25-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #3

25-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #3

logo_bg

Gennady Stolyarov II


Due to scheduling issues, the next U.S. Transhumanist Party vote will only be able to take place in late March 2017. However, it is also important to continue making steady progress on developing our platform. Therefore, the U.S. Transhumanist Party hereby announces the intention to hold a member vote on a larger number of platform planks than typical. To accommodate members’ ability to study and comment on the issues relating to these potential platform planks, the U.S. Transhumanist Party declares a longer exposure period of 25 days – until 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, March 26, 2017.

Comments from members have motivated the presentation of many of the potential planks below. Many of the planks concern areas of policy on which the U.S. Transhumanist Party has not yet taken an official position, as well as areas of electoral reform which will be vital in order to facilitate the success of minor political parties, including the Transhumanist Party.

During the exposure period, please post your comments on this thread. If you post comments intended to be considered in voting and/or amending any of these planks in any other electronic medium, please note that you thereby give your consent to have your comments reproduced with attribution or linked within this discussion thread, in order to direct members’ attention and consideration to them.

After the exposure period, a 7-day electronic voting period will occur. Instructions for electronic voting will be sent to members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party via e-mail at that time. All individuals who are members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party as of the end of the exposure period and who have expressed agreement with its three Core Ideals will be eligible to vote thereafter. You can still vote if you become a member during the exposure period, so please apply here if you are interested. During the 7-day electronic voting period, you will still be able to become a member – but you will only be able to vote in subsequent elections, since we seek for voting on any given issue to be done by those members who have had an opportunity to thoroughly consider that issue and be involved in deliberations regarding it.

Electronic voting will be conducted by a ranked-preference method if there is more than one affirmative option proposed for a given plank. Members will be able to rank-order their preferred selections on each individual Platform Section. The original text of each Section will be available for selection, as well as any reasonable amendments proposed by any member. Leadership of the Transhumanist Party reserves the right to edit any proposed amendment for correctness of spelling and grammar only – but not with regard to the substance, unless the person proposing the amendment requests or consents to a substantive edit. “No Section of this sort” will also be a choice, and any Section where a majority of votes favors this option will be not be adopted. Members will also be able to abstain from voting on any given Section.

The ranked-preference method has the advantage of eliminating a “winner-take-all” or “first-past-the-post” mentality and preventing people from being channeled into voting for sub-optimal choices (in their view) just because they fear an even less palatable alternative prevailing. Within the ranked-preference methodology, if no option obtains a clear majority as voters’ first choice, the option having the fewest first-choice votes is eliminated from consideration, and all those who voted for that option will have their votes assigned to their second-choice options. This process of elimination continues until one particular option has a clear majority of votes.

The Transhumanist Party encourages all members to participate in this process and for other transhumanists to sign up for membership during the exposure period. 

The Section titles below are provisional and will be replaced with official numbers for each plank that is adopted. The Section titles are informational only and will not be included in the adopted versions of the platform planks.

 


Section E3-A. Thorium Fuel Cycle

Option E3-A-1. [Based on Proposal by Andrew Popper]

In supporting peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the United States Transhumanist Party endorses the thorium fuel cycle, which provides for a safe and nearly limitless energy source in the absence of the development of practical thermonuclear fusion.

 

Section E3-B. Education

Option E3-B-1. [Based on Section IV of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to reduce the cost of education while improving its access. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party supports freely available, open-source, methods of learning, teaching, credentialing, and cultural creation that integrate emerging technologies into every facet of the learning process. The United States Transhumanist Party primarily advocates private innovation to deliver such educational improvements, but also advocates the application of these improvements to all publicly funded educational institutions. The United States Transhumanist Party holds that every person should aspire toward intellectual, moral, and esthetic enlightenment and sophistication and should contribute toward bringing about a new Age of Reason, where the highest reaches of intellectual activity are attainable and eagerly pursued by the majority of the population.

Option E3-B-2. [Based on Transhuman National Committee Platform, Education in the United States Policy Plank]

The United States has upheld basic education since the American Revolution. The United States Transhumanist Party believes, in keeping with what basic education was in the 1700s, relative to the state of technology given the advancement in society at the time, that ‘basic’ education should be defined as college, and that a key part of our agenda is to help encourage a more successful generation by paying for a ‘basic’ education up to and including college degrees.

Option E3-B-3. [Platform Adaptation of Article XX of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that present and future societies should provide education systems accessible and available to all in pursuit of factual knowledge to increase intellectual acuity; promote critical thinking and logic; foster creativity; form an enlightened collective; attain health; secure the bounty of liberty for all sentient entities for our posterity; and forge new ideas, meanings, and values.

 

Section E3-C. Involvement in the Political Process

Option E3-C-1. [Based on Section VII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the involvement of intelligent laypersons in the political process to counteract and neutralize the influence of politically connected special interests and their paid representatives. The United States Transhumanist Party supports all electronic and other technologies that can inform and empower intelligent laypersons to monitor and contribute to political discussions and decisions.

 

Section E3-D. End to Drug War

Option E3-D-1. [Based on Section VIII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports an end to the costly drug war, which is often an infringement upon the lives and liberties of innocent citizens who do not use drugs but fall victim to militant enforcement of drug prohibitions. The United States Transhumanist Party supports legalization of mild recreational drugs such as marijuana.

 

Section E3-E. Prison Reform

Option E3-E-1. [Based on Section X of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to significantly reduce the massive incarcerated population in America by using innovative technologies to monitor criminals outside of prison. All mandatory sentencing laws should be abolished, and each individual should be sentenced based solely on the consideration of the nature of that individual’s crime, its context, and its severity.

 

Section E3-F. Universal Basic Income

Option E3-F-1. [Based on Section XII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the replacement of all existing social welfare programs with a Universal Basic Income that is unconditionally distributed to all citizens, irrespective of wealth or income. The Universal Basic Income should be sufficiently large to enable survival and the basic necessities of contemporary civilized life, but the manner of spending of this income should remain entirely the responsibility of the recipient. Individuals who seek to earn above the Universal Basic Income will need to engage in a remunerative occupation or secure other private sources of income. Individuals who squander their Universal Basic Incomes on non-life-affirming activities will not be further subsidized by the remaining taxpayers.

Option E3-F-2. [Platform Adaptation of Article XIX of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0]

Given the inevitability of technology eventually replacing the need for the labor of sentient entities, the United States Transhumanist Party holds that all sentient entities should be the beneficiaries of an unconditional universal basic income, whereby the same minimum amount of money or other resources is provided irrespective of a sentient entity’s life circumstances, occupations, or other income sources, so as to provide a means for the basic requirements of existence and liberty to be met.

Option E3-F-3. [Based on Transhuman National Committee Platform, Universal Basic Income Policy Plank]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a Universal Basic Income. Currently, the United States spends more than 1 trillion US Dollars on welfare-related expenses. That sum would be reduced significantly if it was used to replace the current welfare system with a basic universal income. This would lower costs, reduce federal government bureaucracy, provide more support for more people, and be less invasive and paternalistic. It can be done without work disincentives.

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a policy structure for a basic income that could be as simple as a flat tax for everyone, of which an equivalent share of the United States budget would be divided by the amount of population, with the resulting amount sent to everyone who files a tax return in a given year. The basic income could be apportioned monthly in a process where the filing and administration are mostly managed by individual employers to keep overall bureaucratic or administrative costs to a minimum.

Option E3-F-4. [Based on Transhuman National Committee Platform, Universal Basic Income Policy Plank, Removing Reference to Current US Welfare Spending]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a Universal Basic Income. Current United States welfare-related expenses would be reduced significantly the current welfare system were replaced with a basic universal income. This would lower costs, reduce federal government bureaucracy, provide more support for more people, and be less invasive and paternalistic. It can be done without work disincentives.

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a policy structure for a basic income that could be as simple as a flat tax for everyone, of which an equivalent share of the United States budget would be divided by the amount of population, with the resulting amount sent to everyone who files a tax return in a given year. The basic income could be apportioned monthly in a process where the filing and administration are mostly managed by individual employers to keep overall bureaucratic or administrative costs to a minimum.

Section E3-G. Space Colonization

Option E3-G-1. [Based on Section XIII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a significant acceleration of efforts at space exploration and colonization, particularly through private initiatives. The United States Transhumanist Party also supports redirecting offensive military budgets toward civilian space programs, such that every increase in a civilian space program’s budget would need to be offset by a greater reduction in military spending.

Option E3-G-2. [Platform Adaptation of Article XXIII of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that all nations and their governments should take all reasonable measures to embrace and fund space travel, not only for the spirit of adventure and to gain knowledge by exploring the universe, but as an ultimate safeguard to its citizens and transhumanity should planet Earth become uninhabitable or be destroyed.

Option E3-G-3. [Platform Adaptation of Article XXIII of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0, with “all nations and their governments” replaced by “present and future societies”]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that present and future societies should take all reasonable measures to embrace and fund space travel, not only for the spirit of adventure and to gain knowledge by exploring the universe, but as an ultimate safeguard to its citizens and transhumanity should planet Earth become uninhabitable or be destroyed.

 

Section E3-H. Elimination of Disabilities

Option E3-H-1. [Based on Section XIV of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports work to use science and technology to be able to eliminate all disabilities in humans who have them.

 

Section E3-I. End to Two-Party Political System

Option E3-I-1. [Based on Section XV of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports an end to the two-party political system in the United States and a substantially greater inclusion of “third parties” in the political process through mechanisms such as proportional representation and the elimination of stringent ballot-access requirements. The United States Transhumanist Party also seeks to limit the influence of lobbying by politically connected special interests, while increasing the influence of advocacy by intelligent laypersons.

Section E3-J. Freedom of Speech

Option E3-J-1. [Based on Section XX of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party strongly supports the freedom of peaceful speech; religious, non-religious, and anti-religious philosophical espousal; assembly; protest; petition; and expression of grievances. The United States Transhumanist Party therefore strongly opposes all censorship, including censorship that arises out of identity politics and the desire to avoid perceived offensive behavior.

 

Section E3-K. Eradication of Police Brutality

Option E3-K-1. [Based on Section XXI of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a concerted effort by governments and by public opinion to eradicate police brutality against peaceful citizens, such that violent force is only utilized against individuals who actually pose an imminent threat to human lives.

 

Section E3-L. Seasteads and Micronations

Option E3-L-1. [Based on Section XXII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts at political, economic, and cultural experimentation in the form of seasteads and micronations. Specifically, the United States Transhumanist Party recognizes the existence and sovereignty of the Principality of Sealand, the Republic of Molossia, and the Free Republic of Liberland, and supports the recognition of these entities by all governments and political parties of the world.

 

Section E3-M. Children’s Rights

Option E3-M-1. [Based on Section XXIII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the rights of children to exercise liberty in proportion to their rational faculties and capacity for autonomous judgment. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party strongly opposes all forms of bullying, child abuse, and censorship of intellectual self-development by children and teenagers.

Section E3-N. Animal Welfare

Option E3-N-1. [Based on Section XXIV of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the promotion of animal welfare to the extent it does not conflict with human well-being. However, the United States Transhumanist Party opposes “animal liberation” movements that seek to return animals to the wilderness or espouse any attempts to separate domesticated animals from human influence. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party supports the prohibition of cruelty to animals and a complete abolition of euthanasia of healthy animals by animal shelters. The United States Transhumanist Party supports a complete prohibition on the killing of non-contagious, non-aggressive dogs, cats, dolphins, whales, elephants, horses, tortoises, parrots, and primates. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party supports the development and widespread consumption of artificially grown, biologically identical meat products that do not involve the killing of animals.

 

Section E3-O. Position on Religious Doctrines

Option E3-O-1. [Based on Section XXVI of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party welcomes both religious and non-religious individuals who support life extension and emerging technologies. The United States Transhumanist Party recognizes that some religious individuals and interpretations may be receptive to technological progress and, if so, are valuable allies to the transhumanist movement. On the other hand, the United States Transhumanist Party is also opposed to any interpretation of a religious doctrine that results in the rejection of reason, censorship, violation of individual rights, suppression of technological advancement, and attempts to impose religious belief by force and/or by legal compulsion.

 

Section E3-P. “Vote Your Conscience” Plank

Option E3-P-1. [Based on Section XXIX of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that each of its members should vote or abstain from voting in accordance with that member’s own individual conscience and judgment. If an official or candidate of the United States Transhumanist Party expresses a preference for any particular non-transhumanist candidate for office, then no national or State-level Transhumanist Party, nor any individual transhumanist, ought to be in any manner bound to support that same non-transhumanist candidate.

 

Section E3-Q. Abolition of the Electoral College

Option E3-Q-1. [Based on Section XXXI of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party advocates Constitutional reform to abolish the Electoral College in the United States Presidential elections and render the plurality of the popular vote the sole criterion for the election of President. While the original intent of the Electoral College as a deliberative body to check the passions of the poorly informed masses and potentially overturn the election of a demagogue may have been noble, the reality has not reflected this intention. Instead, the Electoral College has enabled votes from less cosmopolitan, less tolerant, more culturally ossified and monolithic areas of the country to disproportionately sway the outcome of Presidential elections, to the detriment of individual liberty and progress.

 

Section E3-R. Shortening of Electoral Campaigns

Option E3-R-1. [Based on Section XXXII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party advocates greatly shortening the timeframe for electoral campaigns. The current two-year election season, combined with voters’ short memories, renders it possible for both genuine merits and egregious transgressions of candidates to be forgotten by the time of voting. Longer campaign seasons also perpetuate the “horse-race” mentality on the part of the media and result in the search for contrived election drama in order to drive views and campaign contributions. The ensuing acrimony, misinformation, and outright violence are detrimental to the fabric of a civilized society. Election seasons should be as short as possible, to enable all relevant information to be disseminated quickly and be considered by most voters within the same timeframe as their decisions are made.

 

Section E3-S. Abolition of Staggered Party Primaries

Option E3-S-1. [Based on Section XXXIII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party advocates abolishing all staggered party primaries and for all primary elections to be held on the same day across the entire country. With staggered party primaries, individuals voting later – solely because of the jurisdiction in which they reside – find their choices severely constrained due to the prior elimination of candidates they might have preferred. The staggered primary system tends to elevate the candidates who are least palatable to reasonable voters – but have the support of a vociferous, crass, and often violent fringe – toward frontrunner positions that create the pressure for other members of the political party to follow suit and reluctantly support the worst of the nominees.

 

Section E3-T. Replacement of “Winner Take All” Electoral System

Option E3-T-1. [Based on Section XXXIV of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports replacing the current “winner-take-all” electoral system with proportional representation, ranked preference voting, and other devices to minimize the temptations by voters to favor a perceived “lesser evil” rather than the candidates closest to those voters’ own preferences.

 

Section E3-U. Secession under Certain Conditions

Option E3-U-1. [Based on Section XXXV of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the right of any jurisdiction to secede from the United States specifically in opposition to policies that institutionalize racism, xenophobia, criminalization of dissent, and persecution of peaceful persons. The United States Transhumanist Party does not, however, condone any secession for the purposes of oppressing others. Therefore, the secession of the Confederate States in 1860 was illegitimate, but a future secession of a State may be justified in reaction to violent crackdowns by the federal government against individuals based on individuals’ national origin or ancestry.

 

Section E3-V. Existential Risk

Option E3-V-1. The United States Transhumanist Party encourages every reasonable precaution to prevent existential risks that endanger sentient life. While some existential risks arise from certain technologies, many existential risks also stem from the unaltered “natural” circumstances in which humans and other life forms find themselves. For both technological and “natural” existential risks, the strongest safeguards can be achieved through responsible development of protective technologies that empower rational and moral beings.

Option E3-V-2. [Platform Adaption of Article XXII of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0]

The United States Transhumanist Party encourages every reasonable precaution to prevent existential risks, including those of rogue artificial intelligence, asteroids, plagues, weapons of mass destruction, bioterrorism, war, and global warming, among others.

Option E3-V-3. [Based on Transhuman National Committee Platform, Resilience and Risk Policy Plank]

In support of the United States’ and our civilization’s resilience, the United States Transhumanist Party supports the inclusion of resilience-building activities and risk-management thinking as part of the ethical advancement of technology insofar as it does not impede such advancement.

The United States Transhumanist Party believes that existential risk should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, regardless of the type of threat. The United States Transhumanist Party supports programs that promote a long-term approach to understanding how what we do as a society affects others and our long-term sustainability and resiliency as a civilization. The United States Transhumanist Party is focused on ensuring that societies are cognizant of the risks of such collective actions. Programs that include education and promote a wider long-term view or approach to problems will help society the most, and these are programs the United States Transhumanist Party seeks to support. The United States Transhumanist Party would like to see long-term thinking become a more common part of our culture and so holds that programs which align with this outlook should be funded by responsible citizens.

An example of the kinds of programs the United States Transhumanist Party may support is the Long Now Foundation, whose vision states that the Long Now has the goal of being the seed of a very long-term cultural institution. The Long Now Foundation hopes to provide a counterpoint to today’s accelerating culture and help make long-term thinking more common. The Long Now Foundation hopes to foster responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years, including through the pursuit of long-term projects like the Clock of the Long Now and the Library of Civilization.

6 thoughts on “25-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #3

  1. Section E3-F. Universal Basic Income
    The claim of 1 trilion on welfare is dubious. According to:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/01/12/no-we-dont-spend-1-trillion-on-welfare-each-year/
    The federal government spends just $212 billion per year on what we could reasonably call “welfare.

    Keeping that in mind, means 1 trillion would not re-allocated for UBI. Since UBI would be less than 1 trillion dollars it would not cover all the social programs.
    A reduction of social programs should not even be considered untill after UBI has been in place for at least 5yrs.
    So the language “replacement of all existing social welfare programs” should be replaced with “replacement of multiple social welfare programs”

    1. Greetings, Todd Freeman.

      In response to your comment and in consideration of the Washington Post article you provided, I am of the view that the $1 trillion figure with regard to US welfare spending is a matter of interpretation regarding what constitutes welfare spending. I think the best way to address this is to give voters the option to either keep the reference to that figure (if they choose to support Option E3-F-3 and agree with the basis for that figure), or, if they disagree, to vote for one of the other options for Section E3-F. I have included a new Option E3-F-4, which essentially contains the language of Option E3-F-3, but without reference to the $1 trillion figure. This language would read as follows:

      ***

      Option E3-F-4.

      The United States Transhumanist Party supports a Universal Basic Income. Current United States welfare-related expenses would be reduced significantly the current welfare system were replaced with a basic universal income. This would lower costs, reduce federal government bureaucracy, provide more support for more people, and be less invasive and paternalistic. It can be done without work disincentives.

      The United States Transhumanist Party supports a policy structure for a basic income that could be as simple as a flat tax for everyone, of which an equivalent share of the United States budget would be divided by the amount of population, with the resulting amount sent to everyone who files a tax return in a given year. The basic income could be apportioned monthly in a process where the filing and administration are mostly managed by individual employers to keep overall bureaucratic or administrative costs to a minimum.

      ***

      More generally, Option E3-F-3 was originally included as a way of opening for consideration the language of an existing TNC Platform plank. However, it is by no means a foregone conclusion that this is the best language on universal basic income. (Indeed, I myself would prefer Options E3-F-1 and E3-F-2.) Voters who like the TNC language in general but dislike the reference to the $1 trillion figure could choose to favor Option E3-F-4 instead.

      Sincerely,
      Gennady Stolyarov II, FSA, ACAS, MAAA, CPCU, ARe, ARC, API, AIS, AIE, AIAF
      Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

  2. Section E3-U. Secession under Certain Conditions
    You’ve just given Texas and California justification for their fringe secession movements. Dealing with a federal/state/local law issue by simply walking out won’t solve anything; rather, it’ll exacerbate the problems and create a weak nation that can’t control its states.

  3. Greetings, Matthew.

    The question of whether secession is reasonable or prudent would depend on the egregiousness of the rights violations that are occurring. As Thomas Jefferson put it in the Declaration of Independence, “all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    The purpose of Section E3-U is simply to affirm the right of secession in the event of institutionalized persecution of dissenters or entire groups of people based on circumstantial characteristics – and in the event that other means fail to remedy such persecution. In practice, due to the human behavioral tendencies that Jefferson noted, secession would not be attempted (with any significant support) unless the persecution becomes widespread and egregious.

    It is important to maintain this section on the ballot and let U.S. Transhumanist Party members decide whether they agree with including it within our Platform.

    Sincerely,
    Gennady Stolyarov II, FSA, ACAS, MAAA, CPCU, ARe, ARC, API, AIS, AIE, AIAF
    Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

  4. I have few issues with these articles as they have been presented, if any. The articles on education should be consolidated into one option, as they are significantly different from one another and all serve as multiple facets of the same ideal.

    Moreover, although it is not currently mentioned, it is imperative that one of our platform planks forbids Level 5 AIs (as defined here: http://transhumanist-party.org/2016/12/24/official-ballot-options-tbr/) from being subservient to human beings at the expense of Level 4 (or lower) artificial intelligence being exempt from ethical scrutiny when used as a tool for, or part of, the workforce) unless it poses a direct, empirically evident threat to the lives of others.

    P.S. As a Lord of the Principality of Sealand, I’m honored to see my micronation represented within these platform planks.

    1. Greetings, Daniel Yeluashvili.

      I am pleased to have a fellow noble of the Principality of Sealand comment on these planks. I myself became a Baron of Sealand on November 6, 2012.

      Regarding a platform plank on prohibiting the subservience of Level 5 AIs, I will include it in the next exposure period, where we will be able to consider options for specific wordings.

      Regarding the education plank options, what I will do is render each of them eligible for a “Yes” or “No” vote so that it would be possible for multiple options to be adopted into a combined plank on education. Each of the options does have a somewhat different focus, so it is possible that members will have various combinations of views as to which of these options they would wish to adopt or reject. A triple “Yes” or “No” structure to the questions on these issues will allow for that kind of modularity.

      Sincerely,
      Gennady Stolyarov II, FSA, ACAS, MAAA, CPCU, ARe, ARC, API, AIS, AIE, AIAF
      Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *