Activating Transhumanism – James Strole Interviews Gennady Stolyarov II on RAAD Fest

Activating Transhumanism – James Strole Interviews Gennady Stolyarov II on RAAD Fest

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Gennady Stolyarov II


U.S. Transhumanist Party Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II was interviewed by James Strole regarding the forthcoming RAAD Fest 2017 in San Diego, California, which will occur on August 9-13, 2017. This interview addressed Mr. Stolyarov’s impressions of RAAD Fest 2016, his goals for the transhumanist movement in politics, and how various perspectives within the transhumanist and life-extensionist movement can benefit from interfacing with one another. Watch the video of the interview on YouTube or below.

At RAAD Fest 2017, Mr. Stolyarov will be moderating a panel consisting of transhumanist philosophers, researchers, and activists – including Zoltan Istvan, Dr. Ben Goertzel, Dr. Max More, and Dr. Natasha Vita-More. You can see the full RAAD Fest schedule here.

The panel moderated by Mr. Stolyarov will occur at 10 a.m.  on Friday, August 11, 2017. Machine augmentation of human bodies and minds will be one topic of discussion; transhumanist politics will be another. As previously announced, Mr. Stolyarov will inaugurate the panel with a brief presentation entitled “The U.S. Transhumanist Party: Pursuing a Peaceful Political Revolution for Longevity”.

Members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party: When registering for RAAD Fest, you can use the special discount code TRANSHUMAN, which will now reduce the cost of registration to $497.

Official Ballot Options for Platform Vote #5

Official Ballot Options for Platform Vote #5

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The 7-day electronic voting period on the fifth set of proposed platform planks of the U.S. Transhumanist Party (17 potential planks in total) will occur from 12:01 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time on June 18, 2017, to 12:01 a.m.  U.S. Pacific Time on June 25, 2017. All members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party who have applied before 12:01 a.m. on June 18, 2017, will be eligible to vote, as long as they have expressed agreement with the three Core Ideals of the Transhumanist Party or have otherwise been rendered eligible to vote at the discretion of the Chairman.

All members who are eligible to vote will be sent a link to an electronic submission form whereby they will be able to cast their ballot.

When you are voting, it is strongly recommended that you keep this page of official ballot options and the submission form open simultaneously in different windows so that you can reference the relevant options as you vote on them. Due to space limitations, the submission form does not list the entire text of all the options.

It is also recommended that you set aside at least thirty minutes to consider and vote on all of the options and read their text closely, as some of the options contain minor variations upon other options. 

For some questions, electronic voting is  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.

Results of the voting will be tabulated during late June 2017, with the intent to announce the results approximately 7 days after all votes have been submitted.

NOTE: The titles of the questions and potential Sections are descriptive and informational only and will not appear in the final adopted platform planks (which will be incorporated into Article III of the U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitution). They are intended as concise guides to the subject matter of the questions and potential Sections. Likewise, the letters assigned to Sections within this ballot will not reflect the numbering of the final adopted provisions, which will depend on which Sections are selected by the membership.

NOTE II: The inclusion of any proposals on this ballot does not 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 U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform should incorporate any given proposal.

 


 

Voter Identification

E-mail address

Provide the same e-mail address you used to register for U.S. Transhumanist Party membership. Your ballot will be cross-referenced to our membership rolls, and only ballots with matching e-mail addresses will be counted.

What is your name?

At minimum, first and last name are required, unless you are publicly known by a single-name pseudonym which is not itself a common name. Your identity will not be publicly disclosed by the Transhumanist Party, unless you choose and/or authorize its disclosure. Only other members of the Transhumanist Party will be able to see that you voted, but not how you voted. The nature of the selections made by the members may be disclosed, but, if they are, each individual vote will not be associated with the identity of the voter but rather will be presented in an anonymized manner.

Navigate the Options

Question I. Section E5-A. Germaneness / Single-Subject Rule for Bills
Question II. Section E5-B. Opposition to Protectionism and Subsidies
Question III. Section E5-C. Bodily Autonomy
Question IV. Section E5-D. Autonomy to Decide on the Continuation of One’s Own Life
Question V. Section E5-D. Ancillary Provisions Regarding Autonomy to Decide on the Continuation of One’s Own Life
Question VI. Section E5-E. International Organ-Donation System
Question VII. Section E5-F. Sousveillance of Government Officials in a Lawmaking Capacity
Question VIII. Section E5-G. Affidavit of Public Interest for Lawmakers
Question IX. Section E5-H. Accountability of Security Agencies to Congress
Question X. Section E5-H. Accountability of Security Agencies to Congress. Qualifying Language on Budgetary Review Committee
Question XI. Section E5-I. Reduction of Redundancies among Security and Law-Enforcement Agencies
Question XII. Section E5-J. Protection Against Obstruction of Congresspersons’ Ability to Vote
Question XIII. Section E5-K. Opposition to Civil Asset Forfeiture, Asset Seizure, and Excessive Detainment
Question XIV. Section E5-L. Investigation of Questionable Law-Enforcement Activities
Question XV. Section E5-M. Position on Internal Police Investigations of Misconduct
Question XVI. Section E5-N. Limitations on Favor-Trading Among Police, District Attorneys, and Judges
Question XVII. Section E5-O. Opposition to Special Benefits for Members of Congress
Question XVIII. Section E5-P. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
Question XIX. Section E5-P. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Qualifying Language on Homeschooling
Question XX. Section E5-Q. Opposition to Rights-Violating Cultural, Religious, and Social Practices

Proposed Platform Sections

Question I. Section E5-A. Germaneness / Single-Subject Rule for Bills

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to have bills proposed without sub-sections or provisions unrelated to the main subject of the bill. A single-subject or germaneness rule for bills would:

  1. Simplify bills, rendering them more accessible and less convoluted;
  2. Enable a focused vote for or against a bill without the possibility of having to accept or reject an embedded unrelated provision; and
  3. Prevent an unrelated provision from being buried within a bill as a possible tactic to have it passed.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question II. Section E5-B. Opposition to Protectionism and Subsidies

Rank-order the Section E5-B 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 Section 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 E5-B-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to limit protectionism and subsidization of an industry or group of companies. The exception to this would be that of extenuating circumstances, such as natural disasters or catastrophes, in which case a limited window of support could be approved. The United States Transhumanist Party understands that in a free-market society, private businesses, in order to continue their existence, ought to adapt to market changes instead of being shielded from such changes.

☐ Option E5-B-2. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon, with Complete Rejection of Economic Protectionism and Subsidization without Subsidies for Extenuating Circumstances] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to abolish economic protectionism and refrain from subsidizing any industry or group of companies. The United States Transhumanist Party understands that in a free-market society, private businesses, in order to continue their existence, ought to adapt to market changes instead of being shielded from such changes.

☐ Option E5-B-NO. No Section of this sort.

Question III. Section E5-C. Bodily Autonomy

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to increase autonomy of individuals to decide over their own bodies and holds that individuals should have the legal right to undertake procedures including gender reassignment, hysterectomies, vasectomies, technological augmentation, cosmetic alterations, genetic enhancements, and physical supplementation at or after the age of 18 years, as long as this does not create health hazards or threats to other individuals.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question IV. Section E5-D. Autonomy to Decide on the Continuation of One’s Own Life

Rank-order the Section E5-D 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 Section 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 E5-D-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports the autonomy of an individual to decide on the continuation of that individual’s own life.

☐ Option E5-D-2. [Expanded Version with Clarification Regarding Suicide] The United States Transhumanist Party supports the autonomy of an individual to decide on the continuation of that individual’s own life, including the right to choose or not to choose life-extending medical treatments. The United States Transhumanist Party does not consider it practicable or desirable for suicide to be illegal but discourages suicide from a moral standpoint, and furthermore considers that the legal right of suicide should only pertain to the individual and should not extend to any euthanasia or direct administration of a life-ending substance or procedure by any other person. The United States Transhumanist Party has grave concerns with anybody but the individual acting to hasten the end of that individual’s life.

☐ Option E5-D-NO. No Section of this sort.

Question V. Section E5-D. Ancillary Provisions Regarding Autonomy to Decide on the Continuation of One’s Own Life

If Section E5-D regarding the autonomy to decide on the continuation of one’s own life is adopted as part of the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform, shall any of the following ancillary provisions be appended to that Section?

Select all the options you support. (You can select multiple options for this question.)  Any option receiving the majority of votes cast will be included in the ultimately adopted plank, unless Option E5-D-NO prevails in the vote on Question IV above. If you do not favor any of the options below, then you may leave this question blank.

☐ Ancillary Provision E5-D-i. Cultural Promotion of Life. Although each individual should be free to decide upon the duration of his, her, or its own life, the United States Transhumanist Party supports cultural changes and discussions that would encourage all individuals to undertake life-prolonging choices and activities. Advances in medical technology would facilitate more open-ended lifespans and would enable individuals to choose either finite or indefinite lengths of their lives. However, if individuals are recognized as having this autonomy, the United States Transhumanist Party is interested in persuading as many people as possible to decide to preserve their irreplaceable lives instead of hastening their end.

☐ Ancillary Provision E5-D-ii. Protection of Uncoerced Patient Choice. With regard to any legalization of assisted suicide or measures to provide patients with life-ending prescriptions, the United States Transhumanist Party supports stringent legal safeguards to ensure that each individual patient’s choice with regard to such matters is entirely free and uncoerced, and that there is no steering of any particular individual toward a life-ending choice by family members, medical practitioners, health insurers, activists, or any other individual or organization standing to benefit financially from the end of a patient’s life. However, efforts to persuade an individual to prolong his, her, or its life should not be restricted.

☐ Ancillary Provision E5-D-iii. Opposition to Financially Motivated Lobbies and Steering Toward Life-Ending Decisions. The United States Transhumanist Party opposes the emergence of any financially motivated lobby or industry whose primary business model would be assisted suicide or euthanasia, as the existence of such a lobby could create incentives and policies to steer people toward life-ending choices, including through legislation that might favor such “choices” in not-quite-voluntary situations. Instead, any prescription for a life-ending substance should only be provided as an incidental service by a patient’s primary-care physician, with the express written consent of at least one other unaffiliated physician, and the substance in question should only be allowed to be self-administered by the patient directly after a pre-defined time period since the obtaining of the prescription. Once the substance is prescribed, no medical practitioner should be permitted to benefit financially based on any specific choice of the patient to self-administer the substance to end the patient’s life. This position should not be construed to restrict any non-financially motivated political advocacy on the subject of assisted suicide, which involves individuals expressing their views on this subject in a public forum, when those individuals do not stand to gain financially from others choosing to obtain a life-ending substance.

Question VI. Section E5-E. International Organ-Donation System

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to establish a cross-border or international organ-donation system so that organ donors who wish to do so may donate their organs in a foreign country. This could pertain to Americans working or traveling in foreign countries, but also foreigners or travelers who pass away within U.S. borders. This system would be particularly useful for saving lives with organs that have a very short preservation duration, and would take too long to be sent to the country of the donor’s nationality.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question VII. Section E5-F. Sousveillance of Government Officials in a Lawmaking Capacity

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to increase the ability for public sousveillance on the functioning of government officials, in particular those who may propose laws, during negotiations and deliberations on proposing bills and national and international trade agreements. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to make the current hosting of live-streams from United States Congress more user-friendly and accessible to the public, accompanied by links to proposed bills where applicable.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question VIII. Section E5-G. Affidavit of Public Interest for Lawmakers

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to have a mandatory standard clause or affidavit, affirming that a Representative, Senator, or other Legislative Branch lawmaker proposing a piece of legislation, such as a bill in Congress, has no conflict of interest between serving the public and serving other parties, such as special-interest groups. The clause would have to be signed and dated by the representative before the legislation is allowed to be proposed.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question IX. Section E5-H. Accountability of Security Agencies to Congress

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports increasing broad accountability of Federal Government departments, agencies, and entities, especially those tasked with national security and / or criminal investigations, to the United States Congress. Currently some agencies may receive government funding without any accountability as to what the funding is used for, often based on arguments that this information is ‘classified’ or ‘may not be revealed in the interest of national security’. This is irresponsible use of taxpayer money.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question X. Section E5-H. Accountability of Security Agencies to Congress. Qualifying Language on Budgetary Review Committee

If Section E5-H on the accountability of security agencies to congress is adopted, shall the following caveat be inserted?

“The United States Transhumanist Party does acknowledge that such entities or agencies may have security concerns regarding the publication of details of their budget plans. As such, the United States Transhumanist Party supports setting up a special non-partisan security budgetary review committee where more details of budget plans would have to be provided before considering to provide funds to an agency or entity.”

Select one of the following options.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

Question XI. Section E5-I. Reduction of Redundancies among Security and Law-Enforcement Agencies

Rank-order the Section E5-I 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 Section 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 E5-I-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to consolidate and reduce redundancies among agencies and entities tasked with national security and law enforcement, as well as to reduce the number of such agencies and entities currently in operation.

☐ Option E5-I-2. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon, with Caveat by Ryan Starr]  The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to consolidate and reduce some redundancies among agencies and entities tasked with national security and law enforcement, as well as to reduce the number of such agencies and entities currently in operation. However, while supporting the elimination of parallel redundancies which can create problems, the United States Transhumanist Party recognizes that certain types of hierarchical redundancies can help with quality control.

☐ Option E5-I-NO. No Section of this sort.

Question XII. Section E5-J. Protection Against Obstruction of Congresspersons’ Ability to Vote

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to ensure that no United States Representative or Senator may be obstructed in their ability to vote on any piece of legislation, or be kept from the Senate or House of Representatives for intra- or extra-curricular political-party activities which interfere with their primary task as representatives of the people within government. For example, protections should exist to prevent situations where Representatives or Senators are forced by their political parties to do fundraising calls during a vote on a bill.”

Select one of the following options.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

Question XIII. Section E5-K. Opposition to Civil Asset Forfeiture, Asset Seizure, and Excessive Detainment

Rank-order the Section E5-K 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 Section 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 E5-K-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to restrict and limit civil asset forfeiture laws, and other laws that assist law-enforcement agencies in circumventing the Fourth Amendment, such as asset seizure, or detainment or arrest longer than 48 hours.

☐ Option E5-K-2. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon, with Modification Regarding Detainment or Arrest] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to restrict and limit civil asset forfeiture laws, and other laws that assist law-enforcement agencies in circumventing the Fourth Amendment, such as asset seizure, or detainment or arrest in situations where no criminal charges have been filed, except as part of an active interrogation of a person suspected of a crime or unless the person detained or arrested poses a clear and probable danger of inflicting physical harm upon others or their property.

☐ Option E5-K-NO. No Section of this sort.

Question XIV. Section E5-L. Investigation of Questionable Law-Enforcement Activities

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to investigate questionable, but currently legal, actions by law-enforcement agencies that have over time garnered critical attention by the public. The safety of the public could benefit from such actions being revisited or revised to limit abuse and to close legal loopholes.”

Select one of the following options.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

Question XV. Section E5-M. Position on Internal Police Investigations of Misconduct

Rank-order the Section E5-M 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 Section 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 E5-M-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to prevent law-enforcement agencies from internally investigating missteps within their own departments or precincts, and concluding their internal investigations without further accountability. Instead, investigations regarding police misconduct, criminal activity, felonies, and misdemeanors should be investigated by a different source – for example, a different police department, or a District Attorney for a different area assigned to lead the investigation. The intent of this requirement is to limit the possibility of prejudice and bias toward a member of a given law-enforcement agency by that person’s colleagues, and to restore faith in the public mind that an investigation into police misconduct is done as objectively as possible.

☐ Option E5-M-2. The United States Transhumanist Party considers it important for impartial, objective investigations of alleged police and other law-enforcement misconduct to be pursued. While law-enforcement agencies should not be prohibited from internally investigating potential abuses within their own ranks, such investigations should never be considered exclusive or conclusive, and further external checks and accountability should be instituted. As part of providing such checks and accountability, investigations regarding police misconduct, criminal activity, felonies, and misdemeanors should, in addition to any internal investigation, also be investigated by a different source – for example, a different police department, or a district attorney for a different area assigned to lead the investigation. The intent of this requirement is to limit the possibility of favorably biased or preferential treatment of a member of a given law-enforcement agency by that person’s colleagues, and to restore confidence by the public that an investigation into police misconduct is done as objectively as possible.

☐ Option E5-M-NO. No Section of this sort.

Question XVI. Section E5-N. Limitations on Favor-Trading Among Police, District Attorneys, and Judges

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to limit the possibility for police, district attorneys, and judges to favor one another through mutual “back-scratching” accommodations which may cause a particular criminal matter to be resolved in a manner inconsistent with the true facts of the situation or the requirements of applicable law.”

Select one of the following options.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

Question XVII. Section E5-O. Opposition to Special Benefits for Members of Congress

Rank-order the Section E5-O 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 Section 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 E5-O-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to prevent members of Congress from receiving special benefits, subsidies, and tax breaks that other citizens do not receive, and that are not necessary to function as a member of Congress. This limitation would pertain, for example, to health-care subsidies that are inaccessible to other citizens.

☐ Option E5-O-2. The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to prevent members of Congress from receiving special benefits, subsidies, and tax breaks that other citizens do not receive, and that are not necessary to function as a member of Congress. This limitation would pertain, for example, to health-care subsidies that are inaccessible to other citizens. However, this limitation would not prevent members of Congress from obtaining working conditions and job-related benefits of the sort which are broadly available, without regard to rank or degree of influence, to other Americans working within the private or public sectors.

☐ Option E5-O-NO. No Section of this sort.

Question XVIII. Section E5-P. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The U.S. Transhumanist Party supports efforts to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to uphold the Rights of the Child as prescribed therein. This would include abolishing the death penalty for minors federally.”

Select one of the following options.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

Question XIX. Section E5-P. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Qualifying Language on Homeschooling

If Section E5-P on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is adopted, shall the following caveat be inserted?

“The United States Transhumanist Party, however, opposes restrictions on the rights of parents to choose to homeschool their children in any manner that respects the children’s basic freedom of conscience. Any ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child should not be construed to restrict any peaceful, rights-respecting practice of homeschooling.”

Select one of the following options.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

Question XX. Section E5-Q. Opposition to Rights-Violating Cultural, Religious, and Social Practices

Rank-order the Section E5-Q 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 Section 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 E5-Q-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party opposes those specific cultural, religious, and social practices that violate United States law, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Examples of such unacceptable practices are forced marriage (including child marriage), male and female genital mutilation, and honor killings.

☐ Option E5-Q-2. The United States Transhumanist Party opposes those specific cultural, religious, and social practices that violate individual rights and bodily autonomy. Examples of such unacceptable practices are forced marriage (including child marriage), male and female genital mutilation, and honor killings.

☐ Option E5-Q-NO. No Section of this sort.

The Trolley Problem and Self-Driving Vehicles – Article by B.J. Murphy

The Trolley Problem and Self-Driving Vehicles – Article by B.J. Murphy

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B.J. Murphy


One of the most popular discussions in the field of technology today is that of self-driving vehicles. It’s a topic that brings up both optimistic joy and pessimistic fear, from the elimination of car-related fatalities to the elimination of millions of jobs. I usually stand on the optimistic side of the argument, but I also understand the fear.

After all:

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were nearly 1.8 million heavy-truck and tractor-trailer drivers in 2014, with a 5% increase per year. Meaning, there are likely around 2 million of these drivers today.
  • There were around 1.33 million delivery truck drivers in 2014, with a 4% increase per year. Meaning, there are over 1.4 million today.
  • There were around 233,700 taxi drivers and chauffeurs in 2014, with a 13% increase per year. Meaning, there are nearly 300,000 of these drivers today.

In other words, with the full mobilization of self-driving vehicles, we’re looking at around (+/-) 4 million jobs being automated in the next few years, thus no longer requiring human labor. This particular risk, however, isn’t what I’m currently focused on. The main focus of this article is on what is known as the “trolley problem” – a thought experiment in ethics that has since been rehashed to serve as “criticism” towards self-driving vehicles.

Read More Read More

Being Excited About Failure – Article by Martin van der Kroon

Being Excited About Failure – Article by Martin van der Kroon

Martin van der Kroon


The much hyped CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing technique often explained as being the ‘DNA scissors’ or the ‘cut and paste’ technique, has had a setback, and this has me excited.

CRISPR-Cas9 has has the scientific community, and in particular those involved in research and development of genome editing, raving over the roughly past 3 years. It is hailed as a cheap and fast way to edit genomes with great accuracy compared to other genome-editing techniques, and this is true. Now however, researchers have found CRISPR-Cas9 to have some annoying side-effects. The side-effects were found in mice who had their blindness corrected but also caused mutations in other parts of the DNA sequence, roughly 1500 mutations. It is unknown what the consequences of the mutations are at this moment.

“Why am I excited about this setback?” you might ask.

Read More Read More

Would You Allow Your Children To Be Alone With a Robot? – Article by B.J. Murphy

Would You Allow Your Children To Be Alone With a Robot? – Article by B.J. Murphy

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B.J. Murphy


Would you allow your children to be alone with a robot? I ask not for the children’s safety in mind, but rather the robot’s.

As shown in the video provided above, a group of Japanese researchers – from ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories, Osaka University, Ryukoku University, and Tokai University – patrolled a public shopping complex in Osaka using a remotely-operated robot known as Robovie 2.

Children naturally being curious, hordes of them decide to surround the robot when spotted. Some were quite nice and simply wanted to play with the robot. However, others felt the need to attack it either by kicking, punching, or trying to rip its head off.

What I find most fascinating about this is that, like a child, whenever the robot feels like it’s in possible danger (or, rather, there’s an increased probability of danger) – of which it’s able to do so by calculating the probability of abuse based on interaction time, pedestrian density, and the presence of people above or below 4 feet 6 inches in height – the robot then changes course and brings itself within close proximity of a parent for protection.

Robots are, most certainly, coming and will potentially disrupt nearly every major industry in society. However, to ensure their overall safety, it might be best that, whenever a child comes close to one of these robots, a parent should always be nearby – not for the sake of the child, but for the sake of the robot.

Which then raises the question: what is the U.S. Transhumanist Party’s position on protecting robots from unnecessary physical abuse? For now, in accordance with the Party’s Constitution – in particular, Section XXXIII – it states:

“…Level 4 or lower-level entities – including domain-specific artificial intelligences that have not achieved sentience – may be utilized as part of the production systems of the future, in a similar manner to machines, algorithms, computer programs, and non-human animals today and based on similar ethical considerations.”

Speaking as an individual member of the U.S. Transhumanist Party, it is of my opinion that we should begin expanding upon the question of “ethical considerations” in regards to the physical abuse of robots. This shouldn’t be confused as being tantamount to giving robots, regardless of sentience, full rights as that of other sapient beings. That, too, is already addressed in Section XXXIII, which states:

“The United States Transhumanist Party stands for the rights of any sentient entities defined in the Preamble to the Transhumanist Bill of Rights as possessing Level 5 or more advanced information integration. Any such sentient entities, including new kinds of sentient entities that may be discovered or developed in the future, shall be considered to be autonomous beings with full rights, and shall not be made subservient to humans, unless they as individuals pose direct, empirically evident threats to the lives of others. The protections of full individual rights shall extend to Level 5 or higher-level artificial intelligences.”

One might think that this question could be juxtaposed with that of the question of property rights. And, to a certain degree, it would. However, when it comes to robots, we also have to consider the psychological ramifications as well. We deliberately give robots anthropomorphic features given the fact that research has shown, time and again, that, unlike other inanimate objects, robots have the ability to evoke empathetic emotional responses by humans as a result – especially when humans believe those robots are being abused.

In other words, by physically abusing robots, one is then potentially causing psychological harm to other sentient entities in consequence.

This then raises a problematic situation when simply juxtaposing non-sentient robot rights to that of property rights. Unlike other property, robots have the capability of evoking empathy out of humans. Thus my reasoning for wanting to bring this particular topic up for further discussion.

Where should Transhumanists stand – and, in particular, the U.S. Transhumanist Party – in regards to the physical abuse of robots, keeping in mind the potential psychological ramifications that may arise among humans as a direct result?

***

B.J. Murphy is the Director of Social Media of the U.S. Transhumanist Party.

U.S. Transhumanist Party Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II to Moderate RAAD Fest Panel on August 11, 2017

U.S. Transhumanist Party Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II to Moderate RAAD Fest Panel on August 11, 2017

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Gennady Stolyarov II


The U.S. Transhumanist Party is pleased to announce that, as part of its presence at RAAD Fest 2017 in San Diego, Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II will be moderating a panel consisting of transhumanist philosophers, researchers, and activists – including Zoltan Istvan, Dr. Ben Goertzel, Dr. Max More, and Dr. Natasha Vita-More. You can see the full RAAD Fest schedule here.

The panel moderated by Mr. Stolyarov will occur at 10 a.m.  on Friday, August 11, 2017. Machine augmentation of human bodies and minds will be one topic of discussion; transhumanist politics will be another. As previously announced, Mr. Stolyarov will inaugurate the panel with a brief presentation entitled “The U.S. Transhumanist Party: Pursuing a Peaceful Political Revolution for Longevity”.

B.J. Murphy Discusses Transhumanism, His Thoughts on Mixed Reality, and Politics on the Some Future Podcast

B.J. Murphy Discusses Transhumanism, His Thoughts on Mixed Reality, and Politics on the Some Future Podcast

Martin van der Kroon


 

The U.S. Transhumanist Party’s Director of Social Media, B.J. Murphy, was a guest on the Some Future podcast. They discuss what Transhumanism is and how it is perceived, B.J. Murphy’s thoughts on mixed reality using the Two-World Theory, the politics surrounding Transhumanism, and more. 

You can listen to the podcast via YouTube. If you wish to only listen to B.J. Murphy’s interview, click here.

Find out more about B.J. Murphy.

Dr. José Cordeiro Interviewed by Singularity Weblog at the International Longevity and Cryopreservation Summit in Madrid, Spain

Dr. José Cordeiro Interviewed by Singularity Weblog at the International Longevity and Cryopreservation Summit in Madrid, Spain

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José Luis Cordeiro


The U.S. Transhumanist Party’s Technology Advisor, José Cordeiro, MBA, Ph.D., was interviewed by Nikola Danaylov of Singularity Weblog at the International Longevity and Cryopreservation Summit in Madrid, Spain, which was organized by Dr. Cordeiro and was held during May 25-27, 2017.

Listen to the audio interview below, download it, or see the original Singularity Weblog page hosting it.

Watch the video of the interview below or on its YouTube page.

The interview ventures into transhumanism, life extension, cryonics, and the political and cultural challenges that need to be overcome in order to achieve a world of indefinite lifespans, where technological transformations of the human condition would be broadly accepted.

Find out more about Dr. Cordeiro here.

LEAF Interview with Dr. Aubrey de Grey: Controlling the Main Aging Damages

LEAF Interview with Dr. Aubrey de Grey: Controlling the Main Aging Damages

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Aubrey de Grey and Life Extension Advocacy Foundation


The U.S. Transhumanist Party is pleased to feature this interview of Dr. Aubrey de Grey, the Transhumanist Party’s Anti-Aging Advisor, conducted by Elena Milova of the Life Extension Advocacy Foundation (LEAF), one of the Transhumanist Party’s most active Allied Organizations. You can also see this interview on YouTube here.

Description by LEAF: Please enjoy this interview with Dr. Aubrey de Grey, Chief Science Officer and Co-founder of SENS Research Foundation — one of the most successful advocacy and fundraising initiatives supporting breakthrough research on the main mechanisms of aging and age-related diseases.

In this video Dr. de Grey speaks about the progress in developing interventions to tackle age-related damages identified by SENS as the main ones.

Interviewer – LEAF/Lifespan.io Board member Elena Milova.

Dr. de Grey received his BA in Computer Science and Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Cambridge in 1985 and 2000, respectively. He is Editor-in-Chief of Rejuvenation Research , is a Fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the American Aging Association, and sits on the editorial and scientific advisory boards of numerous journals and organizations.

Subscribe to Lifespan.io’s YouTube channel for more.

This interview is presented by LEAF. Please support its work by becoming a “Lifespan Hero“.

U.S. Transhumanist Party General Discussion Thread for June 2017

U.S. Transhumanist Party General Discussion Thread for June 2017

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The purpose of this post is to facilitate member comments pertaining to transhumanism and the U.S. Transhumanist Party, which might not specifically fit the subjects of any other post or article on the U.S. Transhumanist Party website. This is the place for members to offer suggestions or converse about any areas of emerging technologies and their political, moral, societal, cultural, and esthetic implications. The general discussion thread is also an ideal location to suggest or propose platform planks that may be considered for future platform voting.

The U.S. Transhumanist Party will endeavor to open one of these general comment threads per month. This comment thread pertains to the month of June 2017.

Type in your comments below. Please note that, to protect against spambots, the first comment by any individual will be moderated. After passing moderation, a civil commenter should be able to post comments without future moderation – although we cannot guarantee that the technical aspect of this functionality will work as intended 100% of the time.