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U.S. Transhumanist Party Discussion Panel on Life Extension – February 18, 2017

U.S. Transhumanist Party Discussion Panel on Life Extension – February 18, 2017

 

The New Renaissance Hat

Listen to and download the audio recording of this panel discussion at http://rationalargumentator.com/USTP_Life_Extension_Panel.mp3 (right-click to download).

For its second expert panel, the U.S. Transhumanist Party invited Bill Andrews, Aubrey de Grey, Ira Pastor, and Ilia Stambler to discuss life extension and the quest to reverse biological aging through science and technology.

This two-hour panel discussion, moderated by Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II, took place on Saturday, February 18, 2017, at 10 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time. In this interactive venue, many opportunities for fresh discourse arose on the possibility of achieving dramatically greater longevity within our lifetimes. The substance of the discussion begins at 4:25 in the recording.

Questions the panelists considered include the following:

(i) How would you characterize the current state of efforts to reverse senescence / lengthen human lifespans?
(ii) How does progress in the areas of research you have delved into compare to your expectations approximately 10 to 15 years ago?
(iii) What are the most significant challenges and obstacles that you perceive to exist in the way of achieving serious reversal of biological aging?
(iv) What key technologies and methods of delivering treatments to patients would need to be developed in order for longevity escape velocity to be affordably achieved society-wide?
(v) What political reforms and societal / attitudinal changes would you advocate to accelerate the arrival of effective treatments to reverse biological aging and lengthen lifespans?
(vi) Are you concerned about any current political trends and how they might affect the progress of research into combating biological aging?
(vii) What can laypersons who are sympathetic to your goals do in order to hasten their realization? How can the effort to defeat aging become as popular and widely supported as efforts to defeat cancer and ALS are today?
(viii) What lessons can the history of anti-aging research offer to those who seek to advocate and help achieve effective scientific breakthroughs in this area in the coming years and decades?

Become a member of the U.S. Transhumanist Party for free. Apply here.

References

Genetic stabilization of transthyretin, cerebrovascular disease, and life expectancy” – Paper by Louise S. Hornstrup, Ruth Frikke-Schmidt, Børge G. Nordestgaard and Anne Tybjærg-Hansen. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 2013;33:1441-1447, Originally published May 15, 2013.

Recognizing Degenerative Aging as a Treatable Medical Condition: Methodology and Policy” – Paper by Ilia Stambler. Aging and Disease.

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Panelists

Dr. Bill Andrews is the President and CEO of Sierra Sciences – http://www.sierrasci.com/. As a scientist, athlete, and executive, he continually pushes the envelope and challenges convention. In his 35-year biotech career, he has focused the last 23 years on finding ways to extend the human lifespan and healthspan through telomere maintenance. As one of the principal discoverers of both the RNA and protein components of human telomerase, Dr. Andrews was awarded 2nd place as “National Inventor of the Year” in 1997.

Dr. Aubrey de Grey is the biomedical gerontologist who researched the idea for and founded SENS Research Foundation – http://www.sens.org/. He received his BA in Computer Science and Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Cambridge in 1985 and 2000, respectively. Dr. de Grey is Editor-in-Chief of Rejuvenation Research, is a Fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the American Aging Association, and sits on the editorial and scientific advisory boards of numerous journals and organizations.

Ira Pastor has 30 years of experience across multiple sectors of the pharmaceutical industry, including pharmaceutical commercialization, biotech drug development, managed care, distribution, OTC, and retail. He is the CEO of BioQuark, Inc. – http://www.bioquark.com/ – and Executive Chairman of ReAnima Advanced Biosciences – https://reanima.tech/.

Dr. Ilia Stambler is a researcher at Bar Ilan University, Israel. His research focuses on the historical and social implications of aging and life-extension research. He is the author of A History of Life-extensionism in the Twentieth Century – www.longevityhistory.com. He is actively involved in advocacy for aging and longevity research – www.longevityforall.org.

International Longevity Day – October 1, 2015 – Press Release by Ilia Stambler

International Longevity Day – October 1, 2015 – Press Release by Ilia Stambler

The New Renaissance HatIlia Stambler
August 30, 2015

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International-Longevvity-Day Dear friends,

There has been emerging a tradition by longevity researchers and activists around the world to organize events dedicated to promotion of longevity research on or around October 1 – the UN International Day of Older Persons.

This day is sometimes referred to in some parts of the longevity activists community as the “International Longevity Day”. As this is the official UN Day of Older Persons, this provides the longevity research activists a perfect opportunity, perhaps even a perfect “excuse”, to emphasize the importance of aging and longevity research for the development of effective health care for the elderly, in the wide public as well as among decision makers.

The critical importance and the critical need to promote biological research of aging derives from the realization that tackling the degenerative processes and negative biological effects of human aging, at once and in an interrelated manner, can provide the best foundations to find holistic and effective ways for intervention and prevention against age-related ill health. Such an approach has been supported by scientific proofs of concept, involving the evidential increase in healthy lifespan in animal models and the emerging technological capabilities to intervene into fundamental aging processes. The focus on intervention into degenerative aging processes can provide solutions to a number of non-communicable, age-related diseases (such as cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases), insofar as such diseases are strongly determined by degenerative aging processes (such as chronic inflammation, cross-linkage of macromolecules, somatic mutations, loss of stem cell populations, and others). This approach is likely to decrease susceptibility of the elderly also to communicable, infectious diseases due to improvements in immunity. The innovative, applied results of such research and development will lead to sustainable, economically viable solutions for a large array of age-related medical and social challenges, that may be globally applicable. Furthermore, such research and development should be supported on ethical grounds, to provide equal health care chances for the elderly as for the young.

Therefore it is the societal duty, especially of the professionals in biology, medicine, health care, economy and socio-political organizations, to strongly recommend greater investments, incentives and institutional support for the research and development dealing with the understanding of mechanisms associated with the human biological aging process and translating these insights into safe, affordable and universally available applied technologies and treatments.

October 1 – the International Day of Older Persons — provides the researchers and advocates an opportunity to raise these points and make these demands.

http://www.longevityforall.org/the-critical-need-to-promote-research-of-aging-around-the-world/

In 2013, events during or around that day – ranging from small meetings of friends to seminars and rather large conferences, alongside special publications, distributions of outreach materials (petitions and flyers) and media appearances – were held in over 30 countries, and in 2014 in over 20 countries. (Sometimes the events’ dates vary several days around October 1, or even through the entire month of October, designated as the “International Month of Older Persons” or the “International Longevity Month”, and sometimes the events are organized independently and without prior knowledge of other events, but they are all nonetheless unified by the common action and purpose.)

http://www.longevityforall.org/october-1-international-day-of-older-persons-longevity-day-2013-2014/

Let us maintain and strengthen this tradition! Let us plan and organize a mutually reinforcing network of events worldwide. If you plan to organize an event for that day – either live meetings or on-line publications and promotions – please let know. Together we can create an activism wave of strong impact. 

Following the collection of an impressive number of longevity promoting events worldwide in honor of that day, a general public appeal will be issued, both widely disseminated and addressed to relevant officials, both governmental and supra-governmental. Yet, the strength of the appeal will depend on the strength of all the individual events and actions.

Among the materials for discussion, distribution and promotion, one may use the position paper on the “Critical need to promote research of aging and aging-related diseases to improve health and longevity of the elderly population”, briefly describing the rationales, technologies and policies needed to promote this research. The position paper is available in 9 languages and can serve as a “universal advocacy paper” both for the grass roots discussions and promotions and for the outreach to officials: http://www.longevityforall.org/the-critical-need-to-promote-research-of-aging-around-the-world/. Also one may use in the preparation a presentation briefly listing some topics in longevity science promotion, such as the feasibility and desirability of achieving healthy longevity and public actions that can be taken to achieve it – http://www.longevityhistory.com/articles/ab7.php – or any other materials of your choice.

So far, events for that day – including meetings, publications and promotions – are already planned to be held around the world, in over 30 countries on 5 continents, including:

In the US, a conference will be held at the headquarters of the International Society on Aging and Disease (ISOAD), at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, in Fort Worth, Texas. This action will be endorsed and promoted by the US Healthspan Campaign (http://www.healthspancampaign.org/).

The Longevity Day action will also be promoted by the US Transhumanist Party, during their campaign tour that coincides with October 1.

Also in the US, online promotions will be held by the MILE campaign and by the Christian Transhumanist Association.

MILE-Panel-Cover

A special promotion will be done by LEAF – Life Extension Advocacy Foundation – via its crowdfunding platform for longevity research (http://www.lifespan.io/).

A fundraising action will be launched on that day for SENS Research Foundation by Fight Aging (https://www.fightaging.org/fund-research/).

In Israel, a seminar will be held in Bar Ilan University, by the Israeli Longevity Alliance. Toward that day, Israeli activists will also freely distribute an e-book on the history of longevity research (http://www.longevityhistory.com/).

In Moscow, Russia, a conference will be organized by the Russian Longevity Alliance. Another large conference will take place in Moscow, on the “Quality of Life of Older Persons”, supported by the Gerontological Society of the Russian Academy of Sciences, focusing on geroprotective substances and therapies.

In Gomel, Byelorussia, at the end of September, a conference will take place on the general subject of Radiobiolgy, at the Institute of Radiobiology of the National Academy of Sciences of Byelorussia, with a leading section on the biology of aging and longevity (“gerontological aspects of man-made factors”).

Another  small conference will take place in New Delhi, India, organized by the Solutions For the Future, with the help of India Future Society, and ISOAD India.

A series of events is planned in Pakistan, by the Pakistan National Academy of Young Scientists and the Universities of Lahore and of Malakand. The newly formed Pakistan Aging Research Society (PARS) organizes an entire month long campaign, “Go for Life” – from September 1 until October 1 – to encourage physical activity of older persons.

In Rome, Italy, a conference will be organized by the Italian Transhumanist Association and the Italian Longevity Alliance.

Additional meetings and promotions are planned by the European Healthy Life Extension Society (HEALES) in Brussels, Belgium, including a Competition for the Best Short Film on Life Extension.

A conference on longevity/life-extension science will be held by the Waag Society – Do It Together Bio in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

In Germany, meetings will be held by two new officially registered political parties that emphasize the development of biomedical research in their programs: in Berlin, by the German Health Research Party and in Stuttgart by the German Transhumanist Party.

An online promotion (videoconference) in Spanish will be organized by the Venezuela Longevity Alliance (together with activists from accross Latin America). A similar videoconference (to be recorded) in Portuguese will be organized for Brazil by the Brazil Longevity Alliance.

A pro-longevity documentary promotion will be done in Helsinki by Longevity Finland – Pitkäikäinen Suomi.

A meeting will be held in Stockholm, Sweden, by Aldrandefonden/Svenska Livsförlängningssällskapet SLFS – Swedish Life Extension Society.

In the UK, the London Futurist community will celebrate longevity research as a part of a discussion of emerging technologies in London.

In Larnaca, Cyprus, the ELPIS Foundation, together with the local gerontological community, will hold a seminar “Health in Older Life” and a local TV show in honor of that day.

In Perth, Australia, a meeting will be held by the “Healthy Longevity Philosophy” society. Another promotion will be done by Science, Technology and the Future society in Melbourne, Australia.

In Kiev, Ukraine, a seminar will be held on behalf of the Kiev Institute of Gerontology of the Ukrainian Academy of Medical Sciences.

In Beijing, China, a meeting will be organized by the Technium community.

In Uganda, the Kasese Freethinkers Sports Academy will educate about the connection between physical activity and longevity.

A mini-seminar will be held in Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria, by Longevity Nigeria group.

In Romania, a conference will be held at Äna Aslan National Institute of Gerontology and Geriatrics, in Bucharest, toward the end of October, with earlier promotions.

In Vietnam, Hanoi, the Vietnam Public Health Association will hold a conference on the Mental Health of the Elderly, emphasizing biomedical research on neurodegenerative diseases.

In Singapore, a seminar on biology of aging will be organized at the National University of Singapore. This will precede a large Biology of Aging Conference organized by the Singapore Immunology Network (A*Star) – not “officially” a part of the “Longevity Day” events, but perhaps of the “Longevity Month.”

At about the same time, the 10th Asia / Oceania Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics 2015 for “Healthy Aging Beyond Frontiers” will take place in Chiangmai, Thailand, including sections on biology of aging.

In Paris, France, a seminar will be organized at the Biopark Cancer Campus, University Paris Sud.

In South Korea, the Korean Branch of Solutions for the Future will organize a meetup in Seoul.

In Switzerland, Zurich, the Swiss Longevity Alliance will have a presentation on longevity research. This will shortly follow a large international symposium on geroprotectors in Basel.

In Poland, the Warsaw University Students Association will support the organization of a discussion on life extension science.

In Canada, at Huntington University, an event will be held by the Canadian Institute for Studies in Aging (CISA). In Alberta University, Canada, a special discussion on Technology and the Future of Medicine will be dedicated to that day.

In Iran, a study group will be conducted in Tehran on behalf of the Iran Longevity Alliance: http://www.iranlongevity.com/.

Yet another study group will be held in Cairo, Egypt, by the Egypt Longevity Alliance: http://www.egyptplus.org/.

And yet another free discussion of longevity science will take place in Tirana, Albania – the first longevity research activism event in the country.

In Bulgaria, events toward the International Longevity Day will start earlier in September with a conference in Ravda, organized by the University for National and World Economy, Department of Management and BASAGA – Bulgarian Academic Simulation and Gaming Association, including a section on Futurism, Transhumanism and Longevity, and continuing up to the date itself with more live and online discussions and publications and a special appeal in honor of that day.

In Tokyo, Japan, Exponential Technologies Institute will hold a meetup on longevity science in the framework of Tokyo-Singularity-Meetup.

A meeting will be held in the National Library in Tbilisi, Georgia, by activists of the Georgian Longevity Alliance, including presentations on the development of longevity science in Georgia and the world, and debates.

More events and expressions of support are expected to be initiated in the very near time in different countries.

Please add your support and more events and publications for this initiative! If you would like to get involved, please let know!

You are also welcome to promote this initiative on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1017229998296364/

https://www.facebook.com/LongevityDay

Preparations for the next year’s International Longevity Day – October 1 – already started as well. The next global conference of the International Society on Aging and Disease (ISOAD) will take place in Stanford on October 1-2, 2016. The topics will range from interventions for longevity through stem cell research, genetics and systems biology of aging, to public support for aging research. The submission of abstracts and proposals is already started and welcome. And a conference is being planned in Brussels, for September 29-October 1, 2016, by the European Healthy Life Extension Society – Heales.

Hopefully, thanks to these and many other events, in this year and in the years to come, the importance of biological aging and longevity research will gradually become a strong theme of the international healthcare agenda, for the elderly and for the entire population.

Ilia Stambler, PhD.

Outreach coordinator. International Society on Aging and Disease (ISOAD)

http://isoad.org/

ilia.stambler@gmail.com

Thank you!

Ilia Stambler, Ph.D. is an IEET Affiliate Scholar, researcher at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, and activist at the International Longevity Alliance. He is author of A History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth Century.
 
He studied biomedical engineering at the Moscow Polytechnical Institute, biology at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, and earned his MA in English literature from Bar-Ilan University. He earned his Ph.D. at the Department of Science, Technology, and Society, at Bar-Ilan University. His thesis subject, and his main interest, is the History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth Century.
 
In addition, Ilia authored Life extension — a conservative enterprise? Some fin-de-siècle and early twentieth-century precursors of transhumanism, Demonstration for Radical Life Extension in Tel Aviv, and Heroic Power in Thomas Carlyle and Leo Tolstoy, and coauthored Breast cancer detection by Michaelis–Menten constants via linear programming, and Comparative analysis of cell parameter groups for breast cancer detection. Read the full list of his publications!
 
He speaks Hebrew, English, Russian, German, and Yiddish. He is active in the Israeli chapter of Humanity Plus, the Israeli Society for the Biology of Aging, and the International Longevity Alliance.
 
Watch Demonstration for Radical Life Extension in Tel Aviv 5: Ilia Stambler. Read 10 Answers by Ilia Stambler. Visit his Facebook page. Read his Google+ profile and his LinkedIn profile. Read his blog Singularity | Life Extension | Transhumanism (Hebrew).

Movement for Indefinite Life Extension (MILE) Demonstration – March 21, 2015

Movement for Indefinite Life Extension (MILE) Demonstration – March 21, 2015

Segment 1

On Saturday, March 21, 2015, Gennady Stolyarov II and Wendy Stolyarov co-hosted the first segment of the Movement for Indefinite Life Extension (MILE) Demonstration between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

Segment 2

The second MILE Demonstration segment, hosted by Roen Horn and Desiree Duffy, is available here.

Description: “We are for awareness that bio-sciences and technologies have opened up the option of expediting a world effort to make gains toward eradicating the roots and diseases of aging, and other forms of involuntary death. Our lives are in our hands, and we must act with urgency.”

Find out more on the MILE Demonstration Facebook page.

Resources
– “Paul Sandford McGlothin” – Wikipedia
Living the CR Way – Website
Death is Wrong – Illustrated children’s book on indefinite life extension by Gennady Stolyarov II and Wendy Stolyarov –
– “The Aristotelian Golden Mean as Conducive to Good Health in the Pursuit of Life Extension” – Article by Gennady Stolyarov II
A History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth Century by Ilia Stambler
“Ending Aging” Song by Paul Steven Thompson – Noelternative
Art by Elitanna (Valentinia Korshunakova)
Roy Carl Stanley – US House Candidate – Green Party of Texas
Roy Carl Stanley on Twitter

Review of Ilia Stambler’s “A History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth Century”: A Source of Perspective, Insight, and Hope for Life Extension – Article by G. Stolyarov II

Review of Ilia Stambler’s “A History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth Century”: A Source of Perspective, Insight, and Hope for Life Extension – Article by G. Stolyarov II

The New Renaissance Hat
G. Stolyarov II
September 13, 2014
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A History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth Century by Ilia Stambler is the most thorough treatment to date of the ideas of famous thinkers and scientists who attempted to prolong human lifespans. In this detailed and impressively documented work – spanning 540 pages – Dr. Stambler explores the works of life-extensionist thinkers and practitioners from a vast variety of ideological, national, and methodological backgrounds. Dr. Stambler’s opus will enable today’s advocates of human life extension to understand the immensely rich and interesting historical legacy that they can draw upon.

In substance, I agree with Dr. Stambler’s central observation that life-extensionist thinkers tended to adapt to the political and ideological climates of the societies in which they lived. I do suspect that, in some regimes (e.g., communist and fascist ones), the adaptation was partly a form of protection from official persecution. Even then, Soviet life-extensionists were unable to avoid purges and denunciations if they fell out of favor with the dominant scientific establishment. My own thinking is that life-extensionism is a powerful enough human motive that it will attempt to thrive in any society and under any regime. However, some regimes are more dangerous for life-extensionism than others – especially if they explicitly persecute those who work on life extension. If, on the other hand, complete freedom of scientific inquiry exists (with no barriers to performing research that respects all human rights or getting such research published), then significant progress can occur in a variety of political/ideological environments.

Even so, I have been tremendously interested to delve into Dr. Stambler’s discussion of the deep roots of life-extensionist thought in Russian society, where ideas favoring life prolongation have taken hold despite a long history of authoritarianism and more general human suffering. I even remember my own very early years in Minsk, where I found it easy to adopt an anti-death attitude the moment I learned about death – and where, even in childhood, I found my support for human life extension to be largely uncontroversial from an ethical standpoint. When I moved to the United States, I encountered far more resistance to this idea than I ever did in Belarus. While most Americans are not opposed to advanced medicine and concerted efforts to fight specific diseases of old age, there does still seem to be a culturally ingrained perception of some “maximum lifespan” beyond which life extension is feared, even though it is considered acceptable up to that limit. I think, however, that the dynamics of a competitive economy with some degree of freedom of research will ultimately enable most Americans to accept longer lifespans in practice, even if there is no intellectual revolution in their minds. The key challenge in the United States is to remove inadvertent institutional obstacles to progress (e.g., the extremely time-consuming FDA approval process for treatments), and also to prevent new obstacles from being established. Once radical life extension does occur, most Americans will explicitly or tacitly embrace it.

Dr. Stambler portrays American life-extensionist thinking as aligned with a capitalist, free-market, libertarian outlook – and this is often true, but it may be an exception to the book’s thesis that life-extensionist thinkers adapt to the predominant ideological environments that surround them. My own observation regarding American life-extensionism is that it does seem to correspond with a type of free-market libertarianism that is far outside the current ideological mainstream (though it is growing in popularity). The views of Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Peter Diamandis, Reason (of FightAging.org), and Max More are far from the views of the political establishment in Washington, D.C., which tends to be much more in favor of a centralized welfare/security nation-state with elements of corporatism, but not a libertarian free market. The love of liberty is a strong part of American history and culture – and continues to feature strongly in the attitudes of many Americans (including some wealthy and prominent ones) – but I do not think the political establishment reflects this idea at all anymore.  An interesting thought on this matter is that it might have become easier in recent years for life-extensionists not to represent the dominant paradigm in their society or regime and still to prominently pursue life-extension endeavors. If this is so, then this would be an encouraging sign of a greater emerging diversity of approaches, and generally greater tolerance of such diversity on the part of regimes. After all, the American regime, for all of its flaws, has generally not been cracking down on the libertarian life-extensionists who disagree with it politically. At the same time, as Dr. Stambler points out, the United States remains the leading country in life-extension research – and this occurs in spite of the political disagreements between many life-extensionists and the regime.

A History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth Century offers tremendous value to readers in encapsulating a diversity of vantage points on and approaches toward human life extension throughout history. While many of the pioneers in this area failed to achieve their ultimate goal, they did advance human biological knowledge in important, incremental ways while doing so. Furthermore, they navigated political and ideological environments that were often far more hostile to unhampered technological progress than the environments in many Western countries today. This should enable readers to hold out hope that continued biomedical progress toward greater human lifespans could be made in our era and could accelerate with our support and advocacy.

Transhumanism as a Grand Conservatism – Article by G. Stolyarov II

Transhumanism as a Grand Conservatism – Article by G. Stolyarov II

The New Renaissance Hat
G. Stolyarov II
November 25, 2012
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For anyone interested in the history of life-extension ideas, I highly recommend Ilia Stambler’s 2010 paper, Life extension – a conservative enterprise? Some fin-de-siècle and early twentieth-century precursors of transhumanism. This extensively researched and cosmopolitan work explores the ideas of five proto-transhumanist thinkers who embedded their future-oriented thoughts in extremely different intellectual frameworks: Nikolai Fedorov, Charles Stephens, Alexander Bogdanov, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Jean Finot. Mr. Stambler considers Finot’s thought to most resemble the ideas of today’s transhumanist movement.

The conclusions of Mr. Stambler’s research are profound and interesting to explore. One of the main insights is that it is possible to arrive at support for radical life extension from many different ideological frameworks. Mr. Stambler writes that “In different national contexts, different ideological schemes – secular humanism or religion, discrimination or egalitarianism, idealism or materialism, socialism or capitalism, liberalism or totalitarianism – appear to yield different justifications for the necessity of life prolongation and longevity research and to impact profoundly on the way such goals are conceived and pursued. As the works of the above-said proponents of human enhancement and longevity exemplify, the authors adapt to a particular national ideological milieu and serve as agents for its continuation.”

This is a welcome insight in the sense that it should be possible to attract an immensely intellectually and culturally diverse following to the cause of indefinite human life extension. However, it is also the case that some political and cultural environments are more conducive to rapid progress in human life extension than others. I have recently articulated my view that a libertarian set of policies will, by unshackling competition and innovation by numerous entities on a free market, result in the most rapid advent of the technologies sought by transhumanists. That being said, I still perceive much common ground with non-libertarians to be achievable on the issue of life extension – for instance, in the realms of supporting specific research, spreading public awareness, sharing information, and coming together to advocate for policy positions on which we can agree. Also, it is possible that non-libertarian transhumanists might benefit their own intellectual traditions by steering them toward more technology-friendly and life-respecting directions. As an atheist libertarian transhumanist, I would greatly prefer to be debating with transhumanist environmentalists, transhumanist socialists, and transhumanist Christians (yes, they do exist) than their mainstream counterparts of today.

Another key insight of Mr. Stambler’s paper resonates with me personally. Mr. Stambler ventures to “suggest is that the pursuit of human enhancement and life extension may originate in conservatism, both biological and social. There is a close conjunction between the ideas of life extension, transcending human nature and creating artificial life, in Finot’s writings and those of present-day transhumanists. The connection (and progression) between these enterprises may appear logical: the means initially designed to conserve life may exceed their purpose, and beginning as a search to preserve a natural bodily status quo, the aspirations may rapidly expand into attempts to modify nature. It appears to me that these enterprises evolve in this, and not in the reverse order. The primary aspiration is not to modify nature, but to preserve a natural state.

Anyone who has followed my work over the years would be unable to avoid my generally conservative esthetic, my strong interest in history, and my admiration for the achievements and legacies of prior eras. I am mostly not a conservative in the American or even European political sense, but I am conservative in the sense of seeking to preserve and build upon the achievements of Western civilization – including the development of its logical implications for future decades and centuries. Technological progress and the achievement of indefinite life extension are very much the direct extrapolation of the desire to preserve the historical achievements that enable our unprecedented quality of life today. Furthermore, my transhumanism grows out of a desire to preserve my own body and mind in a youthful state – so as to maintain a life driven primarily by my own choices and the manner in which I set up the environment around me. In order for me to remain who I am, and to do what I wish to do, I need to support radical technological change and changes to our society in general. However, those changes are fundamentally aimed at supporting that pattern of life which I consider to be good – and which today, unfortunately, is far too subject to destructive external influences over which no individual yet has sufficient influence or control. Unlike some transhumanists, I have no ambitions to have my mind “uploaded,”  to lead a non-biological existence, or “merge” my mind with anyone else’s. If I obtain indefinite life, I will spend it indefinitely looking the way I do (while remedying any flaws) and focusing on the perpetuation of my family, property, esthetic, and activities – all the while learning continuously and becoming a better (and more durable) version of the person I already am. For the true stability of home, family, property, and patterns of living, there must be individual sovereignty. For true individual sovereignty to exist, our society must improve rapidly in every dimension, so as to facilitate the hyper-empowerment of every person. Ironically, for one’s personal sphere to be conserved and shaped to one’s will, a revolution in the universe is necessary.

Cultural and historical preservation is also a major but seldom appreciated implication of transhumanism. By living longer and remaining in a youthful state, specific individuals would be able to create and refine their skills to a much greater extent. Imagine the state of classical music if we could have had hundreds of years for Mozart and Beethoven to compose – or the state of painting if Leonardo, Vermeer, or David had lived for centuries. Every time a creator dies, an irreplaceable vision dies with him. Others might emulate him, but it is not the same – for they do not have his precise mind. They can replicate and absorb into their own esthetic what he already brought into this world, but they cannot foresee the new directions in which he would have taken his work with more time. Each individual is precious and irreplaceable; the loss of each individual is the loss of a whole universe of memories, ideas, and possibilities. Transhumanism is a grand conservatism – an ambition to conserve people – to put an end to all such senseless destruction and to keep around all of the people who build up and beautify our world. The proto-transhumanist Nikolai Fedorov (one of those Christian transhumanists who ought to be much more prevalent among the Christians of today) even took this idea to the point of proposing an ultimate goal to physically resurrect every person who has ever lived. While, as I have written earlier, this would not resurrect the “I-nesses” of these individuals, achieving this goal might nonetheless give us the benefit of recapitulating their memories and experiences and seeing how their “doubles” might further develop themselves in a more advanced world.

It is precisely the conservative sensibility in me that recoils against “letting go” of the good things in life – whether they be my present advantages or the positive legacies of the past. It is precisely the conservative part of me that hates “starting from scratch” when something good and useful is no longer available because it has fallen prey to damaging external events. To allow the chaos of senseless destruction – the decay and ruin introduced by the inanimate processes of nature and the stupidity of men – is a sheer waste. Many put up with this sad state of affairs today because it has hitherto been unavoidable. But once the technical possibilities emerge to put an end to such destruction, then leaving it to wreak its havoc would become a moral outrage. Once we are able to truly control and direct our own lives, the stoic acceptance of ruin will become one of those aspects of history that we could confidently leave in the past.