Zoltan Istvan ran for President of the US as a "Transhumanist" with a campaign that called for massive government funding to eliminate human mortality. Donald Trump won with a much crazier campaign.
Earlier this week on the Eureka science show he talked about Transhumanism and his campaign to become California Governor in 2018.
The hosts Allen Saakyan and Kevin Whittinghill were joined by comedians Chris Conatser and Allison Page. The show uses comedy to educate its audience about important scientific issues.
You can tell by the expressions on their faces (photo above) that Istvan's description of Transhumanism and the chance to live hundreds of years wasn't very appealling. Especially the part when he said that we won't need sex or food in a future Transhumanist world.
Istvan looks like a TV presenter because he used to be one -- at National Geographic. And it was on assignment in Vietnam when he almost stepped on a landmine that he vowed to work on ending human mortality.
Excerpts from Istvan's talk:
- Initially we'll be able to extend our lifespans by 500 years or so. [Like Zeno's paradox we won't catch up with our mortality]
- Ageing will be treated and eliminated like any other chronic disease.
- Our organs will be replaced with fresh ones grown from our own cells so there is no rejection and no lifetime medications.
- Machines of various types and sizes will be embedded in our bodies to protect, heal and augment our senses.
- A bionic eye will replace one of our natural eyes and allow us to see beyond the tiny 1% of the light spectrum so that we can see things like carbon monoxide gas - useful for avoiding pollution.
- CRISPR will allow people to change their DNA to look like the people in the Star Wars bar scene - with tails and fur. [Costume shops - the disruption is coming.]
- Sex won't be anything like as we know it and might not even require other people.
- Eating and food won't be the same. Some Transhumanists want skin with chlorophyll. Lunchtime won't require a sandwich -- slip your shirt off and take a walk in the sun.
- Life extending technologies will come down in price and trickle down to the poorest of the poor.
I asked Istvan what will we be doing during our extra 500 years of life especially since our prime motivators of food and sex won't be present. He said this is the million dollar question, "We don't know."
I rephrased it and asked how will you spend the time? He said he would head back to school and pick up four doctorates and also learn how to play a bunch of musical instruments. That leaves 470 years to go...
Life is cheap...
As the last people were leaving the event a 42 year old man was shot dead outside the club. Transhumanism needs to address morality as well as mortality.
What an ironic commentary: we talk about the need for expensive transhumanist technologies to extend a person's life -- but a bullet bought for pennies has the final say. Stopping gun violence extends lives.
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