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#IAmTranshuman – Video Compilation #1

#IAmTranshuman – Video Compilation #1

logo_bgB.J. Murphy
Ira Pastor
Tom Ross
José Luis Cordeiro
Charlie Kam
Bill Andrews
Gennady Stolyarov II


Leading transhumanists from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives provide concise, powerful statements as to why they are transhuman. The Transhuman Era has arrived; some of us are aware of this already, whereas others are transhuman but do not know it yet. The #IAmTranshuman campaign helps illustrate how emerging technologies and the accompanying shifts in thinking are already transforming everyday life.

This video was compiled and formatted by Tom Ross, the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party’s Director of Media Production.

The following transhumanists are featured, in order of appearance:

B.J. Murphy, Director of Social Media, U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party
Ira Pastor, Regeneration Advisor, U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party
Tom Ross, Director of Media Production, U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party
José Luis Cordeiro, Technology Advisor and Ambassador to Spain, U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party
Charlie Kam, Director of Networking, California Transhumanist Party
Bill Andrews, Biotechnology Advisor, U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party
Gennady Stolyarov II, Chairman, U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party

Learn more about the #IAmTranshuman campaign, the Transhuman Present Project (#TranshumanPresent), and how you can readily participate here.

You can participate in the #IAmTranshuman campaign by submitting still images or video recordings of one minute or less (15 seconds or less for Instagram stories, one minute or less for Instagram-compatible videos). Use the hashtag #IAmTranshuman, and let us know if you would like your video included in a subsequent compilation!

Become a member of the U.S. Transhumanist Party for free, no matter where you reside. Apply here in less than a minute.

Become a Foreign Ambassador for the U.S. Transhumanist Party. Apply here.

James Hughes’ Problems of Transhumanism: A Review (Intro + Part 1) – Article by Ojochogwu Abdul

James Hughes’ Problems of Transhumanism: A Review (Intro + Part 1) – Article by Ojochogwu Abdul

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Ojochogwu Abdul


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Introduction

In 2010, James Hughes, Executive Director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET), having then just stepped down from the Board of Directors of the World Transhumanist Association (presently known as Humanity+), took up an interesting challenge during the Spring of that year to reflect on the current state of transhumanist thought and determine what the questions were that the transhumanist movement needed to answer in order to move forward. Introducing a series of articles with which he hoped to navigate through a number of heady ideas and issues concerning transhumanism, Hughes opens by posing: “What are the current unresolved issues in transhumanist thought? Which of these issues are peculiar to transhumanist philosophy and the transhumanist movement, and which are more actually general problems of Enlightenment thought?” Further, he queried, “Which of these are simply inevitable differences of opinion among the more or less like-minded, and which need a decisive resolution to avoid tragic errors of the past?”

Some clarification is made by Hughes on the “Enlightenment” as referring to a wide variety of thinkers and movements beginning in the seventeenth century, continuing through the early nineteenth century, and centered in Britain, France, Germany, and as increasingly demonstrated by recent scholarship, manifesting on a global dimension with significant contributions from thinkers and movements across Europe, North America, and the Caribbean. Hughes points out further the relevance of these thinkers and movements in terms of their endeavour in broadly emphasizing the capacity of individuals for achieving social and technological progress through application of critical reason to investigate nature, establish new forms and institutions of governance, and transcend such stagnating (or even retrogressive) forces as superstition and authoritarianism.

The engagement Hughes then sets for himself as he proceeded forward were a set of reflections which he was to structure around two general questions:

  1. An attempt to parse out which unresolved problems transhumanism has inherited from the Enlightenment; and
  2. How transhumanist technological utopianism has both inspired and delayed scientific and political progress over the last 300 years.

By addressing these questions, Hughes proposed to challenge a prevailing anti-utopian sentiment and hopefully furnish awareness of the way that dynamic optimism about transcendent possibilities motivated scientific innovation and democratic reform through the work of such thinkers and proto-transhumanists like the Marquis de Condorcet, Joseph Priestley, and J.B.S. Haldane. Indeed, for Hughes, transhumanism and techno-utopianism are part of the family of Enlightenment philosophies, both of which could be traced back to the original Enlightenment thinkers 300 years ago. The ideological conflicts within transhumanism today are, therefore, as Hughes would argue, to be understood by transhumanists as but the product of some 300-year-old conflicts within the Enlightenment itself.

The outcome of this effort, thankfully undertaken by Hughes, was a series of six essays grappling with diverse transhumanism-related issues ranging from problems surrounding the unsustainable autonomy of reason/rationality, and the belief in progress in contrast with rational uncertainty, to matters of deism, atheism and naturalist theology, from liberal democracy and technological absolutism to moral universalism and relativism, and from ideas concerning liberal individualism to the (threat of) erosion of personal identity.

Hughes titled this series of essays “Problems of Transhumanism”, each with its distinctive sub-title. And if one thing at least is to be appreciated from reading these articles, it is, in my modest opinion, the success with which they present the modern transhumanist project as bearing within its character and objective “the unfinished internal contradictions of the Enlightenment tradition.” The author, of course, emphasizes from the onset a yet important motive to his attempt which was to make clear which criticisms of transhumanism are internal contradictions, and which proceed from “external, non-Enlightenment predicates.”

Over the next week or so, I’ll be doing a review of these articles serially, starting with Part 1 below, while also incorporating some relevant views from a number of other thinkers as may be necessary, to aid commentary or analysis of Hughes’ arguments. This exercise, on my part, is essentially intended and hopefully geared to serve as an expository approach towards highlighting the contemporary philosophy and cultural movement of transhumanism whilst encouraging further discourse on the subject.

I invite and would be glad to have as many that may be interested in working through these ideas and issues with me, even as I endeavour, with these series of articles, to open conversations about them.

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Petition to Support Unity and Tolerance in the Transhumanist Movement

Petition to Support Unity and Tolerance in the Transhumanist Movement


The U.S. Transhumanist Party asks its members and others within and outside the transhumanist community to sign the Petition to Support Unity and Tolerance in the Transhumanist Movement on iPetitions.com. Click here to sign.

The text of the petition is also provided below for convenience.


In our highly polarized and divided political climate, online mobs often create harassment campaigns in order to go after the livelihoods of individuals who do not fit their narratives. Recently, a small group of individuals was able to influence Christine Peterson to blacklist fellow Transhumanist artist, writer, and event producer Rachel Haywire from the Foresight Institute.

Rachel had been seeking Foresight sponsorship for her new arts and culture startup in the Bay Area. Although Rachel is a Jewish anarchist, the mob labeled her as “alt-right”. Christine caved to the mob despite the obvious inaccuracy of this label.

This petition is to advocate for Transhumanist unity, equal rights to life extension regardless of political affiliation, and for Christine Peterson, on behalf of the Foresight Institute, to reconsider her decision not to work with Rachel based on mob harassment.

Bullying and unfairly discriminatory behaviors like these are unacceptable. The public and upcoming generations who will inhabit the future deserve better role models.

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The U.S. Transhumanist Party supports this petition as aligned with our Values and Platform – in particular, the following principles:

• Tolerance and inclusivity of all individuals of all races, genders, classes, religions, creeds, national origins, and other characteristics. [Article III, Section II]

• Support for morphological freedom, which also “recognizes that morphological freedom entails the duty to treat all sapients as individuals instead of categorizing them into arbitrary subgroups or demographics”. [Article III, Section VI]

• Support of all values and efforts toward cultivation of science, technology, and reason. [Article III, Section VII]

• Opposition to intolerant, rights-violating, anti-technological, and compulsion-imposing doctrines, be they religious or secular. [Article III, Sections XXV, XL, LXIII]

Our Values therefore strongly favor inclusion over exclusion, discussion and civil debate over refusal to engage, and the ability of different viewpoints to be expressed without adverse legal, economic, or social consequences to individuals merely for expressing them. We therefore strongly hold that infighting, ostracism, and mass-shaming tactics have no place within the transhumanist movement. Both the Right and the Left have succumbed to these anti-rational tactics; transhumanists must resist this downward spiral of toxicity.

Civil society, including private institutions within it, should encourage discourse on different viewpoints where, within the standards of common courtesy and respectful engagement – at which any reasonable being is capable of arriving – no individual need fear the loss of livelihood due to the expression of unconventional or unpopular beliefs. The proper response to a belief with which one disagrees is the civil expression of disagreement, with reasons for that disagreement. No person should experience severe or life-damaging consequences for the mere expression of an idea – and especially not as a result of mere allegations regarding ideas that individual may not even have actually expressed. Only hostile, rights-violating actions, not beliefs or peaceful speech, should bring adverse consequences within a civilized society.

If we are indeed to thoughtfully explore possible futures for humankind, such exploration needs to involve experimental spaces of public discourse where ideas can be substantively engaged and analyzed without anyone fearing that their future prospects will be damaged for expressing the “wrong” ideas according to some self-appointed guardians of purity. No individual or group has a monopoly over the meaning of transhumanism or over the evolution of the transhumanist movement. We need to be comfortable with a heterogeneous, dynamic movement, where we are all contributors of ideas within the space of public discourse, and where our ideas should always be evaluated objectively on their merits by any reasoning beings willing to consider them. No person should be barred from subjecting his, her, or its ideas to such an evaluation. The U.S. Transhumanist Party is and will remain a “big tent” where the culture is to focus scrutiny on ideas rather than people, and where the logical fallacy of ad hominem has no place.

The U.S. Transhumanist Party has no grievance with the Foresight Institute apart from the singular decision to deny a platform to Rachel Haywire over unsubstantiated rumors and allegations perpetrated by a small number of individuals whose conduct and views are not representative of transhumanism or the transhumanist movement at large. The Foresight Institute has done and continues to do valuable work for the in-depth exploration of technology’s impacts in the near and long-term future. It is unfortunate that, in one particular case, the Foresight Institute deviated from its typical commitment to the open exploration of ideas. Rachel Haywire is not “alt-right” and, like all individuals, should be characterized based on her own statements, rather than aspersions cast by others of differing political views. It is dangerous for transhumanists to insist on ideological litmus tests before any interaction is possible; that is the path toward an ultimately self-destroying orthodoxy. Anyone is, of course, free to disagree with any statement made by Rachel Haywire; the appropriate venues of such disagreement are many and involve simply expressing it – rather than punishing the person with whom one disagrees. We hold that the Foresight Institute can still remedy the situation simply by reversing its prior decision.

Unfortunately, transhumanists today are still all too human and therefore still subject to the same vulnerabilities to biases, logical fallacies, tribalism, and in-group thinking that plague all unaugmented humans to some degree. Neither intelligence nor explicit ideological views offer any immunity to these tendencies. Short of upgrading ourselves technologically – hopefully a possibility within our lifetimes – our only safeguard is to consciously recognize our own vulnerabilities and deliberately correct for them using reason and morality. Some transhumanists, unfortunately, have not always done this and have therefore succumbed to the same tragic tendencies that are tearing our broader society apart. Social-media mobs, trolling, and calls for ostracism all arise from these tendencies. Unfortunately, the loudest and most strident voices often dominate the conversation and perceptions – even though they are the least reasonable and, in fact, represent only a tiny minority in the broader community where these voices operate. The overwhelming majority of transhumanists does not side with the strident and divisive few. Any social-media mob or mass-shaming campaign, no matter how ostensibly motivated, is an outgrowth of humans’ worst urges and therefore inherently inimical to the noble values and aspirations of transhumanism. The U.S. Transhumanist Party calls for an end to social-media mob tactics and to infighting in the transhumanist movement more generally. For this reason and the others mentioned above, we endorse this petition and encourage all friends of rationality and opponents of toxicity, within and outside the transhumanist movement, to endorse it as well.

Transhumanism: Contemporary Issues – Presentation by Gennady Stolyarov II at VSIM:17 Conference in Ravda, Bulgaria

Transhumanism: Contemporary Issues – Presentation by Gennady Stolyarov II at VSIM:17 Conference in Ravda, Bulgaria

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Gennady Stolyarov II


Gennady Stolyarov II, Chairman of the U.S. Transhumanist Party, outlines common differences in perspectives in three key areas of contemporary transhumanist discourse: artificial intelligence, religion, and privacy. Mr. Stolyarov follows his presentation of each issue with the U.S. Transhumanist Party’s official stances, which endeavor to resolve commonplace debates and find new common ground in these areas. Watch the video of Mr. Stolyarov’s presentation here.

This presentation was delivered by Mr. Stolyarov on September 14, 2017, virtually to the Vanguard Scientific Instruments in Management 2017 (VSIM:17) Conference in Ravda, Bulgaria. Mr. Stolyarov was introduced by Professor Angel Marchev, Sr. –  the organizer of the conference and the U.S. Transhumanist Party’s Ambassador to Bulgaria.

After his presentation, Mr. Stolyarov answered questions from the audience on the subjects of the political orientation of transhumanism, what the institutional norms of a transhuman society would look like, and how best to advance transhumanist ideas.

Download and view the slides of Mr. Stolyarov’s presentation (with hyperlinks) here.

Listen to the Transhumanist March (March #12, Op. 78), composed by Mr. Stolyarov in 2014, here.

Become a member of the U.S. Transhumanist Party for free, no matter where you reside. Fill out our Membership Application Form here.

Become a Foreign Ambassador for the U.S. Transhumanist Party. Apply here.