I am now obligated to say something.

Oct 12, 2015

Readers of my site or social aquaintenances may be aware of independent presidential candidate and outspoken transhumanist Mr. Zoltan Istvan, who is at this time on the campaign trail. More specifically Zoltan is one of the residents of the Immortality Bus which is driving across the country to raise awareness of death and why time and funds must be allocated to study cures for aging and decrepitude in the human animal. Zoltan Istvan seems, in the times I've spoken with him on a casual basis a reasonably decent, intelligent, and well read person. He is a very successful and ambitious person, and I will not take that away from him.

However, Zoltan is working hard to promulgate an us-versus-them mentality among the people he is interacting with. Either you're with him and working to overcome death, or you're against him (in his parlance, a "deathist"). He's calling out moderate voices in the community - people who are hard at work in the lab or at the bench and not talking, people who have nuance in their worldviews, and people who have called him out for trolling (such as was done outside of churches in the Deep South some weeks back).

I cannot, in good conscience, back him any longer.

There are as many avenues to personally directed evolution and potentially transcendence as there are members of the transhumanist community. Our strength is in our diversity of viewpoints, our works, and our willingness to collaborate so that all of us benefit, not in rhetoric which makes us look like a bunch of extremists. It's hard enough being taken seriously when you say you build prosthetic limbs in your workshop, and telling people that they're on the side of death if they won't listen to you isn't helping any.

Zoltan, there is no reason that you should read these words, but just the same: I have a great deal of respect for you, and I do not think ill of you. I'd love to hang out and talk shop over coffee with you the next time in you're the area. But you're going about this the wrong way.

Here is the official word of the Transhumanist Party, the words of which I happen to endorse even though I have elected to not join the organization.