About Mr. Stolyarov

About Mr. Stolyarov

Portrait of Gennady Stolyarov II by Wendy Stolyarov for "Death is Wrong"
Portrait of Gennady Stolyarov II by Wendy Stolyarov in Death is Wrong

Gennady Stolyarov II (G. Stolyarov II) is an actuary, science-fiction novelist, independent philosophical essayist, poet, amateur mathematician, composer, and Editor-in-Chief of The Rational Argumentator, a magazine championing the principles of reason, rights, and progress. Mr. Stolyarov regularly produces YouTube Videos discussing life extension, libertarianism, and related subjects.

In December 2013, Mr. Stolyarov published Death is Wrong, an ambitious children’s book on life extension, illustrated by his wife Wendy Stolyarov. Death is Wrong can be found on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats, and can also be freely downloaded in PDF format in the English, Russian, and Spanish languages.

Mr. Stolyarov is the Chief Executive and one of the founding members of the Nevada Transhumanist Party, established in August 2015. Since November 17, 2016, Mr. Stolyarov has been the second Chairman in the history of the United States Transhumanist Party.

Mr. Stolyarov has contributed articles to the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET), The Wave Chronicle, Le Québécois Libre, Brighter Brains Institute, Immortal Life, Enter Stage RightRebirth of Reason, The Liberal Institute, and the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

Mr. Stolyarov holds the professional insurance designations of Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA), Associate of the Casualty Actuarial Society (ACAS), Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA), Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Associate in Reinsurance (ARe), Associate in Regulation and Compliance (ARC), Associate in Personal Insurance (API), Associate in Insurance Services (AIS), Accredited Insurance Examiner (AIE), and Associate in Insurance Accounting and Finance (AIAF).

Mr. Stolyarov has written a science-fiction novel, Eden against the Colossus, a philosophical treatise, A Rational Cosmology,  a play, Implied Consent, and a free self-help treatise, The Best Self-Help is Free.

In an effort to assist the spread of rational ideas, Mr. Stolyarov published his articles on Associated Content (subsequently the Yahoo! Contributor Network and Yahoo! Voices) from 2007 until Yahoo! closed this venue in 2014. Mr. Stolyarov held the highest Clout Level (10) possible on the Yahoo! Contributor Network and was one of its Page View Millionaires, with over 3,191,000 views. Mr. Stolyarov’s selected writings from that era have been preserved on this page.

 Mr. Stolyarov can be contacted at gennadystolyarovii@gmail.com.

The New Renaissance Hat
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10 thoughts on “About Mr. Stolyarov

  1. Mr. Stolyarov, I quite enjoy your work. I consider myself an Objectivist in the vein of Ayn Rand. I do like much of what both current camps of Oism do, ARI & the Atlas Society, however I think that they have both fallen away a bit from her original idea’s, especially in regards to homosexuality. I think that these org’s embracing of homosexual behavior is damaging to Objectivism as well as departing from Miss Rand’s limited but genuine thoughts on the subject. I agree with her on the subject, but whenever I try to speak of it I am labeled a “homophobe”, etc. when all I am attempting to show them is how homosexuality is not app. human behavior qua Objectivist ethics. I read Reginald Firehammer’s book and liked it, it’s just too bad that most Oists and Oist groups choose to be backward on this issue. Again, there is more that I like than don’t like with Oism today, but it seems as though moral anarchy is rearing its ugly head within the following at large. Keep up the great work! BTW, are you on Facebook?

  2. Dear Mr. Stolyarov,

    I very much liked your series on commonly misunderstood subjects on Youtube. I also watched the video on Objectivism which I found to be very balanced and enlighening.
    Unfortunately I have not been able to determine how to contact you using your channel, except for very short messages, so I will write to you here instead.

    I am desperately looking for someone who can help me understand my own philosophical views and also to find criticism or affirmation of them.
    What am I?
    My views can be summarized as follows:
    – There is an objective reality
    – The purpose of democracy is mainly a means of fighting corruption and promoting the interests of the the people as opposed to those in power. It is not a valid method to select the correct answer among alternatives and should never be used as such.
    – Science is the best method we have for evaluating what is true and not
    – Our human existence is only meaningful in our social contexts, to our selves and to future generations (our existence is not meaningful in universal or spiritual fashion)
    – We should place a grater emphasis on our social context and future generations than on our selves. We should favor altruism over self-reliance.
    – What classifies as common good depends on circumstances and must be continuously re-evaluated
    – Our social context is only meaningful in the long term context of supporting and improving human civilization, or a possible post-human civilization
    – The defining character of our age as judged by future civilization will be: short-shortsightedness and extreme individualism
    – We should practice future oriented altruism: just as we care for others in our immediate vicinity in order to create a better life for everyone, we should care for our ancestors as predecessors have, or we wish them to have had
    – We should aim to replace humanity with post-human beings, remedied from most of the flaws that plague the human psyche and physiology today and in the past

    If this is a complete mess I apologize. I would not be surprised is some of these views are flawed or incorrect but I appreciate any comments you may have.

    Thank you in advance for any help you can spare!
    /Elu Sive

  3. Greetings, Elu Sive.

    I can indeed provide my thoughts on each of your points.

    1. “There is an objective reality.”
    My Response: I agree in full.

    2. “The purpose of democracy is mainly a means of fighting corruption and promoting the interests of the people as opposed to those in power. It is not a valid method to select the correct answer among alternatives and should never be used as such.”
    My Response: I agree. The will of the majority does not determine truth, nor does it necessarily coincide with good policy. Moreover, most decisions should be left up to individuals to implement, so long as such implementation can be done non-coercively. Democracy is only useful in the highly limited context where conflicts of preference are unavoidable and necessarily involve some people’s preferences being overridden. For instance, if only one person can be the neighborhood sheriff, then it makes sense to put the issue to a majority vote. However, even then, the powers of the neighborhood sheriff should be highly limited to the protection of individual rights, and not their violation.

    3. “Science is the best method we have for evaluating what is true and not.”
    My Response: I agree, especially when science is defined broadly to include logic and mathematics. More generally, rational inquiry based on real-world observation and logical deduction therefrom is the best method we have for evaluating what is true and not.

    4. “Our human existence is only meaningful in our social contexts, to our selves and to future generations (our existence is not meaningful in universal or spiritual fashion).”
    My Response: Here I disagree. Our existence is meaningful per se and as the antecedent to all meaning and value. My video series “Life as the Basis of Morality” (see Part 1 and Part 2) explains my reasoning. I agree with Ayn Rand’s statement: “I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction.”

    5. “We should place a greater emphasis on our social context and future generations than on our selves. We should favor altruism over self-reliance.”
    My Response: Here I also disagree. While I advocate considering the future and taking a longer-term view of one’s actions, as well as considering one’s impact on the world and on others, all of this should be done to promote one’s own enlightened, rational self-interest, particularly in the continuation of one’s own life and flourishing. Each individual is, by nature, best suited to promote his own well-being. In promoting his own well-being, the individual should be concerned about the well-being of others and should seek ways to exchange values with others to promote mutual flourishing. Complete autarky is impossible and undesirable; we can gain great values and improve our lives tremendously by interacting with others. However, each individual’s moral self-reliance – in the sense of thinking for oneself, acting out of one’s own initiative, and valuing one’s own productive work and independence from subjugation to the arbitrary dictates of others – is paramount for creating a world where human flourishing is maximized to the extent possible.

    6. “What classifies as common good depends on circumstances and must be continuously re-evaluated.”
    My Response: What is good for people does depend on the specific context, but it is still rooted in objective requirements of human survival and flourishing. As a simple example, there are some items that can give our bodies energy if we consume them, while there are others that would poison us. The objective requirements of human survival and flourishing depend on the laws of nature, which are universally valid, though their applicability will differ based on the context. The correct answer in a given situation is like the correct choice of tool for constructing a building; it depends on what part you are working on, with what materials, in what setting, and for what goal (in terms of the values you are trying to realize). Multiple answers will be good enough for a particular problem, but some answers are clearly superior to others in achieving human survival and flourishing. That being said, it is important to continually use one’s rational faculty to evaluate the soundness of possible approaches on a case-by-case basis.

    7. “Our social context is only meaningful in the long-term context of supporting and improving human civilization, or a possible post-human civilization.”
    My Response: I agree with the goal of improving human and possibly post-human civilization (though I prefer the term “transhuman”, since I think that technological transformations will amplify and supplement our humanity, enabling us to transcend existing limitations, rather than take our humanity away). I think that human societal interactions can serve multiple valuable purposes both in the immediate term and in the long term. In the immediate term, it is certainly good that grocery stores exist in one’s vicinity to enable one to obtain food and other conveniences. The shorter-term interactions, as long as they are compatible with long-term perspectives and values, can certainly be of value as well.

    More is to come.

  4. Greetings again, Elu Sive. Here are my thoughts about your remaining points.

    8. “The defining character of our age as judged by future civilization will be: short-shortsightedness and extreme individualism.”
    My Response: I agree that there is considerable short-sightedness in our era, though it is probably less than in previous eras, when the average human lifespan was several times shorter than today. The extreme individualism, though, is not a phenomenon that I observe. I see all too many people bound by thoughtless traditions and norms, while refusing to think about matters on principle (instead of being attached to the concrete institutions and thought patterns that are fed to them by “opinion leaders” and the surrounding culture). The true individualist, who takes charge of his own life and is willing to engage in innovative thinking which transforms the world, is quite rare still. If asked to characterize our era, I would describe it as a time when the knowledge to solve many of the world’s problems is already available and accessible, but the willpower to solve these problems and overcome the constraints of obsolete institutions is lacking. I also see our era as characterized by a race between accelerating technological progress and increasingly outrageous authoritarian intervention.

    9. “We should practice future-oriented altruism: just as we care for others in our immediate vicinity in order to create a better life for everyone, we should care for our [descendants] as predecessors have, or we wish them to have had.”
    My Response: I agree that we should look forward into the future and consider how life would be then, and how our current actions would affect future living conditions. I do not think that our focus should solely be on future beings, though. I hope to personally see a better future, and to structure my actions to maximize my chances. I am, though, happy to have been born into a world where the many generations of humans before me have already created an infrastructure of knowledge and capital to enable a relatively comfortable way of life. The great challenge of our time is to secure our lives against the still-omnipresent forces of ruin, death, and decay.

    10. “We should aim to replace humanity with post-human beings, remedied from most of the flaws that plague the human psyche and physiology today and in the past.”
    My Response: I agree with remedying existing human flaws and transcending human limitations, with the important caveat that I consider such actions to be consistent with and to amplify humanity. Importantly, I think that we ourselves should be the beneficiaries of these improvements, through new medical treatments and augmentations (especially radical life extension), as well as the eventual integration of biological and non-biological components.

    I hope that you find this feedback constructive. Of course, I am espousing my own personal philosophy in responding to your points, and I have never found two people to have exactly the same philosophical outlook. Nonetheless, if any of my points are helpful to shaping your own views and helping you develop them further, I would consider my response to have accomplished its goal.

  5. Thank you for taking the time and giving such a thorough response. I see the wisdom in what you say so I have no reason to argue. Thanks for giving me a lot to think about.

  6. Greetings, Elu Sive. I am very glad that you found this exchange helpful. I did as well. In fact, I think that it will be interesting to a more general audience, so I posted your points and my responses as a new article on The Rational Argumentator here.

  7. I’m responding to your youtube video about why not to get a Ph.D. I can’t seem to find a way to leave a comment there, even though obviously others have already done so.:

    Math prof. here. You are right. A Ph.D. is not a good choice for getting high wages. But it may still be a good choice for some people (people like me).

    The reason for getting a Ph.D. is NOT to get a high-paying job. The reason is to get a particular KIND of job: academia. It is not the highest paying but it is attractive to those who love a particular subject, and want to be able to be free to devote their lives to it and share it with others, not to mention make a difference in the world. For me, a Ph.D. was not a “leisure good”. It was an investment in my ability to get my current job. And I am happy with my job in ways that I would not be happy working for a boss or being an entrepreneur.

    You make a good point that too many talented students are pressured into going into Ph.D. programs when there are not many tenure track job openings. I agree that this is a bad trend. But it’s not because we professors are colluding with Ph.D.-granting universities to give them cheap labor. It’s because we are biased by the fact that that was precisely the path we chose. We see a promising student and we see ourselves and want to encourage them to be more like us. Human nature. In most cases, though, we’re wrong about that. We need talented, smart, hard-working folks who appreciate our subject in the workplace, too.

    Re: no advanced placement in Ph.D.: Not relevant since the Ph.D. is not primarily given for coursework. A Ph.D. is an apprenticeship for research. You can skip the classes you already know because no particular classes are required for the degree.

    Good job getting an actuarial position. It’s a good job, though I prefer deciding the course of my own research, myself. But actuaries are the best kept secret for math job opportunities.

  8. Death is Wrong!

    Dear Mr. Stolyarov:

    Have you reviewed the existing website and book publications (such as, kindles at amazon) about the global population of several 10000s (ten thousands) of people who are physically immortal? I researched this last year and was convinced. I have many links and book titles, if you are interested.

    Death IS wrong!

    Sincerely,
    Dr. Stefan Grossmann
    (Dr. of law)

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