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Ideas for Building Oxygen-Rich Geodesic Domes on Mars and Other Planets Without Atmospheres – Video by Adeel Khan

Ideas for Building Oxygen-Rich Geodesic Domes on Mars and Other Planets Without Atmospheres – Video by Adeel Khan

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Adeel Khan


 

Editor’s Note: In this video U.S. Transhumanist Party member Adeel Khan offers his thoughts regarding how settlements on Mars and other planets without atmospheres could be constructed in a resilient manner, using R. Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic-dome concept. The U.S. Transhumanist Party encourages its members to think creatively about future applications of technology and how they might improve the human condition and expand our species’ reach, including onto other worlds. Mr. Khan’s video is being shared as an example of the scientifically informed and imaginative approach needed to bring such technological applications to fruition.

~ Gennady Stolyarov II, Chairman, U.S. Transhumanist Party, November 1, 2017 

Read Mr. Khan’s companion article to this video, “The Seven Stages of Space Exploration and Colonization“.

Adeel Khan is the founder of Experiant Labs, an information technology company that focuses on enabling art and expression through technology. 

Terraforming of Mars – Painting by Ekaterinya Vladinakova

Terraforming of Mars – Painting by Ekaterinya Vladinakova

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Ekaterinya Vladinakova


 

“Terraforming of Mars” by Ekaterinya Vladinakova

Left-click on the image for a fuller view. You can also download this painting (3200 by 800 pixels) here.

This piece was painted by Ekaterinya Vladinakova in January 2016 as a tribute to Space X’s reusable rocket success. As a result of these pioneering steps, perhaps humankind will someday, hopefully during our lengthened lifetimes, establish settlements on Mars like the ones depicted in this painting. This painting is available for viewing and download on Ekaterinya Vladinakova’s DeviantArt page here.

Artist’s Comments: Being able to re-use a rocket has the potential to make space travel MUCH cheaper, by a factor of a hundred. The reason is because the fuel costs something around 200,000 dollars, while the rocket costs millions. The problem with today’s rockets is we use them once, and then they are thrown away. An analogy would be using a 747 aircraft for only one trip; think of just how expensive it would be.  The significance of SpaceX’s second launch was that it was done on a floating platform. The benefit of such a platform is that it would save more fuel for the rocket, since the ocean platform can move, and less fuel overall is spent navigating the rocket back to base.

Ekaterinya Vladinakova is an accomplished digital painter. See her gallery here and her DeviantArt page here.  

Results of Platform Vote #3 and Adopted Sections

Results of Platform Vote #3 and Adopted Sections

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Gennady Stolyarov II


The U.S. Transhumanist Party conducted its fourth vote of the members and the third vote on its platform planks on March 26 through April 1, 2017. This was the most extensive platform ballot in the history of the U.S. Transhumanist Party thus far. Official ballot options can be found here.

Detailed results of the voting have been tabulated here. Where no majority was reached in the first round of voting, 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 XI: In supporting peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the United States Transhumanist Party endorses the thorium fuel cycle, which provides for a safe and nearly limitless energy source in the absence of the development of practical thermonuclear fusion.

Section XII: The United States Transhumanist Party holds that present and future societies should provide education systems accessible and available to all in pursuit of factual knowledge to increase intellectual acuity; promote critical thinking and logic; foster creativity; form an enlightened collective; attain health; secure the bounty of liberty for all sentient entities for our posterity; and forge new ideas, meanings, and values.

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to reduce the cost of education while improving its access. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party supports freely available, open-source, methods of learning, teaching, credentialing, and cultural creation that integrate emerging technologies into every facet of the learning process. The United States Transhumanist Party primarily advocates private innovation to deliver such educational improvements, but also advocates the application of these improvements to all publicly funded educational institutions. The United States Transhumanist Party holds that every person should aspire toward intellectual, moral, and esthetic enlightenment and sophistication and should contribute toward bringing about a new Age of Reason, where the highest reaches of intellectual activity are attainable and eagerly pursued by the majority of the population.

The United States has upheld basic education since the American Revolution. The United States Transhumanist Party believes, in keeping with what basic education was in the 1700s, relative to the state of technology given the advancement in society at the time, that ‘basic’ education should be defined as college, and that a key part of our agenda is to help encourage a more successful generation by paying for a ‘basic’ education up to and including college degrees.

Section XIII: The United States Transhumanist Party supports the involvement of intelligent laypersons in the political process to counteract and neutralize the influence of politically connected special interests and their paid representatives. The United States Transhumanist Party supports all electronic and other technologies that can inform and empower intelligent laypersons to monitor and contribute to political discussions and decisions.

Section XIV: The United States Transhumanist Party supports an end to the costly drug war, which is often an infringement upon the lives and liberties of innocent citizens who do not use drugs but fall victim to militant enforcement of drug prohibitions. The United States Transhumanist Party supports legalization of mild recreational drugs such as marijuana.

Section XV: The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to significantly reduce the massive incarcerated population in America by using innovative technologies to monitor criminals outside of prison. All mandatory sentencing laws should be abolished, and each individual should be sentenced based solely on the consideration of the nature of that individual’s crime, its context, and its severity.

Section XVI: Given the inevitability of technology eventually replacing the need for the labor of sentient entities, the United States Transhumanist Party holds that all sentient entities should be the beneficiaries of an unconditional universal basic income, whereby the same minimum amount of money or other resources is provided irrespective of a sentient entity’s life circumstances, occupations, or other income sources, so as to provide a means for the basic requirements of existence and liberty to be met.

Section XVII: The United States Transhumanist Party holds that present and future societies should take all reasonable measures to embrace and fund space travel, not only for the spirit of adventure and to gain knowledge by exploring the universe, but as an ultimate safeguard to its citizens and transhumanity should planet Earth become uninhabitable or be destroyed.

Section XVIII: The United States Transhumanist Party supports work to use science and technology to be able to eliminate all disabilities in humans who have them.

Section XIX: The United States Transhumanist Party supports an end to the two-party political system in the United States and a substantially greater inclusion of “third parties” in the political process through mechanisms such as proportional representation and the elimination of stringent ballot-access requirements. The United States Transhumanist Party also seeks to limit the influence of lobbying by politically connected special interests, while increasing the influence of advocacy by intelligent laypersons.

Section XX: 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.

Section XXI: The United States Transhumanist Party supports a concerted effort by governments and by public opinion to eradicate police brutality against peaceful citizens, such that violent force is only utilized against individuals who actually pose an imminent threat to human lives.

Section XXII: The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts at political, economic, and cultural experimentation in the form of seasteads and micronations. Specifically, the United States Transhumanist Party recognizes the existence and sovereignty of the Principality of Sealand, the Republic of Molossia, and the Free Republic of Liberland, and supports the recognition of these entities by all governments and political parties of the world.

Section XXIII: The United States Transhumanist Party supports the rights of children to exercise liberty in proportion to their rational faculties and capacity for autonomous judgment. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party strongly opposes all forms of bullying, child abuse, and censorship of intellectual self-development by children and teenagers.

Section XXIV: The United States Transhumanist Party supports the promotion of animal welfare to the extent it does not conflict with human well-being. However, the United States Transhumanist Party opposes “animal liberation” movements that seek to return animals to the wilderness or espouse any attempts to separate domesticated animals from human influence. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party supports the prohibition of cruelty to animals and a complete abolition of euthanasia of healthy animals by animal shelters. The United States Transhumanist Party supports a complete prohibition on the killing of non-contagious, non-aggressive dogs, cats, dolphins, whales, elephants, horses, tortoises, parrots, and primates. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party supports the development and widespread consumption of artificially grown, biologically identical meat products that do not involve the killing of animals.

Section XXV: 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.

Section XXVI: The United States Transhumanist Party holds that each of its members should vote or abstain from voting in accordance with that member’s own individual conscience and judgment. If an official or candidate of the United States Transhumanist Party expresses a preference for any particular non-transhumanist candidate for office, then no national or State-level Transhumanist Party, nor any individual transhumanist, ought to be in any manner bound to support that same non-transhumanist candidate.

Section XXVII: The United States Transhumanist Party advocates Constitutional reform to abolish the Electoral College in the United States Presidential elections and render the plurality of the popular vote the sole criterion for the election of President. While the original intent of the Electoral College as a deliberative body to check the passions of the poorly informed masses and potentially overturn the election of a demagogue may have been noble, the reality has not reflected this intention. Instead, the Electoral College has enabled votes from less cosmopolitan, less tolerant, more culturally ossified and monolithic areas of the country to disproportionately sway the outcome of Presidential elections, to the detriment of individual liberty and progress.

Section XXVIII: The United States Transhumanist Party advocates greatly shortening the timeframe for electoral campaigns. The current two-year election season, combined with voters’ short memories, renders it possible for both genuine merits and egregious transgressions of candidates to be forgotten by the time of voting. Longer campaign seasons also perpetuate the “horse-race” mentality on the part of the media and result in the search for contrived election drama in order to drive views and campaign contributions. The ensuing acrimony, misinformation, and outright violence are detrimental to the fabric of a civilized society. Election seasons should be as short as possible, to enable all relevant information to be disseminated quickly and be considered by most voters within the same timeframe as their decisions are made.

Section XXIX: The United States Transhumanist Party advocates abolishing all staggered party primaries and for all primary elections to be held on the same day across the entire country. With staggered party primaries, individuals voting later – solely because of the jurisdiction in which they reside – find their choices severely constrained due to the prior elimination of candidates they might have preferred. The staggered primary system tends to elevate the candidates who are least palatable to reasonable voters – but have the support of a vociferous, crass, and often violent fringe – toward frontrunner positions that create the pressure for other members of the political party to follow suit and reluctantly support the worst of the nominees.

Section XXX: The United States Transhumanist Party supports replacing the current “winner-take-all” electoral system with proportional representation, ranked preference voting, and other devices to minimize the temptations by voters to favor a perceived “lesser evil” rather than the candidates closest to those voters’ own preferences.

Section XXXI: The United States Transhumanist Party supports the right of any jurisdiction to secede from the United States specifically in opposition to policies that institutionalize racism, xenophobia, criminalization of dissent, and persecution of peaceful persons. The United States Transhumanist Party does not, however, condone any secession for the purposes of oppressing others. Therefore, the secession of the Confederate States in 1860 was illegitimate, but a future secession of a State may be justified in reaction to violent crackdowns by the federal government against individuals based on individuals’ national origin or ancestry.

Section XXXII: The United States Transhumanist Party encourages every reasonable precaution to prevent existential risks that endanger sentient life. While some existential risks arise from certain technologies, many existential risks also stem from the unaltered “natural” circumstances in which humans and other life forms find themselves. For both technological and “natural” existential risks, the strongest safeguards can be achieved through responsible development of protective technologies that empower rational and moral beings.

The Importance of 3D Printing to Ensuring the Viability of Interplanetary City Construction

The Importance of 3D Printing to Ensuring the Viability of Interplanetary City Construction

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B.J. Murphy


Starting on March 26, members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party are taking part in the latest platform vote, which include 22 potential planks in total. Before the voting ends on April 2, I’d like to briefly discuss one of those potential planks – in particular, Section E3-G. Space Colonization. To be a little more clear, I wish to present a possible solution to one distinct question we’ll likely need to ask ourselves once actual space colonization efforts are underway.

A little over a year ago, a friend and fellow author Manu Saadia (author of Trekonomics: The Economics of Star Trek) posed a question to me about the viability of creating actual cities on other planets. It was, in his mind, one of the few things about Star Trek which seemed unrealistic, because of the fact that cities here on Earth thrive due to one important reason: imports/exports, i.e. resource exchange.

I’ll quote him below on his exact phrasing:

“[S]ettling a far away colony on Mars or a bunch of habitats in orbit is not a recipe for prosperity for these space-based outposts. Without fast and reliable means of exchange, I don’t see how these settlements could take full advantage of the network effects and of the endogenous dynamism of Earth’s great cities.”

He is correct in his assessment that, without the fast import and export of necessary resources, today’s cities simply wouldn’t survive. However, as I noted to him, I believe his strict reliance on economics, and much less so on technology, prevents him from understanding how interplanetary cities are still a viable prospect.

That is, he seems to completely ignore key technologies, such as 3D printing, which would directly address the current problem of importing and exporting resources from planet to planet. My own assessment was:

“Thanks to the company Made in Space, astronauts on the ISS are able to receive digital data from Earth that activates their 3D printer to print whatever supplies they need. It’s still in its infancy, but this really isn’t all that different from Star Trek’s teleportation technology.

Once it matures, I can easily see us establishing a base of developing trade agreements between different planets via 3D printing or other advanced technologies that’ll supersede 3D printing.”

If members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party were to successfully vote in favor of Section E3-G, I believe it will be our duty in discussing all of the obstacles that stand in between us and our space colonization aspirations. This brief article here will serve as only one possible solution, for which we should all discuss and consider as a Party.

***

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

Official Ballot Options for Platform Vote #3

Official Ballot Options for Platform Vote #3

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The 7-day electronic voting period on the third set of proposed platform planks of the U.S. Transhumanist Party (22 potential planks in total) will occur from 12:01 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time on March 26, 2017, to 12:01 a.m.  U.S. Pacific Time on April 2, 2017. All members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party who have applied before 12:01 a.m. on March 26, 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 thirty 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 some 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 early April 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 E3-A. Thorium Fuel Cycle
Question II. Section E3-B. Education – Language on Technological Improvements
Question III. Section E3-B. Education – Language on Free College
Question IV. Section E3-B. Education – Language on Desirable Educational Systems
Question V. Section E3-C. Involvement in the Political Process
Question VI. Section E3-D. End to Drug War
Question VII. Section E3-E. Prison Reform
Question VIII. Section E3-F. Universal Basic Income
Question IX. Section E3-G. Space Colonization
Question X. Section E3-H. Elimination of Disabilities
Question XI. Section E3-I. End to Two-Party Political System
Question XII. Section E3-J. Freedom of Speech
Question XIII. Section E3-K. Eradication of Police Brutality
Question XIV. Section E3-L. Seasteads and Micronations
Question XV. Section E3-M. Children’s Rights
Question XVI. Section E3-N. Animal Welfare
Question XVII. Section E3-O. Position on Religious Doctrines
Question XVIII. Section E3-P. “Vote Your Conscience” Plank
Question XIX. Section E3-Q. Abolition of the Electoral College
Question XX. Section E3-R. Shortening of Electoral Campaigns
Question XXI. Section E3-S. Abolition of Staggered Party Primaries
Question XXII. Section E3-T. Replacement of “Winner Take All” Electoral System
Question XXIII. Section E3-U. Secession under Certain Conditions
Question XXIV. Section E3-V. Existential Risk

Proposed Platform Sections

Question I. Section E3-A. Thorium Fuel Cycle

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

“In supporting peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the United States Transhumanist Party endorses the thorium fuel cycle, which provides for a safe and nearly limitless energy source in the absence of the development of practical thermonuclear fusion.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question II. Section E3-B. Education – Language on Technological Improvements

Shall the following language be adopted as part of a new Section on the subject of education within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to reduce the cost of education while improving its access. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party supports freely available, open-source, methods of learning, teaching, credentialing, and cultural creation that integrate emerging technologies into every facet of the learning process. The United States Transhumanist Party primarily advocates private innovation to deliver such educational improvements, but also advocates the application of these improvements to all publicly funded educational institutions. The United States Transhumanist Party holds that every person should aspire toward intellectual, moral, and esthetic enlightenment and sophistication and should contribute toward bringing about a new Age of Reason, where the highest reaches of intellectual activity are attainable and eagerly pursued by the majority of the population.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question III. Section E3-B. Education – Language on Free College

Shall the following language be adopted as part of a new Section on the subject of education within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States has upheld basic education since the American Revolution. The United States Transhumanist Party believes, in keeping with what basic education was in the 1700s, relative to the state of technology given the advancement in society at the time, that ‘basic’ education should be defined as college, and that a key part of our agenda is to help encourage a more successful generation by paying for a ‘basic’ education up to and including college degrees.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question IV. Section E3-B. Education – Language on Desirable Educational Systems

Shall the following language be adopted as part of a new Section on the subject of education within the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform?

“The United States Transhumanist Party holds that present and future societies should provide education systems accessible and available to all in pursuit of factual knowledge to increase intellectual acuity; promote critical thinking and logic; foster creativity; form an enlightened collective; attain health; secure the bounty of liberty for all sentient entities for our posterity; and forge new ideas, meanings, and values.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question VSection E3-C. Involvement in the Political Process

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports the involvement of intelligent laypersons in the political process to counteract and neutralize the influence of politically connected special interests and their paid representatives. The United States Transhumanist Party supports all electronic and other technologies that can inform and empower intelligent laypersons to monitor and contribute to political discussions and decisions.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question VI. Section E3-D. End to Drug War

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports an end to the costly drug war, which is often an infringement upon the lives and liberties of innocent citizens who do not use drugs but fall victim to militant enforcement of drug prohibitions. The United States Transhumanist Party supports legalization of mild recreational drugs such as marijuana.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question VII. Section E3-E. Prison Reform

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to significantly reduce the massive incarcerated population in America by using innovative technologies to monitor criminals outside of prison. All mandatory sentencing laws should be abolished, and each individual should be sentenced based solely on the consideration of the nature of that individual’s crime, its context, and its severity.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question VIII. Section E3-F. Universal Basic Income

Rank-order the Section E3-F 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 E3-F-1. [Based on Section XII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the replacement of all existing social welfare programs with a Universal Basic Income that is unconditionally distributed to all citizens, irrespective of wealth or income. The Universal Basic Income should be sufficiently large to enable survival and the basic necessities of contemporary civilized life, but the manner of spending of this income should remain entirely the responsibility of the recipient. Individuals who seek to earn above the Universal Basic Income will need to engage in a remunerative occupation or secure other private sources of income. Individuals who squander their Universal Basic Incomes on non-life-affirming activities will not be further subsidized by the remaining taxpayers.

☐ Option E3-F-2. [Platform Adaptation of Article XIX of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0]

Given the inevitability of technology eventually replacing the need for the labor of sentient entities, the United States Transhumanist Party holds that all sentient entities should be the beneficiaries of an unconditional universal basic income, whereby the same minimum amount of money or other resources is provided irrespective of a sentient entity’s life circumstances, occupations, or other income sources, so as to provide a means for the basic requirements of existence and liberty to be met.

☐ Option E3-F-3. [Based on Transhuman National Committee Platform, Universal Basic Income Policy Plank]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a Universal Basic Income. Currently, the United States spends more than 1 trillion US Dollars on welfare-related expenses. That sum would be reduced significantly if it was used to replace the current welfare system with a basic universal income. This would lower costs, reduce federal government bureaucracy, provide more support for more people, and be less invasive and paternalistic. It can be done without work disincentives.

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a policy structure for a basic income that could be as simple as a flat tax for everyone, of which an equivalent share of the United States budget would be divided by the amount of population, with the resulting amount sent to everyone who files a tax return in a given year. The basic income could be apportioned monthly in a process where the filing and administration are mostly managed by individual employers to keep overall bureaucratic or administrative costs to a minimum.

Option E3-F-4. [Based on Transhuman National Committee Platform, Universal Basic Income Policy Plank, Removing Reference to Current US Welfare Spending]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a Universal Basic Income. Current United States welfare-related expenses would be reduced significantly the current welfare system were replaced with a basic universal income. This would lower costs, reduce federal government bureaucracy, provide more support for more people, and be less invasive and paternalistic. It can be done without work disincentives.

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a policy structure for a basic income that could be as simple as a flat tax for everyone, of which an equivalent share of the United States budget would be divided by the amount of population, with the resulting amount sent to everyone who files a tax return in a given year. The basic income could be apportioned monthly in a process where the filing and administration are mostly managed by individual employers to keep overall bureaucratic or administrative costs to a minimum.

Option E3-F-NO. No Section of this sort.

Question IXSection E3-G. Space Colonization

Rank-order the Section E3-G 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 E3-G-1. [Based on Section XIII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a significant acceleration of efforts at space exploration and colonization, particularly through private initiatives. The United States Transhumanist Party also supports redirecting offensive military budgets toward civilian space programs, such that every increase in a civilian space program’s budget would need to be offset by a greater reduction in military spending.

☐ Option E3-G-2. [Platform Adaptation of Article XXIII of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that all nations and their governments should take all reasonable measures to embrace and fund space travel, not only for the spirit of adventure and to gain knowledge by exploring the universe, but as an ultimate safeguard to its citizens and transhumanity should planet Earth become uninhabitable or be destroyed.

☐ Option E3-G-3. [Platform Adaptation of Article XXIII of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0, with “all nations and their governments” replaced by “present and future societies”]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that present and future societies should take all reasonable measures to embrace and fund space travel, not only for the spirit of adventure and to gain knowledge by exploring the universe, but as an ultimate safeguard to its citizens and transhumanity should planet Earth become uninhabitable or be destroyed.

☐ Option E3-G-NO. No Section of this sort.

Question X. Section E3-H. Elimination of Disabilities

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports work to use science and technology to be able to eliminate all disabilities in humans who have them.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XI. Section E3-I. End to Two-Party Political System

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports an end to the two-party political system in the United States and a substantially greater inclusion of “third parties” in the political process through mechanisms such as proportional representation and the elimination of stringent ballot-access requirements. The United States Transhumanist Party also seeks to limit the influence of lobbying by politically connected special interests, while increasing the influence of advocacy by intelligent laypersons.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XII. Section E3-J. Freedom of Speech

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

“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.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XIII. Section E3-K. Eradication of Police Brutality

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports a concerted effort by governments and by public opinion to eradicate police brutality against peaceful citizens, such that violent force is only utilized against individuals who actually pose an imminent threat to human lives.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XIV. Section E3-L. Seasteads and Micronations

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts at political, economic, and cultural experimentation in the form of seasteads and micronations. Specifically, the United States Transhumanist Party recognizes the existence and sovereignty of the Principality of Sealand, the Republic of Molossia, and the Free Republic of Liberland, and supports the recognition of these entities by all governments and political parties of the world.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XV. Section E3-M. Children’s Rights

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports the rights of children to exercise liberty in proportion to their rational faculties and capacity for autonomous judgment. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party strongly opposes all forms of bullying, child abuse, and censorship of intellectual self-development by children and teenagers.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XVI. Section E3-N. Animal Welfare

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports the promotion of animal welfare to the extent it does not conflict with human well-being. However, the United States Transhumanist Party opposes “animal liberation” movements that seek to return animals to the wilderness or espouse any attempts to separate domesticated animals from human influence. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party supports the prohibition of cruelty to animals and a complete abolition of euthanasia of healthy animals by animal shelters. The United States Transhumanist Party supports a complete prohibition on the killing of non-contagious, non-aggressive dogs, cats, dolphins, whales, elephants, horses, tortoises, parrots, and primates. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party supports the development and widespread consumption of artificially grown, biologically identical meat products that do not involve the killing of animals.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XVII. Section E3-O. Position on Religious Doctrines

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

“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.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XVIII. Section E3-P. “Vote Your Conscience” Plank

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party holds that each of its members should vote or abstain from voting in accordance with that member’s own individual conscience and judgment. If an official or candidate of the United States Transhumanist Party expresses a preference for any particular non-transhumanist candidate for office, then no national or State-level Transhumanist Party, nor any individual transhumanist, ought to be in any manner bound to support that same non-transhumanist candidate.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XIX. Section E3-Q. Abolition of the Electoral College

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party advocates Constitutional reform to abolish the Electoral College in the United States Presidential elections and render the plurality of the popular vote the sole criterion for the election of President. While the original intent of the Electoral College as a deliberative body to check the passions of the poorly informed masses and potentially overturn the election of a demagogue may have been noble, the reality has not reflected this intention. Instead, the Electoral College has enabled votes from less cosmopolitan, less tolerant, more culturally ossified and monolithic areas of the country to disproportionately sway the outcome of Presidential elections, to the detriment of individual liberty and progress.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XX. Section E3-R. Shortening of Electoral Campaigns

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party advocates greatly shortening the timeframe for electoral campaigns. The current two-year election season, combined with voters’ short memories, renders it possible for both genuine merits and egregious transgressions of candidates to be forgotten by the time of voting. Longer campaign seasons also perpetuate the “horse-race” mentality on the part of the media and result in the search for contrived election drama in order to drive views and campaign contributions. The ensuing acrimony, misinformation, and outright violence are detrimental to the fabric of a civilized society. Election seasons should be as short as possible, to enable all relevant information to be disseminated quickly and be considered by most voters within the same timeframe as their decisions are made.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XXI. Section E3-S. Abolition of Staggered Party Primaries

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party advocates abolishing all staggered party primaries and for all primary elections to be held on the same day across the entire country. With staggered party primaries, individuals voting later – solely because of the jurisdiction in which they reside – find their choices severely constrained due to the prior elimination of candidates they might have preferred. The staggered primary system tends to elevate the candidates who are least palatable to reasonable voters – but have the support of a vociferous, crass, and often violent fringe – toward frontrunner positions that create the pressure for other members of the political party to follow suit and reluctantly support the worst of the nominees.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XXII. Section E3-T. Replacement of “Winner Take All” Electoral System

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports replacing the current “winner-take-all” electoral system with proportional representation, ranked preference voting, and other devices to minimize the temptations by voters to favor a perceived “lesser evil” rather than the candidates closest to those voters’ own preferences.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XXIII. Section E3-U. Secession under Certain Conditions

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party supports the right of any jurisdiction to secede from the United States specifically in opposition to policies that institutionalize racism, xenophobia, criminalization of dissent, and persecution of peaceful persons. The United States Transhumanist Party does not, however, condone any secession for the purposes of oppressing others. Therefore, the secession of the Confederate States in 1860 was illegitimate, but a future secession of a State may be justified in reaction to violent crackdowns by the federal government against individuals based on individuals’ national origin or ancestry.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XXIV.  Section E3-V. Existential Risk

Rank-order the Section E3-V 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 E3-V-1. The United States Transhumanist Party encourages every reasonable precaution to prevent existential risks that endanger sentient life. While some existential risks arise from certain technologies, many existential risks also stem from the unaltered “natural” circumstances in which humans and other life forms find themselves. For both technological and “natural” existential risks, the strongest safeguards can be achieved through responsible development of protective technologies that empower rational and moral beings.

☐ Option E3-V-2. [Platform Adaption of Article XXII of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0]

The United States Transhumanist Party encourages every reasonable precaution to prevent existential risks, including those of rogue artificial intelligence, asteroids, plagues, weapons of mass destruction, bioterrorism, war, and global warming, among others.

☐ Option E3-V-3. [Based on Transhuman National Committee Platform, Resilience and Risk Policy Plank]

In support of the United States’ and our civilization’s resilience, the United States Transhumanist Party supports the inclusion of resilience-building activities and risk-management thinking as part of the ethical advancement of technology insofar as it does not impede such advancement.

The United States Transhumanist Party believes that existential risk should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, regardless of the type of threat. The United States Transhumanist Party supports programs that promote a long-term approach to understanding how what we do as a society affects others and our long-term sustainability and resiliency as a civilization. The United States Transhumanist Party is focused on ensuring that societies are cognizant of the risks of such collective actions. Programs that include education and promote a wider long-term view or approach to problems will help society the most, and these are programs the United States Transhumanist Party seeks to support. The United States Transhumanist Party would like to see long-term thinking become a more common part of our culture and so holds that programs which align with this outlook should be funded by responsible citizens.

An example of the kinds of programs the United States Transhumanist Party may support is the Long Now Foundation, whose vision states that the Long Now has the goal of being the seed of a very long-term cultural institution. The Long Now Foundation hopes to provide a counterpoint to today’s accelerating culture and help make long-term thinking more common. The Long Now Foundation hopes to foster responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years, including through the pursuit of long-term projects like the Clock of the Long Now and the Library of Civilization.

☐ Option E3-V-NO. No Section of this sort.

25-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #3

25-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #3

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Gennady Stolyarov II


Due to scheduling issues, the next U.S. Transhumanist Party vote will only be able to take place in late March 2017. However, it is also important to continue making steady progress on developing our platform. Therefore, the U.S. Transhumanist Party hereby announces the intention to hold a member vote on a larger number of platform planks than typical. To accommodate members’ ability to study and comment on the issues relating to these potential platform planks, the U.S. Transhumanist Party declares a longer exposure period of 25 days – until 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, March 26, 2017.

Comments from members have motivated the presentation of many of the potential planks below. Many of the planks concern areas of policy on which the U.S. Transhumanist Party has not yet taken an official position, as well as areas of electoral reform which will be vital in order to facilitate the success of minor political parties, including the Transhumanist Party.

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 if there is more than one affirmative option proposed for a given plank. 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 E3-A. Thorium Fuel Cycle

Option E3-A-1. [Based on Proposal by Andrew Popper]

In supporting peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the United States Transhumanist Party endorses the thorium fuel cycle, which provides for a safe and nearly limitless energy source in the absence of the development of practical thermonuclear fusion.

 

Section E3-B. Education

Option E3-B-1. [Based on Section IV of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to reduce the cost of education while improving its access. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party supports freely available, open-source, methods of learning, teaching, credentialing, and cultural creation that integrate emerging technologies into every facet of the learning process. The United States Transhumanist Party primarily advocates private innovation to deliver such educational improvements, but also advocates the application of these improvements to all publicly funded educational institutions. The United States Transhumanist Party holds that every person should aspire toward intellectual, moral, and esthetic enlightenment and sophistication and should contribute toward bringing about a new Age of Reason, where the highest reaches of intellectual activity are attainable and eagerly pursued by the majority of the population.

Option E3-B-2. [Based on Transhuman National Committee Platform, Education in the United States Policy Plank]

The United States has upheld basic education since the American Revolution. The United States Transhumanist Party believes, in keeping with what basic education was in the 1700s, relative to the state of technology given the advancement in society at the time, that ‘basic’ education should be defined as college, and that a key part of our agenda is to help encourage a more successful generation by paying for a ‘basic’ education up to and including college degrees.

Option E3-B-3. [Platform Adaptation of Article XX of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that present and future societies should provide education systems accessible and available to all in pursuit of factual knowledge to increase intellectual acuity; promote critical thinking and logic; foster creativity; form an enlightened collective; attain health; secure the bounty of liberty for all sentient entities for our posterity; and forge new ideas, meanings, and values.

 

Section E3-C. Involvement in the Political Process

Option E3-C-1. [Based on Section VII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the involvement of intelligent laypersons in the political process to counteract and neutralize the influence of politically connected special interests and their paid representatives. The United States Transhumanist Party supports all electronic and other technologies that can inform and empower intelligent laypersons to monitor and contribute to political discussions and decisions.

 

Section E3-D. End to Drug War

Option E3-D-1. [Based on Section VIII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports an end to the costly drug war, which is often an infringement upon the lives and liberties of innocent citizens who do not use drugs but fall victim to militant enforcement of drug prohibitions. The United States Transhumanist Party supports legalization of mild recreational drugs such as marijuana.

 

Section E3-E. Prison Reform

Option E3-E-1. [Based on Section X of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to significantly reduce the massive incarcerated population in America by using innovative technologies to monitor criminals outside of prison. All mandatory sentencing laws should be abolished, and each individual should be sentenced based solely on the consideration of the nature of that individual’s crime, its context, and its severity.

 

Section E3-F. Universal Basic Income

Option E3-F-1. [Based on Section XII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the replacement of all existing social welfare programs with a Universal Basic Income that is unconditionally distributed to all citizens, irrespective of wealth or income. The Universal Basic Income should be sufficiently large to enable survival and the basic necessities of contemporary civilized life, but the manner of spending of this income should remain entirely the responsibility of the recipient. Individuals who seek to earn above the Universal Basic Income will need to engage in a remunerative occupation or secure other private sources of income. Individuals who squander their Universal Basic Incomes on non-life-affirming activities will not be further subsidized by the remaining taxpayers.

Option E3-F-2. [Platform Adaptation of Article XIX of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0]

Given the inevitability of technology eventually replacing the need for the labor of sentient entities, the United States Transhumanist Party holds that all sentient entities should be the beneficiaries of an unconditional universal basic income, whereby the same minimum amount of money or other resources is provided irrespective of a sentient entity’s life circumstances, occupations, or other income sources, so as to provide a means for the basic requirements of existence and liberty to be met.

Option E3-F-3. [Based on Transhuman National Committee Platform, Universal Basic Income Policy Plank]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a Universal Basic Income. Currently, the United States spends more than 1 trillion US Dollars on welfare-related expenses. That sum would be reduced significantly if it was used to replace the current welfare system with a basic universal income. This would lower costs, reduce federal government bureaucracy, provide more support for more people, and be less invasive and paternalistic. It can be done without work disincentives.

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a policy structure for a basic income that could be as simple as a flat tax for everyone, of which an equivalent share of the United States budget would be divided by the amount of population, with the resulting amount sent to everyone who files a tax return in a given year. The basic income could be apportioned monthly in a process where the filing and administration are mostly managed by individual employers to keep overall bureaucratic or administrative costs to a minimum.

Option E3-F-4. [Based on Transhuman National Committee Platform, Universal Basic Income Policy Plank, Removing Reference to Current US Welfare Spending]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a Universal Basic Income. Current United States welfare-related expenses would be reduced significantly the current welfare system were replaced with a basic universal income. This would lower costs, reduce federal government bureaucracy, provide more support for more people, and be less invasive and paternalistic. It can be done without work disincentives.

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a policy structure for a basic income that could be as simple as a flat tax for everyone, of which an equivalent share of the United States budget would be divided by the amount of population, with the resulting amount sent to everyone who files a tax return in a given year. The basic income could be apportioned monthly in a process where the filing and administration are mostly managed by individual employers to keep overall bureaucratic or administrative costs to a minimum.

Section E3-G. Space Colonization

Option E3-G-1. [Based on Section XIII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a significant acceleration of efforts at space exploration and colonization, particularly through private initiatives. The United States Transhumanist Party also supports redirecting offensive military budgets toward civilian space programs, such that every increase in a civilian space program’s budget would need to be offset by a greater reduction in military spending.

Option E3-G-2. [Platform Adaptation of Article XXIII of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that all nations and their governments should take all reasonable measures to embrace and fund space travel, not only for the spirit of adventure and to gain knowledge by exploring the universe, but as an ultimate safeguard to its citizens and transhumanity should planet Earth become uninhabitable or be destroyed.

Option E3-G-3. [Platform Adaptation of Article XXIII of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0, with “all nations and their governments” replaced by “present and future societies”]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that present and future societies should take all reasonable measures to embrace and fund space travel, not only for the spirit of adventure and to gain knowledge by exploring the universe, but as an ultimate safeguard to its citizens and transhumanity should planet Earth become uninhabitable or be destroyed.

 

Section E3-H. Elimination of Disabilities

Option E3-H-1. [Based on Section XIV of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports work to use science and technology to be able to eliminate all disabilities in humans who have them.

 

Section E3-I. End to Two-Party Political System

Option E3-I-1. [Based on Section XV of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports an end to the two-party political system in the United States and a substantially greater inclusion of “third parties” in the political process through mechanisms such as proportional representation and the elimination of stringent ballot-access requirements. The United States Transhumanist Party also seeks to limit the influence of lobbying by politically connected special interests, while increasing the influence of advocacy by intelligent laypersons.

Section E3-J. Freedom of Speech

Option E3-J-1. [Based on Section XX of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

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.

 

Section E3-K. Eradication of Police Brutality

Option E3-K-1. [Based on Section XXI of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports a concerted effort by governments and by public opinion to eradicate police brutality against peaceful citizens, such that violent force is only utilized against individuals who actually pose an imminent threat to human lives.

 

Section E3-L. Seasteads and Micronations

Option E3-L-1. [Based on Section XXII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts at political, economic, and cultural experimentation in the form of seasteads and micronations. Specifically, the United States Transhumanist Party recognizes the existence and sovereignty of the Principality of Sealand, the Republic of Molossia, and the Free Republic of Liberland, and supports the recognition of these entities by all governments and political parties of the world.

 

Section E3-M. Children’s Rights

Option E3-M-1. [Based on Section XXIII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the rights of children to exercise liberty in proportion to their rational faculties and capacity for autonomous judgment. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party strongly opposes all forms of bullying, child abuse, and censorship of intellectual self-development by children and teenagers.

Section E3-N. Animal Welfare

Option E3-N-1. [Based on Section XXIV of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the promotion of animal welfare to the extent it does not conflict with human well-being. However, the United States Transhumanist Party opposes “animal liberation” movements that seek to return animals to the wilderness or espouse any attempts to separate domesticated animals from human influence. In particular, the United States Transhumanist Party supports the prohibition of cruelty to animals and a complete abolition of euthanasia of healthy animals by animal shelters. The United States Transhumanist Party supports a complete prohibition on the killing of non-contagious, non-aggressive dogs, cats, dolphins, whales, elephants, horses, tortoises, parrots, and primates. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party supports the development and widespread consumption of artificially grown, biologically identical meat products that do not involve the killing of animals.

 

Section E3-O. Position on Religious Doctrines

Option E3-O-1. [Based on Section XXVI of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

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.

 

Section E3-P. “Vote Your Conscience” Plank

Option E3-P-1. [Based on Section XXIX of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party holds that each of its members should vote or abstain from voting in accordance with that member’s own individual conscience and judgment. If an official or candidate of the United States Transhumanist Party expresses a preference for any particular non-transhumanist candidate for office, then no national or State-level Transhumanist Party, nor any individual transhumanist, ought to be in any manner bound to support that same non-transhumanist candidate.

 

Section E3-Q. Abolition of the Electoral College

Option E3-Q-1. [Based on Section XXXI of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party advocates Constitutional reform to abolish the Electoral College in the United States Presidential elections and render the plurality of the popular vote the sole criterion for the election of President. While the original intent of the Electoral College as a deliberative body to check the passions of the poorly informed masses and potentially overturn the election of a demagogue may have been noble, the reality has not reflected this intention. Instead, the Electoral College has enabled votes from less cosmopolitan, less tolerant, more culturally ossified and monolithic areas of the country to disproportionately sway the outcome of Presidential elections, to the detriment of individual liberty and progress.

 

Section E3-R. Shortening of Electoral Campaigns

Option E3-R-1. [Based on Section XXXII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party advocates greatly shortening the timeframe for electoral campaigns. The current two-year election season, combined with voters’ short memories, renders it possible for both genuine merits and egregious transgressions of candidates to be forgotten by the time of voting. Longer campaign seasons also perpetuate the “horse-race” mentality on the part of the media and result in the search for contrived election drama in order to drive views and campaign contributions. The ensuing acrimony, misinformation, and outright violence are detrimental to the fabric of a civilized society. Election seasons should be as short as possible, to enable all relevant information to be disseminated quickly and be considered by most voters within the same timeframe as their decisions are made.

 

Section E3-S. Abolition of Staggered Party Primaries

Option E3-S-1. [Based on Section XXXIII of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party advocates abolishing all staggered party primaries and for all primary elections to be held on the same day across the entire country. With staggered party primaries, individuals voting later – solely because of the jurisdiction in which they reside – find their choices severely constrained due to the prior elimination of candidates they might have preferred. The staggered primary system tends to elevate the candidates who are least palatable to reasonable voters – but have the support of a vociferous, crass, and often violent fringe – toward frontrunner positions that create the pressure for other members of the political party to follow suit and reluctantly support the worst of the nominees.

 

Section E3-T. Replacement of “Winner Take All” Electoral System

Option E3-T-1. [Based on Section XXXIV of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports replacing the current “winner-take-all” electoral system with proportional representation, ranked preference voting, and other devices to minimize the temptations by voters to favor a perceived “lesser evil” rather than the candidates closest to those voters’ own preferences.

 

Section E3-U. Secession under Certain Conditions

Option E3-U-1. [Based on Section XXXV of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports the right of any jurisdiction to secede from the United States specifically in opposition to policies that institutionalize racism, xenophobia, criminalization of dissent, and persecution of peaceful persons. The United States Transhumanist Party does not, however, condone any secession for the purposes of oppressing others. Therefore, the secession of the Confederate States in 1860 was illegitimate, but a future secession of a State may be justified in reaction to violent crackdowns by the federal government against individuals based on individuals’ national origin or ancestry.

 

Section E3-V. Existential Risk

Option E3-V-1. The United States Transhumanist Party encourages every reasonable precaution to prevent existential risks that endanger sentient life. While some existential risks arise from certain technologies, many existential risks also stem from the unaltered “natural” circumstances in which humans and other life forms find themselves. For both technological and “natural” existential risks, the strongest safeguards can be achieved through responsible development of protective technologies that empower rational and moral beings.

Option E3-V-2. [Platform Adaption of Article XXII of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 2.0]

The United States Transhumanist Party encourages every reasonable precaution to prevent existential risks, including those of rogue artificial intelligence, asteroids, plagues, weapons of mass destruction, bioterrorism, war, and global warming, among others.

Option E3-V-3. [Based on Transhuman National Committee Platform, Resilience and Risk Policy Plank]

In support of the United States’ and our civilization’s resilience, the United States Transhumanist Party supports the inclusion of resilience-building activities and risk-management thinking as part of the ethical advancement of technology insofar as it does not impede such advancement.

The United States Transhumanist Party believes that existential risk should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, regardless of the type of threat. The United States Transhumanist Party supports programs that promote a long-term approach to understanding how what we do as a society affects others and our long-term sustainability and resiliency as a civilization. The United States Transhumanist Party is focused on ensuring that societies are cognizant of the risks of such collective actions. Programs that include education and promote a wider long-term view or approach to problems will help society the most, and these are programs the United States Transhumanist Party seeks to support. The United States Transhumanist Party would like to see long-term thinking become a more common part of our culture and so holds that programs which align with this outlook should be funded by responsible citizens.

An example of the kinds of programs the United States Transhumanist Party may support is the Long Now Foundation, whose vision states that the Long Now has the goal of being the seed of a very long-term cultural institution. The Long Now Foundation hopes to provide a counterpoint to today’s accelerating culture and help make long-term thinking more common. The Long Now Foundation hopes to foster responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years, including through the pursuit of long-term projects like the Clock of the Long Now and the Library of Civilization.

Grand Galactic Actuary – Short Story by Gennady Stolyarov II

Grand Galactic Actuary – Short Story by Gennady Stolyarov II

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Gennady Stolyarov II


The short story below was authored by Gennady Stolyarov II, ASA, ACAS, MAAA, CPCU, ARe, ARC, API, AIS, AIE, AIAF, Chairman of the U.S. Transhumanist Party, and is one of the entries in the Society of Actuaries 12th Speculative Fiction Contest. It was published as one of the contest entries here.

You can read all of the entries here and vote for your choice of three of them here, until March 21, 2017. You are encouraged to read all of the submissions, and also to consider supporting Mr. Stolyarov’s story, which has a transhumanist and cosmopolitan message, couched in a bit of insurance humor. Remember only to vote one time!


Euclid Jefferson, recently retired actuary, stepped off the MoonX tourist shuttle and into a dull gray meteor crater. He found unfamiliar the combined experiences of low gravity and his cumbersome spacesuit. Although he could leap ahead and quickly jump out of the crater, he found it challenging even to raise his arms. After a few minutes of tentative jump-walking, he slowly turned to observe the shuttle’s pilot make a hasty takeoff. He wondered why he had been the only passenger on this particular flight. In the year 2036, such sparsely booked flights were not unheard of, but already quite uncommon. The weather at the spaceport had not been inclement, and the Archimedes Research Base usually attracted a steady flow of journalists, academics, and curiosity seekers.  Why was today different?

The domes of the research base were lit only dimly, and the moonscape was strangely empty as he approached. There was no welcoming party – just a lone figure at the base entrance, clad in the field uniform of a lunar geologist, but without the tools. As Euclid approached, he discerned the face of his wife Hypatia. He had not seen her for a year; on Earth, he had received a series of experimental rejuvenation treatments that took approximately twenty years off of his biological age. She, having been moon-bound in the meantime, still had the appearance of a woman in her early fifties. Over her spacesuit, she still wore the necklace Euclid had given her before their wedding. They had planned to return to Earth together, where she would recover from the muscle and bone atrophy caused by prolonged low-gravity exposure, and then planned to receive the rejuvenation treatments herself. For now, though, she looked weary and showed relief, but no joy, at his arrival. Her expression predominantly showed deep alarm.

“Euclid – no time for greetings. The base has been evacuated. All world governments are on standby to see how this situation is resolved. You were able to come because only you were cleared to come. Your pre-scheduled trip to the base was the fastest opportunity for getting an actuary here. You – only you – are needed.”

“What?” Euclid was incredulous.

“We have made first contact with an alien life form. It only wants to speak to an actuary. It refuses to move until it has done so.”

Hypatia pressed a key on her remote control, and the door into the base’s main dome slid away, admitting them inside. The research equipment had been cleared out, and no other human being was in sight. A few small utility bots scurried around the edges, performing routine essential maintenance, but the center of the dome’s vast floor was occupied only by a massive, indistinct contraption, semi-shrouded in shadow. It seemed to be a makeshift structure – one supported by hundreds of thick, cylindrical, mechanical legs on top of which sat ten-meter-high black panels, arranged in a dodecagon, the center of which emitted a faint glow. Narrow cracks between the panels betrayed hints of slow, deliberative motion.

As the doors slid shut behind them, Euclid and Hypatia removed their helmets. “I am Euclid Jefferson!” Euclid shouted at the black structure. His voice echoed throughout the dome. “I am an actuary!”

The mechanical legs lifted briskly off the ground, floated in mid-air for a full second, then descended upon the floor with a resounding stomp.

“Well, here we finally are,” boomed a slow, bass voice in perfect English. It was a self-assured voice, almost at the edge of Euclid’s auditory comfort, but he did not perceive it as malevolent or threatening. The room brightened suddenly as half of the structure’s panels slid away, leaving six standalone, massive computer screens. Thousands of three-dimensional spreadsheets, hundreds of thousands of lines of code appeared before Euclid in characters that were themselves three-dimensional, each comprised of intertwined geometric shapes more intricate than anything he had ever seen. Altogether they created a sea of ever-shifting, ever-evolving alien text. It seemed to him that calculations were ensuing in mid-air, but what was being calculated and why remained a mystery. At each of the six screens sat … an upright tortoise? Two meters tall? Deep blue in everything – skin, shell, eyes?  In a thick black overcoat with a cutout for the shell? Typing? Was the low gravity getting to Euclid’s head?

“My loyal associates,” the voice resounded again. “I hired them as hatchlings. They reason well, but still need a few centuries to learn.”

Euclid remained perplexed. “Who are you? How can you speak English?”

The sea of letters receded, and out of the center of the structure emerged the largest tortoise Euclid had ever seen – also completely blue – also in a black overcoat, except with ornate ruffles around the neck, limbs, and shell. He sat on a colossal, four-meter-tall throne, wrought from millions of tiny fibers that nonetheless buoyed his massive frame. A comparatively small table floated in front of him, filled with several dishes of giant leaves folded into elaborate designs. The alien’s eyes regarded Euclid with a superior but also inexhaustibly patient gaze.

“You stand before Turtor the Old, Grand Galactic Actuary, Ratemaker of the Milky Way. For my analytical and data-gathering capabilities, renowned throughout the civilized universe, the absorption of your primitive Earth languages is but a moment’s afterthought – and I have long observed your species and its myriad perplexing exemplars.”

“Grand Galactic… Actuary?”

Euclid paused to think. It occurred to him that Turtor and his associates must be products of convergent evolution – unrelated to the tortoises of Earth but simply similar in their biological structures. They must have emerged on another world where slow, herbivorous, non-senescing terrestrial reptiles became the dominant life forms instead of primates. Euclid wondered what sort of world it must have been. A perpetually warm one, with plenty of plants? No predators? Ample space and time to deliberate?

“You humans have finally sent one who is worthy to speak to me. All I was offered before were some meaningless dignitaries: General, President, some Secretary of some strange organization pretending to represent all your little tribes, your ‘nations’! Do you humans have no recognition that insurance rules the cosmos?”

“We had no idea that there was any sentient life apart from Earth!”

“This is no excuse,” boomed Turtor. “I have watched your world for centuries. You stumbled in the dark, speculating, but now you have emerged from your species’ infancy and can no longer evade the truth. You must now pay.”

“Pay for what?”

“Cosmic general liability insurance, of course.”

Euclid’s eyes widened. “What is this insurance you speak of?”

“Think back a few decades, in your world. When a teenager drove one of your primitive manual automobiles, he was required to purchase liability insurance. Even your primitive laws recognized the potential damage that an inexperienced young driver could inflict on others, so they required all drivers to provide financially for that eventuality. Now it is your species’ turn.”

“But what is the parallel here?” Euclid still did not understand.

Turtor let out a prolonged sigh. “I have all the time in the universe to explain, I suppose. Your species is no longer a child species. You have established a settlement on another world. Children who cannot drive do not need insurance. A child species that cannot colonize space does not need insurance to protect others from its depredations. But once you are out settling on other worlds, you can do great damage – just like a teenager driving one of your old Earth vehicles for the first time!”

“But respectfully, the Moon is a barren rock!” Euclid objected. “No other life exists here. We are only beginning to establish ourselves and master even this environment. We were not even aware of life forms on other worlds until you arrived!”

“We know your species sufficiently well to highly doubt that you will stop with the Moon,” Turtor replied. “There is a good reason why you were ignorant of the existence of other sapient species. As part of the Universal Insurance Mandate, those lacking required cosmic general liability insurance are shielded from any visual, auditory, or kinesthetic stimuli emanating from the rest of the galaxy’s inhabitants. Your species’ primitive efforts to search for extraterrestrial intelligence have yielded no signs to date precisely because of this. We have developed the ultimate risk-management strategy: avoidance of all contact with those who might do us harm and refuse to pay for the risk.”

“So we cannot contact other species unless we have cosmic general liability insurance – and who will sell us cosmic general liability insurance?” Euclid inquired.

“The Galactic Insurance Consortium – developed and operated by the most renowned actuaries of the Milky Way – exists for the sole purpose of maintaining, pricing, reserving, and selling insurance that accompanies all transactions of civilized beings. Whatever can be done, we provide the insurance policy that precisely covers all of the risks involved.”

Now Euclid was beyond intrigued. “A policy precisely tailored to each risk? How is this possible?”

“It is good that I am not in a hurry. You humans hurry too much, by the way – often pointlessly.” It was true that Turtor was taking his time to explain.  “My species – whose name would be far too intricate to pronounce in your language but is translated literally as ‘Blueshellians’ – are the most skilled students of risk this universe has produced. Our ancestors took their time, wandering through our world’s lush meadows, eating leaves, and, most importantly, pondering. For all the time you humans devoted to slaughtering one another, we spent orders of magnitude more time thoroughly cataloguing and comprehending all the risks on our home-world and devising ways to mitigate them. You fragile humans can senesce and die… we only grow larger and stronger with age. Only accidents and infectious disease can destroy us – so the foremost focus of our work has been on preventing accidents and diseases and finding ways to quickly pay for repairing the unpreventable damage. By the time we were ready to venture out into space, we could anticipate every major contingency and threat. Any more warlike species had no means of defeating us, since our predictive models foresaw their strategies and devised the perfect defenses. Eventually they all realized that their best interest was to adopt the Universal Insurance Mandate and retain us to manage their risks. The system we have built undergirds the galactic order. Through insurance of everyone against every conceivable fortuitous peril, we give everyone a stake in peace and good behavior – and the primitive way of law enforcement through force has been made entirely obsolete. We actuaries have rendered obsolete the rulers and political systems of primitive species. You humans are actually fortunate to have evolved as late as you did; you would not have wished your first contact to have been with any of the conqueror species whom we supplanted.”

“But how can you possibly comprehensively anticipate all major risks?” Euclid pressed.

“You might call this ‘big data’ – except far vaster than your human minds or even supercomputers can encompass. I travel the stars in search of species that may soon enter the spacefaring era and seek to observe them over the course of at least a few centuries before they establish their first settlement outside their home planet,” Turtor explained. “My tour takes me to your region of the galaxy once every two of your decades, and this is my twenty-fifth visit. If I combine what I have learned of your species, those in similar stages of technological development, and those far more advanced, I can formulate reliable exa-variate predictive models of the risks facing humankind.”

“Are you claiming to be able to predict the future? Can you anticipate what I will do next?” Euclid was incredulous.

“You will continue to stand here, questioning me. But no, my models will not exactly foretell the future. They will, however, lay out the paths along which the future is likely to unfold, with reasonable accuracy as to the probability of each path.”

“So what are the major risks that your insurance policy would cover for humans?”

“Cosmic general liability insurance will compensate for the unintentional damage your species might inflict upon others. Your species has a propensity toward violence driven by tribalism and ideology. Not even my insurance can cover intentional malfeasance; for that, we would simply block you in perpetuity. However, as a result of human belligerence, you also still have eighty-year-old arsenals of nuclear missiles with astonishingly poor oversight. Our policy will cover the damage you humans might inflict on other species as a result of accidental nuclear launches. Your species also practices poor overall hygiene and may inadvertently transmit your Earth diseases to other worlds. Humans, furthermore, have a tendency to unthinkingly alter the climates in which they reside. If you introduce climate changes that are harmful to another sapient species, we have geoengineering controls in place to repair the damage, but the insurance policy will pay the cost of such repairs. And of course, there are miscellaneous coverages if any of you humans should unintentionally injure another sapient being or cause damage to its residence or spacecraft.”

Euclid was puzzled. “I can see how these risks would eventually exist after contact with other life forms, but what is the rationale for requiring the entire species to purchase the policy? Individuals, after all, are responsible for inflicting particular instances of damage. Not all people will even be capable of harming other species at any given time!” Then a thought occurred to Euclid as to how this mandate might be escaped. “Are you not introducing cross-subsidization if you require everyone to pay for the losses that only a few are responsible for causing?”

“No more than one of your human group or blanket insurance policies or social insurance systems would produce cross-subsidization today,” Turtor replied confidently. “As with those policies, it is simply far more convenient to encompass all potential sources of risk within the same policy – and that way the premium gets spread across a larger population with less burden on each individual.”

“So what is the premium in any event? You require us to purchase coverage for risks that we have long considered uninsurable and enormous in the potential severity of losses. How much money are you planning to charge us?” Euclid realized that it would be best to obtain all relevant details before devising a response.

“Money? Your governments’ fanciful pieces of paper, or your primitive electronic credit system? No,” Turtor replied. “We have advanced for beyond your economic structures and their cumbersome media of exchange. The payment we seek is something… more tangible. And you are correct; the risks are enormous. Indeed, it is a wonder that your species has succeeded in surviving to this stage of development. My model from nineteen years ago gave this outcome only a 45-percent probability. That was quite a dangerous time period you just overcame. Even your own scientists said then that you were… two and a half of your minutes from doomsday?”

“So if not money, what are you seeking? Resources?”

“In a manner of speaking. Unless your species changes its ways, the premium that would suffice to cover your first twenty-year policy term will be… hmmm… can those calculations be correct?” He gestured to one of his Blueshellian associates, who nodded in affirmation. “They must be: Two Earths.”

“Two Earths!”

“Yes, everything tangible on your planet, except for life forms, twice over. It would actually come out to 2.08616 Earths precisely – but, given the divisibility issues involved, I will give you a discretionary schedule-rating discount equal to the fractional Earth.”

“But this is impossible – even if we wanted to pay!” Euclid objected.

“Hence our dilemma,” Turtor noted matter-of-factly.

“Surely there must be other discounts, loss-prevention measures we can take to reduce the premium!” Euclid expressed a faint hope.

“This is why I needed to speak to an actuary. Yes, we have approximately 1.5 trillion discount possibilities built into the rating plan. The indicated premium for your policy adjusts in real time based on the known behaviors of individual humans as well as decisions of large institutions within your societies. Ah – it looks like there is another civil war breaking out in your Sudan just now; you really need to stop having those! Were it not for my discretionary discount, your species’ premium would have risen by another 0.04 Earths as a result.”

“So what can we do? Nuclear disarmament?”

“That would save you 0.5 Earths. Not having the ability to destroy all sapient life forms from a centralized location is a good start.”

“That still leaves an impossibly high premium!”

“To solve the problem of infectious disease, you need to deploy nanobots that will detect and destroy harmful pathogens. We happen to offer them as a benefit to policyholders. As a bonus, they will also repair aging-related damage to your organisms far more seamlessly than your crude rejuvenation therapies. You might potentially live indefinitely like we do.”

“I would gladly take them if I could!” Euclid replied. Was there an opportunity to be had from all this?

“Very well, assuming they are deployed with haste, this results in a savings of another 0.8 Earths.”

“But now we at a premium of 0.7 Earths,” noted Euclid. “How could we possibly pay that?”

“Your planet has oceans covering approximately 70 percent of its landmass. You will cede the oceans to the Galactic Insurance Consortium,” Turtor responded. “It will not be obtrusive. Your ships will maintain right of way, but we will build monitoring platforms and maintain suitable habitats for all aquatic species. All oceanic resource extraction will now be performed by us; we can do it much more elegantly than you, with no long-term damage to any species’ population. We will trade with you for any resources you continue to extract from land. As part of our risk-management program, we will also maintain a permanent contingent of peacemakers who will live on the ocean platforms, observe your geopolitical dynamics, and interpose defensive shields around any humans who are about to be menaced by war or violent crime. If this results in a steady increase of peace and stability of your societies, you may, over time, become eligible for a conflict-free discount.”

It did not take Euclid long to decide. “An end to war and disease? Solutions to our environmental problems? In exchange for your oversight? This is a reasonable offer indeed! But what am I to do? I am but one traveler, one retired actuary! What authority do I have to make such a deal for all humankind?”

Hypatia tapped him on the shoulder. “You do not know?” She whispered to him. “All the governments of Earth and their intelligence agencies are tapped into this discussion. They have been listening all along! You were brought here as a last-ditch attempt to negotiate…”

“… And we can even hear your whispers!” another voice, harsher than Turtor’s, reverberated throughout the room. “Mr. Jefferson, this is Director Mal Powers of the United States National Security Agency. We thank you for your efforts to communicate with the alien entity and discover its demands. Our diplomats have been in ongoing international deliberations regarding this proposal.”

“I recommend approval. This could be just what humankind needs to escape its age-old miseries and join the advanced species of the galaxy!” Euclid exclaimed.

“Yet there are those among the nations of the world who espouse a different outlook,” Director Powers replied. “The alien entity, they contend, is a threat to human civilization, our distinctive culture and way of life. There are many who say we cannot abide this alien influence transforming our economy, taking our jobs in fishing, oil rigging, medicine, and arms manufacturing! And if we allow these Blueshellians to settle on our planet, how soon before they have a demographic advantage over us? So there is now a vote at the United Nations.”

“A vote on the proposal? But what is the alternative? The status quo?” Euclid inquired with confusion.

“Remember, we still have nuclear missiles on high alert. Instead of dismantling them, which could render us vulnerable to a stealth invasion by the aliens, we could launch them preemptively at this base and solve the situation in this way!” Euclid was horrified. Powers had sounded almost gleeful at the prospect.

“Are you seriously considering this?!” Euclid was furious. “The destruction of the most sophisticated life form we have yet encountered? Because of xenophobia and protectionism?!”

“Mr. Jefferson, we thank you for your service, however unintended, but these policy decisions are simply beyond your realm of expertise. You are an actuary, and you have proved invaluable in negotiating with this… galactic tortoise actuary – but we will remind you to leave the important decisions to those true policymakers who have global security interests in mind!” That did not sound like a mere reminder.

“If you would, Director Powers, at least let us know how the United Nations vote is proceeding?” Hypatia attempted another approach.

“Well, apart from Canada and the Scandinavian countries, whose delegates voted in favor of this insurance scheme, your recommendation does not have much support, it seems. The United States is probably going to abstain; I would have recommended opposition – but it was determined that this would appear too inhumane for some constituencies. Still, I think the outcome is a foregone conclusion, as there are plenty of nuclear powers willing to launch…”

“WHAT YOU FORGET,” Turtor’s voice boomed suddenly, “IS THAT ACTUARIES RULE THIS GALAXY!” Turtor’s platform shot up in a furious ascent, then landed thunderously upon the floor. The screens of Turtor’s associates swiveled around so that Euclid and Hypatia had a full view of what they displayed.

Missiles in silos throughout the world, bearing American, Russian, Chinese, British, French, Iranian markings… were all crumbling! The screens flashed again. Rows of tanks and military aircraft were shown literally coming apart at the seams. Within moments, they were mere piles of scrap metal. The next series of screens showed what looked to be state-of-the-art cyber-command centers. Euclid spotted a scowling, incredulous man in uniform who must have been Director Mal Powers. All of his computers were melting before his eyes. His analysts, too, sat, speechless. The last set of images was from within the United Nations Building. The delegates of all the nations of Earth were shown with mouths agape at a gigantic projection of Turtor, seated on his throne, proclaiming, “YOU SHALL HAVE PEACE!”

Then the screens fell dark, and Turtor calmed. “They shall have peace, but not access to other civilized life forms – not yet. Your species’ morality and restraint have yet to catch up to your technological advancement. Explore the barren segments of the universe for now, if you wish, but you will not have access to anything truly remarkable. Perhaps in a century or two, we might reconsider.”

“But individual humans do not all share the same hostile inclinations! These proponents of reflexive violence do not represent me!” Euclid protested.

“Nor me!” Hypatia exclaimed.

“Hmmm…” Turtor pondered for a moment. “I suppose I can make an underwriting exception, since we did have a productive conversation. I can price a cosmic general liability policy for a family of two. Associates, input the risk characteristics, please. Interesting… the underwriting system has accepted you.”

“But what will be our premiums?”

“This, I think, will suffice for the first policy term.” Turtor pointed to Hypatia’s necklace. “It has no real use-value in our economy – but our species also has retained a penchant for collecting shiny objects.”

Euclid turned to Hypatia. “This is a difficult choice… we can do it if you are certain.”

“Oh, it’s only a necklace!” she exclaimed. “The universe for a bauble? We accept!”

Gennady Stolyarov II (G. Stolyarov II) became the second Chairman in the history of the Transhumanist Party in November 2016. Mr. Stolyarov is an actuary,  independent philosophical essayist, science-fiction novelist, poet, amateur mathematician, composer, and Editor-in-Chief of The Rational Argumentator, a magazine championing the principles of reason, rights, and progress. Mr. Stolyarov regularly produces YouTube Videos discussing life extension, libertarianism, and related subjects. Read more about Mr. Stolyarov here