It is important when effecting change that we look at the various elements that we need to assess. Ideally it is my opinion that this be done logically and without emotional baggage but with academic rigor. This essay is my opinion and overview of my actions moving forward. I’m not going to attack anyone here. What I am going to do is articulate my strategy with the various organizations and elements related to transhumanism and my own transhumanist vision and long term strategy.
Why am I a transhumanist?
Let’s start by why I’m a transhumanist. My value system is based on the idea that value is assigned through intelligence, and further that intelligence is defined as human level sapience and sentience and without that intelligence there is no purpose to anything. Therefore my morals and ethics are based on my understanding of these key principals. To me the idea that we should make every effort to be more than what we are and to rise above our biology is the highest thing we can do. It is this evolution either by extending our biology or by building AGI that is my own logically sound ideology that I’ve pursued for over two decades and only really in the past 5 years assigned its relationship to transhumanism. Given that transhumanism embodies my values and all I hold dear, it is this that I then must admit that above all else, my ideology is ‘transhuman’ and thus I am a transhumanist.
Transhumanism as an ideology
From that standpoint I look at transhumanism as my ideology and as that is the case, it is this ideology I want to see succeed. Helping others see what I see in the ideals of transhumanism is the reason that I’m interested in driving the ideology of transhumanism forward.
The Foundations Vision
As only a few of you know, I and my inner circle of friends who align with the above articulated position some years ago created a long term plan. It was really hatched in around 1994 as a long term strategy to affect change and enable certain goals. Those goals and the long term path leading to Foundation was articulated and finally set in motion around 1996. It is only much later that transhumanism became something I was aware of but given the alignment of that ideal we as a Foundation have slowly looked at how to support this as a movement. The long term goals or initial 20 year plan was really about building corporate resources and aligning with the ability to drive sufficient funds to create an organization that would be able to address certain issues. Those resources would then be used to help move us forward in terms of long term success with the ideological goals we had set and help where we could in funding, research and other tasks. One project that was finished last year was the Foundation library (digital and hard copy) that we just moved from Seattle to a remote location that is more geologically stable. Granted the Foundation library is a sort of backup drive but it is the lowering of risk and helping to make sure we can move the movement forward that the Foundation seeks to make sure it can’t go backwards especially from a loss of technology standpoint. (As a side note if you interested in seeing the library, it is in Leavenworth, WA and you can contact me separately).
Why is that relevant to this discussion you might ask? It is this pool of resources that I am trying to move forward and in an effort to be relatively transparent it is only fair to articulate the fact that the Foundation is supporting me in taking these actions publicly.
Transhumanism as an Ideology
Some have argued that Transhumanism is not a movement nor an ideology. Although I understand that viewpoint, we define ideology as:
A set of conscious and unconscious ideas which make up one’s goals, expectations, and motivations. An ideology is a comprehensive normative vision, meaning that it is a set of standards that are followed by a people, government, and/or other groups that is considered the “norm” by that group. (see wiki on ideology)
Given that and if one believes in the transhumanist declaration (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5uqZGA06vE) there is no reason to not apply that as the basis for a transhuman ideology. Since the bulk of society’s resources are controlled by politics it only makes since to get connected with the current structures in society to affect changes based on an ideology based on the transhuman declaration.
If one is going to say that you believe that the transhumanist declaration is something you believe it, it is at least in part your ideology and if it’s an ideology then it makes sense to implement it as best as possible and with the most resources which means politics…
Strategy for Change
Given my ideology and therefore political leanings we would need to have a strategy for executing on that. Based on the Foundation’s original ideas for strategy we had wanted to build additional corporate and financial resources prior to execution on anything public and therefore it was the idea of a policy center where we planned to start. Again given the circumstances it makes since to move forward and an involved version of that strategy which based on that framework this is more or less the framework for the current actions I am working towards. It is a strategy for change…
This is the framework for a Transhuman ideology from a tactical and strategic standpoint to develop as a movement and party which I am trying to execute.
The idea of a policy center goes back along way and was part of the original Foundation long term strategy after the initial 20 years of career building. The idea here is to help create material efforts in the current system to help effect change within the system to support the ideals that are part of the ideology, in this case the forwarding of the ideas in the transhumanist declaration including key areas such as longevity medicine and artificial intelligence. Given the initiatives going on in the community, I started the Transhuman Policy Center some weeks ago given the traction the movement was getting.
The function of the Policy Center as publicly stated is: “The mission of the Transhumanist Policy Center (TPC) is to provide nonpartisan guidance to the public, policy makers and electoral candidates on issues that affect legislation. TPC aims to safeguard the efficacy of scientific fact, empirical research, and critical thinking of documented material and shared information within the political sphere.” (see: http://policy.transhumanity.net/about/ )
There are a lot of great groups out there doing great work. A couple that come to mind include the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology (see http://www.ieet.org ). What really differs from a think tank like IEET which is important to the movement too, is that the Policy Center (http://policy.transhumanity.net) is about taking those ideas and putting them in front of the people that make the decisions. It’s about letters to senators and lawyers for the right cause, helping politicians see what can be done to solve problems. The Policy Center should be about helping politicians in all parties to see transhumanist solutions as politically viable.
For the Policy Center political support is focused on policies not parties. It is about sound transhumanist thought and ideology. The strategy in large part around lobby efforts also includes recommendations, assessments and other tools that help move a particular policy or policy maker if it moves the ideology forward on how to help society with new and innovative thought. If a politician in any party is making a decision in a way that supports our core ideology then the Policy Center is interested in helping them be a success with that one issue.
Academic quality resources
As a lobby organization part of the strategy is to raise the bar in terms of the quality of the content and the supported nature of that content. Policy Center briefs and other documents articulating a given position should be above reproach on any level. They should be sound, logical, well researched and clearly making improvements without going against transhuman ideology at any level.
Molding political thought
A key element of the Policy Center is to help mold mainstream political discourse to embrace transhumanist thought in word and action. It is only through a transhumanist ideological approach that we have the largest degree of success in terms of executing on the transhumanist declaration.
And where does that leave a Transhuman Party?
Transhuman Party in the United States
In my mind and in my experience with main stream politics it was historically unrealistic for a fringe group to be successful in main stream politics. Further it would require a lot of coordinated effort and a lot of energy on the part of a small group to be successful and then only in doing a lot of traditional activities done by special interested groups through various lobbies or PAC’s.
Given that it seems that there is enough social pressure and motivation to be successful, it seems reasonable to move that effort forward by creating an organization and continuing to create and foster local organizations that support transhuman ideology. It is not an easy goal but it is realistic. Such a party and movement must needs be supported by the core constituent.
In many ways a party is really a type of lobby effort that is more grass roots and putting politicians in place locally to solve real problems but to game that traction we need to put forward real world solutions that are realistic to actually implement. This is where a party can gain significant traction. The strategy then is to get organized, get people excited, drive the effort forward to create that gelling as a movement effect and solidly lobby efforts.
Once underway the intent is to look at getting youth and college students involved in driving interested on key points and creating a social meme that students can carry through to other schools to get people excited about the movement on key points of a polished strategy post initial organization. This really needs to be part of a broader movement in the world transhumanist political arena that we hope to collaborate in a worldwide movement that builds on the ideology of transhumanism political and otherwise.
These short and mid-term strategies address at a high level several political tactical objectives as we as a community or movement define that long term strategy that we can focus on in the coming decade. It is the future that we hope to effect by creating a transhuman ideological force in politics, business and the community to the future of us all.
For the short term the execution of national level Transhuman political party is about the following key tasks: creating organizational structure, establish a social media presence, create the digital resources to support the movement, creating community collaboration, helping local groups, building lobby effort infrastructure, encouraging youth and a youth based social engineering strategy and then finally to assess the success so far and developed a far more detailed strategy for action on multiple fronts. This is what I’m trying to do and what I would like help on so that we as transhumanists can work together to affect the future that we care about.
* hero image used from http://jongose.ninja/de/de-foundation-isaac-asimov.html