On February 16, 2020, U.S. Transhumanist Party Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II spoke at length with Steele Archer on the Debt Nation show regarding the overall situation of contemporary American politics, the need to transcend the two-party paradigm, why supporters of Andrew Yang should endorse Ben Zion for President and join the U.S. Transhumanist Party, and how anyone seeking substantive political change, including supporters of Yang, Zoltan Istvan, and Bernie Sanders, as well as moderate Democrats and Republicans, should gravitate toward the U.S. Transhumanist Party by the time of the general election in November. They also offered their assessments of the coronavirus epidemic and how it compares to the many other diseases menacing humankind. Furthermore, they addressed forthcoming USTP campaign initiatives, such as ballot-access petitioning drives in as many U.S. jurisdictions as possible, and the USTP Discord server established on the day of the interview.
As 2019 draws to a close, let us bid farewell and good riddance to a decade which could, in retrospect be referred to using the prophetic Robert Heinlein term, “The Crazy Years” – a turbulent, conflicted decade during which, while glimmers of hope appeared on multiple fronts of technological advancement, society and culture have clearly declined due to the rise of incivility, tribalism, authoritarianism, identity politics, and mass breakdowns of sanity. It is no secret that I had hoped for humankind to have been farther along the path of advancement by now than it has actually come. The great conflict of our decade – between the marvels that have been built by the creative and rational higher faculties of the human mind and the biases, fallacies, vulnerabilities, and atrocities spawned by its darkest evolved recesses – between the Apollonian heights and the Dionysian depths of human nature – will carry on into the 2020s and perhaps beyond. To win this conflict, those of us who desire a brighter future need to advocate for more progress, faster innovation, greater rationality, higher standards of civility and morality, and a long-term outlook that seeks to cultivate the best in human beings.
As the winds of fortune shift, some of us individually will rise, and others will fall. This certainly was the case this past decade. In so many respects, for me, it has been marked by colossal achievements and improvements, but also tectonic shifts in my own life which were not of my initiative – to which I needed to respond and adapt and preserve what I valued in the aftermath. Reflecting back on the end of 2009, and comparing it to today, I realize that absolutely everything about the circumstances of my life is now different… and yet I myself am essentially the same. I believe that it is this core of myself, this fundamentally constant and consistent identity, which has carried me through the crises and enabled me to defy adversity and arise stronger every time – to pursue new endeavors and take on new roles while remaining the same essential individual, to learn from the empirical evidence before me while maintaining the same convictions and understanding of the good. The events of the 2010s have illustrated for me that, indeed, peace and stability in life must ultimately come from within – although it is not a matter of withdrawal into the self or mere self-affirmation, as some popular creeds would claim. Rather, it is the self that must devise and implement solutions to the crises of the day while pursuing consistent improvement in as many dimensions as possible, and preserving that essential core intact.
It is beyond our power to live a decade over again, but we can harness the best of its aftermath and turn the coming decade into a superior and more rational one. Some of us will create resolutions as individuals, and then pursue plans of varying degrees of specificity and likelihood of success. But perhaps it is best to consider the resolutions we would wish to have for humankind as a whole. It is all well and good, of course, to wish for progress and prosperity, but it is also well-known that the resolutions which have the greatest likelihood of succeeding are those which are accompanied by concrete indicators of fulfillment. Therefore, I propose the following ten resolutions for humankind during the decade of the 2020s, which will enable us to empirically identify whether or not they have been fulfilled at the decade’s end.
Construct the next world’s tallest building – because humankind must always reach higher.
Build a base on the Moon – because it is time to colonize other worlds.
Land a human on Mars – because it is time to expand beyond our orbit.
Establish the first fully operational seastead communities – because it is time for human habitation to expand beyond land and for jurisdictional experimentation to resume in earnest.
Have at least one person live beyond 120 years again – mathematically possible given that 10 of today’s supercentenarians are 114 or older; it is time to begin to approach Jeanne Calment’s longevity record of 122 years once more.
Cut all world nuclear-weapon stockpiles in half – more than this has been done before, and so this is really quite a modest goal, but it is imperative to reverse the trajectory of the current arms race. Complete nuclear disarmament by all powers would, of course, be preferable, to finally dispel the “MAD” cloud of annihilation looming over our species.
Compose 100 tonal symphonies – because it is time to rediscover beauty.
Develop medically effective cures for every type of cancer – because, really, it is decades past time.
End the decade with 50 percent of all vehicles on the road at level 2 autonomy or greater – because road deaths are a travesty and should become a relic of a barbaric past.
Experience at least one year in which no country is at war with any other, with “war” including armed insurgencies and terrorist attacks – because national, ethnic, religious, and ideological warfare needs to be relegated to the past.
Of course, there are many worthwhile objectives not encompassed above, and it is my hope that efforts to reach those goals will also advance in parallel. You may have a list of ten resolutions for humankind that differs from mine, but they may be compatible nonetheless. The overarching aim, however, is to restore humanity’s much-needed confidence in progress, to emerge from the postmodern swamp of self-doubt and deconstruction and return to the heights of ennobling ambition and creation. Concrete benchmarks to track our progress can also serve the dual purpose of motivating people everywhere to undertake great tasks. A certain President has expressed the desire to make America great again, but I would venture to say that he has not selected the proper means for doing so. I challenge everyone during the next decade to make the world great again and demonstrate that the most impressive achievements and the most lasting solutions to our age-old problems are still to come. This is the message of transhumanism, and I hope that it can become the theme of the next decade – so that when I speak to you again at the decade’s end, we can reflect upon the wonders that have been built.
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How 2020 Can Be the Year of Transhumanist Politics in America: USTP Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II Interviewed by Steele Archer on the Debt Nation Show
On November 24, 2019, U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II spoke extensively with Steele Archer on the Debt Nation show regarding recent transhumanist political developments and possibilities to come in 2020, including how 2020 can shape up to become the year of transhumanism in American politics, across the conventional spectrum, with Zoltan Istvan running as a Republican, Andrew Yang running as a Democrat, several Libertarian candidates sympathetic to a highly technological future – with their supporters having the potential to be drawn to the Transhumanist Presidential campaign of Johannon Ben Zion, who will remain in the race all the way to the general election, long after all the other parties’ primaries have concluded.
Also discussed were subjects such as how transhumanism can give a new sense of purpose and rekindle the belief in progress among Americans, how transhumanism can inaugurate a more rational politics, which seeks creative solutions to replace wedge issues with win-win outcomes, and the key points from the USTP Chairman’s Third Anniversary Message and how they will be implemented so as to further enhance and grow the USTP.
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U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party Chairman’s Third Anniversary Message
On October 7, 2019, the United States Transhumanist Party celebrated its five-year anniversary, right after a milestone 2019 Presidential Primary election and the acceptance speech of the winning candidate, Johannon Ben Zion, who has been endorsed by the USTP to run for President of the United States in 2020. November 17, 2019, only a month and a half after these momentous events, marks three years since I became Chairman of the USTP. While the vigorous, extensively discussed, and thoroughly tabulated primary election was the USTP’s most significant undertaking during its third year, occupying the majority of our efforts between April and October 2019, several other achievements are noteworthy as well.
In January 2019, the U.S. Transhumanist Party merged with the Transhuman Party and, after the dissolution of the Transhuman National Committee of the United States, became the sole remaining explicitly transhumanist U.S. political organization – the last, best hope for transhumanist politics to succeed, given that the USTP has continued to grow and attract public interest, even as other organizations failed to gather the necessary momentum and engagement of their members. In the words of Professor Angel Marchev, Sr., at the VSIM-2019 Conference in Ravda, Bulgaria, “This year it was empirically proved that direct democracy is a bad idea for starting projects. Leadership parties adopt a model that is working, and the fact that all three political centers in the United States were united is the best illustration of that. Leadership is necessary; direct democracy is not the way to do big projects – to change the world. […] Without quality leaders, you can’t do anything.” While the USTP has relied extensively on democratic processes in developing its Platform and endorsing its 2020 candidate for President of the United States, experience obliges me to agree with Professor Marchev’s fundamental point; indeed, even to organize and oversee democratic processes, leadership is required. There must be an umpire to objectively monitor and enforce the rules of engagement, and there must be a systematic, organized way to coordinate the logistics and infrastructure that enable voting and member participation to occur.
It is most impressive and gratifying when the energy to achieve great tasks arises spontaneously from within the community, but even in those cases, a call to action is necessary, as is the demarcation of the parameters of the task. A superb example of this phenomenon in action was our project to create Free Transhumanist Symbols which any person may use to represent the concept of transhumanism in general. The purpose of this project and the conditions for providing symbols (i.e., that they must be made available freely for use by others – either by being released into the public domain or via a Creative Commons license) galvanized the creativity of individual members to contribute a plethora of high-quality symbols within mere days. However, only leadership with a principled vision can provide the incentives and the structure for such creativity to become instantiated and for its fruits to be made available to the world. This experience, like so many others over the past year, has taught me that active engagement by leadership is a vital prerequisite for a member-driven, participatory organization to be feasible.
Even in organizations where conceptual policy stances are determined by voting, leadership is required for the everyday implementation of these agreed-upon concepts into practice. The USTP’s first test of this practical application in a legislative context came during March-May 2019, when we successfully achieved significant improvements to the provisions of Nevada Assembly Bill 226 by informing legislators of the true potential and limitations of implantable microchip technology – particularly through the testimony of Anastasia Synn and the Cyborg and Transhumanist Forum – the first transhumanist event in the halls of a State legislature.
Membership growth has continued to be a core focus of the USTP leadership over the past year. As of this writing, the USTP has 1,859 members, as compared to 1,187 one year ago. The net number of members joining during the third year of my tenure as Chairman (672) materially increased from those joining during the second year (487), and it is my hope that the USTP might be able to surpass the 2,000-member milestone by the end of 2019. The USTP’s growth remains steady and is accelerating slightly; however, much work remains to be done in order to bridge the awareness gap regarding transhumanism and attract the numerous implicit transhumanists in the general public to the USTP. For this, continued outreach and projects to promote the visibility of transhumanism and the USTP will be necessary. Much of the USTP’s focus during 2020 will be on coordinating with the Ben Zion 2020 Presidential campaign to maximize its impact and enable it to achieve levels of public awareness similar to what the tireless 2016 campaign efforts of Zoltan Istvan were able to accomplish.
Numerous avenues for progress are open before us. While predicting the future is notoriously difficult and never exactly accurate, some noteworthy endeavors are on the horizon for the USTP.
Development of Tiered Membership: In a member-driven organization, the members who are more active and who have demonstrated an in-depth understanding of the organization’s positions, values, and operations should be rewarded with additional influence over the decisions made within the organization. Hitherto, every member of the USTP has had one vote in our internal elections. While this approach has yielded productive results in the course of the USTP votes thus far, it can nonetheless be improved. The vote of a long-time, dedicated transhumanist with extensive knowledge of transhumanist ideas as well as a high degree of familiarity with the USTP should have more influence than that of a completely new member who may have thus far only filled out our membership form but has not yet had time to study the USTP’s history and operations. Accordingly, USTP leadership will explore the possibility of developing a weighted or tiered voting system where members who demonstrate a strong commitment to and a thorough understanding of the USTP will be able to earn additional votes in so doing. The key to such a system, however, is objectivity; a set of criteria needs to be established that any member could potentially meet with the requisite effort and study, and whose satisfaction can be easily validated. Accordingly, USTP leadership welcomes suggestions as to what criteria might be used to objectively award additional voting power to members who fulfill such criteria.
Continued Membership Growth by Reaching New Demographics: Over the past year, I have come to the conclusion that the USTP has already engaged those segments of the existing transhumanist movement which are capable of becoming constructively involved with the USTP. In order to grow much further, the USTP needs to encompass individuals who are new to the transhumanist movement and to interest individuals from constituencies that share key common goals with the USTP. Many of these individuals are currently implicit transhumanists; they lead their lives in a manner that generally welcomes new technological advances and often have an optimistic outlook on the impacts of technology on humankind’s future. For those people to become aware of the transhumanist movement and involved with the USTP will require continued diligent communication by USTP leadership in as many forums as are made available to us. With each communication, recognition of the transhumanist movement spreads, and our ideas become expressed in “mainstream” discussions to a slightly greater extent. I was recently quite pleased to be able to assist teams of university students with a debate project regarding transhumanism, longevity, and their implications. After two conversations of approximately an hour in length each, I was able to convey insights about what transhumanism stands for, as well as answers to common objections and persuasive arguments in favor of transhumanism. Several days after our conversation, I received an e-mail from one of the debate teams, announcing that it had won the debate in its class, having taken a position in support of transhumanism. “Not only that,” one of the debaters informed me, “but we asked the class after we learned the result if we had actually changed anybody’s minds on the topic, and about half the class said that we had.” This is ultimately the most effective way to change minds – through in-depth interaction with a relatively small number of people at a time, but in a manner that makes an impact and enables the insights to spread throughout the society. Debates like this one are welcome signs that the cultural conversation is shifting toward actively engaging the ideas of transhumanism, which is necessary for these ideas to become instantiated in mainstream discourse and drive a more rapid rate of advancement. This path to growth does not yield instantaneous large-scale results, but it does represent the most sustainable and long-term successful approach, since it cultivates genuine, informed understanding of transhumanist ideas, which can then be spread to others by those who have become newly but accurately aware of them.
Continued Creation and Creative Utilization of Media: Since the emergence of Steele Archer’s Debt Nation channel as a hub for in-depth conversations among transhumanists, as well as the extensive efforts of Johannon Ben Zion to interview notable transhumanists, futurists, and life-extensionists on his Futurist New Deal Podcast, the public has greater access than ever before to the discourse that occurs on a regular basis within the transhumanist community. Such discourse is now memorialized and shared with the world, and those who are interested in day-to-day developments within the USTP and the transhumanist movement now have several venues which can provide them with detailed updates. The most important aspect of effective communication with the media is not ideological alignment; some will agree with us, whereas others will disagree and critique us – but that is to be expected for any growing movement with the promise of bringing about major change. The most important task, rather, is to accurately convey the facts about transhumanism and the USTP so that they are reported on accurately. Unfortunately, we live in an era where “fake news” abounds, and the quest for sensationalism, as well as merely sloppy journalism can lead to rumors, fabrications, and unverified assertions being published or broadcast as if they were facts. A community characterized by robust internal dialogue and ready to articulate the facts to those who need to receive them is our strongest possible asset in preventing misinformation from becoming dominant.
Anti-Troll Campaign: Unfortunately, one of the greatest obstacles to the success of the transhumanist movement comes from within – from a small faction of petty and adversarial detractors whose primary motive is power and who seek to smear other individuals and organizations within the transhumanist movement when those individuals and organizations take initiative and act independently of the detractors. These “trolls” often behave in a toxic manner – gratuitously insulting other transhumanists, leveling invented false allegations, or becoming fixated on non-issues that are then used as an excuse to disparage others and seek to thwart promising initiatives. Unfortunately, because the transhumanist movement is still small, these trolls presently have disproportionate power. Because some of them have credentials in academia and are experts in some area of research, their toxic and antisocial behavior has been tolerated for far too long. Indeed, even more unfortunately, some of the trolls have become ensconced in so-called “transhumanist” groups on Facebook which actually purge much genuine transhumanist content. But professional achievement is no excuse for mistreating one’s fellow human beings or intentionally undermining others for perceived personal power gain. In order for transhumanism to grow and achieve widespread respectability, our movement needs to take a stand against the small handful of obstructionist and corrosive personalities who would rather undermine their fellow transhumanists than come to terms with growth whose parameters they cannot personally dictate. During the next year, the USTP will send a strong signal that toxic behavior will no longer be countenanced; the trolls and their malicious tendencies will be publicly identified and called out – and a clear message will be sent that our movement does not welcome those who continue to gratuitously attack, ban, harass, and intimidate reasonable transhumanists.
Candidates for Non-Presidential Offices: Now that the 2019 Electronic Primary has concluded and the Ben Zion 2020 Presidential campaign is well underway, it is possible for the USTP to consider endorsing candidates for other federal, state, and local offices – and we would welcome interested individuals who wish to put themselves forward for such consideration. I anticipate that a several substantial candidate-endorsement and Platform votes will take place at various times during the next year.
Building Alliances with Like-Minded Organizations: The USTP will continue to build its network of Allied Organizations, seeking areas of common ground, such as advocacy for longevity, support for emerging technologies, pursuit of electoral and political reforms, and encouragement of cultural rationality. For some of these organizations, the best approach will be ad hoc collaboration on issue-specific initiatives. For other organizations, where the alignment is deeper, opportunities for longer-lasting strategic partnerships should be explored.
Development of a Systematic Plan for Ballot Access: While ballot access is an extremely formidable hurdle to overcome, the USTP will endeavor to maximize the realistic possibilities for Johannon Ben Zion, and possibly future endorsed candidates for other offices, to appear on as many ballots as possible. This will require a systematic survey of the ballot-access requirements in each jurisdiction and the identification of “low-hanging fruit” – those jurisdictions where ballot access is easiest to attain. The USTP will then develop an action plan for how that ballot access may be attained and what resources may be realistically necessary to achieve this – especially for a non-monetary organization operated entirely by volunteers.
While in the first five years of its existence and in the first three years of my tenure as Chairman, the USTP laid the groundwork for a vibrant, growing, and distinctive organization, the next five years may well be the period in which transhumanism becomes a household word – a concept that enters mainstream discourse and becomes seen more accurately as the worldview that can enable humankind to overcome its deleterious limits and select the best of all possible futures. The USTP leadership will endeavor to continue building an organization where members can readily participate and work on the instantiation of their visions toward such a future – all while actualizing the common goals and values of the Transhumanist Party and the broader transhumanist community. In the course of working toward the best possible future, we should also create the best possible version of transhumanism to serve as its vanguard.
Dr. Bill Andrews and U.S. Transhumanist Party Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II Discuss Transhumanism and RAADfest at Sierra Sciences
On October 12, 2019, Brent Nally recorded this discussion between Dr. Bill Andrews – the Biotechnology Advisor of the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party – and U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II regarding recent news in the field of longevity (including pet longevity), techniques to slow down the rate of telomere shortening, changes to public perceptions of aging and longevity, transhumanism and technologies of life enhancement, and how to be rigorous and appropriately skeptical when evaluating various ideas and hypotheses in medicine.
Watch this discussion here and be on the lookout for a special visitor from a different species!
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21:33 Funding is needed to cure human aging and all chronic diseases.
24:03 Bill is hoping the telomerase gene therapy clinical study by Libella Gene Therapeutics (which is scheduled to start in November 2019) will show age reversal in the human Alzheimer’s patient in every measurable way.
On October 12, 2019, U.S. Transhumanist Party Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II spoke with Brent Nally at the venerable Sierra Sciences headquarters in Reno, Nevada. They discussed developments in the U.S. Transhumanist Party, fitness, health, and longevity – among other subjects.
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.
Johannon Ben Zion of the Futurist New Deal Podcast interviews U.S. Transhumanist Party Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II regarding the U.S. Transhumanist Party’s recent efforts, visions for the future of American politics, technological progress and technological Singularities, the importance of life-extension advocacy, open-source approaches to innovation, and overcoming challenges such as information overload and overly slow and cumbersome approval processes for innovative medical treatments. Mr. Stolyarov and Mr. Ben Zion also discussed in general terms the upcoming USTP Presidential Primary Election, for which voting will open on September 22, 2019.
Johannon Ben Zion Gennady Stolyarov II Arin Vahanian Charles Holsopple
On August 24, 2019, many leading transhumanists gathered in Burbank, California, to commemorate the publication of The Transhumanism Handbook. Subsequent to the seminar and book-signing event marking that occasion, the U.S. Transhumanist Party / Transhuman Party (USTP) held a discussion panel hosted by Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II and featuring Director of Marketing Arin Vahanian and USTP Presidential Primary candidates Johannon Ben Zion and Charles Holsopple. Subjects of conversation included assessments of the public’s receptiveness to transhumanist ideas, approaches toward spreading transhumanism, common misconceptions and challenges to overcome, as well as the upcoming Presidential primary election, for which voting will begin on September 22, 2019.
Some of the subjects addressed in Mr. Stolyarov’s presentation are the necessity and challenges of overcoming the evolved mindset of scarcity – the zero-sum mentality – in politics, the USTP’s #IAmTranshuman campaign, its successful effort to amend Nevada Assembly Bill 226 to remove the prohibition against voluntary microchip implantation, and its Transhumanist Symbols project, of which the products are freely available here.
The presentation slides are not fully visible in the video but can be accessed and downloaded here.