15-Day Exposure Period on U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitutional Reform Vote #2

15-Day Exposure Period on U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitutional Reform Vote #2

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Gennady Stolyarov II


The United States Transhumanist Party (USTP) announces its upcoming second Constitutional Reform vote in response to the ideas provided during the USTP Reform Summit of November 28-29, 2020.

A vote will be scheduled on some or all of the items below once they have been exposed for at least 15 days. For each item, a 7-day voting period is expected to be opened at the earliest on Wednesday, December 23, 2020.

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 more than a single option is presented for the wording of a particular plank or segment of a plank. Members will be able to rank-order their preferred selections on each individual Section. The originally proposed text of each Section will be available for selection, as well as any reasonable amendments proposed by any member. Leadership of the U.S. Transhumanist Party reserves the right to edit any proposed amendment for correctness of spelling and grammar. The status-quo option – either “No Section of this sort” or the previous Section wording will also be a choice, depending on whether the Section in question is new or proposed to be revised. Any Section where a majority of votes favors the status-quo 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 U.S. Transhumanist Party encourages all members to participate in this process and for other transhumanists to sign up for membership during the exposure period. 


Article I, Section II. Statements of Historical Fact – Proposed Addition

Historical Fact 9. Johannon Ben Zion ceased to be affiliated with the United States Transhumanist Party as of June 8, 2020. After that date, Arin Vahanian became the Vice-Chairman of the United States Transhumanist Party.

Article III. Officers – Proposed Amendments

Revise Article III, Section I, to read as follows:

Section I: As of January 1, 2021, the following individuals shall hold roles as Officers in the United States Transhumanist Party.

  1. Chairman: Gennady Stolyarov II
  2. Vice-Chairman: Arin Vahanian
  3. Secretary: Pavel Ilin
  4. Vice-Secretary: Caeus H. Antony
  5. Director of Foreign Relations: B.J. Murphy
  6. Director of Scholarship: Dan Elton
  7. Director of Community Resilience: Alexandria Black
  8. Director of Marketing: Charlie Kam
  9. Director of Longevity Outreach: Daniel Yeluashvili
  10. Director of Applied Innovation: David Shumaker
  11. Director of Publication: Brent Logan Reitze
  12. Director of Sentient Rights Advocacy: Tom Ross
  13. Legislative Director: Justin Waters
  14. Director of Visual Art: (Art Ramon) Garcia, Jr.

The list of Officers above and the effective date of this list is subject to automatic updates without further member votes in the event of a change in the individual holding any Officer position, provided that such a change occurs in accordance with the processes outlined in the provisions of this Article III.

Amend Article III, Section II, to read as follows:

Section II: New Officer positions may be created, and vacancies in Officer positions may be filled in the event of an interim departure of any Officer. Any individual may apply for an Officer position that becomes vacant.  Any appointment of an Officer to a new or vacant position shall be effective upon a two-thirds affirmative vote of those Officers who take active part in the deliberations regarding such an appointment at any time during a discussion period of three days, and with the subsequent approval of the Chairman.

Amend Article III, Section III, to read as follows:

Section III: While any individual may apply for an Officer position that becomes vacant, the United States Transhumanist Party shall only appoint an individual to an Officer position if that individual has demonstrated at least one of the following qualifications:

(i) A United States Transhumanist Party Officer position attained on or before January 1, 2021;

(ii) At least four consecutive years of active presence within the broader transhumanist movement, with each year of such active presence capable of being verified by means of clear evidence of the individual’s writings, videos, audio recordings, projects, scientific research, artistic work, meeting or conference attendance,  or other objectively demonstrable contributions to the advancement of transhumanism; or

(iii) At least six months of reliable service to the United States Transhumanist Party in an intermediate role which does not carry Officer status but may involve responsibility in organizing projects, events, or outreach. Such intermediate roles may be created at the discretion of the United States Transhumanist Party Officers and are not subject to the requirement in Subsection (ii) above.

Amend Article III, Section IV, to read as follows:

Section IV: For any new applicant to an Officer position, existing Officers will assemble and interview the applicant. The interview may take place prior to or subsequent to the confirmation vote for the applicant, depending on whether any existing Officer would consider the interview to provide additional information needed for the purposes of making a decision regarding the applicant.

In the process of the interview, the applicant and the existing Officers will develop an agreement that will encompass the duties of the position, how to perform the duties of that position, and any information relevant to that position. The agreement may be documented either in writing or by means of a recorded discussion at the interview.

Amend Article III, Section V, to read as follows:

Section V: Beginning in February 2021, Officers shall establish a public page of goals for the United States Transhumanist Party to accomplish within reasonable timeframes specified for each goal. As each goal is achieved, or as the timeframe for that goal elapses or is in need of revision, the Officers shall update the public page of goals to reflect such developments.

Amend Article III, Section VII, to read as follows:

Section VII: The Chairman shall be the chief Officer of the United States Transhumanist Party and shall preside at all meetings of the organization, or else appoint a substitute for any meeting where the Chairman is absent. The Chairman shall have the chief executive authority within the United States Transhumanist Party and shall be responsible for the principal decision-making and organizational activities of the United States Transhumanist Party, including the maintenance of the United States Transhumanist Party Platform, the periodic organization of elections and votes on provisions of the Platform, and the development of discussion and outreach events involving the general public. The Chairman shall have the authority to decide any matter affecting the course, conduct, and official positions of the United States Transhumanist Party. The Chairman shall have the authority, but not the obligation, to proclaim and determine the structure of any meeting, convention, assembly, or other forum for conducting the business of the United States Transhumanist Party at any time at the Chairman’s discretion. The Chairman may delegate any aspect of the Chairman’s responsibility to another Officer or Member of the United States Transhumanist Party at the Chairman’s discretion via a written delegation of authority. Such a written delegation of authority may be revocable at any time.

The Chairman shall appoint committees that are deemed necessary for the organization. Vacancies that occur for Vice-Chairman, Secretary, or Directors may be filled by appointment of the Chairman, preferably following a two-thirds vote of those Officers who take active part in the deliberations regarding such an appointment at any time during a discussion period of three days.

Amend Article III, Section VIII, to read as follows: 

Section VIII: The Vice-Chairman shall temporarily assume the duties of the Chairman in the event of the Chairman’s absence and the absence of a contrary delegation of authority from the Chairman. In the event of the resignation of the Chairman, the Chairman may designate a successor. In the absence of a designation of a successor by a departing Chairman, the Vice-Chairman, Secretary, and each of the Directors who desires the role of Chairman shall each select a random number, and then a random-number generator shall be utilized to select the next Chairman among the willing Officers, such that the Officer whose number is chosen shall become the Chairman.

Amend Article III, Section XI, to read as follows: 

Section XI: By majority vote and with the approval of the Chairman, the Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party may place on probation an Officer who fails to fulfill the duties of his or her office as specified in the documents developed by the United States Transhumanist Party to describe such duties. The probation period shall last as long as the Officers deem appropriate by majority vote, and shall include a written contract with deadlines and criteria for the fulfillment of duties. In the event that the terms of the probation period and/or contract are violated, the subject Officer may be removed from office by a majority vote and with the approval of the Chairman. An Officer may also be removed from office if a majority vote, with the approval of the Chairman, determines that the subject Officer has been entirely inactive and non-responsive and would therefore not be able to abide by the terms of any probation period. If an Officer has been entirely inactive and non-responsive for a period of three consecutive months, then that Officer shall be deemed to have vacated his or her position, unless the Officer affirmatively indicates a desire to remain in that position via a written communication to the Chairman.

The Chairman may take measures at the Chairman’s sole discretion to restrict, contain, sanction, or discipline any Officer considered to be acting in an intentionally hostile manner toward the United States Transhumanist Party. Any Officer discovered to be engaged in criminal activity, planning an internal coup, or spreading false allegations about other Officers to third parties or to the public, may, at the sole discretion of the Chairman, be immediately restricted from any or some portion of that Officer’s role within the United States Transhumanist Party upon discovery of such actions. A restriction is not an expulsion and is subject to subsequent evaluation by the remaining Officers. Upon subsequent evaluation, such restricted Officer may be removed from his or her Officer role and/or expelled from the United States Transhumanist Party by means of a majority vote of the other Officers, if those other Officers determine it proper to do so.

Add Article III, Section XII, to read as follows:

Section XII: During the first full calendar year in which the United States Transhumanist Party attains [Options:  10,000, 50,000, 100,000, 500,000, 1,000,000] members, the Chairman may, at the Chairman’s discretion, call for an election to the position of Chairman with at least two months of advance notice. To be eligible to run in such an election, any candidate for the position of Chairman requires the approval of two-thirds of existing United States Transhumanist Party Officers who occupy their positions at the time the election is first announced.

New Article VII: Candidates

Add Article VII, Section I, to read as follows:

Section I: In order to be eligible to become endorsed by the United States Transhumanist Party as a candidate for any local, state, or federal political office, an individual must satisfy the following criteria.

(i) The individual satisfies the minimum qualifications pursuant to applicable law for holding the office for which the individual seeks to run.

(ii) The individual has never committed any violent crime, including any crime which involves physical injury or destruction inflicted upon any person or property. As used in this subsection, the term “violent crime” includes but is not necessarily limited to murder, manslaughter, rape, human trafficking, domestic violence, robbery, assault, battery, looting, arson, rioting, and vandalism.

(iii) The individual has never committed any financial crime which had any victim, including but not limited to fraud, embezzlement, theft, cybercrime, or financing of violent or criminal groups.

(iv) The individual has never engaged in documented acts of cyberbullying, cyber-harassment, or intentional spreading of false accusations against another individual online.

(v) The individual has never engaged in acts understood to be of a [Options: taboo, repugnant, repulsive, immoral, abhorrent, anti-human, deeply reprehensible] nature [Alternative Option: “in extremely poor taste” instead of “of a ______ nature”] within every contemporary agricultural, industrial, or post-industrial society. The Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party shall maintain an internal list identifying such [Options: taboo, repugnant, repulsive, immoral, abhorrent, anti-human, deeply reprehensible] practices [Alternative Option: in extremely poor taste], engaging in which or advocating which would be considered an automatic disqualification for holding any office within or receiving any endorsement from the United States Transhumanist Party.

(vi) The individual has never engaged in acts which are understood by the Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party to have been undertaken by that individual primarily for the purposes of generating shock value or for transgression for the sake of transgression.

(vii) The individual must agree to participate in any process designated by the Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party for the determination of whether or not that individual may be endorsed as a candidate and to respect the outcome of that process, no matter whether or not that individual is ultimately endorsed as a candidate.

(viii) The individual must agree to work collaboratively with the United States Transhumanist Party during the campaign season and not to disparage the United States Transhumanist Party as well as not to work contrary to the interests and goals of the United States Transhumanist Party during that time.

(ix) The individual must never have disparaged the United States Transhumanist Party or any of its current Officers in good standing within any written publication or public video or audio recording. This criterion does not, however, preclude constructive criticism, and a reasonable-person test shall be used to differentiate constructive criticism from disparagement.

(x) The individual must commit to running for office as a candidate endorsed by the United States Transhumanist Party until the conclusion of the election in which the individual seeks to be a candidate.

(xi) The individual must have never reneged on a prior commitment to run for office as a candidate endorsed by the United States Transhumanist Party until the conclusion of the election in which the individual sought to be a candidate.

(xii) The individual must never have falsely alleged any electoral malfeasance on the part of the United States Transhumanist Party.

(xiii) The individual must never have undertaken or threatened to undertake any legal action or make any formal complaint to an external entity against the United States Transhumanist Party or any Officer thereof in good standing.

(xiv) The individual must express agreement with the Core Ideals of the United States Transhumanist Party as described in Article I, Section I, of this Constitution.

(xv) The policy positions of the individual should have significant areas of alignment with the United States Transhumanist Party Platform as described in Article VI of this Constitution.

(xvi) The individual must agree, in that individual’s public statements, to either (a) specifically and openly express support for transhumanism and/or life extension; or (b) specifically and openly reference the endorsement of that individual by the United States Transhumanist Party.

Add Article VII, Section II, to read as follows:

Section II: Prior to convening a vote of the members regarding whether or not the United States Transhumanist Party should endorse a candidate for any office, the Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party shall interview the candidate in order to determine the candidate’s compliance with the criteria in Section I of Article VII and the desirability of enabling that candidate to seek the approval of the members of the United States Transhumanist Party. The Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party may utilize any additional criteria, including the Officers’ individual assessments of the candidate’s character, personality, and reliability, in order to determine whether or not to render the candidate eligible to appear on a ballot for consideration by the members.

New Article VIII: Additional Initiatives

Add Article VIII, Section I, to read as follows:

Section I: The Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party may, at their discretion, form a non-political affiliate organization which would maintain the same leadership structure and Officers as the United States Transhumanist Party but which would not be a political party and would not be involved in any campaigns for elected office. All members of the United States Transhumanist Party would become members of the non-political affiliate organization unless they individually opt out of such membership. However, additional members may in the future join the non-political affiliate organization without choosing to join the United States Transhumanist Party. The Officers of the United States Transhumanist Party will otherwise have complete discretion to determine the name, activities, and focus of the non-political affiliate organization.

42 thoughts on “15-Day Exposure Period on U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitutional Reform Vote #2

  1. What is the purpose of Article III, Section XII? Why would there be an election for the USTP Chairman once the USTP reaches 10,000 members?

    1. My original intent had been to call an election once the USTP reached 10,000 members. The merger with the Longevity Party led the blended Constitution to establish Officer elections prematurely in my view, as the organization does not yet have the critical mass of membership to prevent entryist factions from being able to dominate. If the Constitution is not amended, the next Officer election would take place sometime in January 2023, no matter whether or not the membership reaches 10,000 at that time. By changing the election to discretionary upon reaching the 10,000-member trigger, we would be able to have the benefit or reassessing the situation at that time and deciding whether the organization has become sufficiently mature and robust at that time that the identity of the Chairman would not matter as much in terms of perpetuating the USTP and not risking its existence.

      Also, the proposal would replace individual elections of each Officer with just the election of the Chairman. Direct elections of each Officer by the members could create a situation where there is essentially a “cabinet” of rivals or people who otherwise do not get along. If only the Chairman gets elected and the other Officers can do what they wish in terms of remaining or not, then, if there is ever a new Chairman, there would either be continuity in the rest of the leadership to facilitate a smoother transition – or if everyone else resigns, the new Chairman would essentially get to select a new “cabinet”. Again, these are all just hypothetical scenarios at this time, but if I were to remain the Chairman but another Officer whose work I valued lost a subsequent election, this would simply be nonsensical and regrettable in my view. If a person works well within the Officer team, why should we risk losing that person to the vagaries of a vote?

      Sincerely,
      Gennady Stolyarov II
      Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

      1. Gennady, I prefer that the membership number in this section be revised from 10,000 to 1,000,000. Seriously. Can you please add an alternative version to that effect, please?

        1. Michael B DiVerde, per your request, I have added options for the membership threshold at which the Chairman may call an election. In addition to the 1,000,000 option, I have added intermediate options for 50,000, 100,000, and 500,000. We can have the members rank-order all of these options in one of the questions on the forthcoming ballot.

          Sincerely,
          Gennady Stolyarov II
          Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

          1. Found some numbers that might be of interest. The Green Party has 250k members, Libertarian party has 650k. These are “small parties” with nation wide ballot access and a large leadership structure. Setting a threshold of 1 million members is far too high. I think the original number of 10,000 is far more appropriate, but still possibly too high as I think members should always have the final say regardless of numbers. What is our current membership number?

          2. We are getting close to 3,100 members. This is still far too small a number for the organization to be self-sustaining, especially since the active core of members is much smaller, and thus one active person with personality issues or ulterior motives can still do a lot of damage. In my view, the membership needs to grow sufficiently that any individual would, de facto, need to follow a long path through established channels of reputation-building before that person can access a prominent role in the organization. The larger the membership, the less influence an individual troublemaker can have at the onset – and if that person tries to advance, then over time the troublemaking tendencies will be discovered and the person will be thwarted before reaching even intermediate echelons in the organization. Once robust internal processes of this sort are established at multiple layers, then I can be confident that the processes themselves will keep the organization truly Transhumanist, rather than rendering it vulnerable to entryist behaviors by unstable persons – which the organization is still small enough to be, unfortunately.

            Sincerely,
            Gennady Stolyarov II
            Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

  2. A couple things that need attention. Starting with what I think is most important.

    Article VII
    1) The USTP should establish a support structure for future candidates, including help with fundraising and campaign staffing. Preferably in each state
    2) On the section prohibiting people who have committed crimes. It should say CONVICTED instead of COMMITTED. The reason being that anyone can make claims, and even present “evidence”. But if that evidence wouldn’t stand up in court, it shouldn’t prevent anyone from running for a position. A “higher standard” mentality should not apply as these standards are subjective and could vary person to person.
    3) Taboo should be removed. A lot of what we do is by it’s very nature taboo to mainstream society. Furthermore, what is defined as taboo varies widely from community to community.
    4) Cyber bullying, is also subjective. Yes, this is a very real problem (and something I’ve been victim of), and yes there should be consequences. But again, it’s also a crime and any crime should be proven in court. Also, no one should be held responsible by the party for things said online while a child under an age decided by the party. 16?

    Long story short, Article VII is a no vote for me as it assumes crimes were committed based on subjectivity and without due process. It’s apparent this article is reactionary specific to recent incidents and fails to be objective.

    Other things:
    1) Party officers should be elected into positions by the membership and have set terms of office. 2 years? 4?
    2) New officers for new positions can be interviewed be interviewed by the leadership, but again should be voted on by the membership.

    1. Also, section XIII seems counter productive without further explanation and restriction. It suggests that should an officer or member break a law, including violent crime, that no member should report it to law enforcement or fear alienation from the party.

      (xiii) The individual must never have undertaken or threatened to undertake any legal action or make any formal complaint to an external entity against the United States Transhumanist Party or any Officer thereof in good standing.

    2. I am against having elections for party officers. The turbulence in the party’s strategy would be disastrous.

        1. Is that what you saw during the primaries for the USTP presidential candidate? I certainly did not. Several people left the USTP because the conflict was so acrimonious. That was only one year ago, so I’m kind of surprised you feel that enthusiastic about it.

          1. It’s what I saw when we were building our platform and having regular votes on issues. Our presidential primary was a joke from the start, something I had voiced concerns about privately.

            A good way to disenfranchise your membership is to make them feel like their voice doesn’t matter. Not giving members input on the leadership of the party will only codify what was voiced during that process and show everyone that the USTP has become little more than a smoke filled back room where a privately selected group of people make decisions for the rest of us.

            Or you can give members a larger voice, show them that different viewpoints can come together in a meaningful way (and the presidential primary from my POV was not), and create a group of leaders that can represent all of us and our points of view.

    3. 1) On the support infrastructure for candidates, we can work toward that, but it does not require revisions to the Constitution. It requires practical coordination to make it happen.

      2) The issue is that for many of the crimes we would be concerned about, a conviction would be exceedingly difficult and expensive to obtain – and yet there is clear evidence of the crime being committed – e.g., a video recording, an e-mail, an abusive post. We should not give such people the benefit of the doubt just because a lengthy and expensive trial process has not been undergone. With that being said, if there is a mere allegation of a crime, the proposed language allows us to be able to give the person the benefit of the doubt if we think that there is a decent probability of innocence.

      3) Regarding the reference to taboo, my original intent was actually to itemize the specific practices that would be unacceptable. These are not bold, innovative actions that are ahead of their time but rather are in every case plainly repugnant and/or in violation of basic human rights. The list of such unacceptable practices thus far (but not necessarily limited to those practices) is the following: “cannibalism, auto-cannibalism, incest, slavery, foot-binding, widow-burning, mutilation, ritual sacrifice, child abandonment, or any sexual intercourse that does not solely involve consenting human adults”. I expect you would agree that each of the above-listed practices is abhorrent. Indeed, I think you know exactly which action in particular this provision is a direct response to (whereas the others are included as examples of other practices that are similarly repugnant).

      Would you favor the codification of the list of unacceptable practices (which was my original idea, but I was advised that it would just call too much attention to those practices), or, alternatively, using a different term in place of “taboo” – such as “repugnant”, “abhorrent”, “repulsive”, “anti-human”, perhaps?

      4) Cyberbullying can very readily be documented by e-mails and posts that can constitute intimidation, false accusation, and harassment. Again, the vast majority of such cases would be completely impractical to take to court, but they do damage to the targeted individuals and to our community nonetheless. My view is that if clear evidence of cyberbullying can be produced, the USTP should be able to take that into account in excluding a person who is known to have engaged in such behaviors from a prominent role in our organization. If we may ban such a person from a forum (and we currently may and have done it), why should we allow that person to run as a candidate?

      On Officer elections: Under the current wording of Article III, Section III, of the USTP Constitution, the first Officer election would be set for some time in January 2023, and the terms are triennial. The proposal here would replace individual elections of each Officer with just the election of the Chairman once the USTP reaches the critical mass of 10,000 members and can genuinely persist as an organization in the event of a transition of power. Direct elections of each Officer by the members could create a situation where there is essentially a “cabinet” of rivals or people who otherwise do not get along. If only the Chairman gets elected and the other Officers can do what they wish in terms of remaining or not, then, if there is ever a new Chairman, there would either be continuity in the rest of the leadership to facilitate a smoother transition – or if everyone else resigns, the new Chairman would essentially get to select a new “cabinet”. Again, these are all just hypothetical scenarios at this time, but if I were to remain the Chairman but another Officer whose work I valued lost a subsequent election, this would simply be nonsensical and regrettable in my view. If a person works well within the Officer team, why should we risk losing that person to the vagaries of a vote?

      As far as voting by the membership, one could see the forthcoming vote on the proposed Article III, Section I, as a vote of confidence on the current slate of Officers. We had a prior vote of this sort in January 2020 when the merged constitution of the Transhumanist and Longevity Parties was provided for a member vote.

      Moreover, whatever one’s stance on Officer elections, more provisions for such elections could be introduced at a later time as the organization matures. My view during the merger with the Longevity Party was that Officer elections were premature for this size of organization – but the Longevity Party Constitution had some Officer elections in its provisions, and the current Article III, Section III, was a compromise. However, with that compromise we also got an Officer who engaged in a behavior intended to be encompassed by the reference to taboo – so you can see how that worked out. The present reforms primarily seek to ensure that such a situation does not occur again. The current group of Officers is stable, and under their oversight the elevation of questionable characters would be much less likely.

      Sincerely,
      Gennady Stolyarov II
      Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

      1. Subdermal implants, like the ones we defended at the Nevada State Legislature together, are taboo globally. The are considered repugnant the majority of communities in this country and around the globe. You what else is considered taboo and repugnant and anti human here and abroad? Abortion. The taboo language should be removed as it is counterproductive to human rights, innovation, and the USTP platform.

        If the USTP wishes to not rely on the established legal system of our country as a character test for future officers, then a standardized method needs to be developed by the party and voted on by the membership before any of this other stuff is voted on. We must have a fair and open system for due process in place.

      2. Furthermore, the list of taboo examples you gave are largely illegal and would fall under criminal activity anyways. But let’s go through each one

        cannibalism/auto-cannibalism – illegal but largely indirectly/unsure, but is it considered auto-cannibalism if I chew off a hang nail and swallow it?
        incest – illegal
        slavery – illegal
        foot-binding – unsure, but as a form of extreme body modification, a person who voluntarily decides to do this should not be prohibited
        widow-burning – illegal
        mutilation – again, subjective. Largely illegal but what some people consider body art (including tattoos and piercings), another considers mutilation. Scarification, tongue splitting, ear cropping are all legal forms of body modification that is practiced legally in licensed shops across our country. Yet by many considered mutilation. And if you want more extreme, like genital mutilation, it’s been done by willing volunteers. INVOLUNTARY mutilation is already illegal
        ritual sacrifice – illegal
        child abandonment – illegal
        or any sexual intercourse that does not solely involve consenting human adults – illegal

        1. R. Nicholas Starr, I did add various alternative options to the term “taboo” – and I will note that the criterion is that the actions be considered universally repugnant (or pick a different word) “within every contemporary agricultural, industrial, or post-industrial society” – not just among the majority of people, but among essentially all sensible people. So neither microchip implants (which were received with curiosity rather than fear by many, as you know from our experience at the Nevada Legislature in 2019) nor abortion (which is controversial but also has many supporters it in every contemporary society) would fit into this category.

          You pointed out that many of the practices identified in the internal list are illegal, and that is correct – but not all of them are. The previous behavior of the offending individual of whom we are aware was almost certainly not illegal (nor do I believe that it should be, since the action harmed nobody but himself), and yet it displayed such astonishingly poor judgment (and poor taste, in every sense of that remark) that no reasonable person wish a representative of any organization to which that person belongs to exhibit such behavior.

          This gives me an idea; perhaps the term “taboo” could be replaced with “in extremely poor taste”, and that might take care of your concerns, while getting at exactly what we are trying to prevent with Article VII, Section I, paragraph (v).

          Sincerely,
          Gennady Stolyarov II
          Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

          1. I think no matter what word you use, if there is a level of subjectivity, it’s inappropriate for use in this policy.

            I don’t know all the details with what happened and I don’t really care to, but it seems like this policy is being written against the individual instead of for the party and using whatever language is available to do so.

            The USTP supports a broad scope of behavior and activities, almost all of which has been considered wildly controversial at some point in time, and the many still are. Science, and secular discovery, is a perfect example of a offensive subject that turned out to be vastly beneficial for humanity yet was forced underground, under penalty of death, for centuries. Even some things we define as absolute rights, like universal human rights, bodily autonomy, and morphological freedoms had to be violently fought for, and still is in many cases. If we were here writing this 100 years ago, homosexuality would have been grounds for refusing someone a position as an officer.

            Let us not forget while some people were genuinely curious about biohacking and NFC implants, others avoided us like lepers. Skip Daly, the author of the bill, for example. He wrote an entire bill so his state would ban something blindly and with no facts on the issue. The only reason he did that was because he found it taboo, repugnant, and in poor taste. For months we tried to reach out to him privately and failed because of how he viewed the topic and the people who might support it.

            What is offensive, distasteful, repugnant, taboo, or whatever word we chose to use will inevitably change over time. If we expect the USTP to last as long as our extended human lives, we need to write these regulations in a way that will best guide us for centuries to come.

          1. It was ridiculous to make a point. When we start restricting things we need to be pinpoint accurate (like a law should be) or silent on the issue. Our determinations of what are and are not appropriate need to be as close to black and white as possible so we can guarantee fair and equal treatment amongst all members and officers. This is precisely why laws are written as long as they are.

  3. Is that what you saw during the primaries for the USTP presidential candidate? I certainly did not. Several people left the USTP because the conflict was so acrimonious. That was only one year ago, so I’m kind of surprised you feel that enthusiastic about it.

  4. I see the Chairman has succeeded in turning this into retro-Czarist club of a few of his favorite friends. Very funny!

    1. Ludicrous comment. The USTP has frequent votes on a wide array of platform planks, and there is complete transparency.

  5. I think where I stand on whether or not we should have elections for officers would be contingent on something we don’t really have spelled out: what are the responsibilities and duties of each officer?

    https://transhumanist-party.org/leadership/ gives a good idea of the background of each officer, but fails to spells out what each individual actually *does*.

    While “Director of Marketing” and “Secretary” are roles whose responsibilities can be guessed at pretty easily, “Director of Applied Innovation” and “Director of Community Resilience” are two roles I’m confused on and not sure what they do outside of maintaining a Facebook presence. Similarly with several other roles.

    I would propose that for (III, I) we add a short description of the role’s functions. Knowing that, we might be able to better formulate an opinion as to whether the position should be elected or appointed.

    1. Absolutely. It’s hard to for anyone to do a job, or expect another to do a job, without knowing what their job is.

      And the part that concerns me the most is the post of Foreign Relations. That’s a huge title that traditionally handles and negotiates on behalf of the organization on topics ranging from foreign policy, international law, war, trade, etc. What is the USTP doing on these topics? Are we doing anything on an international level other than talking to like minded people online?

      Also, what qualifications does BJ have to fill this role? His bio on the leadership page lists various media positions, but no policy experience or government employment.

      1. In regards to your queries relating to me, you are correct that I don’t have any particular qualifications for the long-term role of Director of Foreign Relations. In fact, I have no intention of maintaining the role forever, given the long-term requirements.

        But other things need to be considered as well, such as our limitations in what we’re capable of doing at an international scale and with foreign allies. Right now, we are still building a foreign presence, searching for new ambassadors to represent the party. That has been my role since the beginning.

        To put that into perspective, the main reason why I’m attached to this role is because I’m the one that founded the Foreign Ambassadors program to begin with. I proposed it, I created the platform that allowed foreign allies to reach out and apply, and I’ve been in communication with all of our foreign allies, getting them more involved and familiar with the Party, its leadership, etc. And because of that, I’ve dedicated my time and efforts to expand this program that I started for the Party into something that’ll eventually require far more qualifications.

  6. For (VII, I, iiii) on cyberbullying, I think R. Nicholas Starr has a point. We need to have a very reasoned discussion on what this entails. I made a recent Facebook post where I decried the use of the “laughy” face being used not as a gesture of mirth or humor, but rather to sneer and mock, the prime example being James Corbally, who makes zero engaged comments, zero posts, zero discussion and really seems to do nothing but “sneer and disappear”.

    I got a lot of feedback on that post, and many of the people who popped up in opposition were people who I’d seen neither a single post nor comment from at any point previous, now loudly complaining about how it would be “dictating” their behavior, when the second sentence of our webpage on guidelines for community conduct states in no uncertain terms that asking people to follow community guidelines is not a violation of the spirit of our community.

    While I think the example of pasting your sneering, mocking emblem on every post someone makes is a de facto example of cyber harassment, I wouldn’t want James sanctioned. In fact, I think any attempt to do so would be counterproductive and a P.R. nightmare as we were then inevitably cast as advocating “censorship” etc. I actually valued his contributions to the David R. Kelley Enlightenment Salon quite a bit, but I’ve come to grips with the fact he’s never going to stop jeering from the peanut gallery.

    How do we deal with this? I don’t know. But we have major violations of our community guidelines happening on a regular basis in our Facebook group and no moderation to speak of. To condemn and prohibit something in our constitution that is already happening, albeit in soft format, all over our main communication platform shows a kind of disparity between our principles and our actions in practice.

    Perhaps there is moderation of more serious violations happening pretty regularly and I’m just not seeing it?

  7. You know what, I just read a little further down our conduct page, and it appears what I was describing, distasteful as I may find it, does NOT fall under any of the categories of “Harassment Defined”. I retract my comment.

  8. One could write a very long essay on what is wrong here, but I will summarize by saying that much of it sounds like a recipe for arbitrary and unproven self-righteous persecution of people who are not liked by those in power – especially the ChairPERSON, or that failed to abide by the often-unjustifiable laws of the USA. For example, urination, nudity, and sex acts in public are sex crimes; consensual prostitution and homsexuality are abhorrent to the bigots of America, tagging is vandalism almost always committed by poor people in their youth; and rioting charges can be and have be levied against anti-war activists; financing a criminal organization can include support for all kinds of political and charitable organizations deemed “terrorist” by a questionable system. Would Berrigan, Snowden, Manning be good enough to join our leadership? …And on and on and on. Let’s stay out of jurisprudence, and simply require that candidates report convictions openly (optionally with comment) as part of their application, and let our internal voters decide if the “crime,” as well as its distance in the past, makes them ineligible. …And, never disparage the TP or an officer? What if the “disparagement” is true or at least reasonable? What If I simply say that I think this or that officer did a foolish thing, or that I find this or that TP ruling to be foolish – am I permanently out?
    Also, there absolutely needs to be a mechanism for the officers to overrule the Chairman, and a reasonable mechanism for the membership to register a “no confidence” conclusion of the current leadership, forcing a new election within a fixed and reasonable period.
    Also, any suspension of an officer must time out (e.g., after 60 days) if no conclusive action is taken prior to that limit.

    1. As a political party, we need to protect our reputation. If we had leaders that, for example, publicly strutted around nude or publicly urinated, literally no one in the US would vote for us.

      If you, as a private citizen, want to do this sort of thing, fine, but we don’t need anyone to ruin the USTP’s reputation by being a leader that behaves that way.

    2. There’s no need to have mechanisms for either allowing the officers to overrule the Chairman or for the membership to register a no confidence vote.

      You have free will. If you don’t like the direction that the USTP is heading, then leave.

      1. The good ole love it or leave it argument. And if I recall correctly, part of the problem the party had with Ben Zion was that he threatened to start his own party to compete. The USTP took specific offense to that, as noted in the article denouncing him. So what this really says is “if you don’t like my group of friends, leave and leave your ideals here too”.

        The USTP has repeatedly stated that it welcomes members of varying political mindsets to work on common goals. Thanks for tossing that in the trash

        1. The USTP does welcome members of different mindsets to work on our common goals. That does not mean that we’re going to change the organization or it’s leadership every time somebody is dissatisfied.

          1. It’s not about catering to a dissatisfied person, it’s about having fair and equal representation for all members and their philosophies. Arbitrary restrictions with no due process and no member transparency or voting is counter productive to that goal.

          2. I will point out that we are having a member vote on the restrictions in the near future. That is the purpose of the exposure period. However, we are framing the restrictions in advance and asking members to vote on the framework instead of having to improvise on a case-by-case basis with troublemakers as they arise (which we have to do without this framework, since such troublemakers, if they are charismatic and sophisticated, can be existential threats to the organization for months until they make particularly flagrant missteps) – which is exhausting, time-consuming, and supremely distracting from the substantive endeavors of the USTP. The fact is that a tiny number of people, through their misbehavior, set back the progress of our organization for months – because they were interested in posturing, scandal-mongering, and undermining the organization in order to enjoy the resulting chaos. You did not, to my knowledge, take part in the USTP Reform Summit where we discussed this problem, but I would encourage you to watch the recording here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fljuLwUHbUk – and I hope that this will clarify to you that the issue is not about any member’s philosophy; it is about keeping unstable and malicious personality types with ulterior motives out of positions of leadership and/or prominence. And if you do not believe my own assessment, I would encourage you to communicate with anyone else in the USTP leadership – or any of the participants in the Reform Summit – who has had experience with the events of the past two years.

            One way or the other, I am committed to keeping the troublemakers out. By putting these proposals before the membership, USTP leadership has elected a more open, systematic, and transparent path for doing so.

            Sincerely,
            Gennady Stolyarov II
            Chairman, United States Transhumanist Party

  9. 1) I believe changing the language throughout the Constitution from “United States Transhumanist Party” to “Transhumanist Party” holds the benefit of brevity. Simply introduce the full phrase at the beginning, and use the shortened form moving forward.

    2) Under “Article VII: Candidates,” section (ii) should remove the language forbidding property destruction. Smashing property is the same as violence against a human, and I believe this constitution should not equate capitalistic morality with inherently libertarian-socialist transhuman ideals. Additionally, rioting should be removed due to its potentially nebulous and arbitrary definition. For instance, under current wording, any person partaking in a Black Lives Matter protest where corporate windows are broken could, depending on the decider’s feelings toward the issue, be smeared a rioter and be disqualified.

    3) The section (v) of the same article is ripe for malintent and abuse. Obviously, any candidate should be morally high standing. But what is considered “taboo” is dependent upon each person. Even transhumanism and body modification itself is currently seem as “taboo” by a considerable number of US citizens. Having the officers keep an internal list of possible transgressions reads as an unjust secret list. Lacking transparency here opens up unintended and unwanted future crises.

    1. Remove the language on property destruction??

      So if someone were to smash the windows in my basement and take the two 3d printers I purchased to start my business with, then it would be fine because I was a capitalist and saved up my capital for years to be able to afford the printers?

      As long as we’re talking about transparency, where do you draw the line on what’s acceptable to smash?

  10. I’m probably not gonna be as eloquent as most of ya and there’s a lot to unpack here.
    Section III Officers: The Issue of political infighting over internal elections could have the parameters changed by having some kind of point system to keep track of participation and doing tasks or whatever the duties are of that officer or office team. Every officer role could have an educational curriculum for that position, Should have Official duties spelled out that can be measured just like Gennady said that they are held responsible for, but also create for every officer position unofficial activities or tasks that can be completed by that officer positions team. We should have a team of people with an “Intermediate role” for every officer position and we should encourage people to take these intermediate roles and complete tasks for some kind of points in that “category” or officer position. The points might be able to be kept by the club instead of the party, So there would be a lot that would need to be done before we start handing out points. That way we can be like,.. well this guy has 3000 points in applied innovation and this guy has 40. There’s gonna be a way where we can change the parameters and the way to get ahead is to accomplish stuff do tasks for the party and complete education curriculum relevant to that officer position, instead of a political infight or “Zero sum game”. To be fair i think we would need to have like a grandfather clause for the officers in office now, so in case we want to add required education to that office or something, I don’t think we should pile on a lot of stuff on the officers at once but rather plan for the next election. Yeah i think we should still have elections but I think the points earned should somehow be involved in the process, even if it’s that the point count must be disclosed publicly. I would also be in favor of awarding points for past things done for the party by current officers and intermediate role members. If it’s within the law to do so i would be in favor of one day converting the points into an original crypto currency. That’s far past this referendum though. I think we should generate a list of possible Intermediate roles that can be added and maybe even add some full officer positions.
    some suggested new positions could be:
    Some kind of education officer to lead a team to make the curriculum for candidates, tests, quizzes, polls and to help with the voting system.
    The social media team should be expanded greatly in my opinion. A role of social media researcher can be for every single member who posts anything on social media. Then the social media officer or even an intermediate role of Admin or moderator can request people post certain kinds of information. The Admin can then organize that info for the education team to use. I think we should encourage members to fill multiple intermediate roles on the teams of officers. I think we should encourage officers to create roles and teams to help them in their offices duties. The idea is to try to get everyone in some way involved. It’s free to create a role for something like “social media researcher” The community resilience office could use a couple teams and team leads. The whole Human resources Dept. could be under that. We need at least a small team that will actually respond to new people and point them in the right direction. We need a “recruitment team” That is actively doing that in general but I agree with charlie kam and think we could really benefit from some “targeted” recruitment.
    Article III section XII: First off i’d like to say that the fact that Gennady proposed this article in this way is in my opinion very admirable and another sign of an exceptional leader. It’ seems to me that Gennady has forsaw the future infighting and Zero sum game conflicts of the USTP and put his own head on the chopping block so to speak in an attempt to circumvent it. ( Pretty cool )IMO That being said, i revert back to my earlier stated idea and change the parameters and do the same kind of thing for the highest office as the rest but more of it. Maybe make a minimum point count to run for chairman. So if someone wants to be chairman they will want to earn points in the chairman category so to speak. I do feel though that the position of chairman will need further shaping as time goes on. It seems to me like we’re in the “George Washington” stage and we have an excellent executive officer, ( for now ) so i’m all for shaping the office around the individual. So for now i’m 100% behind giving Gennady and the chairman, or chief executive the powers necessary to make a fledgling system work. In time though when the system is working we will want to put more guard rails around the chairman position just to keep the future USTP from going off the rails. Which brings me to the point of candidate restrictions:
    R. Nicholas Starr does have some good points, and think i understand where he’s coming from about the “Taboo” thing. I’m not trying to downplay his valid points but i would like us to keep in mind the big picture of what we’re trying to do with it. You probably wont wanna quote me for the platform here but it’s like a “Crazy clause” It’s something to try to keep things from going off the rails and getting crazy. Now yes i know “Crazy” is subjective but most of us will agree on what is crazy. Yes i understand The wording should be right and it matters, but i think while the organization is in it’s infancy the chairman should have the power to act unilaterally. In the future though i think we should further define the chairman position, possibly limiting it’s powers. I have faith that Gennady has the integrity to “put down” power like George Washington did.
    On the subject of crimes and potential political candidates, Mike Diverde has a good point that we want to protect our reputation to a point. I think it’s ok to have a relatively high bar for candidates. Although I think we could also take it on a case by case basis ,If there was full transparency on the part of the candidate, especially if the crime was done when they were very young. It would have a lot to do with the individual, and we can have a curriculum and/or other training that could be done.

  11. Concerning the spelling out of the officers duties and responsibilities my suggestion would be to use Google’s system for project management called “OKR’s” or Objectives and Key Results.

  12. Concerning officer duties and responsibilities, I think we should try to emulate the member friendly approach of Google’s system of Objectives and Key Results. Change the parameters from what is “required” to do and what we would “like” to do. Then the officers can write out suggested roles and duties for a team that doesn’t exist yet but can then be filled by members. This is yet another reason why i am in favor of the affiliate club/org so we will be much more free to game systems like this out.

  13. Concerning section III (ii) “At least four consecutive years of active presence within the broader transhumanist movement” I would just like to note That there is a “broader transhumanist movement” that isn’t specifically labeled “transhumanism”. There are many that are transhumanist but just don’t know it cause they’ve never heard of transhumanism. I think that they should still have a presence capable of being verified by means of clear evidence, but all of that evidence shouldn’t have to all link back to some “specifically transhumanist” labeled organization. I think each prospective officer should be able to make his or her case that some types of previous experience are in fact of a transhumanist nature and would then qualify.
    Concerning Article VII: Candidates section I (ii) I agree with the essence and overall concept of this section, but i think the wording of the first sentence shouldn’t include property as it tends to equate that property=life. property damage isn’t equal to violent crime. I’m not saying we should allow either i’m just saying just not word it so it looks like we think they are of equal value.
    The final sentence includes “looting” and “rioting”. We need to be aware of complexities of the matter. The FBI has documented through undercover operations that civil rights protests are infiltrated by other groups. I’m guessing that other kinds of protests are infiltrated by other kinds of groups as well. It’s a thing that happens. Now I agree that any prospective candidate of the USTP should be wise enough to keep themselves out of a sketchy situation. I think that instead of going on a case by case basis or protest by protest basis and try to analyze what is ok or not we Preemptively create our own protest protocol. ( the world needs one anyway, because of the earlier stated problem ). Belarus has a good model we can copy from and we should use tech to document our involvement. It is my opinion that there is no such thing as a private protest so there should be no situation where you can’t film or document it in some way.
    Concerning New Article VIII: Additional Initiatives I think we should consider changing the wording to allow for more than one non-political affiliate organization. ( make it plural just in case ) And also (this may be something for the non political affiliate ) consider creating criteria and a protocol for connecting other transhumanist organizations.

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