U.S. Transhumanist Party General Discussion Thread for November 2017
The purpose of this post is to facilitate member comments pertaining to transhumanism and the U.S. Transhumanist Party, which might not specifically fit the subjects of any other post or article on the U.S. Transhumanist Party website. This is the place for members to offer suggestions or converse about any areas of emerging technologies and their political, moral, societal, cultural, and esthetic implications. The general discussion thread is also an ideal location to suggest or propose platform planks that may be considered for future platform voting.
The U.S. Transhumanist Party will endeavor to open one of these general comment threads per month. This comment thread pertains to the month of November 2017.
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10 thoughts on “U.S. Transhumanist Party General Discussion Thread for November 2017”
In case you haven’t voted yet on the Platform Vote #6, you’re encouraged to do so in order to make an impact and have influence over the direction of the Party.
Anyway, here is the first suggestion that could possibly make it to the next round.
Education is very important, and to that end the U.S. Transhumanist Party already has some planks that set forth intentions regarding education. A problem with many educational institutions is that they are bureaucratic and administrative cabals, decades if not a century worth of rules and policies piling up, archaic paper filing systems requiring physical prints, signatures, copies in three-fold, and then manually inputted into a computer system… where the original form came from that had to be filled out. You get the picture.
This has led to schools, colleges, and universities retaining a tremendous amount of administrative personnel, occupying entire buildings dedicated to keep the screeching cogs of the rusty machine from stopping, and in its sluggishness and work-providing methodologies perhaps only rivaled by that of the Soviet Union.
I hope this pre-amble was colorful, but there is a point to this.
We may wish to let the free market handle everything, and this certainly is an important driver that can motivate in many cases. Educational institutions, however, are a harder nut to crack. Many of them receive federal money in order to provide better education, yet at the same time they can charge a lot of money from students, many of whom have to take out loans. This creates a set of issues.
1: The federal money, might not ever make it to students’ learning because it gets stuck somewhere in the machine, is used to pay personnel etc.
2: Charging such vast amounts to the students, who take out loans, is a direct income for the educational institution, but a future debt for the student… and even a burden for society. When the student finishes a university degree, they will have to start paying back their loan, with interest, as is normal. Said, now professional, does have to get that money from somewhere, such as clients, and thus has to charge more, etc etc.
Now, the second part was a big point of Bernie Sanders. I, personally think he had a point, but not when educational institutions are this inefficient…
The federal funding is probably not going anywhere soon, and I think we ought to use this to “our” advantage by setting a performance requirement regarding costs that ecucational
institutions make on administration, and bureaucracy in general. Not only will they have to start becoming more efficient, it will most likely also improve the experience and lower frustration of students, who can suddenly and magically manage all the administrative stuff from their computer without having to run around, print, make copies, etc etc etc.
Whether the idea of “free” (publicly paid for) education will be implemented, or the it will remain fairly free market, at least less money has to be wasted on keeping dinosaurs intact.
I’m going to light the fuse on a hot issue. Assault weapons ban. Should it happen and how broad of a ban?
My opinion is this:
I do not lean one way or the other. Given the party’s stance on guarantee of life and life extension, tools that make it easier to end life be without consent would against such a policy. However, if a ban were to be put into place, it should include law enforcement. The capability for someone to protect themselves against hostile people and organizations needs to be established. With violence from the police force on the rise it is clear that this is essential. A level field must exist between the people and is government.
“These are dark times, there is no denying. The world had perhaps faced no greater that than it does today”.
I think assault weapons should be restricted to gun-ranges, where they also have to be securely stored. This allows people to practice shooting, for fun or skill, and there would be no particular need for any magazine bans or restrictions.
I totally agree with you that police should not have assault weapons as part of their police gear. Even something as a shotgun communicates to the public that the police intend to shoot to kill… and that they are such poor shots that they need a shotgun… which is concerning considering that they should be among the best and most accurate shooters, not only to incapacitate someone, but also to protect the public from stray bullets. Regular law enforcement should not be equipped with military grade hardware to begin with.
I would actually like to add that law enforcement should use rubber bullets as standard, and regular bullets only in situations where there is an immediate threat to the public.
On that same note I think civilians should also be encouraged, not mandated, to use rubber bullets, or something else non-lethal to incapacitate rather than to kill. Not only does this not kill burglars or whatever, many homicides take place due to domestic disputes that spiraled out of control. Although not a guarantee, but it could help limit the number of homicides due to heated emotions.
Furthermore, this would make it all the more obvious that if someone switched out bullets in order to fire at someone else, who was otherwise not an immediate threat, that it was intended.
Non lethal force is definitely the right thing to do in 99% of cases. Though nearly all civilians leave their weapon unloaded until needed. Not sure about police procedure. But since it’s usually unloaded, a user might just grab the lethal rounds instead.
If the country were to go towards a non-lethal only stance, we would also have to change the various criminal menacing laws to prevent someone from being charged with serious felonies for simply trying to use non lethal force.
Another stance worth looking at:
All police forces must move towards electronic vehicles. The reason for this is two fold.
1) Reducing emissions. Officers, especially in urban settings, drive at slow speeds burning tanks of gas and getting poor mileage. I’m not sure if there is any data to show how much your average police station emits per day, but we might be able to dig up something. I have to imagine moving police patrols to EVs would have a significant positive impact. After all, they are here for our safety and helping make our air safe to breathe counts!
2) It forces police forces away from militarized vehicles. This is something we have discussed and I believe we even have a policy plank on it. None the less, you’re not going to find a EV MRAP any time soon.
I think this is a good point. It would also show that we as a country are serious about ‘going green/clean’.
Sorry to tag this on:
I think police cars should also have better monitoring systems to track whether the police is violating traffic laws in order to get to their proverbial donuts faster.
This is an image that is really damaging to public perception. Law enforcement should first and foremost be the examples of society to follow, even before enforcing the law. Law enforcement should show us how to be better citizens, not worse. By holding them accountable, including to “small things” such as traffic infractions we can start to breed a police force that is an example to the public, the law enforcement that many envision it to be when they wish to join.
I like that a lot. Perhaps a larger plank on accountability is in order.
Does it feel strange/biased to anyone that many of our discussions revolve around criminal justice reform? Is this a good thing, because? Is it our drive to focus on life enhancing policy that causes this? Is this a result of a few of us continually focusing on one issue at the detriment to others?
I know it’s a button pusher for me, I’m just trying to make sure we dont inadvertently become the “police accountability party” when there are many other facets to what we support.
Just a thought.
I think your observation is accurate. Possibly that some of us seem to care about justice reform is because we notice that it is perceived to be lagging behind. This is already a problem for the current generation, and might pose an even bigger problem for future generations if left unchecked.
We are for life-extension, and unfortunately the current state of law enforcement is not in line with this notion, taking way too many lives, especially when measured against any other western country.
I do agree that we ought to bring to the forefront a greater variety of topics that need addressing. For this, however, we also need a greater diversity of people participating. Perhaps we need to think of better ways to engage members. Thoughts anyone?
What’s the ratio of members vs active members? I think we need to do more to grow our membership. The book coming out next year may help, but perhaps we need to fund some advertising. Maybe a membership committee?