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Nevada Transhumanist Party Positions on 2018 Nevada Ballot Questions

Nevada Transhumanist Party Positions on 2018 Nevada Ballot Questions

Gennady Stolyarov II

The Nevada Transhumanist Party offers the following brief statements of position on the ballot questions currently before Nevada voters in the 2018 General Election.

Summary
Question 1: Support
Question 2: Support
Question 3: Support
Question 4: Support
Question 5: Oppose
Question 6: Oppose

 

Ballot Question 1 Marsy’s Law Crime Victims’ Rights Amendment Support

Wording of Ballot Question: “Shall the Nevada Constitution be amended to: (1) remove existing provisions that require the Legislature to provide certain statutory rights for crime victims; and (2) adopt in their place certain expressly stated constitutional rights that crime victims may assert throughout the criminal or juvenile justice process?” (More information on BallotPedia.)

Position of the Nevada Transhumanist Party: The Nevada Transhumanist Party supports Ballot Question 1 as an expansion of the rights of crime victims to render those rights more symmetrical to the protections that those accused of criminal acts already receive. The Nevada Transhumanist Party strongly holds that due process is vital for both the accused and the victim of a crime. Section X of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform states, in part, that “each individual should be sentenced based solely on the consideration of the nature of that individual’s crime, its context, and its severity.” However, the nature, context, and severity of a crime can only be ascertained if victims are permitted to participate in the justice process, with full protections of their safety and right to be heard. One of the most important protections of Ballot Question 1 is “To have all monetary payments, money and property collected from any person who has been ordered to make restitution be first applied to pay the amounts ordered as restitution to the victim.” This shifts the focus of the justice system toward compensating the victim, instead of simply enriching the state. A restitution-oriented justice system is ideal where the damage from a crime can be repaired or compensated monetarily, as this approach actually endeavors to make the victims whole and thereby undo as many of the ill effects of the crime as possible. The more lives can be repaired in this way, the fewer obstacles to innocent individuals’ flourishing will exist, and the faster our society will progress in economic, moral, and technological dimensions.

 

Ballot Question 2 Sales-Tax Exemption for Feminine Hygiene Products Support

Wording of Ballot Question: “Shall the Sales and Use Tax Act of 1955 be amended to provide an exemption from the taxes imposed by this Act on the gross receipts from the sale and the storage, use or other consumption of feminine hygiene products?” (More information on BallotPedia.)

Position of the Nevada Transhumanist Party: The Nevada Transhumanist Party supports Ballot Question 2 as a protection for the morphological freedom of individuals. The morphological freedom of female individuals is infringed by asymmetrical taxation of products that those individuals uniquely require. While the Nevada Transhumanist Party does not oppose sales taxes per se, exemptions from sales taxes for the necessities of life are reasonable if such taxes pose impediments to individual quality of life or even the ability to afford those necessities.

 

Ballot Question 3Energy Choice Initiative Support

Wording of Ballot Question: “Shall Article 1 of the Nevada Constitution be amended to require the Legislature to provide by law for the establishment of an open, competitive retail electric energy market that prohibits the granting of monopolies and exclusive franchises for the generation of electricity?” (More information on BallotPedia.)

Position of the Nevada Transhumanist Party: The Nevada Transhumanist Party supports Ballot Question 3 to eliminate the coercive energy monopoly currently held by NV Energy and allow individuals to choose their utility and source of energy, much like they are able to choose which furniture or which cars to buy today. NV Energy has used its monopoly position to stifle and penalize the deployment of economical rooftop solar systems, which allow homeowners to autonomously generate their own electricity and even earn some money doing so. The suppression of such opportunities is a travesty of justice and needs to be reversed.

The NV Energy monopoly is not only harmful to technological progress, renewal energy, and affordable electricity costs; it is also a danger to the health and safety of homeowners. This is because of NV Energy’s arcane, deliberately circular call-center system, which gives consumers “the runaround” when consumers attempt to contact NV Energy to request emergency service related to failures in the electrical panels on their homes. NV Energy has connected the main circuit-breakers on many such panels to its “smart meters”, which require the intervention of an NV Energy technician to disable to that the circuit-breakers can be worked on and repaired or replaced. However, NV Energy does not offer consumers a dedicated emergency response to promptly allow access to those consumers’ own electrical systems in situations where hours and even minutes matter for preserving life and property.

The Nevada Transhumanist Party considers particularly reprehensible the “No on 3” campaign in Nevada – orchestrated and almost exclusively (99.99%) financed by NV Energy and its connected organizations – which has been disingenuous in its messaging and which has created many mistaken impressions on the part of the public. Question 3 would only deprive NV Energy of its monopoly powers; it would not mirror the California-style (pseudo)-“deregulation” of the late 1990s, nor would it thwart any renewable-energy projects. Quite the contrary, it has been NV Energy and only NV Energy that has stifled efforts by consumers and rooftop-solar installers to create genuine alternatives to NV Energy’s electrical grid and its intentionally cumbersome and restrictive policies.

Question 3, indeed, would require that the Nevada Legislature “ensure that protections are established that entitle customers to safe, reliable, and competitively priced electricity;” and “protect against service disconnections and unfair practices” – protections that are currently absent because of the NV Energy monopoly’s political connections, asymmetrical lobbying clout, and the regulatory capture of the Public Utilities Commission.

Nevada’s voters overwhelmingly approved Question 3 in 2016 (72.36% voted in favor). Now that NV Energy has launched a last-ditch campaign in reaction to the jeopardy in which its monopoly finds itself, voters should inform themselves and see through the misleading rhetoric of the “Coalition to Defeat Question 3” (i.e., NV Energy). The Nevada Transhumanist Party staunchly supports Question 3 as the pathway toward major technological progress and innovation in the realm of energy, harnessing the forces of market competition to provide cleaner, more affordable electricity for all Nevadans.

 

Ballot Question 4 Medical Equipment Sales Tax Exemption AmendmentSupport

Wording of Ballot Question: “Shall Article 10 of the Nevada Constitution be amended to require the Legislature to provide by law for the exemption of durable medical equipment, oxygen delivery equipment, and mobility enhancing equipment prescribed for use by a licensed health care provider from any tax upon the sale, storage, use, or consumption of tangible personal property?” (More information on BallotPedia.)

Position of the Nevada Transhumanist Party: The Nevada Transhumanist Party supports Ballot Question 4 to exempt durable medical equipment from sales and use tax. These taxes can often run into the thousands of dollars for sick and dying patients and could compromise the quality of their care. We support any measure that helps make medical equipment affordable and more widespread.

 

Ballot Question 5Automatic Voter Registration via DMVOppose

Wording of Ballot Question: “Shall Chapter 293 of the Nevada Revised Statutes be amended to establish a system that will automatically register an eligible person to vote, or update that person’s existing Nevada voter registration information, at the time the person applies to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles for the issuance or renewal of any type of driver’s license or identification card, or makes a request to change the address on such a license or identification card, unless the person affirmatively declines in writing?” (More information on BallotPedia.)

Position of the Nevada Transhumanist Party: The Nevada Transhumanist Party opposes Ballot Question 5. While the Nevada Transhumanist Party supports efforts to render voter registration easy and seamless, the particular requirements of Ballot Question 5 would entail the DMV being mandated to insert disclosures that encourage voters to select a major political-party registration by including a statement “that the person will not be able to vote at a primary election for candidates for partisan offices of a major political party unless the person indicates a major political party affiliation”. Such wording – which would essentially compel a State agency to advertise for the major political parties – would further skew the political arena toward the major political parties and would entrench their dominance. Voter registration should furthermore always occur on an opt-in, rather than opt-out, basis; this is the only approach that consistently respects individual autonomy and choice to participate in the political system or to abstain from such participation. Opting in should be easy and made available through a variety of methods (including electronic, same-day registration), but the presumption of registration can create logistical difficulties for some individuals and conceivable situations where an automatic “updated” registration generates needless contradictions in a person’s registration status, which would actually render it more difficult for that person to subsequently cast a vote.

 

Ballot Question 6Renewable Energy Standards Initiative Oppose

Wording of Ballot Question: “Shall Article 4 of the Nevada Constitution be amended to require, beginning in calendar year 2022, that all providers of electric utility services who sell electricity to retail customers for consumption in Nevada generate or acquire incrementally larger percentages of electricity from renewable energy resources so that by calendar year 2030 not less than 50 percent of the total amount of electricity sold by each provider to its retail customers in Nevada comes from renewable energy resources?“ (More information on BallotPedia.)

Position of the Nevada Transhumanist Party: The Nevada Transhumanist Party opposes Ballot Question 6. While the Nevada Transhumanist Party supports economical renewable energy and the acceleration of efforts to develop technologies to render as much of our energy supply renewable as possible, the ability to affordably generate 50 percent of the total electricity through renewable energy resources is ultimately a technological challenge, not a political one. If the technology is ready, and the market is robust and competitive enough to deploy it to consumers at more attractive prices than fossil-fuel energy, then a 50-percent or greater renewable proportion of electricity will be achieved by 2030 without the need for a mandate. If, however, the technology cannot yet render renewable energy competitive with fossil fuels, then the only effect of the mandate would be to push up costs and constrict supply of electricity to consumers. The surest way to bring about a future of greater renewable energy is to repeal the NV Energy monopoly which has been standing in its way. Through competition, both technological and marketing innovations will thrive and will deliver renewable energy solutions to consumers.  Ballot Question 3, rather than Ballot Question 6, is therefore a superior means toward that goal.

 

Mr. Stolyarov is the Chief Executive of the Nevada Transhumanist Party and Chairman of the U.S. Transhumanist Party.
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Head in the Clouds – Article by R. Nicholas Starr

Head in the Clouds – Article by R. Nicholas Starr

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R. Nicholas Starr


Editor’s Note: The U.S. Transhumanist Party has published this perspective from R. Nicholas Starr as part of the ongoing discussion about the interaction of transhumanism with other ideological frameworks, such as libertarianism and socialism. Prior perspectives in this discussion include Zoltan Istvan’s article, “Transhumanism is Under Siege from Socialism“, and B.J. Murphy’s response, “Why the Transhumanist Movement Needs Socialism“. The U.S. Transhumanist Party remains committed to the principle of transpartisanship, which means we will neither embrace any conventional political ideology, nor distance ourselves from people who hold such ideologies but wish to constructively contribute to our endeavors. Nonetheless, our inextricable embeddedness in the world of contemporary political discourse does render unavoidable the discussion of these ideologies and any logical relationships and tensions. It is hoped that such discussions can proceed in a constructive manner whereby various perspectives can be expressed and perhaps result in some creative, unconventional solutions that would further expand our movement, rather than fracturing it, and establish grounds for fruitful collaboration on endeavors that advance the next great era of our civilization. 

Do you agree or disagree with Mr. Starr’s article? Post your thoughts in the Comments section below. 

~ Gennady Stolyarov II, Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party, July 29, 2018


TL;DR – If transhumanism is to grow and gain momentum, we need to distance ourselves from libertarian elitism, and Altered Carbon shows us why.

In Zoltan Istvan’s most recent article (1) he presents, in my opinion, a misguided argument on how the transhumanist movement is breaking from its libertarian roots and morphing into a hard-left socialist agenda. When did this partisan prerequisite appear, and how has the party changed?

Zoltan Istvan’s sensational 2016 Presidential campaign brought a lot of attention to transhumanism. If it weren’t for his dramatic tour across America in a coffin bus, preaching about immortality, morphological freedom, and other transhumanist virtues, we would have never attracted the large diversity of members to the party we have today. With the vision of using science and technology to improve the human condition, we have come together to lift humanity up, not to pull it to the left or right. To bring this vision to life, we need our leadership to embrace and act on the input of all members, not just the libertarian progenitors. This is something that current transhumanist party chairman Gennady Stolyarov II, the person Istvan himself selected to lead the party as he made his departure, has done a great job with. 

Since Stolyarov took the reins, he has created an environment where every member can voice an opinion and suggest policy planks. These planks are then voted on by the entire party, giving the members direct control over its course and message. If the party going in a different direction than before, it is because the members have made the informed decision to do so, and its leadership is acting on their votes. Suggesting that transhumanists reject member input because of a perceived socialist invasion is a slap in the face of the democratic process and deters prospective members. It’s also contrary to a science-based organization.

Perception is veiled in opinion and personal bias, and humans too easily fall into its many traps. But an organization building its platform on evidence-based policy needs to stick to hard data. The available information simply doesn’t support the notion that the goals of transhumanists are changing. An analysis of the party’s Constitution (2), which contains all voting data embedded within it, provides the only measurable data available, at least as far as the American organization is concerned. Simply reading opinion pieces from the handful of us with an outlet to do so isn’t enough to suggest a radical change is on the horizon. However what could be changing are the methods of achieving these goals. This can likely be attributed to the current sociopolitical climate. As a political organization working to improve lives, we need to tailor our message to show how a future-focused message can also address their needs for today. Failing to do so leads many to view transhumanism as out of touch.

We should also consider the impact of the radical life-extension platform, the preeminent transhuman subject, and how it impacts the narrative. To be blunt, transhumanists need to tone down the rhetoric on life extension. When a large portion of Americans can’t even afford basic healthcare or life-saving prescriptions, it is incredibly callous to suggest they should be investing in radical life extension. Modern medicine has already taken huge strides in extending human life anyways, and it will continue to do so. Anyone who ignores these two facts to proselytize immortality is begging to be made a fool. To then double down and suggest that billionaires will buy into the immortality market and save us all is callow and turns a blind eye to history. No wonder many fear that only the elite will achieve immortality. We’ve never shown them how it could be accessible to them. What they have seen are countless selfish acts by sci/tech industry leaders that tear down the average citizen while building up their bank accounts. 

Zuckerberg, Bezos, Shkreli, and Trump are all current documentable examples of how the ultra-rich have publicly exploited Americans for personal and professional gain. Consumers have every right to be skeptical of corporate motives when they have been given overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing by many in those positions. And while we certainly can’t paint every tycoon with the same brush, we also can’t blindly put our trust in them. It would be foolhardy to let a handful of CEOs determine the course of future civilization without deep analysis of every product and policy they create. The libertarian opinion that “the market” will some how regulate these corporations or “generous donations” will provide all the public needs is a fantasy, especially when it comes to bleeding-edge science, medicine, and technology. Pride, greed, and ego are too easy a pit to fall into when exploring uncharted territory. To combat this there must be unrelenting third-party accountability, lest we have a world led by Bancrofts with their Heads in the Clouds. 

Richard Morgan’s novel Altered Carbon provides a perfect allegory for this situation. The entire Bancroft family are precise examples of how many see transhumanism becoming. The novel depicts a world where the ultra-rich can live forever and act without impunity simply because they can afford to do so. Even more to the point, it shows us how the wealthy use philanthropy as a means to pad their own egos. Laurens Bancroft’s humanitarian efforts to assist the plague colony are nothing short of self-aggrandizing. Distributing blankets and candy are nice things to do for victims, but they do nothing to solve the actual problem of their illness. He’s so rich that he can even afford to repeatedly resleeve himself after making himself a martyr to their plight. Nevertheless he is worshipped as a god for doing this. He could surely afford to do so much more to end their suffering by bringing them out of the shadows to get 24-hour medical care until they find a cure, or even resleeve them entirely, but he has decided a minute’s smile on their faces is enough because it’s more than anyone else is doing. This is precisely how Americans today feel about tech moguls like Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos. They have made billions turning human beings into nothing more than data and dollars signs. But all is assumed forgiven when Zuckerberg announces he is funding a “biohub” in San Francisco, a city where a staggering yearly income of $105,000 is considered low-income and his own employees are asking for help with rent (3), to develop lifesaving tools. It doesn’t take much effort to determine that this is just another money-making venture, as these are all investments he expects a return on and not outright grants. And if the biohub is successful, who will be able to afford to us the products? Amazon’s Bezos has done even less, placating followers on Twitter (4), only to turn around and bully the city of Seattle out of helping the homeless by the tune of 0.042% of Amazon’s yearly income (5,6). So when a libertarian says, “Don’t worry, the rich won’t let you down,” or “The market will correct this,” it immediately triggers justifiable skepticism and fear among the millions struggling to make ends meet. We shouldn’t hang the lives of millions on a hook of hopes and dreams. That isn’t how government, business, or real life work. A tangible and socially responsible plan is required. But while I think the fiscal libertarian position is folly, we do gain some positive aspects from libertarianism.

Social libertarianism is what I see transhumanism is truly built around. An inherent right to bodily autonomy and self-determination are the pillars that hold the rest of the transhumanist platform up. These also happen to be major components of liberal and 21st-century socialist politics. For example, reproductive rights and morphological freedom are born from the same philosophy. Free and accessible medical care enables life extension for all. Free and continued education is what allows the population to think critically and make informed decisions. We can’t create science-based policy if only a handful understand the science involved! So when self-appointed spokesmen claim that transhumanism isn’t compatible with left-wing goals because of an partisan line they drew in the sand, I have to seriously question their motives and good judgement. It’s divisive and counterproductive to positive change that any sociopolitical movement wishes to achieve. If we truly want to avoid the assorted dystopias science fiction has presented to us, then we must all heed the warnings and take actionable steps to mitigate the risk. If that falls into what some would call a socialist agenda, then fine. But for the record, I don’t see this as socialism; I see it as being an empathetic human being who wants to use science to help everyone. And that’s not a bad thing.

1- Istvan, Zoltan. Transhumanism is Under Siege from Socialism“. July 18, 2018. Available at https://www.themaven.net/transhumanistwager/transhumanism/transhumanism-is-under-siege-from-socialism-UzA2xHZiFUaGOiUFpc0n5g/ 

2- U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitution. Available at http://transhumanist-party.org/constitution/ 

3- Bloom, Ester.”Here’s how much you have to make to be considered ‘low income’ in San Francisco“. May 12, 2017. Available at https://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/12/if-you-make-105000-in-san-francisco-youre-considered-low-income.html

4- Bezos, Jeff. “Request for ideas…” June 15, 2017. Available at https://twitter.com/jeffbezos/status/875418348598603776?s=21

5- Barrabi, Thomas. “What Seattle ‘head tax’ will cost Amazon”. May 15, 2017. Available at https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/what-seattle-head-tax-will-cost-amazon

6- Alcula. Percentage Calculator. http://www.alcula.com/calculators/finance/percentage-calculator/

Results of Platform Vote #2 and Adopted Sections

Results of Platform Vote #2 and Adopted Sections

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Gennady Stolyarov II


The U.S. Transhumanist Party conducted its third vote of the members and the second vote on its platform planks on February 16 through February 22, 2017. Official ballot options can be found here.

Detailed results of the voting have been tabulated here. Options were selected based on the ranked-preference method with instant runoffs.

As a result, the following sections of Article III of the U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitution were adopted.

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 VII:  The United States Transhumanist Party strongly supports and emphasizes all values and organized efforts related to the cultivation of science, reason, intelligence, and rational thinking.

The United States Transhumanist Party places no reliance upon any and all sources of information that cannot stand up to rational scrutiny.

The United States Transhumanist Party places no reliance upon any individual, organization, or belief system that intentionally distorts empirically verifiable evidence, including but not limited to scientific and historical evidence, to serve its own agenda.

The United States Transhumanist Party places no reliance upon any position or belief system that contains arguments built upon logical fallacies (with exemption granted to arguments containing both fallacious and logically defensible premises).

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.

Section IX: 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.

Section X: The United States Transhumanist Party advocates the construction of a self-repairing, self-maintaining smart infrastructure which incorporates the distribution of energy, communications, and clean potable water to every building.

Official Ballot Options for Platform Vote #2

Official Ballot Options for Platform Vote #2

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The 7-day electronic voting period on the second set of five proposed platform planks of the U.S. Transhumanist Party will occur from 12:01 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time on February 16, 2017, to 12:01 a.m.  U.S. Pacific Time on February 23, 2017. All members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party who have applied before 12:01 a.m. on February 16, 2017, will be eligible to vote, as long as they have expressed agreement with the three Core Ideals of the Transhumanist Party or have otherwise been rendered eligible to vote at the discretion of the Chairman.

All members who are eligible to vote will be sent a link to an electronic submission form whereby they will be able to cast their ballot.

When you are voting, it is strongly recommended that you keep this page of official ballot options and the submission form open simultaneously in different windows so that you can reference the relevant options as you vote on them. Due to space limitations, the submission form does not list the entire text of all the options.

It is also recommended that you set aside at least fifteen minutes to consider and vote on all of the options and read their text closely, as some of the options contain minor variations upon other options. 

For most questions, electronic voting is  conducted by a ranked-preference method on individual articles where more options are possible than would be accommodated by a simple “Yes” or “No” vote. Members should keep in mind that the ranked-preference method eliminates the incentives for strategic voting – so members are encouraged to vote for the options that reflect their individual preferences as closely as possible, without regard for how other members might vote.

Results of the voting will be tabulated during late February 2017, with the intent to announce the results approximately 7 days after all votes have been submitted.

NOTE: The titles of the questions and potential Sections are descriptive and informational only and will not appear in the final adopted platform planks (which will be incorporated into Article III of the U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitution). They are intended as concise guides to the subject matter of the questions and potential Sections. Likewise, the letters assigned to Sections within this ballot will not reflect the numbering of the final adopted provisions, which will depend on which Sections are selected by the membership.

NOTE II: The inclusion of any proposals on this ballot does not indicate any manner of endorsement for those proposals by the U.S. Transhumanist Party at this time – except to place those proposals before the members to determine the will of the members with regard to whether or not the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform should incorporate any given proposal.

 


 

Voter Identification

E-mail address

Provide the same e-mail address you used to register for U.S. Transhumanist Party membership. Your ballot will be cross-referenced to our membership rolls, and only ballots with matching e-mail addresses will be counted.

What is your name?

At minimum, first and last name are required, unless you are publicly known by a single-name pseudonym which is not itself a common name. Your identity will not be publicly disclosed by the Transhumanist Party, unless you choose and/or authorize its disclosure. Only other members of the Transhumanist Party will be able to see *that* you voted, but not *how* you voted. The nature of the selections made by the members may be disclosed, but, if they are, each individual vote will not be associated with the identity of the voter but rather will be presented in an anonymized manner.

Navigate the Options

Question I. Section E2-A. Morphological Freedom
Question II. Additional Text of Section E2-A. Reproductive Choice
Question III. Additional Text of Section E2-A. Ethical Obligations as Individual, Not Collective Purview
Question IV. Preceding Mention of Not Harming Others by the Word “Directly”
Question V. Section E2-B. Pro-Intelligence / Pro-Science Position
Question VI. Additional Text of Section E2-B. Unfavorable Treatment of Sources That Cannot Stand Up to Scrutiny
Question VII. Additional Text of Section E2-B. Nature of Scrutiny to Be Used to Justify Reliance
Question VIII. Additional Text of Section E2-B. Unfavorable Treatment of Entities That Intentionally Distort Evidence
Question IX. Additional Text of Section E2-B. Manner of Verifiability of Evidence
Question X. Additional Text of Section E2-B. Unfavorable View of Logical Fallacies
Question XI. Section E2-C. Liberty to Innovate
Question XII. Section E2-D. Support for Emerging Technologies
Question XIII. Section E2-E. Smart Infrastructure

Proposed Platform Sections

Question I. Section E2-A. Morphological Freedom. 

Rank-order the Section E2-A Options that you support. Choose “1” for your most highly favored option, “2” for your second-most highly favored option, etc. You may include the option for “No Section of this sort” in your rank-ordering, and it does not need to be your most favored option if you do so. (For instance, some voters might favor some options but think that no language is preferable to some of the other options.)

If you choose “Abstain”, then do not rank-order any options, as you will be considered to have skipped this question.

☐ Option E2-A-1. [Based on Section VI of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party advocates for morphological freedom – the right of an individual to alter the appearance, composition, and prospects of his, her, or its organism, as long as such changes do not harm others.

☐ Option E2-A-2. [Platform Adaptation of Article X of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0]

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 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.

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 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.

 Option E2-A-NO. No Section of this sort.

Question II. Additional Text of Section E2-A. Reproductive Choice.

If Section E2-A on morphological freedom is adopted, shall the following sentence be integrated into the article?

“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.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question III. Additional Text of Section E2-A. Ethical Obligations as Individual, Not Collective Purview

If Section E2-A on morphological freedom is adopted, shall the following sentence be integrated into the article?

“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.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question IV. Preceding Mention of Not Harming Others by the Word “Directly”

If any option for Section E2-A on morphological freedom is adopted, shall any mention of not harming others be preceded by the word “directly”? For example, if members vote in the affirmative, then in Option E2-A-1, “as long as such changes do not harm others” would be revised to “as long as such changes do not directly harm others”. In Option E2-A-2, “so long as it does not harm others” would be revised to “so long as it does not directly harm others”.

Select one of the following options.

☐ Yes, add the word “directly”.

☐ No, do not add the word “directly”.

Abstain.

Question VSection E2-B. Pro-Intelligence / Pro-Science Position

Rank-order the Section E2-B Options that you support. Choose “1” for your most highly favored option, “2” for your second-most highly favored option, etc. You may include the option for “No Section of this sort” in your rank-ordering, and it does not need to be your most favored option if you do so. (For instance, some voters might favor some options but think that no language is preferable to some of the other options.)

If you choose “Abstain”, then do not rank-order any options, as you will be considered to have skipped this question.

☐ Option E2-B-1.  [Based on Section II of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the spread of a pro-science culture by emphasizing reason and secular values.

☐ Option E2-B-2. [Based on Proposal by Daniel Yeluashvili, Base Text]

The United States Transhumanist Party strongly supports and emphasizes all values and organized efforts related to the cultivation of science, reason, intelligence, and rational thinking.

 Option E2-B-NO. No Section of this sort.

Question VI. Additional Text of Section E2-B. Unfavorable Treatment of Sources That Cannot Stand Up to Scrutiny 

If Section E2-B regarding a pro-intelligence / pro-science position is adopted, shall additional language be included to the following effect?

Clause E2-B-Add-1: The United States Transhumanist Party [Possible Options: condemns, disavows, disregards, disapproves of, frowns upon, places no reliance upon] any and all sources of information that cannot stand up to [Possible Options: academic, rational, factually grounded, objective] scrutiny.

If so, which of the following wording options would you favor for the term to express the U.S. Transhumanist Party’s unfavorable outlook toward the aforementioned sources of information?

Rank-order the options you support. “Yes” favors including the above language, whereas “No” favors omitting it in entirety.

☐ Yesuse “condemns”.

☐ Yes, use “disavows”.

☐ Yes, use “disregards”.

☐ Yes, use “disapproves of”.

☐ Yes, use “frowns upon”.

☐ Yes, use “places no reliance upon”.

☐ No, do not include such a clause at all.

Question VII. Additional Text of Section E2-B. Nature of Scrutiny to Be Used to Justify Reliance

If Section E2-B regarding a pro-intelligence / pro-science position is adopted, shall additional language be included to the following effect?

Clause E2-B-Add-1: The United States Transhumanist Party [Possible Options: condemns, disavows, disregards, disapproves of, frowns upon, places no reliance upon] any and all sources of information that cannot stand up to [Possible Options: academic, rational, factually grounded, objective] scrutiny.

If so, which of the following wording options would you favor for the term to express the kind of scrutiny to which information should be able to stand up?

Rank-order the options you support. “Yes” favors including the above language, whereas “No” favors omitting it in entirety.

☐ Yesuse “academic”.

☐ Yesuse “rational”.

☐ Yesuse “factually grounded”.

☐ Yesuse “objective”.

☐ No, do not include such a clause at all.

Question VIII. Additional Text of Section E2-B. Unfavorable Treatment of Entities That Intentionally Distort Evidence

If Section E2-B regarding a pro-intelligence / pro-science position is adopted, shall additional language be included to the following effect?

Clause E2-B-Add-2: The United States Transhumanist Party [Possible Options: condemns, disavows, disregards, disapproves of, frowns upon, places no reliance upon – Same as choice for Question VI] any [Candidate entities for inclusion in the list: individual, organization, belief system] that intentionally distorts [Possible Options: academically, empirically, factually, objectively] verifiable evidence to serve its own agenda, including but not limited to [Candidate adjectives for inclusion in the list: scientific, historical, political, journalistic] evidence.

If so, which of the following entities do think should be included in the list of entities to be considered unfavorably if they engage in the distortion being described, and what sort of evidence do you think should be included in the list of evidence whose distortion the U.S. Transhumanist Party would oppose?

Select all the options you support. (You can select multiple options for this question.) “Yes” favors including the above language, whereas “No” favors omitting it in entirety.

☐ Yesinclude “individual”.

☐ Yesinclude “organization”.

☐ Yesinclude “belief system”.

☐ Yesinclude “scientific” evidence.

☐ Yesinclude “historical” evidence.

☐ Yesinclude “political” evidence.

☐ Yesinclude “journalistic” evidence.

☐ No, do not include such a clause at all.

Question IX. Additional Text of Section E2-B. Manner of Verifiability of Evidence

If Section E2-B regarding a pro-intelligence / pro-science position is adopted, shall additional language be included to the following effect?

Clause E2-B-Add-2: The United States Transhumanist Party [Possible Options: condemns, disavows, disregards, disapproves of, frowns upon, places no reliance upon – Same as choice for Question VI] any [Candidate entities for inclusion in the list: individual, organization, belief system] that intentionally distorts [Possible Options: academically, empirically, factually, objectively] verifiable evidence to serve its own agenda, including but not limited to [Candidate adjectives for inclusion in the list: scientific, historical, political, journalistic] evidence.

If so, which adverb should be applied before “verifiable evidence”?

Rank-order the options you support. “Yes” favors including the above language, whereas “No” favors omitting it in entirety.

☐ Yesuse “academically”.

☐ Yesuse “empirically”.

☐ Yesuse “factually”.

☐ Yesuse “objectively”.

☐ No, do not include such a clause at all.

Question X. Additional Text of Section E2-B. Unfavorable View of Logical Fallacies.

If Section E2-B regarding a pro-intelligence / pro-science position is adopted, shall additional language be included to the following effect?

Clause E2-B-Add-3: The United States Transhumanist Party [Possible Options: condemns, disavows, disregards, disapproves of, frowns upon, places no reliance upon – Same as choice for Question VI] any position or belief system that contains arguments built upon logical fallacies (with exemption granted to arguments containing both fallacious and logically defensible premises).

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XISection E2-C. Liberty to Innovate

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“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.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XIISection E2-D. Support for Emerging Technologies

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“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.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XIIISection E2-E. Smart Infrastructure

Shall the following language be adopted as a new Section within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party advocates the construction of a self-repairing, self-maintaining smart infrastructure which incorporates the distribution of energy, communications, and clean potable water to every building.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

15-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #2 and Practice of Rolling Exposure Periods Going Forward

15-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #2 and Practice of Rolling Exposure Periods Going Forward

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Gennady Stolyarov II


Informal polling of U.S. Transhumanist Party members has indicated that the majority of respondents prefer ballots to be relatively concise, with five issues addressed per ballot. The U.S. Transhumanist Party will endeavor to respect this preference where it is reasonable to do so.

In order to enable members’ suggestions regarding platform planks to still be considered on a relatively expeditious timeframe, the U.S. Transhumanist Party will henceforth institute the practice of rolling exposure periods, where any potential plank (and the set of options that has been generated in connection with it) may be placed on the ballot if it has been publicly exposed for at least 15 days. This will still allow members at least 15 days to comment on any proposal and suggest alternative variants. Furthermore, some proposals may be exposed for longer than 15 days as a result of this, allowing for more discussion. Once any five potential planks have been exposed for at least 15 days each, the U.S. Transhumanist Party will endeavor to circulate ballots to enable members to vote on them, which will potentially enable multiple votes to be held in closer succession while still keeping each ballot concise.

The United States Transhumanist Party also hereby opens its exposure period for its second vote on platform planks, which will last at least until 12:01 a.m. on February 16, 2017. Comments from members, and at times specific wording suggestions, have motivated the presentation of the five potential planks below. In some instances, multiple options have already been generated based on available sources and suggestions, however additional options may still be proposed for consideration.

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. 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 E2-A. Morphological Freedom.

Option E2-A-1.

[Based on Section VI of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party advocates for morphological freedom – the right of an individual to alter the appearance, composition, and prospects of his, her, or its organism, as long as such changes do not harm others.

 

Option E2-A-2.

[Platform Adaptation of Article X of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0]

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 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.

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 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.

Potential Add-On Language [Based on Transhuman National Committee Platform, Freedom of Self Policy Plank]

Clause E2-A-Add-1.  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.

Clause E2-A-Add-2. 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.

Question E2-A-Add-3. If any option of the Morphological Freedom plank is adopted, shall any mention of not harming others be preceded by the word “directly”? For example, if members vote in the affirmative, then in Option E2-A-1, “as long as such changes do not harm others” would be revised to “as long as such changes do not directly harm others”. In Option E2-A-2, “so long as it does not harm others” would be revised to “so long as it does not directly harm others”.

☐ Yes, add the word “directly”.

☐ No, do not add the word “directly”.

Section E2-B. Pro-Intelligence / Pro-Science Position

Option E2-B-1.

[Based on Section II of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the spread of a pro-science culture by emphasizing reason and secular values.

Option E2-B-2.

[Based on Proposal by Daniel Yeluashvili, Base Text]

The United States Transhumanist Party strongly supports and emphasizes all values and organized efforts related to the cultivation of science, reason, intelligence, and rational thinking.

Potential Add-On Language [Based on Proposals by Daniel Yeluashvili, with Additional Options Generated]

Note: It is intended for members to have the options to accept or reject any of the following add-on clauses and to select candidate language within each clause when multiple variants may be feasible.

Clause E2-B-Add-1: The United States Transhumanist Party [Possible Options: condemns, disavows, disregards, frowns upon, places no reliance upon] any and all sources of information that cannot stand up to [Possible Options: academic, rational, factually grounded, objective] scrutiny.

Clause E2-B-Add-2: The United States Transhumanist Party [Possible Options: condemns, disavows, disregards, frowns upon, places no reliance upon] any [Candidate entities for inclusion in the list: individual, organization, belief system] that intentionally distorts [Possible Options: academically, empirically, factually, objectively] verifiable evidence to serve its own agenda, including but not limited to [Candidate adjectives for inclusion in the list: scientific, historical, political, journalistic] evidence.

Clause E2-B-Add-3: The United States Transhumanist Party [Possible Options: condemns, disavows, disregards, frowns upon, places no reliance upon] any position or belief system that contains arguments built upon logical fallacies (with exemption granted to arguments containing both fallacious and logically defensible premises).

Section E2-C. Liberty to Innovate

Option E2-C-1.

[Based on Section III of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

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.

Section E2-D. Support for Emerging Technologies

Option E2-D-1.

[Based on Section XVII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

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.

Section E2-E. Smart Infrastructure

Option E2-E-1.

[Based on Proposal by Jennifer Warren]

The United States Transhumanist Party advocates the construction of a self-repairing, self-maintaining smart infrastructure which incorporates the distribution of energy, communications, and clean potable water to every building.