Only 9 Death is Wrong books remain to be sent out as part of our worldwide distribution effort! If you wish to help in providing the books out to children, this is your last chance to get your free shipment now.
10 books were recently sent to Jason Limbert – a long-time supporter of radical life extension in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. He will be distributing these books to children in his extended family, their friends, and children of neighbors.
3 books were sent to children of relatives of Wendy Stolyarov, my wife and the illustrator of Death is Wrong.
2 books were sent to RJ Lewis in California, a mother, inventor, publicist, and supporter of life extension and cryonics.
We continue to receive excellent exposure from the previous shipments. Here is a picture sent by Jennifer Huse of the shipment that recently arrived at the Spot the Knot medical spa in Eatontown, New Jersey.
Roen Horn of the Eternal Life Fan Club has begun a strongly publicized series of book giveaways, the first of which he captured on camera. Here is his video featuring two kids who know that death is wrong.
Accompanying Roen’s video are these excellent graphics.
All this was made possible by our distribution campaign. We see here great examples of the impact this book is having right now. We are making history by gradually injecting the ideas of indefinite life extension into the cultural mainstream. Help us finish this effort by spreading our last freely available books! To receive your free shipment, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with (i) your name, (ii) your MAILING ADDRESS, (iii) your support for indefinite life extension, (iv) the NUMBER OF COPIES of Death is Wrong requested, and (v) your plan for spreading the books to children, free of cost to them.
Ethical Arguments Against Abortion: The Cases of Rape and Life Endangerment (2004) – Article by G. Stolyarov II
Note from the Author: This essay was originally written in 2004 and published on Associated Content (subsequently, Yahoo! Voices) in 2007. The essay received over 29,000 views on Associated Content / Yahoo! Voices, and I seek to preserve it as a valuable resource for readers, subsequent to the imminent closure of Yahoo! Voices. Therefore, this essay is being published directly on The Rational Argumentator for the first time.
~ G. Stolyarov II, July 29, 2014
This essay presents responses from a pro-life perspective to those who would try to justify abortion in general by using the case of rape and the case where the mother’s life is endangered. It offers arguments as to why abortion in the event of rape is morally illegitimate, while abortion where the mother’s life is endangered is acceptable, but does not justify any other kinds of abortion.
On the rape issue: One of the fundamental tenets of any individual-rights-regarding system concerning the use of retaliatory force is that it is to be used only against those directly responsible for the original initiation of force. The guilty party here is the rapist, not the fetus, and the law might legitimately grant its consent to punish the rapist (as rape is a most abominable crime), yet not an innocent child, even if the latter’s dependence on the mother were a direct outcome of the rape.
Let me present a parallel. Pretend that two mutually unfriendly people are neighbors living in the same apartment building in Britain during Hitler’s bombing raids in 1940. A bomb explodes upon the building so as to cause all possible exits to cave in while destroying the wall that separates the neighbors. They are, in effect, forced to share the same living space and work alongside each other in an attempt to tunnel themselves out despite (in this scenario) a mutual dislike.
Does this, then, justify one of the killing the other because of the inconvenience thereby caused, despite the fact that neither one of them had caused it, or would it not instead be justice to demand, upon reaching freedom, that the Nazi air marshal who had commanded the raid to occur be tried as a war criminal? (I know this is an immensely unlikely scenario, but so is rape, and both are possible. And the circumstances here are comparable to those of a pregnancy by rape.)
On the life-endangerment issue: No individual is obliged to sacrifice his/her life to save the life of another. Thus, when it can be medically proved that the life of the mother is in fact substantially endangered by a pregnancy (what constitutes “substantial endangerment” is a matter for medical science to define via conclusions drawn from empirical observation), then an abortion may be undertaken as a last resort.
But the only situation in which it is possible to advocate legal abortion and remain loyal to the principle of individual rights, and it is not a typical situation. Rather, it is an emergency, occurrences of which sort are addressed by Ayn Rand in the essay, “The Ethics of Emergencies,” in The Virtue of Selfishness.
Rand writes that emergencies are exceptions to the rule, and are not the normal state of human existence, or of ethical human relations. To say that some extreme action may be permissible in an emergency is not to extend that permissibility to the realm of normal human existence as addressed by the fundamentals of ethics.
So, simply because an abortion might be justified as a last resort in some very unusual circumstances, this does not at all justify the general legalization of abortion, especially given the fact that the majority of abortions occur simply because a woman had undertaken indiscriminate sexual relations and does not wish to incur the objective consequences of such acts: namely, pregnancy and the obligation to bring up a child.
Commonly Misunderstood Concepts: Wealth (2009) – Article by G. Stolyarov II
Note from the Author: This essay was originally published as part of Issue CCXVIII of The Rational Argumentator on November 16, 2009, using the Yahoo! Voices publishing platform. Because of the imminent closure of Yahoo! Voices, the essay is now being made directly available on The Rational Argumentator.
~ G. Stolyarov II, July 24, 2014
Many of the economic and personal fallacies of our time arise from the mistaken belief that wealth and money are identical. In fact, while money is in many cases an important gateway to wealth, it does not even approach describing what wealth truly is.
In our time, money may be equated to wealth even less justifiably than it could have been in times past – when most money was identified with precious metals, such as gold and silver, which had uses other than as media of exchange. Currently, money in virtually all countries consists of pieces of paper which are decreed to be money by government fiat. Legal tender laws force individuals to accept these special pieces of paper as payment for products, services, or debts. The supply of these pieces of paper is controlled by the government’s printing press – typically located at either the central bank or the treasury department.
Why do people seek and hold this money? They do so because they expect to be able to purchase with it actual goods and services – either now or in the future. This means that the money is not seen as valuable in itself; it is seen as valuable because of the other things it can obtain. However, the supply of these other things is not dependent on the number of pieces of paper in circulation. Rather, it is dependent on real factors that affect individuals’ and businesses’ abilities to produce actual goods and services. Thus, having more pieces of paper does not automatically make one wealthier. If the government simply chooses to print more of them, while no external factors affect the production of goods and services, then there will simply be more pieces of paper for the same amount of real goods and services. We would therefore get inflation: prices in terms of the pieces of paper will increase in proportion to the volume of new pieces of paper introduced. Of course, inflation has disastrous impacts on individuals’ existing savings, incentives for frugality, and transaction costs. It also constitutes an unjustified redistribution of wealth from the producers who earn it to the politically connected elites who get priority access to the new pieces of paper. Creating more “money” can often destroy actual wealth and productivity.
But there is another respect in which money is not equivalent to wealth. Consider the fact that, even without inflation, the same amount of money will not purchase the same goods and services in every area. Indeed, a tiny, cramped apartment in the center of a major city may often cost more money than a spacious house in a small town. An individual earning the same amount of money in each area would be able to have a much higher standard of living in the small town. It is quite possible that the individual’s opportunities to earn more money in a big city will be greater, but the prices of goods will not increase in a one-to-one ratio with that individual’s relative salary increase. Rather, the prices are most likely to be higher in a ratio that is greater or smaller than the individual’s ratio of salaries – thereby making life in the city either less or more attractive to the individual. How much money one makes is not an indicator of the rate at which one accumulates wealth; a better indicator is what one can buy for one’s money.
These thoughts should give pause to both advocates of the government’s power of the printing press and to indiscriminate salary chasers. Both may be devoting their time and energy to the pursuit of numerical illusions rather than substantive benefits. A much more sophisticated and nuanced understanding of wealth is needed in order to truly thrive and lead a good life.
To achieve an understanding of wealth, we need to ask ourselves why we seek money in the first place. Ultimately, every unit of money – even one saved or invested for many years – goes to fund some human consumption. Money can pay for either goods – material objects – or services – human behaviors performed for the benefit of the payer. It is actual goods and services that constitute wealth, not the money. Moreover, the money price of these goods and services is irrelevant from the standpoint of the wealth of the person who owns them. If I have a table, I am no less wealthy if I cannot sell the table at all – nor am I any wealthier just because I have the potential to sell it for five million dollars. I still have the same table, and its physical qualities are unchanged. If I actually do sell it, I might become wealthier, but only insofar as my five million dollars would enable me to purchase more tables, better tables, or other goods and services I value. The important principle to recognize is that one either has potential wealth in the form of money or actual wealth in the form of the goods and services one has purchased. One does not have both at the same time in the same object. Fiat money is wealth only insofar as it can reasonably be expected to procure actual goods and services. Goods and services constitute wealth in themselves while they last. Capital goods that can produce other goods can also be described as potential wealth – but it is also true that they are not money while one owns them as goods.
A further distinction should be made. Not all material objects are goods, and not all human behaviors are services. Some material objects – such as clouds of poison gas in one’s living room – are active bads. Likewise, some human behaviors – such as people raping or murdering one another – are active disservices. The only way to comprehensively define wealth is with regard to a standard by which goods and services can be identified. The most fundamental standard from both a moral and a practical standpoint is the principle that the life of every innocent individual is the greatest and most basic good – where an innocent individual is one who has not violated this principle through actions such as murder or the attempt at murder. Thus, any object that promotes any individual’s life is a good; any behavior that promotes any individual’s life is a service. The more life-promoting objects one has – and the more life-promoting behaviors one either is able to elicit from others or is able to initiate oneself – the wealthier one is.
Everything else is a matter of means and context. How one gets wealth – whether it be through money, barter, gifts, or one’s own work and transformation of raw materials – has no bearing on the nature of that wealth; all of us who are not self-destructive pursue a wide variety of means that fundamentally aim at the goal of improving our lives. Ethically, the means ought to be non-coercive; we must not intrude on other people’s prerogatives to control their lives just like they must not intrude on ours. Wealth is still wealth, even if acquired through dishonest or evil means – but immoral means of wealth acquisition will destroy other wealth on net, through damage to property and human beings and their incentives to produce.
Moreover, it is possible for the same object to be beneficial in some circumstances and harmful in others. For instance, a piece of rope used to tie a knot may be extremely useful, while the same piece of rope strung across the floor of a room might be a tripping hazard. However, the same item or behavior in the exact same context should produce the same results; actual situations are never precisely repeatable, but we can at least estimate an object’s usefulness or lack thereof by analyzing situations where it has been applied in similar ways.
This view has practical implications beyond the scope of one’s views on economics or politics. Most items in our lives should be viewed not in terms of how we might be able to resell them to others, but rather in terms of what use they are to us personally. There is nothing wrong with resale as such, but it is not a behavior that can be imposed on all objects – and, indeed, economic bubbles are created when the expectation of resale for continually rising prices is applied by enough people to too many commodities. Those of us who acquire an item for our own use – which includes our purchases of art, furniture, automobiles, and yes, even houses – are not in the same position as businessmen who produce or acquire items for the specific purpose of reselling them at a profit. Businessmen see their inventories as potential money generators – an indirect route to greater wealth; consumers ought to see their property as useful in itself and any resale as incidental or fortuitous – a kind of loss mitigation once one is no longer able or willing to make good use of the property. We have adjusted quite well to the idea that the resale value of an automobile or a computer is virtually always much lower than its purchase price. In the role of consumers, we should adopt the same default expectation for houses – and for everything else. But the silly notion that one is entitled to resell any property at a higher price than one purchased it must be discarded, as it results in the foolish pursuit of higher-priced items in the vain hope of their further appreciation in price – without any expert knowledge of how markets in these items actually work. This turns many a layman into a speculator, while enticing him to take out loans with his fanciful expectations as collateral – as happened all too often during the housing bubble. Moreover, it engenders the disastrous attitude that price decreases – which make goods such as houses more affordable for people – are in some manner harmful. But one cannot destroy wealth by making goods easier to earn through honest work – nor can one create wealth by piggybacking off of others’ expectations of price increases.
Leave the house-flipping to the experts, and buy a house that you would want to live in, just as you buy clothes you want to wear and computers you want to use. That house would constitute real wealth for you, irrespective of its market price, and it will be there irrespective of financial market or currency value fluctuations – if you actually own the house or have a fixed-rate mortgage. To maximize your wealth, you should act in such a manner as to improve your access to actual goods and services that you value. Pieces of paper and expectations can only get you so far. And remember that your own ability to do useful work – including work that does not bring immediate monetary returns – is one of your most reliable gateways to wealth.
LEV: The Game is a work in progress, whose potential to spread the message of indefinite life extension to the general public encourages me greatly. Developed by a team from Belgium – consisting of Anthony Lamot, Mathieu Hinderyckx, and Maxime Devos – this Android mobile game is currently in its Alpha phase. The creators have initiated an Indiegogo fundraiser to raise 6000 Euros (approximately 8100 US dollars at July 2014 exchange rates) in order to greatly expand the game and add its most complex and engaging elements. You can watch their video introduction to the game and the fundraiser here.
The premise of LEV: The Game is the same as the aim of those of us who wish to extend our lives without end. One’s character is challenged with living for as long as possible and attaining longevity escape velocity by reversing the damage of senescence at a faster rate than it accumulates. Every year in the game, the character receives an allotment of energy points with which to purchase power-ups, such as stem-cell therapies, applications of nano-medicine, cybernetic enhancements, or simple increments of diet and exercise. Each power-up can either increase the remaining expected lifespan, increase the rate at which energy points accumulate (called “productivity” in the game), or reduce the character’s rate of bodily decay. The player needs to achieve a delicate balancing of these power-ups to avoid expiring before he/she accumulates enough energy points to purchase the next life-extending advance.
Becoming an Alpha tester of LEV: The Game is absolutely free, and I was pleased to be able to participate in mid-July 2014. After eight attempts, I succeeded in getting a character to reach the age of 200, which is the game’s current victory condition. If the developers can raise their desired funds, they anticipate extending the gameplay to enable one’s character to reach the age of 1000.
To become an Alpha tester, you will need to join the LEV: The Game (Alpha) Google Group, using a Google account that is also linked to a mobile phone or tablet that runs the Android operating system. After you join, you can download the game from the Google Play store here. Remember to click the “Become a Tester” button to enable the download to work. When testing the game in this early stage, make sure you un-pause it first using the speed settings in the top-left-hand portion of the screen, before navigating to any of the other available windows.
Why LEV: The Game is Immensely Important
Our ability to achieve indefinite life extension personally will depend on the amount of resources and support from the general public invested in the overcoming of age-related bodily damage. Most people, unfortunately, continue to either be resigned to the inevitability of death, or to argue against the desirability of indefinite longevity due to extremely basic misconceptions. Even apart from the absurdly false boredom argument, overpopulation argument, and “playing God” argument, there is a more basic fallacy – the Tithonus error, which posits that becoming chronologically older necessarily means becoming biologically more decrepit. Yet the only way indefinite longevity could be achieved would be for people to remain biologically young, so that their susceptibility to deadly diseases does not increase beyond that of people in their twenties today. How could longevity advocates get the general public to understand this? Convincing people through arguments alone may often fail, simply because the Dragon-Tyrant of death is so ubiquitous and so overwhelming that many people will grasp at any straw, no matter how flimsy, to avoid being confronted with the grave injustice of their current predicament.
But a game gives a fresh, different, and engaging way to see and experience what indefinite longevity would truly entail. Anyone playing LEV: The Game would quickly see that becoming increasingly frail is no way to increase life expectancy. Your character will die if he/she experiences sufficient biological decay. You will be able to see a graph of the character’s remaining life expectancy and the rate at which decay is expected to proceed during the years they have left. If you apply the most effective combinations of power-ups, you will also see the life-expectancy curve shift upward – sometimes slightly, at other times by massive jumps. The latter situation reflects what can happen once humans begin to undergo periodic rejuvenation therapies to remove age-related damage, as posited in Dr. Aubrey de Grey’s SENS approach.
Furthermore, LEV: The Game encourages its players to engage in paradigm-shifting thinking about their own future trajectories. Instead of planning for gradual debilitation and eventual death, as most people do today when projecting their careers, retirements, finances, and family lives, a strikingly different mindset can take hold – the quest for perpetual maintenance and a return to youthfulness that may be possible at any chronological age, with sufficient technological advances and vigilance regarding one’s health. I admire the integration in LEV: The Game of biomedical treatments, cybernetic enhancements, and simple prudent habits – such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, cognitive activity, and access to relevant health information (even “Quantified Self” is a power-up that one can purchase). We should all strive to live the most informed and healthy lives possible, given present technology, in order to maximize our chances of surviving to the next wave of breakthroughs on the way to longevity escape velocity.
Not a day passes when I do not think about innovative ways to reach the general public with the message of indefinite life extension. For years, I have advocated the gamification of this literally vital idea as one of the most powerful ways to catalyze cultural change on this issue. I am immensely pleased to now witness such an effort taking off, due to the excellent work of Messrs. Lamot, Hinderyckx, and Devos. I donated to the Indiegogo fundraiser to help propel LEV: The Game to its hopefully world-changing final version. I hope that all readers of this article will be able to do the same.
Free PDF of «Смерть неправильна!» – Russian Translation of “Death is Wrong”
A free PDF version of «Смерть неправильна!» – the Russian translation of Death is Wrong – is now available for download from The Rational Argumentator. You can obtain your copy here and may spread it to Russian-speaking audiences as widely as you wish.
«Смерть неправильна!» was translated into Russian by Marcus Baylin.
«Смерть неправильна!» – Russian Translation of “Death is Wrong” – Translated by Marcus Baylin – Post by G. Stolyarov II
The Russian translation of Death is Wrong – «Смерть неправильна!» – generously translated by Marcus Baylin – is now available via Google Books. You can see a complete preview here.
A paperback version can be obtained from Createspace for $11.23 here.
Amazon has begun to carry the paperback version here.
For some reason, the Amazon Kindle format does not yet support Cyrillic characters, so I have instead decided to offer an electronic version through Google Play.
The electronic version will be downloadable for FREE on Google Play within the next 24 hours on this page.
You have my permission to spread the electronic version of the book to Russian-speaking audiences as widely as possible, with no strings attached.
We can also send some free paperback Russian books to anyone who is willing to distribute them to Russian-speaking children. (This offer is good while supplies last; we have resources to ship 171 copies of Death is Wrong in either English or Russian. If you are interested, e-mail me at email@example.com with (i) your name, (ii) your MAILING ADDRESS, (iii) your support for indefinite life extension, (iv) the NUMBER OF COPIES of Death is Wrong requested, and (v) your plan for spreading the books to children, free of cost to them.)
“Death is Wrong” – Book Distribution and Call to Action – May 28, 2014 – Video by G. Stolyarov II
– Provide (i) your name, (ii) your mailing address, (iii) a statement of your support for indefinite life extension, and (iv) 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.
Think of all the people’s lots in life that you don’t have. You will regret not having more chances to stand here as you are now. It is said that if everybody put their worries into a pile and then took an equal share from the pile, then most people would be content to take back their own share of them. I was reading an article that said,
“To be sick and dying in Vegas has its own existential horror. Not only do you realize that you are going to die and that you don’t matter to the world, but you also realize that much of the world is awful and yet you still would do anything to live.”
Struggling to survive on this planet can be miserable, and yet we continue to stick with it. Why? Because we know that with life there is a chance to engage in more experience. It seems that a person can live, in part, on the desire for continued experience. That chance drives us to keep reaching for achievement and progress.
What does one want to experience in life? What does that honest-to-life list look like? If you had to draw up a complete list, could you do it, or describe the nature of it? The active wanting of experience, it seems, is a major cure to indifference toward death. It seems that it might be a life-or-death question.
We have become really good at being indifferent to the most widespread forms of death, in order to spare ourselves from stressing out on futilely trying to do something about it. Now that we have the tools and techniques, and the times have changed, we have to change that way of thinking from indifference back toward letting that horror affect us. Horror benefits us in that it is our cue to be driven to action to make sure that the horror can’t happen again. If a poltergeist starts ravaging your house, that’s your signal to get out of there, in the same way that the horror that general death, aging, and other diseases are your signal to get death, aging, and other diseases away from you and out of your cells.
Carl Sagan’s daughter once related his words that “there was nothing he would like more in the world than to see his mother and father again.” I was thinking about what an insult added to injury he must have felt in his final days, to have the paralyzing misery of impending death heaped on top of crushing pain. Let that kind of pain course through your mind, face it, bring it to a steaming rage, and let the energy power you to help execute any of the various assaults on aging and disease that are underway in laboratories in various places around the world.
In another article, I was reading about a guy whose daughter went missing in 1971, and was never found. He lived to be 102 and died in the fall of 2013. He had stated that one of the hardest burdens for him was never knowing what happened to his daughter. What misery, for all those years… Think of that… Then five days after he died, his daughter’s car was found upside down in a river; she was the apparent victim of a decades-old car crash.
I can’t fathom that life could inflict such a bitter spite upon somebody. That story stirs up the kind of despair and anguish that each death seems to deserve. It’s the kind of anguish you need to figure out how to allow in, in order to have the right kinds of drive to help pull the Movement for Indefinite Life Extension forward with us.
So once we get there, back to that place where we stand amidst realization of the horror of death, how do we face it? One good basic and natural way to do so, it seems, is to purposefully enjoy the good parts of life, and strategize and take action in helping to fix the worst of the broken things. It’s fun and fulfilling. Life isn’t bad, it’s an adventure. A tough challenge is like a choppy sea, like two armies clashing, or mountain climbers fighting the elements. The implementation of the solution of each challenge is like a Renaissance of scale, some miniature, some very large, like Caesar vs. Vercingetorix, or Charlemagne vs. the Vikings. It’s like the writings of Caesar, the writing-resurgence work of the Carolingians, Vercingetorix and the fate of an entire Celtic confederation, or the first times the Vikings set sail out beyond Greenland.
A few days ago I was thinking about a typical farm hand of Medieval times, walking outside to smell the heavy wet grass and earth of a cold wet spring day. How did they remember the great Lombard migrations, or Scandinavian raiders docking at Pisa? Who was Charlemagne to people before negationists took hold? What did they think might become of the future? Many of them must have felt lost at that kind of thought.
Focus on your heartbeat, feel it pulsing. Theirs pulsed like that. They thought of their hearts stopping and of how it couldn’t possibly be lost to the dust of history anytime soon. You think that, too. Their hearts are lost to the dust of history. Yours is next.
What does every year, and every moment mean to the history of everything? I read recently that if you throw a pebble, it could be offsetting the center of gravity of the universe. Every moment means everything, every moment is everything. Every moment is a world in itself, a great painting, a great work of art, a great burning torch, a water well built in inhospitable lands. Think of how many heartbeats have come to a stop, how many paintings have been burned… So many tangled groves in forests have had the wind blowing through them for all of these years, without one person, without one spoken word, in a place near a stream, where there was once a mighty, crackling stone fireplace that warmed multiple generations of families across the 6th through 8th centuries. It was a place that hosted countless memories which later tormented the souls of dying, now long-dead grandfathers.
They don’t deserve to be dead. They deserve what they earned: the world that is paying exponentially exciting, satiating, and fullfillingly valuable dividends today. This is an incredibly motivating and driving factor in what pushes me to pursue indefinite life extension. People take on a variety of diverse augmentations over time, becoming unique collections of intriguing insight – dynamic power tools for slicing and dicing the elements. We can’t afford for these wealths of rare and powerful abilities and resources to be pillaged and killed off. Sometimes it seems as if life-extensionists like me have to explain to people why it’s bad to let people be killed before we can get down to business in a worldwide effort to reach the goals that can get this done.
We are like the union for the people that make a profession out of being human. We are creating better and better pay, and we demand longer hours. I want every feasible remedy that can restore and maintain life to be a permanent fixture in this reality, for it to be harvested like air. There is no reason a heart has to give out. There is no reason we cannot prevent tangles from forming in the brain. Our organs and cells don’t have to degrade. We have tools, techniques, and brains. We will make it through these obstacles.
How long will it be before our times are old, before 2015 cars look like old classics, and thoughts of our times are most often associated with the smell of the pages of books that have been moved from their years of service on shelves, to boxes of outdated material in back rooms? Many experiences and voyages that could have happened, and could have been chronicled in those boxes, can never exist.
That’s the problem, it seems: There are experiences that could have existed, but that now never can. Thoughtful experience – there is no reason to forgo it or allow it to be lost – hence the basic, inherent reasoning for supporting indefinite life extension, it seems.
Every moment is the gold, the thing to be mined, the thing to be in awe of, to seek, pursue, and strategize toward, to work for, to feel victorious for possessing. Let’s mine more time: support the Movement for Indefinite Life Extension. Don’t be distracted by fool’s gold while the most valuable gold, time, slips through your fingers.
One of these days, we will put funeral homes across the world out of business, and it will be a great victory. We will celebrate, and the festivities will be grand. But we must get a move on now, because our chances are turning into sand.
This review was originally posted on the Facebook page of the Eternal Life Fan Club, a community created by Roen Horn to share philosophy, research, and strategies to help humans increase their chances of living forever.
I finally got around to reading the new transhumanist children’s book Death is Wrong. I was impressed with the simplicity and clarity of the message, and my impression was that children could easily digest the information. It’s about time there was a children’s book promoting the message of indefinite life-extension. This book should be mandatory reading in elementary schools. I was pleased to see that the book gave mention to Aubrey de Grey and SENS Research Foundation. Besides explaining the logical reasons for why death is wrong, I was delighted that the book spoke about the frailness of life and the overwhelming sadness of death. The book also specified the importance of vigilantly avoiding dangerous behaviors which would endanger one’s life, and the importance of taking care of one’s health. I think that message is especially important for young children to hear. The book leaves the reader with the optimistic outlook that death does not have to be inevitable. If we know that death is wrong, then we must wage war on death and never give up until we have won this fight. You can find the book on Amazon here.
Wendy Stolyarov, Illustrator of Death is Wrong, at the Transhuman Visions 2.0 Conference – March 1, 2014
“Death is Wrong” Fundraiser: Another Ship Returns to Harbor after Braving the Seas for the Cause – Article by Eric Schulke
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?
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
– 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.