Jonathan Mark Schattke Candidate Position Paper

Jonathan Mark Schattke Candidate Position Paper

Jonathan Mark Schattke


Editor’s Note: The U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party (USTP) publishes this position paper by one of our Presidential primary candidates, Jonathan Mark Schattke (Jon Schattke) in an informational capacity, to enable our readers to consider specific policy analyses germane to our member-adopted documents, such as the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 3.0, and the USTP Platform. The USTP has not yet endorsed any Presidential candidate, as such endorsement will occur as a consequence of the forthcoming Electronic Primary in late September 2019. However, in the meantime, the USTP strives to provide accurate information about our candidates’ viewpoints and any content that constitutes a thoughtful analysis of the USTP’s existing documents.  

~ Gennady Stolyarov II, Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party, August 18, 2019


“Free your immortality” is not just a slogan, it is a guide to achieving what every transhumanist wants – the transcendence of current limits on mental ability and physical bodies.

I am a futurist and firm believer in technology’s power to advance life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Consistency with this means that each being must have ownership of themself, and of their own efforts, and the fruits thereof. Nothing provided by someone else’s labor or capital can therefore be compelled of them to fulfill someone else’s “right.” All a “right” must guarantee is that government will not interfere with the pursuit of the good or service.

I agree with the Transhumanist Bill of Rights. I would like to clarify a couple points.

Sapience must be able to be measured. To qualify for protection, the candidate must ask for it. Nascent sapients, such as children, should be protected also, from the point that their growth to sapience is clearly started. Inactive sapients should be protected if there is a reasonable expectation of reactivation and they have not expressly desired not to be reactivated – “death” should not be treated as an end unless the person has specifically stated they wish to die. This does not mean that an inactive sapient’s property should be under some sort of third-party stewardship; their assets should be put in revocable trust and their heirs appointed trustees.

“Article VII. All sentient entities should be the beneficiaries of a system of universal health care. ” This must not be construed to include a system of third party payer health care; such systems decrease personal cost to zero, increase demand to infinity, and thus introduce rationing by the third party via either wait times or “need assessment.” This is a path to destruction and needless death. Compound this with the problem of calculation of costs in a full government program, and you have societal expense way out of line with societal benefit. “Universal” must merely mean than anyone has the ability to bargain for the service in a free market.

Article XVIII would literally bankrupt any group trying to implement it through government. I believe the Salvation Army model, perhaps with a bit more privacy, would be an effective means – if people need housing and food, have hostels funded by donation and endowments which provide it. This is both more efficient and more just than taxing and redistribution programs.

Regarding Article XIX I believe the “other resources” clause is one I can support. I fully support providing housing and food for those who choose to receive it. However, your well-being may be cared for; your dignity is your own problem. Do not expect dignity while living off the generosity of others.

Now, on to the Platform of the Transhumanist Party. By and large, I am wholeheartedly behind all sections which support individual self-ownership and the extension of this to all sapients.

A few notes on my governance philosophy are in order. I believe strongly that bureaucratic methods of providing goods or services must fail, because they do not have clear demand signals, they do not have any motivation for efficiency, and they do not have accountability. Furthermore, a government is based on force, and so must limit its actions to those things where the force is defensive; using taxes or even tariffs (forced payments) to fund things will morally corrupt even the most wholesome idea. I believe that many current government agencies could and should be spun off into voluntary funded charitable organizations.

I find Section XL particularly poignant considering the current state of affairs in social media. But, hearkening back to individual liberty, we must not solve big tech censorship by stealing their capital or using force to get them to provide services they do not want to. The solution lies in the market-driven alternatives. However, those companies with a government monopoly over any portion of technology should lose their protection immediately should they discriminate on political topics.

Section XXI can be achieved by privatizing the police force, and removing all strictures for victimless violations. If no one is harmed, then it makes no sense to introduce deadly force into the mix (an example is seat-belt laws – people have been killed because of seat belt stops – such actions are literally insane).

Section XXXIV is a must. I have previously advocated for third-party archiving of all government employees’ actions at all times they are on the clock. Any action they take which does not have this video record must be treated as private, and not protected from legal or criminal prosecution. Shoot a person with your camera off, and face murder charges like any other private citizen.

Section IV might be well-intentioned but short-sighted. It should be noted that no nuclear powers have ever engaged in direct war (the most intense conflict between Nuclear Powers to date being the Kashmir conflict), and the acquisition of nuclear weapons has deterred open war against states, most notably the cessation of Arab hostilities against Israel in the 1970s after they acquired nuclear technology and it became known. It might, therefore, be best for all stable states to become nuclear powers.

Section XII is great – until you commit to third-party paying from force. I believe enough people are behind higher education that a privatized Department of Education would be able to fund grants, loans or college-level donated class time for those who are needy and deserving.

Section XXVII, on abolishing the Electoral College, might be a mistake, but it is obvious that the system as provided is failing in some aspects. I, however, fear the tyranny of the ballot box and unbridled democracy.

Section XXXVI states that “the United States Transhumanist Party advocates a flat percentage-of-sales tax applicable only to purchases from businesses whose combined nationwide revenues from all affiliates exceed a specified threshold.” This can clearly bee seen as a fee for service, the service being having existence as a limited liability corporation.

Section LXXIII would seem to be an infringement of the Second Amendment as written. And the temptation of a government with an active armed rebellion to trace the weapon locations of suspected belligerents would be enormous, and we have seen that constitutional and statutory limits on powers mean nothing to governments, especially when at war.

Jon Schattke is one of the candidates for the office of President of the United States, competing for the USTP’s endorsement in the 2019 Electronic Primary. 

Transhumanists Need New Symbols – Statement by Gennady Stolyarov II

Transhumanists Need New Symbols – Statement by Gennady Stolyarov II

Gennady Stolyarov II


Transhumanists: we need new symbols in place of “H+ / h+” – which are not the best representations of our movement as a whole. We need inspiring, meaningful, unambiguous symbols that are developed through grassroots efforts within our community and made freely available for anyone to use.

Infinity Ankh by Nic Nassuet

The U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party (USTP) calls upon graphic designers, artists, marketing experts, philosophers, and other interested individuals to design a series of new symbols representing transhumanism in general. There is no limit to the number of symbols developed or the kinds of artistic and design directions that are pursued. The only condition of this collaboration is that any resulting symbols be released into the public domain in entirety and become available for free download, reuse, and upload to popular image repositories such as Wikimedia Commons. Ultimately, it will be user preference that will determine which symbols will achieve widespread adoption – but the USTP encourages a thousand (symbolic) flowers to bloom.

TH Symbol by Gennady Stolyarov II

 

Please join us in this collaboration. View the many symbols generated in response to it thus far here. We expect numerous new symbols to be added to our gallery over time.

You may submit your symbols via e-mail to USTP Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II here, as well as link to them in the comments on this article or post them on any social-media thread where this article is being shared. By contributing symbols in response to this project, you grant your consent to have those symbols released freely into the public domain and to be used by any individuals at no monetary cost to them worldwide and in perpetuity, without the right to use those symbols being limited to any particular individual(s) or organization(s) or subject to the control of any such individual(s) or organization(s). You agree that no person, at any time in perpetuity, would be able to claim any intellectual property rights over the symbols generated in response to this collaboration.

Infinity Arrow by Michael Murray

 

The USTP also encourages all transhumanists to abandon the use of any variants of the “H+ / h+” symbols for the purpose of referring to transhumanism generally or as a whole, for numerous reasons which shall be explicated below. In November 2016, when leadership of the USTP passed to Chairman Stolyarov, the USTP made the decision to discontinue the use of “H+ / h+” and to replace it with its current “exponential infinity” logo. Now the USTP calls upon all other transhumanists – including candidates competing for the USTP’s endorsement in the forthcoming Electronic Primary – to replace any uses of “H+ / h+” with original and unrelated symbols which are likely to better represent what transhumanism stands for.

Transhumanist Wolf by Michael Passavant

1. The “H+ / h+” symbols are ambiguous and can refer to many other matters besides transhumanism. Many of these uses are, in fact, better known than transhumanism. In chemistry, “H+” refers to a hydron, the most common of which is the simple proton. In physics, “h+” refers to an electron hole. Among mobile-phone networks, “H+” stands for Evolved High-Speed Packet Access, the fastest of the 3G networks. Even the streaming service Hulu uses the “h+” symbol while an entire chain of “H+ Hotels” has been established across Germany. Surely, transhumanists can do better than a derivative symbol which has many other, mostly unrelated uses and will be overshadowed in the public mind by those uses.

2. The “H+ / h+” symbols were attempted substitutes for transhumanism; we need to openly embrace transhumanism instead. The symbols originated in the course of the 2008 rebranding of the World Transhumanist Association into Humanity+, yet the USTP holds that symbols depicting the transhumanist movement should be focused on promoting and reinforcing connections with the word “transhumanism”. Transhumanism is the technically accurate name for our philosophy advocating the dramatic improvement of the human condition through science and technology. We should not shy away from the term “transhumanism” – but rather we should proclaim it proudly and articulate it accurately. Intellectually honest persons with dispositions open to truth and learning will understand and appreciate this unabashed transparency, and they are the allies we should seek to cultivate.

We do not need to fear misunderstandings from the public but should rather challenge those misunderstandings when confronted with them. Transhumanism is our philosophy, and we should advocate it clearly and openly by that name.

3. The use of the “H+ / h+” symbols is largely limited to the United States, whereas transhumanism is a global and cosmopolitan movement. Consistent with the spirit of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, transhumanism includes the promise of a better life for all sentient entities, not limited to a particular culture or any particular national boundaries. Our symbols also need to be universal, cosmopolitan, and inclusive – encompassing both today’s humans as well as sentient entities and forms of intelligence and sapience that have yet to arise.

4. Transhumanism is much more than a single organization. A movement and a philosophy cannot be confined to a particular corporate entity; to confine it thus is to stifle its growth and transform a living, open philosophy into a staid and centrally controlled dogma. This is not in itself a criticism of the Humanity+ organization, but rather a recognition that the movement as a whole is not the same as any given organization within it. It is confusing to have symbols that could potentially refer to a single organization but also to the movement as a whole. A cleaner approach would be to leave the “H+ / h+” symbols to the Humanity+ organization – since its rebranding occurred long in the past and is a fait accompli – while adopting new, more creative, and more representative symbols which anyone could use in the capacity of referring to transhumanism as a whole – much like anyone may use a cross to refer to Christianity, a crescent to refer to Islam, a Star of David to refer to Judaism, a torch to refer to liberty, a red flag or red star to refer to socialism, or a fleur-de-lis to refer to France. No one owns these symbols, and their meanings transcend any particular individual or group. It is for this reason that the USTP calls for the new symbols of transhumanism to be released into the public domain; they will also not be confined to the USTP itself but will rather be usable by any transhumanist to refer to all of transhumanism – including those parts of the transhumanist movement which are outside the USTP.

5. Transhumanists may become unable to use the “H+ / h+” symbols anyway. It has come to the USTP’s attention that the Humanity+ organization has recently embarked upon a campaign to enforce its trademark in a broadly construed manner. Humanity+ owns a trademark to a stylized lowercase “h+” logo but has, per the understanding of the USTP, taken the position that any use of “H+” or “h+” in the context of transhumanism is sufficiently similar to be an infringement of that trademark. The USTP considers this position to be overly reaching and impracticable to enforce completely, given that Creative Commons versions of “h+” symbols which are distinct from the Humanity+ logo have been available and used in at least tens of thousands of instances for over a decade. However, the USTP as an organization does not have a direct stake in this matter and has already differentiated itself in its logos and other graphics. Out of an abundance of caution, the USTP recommends that transhumanists discontinue using the “H+ / h+” symbols more broadly.

Our more general concern is that there is always a danger with a broader intellectual movement resorting to essentially proprietary symbols. Proprietary symbols can potentially lead to intellectual “gatekeepers” emerging and restricting the growth of the movement – whether or not this is any entity’s current intention. A philosophy which can potentially be adopted by anyone should also utilize symbols that could potentially be adopted by anyone without the need to seek permission or approval. In order to continue the remarkable growth that transhumanism has experienced in recent years, it is therefore prudent for all transhumanists outside of Humanity+ to immunize themselves by discontinuing the use of the “H+ / h+” symbols. By ceding the ground of those symbols to Humanity+, transhumanists in all areas of the movement gain the much more important territory of intellectual freedom in preventing the gatekeeper phenomenon from emerging. No single transhumanist organization, including the USTP itself, should become the gatekeeper of the transhumanist movement as a whole.

6. Transhumanists needs to embrace techno-optimism and pursue a more hopeful, heroic vision of the future. In practice, the “H+ / h+” symbols are insufficiently connected with radical life extension and the potential for technology to solve many of today’s pressing social problems. While there is nothing inherently wrong with toned-down variants of transhumanism as such, they should not be the only ones. When perceiving the “H+ / h+” symbols, one does not immediately associate them with the heroic ambitions that ought to characterize the transhumanist movement – ambitions toward biological immortality (or indefinite life extension), radical abundance, and humankind seizing control of its own evolution – ambitions toward solving, within our (hopefully greatly extended) lifetimes, every problem that afflicts the contemporary world.

Since 2013, through grassroots advocacy by a newer cohort of transhumanists, including the USTP’s founder Zoltan Istvan, a more exuberant, direct, and techno-positive vision of transhumanism has gradually emerged to the forefront of public awareness and inspired many to consciously seek to transform the flawed contemporary world into a new Transhuman Era of our civilization. The new Transhuman Era needs new symbols which properly convey the spirit of techno-optimism and indefinite, open-ended improvement of length and quality of life in all respects.

Become part of the effort to shape the vision for the new Transhuman Era of our civilization by helping to create its symbols. Deploy your skills and imagination to help us represent our aimed-for future of indefinite lifespans, perpetual progress, and unending prosperity for all – and exemplify the spirit of radical abundance by sharing your creations freely with the world.

Gennady Stolyarov II is the Chairman of the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party. Find out more about him here

An Open Letter to the Transhumanist Community – Article by Arin Vahanian

An Open Letter to the Transhumanist Community – Article by Arin Vahanian

Arin Vahanian


During the events that have transpired over the past few weeks, many of which have affected (and not in positive ways, sometimes) the USTP, Humanity+, and other organizations in the Transhumanism movement, I have mostly refrained from sharing my opinions and thoughts. However, I feel it is time now to share something that has been on my mind for a while.

But before I do so, I would like to express my disappointment at the level of discourse I am seeing in our community as a whole. Just a few days ago, the USTP released a statement condemning the vicious, vindictive manner in which someone in the Transhumanist community treated other members, as well as USTP Officers.

Instead of using this as a rallying cry for greater cooperation, an opportunity for increased self-awareness, as well as coordination on our shared goals, we now, yet again, have a candidate attacking another candidate, insulting their intelligence, not to mention their physical appearance.

Such petty, cruel behavior not only reflects negatively upon the person engaging in such behavior, but also reflects negatively on Transhumanism as a whole.

The sad truth of the matter, and what has been on my mind for a long while, but which I have been reluctant to share, is that many of the things that members of the general public dislike about Transhumanism, we have displayed here with great fervor, whether intentionally, or not.

Indeed, in some ways, we ourselves have become our worst enemies, treating each other with disdain, pretending that we are somehow more intelligent than others, disregarding the legitimate objections people have brought forward about the consequences of technology, ignoring how bizarre or unhinged some of our behaviors and actions may appear to the public, and being generally disconnected from the needs of the population as a whole.

However, it is not only a single candidate or person who is responsible for helping to create an environment in which arrogance, narcissism, unstable behavior, a lack of civility, pettiness, and a lack of empathy have persisted.

Sadly, we in the Transhumanist community are all responsible, because we have all allowed this sort of behavior to continue, over many months and many years. To be sure, this sort of behavior has been around long before this current USTP Presidential campaign started, but it continues, nonetheless.

One thing I have been passionate about and dedicated to from day one is to change the public’s perception of Transhumanism. To grow a movement that is small, into a worldwide force that is capable of great positive change, requires us to have a finger on the pulse of the views of the general public.

Vitriol is still vitriol, and venom is still venom, whether we sling it with bows and arrows, or whether we drop it like a bomb. We have no business complaining about the lack of civility in politics, in any country, when we ourselves are guilty of incivility. We should not lament the proliferation of cyberbullying when we ourselves engage in the same behavior.

We could say, once again, that the way we conduct ourselves in front of the general public influences greatly their opinions about Transhumanism, but this message has been nearly as ineffective as advocating for peace in the Middle East. We could say, once again, that we are a team, and that the shared goals we have are far more important than our disagreements with each other, but that doesn’t seem to have helped very much. We could say, once again, that humanity could benefit greatly from increased longevity, improved health, and the complete eradication of poverty, but even this, surprisingly, doesn’t seem to register with some people.

So let me put it this way, instead – the next time you think about hurling abuse at someone in our community, the next time you feel like getting even with someone for their past transgressions, consider the fact that in just a few decades, unless we achieve our objectives with anti-aging research and life extension, everyone here will likely be dead.

Dead, as in, they will no longer be able to hold a loved one in their arms. Dead, as in, they’ll never again feel the warm rays of the sun caressing their face on a summer morning. Dead, as in, they’ll never have the pleasure of tasting their favorite food again, or any food, for that matter.

In many ways, the movement has never been stronger. Transhumanism has been garnering more press coverage, thanks to the efforts of people like Zoltan Istvan. USTP membership has grown substantially in recent weeks and months, thanks to the leadership of Gennady Stolyarov. The work that pioneers such as Fereidoun Esfandiary (also known as FM-2030), Aubrey de Grey, Nick Bostrom, and Jose Cordeiro have done over decades has helped built the foundation for what we are able to do now.

Every time we attack each other, we dishonor the legacy the hard-working people in our movement have created. Every time we attack each other, it sets us back from important work we could be doing to help humanity with its greatest challenges.

Contrary to what some people may think, the work that Transhumanists are doing does not only benefit the Transhumanist community; it benefits people who don’t even know about us. It benefits people who are suffering from a rare disease and feel there is no light at the end of the tunnel. It benefits people who are struggling with crippling poverty, having to make a choice between starving to death or being homeless.

The indignation we may feel, righteous or not, at the lack of awareness and acceptance of our movement among the general public, isn’t the general public’s fault. It is simply because we have been unable, thus far, to clearly demonstrate, with a compassionate and unified voice, the many worthy and noble projects we are engaged in, as well as our vision, mission, and purpose. But there is no rule that says that this state of affairs has to continue.

Being able to demonstrate to the world the optimistic, humanitarian, and thoughtful goals of Transhumanism requires us to take a good look in the mirror and decide who we are, and who we want to be. But most importantly, it requires us to be optimistic, humanitarian, and thoughtful, ourselves. How we treat others is an indication, on some level, of how we look at the world as a whole.

Requesting that people be treated with respect, dignity, and kindness is not authoritarianism or fascism. It is called being a better human being. And one of the core tenets of Transhumanism is being a better human being. So let us start today, right now, by being better, not just to ourselves, but also to each other.

Arin Vahanian is Director of Marketing for the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party. 

U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party Statement Regarding Eray Ozkural

U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party Statement Regarding Eray Ozkural


August 11, 2019 – The U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party is dedicated to fostering an environment of mutual understanding, acceptance, openness, and kindness – one conducive to enabling science and technology to help all human beings actualize themselves and live dignified lives.

Therefore, it is saddening to announce that it has come to our attention that a person within our community, someone who calls himself a Transhumanist, has publicly attacked, in a very vicious manner, our Party members, for no reason, and without provocation.

Eray Ozkural, in both public posts on Facebook and in private messages, has harassed and severely insulted members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party and respected transhumanists within our community.

The U.S. Transhumanist Party publicly condemns this behavior as unacceptable, lacking in civility, and not befitting of any human being, let alone one who has been engaged in higher learning for the majority of his life.

Indeed, what is most disappointing about the behavior Eray Ozkural has demonstrated, is that not only does he call himself a Transhumanist, but he holds a PhD degree and is a member of the artificial intelligence community.

Therefore, we are shocked and saddened that Dr. Ozkural would act in this manner. The brutish manner in which our Party members were attacked left the community dazed and confused, and we would like to make clear that such actions will receive a swift response from us. We will not tolerate this sort of behavior, and will respond whenever we feel our members and values are being threatened.

It is a precarious time for our movement. On the one hand, recent unfair and unwarranted negative press coverage has left many of us reeling from unsubstantiated allegations. Additionally, many in the general public do not understand our movement and what we stand for. On the other hand, we have garnered more members and more support than ever, and the hard work that is being conducted by Transhumanist scientists, engineers, and artists is receiving more recognition. As Transhumanism gains in popularity and more press coverage is dedicated to it, the forces that wish to stop or slow down this movement will come out of the woodwork in larger numbers. Forces that wish to prevent human beings from fully actualizing themselves, to prevent people from obtaining morphological freedom, and, yes, to prevent people from living dignified lives, will stop at nothing.

Therefore, we must remember that negative publicity damages our organization, our community, and our cause, and that we should not be doing our detractors’ work for them by disparaging or attacking our own. What is needed now, more than ever, is rational behavior, dedication to our goals, and the desire to help those who may not be able to help themselves, those who do not have a voice.

Let us remember that as Transhumanists, the goals we hold dear are of the most noble kind. Indeed, advocating for extending human life, curing disease, alleviating poverty, and allowing every human being to live a dignified life means we are tasked with the most important of duties. Let us not tarnish our movement with toxic behavior, narcissism, and cruelty. This is an opportunity for everyone within the movement to set aside differences and coalesce so that we can work on our shared goals. Therefore, we should be attacking disease, aging and poverty, not each other. Let us remember that, as we embark on the rest of the 21st century, one that will likely result in more rapid change than the last several centuries combined.

Codex of 13 Expectations (C13X) – U.S. Transhumanist Party Candidates’ Agreement of August 9, 2019

Codex of 13 Expectations (C13X) – U.S. Transhumanist Party Candidates’ Agreement of August 9, 2019


August 10, 2019 – As part of the action plan previously announced by the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party (USTP) to elevate the tone of the 2019 campaign season, current USTP Presidential primary candidates Rachel Haywire, Johannon Ben Zion, and Charles Holsopple met via conference call with USTP leadership on August 9, 2019, and arrived at 13 major points of agreement and commitment, which shall hereafter be termed the Codex of 13 Expectations (C13X).

The USTP leadership and the candidates hope that the commitments of the C13X can enable all of the candidates’ supporters and other observers of this election to de-escalate tensions and observe principles that enable the most constructive possible outcomes to be achieved, irrespective of which candidate wins the election. Furthermore, the C13X is anticipated to serve as a model of desirable behavior to the new candidates who enter the race while enabling each of their candidacies to be a positive experience for all.

Codex of 13 Expectations (C13X) – U.S. Transhumanist Party Candidates’ Agreement of August 9, 2019

1. The candidates agree and the USTP expresses its official position that Rachel Haywire is not a Nazi, not a fascist, and not alt-right. All persons are hereby put on notice that the USTP considers this position to be supported by ample evidence of Rachel Haywire’s own public statements, which have included strong criticisms of Nazism, fascism, and the alt-right. While the USTP cannot control or police the speech of individuals, it does urge the critics of Rachel Haywire to refrain from applying such labels to her, as doing so devalues the seriousness of the harm inflicted by actual Nazi, fascist, and alt-right movements.

2. The candidates agree that any manner of false flagging of content is completely unacceptable and a violation of freedom of speech. The candidates urge all of their supporters and all other persons to desist from such false flagging. Candidates who distribute promotional or information content regarding their campaigns or regarding transhumanist ideas more generally deserve the opportunity to have that content seen and considered on its merits.

3. The candidates agree to refrain from asking their supporters to initiate any hostile actions against other candidates or those other candidates’ supporters. Any coordination of mass hostile action against persons holding different political opinions or candidate preferences is considered unacceptable during this campaign season.

4. The candidates agree to adhere to the principle of proportionality. If faced with frustrating, offensive, or even more damaging conduct by others, the candidates will only respond up to the level of the offense or damage caused by such conduct and will endeavor to avoid overreaction or disproportionately strong retaliation.

5. The USTP will crowdsource the questions for the Third Virtual Debate among the candidates, and the candidates agree to focus on civil, substantive, high-minded answers to those questions during the debate.

6. The candidates agree to collaborate in order to set a positive and constructive tone for the remainder of the USTP primary season, especially in any external portrayals of the process and of the USTP to the general public or to some subset of the general public. The candidates shall not disparage the USTP and shall address any grievances internally to the USTP leadership rather than escalating them to the public realm.

7. The candidates agree to keep the communication amongst themselves and with USTP leadership more professional and more formal. While this does not necessarily bar any method of communication, structured and thoughtfully worded e-mails are preferable to a string of text messages. Professional, formal communications allow for more thought to be invested in both composing and responding to correspondence and rationally considering the nature of any given situation that might arise, instead of being instantaneously reactive on the basis of often flawed first impressions.

8. In recognition that any winning candidate would need to secure the support of at least 25 percent of the then-existing USTP membership, each candidate agrees to pay attention to the concerns and sentiments of USTP members in general, including members who are not supporters of that candidate and members who might disagree with that candidate.

9. The candidates agree not to focus their election rhetoric on controversies unrelated to the USTP or to the ideas of transhumanism – including any matters related to Jeffrey Epstein or the history of Humanity+, which are not actionable issues in this election and are not germane to the value that transhumanist ideas and policy proposals could bring to the public. The candidates agree to refrain from any rhetoric that undermines the perception of transhumanism in the public eye.

10. When faced with multiple hypotheses and incomplete facts regarding any given situation, the candidates agree to thoughtfully consider all reasonable hypotheses and not to immediately attach themselves to the most egregious or extreme hypotheses.

11. The candidates agree to give individuals whom they encounter during the campaign season the benefit of any doubt regarding those individuals’ motivations, even if those individuals’ conduct appears to be less than ideal.

12. The candidates agree to keep superlongevity or significant life extension as a significant area of focus of their campaigns.

13. The candidates agree to work to expand the reach of the transhumanist movement and USTP by building alliances with various futurist and future-oriented organizations and other groups which may implicitly align with the values and goals of transhumanists.

Artist Dinorah Delfin, The Transhumanism Handbook, and a Super Wellness and Longevity Seminar and Book-Signing Event in Burbank, California

Artist Dinorah Delfin, The Transhumanism Handbook, and a Super Wellness and Longevity Seminar and Book-Signing Event in Burbank, California


 

August 8, 2019 – Artist, activist, and futurist, Dinorah Delfin shares her essay “An Artist’s Creative Process: A Model For Conscious Evolution” – for free download.

Abstract: “A great future is opened to humanity. Our interconnectedness with nature, the tools we use, and the narratives we create, is reaching a pinnacle. For the first time in human history, we have the means to consciously alter the fate of our evolution. New technologies are not only becoming increasingly embedded in our biology—giving us unprecedented human abilities—but this transition is also driving us to explore new notions of what it means to be human.

In transitioning to this post-human era, how can one adopt a framework for cognitive and physical enhancement that accounts for ways to ensure that this new era is also more consciousness-oriented, safe, and egalitarian? In this essay, I’m presenting five art projects I created from 2007 to 2017 to showcase how an artist’s creative process, coupled with Transhumanist sensibilities, can lead to positive social change and towards a future that is more just and humane.”

 

Ms. Delfin’s essay is available in the newly published “The Transhumanism Handbook” (Switzerland: Springer Nature, 2019. #1 New Release in Preventive Medicine on Amazon.com) – edited by Newton Lee, Chairman of the California Transhumanist Party and Founder and President of the Institute for Education, Research, and Scholarships (IFERS); an award-winning nonprofit public charity organization.

“This book is a milestone publication in transhumanist thought,” says U.S. Transhumanist Party Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II – whose essay on the topic of transhumanist politics is also featured.

This 858-page book showcases the work of over sixty transhumanists around the world including David Wood (Transcending Politics), Dr. Jose Luis Cordeiro (The Death Of Death), Dr. Michael Rose (UC Irvine), and social entrepreneur Liz Parrish (BioViva).

To commemorate this special achievement, there will be a super Wellness & Longevity Seminar & Book Signing Event on Saturday, August 24, 2019, at the Burbank Marriott Airport Hotel & Convention Center in California.

Contributing authors who will be present include Newton Lee, Gennady Stolyarov II, Dr. Michael Rose, and artist Dinorah Delfin.

Registration to this event is required.

You can purchase The Transhumanism Handbook in full. All proceeds (minus the publisher’s share) are donated to ongoing charity projects in education, research, and scholarships.

Please help spread the word! Thank you.

Second Virtual Debate Among U.S. Transhumanist Party Presidential Candidates – August 3, 2019

Second Virtual Debate Among U.S. Transhumanist Party Presidential Candidates – August 3, 2019

Johannon Ben Zion
Charles Holsopple
Rachel Haywire
Moderated by Gennady Stolyarov II


The second virtual debate among U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party candidates for President of the United States took place on Saturday, August 3, 2019, at 3 p.m. U.S. Pacific Time. Watch the debate on YouTube here.

Candidates Charles Holsopple, Rachel Haywire, and Johannon Ben Zion provided updates regarding their campaigns thus far, answered challenging candidate-specific questions, addressed questions from the audience, and had the opportunity for rebuttals and interactions. In this debate, the USTP strived for maximal transparency to provide USTP members the amplest possible relevant information for them to make their decision regarding the USTP’s nominee for President of the United States during the forthcoming Electronic Primary, for which voting will open on September 22, 2019.

Steele Archer of the Debt Nation program also continuous livestreamed the debate, along with pre-debate and post-debate commentary. Watch the video of his stream here.

Learn about the USTP candidates here.

View individual candidate profiles:

Johannon Ben Zion
Rachel Haywire
Charles Holsopple

Join the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party for free, no matter where you reside. Apply in less than a minute here.

Those who join the USTP by September 21, 2019, will be eligible to vote in the Electronic Primary beginning on September 22, 2019.

 


U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party Extends the 2019 Presidential Primary Campaign and Voting Season

U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party Extends the 2019 Presidential Primary Campaign and Voting Season


August 6, 2019 – Due to various extraordinary developments and the effort to improve the discourse surrounding the Transhumanist Presidential Primary, the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party (USTP) hereby announces the following measures regarding the 2019 process for the USTP to arrive at its endorsement for a candidate running for the position of President of the United States of America.

  1. Extension of Campaign Season: The campaign season is hereby extended by six weeks. Voting will begin on Sunday, September 22, 2019. Membership registration to become eligible to vote is hereby extended to the end of Saturday, September 21, 2019.
  2. Minimum Voter Turnout: The USTP primary election shall have a minimum turnout requirement of 50 percent of the membership of the USTP at the time that membership registration closes. This is in accord with the principle that elections should be representative of the constituency among which they are held. In United States Presidential elections, the voter turnout has consistently exceeded 50 percent of the eligible voter base. Therefore, setting the minimum turnout at 50 percent is reasonable as a way of expecting a similar level of participation. This minimum turnout requirement will mean that, once voting opens, it will remain open until the latter of one week hence or the end of the day at which 50 percent of members have voted. At present, there are 1,686 members in the USTP, so the minimum turnout requirement will be 843 members. The actual minimum turnout threshold may become larger by September 21, 2019, as more people join.  Any candidate that receives our endorsement will therefore need to persuade more than 25 percent of the then-eligible USTP membership to support that candidate as any part of a preference order that would enable that candidate to prevail in a ranked-preference vote after any needed instant runoffs. This may mean that the voting period will be longer than initially anticipated. Candidates will be free to continue to campaign for existing members’ support during that voting period, and the USTP will send periodic reminders for members to cast their ballots. No vote results will be announced until the minimum voter-turnout threshold has been met. Periodic announcements about how many votes have been cast will be made, however.
  3. “Rewind” of Campaign Season and Reopening of Candidate Registration Window: Because of the acrimonious tone of the public discourse in early August 2019, there will be a “rewind” of the campaign season to an earlier stage – both symbolically and in practice. This is an opportunity to dial back the adversarial tone and also adopt a more thoughtful approach to the future of transhumanist politics. We welcome input from the transhumanist community about how to move forward. As part of the rewind, because many members have expressed the desire for additional options, the window for candidate registration is hereby reopened until the end of Saturday, September 14, 2019. Any individual interested in becoming a candidate may indicate such interest by completing the Presidential Candidate Declaration of Interest Form. All new candidates will be subsequently required to complete the standard candidate questionnaire via e-mail and participate in the USTP’s subsequent events preceding the primary election.
  4. Conference Call Among the Candidates: The current candidates will be expected to participate in a private conference call amongst themselves and including key USTP Officers, including the Chairman, Campaign Director, and others who wish to mediate for the purpose of achieving an improved tone to the rest of the campaign season.
  5. Third Virtual Debate: A Third Virtual Debate will be held in September at a mutually agreed-upon time, with stricter ground rules. Questions for the debate will be crowdsourced in advance from the transhumanist community, and candidates will have three minutes to respond to each question. Prior to the debate, the necessary parameters of civil engagement will be emphasized and enforced throughout.
  6. Candidate-Specific Resource Pages: The USTP will prepare candidate-specific resource pages, similar to the profile pages, where every candidate will be able to feature their campaign imagery, videos, merchandise, and other noteworthy information. There is currently still a dearth of exposure among the public to the candidates’ substantive views and activities; these pages will act as convenient centralized resources that candidates could share to inform members and motivate them to vote.
  7. Structured Candidate Communication with Members: Prior to the start of the voting, each candidate will have an opportunity to send one message to the USTP Google Group, outlining the strongest (but civil and constructive) case that candidate can make for why the voters should support him or her. The messages will all be submitted to the moderation queue in the Google Group and held for simultaneous release, preceded by a message from the USTP Chairman, informing members that these candidate solicitations will be coming.

These measures are an executive decision agreed to jointly by the USTP Officers. Reasons for the decision include the following:

  1. This is the USTP’s first primary election, and, as such, some aspects are necessarily tentative and experimental at the onset. We need to be open to refining our approach in accord with our limited resources and continual learning about what elements allow for effective and representative political decision-making processes.
  2. It was an extraordinarily poor confluence of events that the USTP has had to focus most of its recent efforts on dispelling unwarranted associations between the convicted criminal abuser Jeffrey Epstein and transhumanism, less than one week prior to the originally scheduled start of the primary vote. Because of this focus on crisis response, our limited resources are strained at this time, and thorough preparations for the election will take a longer time period.
  3. This is a time period when tempers are hot, a situation which is uniquely unsuited to thoughtful political decision-making. It is necessary to allow time for tempers to cool and for thoughtful analysis to occur on all sides regarding the candidates, their positions on the issues, and how the ideas of transhumanism could best be advocated for during the 2020 election cycle.
  4. An essential principle of democracy is that the outcome be representative of the wishes of the constituency which any candidate would claim to speak for. As a result, setting a minimum turnout requirement reinforces the principle that the members of the USTP as a whole – and not some small subset thereof – will need to decide the outcome of the election. Any candidate wishing to win the USTP nomination will need to convince diverse segments of the transhumanist movement of the merits of his or her approach and will need to build bridges and find common ground in order to achieve this.
  5. The requisite civility needs to be restored to this primary election season, and, accordingly, the USTP leadership will work closely with the candidates to do so. The tone of this primary election season will be reset to align with the USTP’s values of thoughtful, rational, ethical, and policy-focused discourse.

Pursuant to the authority of the Chairman in Article II, Section II, of the USTP Constitution, the following measures are hereby in effect. Candidates are expected to adhere to these measures pursuant to the commitments which they made in the Presidential Candidate Declaration of Interest Form, including the following questions, to which affirmative answers were required and provided:

• Do you agree to participate in the USTP Endorsement and Electronic Primary process and to respect the outcome of that process, no matter whether or not you are ultimately endorsed to run for the office of President of the United States?

• Do you agree to work collaboratively with the USTP during the campaign season and not to disparage the USTP as well as not to work contrary to the interests and goals of the USTP during that time?

We thank our candidates and their supporters in advance for their cooperation.

Responsible Media Reporting and the Epstein/Transhumanist Fallacy – Article by Dinorah Delfin 

Responsible Media Reporting and the Epstein/Transhumanist Fallacy – Article by Dinorah Delfin 

Dinorah Delfin


The USTP’s leadership has just issued a statement addressing a New York Times’s recent article associating Transhumanism, a progressive global philosophical movement, with Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced con-artist and sex offender.

Gennady Stolyarov II, Chairman of the USTP, stated:

Epstein was a prominent financier of many other causes – but if the leadership of the world’s largest transhumanist political organization had no knowledge of him, this is strong evidence that he was not involved in transhumanism to any significant extent. He is merely a criminal abuser and deserves his sentence. His conduct was also deeply antithetical to the transhumanist philosophy and the value that philosophy places on dramatically improving the human condition for all through reason, science, and technology. Epstein’s fate should reinforce the principle that wealth and power do not confer license to mistreat one’s fellow sapient beings, all of whose rights must be protected. The foundational values of the Transhumanist Party, as well as key documents such as the USTP Platform and Transhumanist Bill of Rights, point toward an inspiring future where the Epsteins of this world could have no sway.

Many transhumanists criticize the NYT’s “unwarranted” and “irresponsible” association between Epstein and transhumanism as being “a modern-day version of eugenics”.

This appears to be a case of certain media outlets interpreting some of Epstein’s personal idiosyncratic proclivities as somehow being transhumanist – even though such interpretation is based on a highly deficient understanding of what transhumanism actually means and stands for.

– Chairman Stolyarov

Associating transhumanism with eugenics is a logical fallacy; like associating environmentalism with being anti-human. It is news reporting that seems to be more concerned about being sensational and controversial, than about accuracy, integrity, or solving problems; not adding more.

Even if Epstein perceived himself to be a transhumanist, this kind of sensationalist media reporting doesn’t serve the general public nor the greater good, as it keeps people misinformed and uneducated about emerging sciences and technologies.

What suffers from this approach is the characterization of a fundamentally benign worldview, as well as thousands of people who abhor Epstein’s behavior and stand for noble aspirations and principles of conduct. Criticism and debate regarding transhumanism are well within the realm of legitimate public discourse, but smearing good people by association is not.

  – Chairman Stolyarov

Renowned transhumanist philosopher and USTP member David Pearce remarked that “a commitment to the well-being of all sentience as enshrined in the Transhumanist Declaration (19982009) is hard to reconcile with some of the traditional male primate behaviour of Jeffrey Epstein.”

Humanity+ has also released a statement to clarify Epstein’s donation, which reveals that the time they accepted the donation, Humanity+ “had no knowledge of Mr. Epstein’s horrific alleged criminal activity.”

It should be known that Epstein was never a member of Humanity+, nor affiliated with any known transhumanist organization. Epstein’s egocentric ideas about eugenics ardently conflict with the philosophy of transhumanism and the express directive of Humanity+ that aims is to prevent coerced practices. Instead, Humanity+ encourages exploring the use of genetic engineering to save lives and mitigate diseases that affect all humanity, such as sickle cell anemia and other horrific illnesses.

Humanity+ is an international nonprofit membership organization that advocates the ethical use of technology and evidence-based science to expand human capabilities. You can learn more about transhumanism at https://www.humanityplus.org.

– Humanity+

Members of the USTP and other representatives of the transhumanist community call for more objective and responsible media reporting and fewer “hyperboles” and “nebulous generalizations”.

Dinorah Delfin is an Artist and the Director of Admissions and Public Relations for the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party. 

***

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Transhumanists and the U.S. Transhumanist Party Condemn Jeffrey Epstein and Urge Accurate Reporting About Transhumanism

Transhumanists and the U.S. Transhumanist Party Condemn Jeffrey Epstein and Urge Accurate Reporting About Transhumanism


August 5, 2019 – Members of the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party and the transhumanist community roundly condemned the reprehensible, criminal behavior of convicted abuser Jeffrey Epstein, a man who does not represent, and has never represented, the values and principles of transhumanism or any aspect of the transhumanist philosophy, worldview, or movement.

“Jeffrey Epstein was never a participant in the transhumanist community that I know,” said Gennady Stolyarov II, Chairman of the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party (USTP), whose membership comprises 1,680 individuals. “Epstein was never a member of the USTP and did not have any interactions with it. Indeed, I was not even aware of his existence prior to the recent news coverage of the scandals surrounding him. I understand, from said coverage, that Epstein was a prominent financier of many other causes – but if the leadership of the world’s largest transhumanist political organization had no knowledge of him, this is strong evidence that he was not involved in transhumanism to any significant extent. He is merely a criminal abuser and deserves his sentence. His conduct was also deeply antithetical to the transhumanist philosophy and the value that philosophy places on dramatically improving the human condition for all through reason, science, and technology. Epstein’s fate should reinforce the principle that wealth and power do not confer license to mistreat one’s fellow sapient beings, all of whose rights must be protected. The foundational values of the Transhumanist Party, as well as key documents such as the USTP Platform and Transhumanist Bill of Rights, point toward an inspiring future where the Epsteins of this world could have no sway.”

The USTP also fundamentally opposes criminal violence of all sorts as part of the Immutable Operating Principles of its Constitution. Article I, Section III, Operating Principle 2, reads, in part, that “The Transhumanist Party renounces all violence, except in self-defense against a clear, immediate act of physical aggression. In particular, the Transhumanist Party holds that violent political activism is never permissible or just. The Transhumanist Party commits to always pursuing its goals in a civil, law-abiding manner, respecting the legitimate rights of all persons. The Transhumanist Party shall not condone and shall necessarily and automatically disavow all violent criminal acts. Any person who commits a violent criminal act is automatically disassociated from the Transhumanist Party in all respects until and unless that person has made appropriate restitution or has fully undergone the appropriate penalties pursuant to applicable law.” Chairman Stolyarov remarked, “The U.S. Transhumanist Party considers the opposition to criminal violence to be so important that it has enshrined a strong condemnation of it within the portion of its Constitution which may never be changed. The criminal abuse of minors, in which Jeffrey Epstein engaged, clearly amounts to the kind of violent coercion which we condemn in the strongest terms. Perpetrators of such behavior would always become automatically disassociated from us – although Epstein was never associated with us to begin with.”

Renowned transhumanist philosopher and USTP member David Pearce remarked that “a commitment to the well-being of all sentience as enshrined in the Transhumanist Declaration (1998, 2009) is hard to reconcile with some of the traditional male primate behaviour of Jeffrey Epstein.”

All three of the candidates competing in the 2019 Electronic Primary for the USTP’s endorsement for President of the United States also strongly denounced Epstein’s behavior.

Candidate Charles Holsopple, founder and CEO of the Project 222 Human Rights Campaign, stated, “As a member of the U.S. Transhumanist Party, I adamantly refute Jeffrey Epstein’s connection in any way. His selfish, immoral, harmful, and grossly illegal behavior disqualifies him from belonging to any group of integrity and noble purpose. In no way is he associated with the Transhumanist Party.”

Candidate Rachel Haywire, musician, writer, and producer of the Extreme Futurist Festival held in 2011 and 2012 to showcase transhumanist arts and culture, emphasized that Epstein engaged in “appalling behavior that should never be tolerated in our community. Who cares if someone has big money and a ranch in New Mexico? If they are raping children, that is an obvious no. Transhumanists do not disregard human life. We expand it.”

Candidate Haywire further noted, “Yet transhumanism is not about people like Epstein, and his behaviors do not reflect the behaviors of a transhumanist. What transhumanism is about is transcending our limitations and creating a species in which we flourish in the future through art, culture, and visionary technology.”

Candidate Johannon Ben Zion, Chairman of the Arizona Transhumanist Party and author of The Futurist New Deal for America, observed, “We at the Transhumanist Party know what we stand for: longer life spans, better public health outcomes, and human development – a more techno-progressive and highly automated society.  The association with eugenics-minded people like Jeffrey Epstein is horrid.  This cannot be overstated.   This is, however, a blip in the news cycle and one with which people outside of our community are not as preoccupied as I believe many of us are suggesting.”

Candidate Ben Zion expressed his view that “Still, the best approach to this kind of situation is to discuss it, salacious though it may be, not shy away from it – but rather to approach it with the appropriate explanations about how this is not true transhumanism and then describing our own views, and, more importantly, giving people some new ideas about the near-term prospects for life extension and other positive techno-futurist outcomes.”

Zoltan Istvan, who founded the USTP in 2014 and ran for office as its 2016 Presidential candidate, agreed with Ben Zion and offered the encouragement that “Transhumanists need to speak up about what their vision of transhumanism is so others and media know what it really is about.” Istvan also observed that “the transhumanism movement is vastly different than how Epstein interpreted it in 2011.”

USTP Officers echoed Istvan’s and Candidate Ben Zion’s call for discussion of the media coverage of the Epstein situation and the need to emphasize the genuine values of transhumanism. Pavel Ilin, Secretary of the U.S. Transhumanist Party, emphasized that transhumanism is not eugenics. Rather, Ilin explained that “transhumanism stands for original humanist values like the value of human life and individual freedom – and transhumanism definitely condemns any kind of violence, demeaning of human dignity, and neglecting of human rights. Also transhumanism is strongly against such terrible practices as eugenics and any sort of coercive breeding of people. Transhumanism emphasizes the ethical use of technology to improve the condition of human existence for everyone who chose any sort of improvement by free will.”

In elaborating upon what transhumanists stand for, Dinorah Delfin, the USTP Director of Admissions and Public Relations explained that the “USTP’s Officers are professionals and volunteers of various backgrounds and world-views. What we all have in common, however, is a desire, and I think the discipline, to help make the world a better place, not just for the human species, but for all sentient beings.”

Justin J. Waters, the USTP Legislative Director, noted that an application of transhumanist ideas might have prevented Epstein’s misbehavior: “Epstein was in need of moral bioenhancement. If after his 2008 conviction he was required to undergo court-ordered biohacking, i.e., involuntary chemical or surgical castration, he may have not committed his subsequent crimes.”

Many USTP members took exception to certain media outlets’ blanket associations of Jeffrey Epstein with transhumanism. Transhumanist hip-hop artist Maitreya One noted that “Transhumanism is about ending suffering, not causing it”.

USTP member Adam Perrotta called to task National Review author and long-time critic of transhumanism Wesley Smith for the unwarranted associations between Epstein and transhumanism. Smith’s article in the National Review had referred to Epstein as a “narcissistic transhumanist”.

However, Perrotta replied that “Transhumanists are horrified and sickened by Epstein, who has never been considered to be a serious transhumanist. [Cognitive psychologist and author] Steven Pinker called Epstein an intellectual imposter.” Perrotta asked, “What exactly is the problem with wanting to live a long healthy vibrant life? Transhumanists, with their commitment to rejuvenation and life extension, are advocates for the elderly. Death is not a biological program. It is the culmination of biological error.”

USTP Director of Publication Brent Reitze noted the irresponsibility of the July 31, 2019, article in The New York Times, wherein the authors stated that “Critics have likened transhumanism to a modern-day version of eugenics” – an assertion that, as Reitze noted, was “just thrown out there with no reference.” Perrotta similarly observed that “No transhumanist advocates the elimination or enslavement of individuals with diseases or disabilities (that is what eugenics is). We acknowledge and advocate for the dignity, rights, and freedom of every person.”

Perrotta expressed concern that the unwarranted association of Epstein with transhumanism in sensationalist media headlines could do real damage to the progress of life-improving technology. Contrary to Smith’s assertions, Perrotta explained that “Transhumanists do not worship science or technology. We view these things as tools that can aid humanity. We do not fear technology because it might be misused. We do fear that promising technology could banned because uninformed people get uncomfortable.” Perrotta emphasized that the essence of the transhumanist worldview needs to be accurately characterized: “Transhumanism is a benevolent philosophy that advocates the use of science and technology to better mankind and the world. Period.” USTP member Cybor Dre concurred and stated, “Transhumanism isn’t just about technology. It’s about elevating humanity and bringing the best of humanity along with us, raising our morals. It’s about being our best selves and striving for that.” Derek Leonard, owner of Transhuman Tees, agreed: “Transhumanism seeks to advance the human condition, to improve the quality of the life of people. Epstein demonstrated – by his actions – that he had no interest in such things.” Transhumanist Vyvian Looper remarked that “Transhumanists are motivated by the advancement of humanity” and that “Transhumanists are humanists at core but believe that societal benefit can be achieved through intelligent means” – aspirations that Epstein contravened repeatedly.

Other USTP members articulated that whatever Epstein might have personally thought about transhumanism – to the extent that this can even be known – should not be imputed to the transhumanist movement as a whole; rather, accountability for Epstein’s actions remains with Epstein as an individual. USTP member Daniel Yeluashvili stated, “Transhumanism is a people’s movement. As such, the actions of individuals who support it do not tarnish the morality of the ideology. We are transhumanists not because we are better than anyone else but because we value self-improvement.” USTP member David Miller noted that “The misrepresentation of good ideas to justify bad actions is as old as our species. If we are to advance as a species, it is time we began to differentiate bad actors in every ideology.” USTP member Jessica Clark observed that “All too often, subcultures attract human waste like Epstein. They use whatever power they gain to hide their intolerable behavior. It’s absolutely vital that they’re not only condemned personally, but such behavior is condemned as a whole. As a member of the Transhumanist Party, I am happy our community is taking a hardline stance against Epstein and his ilk.” USTP member Lennox Niece noted that the actions of “past mal-intentioned individuals such as Epstein should not dictate the future and face of the newer transhumanist movements. The USTP is an order of magnitude or more separated from the evils of Epstein. I have hope that the face of USTP, and other transhumanist organizations, won’t be tarnished by association with someone with whom the USTP does not associate: Epstein.”

In the wake of the overwhelming denunciations of Epstein within the transhumanist community, Chairman Stolyarov questioned the quality of the media reporting that associated Epstein with transhumanism. “This appears to be a case of certain media outlets interpreting some of Epstein’s personal idiosyncratic proclivities as somehow being transhumanist – even though such interpretation is based on a highly deficient understanding of what transhumanism actually means and stands for. Even if Epstein perceived himself to be interested in transhumanism, these media outlets have inflated any such interest massively out of proportion. This would be similar to a hypothetical situation where, if Epstein had occasionally shopped at a particular department store, the news headlines would be all about his ‘connection’ to the store – even though, as a shopper, he might not have done anything that typical shoppers would not do, and the store certainly had nothing to do with his crimes. Having bizarre personal views on genetics and the proliferation of one’s own genome is certainly not the same as adhering to the transhumanist philosophy. Unfortunately, media outlets are not always objective, and sensationalistic click-bait articles abound. While department stores are largely uncontroversial, transhumanism does have its critics. It is likely that the authors of these articles intentionally sought to add to the controversy surrounding Epstein by bringing transhumanism into the mix. What suffers from this approach is the characterization of a fundamentally benign worldview, as well as thousands of people who abhor Epstein’s behavior and stand for noble aspirations and principles of conduct. Criticism and debate regarding transhumanism are well within the realm of legitimate public discourse, but smearing good people by association is not.”

Chairman Stolyarov called for more objective and factually grounded reporting of the reprehensible behaviors of Jeffrey Epstein: “It is clear that transhumanists from all walks of life have denounced Epstein’s criminality. Media outlets need to take this into account and also to thoroughly check their statements and avoid nebulous generalizations. Any journalists who seek to learn about what transhumanists actually stand for are welcome to reach out to the U.S. Transhumanist Party as well as to various other representatives of the transhumanist community.”