U.S. Transhumanist Party General Discussion Thread for the Second Quarter of 2018

U.S. Transhumanist Party General Discussion Thread for the Second Quarter of 2018

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

The U.S. Transhumanist Party will endeavor to open one of these general comment threads per quarter. This comment thread pertains to the months of April, May, and June 2018.

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

19 thoughts on “U.S. Transhumanist Party General Discussion Thread for the Second Quarter of 2018

  1. Given the recent heated debates regarding Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, etc., I’ve really started thinking about where the main issues lie within the current chaotic exchange of ideas.

    I’m not convinced that privacy is actually the main debate going on regarding the above-mentioned entities; but rather, the real debate is on data ownership.

    As we continue becoming an increasingly less private, and increasingly more public society, people are now starting to ask: Where does OUR personal data stand in all of this? Should it continue being exploited by private corporations and government institutions or should our data be correlated as that of our personal property, and thus of our own individual dictations on how said data is to be used?

    Even more interestingly, if our personal data were to be used by entities such as Facebook, shouldn’t the people whose data is being used be compensated for it or given some form of revenue if they were to so choose?

    In our current climate, our data isn’t being treated as *OUR* data; rather is being taken and used in a number of ways without either our consent or knowledge. And it’s definitely an issue that I believe the U.S. Transhumanist Party should take a position on, given how increasingly important this topic is going to become in the next few short years.

    1. I think this disregards the right of others to make use of things they know about me.

      If I heard my boss liked a certain movie, and bring it up in our next conversation in an attempt to curry favor with him, I’m doing the same thing Facebook does when it offers me a new preworkout powder. They are just more organized with how they curate and store the information they have consensually obtained.

    2. I believe the main problem lies with abuse and monetizing.
      From a personal stand point, I do not use social media because of the above concerns. I do value my privacy, in so far as I choose with whom I share details of my life. I do not trust the security of the entities gathering my information, either.
      All that said, I’m actually rather disappointed at how shocked and outraged everyone seems to be about the matter. Not that they shouldn’t be, but that they are actually Surprised at all. I’m pretty sure all this was understood in the days of MySpace and Yahoo Chat.
      I think the meat of the problem is that these companies are monetarily motivated to care nothing for the harm that can be done by the data they collect if it gets out of their hands. Particularly when the risk assesment compares the net gain against the losses from settled lawsuits.
      Equifax, OPM, Yahoo, BofA, to name the big ones.
      The meta data collected to create personality and behavioral profiles can be used by a nefarious actor to talk their way past the new customer service rep with nothing more than that profile and a date of birth.
      Bottom line is, there’s good reason to be outraged, but let’s be honest, how surprised are we really?

  2. Lingo

    I think we should all get a little more experience with the technical lingo as we look for ways to beat death.

    Today I learned (from the interview with Gary Hudson of Oisin Biotech) about the word senescence, which means when a cell stops dividing. It sounds like we need to find ways to keep cells dividing and rejuvenating.

    Here were a couple more good vocab lingo words to know: and my ELI5 comments (about as good as I can do!)

    Sensolytic- a compound which kills senescent cells.

    Fibrosis- formation of too much fibrous tissue blocking things up

    Telomere- the endcap of a strand of DNA, kind of like the little cap on the end of your shoelace that keeps it from getting frayed

    p53- an important gene that keeps tumors from forming

    ALT- Telomere length is maintained by 2 known mechanisms, activation of telomerase or alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT).

    OSKM – Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc (OSKM)
    I do not know what this one means.

  3. I would like to see an analysis of the last three years of federal budgeting, contrasted against the waste, abuse, fraud, and redundancy, then added to a corporate tax of only ten percent. See how close that number comes to funding a Universal Basic Income and unlimited top-shelf health care.
    Example: do we need NSA, CIA, DIA to all have separate multi billion dollar budgets? can we have one National Intelligence Agency, a single DOD without all the little sub-branches, automate the entirety of the IRS, and so on? i bet we could more than afford to base everyone at around sixty grand a year with full health benefits and no income tax if we only spent the GDP more wisely and only cost major employers like corporations a minor tax right off the top. Call it a return on our investment for a century of income tax that was never supposed to be constitutionally legal to begin with.
    If we had solid numbers and projections to educate the public en mass, we could easily home grow our own potential candidates on that platform alone.

    1. We have some planks in the U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitution under Article III that cover this, namely: Section XLIII , Section LIV , Section LV , Section XXXV
      Perhaps there are more, but these are the ones I could quickly find.

  4. Another thought; it’s obvious and, I think, generally understood that pharmaceutical companies will do everything possible to continue the culture of indefinite treatment over any permanent cure. At least until the price they can charge for the cure outweighs the profit from the treatments. That being said, is it feasible that we should be angling the health insurance industry for support? The “cure” costs less than a lifetime of treatment with no expensive side effects, lawsuits, or home health equipment to maintain. If we apply HITI and CRISPR-cas9, nanotech immune therapy to achieve our stated goals of radical life and health extension and an improved human condition, they will see fewer payouts and enjoy higher profits. Wins for them, wins for us. Grass-roots candidates will be able to run on having pushed for programs that have saved lives, restored health, reversed debilitating diseases, and relieved suffering of all kinds. Instead of educated speculation, we’ll have evidence and a track record of success.

    With the support of the medical insurance industry and a reputation behind us, our grass-roots candidates will be able to run for higher offices on more than just a platform of raised awareness. Istvan made a few new ripples with his bid, but we need waves or else I fear that entrenched oligarchs will sweep all the most important technologies under the carpet. They will do everything they can to protect their profits. Any thoughts?

  5. Here is a rough proposal, that needs refinement I think, as addition to Section LIX.
    ‘The U.S. Transhumanist Party supports efforts to give citizens a more accessible, and safe way to report police, such as local police departments, CBP, TSA, ICE, etc etc. )misconduct, corruption, constitutional rights violations, international human rights violations, etc. to an investigative organization whether civilian in nature or a special investigative department within the judicial system.
    This could for example take shape in having a mandate that every police department, and agency website have a ‘banner’ on their website that allows citizens to report misbehavior by said agency. Reporting would not inhibit any constitutional rights such as filing a lawsuit.
    Such a system for reporting when found to be a valid complaint after investigation could for example result in a fine, a reduction of funding, or a reduction of salary as a means of punishment. Said money would be allocated back to the government to increase the well being of citizens.
    A periodical report of all reported missteps by agencies should be made publicly available, including breakdowns of valid and invalid claims, as well as reports per region among other useful breakdowns.

    Although I don’t agree with many things on Reason, I think there reporting on police misconduct is thorough and by itself not a partisan issue. In any case, this post made me think about the above, in particular constitution right violations by having to sign illegal documents. https://reason.com/blog/2018/05/09/cbp-steals-money-intended-for-nigerian-m

    1. I think we have a bigger problem than just being able to report bad behavior. On the one side, our population is large and consists of so many kinds of people without any one unifying identity that our frequency of crime and severity of the incidents requires that any person engaged in law enforcement has to be able to respond to a situation ranging from a petty disagreement, to a horrific act of violence. sometimes that requires an equal level of violence to survive the encounter. The psychological and administrative side effect is the same that happens to many servicemen and women returning from war. They are conditioned to manages threats at a specific level, so it becomes terribly difficult to manage lesser threats appropriately. On the other hand, i can’t help but notice the extreme disconnect they all seem to carry. I would argue that any officer more than 18 months into their career has, at some point, enforced a law or taken an action that, while technically legal, may have been morally wrong or does more harm than good. And they knowingly proceeded. then, when someone fights back, they beat their chests about “honor” & “integrity”. It’s a frightening talent for self justification. I think we need to start by overhauling all the stupid, petty little things out of the criminal justice code, narrowing the scope of what police need to be responding to. Then, address the training issues; these are highly trained and heavily armed people experiencing the same psychological stresses that soldier in battle experience every day, for 10-16 hours a day, for as much as 30 years. It’s asking for trouble. I would also be powerfully curious as to the particulars of the pre-hiring psych evaluation. I suspect, just on observation, they want people who are just dumb enough not to consider all the variables of a situation so they will address it quickly and follow orders, while being just smart enough to carry out instructions without hand holding. Just sociopathic enough to be routine and okay with stripping a person of their freedom, while just enough of a Holden Caulfield to run into a burning house, or run toward the shots. I suppose that i’m saying that, yes, we need to fix cops, but we also need to fix the society that needs them. One of the possibilities of AI integrated into human biology is that we would be able to adjust brain chemistry and our emotional state at will. Future criminal justice could potentially allow for a person convicted of violent crime to undergo a process where the chemical imbalance is corrected, then the emotional response to their memory of the factors leading up to, and contributing to the crime, could be balanced without removing the memories themselves. Thus preserving the individual and their sense of self identity, but correcting the factors that criminal. True corrective rehabilitation while simultaneously addressing the mental health issues among our society. We also need to apply our imminent technology to non-lethal weapons that are as effective at stopping a threat as a bullet. something with a measure of impact energy that can temporarily arrest the nervous system without causing death. The popular Tazer product is not that reliable. So a bullet is the unfortunate and best option for a life threatening situation. instead of banning guns, create a self defense projectile that is just as effective as any bullet in stopping a threat in its tracks, that can be fired from any existing firearm, and then slowly phase out lethal projectiles. I will defend my life by any means necessary, but if the option to do so did not require me to take another life in that situation, I would be a convert in a heartbeat.

  6. Question from member Gary Walter Ingram:

    “Hello fellow transhumanists,
    Are there any ideas of how to overcome the current trends of scepticism and outright hostility toward science nowadays?
    Thanks.”

    Comments on this subject are welcome on this thread.

    1. Comment by Anca Selariu: “These are my strategies:
      Be vigilant about keeping an open mind and practice acceptance of divergent points of view., for it is seductively blinding to think you are right. Do not become opposing but rather integrating; for not one human/ group / discipline / culture holds the entire truth. Teach mental flexibility to anyone you encounter. Use neuroscience to reveal to others how the brain works, including its natural flaws, and how they are useful.
      My motto is “I will never be able to meet a stupid person, no matter how hard I try.”
      For more, see my TEDx talk here:
      https://youtu.be/NsGFdX4NrTY
      Thanks,
      Anca”

      Comment by Albert SArmentero, P.Eng.: “We don´t feel such hostility here in southern Europe

      It must be Trumpism ….I guess”

      Please offer any responses to these and the preceding comments on this thread.

  7. – Increased transparency about what’s going on in academia and research labs
    – Addressing people’s concerns about where science is taking us, rather than dismissing them as “layperson ignorance or hysteria”
    – Recognizing the “science for science sake” drive that can lead to innovation with unforeseen consequences

  8. I see no reason to be concerned over skepticism; all science should be subject to it.

    As for hostility, I’m not seeing any, at least none that’s meaningful. We saw more actual hostility back in the early 2000’s, things are much better now.

    1. Federally funded science is being marginalized, especially earth system science. As we achieve our transhumanist agenda, we all will need a place to live.

  9. Avoiding the politicization of science may help, as having a common apolitical ground with our variously politically inclined peers may facilitate conversation.

  10. Please make the email system a one-way and un-linked form of communication. The periodic banter and trolling delivered right to my inbox is one major drawback on being on the email list.

    1. Greetings, Kyrtin. I have effectively done as you requested just now. The U.S. Transhumanist Party Google Group comments have now been generally subjected to moderation. I will not permit any mass e-mail comments unrelated to the official work of the U.S. Transhumanist Party to pass through the Google Group moderation. On the other hand, this General Discussion Thread is the place for comments and conversations of a more generic nature.

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

  11. Have we considered a Slack or Discord to facilitate high-speed communication? The e-mail lists, Facebook comments, and comment threads here are good for longer responses–but it does not seem very conducive to networking.

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