The first time I heard the term transhumanist I was watching an Alex Jones documentary called Endgame. It was presented as a philosophy that the world elites subscribed to where they would merge with machines in a post apocalyptic world. Life extension technology their holy grail would allow them to become gods and travel to the stars leaving the rest of humanity behind in a smoking pile of rubble. This is the view I’ve had of transhumanism for some time now and by proxy the Transhumanist Party.
Recently I’ve gotten more into researching the types of technology’s that would enable a dystopian future such as whats presented in Hollywood movies like Transcendence, Chappie, Robocop, Lucy and Ex Machina. Like most human advancements it’s a double edged sword where you can have prosperity for all or chaos and destruction benefiting a few. Most movies that involve artificial intelligence if not all have the AI playing the part of the ultimate bad guy, completely ruthless, efficient and omniscient. While this is a serious threat I think in real life the creators of an AI having seen so many movies with this theme will take at least some minimum precautions to prevent a real life reenactment. The warnings from such great minds as Steven Hawking, Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak can’t be ignored. That said I’m very excited about AI and the advancements it brings, the singularity will either make or break humanity.
When AI becomes a reality the first owners will become the wealthiest, most powerful organization in the world. I say this without hesitation because being able to expand an intelligence into the worlds cloud computing environment will allow for a single controller to perform the work load of millions simultaneously. Entire professions will be wiped out overnight. AI enhanced robotics will negate the need for human labor in most manufacturing jobs. The list of human jobs replaced will be massive. The average man that’s displaced will suffer while the AI’s owner profits. That is if privatized AI production wins out and not open source innovation such as the opencog project. Regardless of the winner a huge portion of human jobs will be wiped out for good. The Transhumanist Party addresses the AI running wild part but not the jobs that will be lost or how these people will be made useful again. Saying that people will just upload their consciousness is not a valid answer to me. I don’t see that type of technology actually working as the human soul is not accounted for.
Genetics research whether powered by AI or not is going to make a huge impact. Imagine the worlds greatest minds still producing well past 100. Life extension technology alone will enable a leap forward in all research areas. As mentioned above many people will become useless eaters as the elite call them. Resources buoyed by technological advancements may not be enough to sustain world demand. It’s a good bet technology will not be shared equally throughout the world, more advanced nations will drain less advanced nations. This leads to conflict, internally the divide between haves and have nots will grow to the point it will appear as if two different species have emerged, one for the better and the other destitute in poverty. Personally I want the option to extend my life span, I don’t want to roll the cosmic dice. If there is an afterlife we’re all going there anyways, if not then you’d be a fool not to try.
The Transhumanist Party wants to divert money away from defense which I agree with, we don’t need six times China’s defense budget. They want to use this liberated money to invest in life extension science and global humanitarian projects. I see this as a non-starter in this political environment where Trump is number one in the GOP polls. Add to that the fact that most people have never even heard of this technology. People are angry they want to build walls and send immigrants packing, investing in science isn’t even on the table right now. I’m not one of those people and this is why I’m interested in this new political ideology. I’m not sure where the Transhumanist Party stands on Trumpism? I do know that Globalism for a long time has drained our resources, socialism has created a dependent class that reliably votes for more of other peoples money. The global safeguards described in much of the Transhumanist Party’s writing will not get funding from the masses, especially the global part. Once America has solid footing again I might be more receptive to helping the rest of the world again. That is if the funding isn’t acquired through coercive extraction.
“Zoltan Istvan’s The Transhumanist Wager is an epic story of radical libertarian ideas, their enemies, and the violent global conflict that ensues, painted in strong saturated colors with little room for intermediate shades and character development.
After reading cover to cover, and then reading it more carefully, I have mixed love/hate feelings about this novel.
It’s a page turner. Istvan — a former journalist for the National Geographic Channel and The New York Times, whose award-winning coverage of the war in Kashmir gained worldwide attention — knows how to tell a compelling story.
There are strong parallels with Atlas Shrugged. Jethro Knights, the main character of The Transhumanist Wager, is a modern John Galt — a transhumanist and even-more -radical version of Ayn Rand’s hero.
Jethro is obsessed with and focused on attaining personal immortality via biological life extension and especially mind uploading and eternal cybernetic life.” Read the rest here http://www.kurzweilai.net/book-review-the-transhumanist-wager
Jethro’s extreme nature is what makes him an interesting fictional character. I won’t hold his book against him as I know good fiction has to be a bit edgy and I like it that way. I’ve watched quite a few of his interviews read a ton of posts about him and I actually like him both as person and a candidate. I run into trouble when I read articles like “It’s time to consider restricting human breeding” I get where he’s coming from but government is already to involved in our lives. Giving them one more way to exert control over us isn’t a good idea. Take for example the free range parenting method. Something that was the default many years ago is earning some parents criminal charges. Parents that choose not to vaccinate their kids because of mercury containing thimerisol and adjuvents have also been demonized. Laws have even been passed in states like California requiring shots for school admission. If the government was to restrict breeding I’m sure the contract would include vaccines and acceptable parenting methods including possibly how and what they’re taught. Which brings me to another problem spot. “Some Atheists and Transhumanists are Asking: Should it be Illegal to Indoctrinate Kids With Religion?” by Zoltan Istvan himself. As much as I loath religion, parents and groups have a right to perpetuate their views. Freedom of religion is a major part of America’s founding and if he ever wants to be successful in a Presidential run this type of stance on religion has to change. His stance on religion among other views makes me wonder if the line between his novel and his real world politics gets blurred sometimes.
Zoltan’s idea to microchip condemned prisoners rather than execute them misses the point of why they’re on death row, punishment and deterrence. “Because I want to believe in the good of human beings, and I also think all human existence has some value, I’m on the lookout for ways to preserve life and maximize its usefulness in society.” I don’t think a killer mindset can be fixed with a chip implant maybe I’m wrong? We don’t need workers so desperately that we need to fix killers and reintegrate them into society. This also conflicts with his want to limit breeding by government licenses. In the west we have a birth rate that’s not keeping up with the death rate. The effect of any type of license will be a further lowering of the birthrate this is just the nature of licenses. He also wants or in visions trauma alert chips in non-criminals to alert police to crime as well as acting as a surveillance device. If people voluntarily want to chip themselves and have it sending data to government then that’s their choice.
Artificial intelligence running the government connected to every citizen’s mind is a book Philip K. Dick would’ve loved to write. AI is not some unbiased judge as so many think. It’s created by humans it inevitably has the attributes of who ever created it. Even if the creator tried to make it perfectly fair that trait itself will insure no one gets a good deal. It’ll have to handicap everyone talk about socialism on steroids. This streak of authoritarian views combined with his sci-fi style techno-utopia scares me off from supporting him. I can see past the chipping of the condemned as a social experiment but not the potential violations of the first amendment, the rights of parents that are already under heavy attack. A Presidential candidate has to fully believe in the philosophy behind the bill of rights to get any support from me.
The most important policy point that Zoltan has is bringing life extension to the masses. The elite who are developing this in mass will never voluntarily share this tech. If they do it will be so expensive that only the upper class will be able to use it or keep up with the aging process. Mind enhancement a theme that’s increasingly popular in entertainment will be more guarded than life extension as no competitor would willingly help their competition. How will he get the elite to cooperate? I assume force is the only answer because after years of studying the elite I can tell you they hate the average man. The last thing they want is normal people living longer or catching up with their break away civilization. I think government funding open source projects may be the best way forward along with prosecuting the financial terrorists sometimes refereed to as bankers.
If we pit the Transhumanist Party verses the GOP hands down TP wins in almost every area. If we remove the whole chiping, breeding license, controlled parenting stuff I can see this new party gaining mass appeal. Take the war on drugs for instance, Zoltan says it’s actually a good thing that young adults 21 and up try some mind altering drugs! Imagine anyone in any party saying anything close to that, campaign over. He gets it having traveled a similar path as many of us in the liberty movement have. In moderation and done properly drugs change the way you view reality safely. Mind altering means just that, no longer do you want to work a mundane job just to make ends meet. You want to go out and do something that matters not just for yourself but for all of humanity. A different sense of compassion sets in, not one that’s force fed by religion but by instinct. In many cultures it’s a right of passage for good reason.
The Transhumanist Party sees the real threats to humanity not the make believe synthetic ones like the war on terror. The cliché military industrial complex along with governments push a narrative through mouth pieces in the main stream media. That we have to surrender our freedom and our wallets to defeat the latest boogie man in a giant never ending game of whack a mole. We police the world so major corporations can profit, for new mineral rights, for oil or just to shut down competition. Lets cut them off cold and use the money back home on infrastructure, education and science. Climate change a real long term threat to coastal city’s and weather patterns is put in it’s place by the TP. A shift away from fossil fuels into renewables like solar is an excellent idea but we don’t need to shut down entire industries to satisfy a bunch of authoritarian control freak green holes.
Zoltan gets that large asteroids or solar flares are a serious threat that needs to be taken seriously. We shouldn’t wait until we take a major hit as it honestly could be to late if we do. DNA synthesis machines are real, USB DNA sequencers are a reality they cost less than $1000 now. A Khan type mind could take this tech off the shelf and create a global pandemic. Nature itself could also by chance form a pathogen and a Hollywood style outbreak ensue. The CDC is woefully unequipped to handle this as evidenced by it’s handling of the Ebola patients. We’ve been lucky so far but we need new management with foresight to tackle 21st century threats. As Rumsfeld so eloquently said “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.”
I don’t call myself a transhumanist because the term for so long held a negative connotation in my mind. It’s true that most of the views apply to me as I do want life extension tech. I believe in technology’s ability to transform humanity for the better. Merging mind and machine can be done safely if responsible organizations with an open source philosophy make it so. I want to use the singularity to travel to the stars and ensure mankind’s true manifest destiny. This isn’t fantasy it’s just a matter of time, time that I might have. What I don’t like about the term is the type of people that consider themselves transhumanists like many of the Bilderbergers. If this idea of life extension goes main stream and can be disassociated from secret society types I may reconsider. Until then I’ll be watching the campaign of Zoltan Istvan closely, the political landscape will be ready for him soon enough. I hope to see this Party grow and break up the two party dictatorship, someone has to for all our sake’s.