On December 2nd of 2013, the Movement for Indefinite Life Extension began a contest for people to send in their ideas on how to spend money on outreach for the cause. The following question was asked:
If you were to receive a check in the mail with $5,000 to inform as many people as possible about the desirability and the prospects for indefinite life extension, to get them interested in the people, projects and organizations working directly or indirectly toward indefinite life extension, then how might you spend it?
Six entries were entered into a poll.
The entry with the most votes was Gennady Stolyarov’s entry to distribute 1,000 copies of his and his wife Wendy’s great new children’s book Death is Wrong. Their winning entry won them one of four books that were given away for the contest: a signed copy of The Transhumanist Wager, which was generously contributed to the project by its author, Zoltan Istvan.
It is a great success on multiple levels for the Death is Wrong book and vision in itself, which supports indefinite-life-extension research and philosophy in general, and which is written by one of the many Movement for Indefinite Life Extension leaders, Gennady Stolyarov.
It is also a great success for the Movement for Indefinite Life Extension in general on many levels. It is one of the first major projects the MILE has executed in its upcoming series of projects to work to reach 80,000 “likes” at MILE Facebook page for the Year 3 goal, which begins on July 17th 2014, and tasks us with collectively helping to achieve the group victory of moving from 8,000 likes, to 80,000 likes by the July 17th of the following year, 2015.
Rodney Ashby and Jason Shields helped us get the momentum rolling and did fundraising throughout, and Tonya Scholz gave the project a big hand. Gennady Stolyarov made an amazing media tour for the project, finding himself talking about it in interviews and getting mentions and reports from a variety of sources. Most of them are of his own arranging, some of these outlets picked the story up on their own, and there are some opportunities that I arranged. They include, but are not limited to, the following:
This new fundraiser, started today, to distribute copies of the important book Death is Wrong, is a project that can go a long way. A thousand books might not seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things, but it can make a big difference.
Stolyarov is hoping to kindle a small spark of hope into an eternal flame. “What I think is necessary right now is a determined push to dramatically accelerate the pace of technological progress,” he says. “We have a fighting chance right now, but in order to make it happen we have to be the agents of change.”
I like to see advocates setting forth to create small scale initiatives like the children’s book Death is Wrong and the associated fundraiser to distribute copies. At the large scale a broad advocacy movement for a cause in medical research isn’t a monolithic thing; it is made up thousands of such efforts, a tapestry of individual who each thought enough of the cause to stand up and do something about it. More of this is always a good thing, and working towards a cure for degenerative aging is the most worthy of causes that I know of.
Parents who share his philosophy would therefore be wise to inoculate their children against “death acceptance” early, Stolyarov says. “Ideally, they would walk away with a motivation to do something about this dragon tyrant in the room, this problem of death. I don’t want these vestigial forms of thinking to essentially cause mass suffering and death. We need to push for these [life-extending] technologies to be invented as early as possible, as effectively as possible.”
There were 92 contributions from over 80 individuals and one group, including, but not limited to:
There were also at least 13 anonymous donations. I did a count of all of the donors that I brought in. A close, conservative estimate is that I brought in around 70% of them.
We ended up raising $5,141, compounding on the success by $141. That means that we raised enough to distribute 29 more books than projected. Those of us that worked with this didn’t take a single dime as a cut of this. I put a hundred dollars or so in ads into it, and Wendy and Gennady have given countless hours of their time to rewarding donors. Countless others, like general activists and reporters, have put their time and resources into this. The Life Extension Foundation made an inspiring and generous $1,255 dollar donation to close the deal.
Gennady and I have already secured the distribution of 140 copies, and there are now over 1,000 total available for distribution. An order even went out to Aubrey de Grey, whose work is one of the many topics that is talked about in the book. Gennady Stolyarov writes in the Indiegogo update page that,
Update of April 16, 2014: I am delighted to announce that a shipment of 10 Death is Wrong books was made yesterday to Dr. Aubrey de Grey himself at the SENS Research Foundation. Since Dr. de Grey’s work is a crucial inspiration for Death is Wrong and my longevity activism more generally, I am immensely pleased that he has agreed to receive this shipment and make the books available for distribution.
We encourage the distribution of Death is Wrong books to places like schools, libraries, and directly to parents and children. We ask people to order as many copies as they think they may be able to give away to kids and people with kids, at Transhuman and health events, rallies, and similar events. Gennady has instructions on how to order them free of charge:
Instructions for Longevity Activists to Request Copies of Death is Wrong
– Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
– 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.
The project has been a great community effort. The Movement for Indefinite Life extension is our collective spirit, not an organization. Together we collect supporters for all of the constructive projects and organizations. There must have been over 150 people involved. More activists flexed their life-extension muscles, and we helped more people that want to get involved to take the first step. If you’ve ever saved money, then you know how incremental change adds up. You cannot achieve the saving of $8,000 unless you first get to $2,000, and $6,000, and so forth.
It’s an example of elements coming together for a movement, like this article says:
A movement occurs when, one, a large number of people have a need that, two, lines up with the necessary ingredients to make it happen, and those two things are sparked by, three, a catalyst.
The need to survive has always been here. The ingredients have been getting added to the mix since the dawn of the Scientific Revolution. The element of the love for life is in the air, thick with explosive properties, fueled by indefinite-life-extension research and outreach from around the world and across time. People are busy working on rallies, conferences, events, interviews, getting the message out, and all the rest. The tools and the ability to make this happen are ripe, and growing more and better yields of produce by the month. Every time you put a match to it, it erupts in indefinite-life-extension activism. Be that spark today and get in on this movement.
We have more projects like this ahead, and there are plenty of others to choose from in the communities, pages, groups, organizations, sites, and other venues, around the world, growing here toward that tipping point where we can have the opportunity to spill across the ticker tapes of screens and the minds of the young and old alike, lighting hearts and minds on fire with desire to chip in together to make this happen. This is an incredible opportunity, this time here, fertile with tools and insights, unleashed capabilities beyond our wildest dreams. People are already capable of tons of incredible things that you don’t even know about yet.
Columbus went on a fantastic voyage. When you think of those times, and how fulfilling and enthralling it must have been for them to be able to be part of that, realize that indefinite life extension, all this Transhumanism, is an even greater frontier, and you are in an even more incredible and glorious position than people like Columbus and his crew. It’s a position here where anybody, where you, can help sail out into these incredible frontiers that are opened up through the ever-expanding fields of science and technology.