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Results of Platform Vote #7 and Adopted Sections

Results of Platform Vote #7 and Adopted Sections

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Gennady Stolyarov II


The U.S. Transhumanist Party conducted its twelfth vote of the members and the seventh vote on its platform planks between December 25, 2019, and January 1, 2020. Official ballot options can be found here.

Detailed results of the voting have been tabulated here. In one instance, 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 new or amended sections of Article III of the U.S. Transhumanist Party Constitution were adopted.

Section LXXXIII [Adopted by a vote of the members during December 25, 2019 – January 1, 2020]: The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party opposes any development or deployment of weapons systems that are capable of killing or injuring human beings in the absence of an explicit command by a human being to take action in every specific instance. Autonomous drones, vehicles, or other combat systems may not be permitted to make life-or-death decisions on the basis of a program, algorithm, predictive model, or any other means other than a specific decision by a human being who is closely familiar with the circumstances surrounding any given military situation. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots and other initiatives to abolish all autonomous weapons and preclude the development of such weapons.

Section LXXXIV [Adopted by a vote of the members during December 25, 2019 – January 1, 2020]: The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports research into the process of ectogenesis, the ability of organisms to be incubated and to grow to the point of independent survival, within an artificial environment that provides such organisms with all the necessities of biological survival and development. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the widespread deployment and use of the technology of ectogenesis once such technology becomes safe and practical. Ectogenesis has the potential to benefit humans and other species alike, restoring extinct species and bolstering the numbers of endangered species, as well as alleviating the burdens of human pregnancy and rendering the divisive debate over abortion obsolete by reconciling the right to life of a fetus with the freedom of a woman to choose not to carry that fetus.

Section LXXXV [Adopted by a vote of the members during December 25, 2019 – January 1, 2020]: The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports any relaxation or elimination on caps in the United States federal budget regarding spending on scientific and technological research, including research in medicine and public health. Funding for science that can improve the human condition should not be subject to the vagaries of partisan political standoffs over the federal budget. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the Raise the Caps initiative and any other elimination of artificial restrictions of the allocations of funding to scientific and technological projects.

Section LXXXVI [Adopted by a vote of the members during December 25, 2019 – January 1, 2020]: The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports efforts to give citizens more accessible and safer ways to report misconduct, corruption, constitutional rights violations, international human rights violations, and other similar infractions by police, including local police departments, as well as by federal law-enforcement agencies, such as Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), to an investigative organization, whether civilian in nature or a special investigative department within the judicial system.

Such efforts could, for example, involve having a mandate that every police department and federal law-enforcement agency website have a ‘banner’ on its website that allows citizens to report misbehavior by said police department or federal law-enforcement agency via a national reporting system. Reporting of misbehavior would not inhibit any constitutional rights, such as filing a lawsuit.

If a valid complaint is found after investigation, this could result in a fine, a reduction of funding, or a reduction of salary for the responsible officials as a means of punishment. Said money would be allocated back to the relevant level of government to increase the well-being of citizens.

A periodic report of all reported missteps by law-enforcement agencies should be made publicly available, including breakdowns of valid and invalid claims, as well as reports per region, among other useful breakdowns.

Section LXXXVII [Adopted by a vote of the members during December 25, 2019 – January 1, 2020]: The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports a requirement that any educational institution that receives federal funding must greatly reduce its expenditures on internal bureaucracy and administration, in part by eliminating the requirement for students to complete any hard-copy paperwork and by enabling ubiquitous free, electronic completion and submission of all required forms.

Section LXXXVIII [Adopted by a vote of the members during December 25, 2019 – January 1, 2020]: The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports a requirement that any educational institution that receives federal funding must openly publish all even partially federally funded research produced by that institution in readily downloadable electronic format without any cost to the general public, including any paywalls or access fees from academic journals that feature such research. This requirement would not apply to research projects solely supported by private funds or which do not require funding altogether; in those circumstances, the direct authors of such research would retain copyright to it and the ability to publish it in the manner they see fit.

Section LXXXIX [Adopted by a vote of the members during December 25, 2019 – January 1, 2020]: The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports a prohibition against police being equipped with military-grade hardware, including assault weapons, military armored vehicles, or any other offensive equipment primarily designed for battlefield use.

Section XC [Adopted by a vote of the members during December 25, 2019 – January 1, 2020]: The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports a requirement for police to be equipped with rubber bullets as standard ammunition and only to use regular, lethal bullets in situations where there is an immediate and previously known threat to the safety of members of the general public. More generally, police should be trained to use every possible technique for non-lethal incapacitation of offenders, prior to any recourse to lethal force.

Section XCI [Adopted by a vote of the members during December 25, 2019 – January 1, 2020]: The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports efforts to encourage police departments to use electric vehicles. This would have the advantages of reducing emissions of pollutants into the air, as well as moving police forces away from militarized vehicles, which are less likely to be electrically powered.

Section XCII [Adopted by a vote of the members during December 25, 2019 – January 1, 2020]: The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the installment of monitoring systems in police vehicles to track whether the police are violating traffic laws, with the exception of situations where speeding or other technical infractions may be necessary to apprehend other known or suspected violators or criminal offenders. The ability of police to violate traffic laws with impunity is damaging to public perception, as law enforcement should first and foremost set an example for society to follow. By holding law enforcement accountable for minor infractions such as traffic violations, it will be possible to develop a police force that serves as an example to the public.

Section XCIII [Adopted by a vote of the members during December 25, 2019 – January 1, 2020]: The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports efforts to provide a path to legalization for all current undocumented immigrants living and working in the United States, free of restrictions based on country of origin, economic status, education, length of residency, or any other criteria, other than history of violent criminal activity.

Section XCIV [Adopted by a vote of the members during December 25, 2019 – January 1, 2020]: The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports efforts to end detention of all migrants for immigration violations not related to violent crimes. All current people serving jail terms for immigration issues with no additional crimes involved with the arrest must be released, and the path to citizenship started immediately. Those for whom an additional charge was involved would need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, with serious infractions – such as any violent offenses – potentially justifying additional detainment.

Section XCV [Adopted by a vote of the members during December 25, 2019 – January 1, 2020]:  The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports measures to modernize and streamline the immigration process and eliminate the backlogs for those already in the queue. The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party advocates simplifying the documentation process, eliminating all requirements for filling out hard-copy paperwork, and utilizing technology to cut wait times and bureaucratic delays.

Section XCVI [Adopted by a vote of the members during December 25, 2019 – January 1, 2020]: The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the immediate abolition of all private prison facilities and the termination of arrangements with private contractors for detention or immigration and border enforcement. Punishment for crimes, expect for situations of self-defense from the immediate commission of a crime, should be a function reserved for government alone and should never involve a profit motive, which creates incentives to artificially inflate the appearance of criminal behavior and the punishment of lesser infractions. In order to preserve the capacity for inmates and detainees to be housed in humane conditions, the United States Federal Government, as well as State and local governments, should have the prerogative to appropriate the facilities previously used by private prisons and private detention contractors, after providing appropriate one-time compensation for the property involved.

Section XCVII [Adopted by a vote of the members during December 25, 2019 – January 1, 2020]: The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the establishment of a federal land dividend, whereby currently unused federal lands, with the exception of national parks, national forests, and notable landmarks, will be leased to private corporations that agree to operate in an environmentally conscientious manner, with the proceeds of the lease funding a universal basic income for the United States population.

Moreover, Section XVI has been amended to read as follows:

Section XVI [Adopted by a vote of the members during March 26 – April 1, 2017; amended by a vote of the members during December 25, 2019 – January 1, 2020]: Irrespective of whether or not technology will eventually replace the need for the labor of sentient entities, the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman 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.

Official Ballot Options for Platform Vote #7

Official Ballot Options for Platform Vote #7

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The 7-day electronic voting period on the seventh set of proposed platform planks of the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party (15 potential planks and 1 potential amendment in total) will occur from 1:01 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time on December 25, 2019, to 1:01 a.m.  U.S. Pacific Time on January 1, 2020. All members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party (USTP) who have applied before 1:01 a.m. on December 25, 2019, will be eligible to vote, as long as they have expressed agreement with the three Core Ideals of the USTP 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 January 2020, 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 / Transhuman 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 / Transhuman 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. 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

Proposed Platform Sections

Question I. Section E7-A. Opposition to Autonomous Weapons
Question II. Section E7-B. Ectogenesis
Question III. Section E7-C. Elimination of Caps on Scientific Expenditures
Question IV. Section E7-D. Improved Reporting of Law-Enforcement Misconduct
Question V. Section E7-E. Requirement for Educational Institutions That Receive Federal Funding to Reduce Administrative Costs
Question VI. Section E7-F. Requirement for Educational Institutions That Receive Federal Funding to Publish Research Free of Charge to the General Public
Question VII. Section E7-G. Prohibition of Police from Carrying Military-Grade Hardware
Question VIII. Section E7-H. Requirement for Police to Use Rubber Bullets as Standard Ammunition
Question IX. Section E7-I. Encouragement for Police to Use Electric Vehicles
Question X. Section E7-J. Tracking of Police Violations of Traffic Laws
Question XI. Section E7-K. Path to Legalization of Current Immigrants
Question XII. Section E7-L. Elimination of Detention of Immigrants for Non-Violent Infractions
Question XIII. Section E7-M. Streamlining of Immigration Process
Question XIV. Section E7-N. Abolition of Private Prisons and Detention Facilities
Question XV. Section E7-O. Federal Land Dividend

Proposed Amendments to Existing Planks

Question XVI. Amendment to Section XVI on Universal Basic Income to Align with Version 3.0 of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights

Proposed Platform Sections

Question I. Section E7-A. Opposition to Autonomous Weapons

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party opposes any development or deployment of weapons systems that are capable of killing or injuring human beings in the absence of an explicit command by a human being to take action in every specific instance. Autonomous drones, vehicles, or other combat systems may not be permitted to make life-or-death decisions on the basis of a program, algorithm, predictive model, or any other means other than a specific decision by a human being who is closely familiar with the circumstances surrounding any given military situation. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots and other initiatives to abolish all autonomous weapons and preclude the development of such weapons.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question II. Section E7-B. Ectogenesis

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports research into the process of ectogenesis, the ability of organisms to be incubated and to grow to the point of independent survival, within an artificial environment that provides such organisms with all the necessities of biological survival and development. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the widespread deployment and use of the technology of ectogenesis once such technology becomes safe and practical. Ectogenesis has the potential to benefit humans and other species alike, restoring extinct species and bolstering the numbers of endangered species, as well as alleviating the burdens of human pregnancy and rendering the divisive debate over abortion obsolete by reconciling the right to life of a fetus with the freedom of a woman to choose not to carry that fetus.”

Select one of the following options.

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question III. Section E7-C. Elimination of Caps on Scientific Expenditures

Rank-order the Section E7-C 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 E7-C-1. [Based on Suggestion by John Marlowe] The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports any relaxation or elimination on caps in the United States federal budget regarding spending on peaceful scientific and technological research, including research in medicine and public health. Funding for science that can improve the human condition should not be subject to the vagaries of partisan political standoffs over the federal budget. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the Raise the Caps initiative and any other elimination of artificial restrictions of the allocations of funding to peaceful scientific and technological projects.

Option E7-C-2. [Modification by Jared V to Remove the Adjective “Peaceful” in Reference to Scientific and Technological Projects] The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports any relaxation or elimination on caps in the United States federal budget regarding spending on scientific and technological research, including research in medicine and public health. Funding for science that can improve the human condition should not be subject to the vagaries of partisan political standoffs over the federal budget. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the Raise the Caps initiative and any other elimination of artificial restrictions of the allocations of funding to scientific and technological projects.

☐ Option E7-C-NO. No Section of this sort.

Question IV. Section E7-D. Improved Reporting of Law-Enforcement Misconduct

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports efforts to give citizens more accessible and safer ways to report misconduct, corruption, constitutional rights violations, international human rights violations, and other similar infractions by police, including local police departments, as well as by federal law-enforcement agencies, such as Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), to an investigative organization, whether civilian in nature or a special investigative department within the judicial system.

“Such efforts could, for example, involve having a mandate that every police department and federal law-enforcement agency website have a ‘banner’ on its website that allows citizens to report misbehavior by said police department or federal law-enforcement agency via a national reporting system. Reporting of misbehavior would not inhibit any constitutional rights, such as filing a lawsuit.

“If a valid complaint is found after investigation, this could result in a fine, a reduction of funding, or a reduction of salary for the responsible officials as a means of punishment. Said money would be allocated back to the relevant level of government to increase the well-being of citizens.

“A periodic report of all reported missteps by law-enforcement agencies should be made publicly available, including breakdowns of valid and invalid claims, as well as reports per region, among other useful breakdowns.”

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question V. Section E7-E. Requirement for Educational Institutions That Receive Federal Funding to Reduce Administrative Costs

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports a requirement that any educational institution that receives federal funding must greatly reduce its expenditures on internal bureaucracy and administration, in part by eliminating the requirement for students to complete any hard-copy paperwork and by enabling ubiquitous free, electronic completion and submission of all required forms.”

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question VI. Section E7-F. Requirement for Educational Institutions That Receive Federal Funding to Publish Research Free of Charge to the General Public

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports a requirement that any educational institution that receives federal funding must openly publish all even partially federally funded research produced by that institution in readily downloadable electronic format without any cost to the general public, including any paywalls or access fees from academic journals that feature such research. This requirement would not apply to research projects solely supported by private funds or which do not require funding altogether; in those circumstances, the direct authors of such research would retain copyright to it and the ability to publish it in the manner they see fit.”

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question VII. Section E7-G. Prohibition of Police from Carrying Military-Grade Hardware

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports a prohibition against police being equipped with military-grade hardware, including assault weapons, military armored vehicles, or any other offensive equipment primarily designed for battlefield use.”

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question VIII. Section E7-H. Requirement for Police to Use Rubber Bullets as Standard Ammunition

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports a requirement for police to be equipped with rubber bullets as standard ammunition and only to use regular, lethal bullets in situations where there is an immediate and previously known threat to the safety of members of the general public. More generally, police should be trained to use every possible technique for non-lethal incapacitation of offenders, prior to any recourse to lethal force.”

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question IX. Section E7-I. Encouragement for Police to Use Electric Vehicles

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports efforts to encourage police departments to use electric vehicles. This would have the advantages of reducing emissions of pollutants into the air, as well as moving police forces away from militarized vehicles, which are less likely to be electrically powered.”

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question X. Section E7-J. Tracking of Police Violations of Traffic Laws

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the installment of monitoring systems in police vehicles to track whether the police are violating traffic laws, with the exception of situations where speeding or other technical infractions may be necessary to apprehend other known or suspected violators or criminal offenders. The ability of police to violate traffic laws with impunity is damaging to public perception, as law enforcement should first and foremost set an example for society to follow. By holding law enforcement accountable for minor infractions such as traffic violations, it will be possible to develop a police force that serves as an example to the public.”

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XI. Section E7-K. Path to Legalization of Current Immigrants

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports efforts to provide a path to legalization for all current undocumented immigrants living and working in the United States, free of restrictions based on country of origin, economic status, education, length of residency, or any other criteria, other than history of violent criminal activity.”

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XII. Section E7-L. Elimination of Detention of Immigrants for Non-Violent Infractions

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports efforts to end detention of all migrants for immigration violations not related to violent crimes. All current people serving jail terms for immigration issues with no additional crimes involved with the arrest must be released, and the path to citizenship started immediately. Those for whom an additional charge was involved would need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, with serious infractions – such as any violent offenses – potentially justifying additional detainment.”

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XIII. Section E7-M. Streamlining of Immigration Process

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports measures to modernize and streamline the immigration process and eliminate the backlogs for those already in the queue. The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party advocates simplifying the documentation process, eliminating all requirements for filling out hard-copy paperwork, and utilizing technology to cut wait times and bureaucratic delays.”

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XIV. Section E7-N. Abolition of Private Prisons and Detention Facilities

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

“The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the immediate abolition of all private prison facilities and the termination of arrangements with private contractors for detention or immigration and border enforcement. Punishment for crimes, expect for situations of self-defense from the immediate commission of a crime, should be a function reserved for government alone and should never involve a profit motive, which creates incentives to artificially inflate the appearance of criminal behavior and the punishment of lesser infractions. In order to preserve the capacity for inmates and detainees to be housed in humane conditions, the United States Federal Government, as well as State and local governments, should have the prerogative to appropriate the facilities previously used by private prisons and private detention contractors, after providing appropriate one-time compensation for the property involved.”

Yes.

No.

Abstain.

Question XV. Section E7-O. Federal Land Dividend

Rank-order the Section E7-O 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 E7-O-1. The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the establishment of a federal land dividend, whereby currently unused federal lands, with the exception of national parks and notable landmarks, will be leased to private corporations that agree to operate in an environmentally conscientious manner, with the proceeds of the lease funding a universal basic income for the United States population.

Option E7-O-2. [Modification by Jared V to Include National Forests as Protected Lands] The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the establishment of a federal land dividend, whereby currently unused federal lands, with the exception of national parks, national forests, and notable landmarks, will be leased to private corporations that agree to operate in an environmentally conscientious manner, with the proceeds of the lease funding a universal basic income for the United States population.

☐ Option E7-O-NO. No Section of this sort.

Proposed Amendments to Existing Planks

Question XVI. Amendment to Section XVI on Universal Basic Income to Align with Version 3.0 of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights

Shall the current version of Section XVI be retained in the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party Platform, or shall Section XVI be amended as stated in Amendment XVI-1 below?

Select one of the following options.

☐ Current Version of 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.

☐ Amendment XVI-1. [Revision to Align with Article XIX Version 3.0 of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights]

Irrespective of whether or not technology will eventually replace the need for the labor of sentient entities, the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman 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.

 Abstain.

24-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #7

24-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #7

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Gennady Stolyarov II


For its upcoming seventh Platform vote, the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party (USTP) has received a large volume of suggestions from members. This exposure period is intended to encompass the most salient of these suggestions. The forthcoming Platform vote is intended to “catch up” on the processing of suggestions that could not be immediately addressed due to limited resources in the course of the 2019 Presidential Primary season. It is likely that additional Platform votes will follow in early 2020 to address remaining items of interest to the USTP membership.

A vote will be scheduled on some or all of these items once they have been exposed for at least 24 days. For each item, a 7-day voting period is expected to be opened at the earliest on Wednesday, December 25, 2019.

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 / Transhuman 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 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 U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party reserves the right to edit any proposed amendment for correctness of spelling and grammar. “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 U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman 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 E7-A. Opposition to Autonomous Weapons

Option E7-A-1. [Based on Suggestion by Mike DiVerde and Dan Elton] The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party opposes any development or deployment of weapons systems that are capable of killing or injuring human beings in the absence of an explicit command by a human being to take action in every specific instance. Autonomous drones, vehicles, or other combat systems may not be permitted to make life-or-death decisions on the basis of a program, algorithm, predictive model, or any other means other than a specific decision by a human being who is closely familiar with the circumstances surrounding any given military situation. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots and other initiatives to abolish all autonomous weapons and preclude the development of such weapons.

Section E7-B. Ectogenesis

Option E7-B-1. The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports research into the process of ectogenesis, the ability of organisms to be incubated and to grow to the point of independent survival, within an artificial environment that provides such organisms with all the necessities of biological survival and development. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the widespread deployment and use of the technology of ectogenesis once such technology becomes safe and practical. Ectogenesis has the potential to benefit humans and other species alike, restoring extinct species and bolstering the numbers of endangered species, as well as alleviating the burdens of human pregnancy and rendering the divisive debate over abortion obsolete by reconciling the right to life of a fetus with the freedom of a woman to choose not to carry that fetus.

Section E7-C. Elimination of Caps on Scientific Expenditures

Option E7-C-1. [Based on Suggestion by John Marlowe] The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports any relaxation or elimination on caps in the United States federal budget regarding spending on peaceful scientific and technological research, including research in medicine and public health. Funding for science that can improve the human condition should not be subject to the vagaries of partisan political standoffs over the federal budget. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the Raise the Caps initiative and any other elimination of artificial restrictions of the allocations of funding to peaceful scientific and technological projects.

Option E7-C-2. [Modification by Jared V to Remove the Adjective “Peaceful” in Reference to Scientific and Technological Projects] The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports any relaxation or elimination on caps in the United States federal budget regarding spending on scientific and technological research, including research in medicine and public health. Funding for science that can improve the human condition should not be subject to the vagaries of partisan political standoffs over the federal budget. Accordingly, the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the Raise the Caps initiative and any other elimination of artificial restrictions of the allocations of funding to scientific and technological projects.

Section E7-D. Improved Reporting of Law-Enforcement Misconduct

Option E7-D-1. [Based on Suggestion by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports efforts to give citizens more accessible and safer ways to report misconduct, corruption, constitutional rights violations, international human rights violations, and other similar infractions by police, including local police departments, as well as by federal law-enforcement agencies, such as Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), to an investigative organization, whether civilian in nature or a special investigative department within the judicial system.

Such efforts could, for example, involve having a mandate that every police department and federal law-enforcement agency website have a ‘banner’ on its website that allows citizens to report misbehavior by said police department or federal law-enforcement agency via a national reporting system. Reporting of misbehavior would not inhibit any constitutional rights, such as filing a lawsuit.

If a valid complaint is found after investigation, this could result in a fine, a reduction of funding, or a reduction of salary for the responsible officials as a means of punishment. Said money would be allocated back to the relevant level of government to increase the well-being of citizens.

A periodic report of all reported missteps by law-enforcement agencies should be made publicly available, including breakdowns of valid and invalid claims, as well as reports per region, among other useful breakdowns.

Section E7-E. Requirement for Educational Institutions That Receive Federal Funding to Reduce Administrative Costs

Option E7-E-1. [Based on Suggestion by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports a requirement that any educational institution that receives federal funding must greatly reduce its expenditures on internal bureaucracy and administration, in part by eliminating the requirement for students to complete any hard-copy paperwork and by enabling ubiquitous free, electronic completion and submission of all required forms.

Section E7-F. Requirement for Educational Institutions That Receive Federal Funding to Publish Research Free of Charge to the General Public

Option E7-F-1. The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports a requirement that any educational institution that receives federal funding must openly publish all even partially federally funded research produced by that institution in readily downloadable electronic format without any cost to the general public, including any paywalls or access fees from academic journals that feature such research. This requirement would not apply to research projects solely supported by private funds or which do not require funding altogether; in those circumstances, the direct authors of such research would retain copyright to it and the ability to publish it in the manner they see fit.

Section E7-G. Prohibition of Police from Carrying Military-Grade Hardware

Option E7-G-1. [Based on Suggestion by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports a prohibition against police being equipped with military-grade hardware, including assault weapons, military armored vehicles, or any other offensive equipment primarily designed for battlefield use.

Section E7-H. Requirement for Police to Use Rubber Bullets as Standard Ammunition

Option E7-H-1. [Based on Suggestion by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports a requirement for police to be equipped with rubber bullets as standard ammunition and only to use regular, lethal bullets in situations where there is an immediate and previously known threat to the safety of members of the general public. More generally, police should be trained to use every possible technique for non-lethal incapacitation of offenders, prior to any recourse to lethal force.

Section E7-I. Encouragement for Police to Use Electric Vehicles

Option E7-I-1. [Based on Suggestion by R. Nicholas Starr]

The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports efforts to encourage police departments to use electric vehicles. This would have the advantages of reducing emissions of pollutants into the air, as well as moving police forces away from militarized vehicles, which are less likely to be electrically powered.

Section E7-J. Tracking of Police Violations of Traffic Laws

Option E7-J-1. [Based on Suggestion by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the installment of monitoring systems in police vehicles to track whether the police are violating traffic laws, with the exception of situations where speeding or other technical infractions may be necessary to apprehend other known or suspected violators or criminal offenders. The ability of police to violate traffic laws with impunity is damaging to public perception, as law enforcement should first and foremost set an example for society to follow. By holding law enforcement accountable for minor infractions such as traffic violations, it will be possible to develop a police force that serves as an example to the public.

Section E7-K. Path to Legalization of Current Immigrants

Option E7-K-1. [Based on Suggestion by Jennifer Huse]

The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports efforts to provide a path to legalization for all current undocumented immigrants living and working in the United States, free of restrictions based on country of origin, economic status, education, length of residency, or any other criteria, other than history of violent criminal activity.

Section E7-L. Elimination of Detention of Immigrants for Non-Violent Infractions

Option E7-L-1. [Based on Suggestion by Jennifer Huse]

The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports efforts to end detention of all migrants for immigration violations not related to violent crimes. All current people serving jail terms for immigration issues with no additional crimes involved with the arrest must be released, and the path to citizenship started immediately. Those for whom an additional charge was involved would need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, with serious infractions – such as any violent offenses – potentially justifying additional detainment.

Section E7-M. Streamlining of Immigration Process

Option E7-M-1. [Based on Suggestion by Jennifer Huse]

The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports measures to modernize and streamline the immigration process and eliminate the backlogs for those already in the queue. The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party advocates simplifying the documentation process, eliminating all requirements for filling out hard-copy paperwork, and utilizing technology to cut wait times and bureaucratic delays.

Section E7-N. Abolition of Private Prisons and Detention Facilities

Option E7-N-1. [Based on Suggestion by Jennifer Huse, with Expansions]

The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the immediate abolition of all private prison facilities and the termination of arrangements with private contractors for detention or immigration and border enforcement. Punishment for crimes, expect for situations of self-defense from the immediate commission of a crime, should be a function reserved for government alone and should never involve a profit motive, which creates incentives to artificially inflate the appearance of criminal behavior and the punishment of lesser infractions. In order to preserve the capacity for inmates and detainees to be housed in humane conditions, the United States Federal Government, as well as State and local governments, should have the prerogative to appropriate the facilities previously used by private prisons and private detention contractors, after providing appropriate one-time compensation for the property involved.

Section E7-O. Federal Land Dividend

Option E7-O-1.

The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the establishment of a federal land dividend, whereby currently unused federal lands, with the exception of national parks and notable landmarks, will be leased to private corporations that agree to operate in an environmentally conscientious manner, with the proceeds of the lease funding a universal basic income for the United States population.

Option E7-O-2. [Modification by Jared V to Include National Forests as Protected Lands]

The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party supports the establishment of a federal land dividend, whereby currently unused federal lands, with the exception of national parks, national forests, and notable landmarks, will be leased to private corporations that agree to operate in an environmentally conscientious manner, with the proceeds of the lease funding a universal basic income for the United States population.

Proposed Amendments to Existing Planks

Members will be given the option to either retain existing language of a plank or to adopt any of the listed proposed amendments. Ranked-preference voting will be conducted for any Section for which more than one amendment has been proposed. Members will also be able to abstain from each vote.

1. Amendments to Section XVI on Universal Basic Income to Align with Version 3.0 of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights

Current Version of 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.

Amendment XVI-1. [Revision to Align with Article XIX Version 3.0 of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights]

Irrespective of whether or not technology will eventually replace the need for the labor of sentient entities, the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman 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.

California is Right to Allow Women to Sell Their Eggs for Research – Statement by Justin Waters

California is Right to Allow Women to Sell Their Eggs for Research – Statement by Justin Waters

Justin Waters


Women will now be fairly compensated for donating their oocytes (eggs) for research purposes. On October 13, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom of California approved . The bill passed with a unanimous vote in the Senate and a vote of 28 to 4 in the Assembly.

California Assemblywoman Autumn Burke sponsored AB-922.

Prior to the passage of AB-922, California was one of only three states to prohibit payment to those who donate eggs. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine  allowing fair compensation will improve reproductive research by increasing the availability of eggs and continue California’s status as a leader in biotechnology.

The bill requires research programs to submit their patients’ de-identified demographic and medical data to California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office on or before January 16, 2023. The purpose of collecting such data appears to be for medical knowledge and to ensure compensation does not result in exploitation.

The bill was sponsored by California Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, a woman who has undergone egg harvesting four times for her own fertility treatments. She told the, “there’s very little data to show that this process has any detrimental effects.”

Allowing compensation benefits both the participants and the community because it allows women to be financially compensated for participating in research, and it improves the community by improving medical knowledge. Women have the bodily freedom to choose whether to participate in an egg-retrieval process, and it is ethically right that women who provide eggs for research are fairly compensated.

Justin Waters is the Legislative Director of the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party.

Fourth Virtual Debate Among U.S. Transhumanist Party Presidential Candidates – September 17, 2019

Fourth Virtual Debate Among U.S. Transhumanist Party Presidential Candidates – September 17, 2019

Johannon Ben Zion
Jonathan Schattke
Matt Taylor
Moderated by Gennady Stolyarov II


During the Fourth Virtual Debate among the U.S. Transhumanist Party Presdidential Primary candidates, held on Tuesday, September 17, 2019, Johannon Ben Zion, Jonathan Schattke, and Matt Taylor, answered crowdsourced questions on character and leadership, radical life extension, health care, universal basic income, foreign policy, the U.S. federal budget, and various other matters. Watch this debate here.

This debate was moderated by U.S. Transhumanist Party Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II and co-hosted by Steele Archer of the Debt Nation show. See the original debate stream on the Debt Nation show (Part 1 and Part 2), including the pre-debate and post-debate shows held on the same day.

Please forgive the technical difficulties and the occasional audio lag arising from a weak and once-interrupted Internet connection.

Learn about the USTP candidates here.

View individual candidate profiles here:

Watch the Third Virtual Debate among Candidates Holsopple, Haywire, Forsythe, Kerecz, and Harris here.

Join the USTP for free here, no matter where you reside. Those who join by September 21, 2019, will be eligible to vote in the Electronic Primary which will begin on the next day.

Transhumanists Need New Symbols – Statement by Gennady Stolyarov II

Transhumanists Need New Symbols – Statement by Gennady Stolyarov II

Gennady Stolyarov II


Transhumanists: we need new symbols in place of “H+ / h+” – which are not the best representations of our movement as a whole. We need inspiring, meaningful, unambiguous symbols that are developed through grassroots efforts within our community and made freely available for anyone to use.

Infinity Ankh by Nic Nassuet

The U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party (USTP) calls upon graphic designers, artists, marketing experts, philosophers, and other interested individuals to design a series of new symbols representing transhumanism in general. There is no limit to the number of symbols developed or the kinds of artistic and design directions that are pursued. The only condition of this collaboration is that any resulting symbols be released into the public domain in entirety and become available for free download, reuse, and upload to popular image repositories such as Wikimedia Commons. Ultimately, it will be user preference that will determine which symbols will achieve widespread adoption – but the USTP encourages a thousand (symbolic) flowers to bloom.

TH Symbol by Gennady Stolyarov II

 

Please join us in this collaboration. View the many symbols generated in response to it thus far here. We expect numerous new symbols to be added to our gallery over time.

You may submit your symbols via e-mail to USTP Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II here, as well as link to them in the comments on this article or post them on any social-media thread where this article is being shared. By contributing symbols in response to this project, you grant your consent to have those symbols released freely into the public domain and to be used by any individuals at no monetary cost to them worldwide and in perpetuity, without the right to use those symbols being limited to any particular individual(s) or organization(s) or subject to the control of any such individual(s) or organization(s). You agree that no person, at any time in perpetuity, would be able to claim any intellectual property rights over the symbols generated in response to this collaboration.

Infinity Arrow by Michael Murray

 

The USTP also encourages all transhumanists to abandon the use of any variants of the “H+ / h+” symbols for the purpose of referring to transhumanism generally or as a whole, for numerous reasons which shall be explicated below. In November 2016, when leadership of the USTP passed to Chairman Stolyarov, the USTP made the decision to discontinue the use of “H+ / h+” and to replace it with its current “exponential infinity” logo. Now the USTP calls upon all other transhumanists – including candidates competing for the USTP’s endorsement in the forthcoming Electronic Primary – to replace any uses of “H+ / h+” with original and unrelated symbols which are likely to better represent what transhumanism stands for.

Transhumanist Wolf by Michael Passavant

1. The “H+ / h+” symbols are ambiguous and can refer to many other matters besides transhumanism. Many of these uses are, in fact, better known than transhumanism. In chemistry, “H+” refers to a hydron, the most common of which is the simple proton. In physics, “h+” refers to an electron hole. Among mobile-phone networks, “H+” stands for Evolved High-Speed Packet Access, the fastest of the 3G networks. Even the streaming service Hulu uses the “h+” symbol while an entire chain of “H+ Hotels” has been established across Germany. Surely, transhumanists can do better than a derivative symbol which has many other, mostly unrelated uses and will be overshadowed in the public mind by those uses.

2. The “H+ / h+” symbols were attempted substitutes for transhumanism; we need to openly embrace transhumanism instead. The symbols originated in the course of the 2008 rebranding of the World Transhumanist Association into Humanity+, yet the USTP holds that symbols depicting the transhumanist movement should be focused on promoting and reinforcing connections with the word “transhumanism”. Transhumanism is the technically accurate name for our philosophy advocating the dramatic improvement of the human condition through science and technology. We should not shy away from the term “transhumanism” – but rather we should proclaim it proudly and articulate it accurately. Intellectually honest persons with dispositions open to truth and learning will understand and appreciate this unabashed transparency, and they are the allies we should seek to cultivate.

We do not need to fear misunderstandings from the public but should rather challenge those misunderstandings when confronted with them. Transhumanism is our philosophy, and we should advocate it clearly and openly by that name.

3. The use of the “H+ / h+” symbols is largely limited to the United States, whereas transhumanism is a global and cosmopolitan movement. Consistent with the spirit of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, transhumanism includes the promise of a better life for all sentient entities, not limited to a particular culture or any particular national boundaries. Our symbols also need to be universal, cosmopolitan, and inclusive – encompassing both today’s humans as well as sentient entities and forms of intelligence and sapience that have yet to arise.

4. Transhumanism is much more than a single organization. A movement and a philosophy cannot be confined to a particular corporate entity; to confine it thus is to stifle its growth and transform a living, open philosophy into a staid and centrally controlled dogma. This is not in itself a criticism of the Humanity+ organization, but rather a recognition that the movement as a whole is not the same as any given organization within it. It is confusing to have symbols that could potentially refer to a single organization but also to the movement as a whole. A cleaner approach would be to leave the “H+ / h+” symbols to the Humanity+ organization – since its rebranding occurred long in the past and is a fait accompli – while adopting new, more creative, and more representative symbols which anyone could use in the capacity of referring to transhumanism as a whole – much like anyone may use a cross to refer to Christianity, a crescent to refer to Islam, a Star of David to refer to Judaism, a torch to refer to liberty, a red flag or red star to refer to socialism, or a fleur-de-lis to refer to France. No one owns these symbols, and their meanings transcend any particular individual or group. It is for this reason that the USTP calls for the new symbols of transhumanism to be released into the public domain; they will also not be confined to the USTP itself but will rather be usable by any transhumanist to refer to all of transhumanism – including those parts of the transhumanist movement which are outside the USTP.

5. Transhumanists may become unable to use the “H+ / h+” symbols anyway. It has come to the USTP’s attention that the Humanity+ organization has recently embarked upon a campaign to enforce its trademark in a broadly construed manner. Humanity+ owns a trademark to a stylized lowercase “h+” logo but has, per the understanding of the USTP, taken the position that any use of “H+” or “h+” in the context of transhumanism is sufficiently similar to be an infringement of that trademark. The USTP considers this position to be overly reaching and impracticable to enforce completely, given that Creative Commons versions of “h+” symbols which are distinct from the Humanity+ logo have been available and used in at least tens of thousands of instances for over a decade. However, the USTP as an organization does not have a direct stake in this matter and has already differentiated itself in its logos and other graphics. Out of an abundance of caution, the USTP recommends that transhumanists discontinue using the “H+ / h+” symbols more broadly.

Our more general concern is that there is always a danger with a broader intellectual movement resorting to essentially proprietary symbols. Proprietary symbols can potentially lead to intellectual “gatekeepers” emerging and restricting the growth of the movement – whether or not this is any entity’s current intention. A philosophy which can potentially be adopted by anyone should also utilize symbols that could potentially be adopted by anyone without the need to seek permission or approval. In order to continue the remarkable growth that transhumanism has experienced in recent years, it is therefore prudent for all transhumanists outside of Humanity+ to immunize themselves by discontinuing the use of the “H+ / h+” symbols. By ceding the ground of those symbols to Humanity+, transhumanists in all areas of the movement gain the much more important territory of intellectual freedom in preventing the gatekeeper phenomenon from emerging. No single transhumanist organization, including the USTP itself, should become the gatekeeper of the transhumanist movement as a whole.

6. Transhumanists needs to embrace techno-optimism and pursue a more hopeful, heroic vision of the future. In practice, the “H+ / h+” symbols are insufficiently connected with radical life extension and the potential for technology to solve many of today’s pressing social problems. While there is nothing inherently wrong with toned-down variants of transhumanism as such, they should not be the only ones. When perceiving the “H+ / h+” symbols, one does not immediately associate them with the heroic ambitions that ought to characterize the transhumanist movement – ambitions toward biological immortality (or indefinite life extension), radical abundance, and humankind seizing control of its own evolution – ambitions toward solving, within our (hopefully greatly extended) lifetimes, every problem that afflicts the contemporary world.

Since 2013, through grassroots advocacy by a newer cohort of transhumanists, including the USTP’s founder Zoltan Istvan, a more exuberant, direct, and techno-positive vision of transhumanism has gradually emerged to the forefront of public awareness and inspired many to consciously seek to transform the flawed contemporary world into a new Transhuman Era of our civilization. The new Transhuman Era needs new symbols which properly convey the spirit of techno-optimism and indefinite, open-ended improvement of length and quality of life in all respects.

Become part of the effort to shape the vision for the new Transhuman Era of our civilization by helping to create its symbols. Deploy your skills and imagination to help us represent our aimed-for future of indefinite lifespans, perpetual progress, and unending prosperity for all – and exemplify the spirit of radical abundance by sharing your creations freely with the world.

Gennady Stolyarov II is the Chairman of the United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party. Find out more about him here

The Transhumanist Party Presidential Process Can Change the World – Post by Zoltan Istvan

The Transhumanist Party Presidential Process Can Change the World – Post by Zoltan Istvan

Zoltan Istvan


As the 2016 U.S. Transhumanist Party Presidential candidate, I encourage everyone to take part in the USTP’s 2019 process for selecting its 2020 nominee for the office of President of the United States.  Please take the time to learn about the candidates, support the ones you favor most, become a member of the USTP for free, and help put science, health, and technology at the forefront of American politics!

I can attest to the effectiveness of transhumanist political activism as the candidate who trafficked 5th or 6th in the media for large swaths of the end of 2016 elections, making an enormous difference to life extension, which coincidentally now has many billions of dollars flowing into it – far more than when I started my campaign. One of these candidates above can win the Presidency and bring the Transhumanist Party to power as well along the way.

I would like to counter the critics who accuse the Transhumanist Party Presidential process of being “distractive nonsense” – and yet “distractive nonsense” is exactly what those critics are preaching. People have a right to push forward their ideas and political values regardless. And we may just find that it was the Transhumanist Party and its candidates that changed the world far more than the 4 or 8 years of Trump.

We are going to run into a lot of people who aim to deny Americans their right to vote and support whom they want to choose. I want everyone to know that the Transhumanist Party candidate can be powerful and historic. We must always maintain the right to support whom we want, win or lose. I absolutely despise this idea we are stuck with only left or right. There are many reasons to run for the Transhumanist Party – reasons that could prove far more important than a single Presidency.

This is really important in 2020. The Libertarians, Greens, Transhumanist Party folks, and other third parties and independents have as much a right to win the Presidency as anyone. That’s what America is about. In 2020, because of what happened in 2016, this will be a big topic. We must defend our right to exist and thrive as much as possible. We must fight to keep America free and politically diverse.

Zoltan Istvan is the founder of the U.S. Transhumanist Party and its former Chairman (October 7, 2014 – November 16, 2016) and 2016 Presidential candidate. In 2018 he ran as a Libertarian for Governor of California. Zoltan Istvan is a renowned journalist, entrepreneur, and transhumanist. He writes transhumanist-themed columns: “The Transhumanist Philosopher” – a blog for Psychology Today, and “Transhumanist Future” for Vice’s Motherboard. He has also worked as a reporter for the National Geographic Channel and is a blogger of futurist, transhumanist, and atheist topics for The Huffington Post. He is the author of The Transhumanist Wager, a philosophical science fiction novel.

Magician Anastasia Synn Testifies Against Banning RFID/NFC Microchip Implants

Magician Anastasia Synn Testifies Against Banning RFID/NFC Microchip Implants

Anastasia Synn


Transhumanist activism takes center stage at the Nevada Legislature: Magician and transhumanist Anastasia Synn testified on April 26, 2019, before the Nevada Senate Judiciary Committee in opposition to Nevada Assembly Bill 226 (AB 226). AB 226 would prohibit most implantation of NFC/RFID microchips, including voluntary programs for such implantation.

Ms. Synn demonstrated a variety of microchip technologies and their beneficial uses, as well as the difficulties in using voluntary implants to actually infringe on an individual’s privacy. Watch her testimony here.

The U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party (USTP) initially raised awareness about AB 226 and its detrimental impacts in March 2019, via this article by R. Nicholas Starr: “Bait and Switch on Nevada AB226“.

The USTP, through Legislative Director Justin Waters, submitted a letter in opposition to AB 226 and encouraged others to submit public comments on the bill at the Nevada Legislature website here.  

Anastasia Synn answered the USTP’s call for vocal, articulate opposition to AB 226 and testified in person at the Senate Judiciary Committee in a manner that greatly impressed the Legislators and opened them to a new world of technology.

The USTP encourages our members to continue to express their concerns on AB 226 by writing the Senate Judiciary Committee here and Assemblyman  Richard “Skip” Daly, the sponsor of AB 226, here.

Transhumanist legislative activism has made a difference; let us work to enable it to continue to do so.

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

The music is excerpted from Movement 4 of Symphony No. 1, Op. 86, by Gennady Stolyarov II, Chairman of the U.S. Transhumanist Party. The theme is based on Mr. Stolyarov’s Transhumanist March, Op. 78.

Augmented Democracy: A Radical Idea to Fix Our Broken Political System Using Artificial Intelligence – Presentation and Announcement by César Hidalgo

Augmented Democracy: A Radical Idea to Fix Our Broken Political System Using Artificial Intelligence – Presentation and Announcement by César Hidalgo

César Hidalgo


Editor’s Note: Is AI the future of politics? The U.S. Transhuman(ist) Party features this TED talk, in both English and Spanish, by César Hidalgo, Director of MIT’s Collective Learning group, where he presents the idea of Augmented Democracy – a system to automate and enhance democracy by empowering citizens to create personalized AI representatives to aid in legislative decision-making.

Mr. Hidalgo has launched a contest with cash prizes where participants are encouraged to submit proposals to explore new ways to practice democracy and direct participation in collective decision-making using AI. Below, you can find a statement from Mr. Hidalgo and a link to the contest. We encourage members of the USTP, and non-members, to look into this opportunity to participate and collaborate in building a more just future!  

                                                                                             ~ Dinorah Delfin, Director of Admissions and Public Relations, United States Transhuman(ist) Party, March 27, 2019

 


Source: TED2018 

 

Source: TED en Español

“Imagine that instead of having a (human) representative that represents you and a million of other people you can have a representative (AI) that represents only you. With your nuanced political views […] liberal on some […] and conservative on others.”   – Cesar Hidalgo

 

What I Learned a Week After Publishing a Talk about Augmented Democracy

Last week I released a talk presenting the idea of Augmented Democracy. Since then, I have been looking at people’s reactions to understand how this idea fits the larger context. Here are three things I would like to rescue:

First, the idea was received much better than I expected. I received many encouraging emails and replies. This honestly surprised me. I’ve noticed that the idea was received surprisingly well in South America and among young people. In fact, it appears that for many people, the idea of augmenting the government through data and A.I. technologies seems natural. Of course, people imagine this differently, and some are quick to paint a doomsday scenario. But I think that this is an idea that may be flying under the radar, because the people that are activated by it do not align neatly along the left-right axis of politics. As such, they do not have the shared political identity that is key to left-righters, and hence, go undetected. That may change as post-millennials come of age, and may be unexpected to many people.

Second, despite the talk receiving a large number of views, surprisingly few people visited the FAQ. This is interesting, because it leads to a funny but also important contradiction. Many critical comments were phrased as rhetorical questions of the form: “But how would you do that?!” Yet, all of the rhetorical questions I’ve seen so far were in the FAQ. What is funny here is that the talk is about the use of technologies to help people augment their cognitive capacities, by, for instance, reading text they don’t have time for. Yet, the people skeptic about the idea are also people who did not read the text. Of course, this does not mean that there are no questions missing in the FAQ (I have many of these), what it means is that, in the comments I’ve seen, I’ve yet to encounter a question that was not in the FAQ.

Third, going forward my focus–on this front–will be on the Augmented Democracy prize. What I want to do next, is to encourage people to imagine future users interfaces and systems of technologically augmented democracy. For that, I am giving up to USD 20,000 in prizes. If I get less than 100 proposals, I will give away two team prizes of 4,000 USD and two individual prizes of USD 1,000. If I receive more than 100 proposals I will open two more teams and two more individual prizes. So in the next days, I will start sharing links directly to the prize page. If you know of students, creatives, designers, artists, scientists, and writers, please help me share the prize-related posts.

Thanks!

 

 

Statement on the Tragic Death of Danielle Baker and the Imperative for Improved Protections for Cryonics Patients

Statement on the Tragic Death of Danielle Baker and the Imperative for Improved Protections for Cryonics Patients


March 19, 2019: The United States Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party (USTP) issues this statement in response to the unfortunate demise and cremation of Danielle Michelle Baker, which contravened her specific and documented wishes to be cryopreserved. We ask the members of the USTP to deliberate about specific measures that could be taken to prevent such violations of cryonics patients’ wishes and legitimate rights from arising again. These measures could include reforms to laws so as to improve protections for cryonics patients, as well as improved enforcement of existing laws which may offer some extent of protections at least in theory.

Danielle Michelle Baker, a 31-year-old cryonics advocate, disappeared on December 1, 2018, and was found dead on December 4, 2018, in Laurel County, Kentucky. Despite her expressly documented wishes and a legal contract into which she entered to be cryopreserved by Oregon Cryonics, she was cremated by Laurel County Coroner Doug Bowling at the behest of her family members.

Zoltan Istvan, the founder and former Chairman (2014-2016) of the USTP, now an independent commentator, transhumanist advocate, and USTP Political and Media Advisor, initially brought attention to Danielle Baker’s unfortunate cremation in an article published by Quartz on February 22, 2019, entitled “We need better laws to protect the rights of future frozen cryonicists”. Istvan then encouraged the USTP to provide more in-depth coverage to this issue than was possible through mainstream media outlets.

Zoltan Istvan expressed his views on cryonics to the USTP: “No longer just science fiction, cryonics represents the best scientific chance life extension advocates like Baker have to avoid permanent death. For those without faith in an afterlife, preserving the neurons, cerebral structure, and memories in their brains are the highest priority in both life and death. But the practice of cryonicists signing a Document of Gift doesn’t always work, as in the case of Baker, whose body was controversially cremated just three days” after her body was discovered.

Eric Homeyer, a USTP member and volunteer supporter of cryonics who assisted Oregon Cryonics in this matter but who is not affiliated with Oregon Cryonics in any official capacity, communicated to the USTP the story of Danielle Baker’s tragic and unfortunate situation from his point of view.

Homeyer relayed the following information: “It is rumored that [Baker] went missing from home since Saturday, December 1, 2018. She was reported missing on Monday, December 3, 2018. Her father found her deceased in the woods behind the residence on Tuesday, December 4, 2018, at approximately 3 p.m. I found out about her disappearance/death from a mutual friend when I was at home in Cincinnati at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 4, 2018. At that time I found out an Autopsy was scheduled in Frankfort, Kentucky, for the next morning, Wednesday, December 5, 2018. He asked me to go try to represent her interests since I was the closest cryonicist any of us knows to her physical location.”

Homeyer continued, describing his trip on Baker’s behalf: “I left Cincinnati at 2:15 a.m. on December 5, 2018 and drove to Frankfort. I got down to Frankfort at around 5 a.m., found the State Medical Examiner’s office, figuring that is where they do the autopsies, and went to the door to see their hours. The door was unlocked, so I went in and tried to find out if [Baker] was there. After a brief chat with the front-desk cop, I realized I was in the right place. I told him I was there on behalf of Danielle Baker to help facilitate her final wishes as an Anatomical Gift Act tissue donor and that I was primarily concerned with making sure brain tissue wasn’t damaged. He said they get started at 8 a.m. and to come back then. Then I went and sat in my car at a gas station five minutes away to wait for a little over two and a half hours. Just before 8 a.m., I returned to the Medical Examiner’s office, and spoke again, to a different cop at the desk. I had the security officer convey by phone to the Medical Examiner’s office that I was there as a volunteer representative of Oregon Cryonics on behalf of Danielle Michelle Baker, an anatomical tissue donor and that my boss Dr. Jordan Sparks would be calling in about an hour to make requests for the handling of the brain during and after the autopsy and the logistics of the release afterwards. I again stressed that of critical importance was that the brain tissue not be damaged.  At that time there weren’t any medical examiners in the office. They took down my number, and told me to check back in a couple of hours if I hadn’t heard from them. I got their fax number and forwarded it and all of the information I had found to [Dr. Sparks]. I then got a hotel nearby and stayed on standby. At 9:26 a.m. [Dr. Sparks] contacted me, told me he was in communication with the Medical Examiner’s office, and said that I didn’t need to go back. I left Frankfort at 5:36pm on December 5, 2018, heading back to Cincinnati, believing I had helped my friend.”

However, despite the efforts of Homeyer and the subsequent efforts of Dr. Jordan Sparks of Oregon Cryonics to advocate for the cryopreservation, Danielle Baker was cremated. Istvan, in his Quartz article of February 22, 2019, wrote that “despite the major parties knowing about the cryonics contract and Document of Gift, Baker’s family pushed for the cremation, which then was carried out by the coroner via a funeral home three days later.”

Homeyer notes that the cremation “was done at the crematory which happens to be co-owned by the coroner who was in charge of her case and in custody of her remains.”

Cryonics advocate Matthew Bryce Deutsch wrote, “Doug Bowling is the coroner, and Baker was cremated at Bowling Funeral home.” Bowling is the Laurel County Coroner in Kentucky, and was re-elected as a Republican for the job in 2018. He is listed as the President of Bowling Funeral home on its website.

Homeyer expressed his view in disapproval of Bowling’s decision to cremate Baker: “Not sure if that’s too much poking the bear… But if he ultimately stands to gain from ignoring her wishes, as an elected official who is supposed to uphold the law, that’s kind of messed up.”

Dr. Jordan Sparks, D.M.D., of Oregon Cryonics explained that “Usually, families don’t object to non-transplant donation, so there is no conflict. In this case, there was disagreement. Funeral directors and coroners are not supposed to be mediators in disputes. It was also an unexpected death, so emotions were very high. I was over 2000 miles away, so I could not be a strong advocate. Things might have been different if we were in the same town. Maybe. At least something like an injunction might have been an option.”

Homeyer expressed his view that he “arrived at the medical examiner’s office on the morning of her scheduled autopsy, in time to prevent damage, but despite this the cremation was carried out.” However, there is disagreement about whether Danielle Baker’s brain was in a sufficiently intact state to enable her memories, personality, and identity to be maintained in some form in the course of the cryopreservation process.

Sparks informed the USTP that “A body that lies undiscovered for three days will never be in good condition.  I think the mind was hopelessly lost by that time. I want to be clear that an [Oregon Cryonics] technician was not able to appear on site.  A volunteer friend showed up and tried to help, but that is very different.  My opinion is that a meaningful preservation can only be performed immediately or within maybe an hour.  At about 6 hours, all the cells are necrotic.  At about 12-24 hours, it becomes impossible to perfuse in all cases, and tissue breakdown is well underway. Because of the already hopeless condition of Danielle’s brain, I don’t believe that Doug Bowling’s actions harmed her.” However, Dr. Sparks also clarified his view that Bowling’s actions were nonetheless “illegal and unethical”. The USTP cannot claim expertise in Kentucky law and so cannot express an opinion on the current legality of Bowling’s behavior, but the USTP holds that legal protections should be established to clearly, unambiguously protect the wishes of cryonics patients, notwithstanding the objections of any other party. The USTP also concurs with Dr. Sparks that cremating an individual against that individual’s express, known wishes is indeed unethical.

Homeyer stated his perspective that “Although I never laid eyes on the body, so I cannot with certainty claim knowledge of her state of decay, as far as I know, Mr. Bowling is not an expert in information-theoretic demise, and nobody currently alive is an expert in the capabilities of future revival technology, therefore his opinion of how well she could have been preserved, seems irrelevant with respect to his ability to carry out what he knew were her final wishes.”

In subsequent communications with the USTP, Istvan commented that “Dr. Sparks here is speaking on matters of the mind. This is not his expertise. And frankly, that’s not for any of us to understand in 2019. We know the research today. But they thought they knew the research in the 1920s with blood tests for murders. What they didn’t know was DNA would overturn the entire field and exonerate many people a century later (as well as ruin many lives unfairly in prison). The point here is we simply cannot know these things, but we do know is Baker had a legit signed contract. And her rights were not followed. And [we know] that a preserved slightly decayed corpse is better than ashes for a person who wanted to come back alive. You have to put yourself in this position and ask what you’d want to be done. I think it’s safe to say: all of us would want the chance to be preserved, whether or not the cryonics process was in optimal conditions.”

The USTP Platform is clear on where we stand in regard to the decision that should have been made in Danielle Baker’s situation. Article III, Section VI, of the USTP Platform, focusing on morphological freedom, reads, in part, that “The United States Transhumanist Party considers morphological freedom to include the prerogative for a sentient intelligence to set forth in advance provisions for how to handle its physical manifestation, should that intelligence enter into a vegetative, unconscious, or similarly inactive state, notwithstanding any legal definition of death. For instance, a cryonics patient should be entitled to determine in advance that the patient’s body shall be cryopreserved and kept under specified conditions, in spite of any legal definition of death that might apply to that patient under cryopreservation.” The concluding paragraph of Section VI also recognizes cryonics as a choice which should “be the purview of […] individual [sapient] beings, and holds that no other group, individual, or government has the right to limit those choices”. The right to morphological freedom is reiterated in Article X of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 3.0, with essentially the same language as contained in Article III, Section VI, of the USTP Platform. This principle is a matter on which every cryonics supporter – including Istvan, Sparks, Homeyer, and Deutsch – would also express a fundamental agreement.

As noted above, the USTP takes no position on whether or not Doug Bowling’s actions were in violation of current law; however, we invite our members to consider how applicable laws could be interpreted or improved in order to render the protection of cryonics patients’ wishes unambiguous and incapable of being lawfully abrogated by a third party. The USTP also invites ideas on how to foster improved social acceptance of cryonics so as to at least facilitate its toleration by non-adopters to the same degree that various funeral practices – such as burial, embalming, or cremation – are tolerated today. Members may and will differ in their opinions as to whether Danielle Baker as a person could have been saved even through cryopreservation, and further consideration of this question may be valuable as a theoretical discussion of what cryonics can and what it cannot achieve. Ultimately, though, we have an opportunity to craft a proposal for a “Danielle’s Law” that would protect those cryonicists who do stand a chance to ultimately be revived if their wishes are honored in a sufficiently prompt fashion after legal death.

We encourage you to post your thoughts in the comment thread accompanying this statement.