Five Ways You Can Promote Transhumanism (with just your spare time and/or spare change)

So you think transhumanist ideas are pretty cool — but you are not a cutting edge molecular biologist or cyberneticist. What can a normal (ok, maybe not normal, but you know what I mean) person like you or I do to promote transhumanist ideas and initiatives?

1. Join a distributed computing project
Odds are that you have one or more computers connected to the internet that spend most of their time doing nothing. You are already paying for the electricity to run them and for the bandwidth they are not using. So take a half hour out of your life to pick a distributed computing project that will advance scientific knowledge and install some software that will run quietly in the background.

That’s it. A half hour of your time and suddenly you are contributing what is likely the equivalent of thousands of pre-information-age man hours a week to the advancement of your selected scientific discipline. Get started here.

2. Sign up for cryonics
If you don’t know, cryonics is the practice of freezing persons recently declared dead in the hopes that someday the technology will exist to reverse the process — both to unfreeze and resuscitate them — plus heal whatever damage caused them to be declared dead in the first place. While I am not convinced that the chances are very good that this will actually work for me personally (a lot of things would have to go just right for me, my cryonics provider, and future human knowledge) — I am still proudly signed up to be stored at liquid nitrogen temperatures when I die.

Why? Partly because I believe the chance of it working is enough higher than zero to be worth the potential reward. But maybe even more importantly… because it keeps me thinking in the right directions and leads to some great spontaneous conversations. The ideas that cryonics touches on are key to trashumanism… the definitions of life and death… future technology… uploading minds into computers, etc. And I can’t tell you how many great conversations I have had with random people that started with them seeing my cryonics medical alert bracelet and asking “Oh, what are you allergic to?”… and with me answering, “Death.”

I paid an initial membership fee of $1250 and pay about $40 a month for a whole life policy to fund my cryonic suspension. (A cheaper options to use term life insurance exist and it can be done for less than $1 per day.) The telephone calls and paperwork involved in setting this up took a few hours total. My suspension contract is with the Cryonics Institute in Michigan.  Learn more here.

3. Donate To A Life Extension Initiative
There are now a few different nonprofit foundations for promoting scientific research aimed at extending human lifespan. Your donation to such an organization will help people live longer healthier lives. Immortality in our lifetime? Maybe. Maybe not. But the sooner the ball gets rolling, the more lives will be saved. You live in a time when the very first efforts are being made in this direction, so your support now is more important than it will ever be. I have personally signed up to donate $1000 a year for 25 years (less than $3 a day) to the Methuselah Foundation

4. Promote New Frontiers
New ideas often make progress on the frontiers of civilization. When there is no place for people with different ideas to go to, they end up suppressed and frustrated by the forceful control of a majority who still believe in old ways. When a new frontier does open up, new ideas flourish there, but also, the competition caused by people leaving tends to make the “old country” also loosen up and become less stifling of new ideas and innovation.

Space may be the final frontier, and many transhumanists certainly look forward to a time where space colonization will open to humanity an ever-expanding frontier. However, we need a new frontier right now, and there are closer and cheaper options that we might be able to make happen sooner. My favorite idea in this vein is seasteading — the colonization of the world’s oceans. You can contribute to The Seasteading Institute with your ideas, time and or money.

5. Make A Public Nuisance Of Yourself

The more seeds that are planted, the greater the chance that transhumanist ideas will grow and bear fruit. Getting a message out often involves calling attention to ideas in weird ways that people will take notice of. This can be fun and dangerous. Some ideas here.

Sean Hastings is coauthor of the wildly popular book God Wants You Dead, Founding CEO of Havenco – the world’s first public data haven company and an occasional
blogger.


 

See Also

Transhumanism at Play

Transhumanism and Superheroes

Transgender, Transhuman, Transbeman

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