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“Death is Wrong” Discussed on Mashable and Slashdot – Post by G. Stolyarov II

“Death is Wrong” Discussed on Mashable and Slashdot – Post by G. Stolyarov II

The New Renaissance Hat
G. Stolyarov II
March 16, 2014
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I was pleased to see that Mashable’s Rebecca Hiscott wrote a fair, thoroughly researched, and factually accurate piece on Death is Wrong. Ms. Hiscott interviewed me on March 13, 2014, and incorporated my remarks in her new article, “Children’s Book Teaches Kids ‘Death is Wrong’”. I am hopeful that this development will aid in spreading the book’s reach and impact. The book was also listed on Slashdot, where a brief but fair and factual description has triggered quite an intense discussion, with both supportive and contrary arguments.

I am also pleased that the Amazon ranking for Death is Wrong has increased to unprecedented levels.

The book is now ranked #6 in the Kindle store in both Children’s eBooks and Children’s Nonfiction in the category of “Science, Nature & How It Works”, as well as #88 overall in the category of all Children’s Books on Science, Nature & How It Works. Could Death is Wrong become a bestseller? If so, its long-term impact on the culture could be just what I aspired toward – educating the next generation of life-extension researchers and activists, so as to accelerate the arrival of indefinite longevity for us all.

Amazon Kindle Store Ranking on March 16, 2014
Amazon Kindle Store Ranking for Death is Wrong – March 16, 2014

There remains time to donate to the Indiegogo fundraiser to spread Death is Wrong to 1000 children, so as to extend its impact even further.

Slate is Wrong about “Death is Wrong” – Article by Eric Schulke

Slate is Wrong about “Death is Wrong” – Article by Eric Schulke

The New Renaissance Hat
Eric Schulke
March 16, 2014
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There is an article at Slate that talks about the children’s book Death is Wrong and the fundraiser to distribute 1,000 copies of it to children.

The article’s author, Joelle Renstrom, writes,

“In late February, Stolyarov and the Movement for Indefinite Life Extension started an Indiegogo campaign to raise $5,000 to distribute 1,000 free copies to kids. The campaign ends on April 23, and so far the funds fall well short of the goal.”

The goal is 33% funded after 33% of the days. That seems right on track to me. I don’t know why Slate would feel the need to exaggerate that point to make it seem like our funding progress was not favorable to us.

“But there’s a difference between curing grave diseases, which would increase our lifespans, and ‘solving’ death. Stolyarov sells kids an updated myth of pharaohs, the fountain of youth, and Gilgamesh cloaked in the singularity, the theorized point at which technology and superior artificial intelligence fundamentally alter life. He implies that death is the Problem and that solving it will ensure smooth sailing, which is irresponsible at best and disastrous at worst.”

To imply that death isn’t the problem, that you can go through deaths of people you know and then yourself, and that it is not worth smoothing out those parts of the seas of life, and to call it irresponsible and possibly disastrous to do so, is unfounded, self-back-patting – assertive flippancy at its finest. No offense. I’m sure Ms. Renstrom has plenty of redeeming qualities, but that statement is not one of them.

Sure, we fight to keep death at bay indefinitely, but we will be happy if the world’s collective efforts help lead to 500-year lifespans, or 200-year lifespans, or indefinite life spans with 77% of people dying by accident within the first 800 years anyways, etc. We support a variety of potential pathways that could bring about more good futures for more people. We support anti-aging research initiatives like SENS and many others. The critics at Slate think they’re clever for associating what we aim for with the negative image of immortality as portrayed by book and film sensationalists that make up immorality-themed stories. In the movies, it is the unspoken word that Zombies are only supposed to move slowly, but that is irrelevant to life and death causes, too.

Having a trendy, knee-jerk, cynical, superficial response to this life-and-death topic is not acceptable. Think this through more. It is, “life is good; make it work”, not, “life could be bad; justify why it’s good before making it work”.

“Stolyarov rails against acceptance, even when unaccompanied by belief in the afterlife; he rejects the Buddhist position of experiencing pain caused by death while knowing death has released a loved one from suffering. Instead, he targets an audience that could conceivably solve death before he has to stare it down, which is neither braver nor better.”

He is working on one of the most intellectually forward moving projects of our times, and he does it in a world where primary and secondary schools don’t put a lot of critical-thinking coursework into their curricula, and where it shows. It’s a world where 85% of the people claim that they know an invisible pal in the clouds can be telepathically begged to bend the laws of physics for them. Of course what he is doing is great and brave; he stands up in the face of and helps the as-of-yet ungrateful, often antagonistic masses.

“Death Is Wrong makes immortality seem within reach, describing doubling a roundworm’s life via genetic mutation and the cell-rejuvenating Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence proposed by bio-gerontologist and anti-aging crusader Aubrey de Grey.”

The tools to do it are here now. It is within reach. For example, diseases that are like the forms of damage that accumulate in and around the cells of our bodies and that cause us to age to death, have already been worked on with success in laboratories around the world. Also, some gene recombination has already stopped some diseases. We know how to work on this kind of stuff. We just have to determine to get it done now. So let’s rally people to this cause rather than directing them away from it.

“Representing a legitimate problem as a solution invites disaster, especially if it means ignoring issues such as overpopulation.”

Population is on a decline in many industrialized countries when you subtract immigration. So there is one of many solutions to a potential overpopulation crisis.

I often have to wonder why life-extensionists have to be the bearers of facts like these to people who use these concepts to try to discredit projects and organizations of life-and-death significance. It’s one thing to work to discredit people; it’s another thing to do it without having your facts straight, and it’s yet another messed-up thing altogether to do all that, but not even inquiringly or half-jestingly, but assertively.

What about the potential underpopulation crisis?

But it doesn’t even matter in this context; death comes first. If you’ve got two problems, and impending death of you and people you know is one of them, then you work on the death as the top priority. Death is definitely not the hands-down, go-to solution when you think about a may-be/could-be population challenge of an unknown form. It’s way down at the bottom of that list, if it’s even on there at all. In the meantime, many groups and organizations continue to work on forecasting for and planning for scenarios like those. It’s a nearly moot alarmist point to say that transhumanists and supporters of indefinite life extension can’t and don’t think of the big picture of things. I like Joelle Renstrom’s concern for it, though, and I encourage her to get involved with one of those organizations, too, and help plan ahead.

“The transhumanist declaration acknowledges technology’s double-edges: “humanity faces serious risks, especially from the misuse of new technologies. … Although all progress is change, not all change is progress.” This consideration is missing from the book. Part of preparing kids for a technological future is teaching them that not all technology is necessary or beneficial, and that we can make technological mistakes.  Putting all our eggs in the “technology will fix everything” basket is even more dangerous than putting them all in the “death is wrong” basket. What if technology doesn’t cure death? What if it, or the rush to develop it, actually causes death?”

What if, in our rush to quadruple-check every “what if”, we forgot to move forward toward the cures, and we all died needlessly? People like me, Gennady Stolyarov, and many others work with projects that help advance our understanding in those regards, too. Why would we even be accused of neglecting those considerations? We don’t support pioneering of new ground by putting on blindfolds and running at full speed through the jungle swinging a machete. Hey wait, I think I just described a straw-man that the author of this article created. I’m calling “straw man” on that point.

The presentations at the conferences we support, the authors of the books we help promote, the organizations we choose to associate with — they talk about, monitor, work with, and report on risks, ethics, sustainability, and related matters all of the time. We or people that we know, work with places like Longecity, SENS Foundation, Methuselah Foundation, Fight Aging, Campaign Against Aging, Coalition to Extend Life, Longevity Alliance, Maximum Life Foundation, Humanity+, Lifeboat Foundation, IEET, Singularity Network, Foresight Institute, Cryonics Network, and many others.

“Stolyarov might argue he’s advocating adaptation, and thus survival, but curing death would constitute artificial selection—a drastic and deliberate change in our own evolution. Inherent in that argument is a troubling notion of human exceptionalism—that we shouldn’t have to play by evolution’s rules. Stolyarov suggests we select ourselves (those who can afford it, anyway), rather than leave it to nature.”

Artificial is a kind of natural. It is natural for humans to use their tools and abilities to do what they can do with them. Human beings are exceptional. The universe didn’t (seemingly) sit empty for millions of years, with dust balls whistling in the wind, comets and cosmic gas flying by, no sentience or record of such, and then have the miraculous occurrence of sentience through human form spring up from that dust—just so that this intellectual power-tool in a land of endless wonder, potential, and mystery, could decide itself to be less significant than the ducks and the trees and allow itself to disassemble from its miraculous, universe-control-potential form, back into inanimate dust and vapor trails. It is important to use our human opportunity to leverage resources to uncover as many of the mysteries of the big picture of existence as possible.

“Kids could grow up not just afraid of death, but also afraid of failing to fix it. Stolyarov makes death a powerful nemesis that could rule their lives—just as it’s ruled his.”

What an insulting and baseless speculation to assert. If you’re going to insult somebody, at least add enough fallacy-free substance to it to hold it up.

People like the author of the Slate article want children to continue growing up afraid of life. They want death to continue to drag down their spirits and traumatize them. They want children to think that wars and the greedy people make death an appealing and noble exit. They tell people that it’s better to be intellectually lazy and forget about working on their challenges, that it’s better to lay down and die, that life is too hard and dreary. They don’t want children to think about fixing death, because they can’t conceive of having a spine when it comes to standing up to tough danger. They want indifference to remain a powerful nemesis that rules children’s minds, so they can’t see the true dangers in death and respond appropriately.

Eric Schulke was a director at LongeCity during 2009-2013. He has also been an activist with the Movement for Indefinite Life Extension and other causes for over 13 years.

Death is Wrong - by Gennady Stolyarov II, Illustrated by Wendy Stolyarov

Liberty or Death: Why Libertarians Should Proclaim That Death is Wrong – Article by G. Stolyarov II

Liberty or Death: Why Libertarians Should Proclaim That Death is Wrong – Article by G. Stolyarov II

The New Renaissance Hat
G. Stolyarov II
March 14, 2014
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Do you wish to actually live in a free society, rather than just ponder what one would be like? For some, the desire to live in liberty is so strong that they would echo Patrick Henry’s immortal words, “Give me liberty or give me death!” More than just those words should be immortal; in fact, you should be. Without intending it, Patrick Henry communicated a truth that is becoming increasingly apparent in our era: we can one day be truly free if humans achieve indefinite life extension; without it, we will be both unfree and eventually dead. Within our lifetimes, we will either have liberty and no death, or death and no liberty. We cannot have both liberty and death.

Death is Wrong is my new children’s book on indefinite life extension, beautifully illustrated by my wife Wendy Stolyarov.  The book is an educational primer which presents, in a concise, accessible manner the philosophical desirability and scientific feasibility of lifting the upper limit on human lifespans through the application of science and medical technology. We are currently in the midst of an Indiegogo fundraiser to spread this book to 1000 children, free of cost to them.  Death is Wrong does not take any political positions and does not advocate specifically for libertarianism, since we seek to focus on life extension in the book and to attract as universal a base of support as possible. It is certainly feasible to hold almost any political persuasion and to advocate the radical extension of human lifespans. Yet I, as a libertarian, see the defeat of senescence through medical progress to be an indispensable component to achieving liberty.

Death is Wrong - by Gennady Stolyarov II, Illustrated by Wendy Stolyarov

The U.S. Declaration of Independence proclaims that humans have the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. While the right to life is a negative right – the right not to have others infringe on one’s life – it is nonetheless indisputable that the positive condition of life is the prerequisite for the exercise of any kind of liberty and the pursuit of any kind of happiness. If one is dead, there is nothing – no choice, no growth, no self-actualization – and not even a memory of any past deed or previous fulfillment of one’s goals. Without life, liberty is impossible, and yet biological decay propels us all toward the loss of the very potential for liberty. Death obliterates everything: our precious individual universes, full of sensations, insights, thoughts, and aspirations are forever snuffed out, deprived of the possibility of ever fulfilling any goal or actualizing any ideal.

In “Liberty Through Long Life” – written in April 2013 – I described the possibilities for improving the prospects of liberty just on the horizon, facilitated by accelerating technological progress – from emerging methods of online education to cryptocurrencies to seasteading and space colonization. I explained that libertarians should want to live as long as possible in order to see and benefit from the fruits of these tremendous innovations.

Just two months after I wrote “Liberty Through Long Life”, most of us in the Western world found out just how unfree we truly were. Especially in the aftermath of Edward Snowden’s revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency and its counterparts in many Western countries are spying indiscriminately on hundreds of millions of innocents, it has become apparent that the political struggle for liberty in today’s climate has encountered barriers that appear, at present, virtually insurmountable. I am not referring to failure to achieve the libertarian political ideal or even a directional approach toward such an ideal – despite the ardent, passionate, unquestionably dedicated work that activists for liberty have done during and between the past several election cycles. The situation today is worse than that. Even abolishing the Orwellian spying apparatus and penalizing those officials who concealed and then endorsed it appears to be seen as out of the question by the political elite, no matter how great the pressure from the public and how completely useless the mass spying has turned out to be. More than ten months after Snowden’s revelations, all of the powerful people who orchestrated the mass surveillance remain in their offices, and Snowden is a fugitive in Russia. Now it has even been disclosed that the NSA has devised programs to harvest data from private hard drives, webcams, and microphones by infecting personal computers with malware in mass. Can we expect to see an end to what we would have, just one year ago, considered an unimaginably intimate surveillance – or, more likely, will the gatekeepers of the current political order assemble all of their power in the effort to perpetuate it? Achieving mere non-perversity – not to mention liberty – as an immutable principle for contemporary Western political arrangements to follow, would appear to be a Herculean task.

Yet I do not intend to undermine hope. Eventually the world improves, and old oppressions dwindle away. Yet “eventually” can be a long time. It took millennia to put an end to the legal institution of slavery, and during the early 18th century it seemed firmly rooted in the Western world. Yet forward-thinking outliers – from the Quakers to the Enlightenment philosophes – recognized its depravity and articulated the moral case for abolition back when slave labor seemed to be inextricably integrated into the most influential economies and systems of production. William Lloyd Garrison, the great 19th-century abolitionist, recognized that the push to end slavery as soon as possible was necessary to see it ended at all. He wrote, “Urge immediate abolition as earnestly as we may, it will, alas! be gradual abolition in the end. We have never said that slavery would be overthrown by a single blow; that it ought to be, we shall always contend.” [1] Slavery was ultimately abolished through a long sequence of often highly sub-optimal steps – but, were it not for the uncompromising immediate abolitionism of people like Garrison, it might not have been abolished at all, or at least would have been abolished much later. If we argue for liberty today, it will still likely take decades of the most ardent advocacy and activism to undo the harms caused by ongoing and escalating infringements of every natural and constitutional right of even the most law-abiding citizens. Therefore, while I support every effort – conventional or radically innovative – to move our societies and governments in the direction of liberty, it is essential to recognize that the success of such efforts will take an immense amount of time. If you do not remain alive during that time, then you will die without having known true liberty.

Yet we should urge not just the immediate abolition of oppression – but also of death itself. The forward-thinking outliers today – thinkers in the transhumanist and life-extension movements – recognize that transitioning from today’s medical system to one in which humans could achieve longevity escape velocity – where every year lived increases life expectancy by more than one year – will likely take decades of the most dedicated efforts in research and advocacy. Dr. Aubrey de Grey of the SENS Research Foundation, one of the foremost advocates of indefinite life extension, thinks that there exists a 50% chance of reaching longevity escape velocity in 25 years, with adequate funding. Yet, in order to catalyze the culture to embrace, or at least not oppose, the research projects and medical therapies needed, the sentiment that the abolition of death for innocent humans is desirable yesterday is imperative. This is a sentiment with which libertarians can find a close kinship, for they know well the desire for liberty to be here yesterday. This does not mean that we should forsake long-term plans or disdain incremental improvement in lifespans or medical treatments. Quite the contrary, the achievement of the great goal of preserving each innocent life will be made out of a long sequence of such incremental improvements that will save an increasing proportion of people with each new feat of progress. But we should also strive to greatly accelerate progress in biogerontological research and medicine, so that the breakthroughs can come in time to save us and those whom we cherish.

Educating the next generation to work with full dedication toward both liberty and immensely longer lifespans is a key component of this new abolitionism of the 21st century. Every bit of liberty achieved for medical innovators and cutting-edge researchers in biotechnology and nanotechnology will be a boon to the rate of progress. Every bit of lifespan extension will give activists for liberty more time to reverse Western political systems’ gallop toward totalitarianism, or to develop innovative workarounds that bypass the political systems altogether. Death is Wrong breaks with the prevalent traditional approaches of teaching children about death – approaches which either attempt to justify death through arguments that devalue the moral worth of human life entirely, or else endeavor to persuade children to resign themselves to an inevitable if regrettable end and to fill their time with other pursuits to get the thought of death out of their minds.  Instead, the book confronts the predicament of human mortality head on and shows young readers that death is neither insurmountable nor just; instead, it can be defeated, albeit with great effort. My hope is that enough young minds will be motivated by Death is Wrong to acquire the skill sets in science, philosophy, and advocacy needed to accelerate the arrival of indefinite longevity. More generally, I hope that the book will challenge children to break from conventional packages of thinking and engage every single idea critically and actively, eventually arriving at practical and moral worldviews based on principles that correspond to reality rather than the surrounding majority opinion.

Every day approximately 150,000 humans die throughout the world – 100,000 of them from diseases of senescence. Every day by which we can hasten the arrival of indefinite longevity, at least 100,000 precious individual universes will be preserved and will be able to join us in contributing their ideas and actions toward a free, just, humane society that respects and protects the rights of every individual. The contribution of indefinite life extension to human survival rates will likely even be beyond the gains reached solely due to medical progress. As I explained in “Life Extension and Risk Aversion”, the longer people’s lifespans and time horizons become, the more conscientiously they will seek to avoid or diminish physical hazards that could deprive them of hundreds or thousands of years of expected life. Exceptionally long-lived humans will work with far more intensity to reduce the prevalence of accidents, infections, natural disasters, crimes, wars, and – yes – politically motivated physical harm. A society comprised of such young supercentenarians would quickly become one of libertarians.

Libertarians can help by joining the movement for indefinite life extension and supporting the fundraiser to spread Death is Wrong to 1000 children – the next generation whose work may well enable us all to live in true liberty one day. May we have liberty – and defeat death!

[1] Quoted in William H. Pease and Jane H. Pease, eds., The Antislavery Argument (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1965), p. xxxv.

Why We Wrote “Death is Wrong” – Gennady and Wendy Stolyarov at Transhuman Visions 2.0

Why We Wrote “Death is Wrong” – Gennady and Wendy Stolyarov at Transhuman Visions 2.0

Gennady Stolyarov II and Wendy Stolyarov present their illustrated children’s book, Death is Wrong, and their fundraiser to spread the book to 1000 children, at the Transhuman Visions 2.0 conference in Piedmont, California, on March 1, 2014.

Hank Pellissier introduces Mr. and Mrs. Stolyarov, after which they deliver a 13-minute presentation.

You can also download presentation slides to follow along with the talk, to better emulate the experience of the audience at Transhuman Visions 2.0. Presentation slides can be downloaded in PDF and in Microsoft PowerPoint formats.

References

Indiegogo Fundraiser: “Help Teach 1000 Kids That Death is Wrong”
– “How Young Is Too Young To Learn About The Singularity?” – Leanne Butkovic – Fast Company
Original Fundraiser Video
Death is Wrong on Amazon
Death is Wrong – Official Home Page
Death is Wrong: Illustrated Children’s Book on Life Extension – Announcement and Short Excerpt  – Video by G. Stolyarov II

Mentions of the Indiegogo Fundraiser for Death is Wrong

– “Join Us in This Project to Tell Children That Death is Wrong” – Article by Eric Schulke – The Rational Argumentator
Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET)
The Wave Chronicle
FightAging.org
Immortal Life
Philly Futurists
The Lifeboat Foundation

Putting “Death is Wrong” in Children’s Hands – Article by G. Stolyarov II

Putting “Death is Wrong” in Children’s Hands – Article by G. Stolyarov II

The New Renaissance Hat
Gennady Stolyarov II
February 25, 2014
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After three days of fundraising (in conjunction with the Movement for Indefinite Life Extension) to provide 1000 children with free copies of my illustrated book on indefinite life extension, Death is Wrong, I am pleased to report some promising and exciting developments.

We have already accumulated $400 in pledges from 22 generous donors. In 5% of the total time for this campaign, we are 8% of the way toward our goal. We hope to maintain this rate of progress and build up the momentum. I invite you to watch this video update where I discuss latest developments.

I am eager to begin sending out copies of Death is Wrong via this initiative as soon as possible. Some of the funds committed thus far have been sent to me via PayPal. (The funds donated via credit-card payments will be made available 15 days after the campaign’s conclusion.) Thus, I already have access to $100 of donated funds – enough to order and ship 20 copies of Death is Wrong to longevity activists who can present a brief but credible discussion of how they aim to spread the book to children in their local areas. Here I offer instructions to any supporters of indefinite life extension who seek to undertake this important project.

Instructions for Longevity Activists to Request Copies of Death is Wrong

  • Send an e-mail to gennadystolyarovii@gmail.com.
  • Provide your name, your mailing address, a statement of your support for indefinite life extension, and a brief description of your plan to spread the book to children in your local area. Remember that all copies received pursuant to this initiative would need to be offered to children free of charge (as gifts or reading opportunities) and may not be resold.
  • Provide the number of copies of Death is Wrong that you are requesting.
  • Preferably, provide an indication that you would be willing to send photographs of the books that have been delivered to you as well as events where you will be distributing the books.

Photographs will be important in highlighting the successes brought about by this campaign. The more visible impact we can demonstrate of the books being delivered to activists and given into children’s hands, the more palpable the cultural transformation brought about by this initiative will become. People who are watching our efforts will realize that, yes, we are taking active measures to beat back the age-old skeletons in humanity’s closet – the excuses, evasions, and rationalizations for death that have led so many to attempt to ignore or justify the most pressing problem facing us all.

Publicity for the Fundraiser

I am looking forward to a major opportunity to raise awareness of this initiative and of the importance of communicating the message of indefinite life extension to children. On March 1, 2014, I will be speaking at the Transhuman Visions 2.0 Conference in Piedmont, CA, along with my wife Wendy Stolyarov, who illustrated Death is Wrong. I am excited to be able to speak directly to over 150 futurists, transhumanists, life-extension advocates, media representatives, and other thinkers who ponder the impact of technology and its accelerating progress. Attendees will be able to purchase autographed copies of Death is Wrong and will also be informed about ways to contribute to the fundraiser.

I was also pleased to be interviewed by Leanne Butkovic of Fast Company earlier this month. Her provocative article, “How Young Is Too Young To Learn About The Singularity?”, has raised the profile of Death is Wrong and has exposed it to new audiences. The article features an extensive question-and-answer component where I offer perspectives regarding my background and its influence on the book, my objectives with regard to the book’s influence on children, and the relationship of the concepts in Death is Wrong to technological and societal evolution more generally.

In addition, I could not be more grateful for the support offered by numerous individuals and organizations in the transhumanist and life-extensionist community – including IEET, Fight Aging!, Immortal Life, The Wave Chronicle, Philly Futurists, the Lifeboat Foundation, and Brighter Brains. The consistent, daily efforts by these pillars of longevity advocacy are what enable the ongoing transformation of the pursuit of indefinite life extension into a genuine social and cultural movement – a cause that changes the world – rather than a mere dream in the minds of some.

In November 2013, Franco Cortese wrote that, for those of us who are not scientists or medical doctors ourselves, “the final objective of increased funding for Radical Longevity and Life Extension research can be more effectively and efficiently achieved through public advocacy for Radical Life Extension than it can by direct funding or direct research, per unit of time or effort.” I am happy to have taken his advice to heart and to have launched myself into the role of an activist for indefinite life extension, advocating for it through writing, speaking, fundraising, and – soon – traveling. I encourage others to join me. Think about your absolute and comparative advantages, your skill sets, your strengths in reaching new demographics and catalyzing progress. We are in the early days of our movement, still. We do not have a hierarchy or a leadership, but you can be a leader through your example, your perseverance, and your hard work. Let us work to reach the goal of indefinite life extension – the grand triumph of humankind over the forces of ruin and decay – in time to avert our own senescence and death.

Fast Company Publishes Article on “Death is Wrong” – Post by G. Stolyarov II

Fast Company Publishes Article on “Death is Wrong” – Post by G. Stolyarov II

The New Renaissance Hat
G. Stolyarov II
February 24, 2014
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Earlier this month I was interviewed by Leanne Butkovic of Fast Company. The result is this article about Death is Wrong – which also mentions the new Indiegogo fundraiser. There is an extensive question-and-answer portion, where the answers were transcribed from our 50-minute Skype conversation.

This is great progress for spreading awareness of the book and increasing its cultural impact.

 

Join Us in This Project to Tell Children That Death is Wrong – Article by Eric Schulke

Join Us in This Project to Tell Children That Death is Wrong – Article by Eric Schulke

The New Renaissance Hat
Eric Schulke
February 23, 2014
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Reaching and teaching our youth about the concepts of life and death that are presented in the new children’s book Death is Wrong will be one of the most critical things we can do for the Indefinite Life Extension Movement. Ideas and beliefs form and incubate so easily in the minds of children as they they seek to understand and make sense of their “new” world in which they are exploring. Sadly, the societal concepts of Life and Death take root very early in their development and grow into solid belief structures that become extremely hard to change.

We began a new fundraiser today to raise monies to help distribute a 1,000 copies of the book Death is Wrong, by Gennady Stolyarov II. Friends, this is a project that can go a long way in helping both our children and their parents in conceiving a world where death no longer has its hold. A thousand books might not seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things, but it can make a huge difference. These books will sit upon on the shelves of schools, public libraries, college campuses, among other venues, for years to come. They will be there when the inquisitive, young minds seek answers about Indefinite Life Extension. They will be added to the many educational tools available to our teachers and other educators.

In elementary school, I discovered priceless information in my library. I remember that the more I read, discovered, and learned about this world, the more excited I was to search the shelves for more gems of knowledge. I believe these books will aid thousands of kids to think and truly ponder the value and feasibility of indefinite life extension. Even if we only reach a fraction of our goal, say 30% as an example, it would prove invaluable to the 300 children whose hands this book would fall into.

Through this project, other children will be able to have these books delivered to their homes, where they will end up on their nightstands and bookshelves in their rooms; many of them becoming their most prized possessions. I often think back to some of the key books that shaped my life, which I had as a child.

Still, in other areas, this campaign will make it possible for more parents to have this book readily accessible, to impress the importance of indefinite life extension upon their kids.

There are many varied options for distribution of this book. Indefinite Life Extension Activists who wish to spread copies of this book will be able to make requests to the Author once the fundraiser has been completed.

Startup

The truth of Indefinite Life Extension is a blazing fire that is hard to put out. The more places it can be kindled, the faster we can set this world on fire with awareness of this vital cause.

When I was a child, I expressed a deep long-term anger over death, and was sure that somebody was going to tell me that something was going to be done about it. Nobody did. I remember how crushing that was to me. I felt betrayed by the world I found myself born into. Then over the years, my feelings of betrayal incrementally grew into the norm of society. Like a frog in a pot of water that was slowly being heated, I didn’t jump out right away. If books like Death is Wrong were available at the time, the adults who were around would have had more options on how to answer my questions, where to direct me, how to console me, and what to say; to encourage me to ponder life and death on my own and reach my own conclusions.

As the author, Gennady Stolyarov II, writes,

Death is Wrong fills an important void and inspires a new generation to join the struggle for a greatly increased longevity. Virtually everyone learns about death as a child, and the initial reaction is the correct one: feelings of bewilderment, horror, and outrage. Yet, there has been no resource to validate these completely correct and natural first impressions. Almost immediately, our young ones are met with excuses and rationalizations, so that they might be consoled and return to a semblance of normalcy. Over millennia of facing inevitable demises, humans have constructed elaborate edifices of rationalization, designed to keep thoughts of death from intruding upon their day-to-day lives.

Max Planck has said that,

A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents finally die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.

It’s also fairly common sense. We all know that the older a person gets, the more likely they are to stay “buckled in” with the “safety” of their belief systems and various perspectives on life and death.

Our “opponents” will eventually see the light, too. With regards to this fundraiser, we are not concerned with opponents as much as we are with people who are simply uninformed; individuals who have not been given enough information and an opportunity to ponder indefinite life extension and its far reaching implications. It is our sole duty to inform people. If we were trapped in a cave with a crowd of people and we found a way out, it would be incumbent upon us to show them the way out too. Some won’t listen and some will blatantly choose not to leave, but at the very least, they had the knowledge and the option to escape.

As for our children, our children will listen. Let us not leave them behind to die. Let us fan this spark of knowledge in their minds that will grow into the raging infernos of passion and activism for this earth-changing cause that is waiting to become a reality. As this knowledge is disseminated throughout the world, the more people will rally to its cause. Let’s start now, before it’s too late.

Carrara Marmor Steinbruch - Carrara  marble stone pit 10

The movement for indefinite life extension continues to move forward through various individuals, projects and organizations. We must continue chipping away. As each bit of momentum picks up, we will soon be able to look back and see that the steep side of this mountain is gone. We will have made it to the other side. Please consider giving to this cause and spreading this important information to our youth and their parents and educators.

Eric Schulke was a director at LongeCity during 2009-2013. He has also been an activist with the Movement for Indefinite Life Extension and other causes for over 13 years.

Thanks go to Jason Shields for his work in editing this article.

Help Teach 1000 Children That Death is Wrong – Indiegogo Fundraiser

Help Teach 1000 Children That Death is Wrong – Indiegogo Fundraiser

Help me teach 1000 children that death is wrong.

I have partnered with the Movement for Indefinite Life Extension to initiate an ambitious new Indiegogo fundraiser to get 1000 copies of Death is Wrong to children, free of cost to them, by using my ability to obtain highly discounted paperback copies on Createspace. My goal is to raise $5,000, which will enable me to order and ship 1000 copies to longevity activists throughout the United States.

Support this campaign to help create the next generation of scientists, technologists, futurists, philosophers, and advocates of indefinite life extension!

 

Mass Production and the Emerging Cultural Differentiation – Article by G. Stolyarov II

Mass Production and the Emerging Cultural Differentiation – Article by G. Stolyarov II

The New Renaissance Hat
G. Stolyarov II
August 5, 2012
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I was recently asked: “But doesn’t mass society make even the atypical dress of [previous eras] unavailable to anyone?  Haven’t we had a kind of widespread proletarianization?“

The question presupposed a particular phase of mass production – one that has largely elapsed. When an extreme scarcity of resources still exists, as it did during the early Industrial era, only a few very basic products can be created, and the incentive for businesses is to make them in as high of a volume as possible, to market to as many people as possible without much concern for product differentiation, or esthetic considerations. (Think of the output of the early cotton mills, or the Ford Model T as examples of this.) The early industrial stage massively raises the living standards of most, simply because they can now have goods such as durable clothing, furniture, and (eventually) transportation and appliances – which were simply not available in any form to the majority of people previously. The same can be said of mass culture during the early days of recorded media. The complaint regarding the crudity and proletarization of mass media is not new. In fact, even Ludwig von Mises brought it up in 1954.

People of erudition and exquisite taste were the minority in every age – but what was new in the early 20th century was that, once the basic material sustenance of most in the Western world was achieved, the early mass-production stage became focused on culture (or “culture” – as you will) instead. At the same time, there came about a massively greater differentiation of physical products in the late 20th century, so that people can much more readily customize their living spaces, for instance. With the advent of electronic media, the prospects for cultural differentiation at relatively low cost have also become much more realistic. Consider that, back when I was a poor college student, the Internet enabled me to locate and afford numerous aspects of my quite extensive and unconventional attire.

We are just now coming into a new era of decentralized production of culture, aided by new electronic technologies that make creation much more convenient, as well as funding platforms (e.g., Kickstarter) that enable new forms of distributed patronage. As an example, I recently conducted a successful experiment where I was able to create a new musical composition and obtain some modest funding via Kickstarter, while releasing the work to my audience for free under a Creative Commons License. I am also technically able to create more such works for no compensation, so it is just a matter of having enough leisure time and inclination (of which I have more than a person in my economic situation would have had in earlier eras). I think many other people will increasingly come to be a in a similar position, triggering a new Renaissance of high culture.

The questioner also asked: “This [ability to use technology to compose more easily] is all true, of course, but do we have any Bachs or Mozarts? Is there anything even approaching late nineteenth-century Vienna, where there were multiple great composers within miles of each other?”

Perhaps such an era is soon to come – except the proximity of the composers will not need to be physical. The Internet and electronic composition programs will enable composers throughout the world to become aware of one another and to communicate and collaborate. The biggest barrier to such collaborations in recent years has been the copyright system and its draconian enforcement by American media/entertainment-industry interests. The advent of the Creative Commons License and similar alternatives to traditional copyright can largely solve this problem and create a far more refined culture that does not rely on the mass-distribution system of the large recording and film studios.

I hesitate to make any comparisons to Bach or Mozart – but there are certainly some promising composers out there. For just two examples, I refer you to the work of Maxwell Janis and Simone Stella. (Look for his original compositions, such as this one.)