You want increased intelligence, transparency, life expectancy and personal freedom? Curiosity is your primary motivation and you want to reduce or eliminate sleep? Welcome, you’re H+.
The Terasem Survey - a poll with 49 questions funded by Terasem Movement Inc. - was posted at surveymonkey.com from July 10-18, 2012. In that brief timespan, 818 responders offered their answers, with dozens adding optional comments.
This report summarizes who the transhumanists are (that participated in the survey), plus it illuminates what they believe and predict for the future.
Information on how the repsonders were located is available at the end of this essay.
Answers below are in numerous categories, immensely condensed, of course, because there’s 361 pages of data. Additional information that was revealed can be located elsewhere at IEET, at Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.
What is your religion / belief system?
81.4% Not Religious
5.0 other religions
(comments here included: “Teresemian”, “Thelema”, “collectivist”, “Panendeism”, “4th Way”, “Taoist”, “a mix of scientology and discordianism”, “Chaos Magic”, and “Okay, Seriously? People”)
(comments here included: “omnisexual”, “demisexual”, “Kinsey 5”, “post-sexual”, “situationally dependent sexual”, “Saplosexual”, and “no reason you need to know, dears!”
What is your political position?
(many comments indicated anarchism or dislike of politics. Here’s a few: “I hate all politics”, “politics suck”, “apolitical”, “green pirate”, “waste of time”, “no”, “rebel”, ““I’d like it if there was a need for it”, “anarchist”, and “NA”)
Describe your health
34.3 Very Good
5.1 Below Average
Describe your occupation
27.8% computers and mathematics
13.0 arts, design, entertainment, sports
10.5 life, physical, social science
(far smaller occupation representation occurred in fishing, farming, forestry (.2%), construction (.4%), legal (2.7%), and office and admin support (2.1%)
10.0 Multiple races
(comments in reply to this question include: “Human (for now)”, “this question is stupid”, “race doesn’t exist”, “Homo Mutantes”, “relevance?”, and “aren’t we beyond the importance of subspecies distinction?”
Level of Education
27.6% graduate degree
28.8 bachelor degree
27.0 some college but no degree
(numerous comments here, with various options to the above categories, including: “genderqueer”, “MTF Transexual”, “We are all part of either. Augment and who knows more than 3 natural genders may present themselves”, “transwoman”, “androgynous consciousness occupying a male human body”, “meat popsicle”, “Pangendered”, “N/A”, “undisclosed”, “post-op (20 years) transsexual woman”, “other?”, “My biohost is xy. My consciousness is androgyne”, “Androgynous”, “Prefer not to list”, “Androgynous”, “Wannabe M-to-N”, “burned out male (ED)”, “Sort of yanno”)
56.5% accelerating progress, then Singularity
25.8 humans will slowly progress
13.3 expand through solar system in 100 years
1.0 expand through galaxy in 50 years
2.8 extinct in 100 years
0.9 extinct in 50 years
What is very important to you in the future world?
61.6% more personal freedom
43.5 kinder people
20.5 less work
13.5 more luxury
If you died and could return in another body, what gender would you want to be?
My personal thoughts and observations?
Too many to list here, but I’ll convey the a pair of statistics that caught my attention.
1. Most transhumanists are young, but their primary goal is still immortality / radical life extension. This phenomenon surprised me; I didn’t realize that people under 40 years old, or under 50 years old, were the least bit concerned about death. (I’m 60) My POV? I’m thrilled that the 20ish crowd is committed to ending aging and death! Do they see themselves as the first generation to transcend death, or at least push it back multiple decades? Congrats to them!
2. Transhumanists are largely alike in almost every category, except one. Most are non-believers, for example. Most are white, male, urbanites, educated, etc. Only in Politics is there absolutely no overwhelming majority. Indeed, there’s a wide schism between pro-government and anti-government camps.
Libertarians and Anarchists are a large, outspoken, feisty contingent that has and will continue to clash with with Liberals, Moderates, Socialists, etc. Additionally, when the future is predicted, the two groups envision widely-disparate scenarios. Will there be One World Government? Will there be Abolition of Government? Or thousands of small fractured states?
I was assisted in the Terasem Survey by my project collaborator, Teresa Dal Santo Ph.D., a Research Associate at University of California San Francisco, with expertise in conducting qualitative and quantitative studies, and specialties in research methods and statistical analysis.
My thanks to everyone who assisted us in gathering the responders, especially:
David Orban, who notified his 2,798 Facebook friends, his 3,480 Twitter followers, and his 5,732 Google+ people-in-whose-circle-he-is
Alex Lightman who notified his 5,000 Facebook friends and his 3,500 subscribers
Amara Angelica declined to post a link to the survey at KurzweilAI.net, where she is Editor, due to concerns about privacy issues and the methodology of the survey.
Hank Pellissier was IEET’s Managing Director on January-October in 2012, and an IEET Affiliate Scholar. He’s the author of two e-books, Invent Utopia Now and Why is the IQ of Ashkenazi Jews so High? He is currently at BrighterBrains.org
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