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Author: John LaRocco

Veterans’ Transhumanist Association Interest – Announcement by John LaRocco

Veterans’ Transhumanist Association Interest – Announcement by John LaRocco

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John LaRocco


I am seeking potential interest in forming a Veteran Transhumanist Association, aimed at military veterans and those with experience working for/with them. In addition to providing a place where transhumanist-leaning veterans could gather, it would also engage in promoting the development and use of open-source and low-cost bionics (and skills necessary to develop and fabricate them) to vets and the public at large. Let me know if you are interested.

Contact Information for John LaRocco

E-mail: jwl54@uclive.ac.nz

Website: http://www.johnlarocco.com

John LaRocco is an electrical and biomedical engineer doing a postdoc at University of Texas. His areas of research interest include neuroengineering, brain-computer interface (BCI), prosthetics, additive manufacturing, sports biomechanics, 3D-printed weapons forensics, digital currencies, synthetic organisms, and historical technology. He has a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Biomedical Engineering from The College of New Jersey, and a Master of Sciences degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Rowan University. His recreational interests include writing, reading, martial arts, finance, folklore, and history.

Transhumanist Society Nightmares: EMPs – Article by Cody Meadows

Transhumanist Society Nightmares: EMPs – Article by Cody Meadows

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Cody Meadows


The electrical grid is a concern for every citizen in our society. Without it, we, as an advancing society, would be thrown backward in advancement or at least heavily thwarted in achievement until we get the problem fixed. Just thinking about how people would begin to act in a situation where the grid went down strikes fear in the hearts of millions. This is supported by the observation that “doomsday prepping” has became more mainstream. This is a situation that could be even more devastating for transhumanists.

An EMP attack strong enough to take out the electrical grid could be the equivalent to a transhumanist having a stroke. Imagine your mechanical arm or leg being shorted from such an attack. It literally could paralyze those who have chosen to or medically needed to utilize such a device. It could also be an equivalent to a heart attack. Integrated devices would no longer work; mechanical hearts, life-supporting technology would be knocked offline. The effects would be devastating. Battery backups, if unaffected, would have limited life spans or have power greatly reduced due to lack of working energy resources to recharge.

Unfortunately this will be a real threat to transhumanists. The possibility of getting all nations to use nuclear power for energy purposes only – especially those that believe they must retain the concept of mutually assured destruction and rouge nations – is slim to none.

Now that I have doomed and groomed us, let me bring some mitigation to the table. We as transhumanists must first advocate for the dismantling of such weapons by all nations in unison. The probability of this happening with such nations a North Korea and Iran is probably very low. Yes, I just brought us some more doom and gloom, but advocating for such a thing should not be overlooked either as the world develops.

The second mitigating factor would be for us to harden the grid. Let us advocate to protect our transformers, power lines, and plants. This can be achieved but will cost the taxpayers. The Foundation for a Resilient Society estimated in a May 13th, 2015, study that the cost to taxpayers of hardening the grid would be between 10-30 billion dollars.*A small tax or movement of existing taxes to protect the grid would be cost-effective and could help protect us from EMP attacks and save lives. This would increase our national security and should be brought to the attention of your lawmakers.

Aside from strengthening the grid itself and advocating for the dismantling of EMP weapons, public or privately made EMP safe rooms should be developed and funded. These would essentially be bunkers for transhumanists who rely on technology for “life” and require electronic equipment not strong or hardened enough to withstand an EMP. Equipment to detect an attack early would also be essential.

I’m sure there are more brilliant ideas out there about how to mitigate EMPs early. But the most important thing to take away from all this is EMPs are a real threat to both transhumanists and those who choose to live a non-transhumanist life. It is our right not to be injured or killed by an EMP. It is our duty to encourage our lawmakers to protect our rights by hardening the grid, developing early-warning systems, developing EMP-safe bunkers for transhumanists and essential sensitive electronic devices, and ultimately advocating for the dismantling of EMP-type weapons.

Source

The Foundation for Resilient Societies. “Fact Sheet on Preliminary Costing Model of The Foundation for Resilient Societies to Protect the U.S. Electric Grid from Man-made Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Hazards and Solar Geomagnetic Disturbances (GMD)“. 2015.

Cody Meadows is a member of the U.S. Transhumanist Party and submitted this article as a guest post.

Transhumanism, Meet Business – Article by Alcott Evans

Transhumanism, Meet Business – Article by Alcott Evans

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Alcott Evans


Being the tech and business enthusiast that I am, I have a weekly subscription for Bloomberg Businessweek, so the latest issue arrived in the mailbox yesterday.

After checking through the front-page index which provides headlines for every major topic, I noticed the title “Do-It-Yourself Transhumanism” under the Technology section of the magazine. The article can be read online here.

“Harbisson, whose U.K. passport shows he’s the first legally recognized cyborg, was born colorblind. He designed his antenna—which translates colors into one of 360 musical tones he’s memorized—back in 2003 with help from a cyberneticist. At first, he connected it to headphones and a laptop. Eventually, he persuaded a surgeon to drill into his skull, implant a chip, and fuse the antenna to his occipital bone.”

The field of human augmentation is rapidly becoming its own corporate industry, and many can openly assert that it already is its own industry; plastic surgery and liposuctions are becoming more and more common as we speak. As time passes and technological breakthroughs become more prominent, we will move from surgically fixing asymmetrical faces and other human cosmetic desires to programming “nanobots” which can dive into our bodies to perform the same tasks with relative ease.

Even in today’s early stage of mental and physical augmentations, we can clearly see the industry growing rapidly as individuals seek freedom of expression, a right granted to us by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Alcott Evans is a member of the U.S. Transhumanist Party and submitted this article as a guest post.

CellAge Fundraiser Update and Donation Matching from LongeCity

CellAge Fundraiser Update and Donation Matching from LongeCity

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Lifespan.io and CellAge


The Transhumanist Party supports Lifespan.io and CellAge in their work towards groundbreaking scientific life-extension research. Finding a way to repair age-related damage to senescent cells would be a fundamental breakthrough for transhumanism, and we offer our best wishes and support for those striving towards these new technologies.

Here is an update from Lifespan.io and CellAge:

If you haven’t already noticed, our latest Campaign, CellAge, has been having a bit of difficulty in reaching its funding goal. So, in order to solve that problem, we asked all our backers from previous campaigns for feedback on how we can improve the current CellAge campaign.

We’ve gotten a staggering number of responses (which we’re still personally replying to) and have compiled all the reasons into one big, dramatic “what could have gone better” spreadsheet.

One of those reasons was that CellAge did not have a fund match.

So we fixed that.


CellAge is now endorsed by LongeCity. And they’re running a Fund Match up to $3000.

For those who don’t know, LongeCity is one of the oldest, most respected international pro-longevity organizations. Their exclusive forum boasts thousands of individuals learning, discussing and sharing latest breakthroughs of anything that has to do with slowing down aging.

Apart from generously contributing $800 right away, LongeCity is also running an internal fund match: anything donated via this special page before the 18th of February, will be doubled up to $3000.

To have them support CellAge means that they understand the significance of its success.

What makes this even more exciting is that CellAge has managed to secure additional external funding for their project, which means that they will be able to achieve the same goals even sooner.

The initial goal will now be $20,000, with all stretch goals being reduced as well.

Having raised over $15,000 so far, along with the fund match, means we’re incredibly close to successfully funding CellAge’s exciting research.

Just a quick refresher: CellAge is using customised synthetic biology to develop cutting edge ways to detect and destroy senescent cells, which contribute to age-related diseases. By developing this technology we will be able to give researchers a superior tool for finding senescent cells, and improving the quality of stem cell therapies.

Ultimately this will lead to a better way to remove problem senescent cells without the side effects traditional small molecules inevitably cause. In short, this technology can help start a revolution in medical research and a leap in how we treat age-related diseases for a healthier future.

If you’re still undecided, remember, every dollar you put into the LongeCity match will become two for CellAge.

Click here for donation match.

-The Lifespan Team

Lifespan.io & CellAge: Targeting Senescent Cells With Synthetic Biology

Lifespan.io & CellAge: Targeting Senescent Cells With Synthetic Biology

The Transhumanist Party supports Lifespan.io and CellAge in their work towards groundbreaking scientific life-extension research. Finding a way to repair age-related damage to senescent cells would be a fundamental breakthrough for transhumanism, and we offer our best wishes and support for those striving towards these new technologies.

From Lifespan.io and CellAge:

Our society has never aged more rapidly – one of the most visible symptoms of the changing demographics is the exponential increase in the incidence of age-related diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases and osteoarthritis. Not only does aging have a negative effect on the quality of life among the elderly but it also causes a significant financial strain on both private and public sectors. As the proportion of older people is increasing so is health care spending. According to a WHO analysis, the annual number of new cancer cases is projected to rise to 17 million by 2020, and reach 27 million by 2030. Similar trends are clearly visible in other age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease. Few effective treatments addressing these challenges are currently available and most of them focus on a single disease rather than adopting a more holistic approach to aging.

Recently a new approach which has the potential of significantly alleviating these problems has been validated by a number of in vivo and in vitro studies. It has been demonstrated that senescent cells (cells which have ceased to replicate due to stress or replicative capacity exhaustion) are linked to many age-related diseases. Furthermore, removing senescent cells from mice has been recently shown to drastically increase mouse healthspan (a period of life free of serious diseases).

Here at CellAge we are working hard to help translate these findings into humans!

CellAge, together with a leading synthetic biology partner, Synpromics, are poised to develop a technology allowing for the identification and removal of harmful senescent cells. Our breakthrough technology will benefit both the scientific community and the general public.

In short, CellAge is going to develop synthetic promoters which are specific to senescent cells, as promoters that are currently being used to track senescent cells are simply not good enough to be used in therapies. The most prominently used p16 gene promoter has a number of limitations, for example. First, it is involved in cell cycle regulation, which poses a danger in targeting cells which are not diving but not senescent either, such as quiescent stem cells. Second, organism-wide administration of gene therapy might at present be too dangerous. This means senescent cells only in specific organs might need to be targeted and p16 promoter does not provide this level of specificity. Third, the p16 promoter is not active in all senescent cells. Thus, after therapies utilizing this promoter, a proportion of senescent cells would still remain. Moreover, the p16 promoter is relatively large (2.1kb), making it difficult to incorporate in present gene therapy vehicles. Lastly, to achieve the intended therapeutic effect the strength of p16 promoter to drive therapeutic effect might not be high enough.

CellAge will be constructing a synthetic promoter which has a potential to overcome all of the mentioned limitations. A number of gene therapy companies, including uniQure, AGTC and Avalanche Biotech have successfully targeted other types of cells using this technology. With your help, we will be able to use same technology to develop tools and therapies for accurate senescent cell targeting.

A Transhumanist Opinion on Privacy

A Transhumanist Opinion on Privacy

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Ryan Starr

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Privacy is a favorite topic of mine. Maintaining individual privacy is a crucial element in free society. Yet there are many who want to invade it for personal or political gain. As our digital fingerprint becomes a part of our notion of self, how do we maintain our personal privacy on an inherently impersonal network of data? Where do we draw that line on what is private, and how do we enforce it? These are questions that are difficult to answer when looking at a short-term perspective. However, if we look further into the probable future, we can create a plan that helps protect the privacy of citizens today and for generations to come. By taking into account the almost certain physical merger of human biology and technology, the answer becomes clear. Our electronic data should be treated as part of our bodily autonomy.

The explosive success of social media has shown that we already view ourselves as partly digital entities. Where we go, what we eat, and who we are with is proudly displayed in cyberspace for eternity. But beyond that we store unique data about ourselves “securely” on the internet. Bank accounts, tax returns, even medical information are filed away on a server somewhere and specifically identified as us. It’s no longer solely what we chose to let people see. We are physical and digital beings, and it is time we view these two sides as one before we take the next step into enhanced humanity.

Subdermal storage of electronic data is here, and its storage capabilities will expand rapidly. Soon we will be able to store a lot more than just access codes for our doors. It is hard to speculate exactly what people will chose to keep stored this way, and there may even come a time when what we see and hear is automatically stored this way. But before we go too far into what will be stored, we must understand how this information is accessed in present time. These implants are currently based in NFC technology. Near-Field Communication is a method of storing and transmitting data wirelessly within a very short distance. Yes, “wireless” is the key word. It means that if I can connect my NFC tag to my smart phone by just waiving my hand close to it (usually within an inch or so), then technically someone else can, too. While current antenna limitations and the discreetness of where a person’s tag is implanted create a highly secure method of storage, advances in technology will eventually make it easier to access the individual. This is why it is urgent we develop a streamlined policy for privacy.

The current Transhumanist position is that personally collected intellectual property, whether stored digitally or organically, is the property of the individual. As such, it should be protected from unauthorized search and download. The current platform also states that each individual has the freedom to enhance their own body as they like so long as it doesn’t negatively impact others. However, it does not specify what qualifies as a negative impact or how to prevent it. Morphological freedom is a double-edged sword. A person can a person enhance their ability to access information on themselves, but they can also use it to access others. It is entirely feasible enhancements will be created that allow a person to hack another. And collecting personal data isn’t the only risk with that. What if the hacking victim has an artificial heart or an implanted insulin pump? The hacker could potentially access the code the medical device is operating with and change or delete it, ultimately leading to death. Another scenario might be hacking into someone’s enhanced sensory abilities. Much like in the novel Ender’s Game, a person can access another to see what they see. This ability can be abused countless ways ranging from government surveillance to sexual voyeurism. While this is still firmly within the realm of science fiction, a transhuman society will need to create laws to protect against these person-to-person invasions of privacy.

Now let’s consider mass data collection. Proximity beacons could easily and cheaply be scattered across stores and cities to function as passive collection points much like overhead cameras are today. Retail stands to gain significantly from this technology, especially if they are allowed access to intimate knowledge about customers. Government intelligence gathering also stands to benefit from this capability. Levels of adrenaline, dopamine, and oxytocin stored for personal health analysis could be taken and paired with location data to put together an invasive picture of how people are feeling in a certain situation. Far more can be learned and exploited when discreetly collected biodata is merged with publicly observable activity.

In my mind, these are concerns that should be addressed sooner than later. If we take the appropriate steps to preserve personal privacy in all domains, we can make a positive impact that will last into the 22nd century.

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Ryan Starr is the leader of the Transhumanist Party of Colorado. This article was originally published on his blog, and has been republished here with his permission.