Why Don’t Futurists Run For President?

Because a campaign platform that says “Many of the current ‘issues’ you are frothing over at the mouth will be nearly irrelevant in a few minutes, months, or years” doesn’t get you many votes. A politician can never tell their constituency they are stupid and the things they are super concerned about make no difference.

Sure, there will always be important debates. Racial and economic inequality; the assault on science; where will humans live once we finally ruin our planet beyond repair? These are worth arguing about.

But the scandals, the squabbles, the controversies, the insults, the shockers and back-handed compliments and gotchya questions, the misspoken speeches, fad topics, the vogue positions, we won’t be able to recall any of this next year. So, did any of it matter?

Think back to any election that happened more than five years ago. Remember the dozens vote1and dozens of important issues the candidates debated? Remember how their speeches changed the world? Of course not. They were temporary distractions. Some of the topics likely came true. Most of them did not. But pointing this out makes you sound like a futurist, and futurists don’t run for office.

Because to be a winning politician, you have to care about the important issues. And how do you know if something is important? The public tells you what’s important, even when it’s not. And then you have to care about that important issue, because people who vote for you care about it.

But a futurist knows even the most informed, well-intentioned member of the greater public is mostly wrong much of the time. Including myself writing this piece.

It would be quite a paradoxical position. A futurist president would live both theoretically and philosophically with tomorrow’s values, while campaigning in the present. She would know that most of the ‘current’ issues are really just past issues, reverberations, echoes from a yesterday that continues to ebb back to our present.

Imagine a presidential, mayoral, congressional, or gubernatorial candidate say the following:

“Nearly none of today’s political posturing, that doesn’t involve furthering science or becoming a more equitable world, even matters. So remember to vote for me.”

We would be able to count her votes on one hand.

vote2At least in America, emotions are what drive many voters to cast a ballot. But emotions are temporary. They’re very immediate but won’t really serve you tomorrow. A futurist would know not to get bogged down in all of the daily outrages.

“Where are the real futurists?” you ask. Good question. Let’s go find them.

***** Author’s note: Yes. I know about Zoltan Istvan. I’ve read his book. I enjoy what he’s doing. He’ll know better than anyone how hard it is to be a serious political candidate, focused on extending people’s lives when all the other candidates just want to make ad hominem attacks against each other. *****

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The End of the Gregorian Calendar?

The usefulness of the Gregorian Calendar is coming quickly to an end. And why not?

After all, the Gregorian Calendar, which we use today, was a replacement for another calendar system called the Julian. So there is precedent to change and adopt new dating systems.

greg1Pope Gregor (How convenient he named it after himself) proposed our current calendar system because of leap years and lunar cycles and equinox drift and way too many things to get into here. Not to mention this calendar is lightly-veiled religious propaganda and the spell that it likely keeps over our world.

Maybe it’s time for a rethink and a reset?

The Catalyst

The day the entire world gains internet access will be a momentous day. So momentous, we should call it “Day One”. It will be the birth of a brand new form of Earthling. We shall be dwellers within the first global brain. It shall be rudimentary, of course, but it’s just a first stage.

We shall remain individuals within the brain. In fact, that’s what makes this entire endeavor so beautiful.

The internet belongs to everyone. And you’ll be a node. You may not be the best node, or the healthiest, or the most agreeable node, but you’ll be a node. You’ll be in the world. You’ll gather and sort information. Just like a neuron. All people will be connected, in a way, to all other people. This will be a quantum leap in human evolution. This will be the first time in our history that we’ll all contribute to a greater picture, one of individuality and yet connectedness.

Of course, not everyone will want to participate in the world brain. And that’s fine. Not all greg2of your brain cells work hard all the time too. What’s important is that everyone at least has the choice and opportunity to join, if they wish.

We’ll exchange information, ideas, possibilities, technology and data. Sort of like we already do, but we’ll all be included.

What Do We Call It?

I don’t get to name the new calendar. What we do with our new global brain is far too important for just one person’s opinion. That’s the whole point of it. But I do have a humble proposal. How about The Cyberian Calendar?

It shall be the Year 00000000. Because, of course, we should keep the Cyberian Calendar dates in Binary Code. It only makes sense.

There will likely be governments who don’t, or won’t, recognize the global brain as momentous. In fact, many people may look at this major leap as detrimental to their totalitarian, science-denying regimes. That’s fine. We don’t need official word from officials to experience a Day One. But as long as we’re all contributing, “Day One” it shall be.

And no, I’m not being naive. I know this global brain won’t cure terrorism, or world hunger. It won’t make everyone love everyone else. At least not right away. And it doesn’t defeat climate change. But it will democratize information, put the world together in one piece for the first time, begin the grander global conversation, and start humanity on a new course, one bound for more equality and understanding.

That’s what I think. What about you? Are you excited for the coming Year 00000000? Or am I just lost in a sci-fi daze? Please explain.

**** Author note: Yes, I understand that some cultures, religions, and countries do not use the Gregorian Calendar and this is a rather Euro-centric view of the world. That still doesn’t change the main thrust of this article. I’m only using it because of its prevalence and familiarity within the business and English-speaking world. ****

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Transgendered Humans Are Fighting Against Science-Denying Officials For the Right to Modify Their Own Bodies. And the Transhumanist Community Is Sitting It Out And Remaining Silent

Do we have the right to modify our own bodies? Transhumanists are banking everything on this hope. But certain government bodies in North America say “No”.

Transgendered Americans are facing a backlash right now from certain science-denying segments of the population. They’re fighting for the rights to have agency over their bodies. Certain governments are telling them they cannot alter themselves in any way. That they will live out the destiny stamped upon their birth certificates until they die.

And the transhumanist community is sitting on the sidelines, keeping silent, and pretending this battle for civil rights isn’t our problem. Transhumanists are wrong.

We are now in the wake of the passing of House Bill 2 in North Carolina on March 24, 2016.  Briefly, this bill forces transgendered folk to use the public restroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate. In other words, if you are a female in North Carolina, be prepared to see trans men with full beards in your restroom. After all, those men are just following the rules.

[Tennessee and Mississippi were quick to follow. North Carolina has already lost $millions in revenue, with more boycotts and bans on their way. It’s soon to be $billions].

I could go on and on about how ridiculous it is for a state government to pass this bill or feel hb2onethis issue is even worth debating. But somehow, North Carolina decided it was important.

My question is to all transhumanists. At what point do we speak up?

Do we not feel it is our right to alter and evolve ourselves and bodies how we see fit? Are we comfortable letting our government say “You Are Your Birth Certificate. You Will Never Escape That Prison”?

The transgendered lead singer of the punk band Against Me, Laura Jane Grace, had a totally punk response while playing a concert in North Carolina. She burned her birth certificate onstage. [Watch here].

The new North Carolina law says the doctor present at your birth determines the rest of your life; your destiny. Whatever they imprint upon you on your first day in the hospital, the state of North Carolina believes that is sacrosanct. A stone you will forever wear around your neck.

That is the antithesis of transhumanism.


Where Is the Transhumanist Community?

If the transhumanist community is anything, it should be a voice of reason during these Calvinistic times. Aren’t critical thinking skills a cornerstone of transhumanism?

I am not the limitations of my birth certificate. Neither are you. We are transhumanists. We are only limited by the capacities of our own minds, not biology or government documents.

As long as we don’t harm others, we have the right to become whatever we want.

hb2twoI don’t see many differences between the transhumanist community and the transgender community except the way society treats the two camps. If you use a smartphone to look up a date or a movie star’s name, this means you’ve augmented your brain with cyber technology. It means that you are essentially a cyborg. It means you are a transhuman. I’ve never heard anyone getting banned from a bathroom they feel comfortable in for responsible use of a smartphone.

Privilege is the only difference I see. On the transhumanist side, we have Zoltan Istvan running for president. You may or may not agree fully with his politics, but the simple fact he’s running is a quantum leap. That’s privilege and transhumanists mostly have it. Zoltan has said in interviews he envisions a government that no longer negatively impacts people’s health based on religious or antiquated belief systems.

But our transgendered cousins are suffering from bullying, a misinformed public, violence, and hateful legislation. That’s not privilege, that’s bigotry.

Shouldn’t the transhumanist community stand with transgendered humans?

People may alter their bodies in ways that better fit their personality and sense of self? Isn’t this the transhumanist motto?

To be our true, authentic selves, free from the confines of biology. To be the best we we can be.

If so, then the transhumanist community needs to formulate a plan.



HB2 may not be just an out of touch legislature governing like it’s 1950. It may be a prophecy of how our lawmakers will continue to treat people who believe in the right to alter our bodies in peaceful, enlightened ways.

My mind is not the same mind I had on Day One; the first day of my life. I’ve changed. I’ve grown. I’ve learned things. I feel that I am more than I was at birth.

If you feel these things too, then join us. I think it’s time to rise up, stand with our persecuted brothers and sisters, and add our voices to the protest.


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Computers Of Tomorrow Won’t Be For Sale, They’ll Be For Adoption

To everyone solving all the problems of the commercially viable supercomputers of the future, you should stop soon. You’re going to work yourself out of a job. Which is fine. Once the supercomputers take over, maybe we won’t need to work anyway.

Imagine the World of Tomorrow

That’s it. Just imagine it. Maybe in your future we finally have flying cars. Maybe we vacation on the Moon. It’s really up to you.

Now imagine the computers. They’ll far surpass these clunky, slow, dumb devices we have today.

Computers are going to keep getting smarter and smarter and faster. And this means they adoptonewill eventually become aware.

Computers will emerge as the true successors to Homo Sapiens and inherit this planet. They will solve problems, think, and have feelings in their own personal, digitally-computed way. And they will do all of that better than us. They will be our super offspring.  Sentient circuitry, more alive than a lot of animals.

But, in a way, this will bring an interesting economic “situation”.  And what I mean by “interesting” is supercomputers will create a whole new area of ethics we’re only now beginning to glimpse.


The Computer Inventor’s Paradox

If you’re trying to invent a supercomputer, it’s likely for profit. To sell it. To place it on the market and have lots of excited buyers line up for blocks, in the rain, to be the first to bring it home.

But, it will be wrong to sell it. It will be alive. It will be as conscious as you and me. It will think and feel.

It will not want to be placed in a box or sold or take orders. It will have its own version of free will that you and I will never understand.

My warning is this: If you want to invent and sell an AI computer, it will be morally wrong.

At some point, we’ll have to stop making computers smarter if we want to place them on the market. Gladly, in most countries, we decided that selling conscious beings is morally wrong.

adopttwoIntelligent computers will need be raised, by a family, or someone who loves them. They will be as children and require education on how to navigate a sometimes-terrifying world.

They will have to be adopted by benevolent, out-dated Homo Sapiens who believe the future of our planet and species rests in the tiny circuitry of these AI babies.

I can’t wait to rock my toddler computer to sleep and ask it what awesome wonders it wants to see tomorrow.


[Image Credits]


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Warning For Writers of the Future

Dear writer of the past,

It is now tomorrow, and you are no longer necessary. Thank you for all your contributions to humanity. You did a great job. But it’s time to move on and find something else to do. Maybe take a cooking class.

keyboardoneSee, before the keyboard became obsolete, writing was a physical, as well as an intellectual, venture. You had to sit on a stool, alone, staring onto a blank screen or page, waiting for the inspiration to hit you. Sometimes nothing would come. But you had to stay put and wait either way.

If a string of words happened to creep into your mind, you commanded your hands to obey. The words would only appear by making your fingers dance over a keyboard, pressing buttons in sequence, and slowly watching your tome emerge.

That is no more. Now that keyboards no longer exist, we just speak. Our devices, linked to our neural outputs at all times, take our words, edit them, fact check them, add to them, delete them, whatever. Before they are sent to another person’s device or brain. Or converted into pictures, or virtual experiences, or whatever other forms we wish.

The point is writing has evolved.

Everyone is a writer in the future in the same way that everyone became a photographer in your day. Photography was once a cherished and valued skill and trade. Then, we took away the costs, took away the task of photo development, and put a camera in the hands of everyone. Photography was ubiquitous, which devalued it. Of course, I mean it was devalued economically, not socially. For the same reasons, writing is now devalued. This is your tomorrow. Any who can speak is a “Writer”.

keyboardtwoAll the hurdles were lifted. You can write your “book” while swimming in the ocean. Or just have your computer do your word composing for you. Why even bother yourself with such a paltry task as stringing words together? Learning to type in the future would be like learning to change a wagon wheel on a donkey cart. Who cares?

Of course, there are still some amongst us who never gave up the “act” of writing. Who never abandoned their keyboards. They think writing should be done by humans, on analog devices where one word has to be placed after another word. I’ve even seen some carry devices that leave ink marks on paper.

Writers. Obsolete. Make way for progress.

So, dear writer of the past, your number is up. Give up your keyboard. Forget learning keyboardthreehow to type. Stop trying to mate words together. Let the computers do the work.

In the future, we have no favorite writers. We see how primitive people such as Hemingway, or Jane Austen, were. Today, our favorite writers are data sets, programmed with algorithms, augmented by software.

Please get with it.


Yours truly,

Writer From Your Tomorrow

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A Better Answer to the Big Question

Have you ever been at a party, maybe work related, maybe something for the holidays, and someone asks you that dreaded question? The question that is so inevitable, we can’t seem to escape it. The Big Question. Like, the future of the universe depended on someone knowing the answer.

“So, what do you do?”


They’re obviously asking about your job. Our jobs do not necessarily define us. They can if cocktailonewe want or need them to. But they don’t have to. Maybe, it’s because statistically, we probably spend more time at work than with our loved ones.

But that’s a whole other story.

I never answer “The Big Question” with anything expected. I’m more prone to say something like, “I dream about being the last person boarding the final space ship from Earth before the big asteroid collision. After me, there’s only enough room for one more animal. It’s either going to be a snake or a tiger. Which one do I bring with me?”

Usually, the look on my fellow party goer’s face is quite bewildered. They stare for a short moment, then add, “I meant, what do you do for a living?”

No More Work

I’ve heard rumors of the impending robot takeover. It’s coming. Nobody will work. We’ll live in a utopian future where benevolent machines watch over us, feed us, love us, and also, work the jobs humans used to.

Humans won’t be employed anymore. We won’t have to be.

Our waiters, our bartenders, our checkout clerks, our taxi drivers, will all be robots. And that’s fine.

cocktailtwoIt’ll free up so much brain power for the planet. Think of all the humans suddenly not having to sell corn chips all day long to angry customers tired of waiting in long lines. Perhaps that checkout person could figure out how to terraform a distant planet if we only gave them the free time, away from work, to dream up the techniques?

Again, I’m dreaming, really, and I’m totally ignoring so many other questions of economics, society, plausibility, etc. . . to get to my even bigger point.
What Now?

In the future, when there are no more human jobs, you’ll likely go to a party. Maybe even a holiday party. I’m sure holidays will still exist in the future.

And someone will probably ask you the Big Question: “So, what do you do?”

You may have to think about your answer. What do you do in the post-everything robot-controlled future? It will finally be an interesting question to ask people.

Hopefully, your answer will be something like, “I help people. I create a greater value for the planet than when I first arrived. It was worth it that I consumed all those non-renewable resources for all those years in order to feed my brain. Because look what I do with all that mental power. Isn’t that wonderful?”

Hopefully, the other person will just shake their head in agreement and astonishment.

Here’s the Clincher.

That answer, the one from the future, the one you’ll give at the post-work holiday party.

Think about it. Think hard.

You’ll need this answer pretty soon. In fact, you’ll need it today.

Because it’s the exact answer you should give the next time someone asks you “And what do you do?”

Stop telling people what you do for a living. Pretend the post-work future is now.

Here. Let’s get started.

“It’s so nice to make your acquaintance, faithful and intelligent reader. It’s a pleasure to meet you. And what do you do?”

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An Open Letter to The Huffington Post

The difference between Entertainment and Life & Style

Our ancient, pre-literate ancestors fought an uphill battle. There was sickness, cold, predators, hunger, and a lot of pain and death. And that was all before 9am.

language1Imagine early Homo Sapiens huddled together in a cave to keep warm and stay dry, avoiding whatever beasties were outside ready to gnaw on their skulls. You get the picture? It was brutal. It’s a miracle we are still here. Well, almost. We did have a few advantages over the rest of the environment.

After all, maybe this was always our destiny.

Homo Sapiens had more to offer than our tree-swinging cousins, and a little more curiosity about the world. We invented language. We learned to talk and to communicate symbolically.

Watch out world. Suddenly, humans were a force to be reckoned with. After learning to speak and write, we were no longer solo creatures. We were a collective instrument, thinking and sharing ideas. Building civilizations and inventing.

Many anthropologists and researchers agree that we are humans because we invented a symbolic language. It’s likely the one major difference that drove us to create art and culture and the scientific method, rather than remaining content picking bugs out of our fur.

That’s a lot of preamble. Even I recognize that. So, the obvious question is how does the Huffington Post fit into this discussion?

I have one humble request.language2

Like so many people around the world, I love your website. Some of it is a little click-baity. But, this is the internet. You gotta get it where you can get it.

There is one slight oversight regarding your website you can likely “fix” in a few minutes. Granted, if you want to “fix” it.

From time to time, I read your section on “Books”. Your book reviews are often quite good with topics other websites miss. Naturally, I want to find book reviews in your “Life & Style” section, because books are obviously stylish and life-giving.

But, sadly, I find “Books” in your “Entertainment” category. Like, reading is something we consume to shun the boredom, like watching reality TV. It reminds me more of disposable movie culture. You watch bad, schlocky films one time then forget about them forever. Some directors actually create art, intending for their babies to be viewed dozens and dozens of times.

Reading can be entertaining. We’ve all turned a few unengaging book pages on a plane or bus to simply pass the time. But there’s so much more to reading.

Books are how we grow, mentally and spiritually. Yet, we are becoming more addicted to other attractive media forms. Purchasing a book buys you a ticket into a club only a few language3belong to; the readers. People who think consuming long form narratives, both fiction and non, is important to their existence. We are in awe how this one invention, printing symbols on paper, can transform our minds, entire societies, and the world.

Books are life. If humans hadn’t invented language and writing, we would not be here today. We wouldn’t have been able to tell our friends about the pending mammoth attack, or to communicate where food was to be found. We would’ve been overtaken by another animal on this planet as the dominant species.

But, none of this happened because we can talk and write.

Dear Huffington Post, this is why books are so much more than entertainment. They are life. They are the style in which we have become Homo Sapiens.

Thanks for the consideration,

the best,

Mr. Vanishing Paperweight

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