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Transhumanism Grew Rapidly in 2014
Zoltan Istvan   Jan 6, 2015  

The transhumanism movement is starting to appear everywhere It was a great year for transhumanism. The concept of transhumanism and the movement appeared everywhere, from features in mainstream media to international conferences to Hollywood blockbuster movies. I’m especially pleased by how much the word transhumanism appeared in the press and on television.

 In fact, the term has become so common in the last year that many media outlets no longer even explain what it means. Everyone just seems to know it. Clearly, the movement and our community of pro-science and pro-technology advocates have much to cheer about. Adding to the excitement, numerous transhumanist entities, including US political organization the Transhumanist Party, have come into existence in the last few months.

I look forward to more success for the transhumanist movement in 2015, but I want to dedicate this column to highlighting some of my more important transhumanist-themed articles in 2014:


Transhumanism or Singularity: Which Term Should We Use to Describe the Future?

Singularity. Posthuman. Techno-Optimism, Cyborgism. Humanity+. Immortalist. Machine intelligence. Biohacker. Robotopia. Life extension. Transhumanism.

These are all terms thrown around trying to describe a future in which mind uploading, indefinite lifespans, artificial intelligence, and bionic augmentation may (and I think will) help us to become far more than just human.

Almost by default, transhumanism has become the overwhelming leader of the name rivalry. Around the world, a quickly growing number of people know what transhumanism is and also subscribe to some of it. It has become the go-to futurist term to express how science and technology are upending the human playing field.

Psychology Today:

When Does Hindering Life Extension Science Become a Crime?

Every human being has both a minimum and a maximum amount of life hours left to live. If you add together the possible maximum life hours of every living person on the planet, you arrive at a special number: the optimum amount of time for our species to evolve, find happiness, and become the most that it can be. Many reasonable people feel we should attempt to achieve this maximum number of life hours for humankind. After all, very few people actually wish to prematurely die or wish for their fellow humans' premature deaths.

In a free and functioning democratic society, it's the duty of our leaders and government to implement laws and social strategies to maximize these life hours that we want to safeguard. Regardless of ideological, political, religious, or cultural beliefs, we expect our leaders and government to protect our lives and ensure the maximum length of our lifespans. Any other behavior cuts short the time human beings have left to live. Anything else becomes a crime of prematurely ending human lives. Anything else fits the common legal term we have for that type of reprehensible behavior: criminal manslaughter.

Vice Motherboard (also appeared on Digg):

The New Bionic Sports of the Future Transhumanist Olympics

A quiet revolution is happening in competitive sports. Some futurists think that in just decades, humans will sprint faster than horses, people will shoot guns with near-perfect accuracy using bionic eyes, and athletes will swim entire races without taking a breath.

Already, untainted urine samples have become as essential to top runners as their shoes. Brainy engineers have become as necessary to cyclists as their bikes. And the precise carbohydrate/protein ratio in meals consumed by swimmers the night before racing the 400-meter individual medley has become as important as flip turns.

The rapid advancement and implementation of science and technology are dramatically changing the human species and our activities. Sports cannot remain the same. Bionic augmentation, performance-enhancing drugs, and radical technological innovation are the keys to the coming sporting events increasingly being called transhumanist competition. The word "transhuman" literally means beyond human.

The Huffington Post:

A New Generation of Transhumanists is Emerging

A new generation of transhumanists is emerging. You can feel it in handshakes at transhumanist meet-ups. You can see it when checking in to transhumanist groups in social media. You can read it in the hundreds of transhumanist-themed blogs. This is not the same bunch of older, mostly male academics that have slowly moved the movement forward during the last few decades. This is a dynamic group of younger people from varying backgrounds: Asians, Blacks, Middle Easterners, Caucasians, and Latinos. Many are females, some are LGBT, and others have disabilities. Many are atheist, while others are spiritual or even formally religious. Their politics run the gamut, from liberals to conservatives to anarchists. Their professions vary widely, from artists to physical laborers to programmers. Whatever their background, preferences, or professions, they have recently tripled the population of transhumanists in just the last 12 months.

A primary goal of many transhumanists is to convince the public that embracing radical technology and science is in the species' best interest. In a mostly religious world where much of society still believes in heavenly afterlives, some people are skeptical about whether significantly extending human lifespans is philosophically and morally correct. Transhumanists believe the more people that support transhumanism, the more private and government resources will end up in the hands of organizations and companies that aim to improve human lives and bring mortality to an end.


We All Face a Transhumanist Wager (taken from my 2014 World Future Society conference speech in Florida)

We have a problem. Each one of us has a problem. In fact, no matter where you go on the planet, no matter who you find, every single person on Earth has this same dire problem.

That problem is our mortality. That problem is called death.

The reason it's a problem is because human beings love life. We all love the precious chance of existence. Even in one's darkest psychological despair, or one's most exhausting hardship, or one's most catastrophic tragedy, the thing we call life is still always miraculous. We cherish life and we don't want to lose it or have it end.

But end it will. No matter how much we wish otherwise. The stark truth is right before our eyes—that nothing in today's world can save us from death. The obviousness of this overwhelms us every time we see a loved one or a friend whose body is lifeless, never to reach out, touch, and communicate with us again. Death is final.

The great irony for our species is that we don't just have this one problem—but two problems. The second problem is nearly as vicious as the first. The second problem is the fact that most people around the world are just not worried about the first problem—they're not worried about dying. They're either religious and have the supposed afterlife all worked out, or they just don't care, or they just don't think conquering human death is possible. Whatever people's reasons, they just don't see the first problem as serious enough to warrant immediate concern—especially in a meaningful, tangible way that makes them not die. And by not recognizing death as a problem, many people have no reason to attempt to defeat it.

I have made it a mission in my life to make people aware of these two problems. It is why I wrote my philosophical novel The Transhumanist Wager. The concept of the Transhumanist Wager in the book is simple. It explains that in the 21st Century—the age of unprecedented technological innovation—it is a betrayal of ourselves (and the potential of our best selves) to not tackle and solve our two most pressing problems using modern science.


Bionic Eyes Can Already Restore Vision, Soon They'll Make it Superhuman

We now live in an age where radical technology can help the blind to see, an impressive enough accomplishment in its own right that gets even more mind-bending when you consider what it means for the future. UV vision? Eyeballs that zoom in and out like a camera lens? It's coming!

Scientists 'round the world are working to improve the retinal prosthesis system, or what many people simply call a bionic eye.

Currently, the human eye sees about 1 percent of the light spectrum in the universe. That's not much when you think about it. Futurists like myself think that decades from now the bionic eye will improve so much that it will likely see far more than that tiny 1 percent. And because we have two eyes, it seems plausible some people—especially biohacker and cyborg enthusiasts—will replace a biological eye with a bionic eye once that technology arrives. Experience of our universe will never be quite the same.

Wired UK

It's Time to Consider Restricting Human Breeding

For most people in the 21st Century, the idea of restricting the right to have offspring for any reason whatsoever seems blatantly authoritarian. Telling a person when and how many children they can have violates just about every core value we possess in a free society. It's a thorny issue made even more complicated by the coming transhumanist era, which is almost upon us.

The transhumanist age -- where radical science and technology will revolutionise the human being and experience -- will eventually bring us indefinite lifespans, cyborgization, cloning, and even ectogenesis, where people use artificial wombs outside of their bodies to raise foetuses.

Breeding controls and measures make more sense when you consider that some leading life extensionist scientists believe we will conquer human mortality in the next 20 years. Already, in 2010, scientists had some success with stopping and reversing ageing in mice. The obvious question is: In this transhumanist future, should everyone still be allowed to have unlimited children whenever they want?

Singularity University's Singularity Hub:

Which New Technology Will Win the Race to Repair and Replace Our Organs?

An extraordinary competition is underway—one that could be more impactful to the human species than any other technological rivalry to come before it. Soon, the radical concept of substantially improving or outright replacing our organs is going to be commonplace.

People tend to cling onto their preferences until their health significantly deteriorates. In a life and death medical situation, most people opt to go with what will save their life and enable them to be healthy again.

Companies creating radical new medical tech, such as entire synthetic organs, are profoundly aware of this. They hope to sidestep some controversy by focusing on the human aspects of their innovations—such as how artificial organs might grant more time with grandchildren and loved ones—and not whether the organ was grown, printed, or created in a factory.

At the end of the day, for most people, being healthy, productive, and having the ability to spend time with loved ones is what remains most important. In this way, no matter what technology or field of science wins the competition to build the best organs—flesh, machine, or a mixture of both—we are all winners.

The Huffington Post

Should a Transhumanist Run for President?

I'm in the very early stages of preparing a campaign to try to run in the 2016 election for US President. I'll be doing it as a transhumanist for the Transhumanist Party, a political organization I recently founded that seeks to use science and technology to radically improve the human being and the society we live in.

In addition to upholding American values, prosperity, and security, the three primary goals of my political agenda are as follows:

1) Attempt to do everything possible to make it so this country's amazing scientists and technologists have resources to overcome human death and aging within 15-20 years—a goal an increasing number of leading scientists think is reachable.

2) Create a cultural mindset in America that embracing and producing radical technology and science is in the best interest of our nation and species.

3) Create national and global safeguards and programs that protect people against abusive technology and other possible planetary perils we might face as we transition into the transhumanist era.

These three goals are so simple and obvious, you'd think every politician in the 21st Century would be publicly and passionately pursuing them. But they're not. They're more interested in landing your votes, in making you slave away at low-paying jobs, in keeping you addicted to shopping for Chinese-made trinkets, in forcing you to accept bandage medicine and its death culture, and in getting you to pay as much tax as possible for far-off wars (places where most of us will never step foot in).


Great Job dear Zoltan. Ali

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