Why Every (Stanford) Student Should Be a Transhumanist By Alex Lightman, 3/22/2013 Advancing Humanity SymposiumStanford Transhumanist Association
1. Adjacent to Quantified Self Greater likelihood to be paying attention to the measures that matter with respect to health, fitness, longevity, and possibilities for using new technologies to improve them
Thomas Alva Edison “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the humanframe, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease”
2. Greater Likelihood to Be More Healthy and Long LivedReversing Five Linear Decay Functions Telomeres Neurons Muscle Mass (Sarcopenia) Bone Mass (Osteopenia) Respiratory Function (VO2Max)
3. Aging More Gracefully If you go to Transhumanist-friendly events over a period of decades(Foresight, Extropians, Avatars…) you will notice that your colleagues areaging far more slowly than virtual any other conference go-ers.
4. More Smart Clueful Friends I have 692 friends in common with Aubrey de Grey, with similar numbersfor other Transhumanists, exposing me to a new idea every few minutes that I can use to expand my mind, body, and life.
5. “It takes a village…” If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes new communities of smart audacious people to fund and build a new companies that create newindustries that fundamentally advance humanity.
5. (Continued) Greater likelihood of getting into incubators and accelerators It’s not enough to have an idea for anew website or app or ecommerce sites. Transhumanism can give you an edge and separate you from a sea of the same.
6. Source for co-authors of articles on complex, multidisciplinary topics 22 authors on an article about Myths about Weight Loss. No one knows everything about everything, andpublishing sooner can make a profound difference in credibility.
7. Joint purchase of the new Maker/DIY tools and lab equipment Don’t you want to have access to thelatest and greatest 3D printers and tools to do your own research, without waiting for grants, to be able to be the first to make and exhibit, or discover and publish?
8. Traveling companions for adventures in knowledge When I had my international boarding school, I could get a meeting with anyone by saying, “25 young peoplefrom 20 countries want to meet you and talk about how you make the world a better place”.
8. Great background for a Citizen-Science and talking/teaching STEM Millions of people contribute to scientific knowledge, via projects like SETI@Home, Folding@Home, GalaxyZoo, birdwatching, drone protection of wildlife, and water sampling.
9. Extra minds to overcome the two big cognitive limits Theory of Bounded Rationality:We overestimate our ability to detect patterns (Las Vegas) Bellman’s Curse of Dimensionality: As dimensions increase arithmetically, sparcity increases exponentially
10. Be interesting to billionaires and the builders of tomorrowI have spent a statistically improbable amount of my time talking with billionaires, and had an even more unlikely success rate with pitches to billionaires. There are only 1,456 of them, so you need uniqueness.
11. sapiosexual advantages ‘One who finds intelligence the most sexually attractive feature.’ "I want anincisive, inquisitive, insightful, irreverent mind. I want someone for whom philosophical discussion is foreplay.”
12. Fewer surprises from sudden shifts in economy or policyFuture Shock - overwhelm from more change that can be adapted to - is a retro term thatdeserves to be dusted off and applied, mainlyto non-Transhumanists, who find themselves surprised all the time by what is happening.
13. Potential expansion of the senses and memory There are at least 70 senses used by one or more living things on this planet, anincreasing number of which can be emulated via technology closely integrated with our own senses.
14. Move to the left on the Stanford VALS curveInnovators are the first 1% of technology adoption market. Early adopters are 2%, followed by the chasm, the Early Majority, the Late Majority, and the Laggards.
15. Alpha testers for the first superpowers Invisibility Sleeplessness Omniscience Calculator brain/Supernumerati Flight Exo-skeleton Strength
16. 50% or more reduction in cliches. Less boredom and ennui. Less wrongLess time spent arguing for tired and expired ideology
17. More fun way to be an atheistLighter burden if you don’t have to carry around and defend Iron Age myths and false history. Alternatively, can be more audacious when outnumbered by true believer friends, family, and community. (Mormons have fewer doctrinal problems with Transhumanism)
18. Benefits of MENSA without the baggage and pretenses There are many advantages to signalingintelligence and ability to learn faster without brandishing IQ tests or Ivy League credentials. Transhumanists are as smart as any subculture.
19. Futurephilia: Being part of the most future friendly 0.01% 1 in 100 Americans have a PhD. A PhD confers a 26% average income advantage over people qualified for university who did not attend.Future friendliness will likely confer an equal advantage, but without taking the average 8.3 years of post secondary education.
20. Science fiction adjacencyTranshumanists are much less likely to say the 21st century’s most embarrassing words, THAT’S SCIENCE FICTION!…as if there is nooverlap between what has been, is, or will be in science fiction, in all its myriad forms, and reality. Science fiction is increasingly blueprint prophecy.
21. Greater likelihood to create a start up, fund it, and take it public The big opportunities of the future will be related to the issues that Transhumanists want to solve.The Milken Institute estimated that the value of curing cancer or heart disease were each $50 trillion.
22. Greater happinessThe book „The Happiness of Pursuit” makes the case that it is in seeking that we find happiness. Transhumanism is a perpetual search for improvement, of self and others, and thus has vast and varied opportunities for happiness.
23. Chance to become a god or have god-like powers Neverness by David Zindell Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons Marvel comics, particularly InfinityQuest, Infinity Gauntlet and anything with Infinity Gems, Celestials, Galactus
Alvin Toffler in Future Shock"Perhaps the greatest cost of wave conflict in America will be paid by the millions of children currently compulsorily enrolled in schools that are attempting to preparethem - and not very successfully at that - for jobs that wont exist. Call that stealing the future."
Cesar Chavez “Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feelspride. You cannot oppress the people whoare not afraid anymore. We have seen the future, and the future is ours. “