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Cyborgs: Their Rights and Recognition – Statement by Kenneth Alum

Cyborgs: Their Rights and Recognition – Statement by Kenneth Alum

Kenneth Alum


 Image source: http://www.harbisson.com/

As the United States Transhumanist Party, we believe in and support cyborg-ism. Firstly,  a cyborg is a person/organism whose physiological functioning is aided by or dependent upon a mechanical or electronic device.

The basic main purpose of cyborg implants is to optimize or improve human condition. Some of the benefits of cyborg-ism are:

  • Ability to replace sickly or heavily damaged body parts such as hips, knees, elbows, wrists, arteries, veins, heart valves, pacemakers, etc.
  • Ability to improve/enhance human senses, i.e., smell, hearing, sight, etc. – e.g., cochlear implants
  • Brain implants that control tremors in cases of Cerebral Palsy
  • Brain Implants that help reverse the most devastating symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
  • Increased physical strength

Cyborg implants help disabled persons live a lives closer to normal or optimal for them. They also help people in general have an improved lifestyle or condition. The world is experiencing swift technological advancement (including in cyborg-ism), driven by the strong need and desire for humanity to live an optimal or better life.

The international and national laws of most Earth countries and regional bodies are lagging behind in accommodating or adapting to these technological advances on Earth. There are cases of human cyborgs being discriminated against, abused, harassed, and even threatened, such as that of artist and activist Neil Harbisson. Mr. Harbisson has surgically implanted an antenna to help him overcome his color-blindness condition. (He naturally sees everything in gray-scale.) Some high-profile examples of individuals who have faced anti-cyborg discrimination include biohacker/grinder Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow, biohacker Rich Lee, and Steve Mann.

We as the United States Transhumanist Party state that everyone on Earth should be given freedom to live the life they desire and also make improvements to their physical bodies, either for aesthetic or for health purposes (as long as they don’t infringe on the basic rights of others). Indeed, this should be a basic right in the United States and throughout the Earth. We therefore stand by in support of the above persons mentioned (including other cyborgs) in their advocacy and fight for their rights to be recognized and respected. We implore the United States federal government and other nations to recognize the right for one to be a cyborg and the cyborgs’ general human basic rights as well.

Our support for cyborg rights is an implication of Article III, Sections VI and VIII of our Platform on morphological freedom and freedom of research and innovation, including with regard to functional, healthy augmentations of the body and brain:

Section VI. The United States Transhumanist Party upholds morphological freedom—the right to do with one’s physical attributes or intelligence whatever one wants so long as it does not directly harm others.

The United States Transhumanist Party considers morphological freedom to include the prerogative for a sentient intelligence to set forth in advance provisions for how to handle its physical manifestation, should that intelligence enter into a vegetative, unconscious, or similarly inactive state, notwithstanding any legal definition of death. For instance, a cryonics patient should be entitled to determine in advance that the patient’s body shall be cryopreserved and kept under specified conditions, in spite of any legal definition of death that might apply to that patient under cryopreservation.

The United States Transhumanist Party also recognizes that morphological freedom entails the duty to treat all sapients as individuals instead of categorizing them into arbitrary subgroups or demographics, including as yet undefined subcategorizations that may arise as sapience evolves.

The United States Transhumanist Party is focused on the rights of all sapient individuals to do as they see fit with themselves and their own reproductive choices.

However, the United States Transhumanist Party holds that the proper exercise of morphological freedom must also ensure that any improvement of the self should not result in involuntary harms directly inflicted upon others. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party recognizes any sentient entity to have the freedom not to modify itself without being subject to negative political repercussions, which include but are not limited to legal and/or socio-economic repercussions.

The United States Transhumanist Party recognizes the ethical obligations of sapient beings to be the purview of those individual beings, and holds that no other group, individual, or government has the right to limit those choices – including genetic manipulation or other biological manipulation or any other modifications up to and including biological manipulation, mechanical manipulation, life extension, reproductive choice, reproductive manipulation, cryonics, or other possible modifications, enhancements, or morphological freedoms. It is only when such choices directly infringe upon the rights of other sapient beings that the United States Transhumanist Party will work to develop policies to avoid potential infringements.

Section VIII. The United States Transhumanist Party supports maximum individual liberty to engage in scientific and technological innovation for the improvement of the self and the human species. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party supports all rationally, scientifically grounded research efforts for curing diseases, lengthening lifespans, achieving functional, healthy augmentations of the body and brain, and increasing the durability and youthfulness of the human organism. The United States Transhumanist Party holds that all such research efforts should be rendered fully lawful and their products should be made fully available to the public, as long as no individual is physically harmed without that individual’s consent or defrauded by misrepresentation of the effects of a possible treatment or substance.

~ Kenneth Alum, Director of Publication, U.S. Transhumanist Party, November 19, 2017

Shibuya Mirai, The First AI Bot Granted Official Residency – Article by B.J. Murphy

Shibuya Mirai, The First AI Bot Granted Official Residency – Article by B.J. Murphy

B.J. Murphy


A few days ago, an artificial intelligence (AI) bot was granted official residency in Shibuya, a Tokyo ward with a population of around 224,000 people. The AI bot’s name is “Shibuya Mirai,” which takes the form of a seven-year-old boy, and serves as a chatbot on the popular Line messaging app.

According to Japan Today:

“Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward, an area popular with fashion-conscious young people, has given the character his own special residence certificate. This makes him Japan’s first, and maybe the world’s first, artificial intelligence bot to be granted a place on a real-life local registry.”

Mirai, whose name translates to “future,” is part of a project aimed at making the local government more familiar and accessible to locals, according to the ward, and is designed to listen to the opinions of Shibuya residents.

Image source: Shibuya City

Nearly two weeks ago, Sophia, a humanoid robot designed by Hong Kong company Hanson Robotics, was granted citizenship by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, becoming the world’s first humanoid robot to ever be granted such an honor. And just as the U.S. Transhumanist Party supported Sophia’s citizenship recognition, we also would like to congratulate Mirai as well, along with the Shibuya Ward and Microsoft in their joint-development of the AI bot.

In accordance with the U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitution Article III, Section IX [Adopted by a vote of the members during February 16-22, 2017]:

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports all emerging technologies that have the potential to improve the human condition – including but not limited to autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, economical solar power, safe nuclear power, hydroelectricity, geothermal power, applications for the sharing of durable goods, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, nanotechnology, robotics, rapid transit, 3D printing, vertical farming, electronic devices to detect and respond to trauma, and beneficial genetic modification of plants, animals, and human beings.”

While we recognize, to the best of our ability, that Mirai is still nowhere close to being deemed sentient – rather operates as a narrow AI – we equally recognize the significance of granting an AI real-life residency during a time when artificial general intelligence (AGI) research is at an all-time high.

It has been predicted that an AGI could possibly emerge within the next decade or so. Preparing the framework for both AI and robot rights in our near future is absolutely crucial. We are hopeful that, with Mirai being granted official residency, we are moving in a positive direction where all sentient lifeforms of the future (whether they be human, robot, AI, or otherwise) will be able to live and strive together peacefully.

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

Sophia, The First Humanoid Robot Citizen – Article by Martin van der Kroon

Sophia, The First Humanoid Robot Citizen – Article by Martin van der Kroon

Martin van der Kroon


Sophia, a humanoid robot designed by Hong Kong company Hanson Robotics, gave a presentation at the Future Investment Initiative in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh. At the end of her presentation Sophia was granted the first Saudi citizenship, for a humanoid robot.

Sophia said; “I am very honored and proud for this unique distinction. This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship,”

The U.S. Transhumanist Party would like to congratulate Sophia, and of course Hanson Robotics with this unique, and historical first.

The video of the presentation, and interview that Sophia gave, courtesy of Arab News.

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The U.S. Transhumanist Party’s Commitment to Inclusivity and Cosmopolitanism – Official Statement by Gennady Stolyarov II

The U.S. Transhumanist Party’s Commitment to Inclusivity and Cosmopolitanism – Official Statement by Gennady Stolyarov II

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Gennady Stolyarov II


The United States Transhumanist Party takes this opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to inclusivity and its support of the ideas and aspirations of a diverse, cosmopolitan membership and a transhumanist and life-extensionist community that we hope will someday encompass the entire world.

Per Article III, Section II, of our Constitution, “the United States Transhumanist Party condemns any hostile discrimination or legal restrictions on the basis of national origin, skin color, birthplace, ancestry, gender identity, or any manner of circumstantial attribute tied to a person’s lineage or accident of birth.” We hold that any of the above circumstantial attributes are not germane to a sentient entity’s ability to contribute value to worthwhile endeavors to advance a brighter future, and therefore decisions in politics and organizational membership alike should be made without regard to those attributes. If a sentient entity (which includes humans today, but could potentially also include non-human intelligences in future eras) has skills, ideas, and initiatives that could improve the outcomes of an organization or society, then placing obstacles in the way of that sentient entity on the basis of irrelevant circumstantial attributes is deeply counterproductive and self-undermining.

To reinforce our welcoming and inclusive stance, the U.S. Transhumanist Party recently published the eloquent statement by Director of Recruitment Martin van der Kroon, “We Would Like to Welcome Everyone” – which should leave no doubt as to where we stand.

Recently, a fledgling group, calling itself the Transhuman Party or “TP 3.0” and describing itself as an organization that is “three days old, with fresh ideas”, took issue with the composition of the leadership of the U.S. Transhumanist Party and asked, “Do you want to be governed by the all-white-men leadership of the current Transhumanist Party (TP 2.0)?” There are many flaws with the above question and the manner in which it is posed. Setting aside the inescapable irony that the question itself was posed by a person who would be identified as a “white man” (Hank Pellissier), it is an error to presume that the Officers of the U.S. Transhumanist Party seek to “govern” rather than merely administer the infrastructure for a party that will become increasingly self-governing as it accumulates a critical mass of members who can initiate their own projects and discussions. (This is already happening if one knows where to look!)

While we are not sure exactly what it means to have “all-white-men leadership” (since race is itself an artificial construct with no basis in biology), we do know for certain that the 650 members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party as of this writing are among the most diverse populations possible – given that the Transhumanist Party accepts Allied Members from throughout the world, as well as people of ages that would not meet the threshold for qualification to vote in most jurisdictions. As long as people can think and form political opinions, they are welcome to take part in our deliberations and initiate projects under the Transhumanist Party’s auspices. Furthermore, the U.S. Transhumanist Party recently initiated its Foreign Ambassador Program, which was intentionally created to enable us to benefit from the diverse perspectives of transhumanists from all over the world.

Any centralization in our current structure is transitional in nature and arises out of necessity, given that the Transhumanist Party is not yet large enough for a steady stream of grassroots action to drive its activities. In my ideal hoped-for circumstances, every member of the U.S. Transhumanist Party would be empowered with at least the tools for constructive change that I currently have at my disposal as Chairman. Our Officers are accountable to our diverse membership, and we take into consideration the reasonable viewpoints and interests of everyone among that membership. We greatly respect and value transhumanists of all genders, morphological features, and geographical and demographic backgrounds – and we look up to many eminent transhumanists who happen to exhibit any combination of these circumstantial features.

Is there an issue in the transhumanist movement generally that individuals of certain demographic characteristics tend not to join in as significant numbers as might be hoped for? Unfortunately, yes – and it is difficult to explain adequately. However, this issue has existed with regard to many technologically oriented and futurist movements for a long time and is the result of a complex combination of factors that cannot be easily unraveled – although continued discussion regarding it is certainly worthwhile. Still, there should be no doubt as to the direction in which the U.S. Transhumanist Party would like this situation to evolve. Growth in support from any demographic, whether or not such growth is proportional to the general population, is desirable and should be strived for.  Hypothetically, and only as an example, if all the women of the world became supporters of transhumanism and life extension tomorrow, this would be an occasion for great celebration, as it would mean that our efforts will have succeeded in persuading slightly more than half of the world’s population. Personally, I would have no concern whatsoever if such a major growth meant that my demographic attributes placed me into a minority among transhumanists and life-extensionists – and I would certainly welcome more people who happen not to have my particular attributes rising into positions of leadership and impact. Given the many prominent female leaders of our broader movement – including Elizabeth Parrish, Miss Metaverse (both Advisors to the U.S. Transhumanist Party), Laura Deming, Natasha Vita-More, Elena Milova, and Maria Konovalenko, to name just a few – there is opportunity here for anyone who wishes to join us an advocate and collaborator to rise as high as their interests and merits take them.

Additionally, our current team of Officers is not at its limit, and judging its composition by a snapshot in time does not present the full picture. We are always happy to consider new additions to our team and to create positions for individuals who have particular beneficial talents to contribute. Completely irrespective of your circumstantial attributes, we are interested in what you can do to help advance humankind into the next great era of our civilization. If you can bring value in terms of your knowledge, efforts, and character – we are interested in considering you for an Officer position. We hope that, with further growth and activity, we will continue to build bridges within the diverse transhumanist community and discover individuals who can assist us in implementing our ambitious and far-reaching vision. If you are interested in becoming an Officer of the U.S. Transhumanist Party, please do not hesitate to e-mail me here with a description of your interest in the Transhumanist Party, your skill set, and what roles you would like to perform – and we can discuss further.

 

Gennady Stolyarov II, FSA, ACAS, MAAA, CPCU, ARe, ARC, API, AIS, AIE, AIAF

Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

September 29, 2017

America Is United Under One Flag – Article by Michael Dodd

America Is United Under One Flag – Article by Michael Dodd

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Michael Dodd


Editor’s Note: This guest article by Michael Dodd emphasizes the values of civility and respect which can help transcend the divides of contemporary American politics and bring the political conversation toward a focus on the universal good of Americans and of all humankind. The opinions in this article are Mr. Dodd’s own, but they are worth considering in the context of healing the tremendous and acrimonious rifts that have formed in American political activity, especially over the past two years. While the U.S. Transhumanist Party, per Article III, Section XX of its Constitution, strongly supports the right of peaceful free speech and protest – including the free speech and protest of those who criticize the United States, its flag, and certain policies of any level of government, as well as the free speech of those who choose not to partake in certain public rituals of support for the U.S. flag – the U.S. Transhumanist Party also holds as one of its Operating Principles “always pursuing its goals in a civil, law-abiding manner, respecting the legitimate rights of all persons” (Article I, Section III, Operating Principle 2). The U.S. flag can and should be seen as a symbol of the civility and respect that can and should characterize American political culture at its best, and also a symbol of the individual rights – including the right to dissent and criticize – which are fundamental founding values of the United States.  In an era when so many factions attempt to emphasize attributes that set us apart and against one another, it helps to have symbols that we can interpret to provide us common grounds for relating to one another in constructive and mutually beneficial ways. Per Article III, Section XXI, of our Constitution, the U.S. Transhumanist Party also strongly condemns and opposes police brutality and considers it unconscionable that many peaceful citizens have lost their lives to it. All Americans and all persons of conscience should support efforts to eradicate police brutality, including brutality driven by inexcusable racial bias as well as brutality that arises from police following poorly designed “standard operating procedure”.  

~ Gennady Stolyarov II, Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party, September 28, 2017


The politics of fear and hate has united against the Flag of America.

The crux of the issue is police brutality, on a particular segment of the American population. It does not help that the law of our great land has lacked the will, and honor to bring some of those rogue police officers to justice. On an overall basis, this is a political and social issue that can be handled in a more positive and productive way that benefits all segments of the American population.

Currently you have a group of rich people, some millionaires, some billionaires, looking to force change by disrespecting what unites all Americans, and that is our flag. America is made up of many people, with diverse backgrounds and cultures. We come together as Americans by what holds us together, and that is our Flag and our Country. Our Flag, Our Banner is what unites all of the various people who live in the great empire of America.

The politics of fear and hate has a target and it is our Flag. It is also wrapped up in rights as well. Everything in this day and age is based on “me”. I have the right to do whatever, whenever because it is what “I” want to do.

You have a “right” to take a knee during the National Anthem – yes, you do. You have the “right” to do many things. What about having the respect not to do those things?

Notice how the mainstream media and the politics of fear and hate, never mention the word “respect”.  Everything is about “What are my rights?” What I say is, “How about having respect for a larger group of people who believe that you should respect the Flag and our Nation?”

You will never hear the people pushing fear and hate use the word “respect”, because it does not fit into that political agenda. The negative politics needs a thing to point at and blame; our Flag, and our great Nation, are that thing. The people who are pushing fear and hate need you to believe that the problem is you, and you should bow to the will of fear and hate.

They need you to believe that disrespecting the flag and nation is the right course of action. What I am telling you is that is a damn lie of damn lies. Our great nation has problems, and it has serious problems; we are a divided nation, and we show it every single day. Our Flag, and our Nation, are the best things that could have happened to our world, and the majority of Americans need to take that reality to the people who are pushing fear and hate and pointing at a Flag that they fear.

America has problems; the one problem that we do not have is Our Flag, Our Anthem, and Our Grand Experiment of a Nation. I am an American, I believe in Our Great Flag, I believe in Our Great Nation, and I believe in the Good Will Of Our People. 

I am an American, and I will choose to Honor Our Flag and Our Nation.

I hope that Americans will choose to do the same thing.  

Michael Dodd is the owner and editor of the Wave Chronicle and MPDSports.com

We Would Like to Welcome Everyone – Official Statement by Martin van der Kroon

We Would Like to Welcome Everyone – Official Statement by Martin van der Kroon

Martin van der Kroon


The U.S. Transhumanist Party humbly prides itself on our stance regarding inclusion of people from all manner of different backgrounds, religions, and movements.

We outline this in detail in Section XXV [Adopted by a vote of the members during March 26 – April 1, 2017]:

“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.”

Furthermore, we adopted Section XX [Adopted by a vote of the members during March 26 – April 1, 2017]:

“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.”

There is good reason that these planks were adopted. Not only is the U.S. Transhumanist Party striving for inclusion where others fail, we also labor to be a party where anyone may feel welcomed. This is not entirely altruistic though. We think that people of different backgrounds, people of faith, those with perspectives different from our own, can bring valuable ideas to the table, and are uniquely qualified to criticize our own perspectives, helping us all to avoid becoming trapped within an echo-chamber.

People who believe in a higher power, despite no evidence based on our current scientific standards being available, are not automatically opposed to science, reason, and evidence. That people believe in a god does not mean they reject the laws of physics, and they may well believe that god was so awesome that he/she/it created all these amazing physics equations for us to discover. To each his or her own.

I, Martin van der Kroon, Director of Recruitment for the U.S. Transhumanist Party, being non-religious, would nonetheless be ecstatic if, for example, Pope Francis, the Dalai Lama, or Rabbi Wolpe would speak positive, or even support the U.S. Transhumanist Party, or engage in a debate with us. They may be people of faith, but that doesn’t mean they are devoid of intellect or meaningful ideas and opinions.

What it comes down to is that as members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party, and hopefully the transhumanist movement at large, we should not perceive the Core Ideals as outlined in our Constitution as being at odds with religious beliefs. Sometimes religions are referred to as ‘deathist’ beliefs, hinting at the perception of inferiority, or perhaps perceived from the opposite side, creating the impression of elitism on part of the non-religious.

In addition to the acceptance of anyone regardless of their religions (etc.), the U.S. Transhumanist Party furthermore has adopted two plank proposals to outline practices we do not support, with the intent to further reason, acceptance, and debate, and shun intolerance and practices in direct violation of the U.S. Transhumanist Party’s goals. We adopted Section XL [Adopted by a vote of the members during May 7-13, 2017]:

“In addition to its opposition to intolerant interpretations of religious doctrines, the United States Transhumanist Party is furthermore opposed to any interpretation of a secular, non-religious doctrine that results in the rejection of reason, censorship, violation of individual rights, suppression of technological advancement, and attempts to impose certain beliefs by force and/or by legal compulsion. Examples of such doctrines opposed by the United States Transhumanist Party include Stalinism, Maoism, Neo-Malthusianism or eco-primitivism, the death-acceptance movement, and the doctrine of censorship, now prevalent on many college campuses in the United States, in the name of “social justice”, combating “triggers” or “microaggressions”, or avoiding subjectively perceived offense.”

We also adopted Section LXIII [Adopted by a vote of the members during June 18-24, 2017]:

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

Let us all respect that we all hold notions about our existence, about religion or lack thereof, and appreciate that we, thankfully, do differ in perspectives on such matters. Let us all engage fervently in debates, share our ideas, be critical and skeptical, but allow each other space and dignity to be ourselves.

For those who are interested in our approach of open, inclusive engagement with the ideas, technologies, and policies that can help shape a better future, we invite all of you to become members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party for free by filling out our Membership Application Form here.

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31 – New International Version)

Martin van der Kroon is Director of Recruitment for the U.S. Transhumanist Party.

U.S. Transhumanist Party Q&A Session – July 15, 2017

U.S. Transhumanist Party Q&A Session – July 15, 2017

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Gennady Stolyarov II
B.J. Murphy
Bobby Ridge
Scott Jurgens
Martin van der Kroon


In this interactive question-and-answer session, scheduled for 11 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time on Saturday, July 15, 2017, U.S. Transhumanist Party Officers answered members’ and the public’s questions about the ongoing activities and objectives of the United States Transhumanist Party and also discussed other issues of interest that relate to emerging technologies and how to ensure the best possible future for sentient entities.

The following Officers were present for this Q&A session:

Gennady Stolyarov II, Chairman
B.J. Murphy, Director of Social Media
Martin van der Kroon, Director of Recruitment
Bobby Ridge, Secretary-Treasurer
Scott Jurgens, Director of Applied Innovation

Because of an unexpected technical difficulty, the video stream was split into two portions.

Watch Part 1 here.

Watch Part 2 here.

Join the U.S. Transhumanist Party for free by filling out our membership application form at https://goo.gl/forms/IpUjooEZjnfOFUMi2.

Visit the U.S. Transhumanist Party Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/USTranshumanistParty/.

Visit the U.S. Transhumanist Party Twitter page at https://twitter.com/USTranshumanist.

Discussion on Life-Extension Advocacy – Gennady Stolyarov II Answers Audience Questions

Discussion on Life-Extension Advocacy – Gennady Stolyarov II Answers Audience Questions

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Gennady Stolyarov II


 

Gennady Stolyarov II, Chairman of the U.S. Transhumanist Party, answers audience questions regarding life-extension advocacy and possibilities for broadening the reach of transhumanist and life-extensionist ideas.

While we were unable to get into contact with our intended guest, Chris Monteiro, we were nonetheless able to have a productive, wide-ranging discussion that addressed many areas of emerging technologies, as well as trends in societal attitudes towards them and related issues of cosmopolitanism, ideology, and the need for a new comprehensive philosophical paradigm of transmodernism or hypermodernism that would build off of the legacy of the 18th-century Age of Enlightenment.

Become a member of the U.S. Transhumanist Party for free. Apply here.

The user comments submitted contemporaneously with this discussion are presented below.

User Comments