of ageing and eventually (at least in their aspiration) even death.

You state (in a scientifically "neutral" sense) that the first breakthrough of this development could now be imminent, but there will also be inescapable associated ethical problems?

Roland Benedikter: Possibly. Those who view the future human being as a technoid being, if not as a body fully integrated into technology - as seem to do, for example, Google's chief engineer Ray Kurzweil or the Oxford professor of philosophy Nick Bostrom, who is the head of the "Future of Humanity Institute" at the faculty of philosophy and the Oxford James Martin 21st Century School -- regard the mid of the century as a probable date for reaching the "singularity." That's the moment when artificial intelligence allegedly surpasses that of human intelligence and becomes in some way "self-conscious", as these thinkers expect.[2] Kurzweil has recently even referred to the year 2029 as the date when technology could reach a level of self-conscious "intelligence".[3] If that happens, even on an approximate basis, it will without doubt affect virtually everything, even though it will likely not occur in as spectacular ways as predicted.

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The Age of Transhumanist Politics Has Begun

Transhumanist politics – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Transhumanist politics is a political ideology that aims to improve the human condition through the use of advanced technologies.[1] Transhumanists tend to support life extension, human enhancement technologies, space exploration and space settlement, human rights, sustainable development, technogaianism, and raising the world's living standard through technology, science, education, decentralization, and just governance.[2][3]

According to James Hughes, transhumanist politics is part of a three-hundred-year-long history that began in the Age of Enlightenment when people began to advocate for democracy and individual rights and use science and technology instead of magic and superstition.[4][5] In 2012, Giuseppe Vatinno was the first politician in the world to explicitly identify as a transhumanist.[6][7] In 2012 the Longevity Party, a movement described as "100% transhumanist" by cofounder Maria Konovalenko, began to organize in Russia for building a balloted political party.[8][9][10] In 2013, io9 editor Annalee Newitz suggested building a Space Party devoted to developing space settlements and defending humanity against existential threats.[11] During the 2014 U.S. midterm elections, Gabriel Rothblatt was the first transhumanist to run for the U.S. Congress.[12]

Transhumanists believe in transforming the human condition by developing and making available technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.[13] According to a 2006 study by the European Parliament, transhumanism is the political expression of the ideology that technology should be used to enhance human abilities.[1]

The political philosophies that tend to be supportive of transhumanism, according to Amon Twyman from the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, are social-futurism; techno-progressivism; techno-libertarianism; and anarcho-transhumanism.[14][unreliable source?] These philosophies collectively make up political transhumanism.[14]Democratic transhumanists, also known as technoprogressives,[15][16] tend to be in disagreement with libertarian transhumanists over the role of government in society, but both agree that technology can enhance the human condition and laws should not prevent technology-based human progress.[17] Democratic transhumanists support equal access to human enhancement technologies in order to promote social equality and to prevent technologies from furthering the divide among the socioeconomic classes.[18] Alternatively, libertarian transhumanists reject government healthcare policies that offer human enhancement technologies because they fear that any state intervention will steer or limit their choices.[19][20][17]

Riccardo Campa wrote that transhumanism can be coupled with many different political, philosophical, and religious views, and this diversity can be an asset as long as transhumanists do not give priority to their existing affiliations over their membership with organized transhumanism.[21]

In October 2014, Zoltan Istvan announced his plan to form the Transhumanist Party and run for President of the United States during the 2016 presidential election.[22] During December 2014, United Kingdom and European Union transhumanist parties began to organize, and on January 2015 the UK Transhumanist Party released the Transhumanist Party Manifesto.[23][24][unreliable source?][25]

The Transhumanist Party is a political party movement[neutrality is disputed] that is centered on the philosophy of transhumanism, including the political focus of science, medicine, and technology to enhance the human species.[26][22] Amon Twyman wrote that the strength of developing transhumanist parties lies in the grassroots actions of the thousands of transhumanist who can be organized and politically mobilized for a common goal, and the goal is not to replace technological progress with politics but to use politics to ensure technology is used to improve the world.[23][unreliable source?] In an interview with Vice magazine, David Wood stated that the UK Transhumanist Party is progressive both socially and economically and leans towards decentralization.[25]

Zoltan Istvan has announced he is running for the United States presidential election of 2016 under the Transhumanist Party.

Transhumanist writer and former University of Texas professor, John G. Messerly, wrote that he supports Istvan's entrance into politics because both the social and political environment must be supportive of transhumanism in order for humans to evolve with greater intelligence and morality.[27]

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Transhumanist politics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

EUCACH: Melanie Vritschan homage to Dr Rauni Kilde, whistleblower against Transhumanist Agenda – Video


EUCACH: Melanie Vritschan homage to Dr Rauni Kilde, whistleblower against Transhumanist Agenda
VIDEO: For Polish TV: EUCACH: Melanie Vritschan homage to Dr Rauni Kilde, whistleblower against Transhumanist Agenda https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiNrznUEBYs feature=youtu.be.

By: Alfred Lambremont Webre

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EUCACH: Melanie Vritschan homage to Dr Rauni Kilde, whistleblower against Transhumanist Agenda - Video

Anticipating tomorrows politics, and introducing the Transhumanist Party – Video


Anticipating tomorrows politics, and introducing the Transhumanist Party
This London Futurists event marked two developments in the political landscape: 1.) The publication of the book "Anticipating tomorrow's politics" 2.) The introduction of the Transhumanist...

By: London Futurists

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Anticipating tomorrows politics, and introducing the Transhumanist Party - Video


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