Working at the Science for Life Extension Foundation we understood several things regarding tranhumanism and what needs to be done for promoting it.
1. The topics of horror of death and despair of aging are poorly exposed in tranhumanist rhetoric. In the 14th century, in the plague times, death used to be one of the main topics of visual arts. Nowadays the topic of horror of death struggles its way to the surface only on cigarette packs in a few countries of the world. There is an unspoken ban on documentary demonstration of the moment of human death. Death itself is often embellished, heroized and named necessary for triving of other people.
We claim that there is nothing more dreadful than death, and our main goal is to fight it.
We understood that one of the most powerful impact tools are not the rational arguments, but visual images.
We are interested in creating the new art that describes the horrors of aging and death with the aim of increasing the motivation of people to fight for radical life extension, for immortality. So, if you happen to know some artists, tell them about tranhumanist ideas and about the urgent need of new art that will help defeat death.
2. We learned that one of the main problems in promoting tranhumanism is belief is afterlife. Death is not for real for a religious person; they think that something better awaits them after death. Maybe they don’t pay much attention to the details of the afterlife, but the lack of doubt about it leads to refusing any effort towards life extension. Therefore, you can’t ingratiate with religion, because by doing so you add fuel to the flames of belief that immortality already exists.
We oppose merging of tranhumanism and religious ideas, the examples of which are Raelian movement, transcendent transhumanists, Mormon transhumanists, Global Future 2045 and many other irrational forms of world-views that seek to join a new powerful idea.
3. If tranhumanist ideas are described in a simple way, like let’s extend longevity, it’s good thing and let there be more science, then it sounds apocryphal and doesn’t galvanize anyone into action. Details are the things that can pesuade people. But if the ideas are described with a lot of details, then people just don’t have enough knowledge to understand what those ideas are about.
For example, biology background is needed to truly understand the possibility to extend lifespan using genetic regulation. That’s why we advocate development of courses in transhumanism and biology of aging.
If anyone is interested in this task, let’s create some transhumanist tests together. They can be about molecular biology, game theory, neurophysiology, etc.
4. People don’t like propaganda, but they readily execute direct orders about what they need to do. For example, the call to realize the importance of fighting aging doesn’t meet any understanding, but the offer to take the 23andme test will receive agreement with much higher probability.
People gladly join Longevity Party. I would love to see like-minded people in the Longevity Party project, primarily in California and Norway.
5. We noticed that the situation changes after rebranding, for example, when stem cells were renamed regenerative medicine, gene therapy – synthetic biology and fighting aging – personalized medicine.
This means that it’s a good idea to launch many different names. For example, instead of life extension – life preservation. I think that it makes sense to launch various tranhumanist projects even with a low probability of success, simply counting on that some meme may become very effective.