ExtremeTech has never been particularly interested inpolitics. That being said, as the focus of politics and politicians inexorably shifts towards technology, we might just jump in the water for a dip.
Many might imagine that concerns of a more socio-political nature like who is able to accrue what particular powers or possessions, and from whom would persist independently of technological influence. Others, like the Transhumanist Party founderZoltan Istvan, might offer that socio-political issues already are, at heart, technological issues. Now seizing the day, and a rapidly expanding number of like-minded transhumanists, Istvanhas announced that he will be a contender in the 2016 US presidential race.
If you havent heard of transhumanism, or youre not quite sure what it means, I suggest you read our introductory story about transhumanism before diving into the rest of this story. In short, though, transhumanism (sometimes referred to as H+) is about improving or transforming the human condition through technology. Brain implants, genetic engineering, bionic limbs, indefinite life extension these are all examples of the topics (and elective surgeries) that a transhumanist would be interested in.
In his recentbook The Tranhumanist WagerIstvan outlines three laws:
If energetically adopted, these deceptively simple maxims ultimately compel the individual to pursue a technologically enhanced and extended life. Zoltan and other supporters of transhumanism have come to see the choice to accept or reject these principles as something far more fundamental than the choice between liberal or conservative principles. In other words, it is a more compact predictor, a simpler explanation of your worldview, motivations, and actions than any current party provides.
It is for these reasons that Zoltan has founded the Transhumanist Party and is now taking this first major step to grow it. At this point in the game, the next major step getting access to all the state ballots could prove challenging. With these ideas in mind, we present an interview with (possibly) the next US president: Zoltan Istvan.
Why did you decide to run for the US presidency?
Zoltan Istvan The most important goal of the Transhumanist Party and my 2016 presidential campaign is to spread awareness of transhumanism and to address the issue that society will be greatly changed by radical science and technology in the next 5-15 years. Most people are unaware how significant these changes could be. For example, we might all be getting brain implants soon, or using driverless cars, or having personal drones follow us around and do our shopping for us. Things like anonymity in the social media age, gender roles, exoskeleton suits for unfit people, ectogenesis, and the promise of immersive virtual reality could significantly change the way society views itself. Transhumanism seeks to address these issues with forward-thinking ideas, safeguards, and policies. It aims to be a bridge to a scientific and tech-dominated future, regardless what the species may eventually become.
While the Transhumanist Party has almost no chance of winning this election, its goal is to get on as many state ballots as possible, so people will see its promise and recognize what it stands for. By doing so, well let citizens know an exciting political movement is afoot that focuses on using technology and science to enhance the human species. And maybe sometime in the future, many people will want to join it. Furthermore, Im hopeful other political parties will take notice of transhumanism and incorporate its ideas into their own philosophies.
Here is the original post:
An interview with Zoltan Istvan, leader of the Transhumanist Party and 2016 presidential contender