THE BLOG
08/31/2016 02:28 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Reload: A Transhumanism Presidential Campaign Dispatch

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Zoltan Istvan speaking at RAAD Festival in San Diego

My recent dispatch from my transhumanist presidential campaign trail missed some key descriptions of my last month. I ended by telling readers the campaign trail was aging me--which is ironic since the #1 goal of my presidential run is to try to convince the world we should use science and technology to end aging and death. Even if the campaign road has been tough, the reception I've received many places has been wonderful.

Before any of the traveling even started in the last month, the San Francisco Chronicle came to my house to create a video highlighting the chip in my hand. Yes, I have a small implant, and it can do things like send a text to your phone, start a car, and unlock various things. In my case, it unlocks my house door.

Also, read my Op-Ed piece on implants in the San Francisco Chronicle which the Drudge Report also shared: Chip-enhanced Political Candidates Coming Soon.

Back to my travels. A bit over two weeks ago in San Diego, I was pleasantly surprised by the large turnout at RAAD Festival--a life extension event where 1000 people from 35 countries showed up. I penned my experiences at the event for Vice Motherboard. I wrote:

Billed as the biggest life extension festival in history, RAAD Fest took place from August 4-7. Over 1000 participants made it to the sold-out event, making it the largest group of transhumanists and longevity activists ever to assemble in one place.

The success of the festival signals the growing trend of the life extension movement. In the last few years, major companies like Google's Calico and Human Longevity Inc. have formed to combat aging. Additionally, billionaires like Peter Thiel and Larry Ellison have funded longevity and anti-aging initiatives. Even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg recently called for science to end all disease this century.

A nice 15-minute video was made of my speech at the event by the organizers.

Before RAAD Fest, I was in New York City for a unique event, Human X Design, produced by CNN Courageous and Square Enix. Because of the new Deus Ex video coming out, a 1-day event created to explore human augmentation was put on. Popular Science wrote on the event:

Sometimes art imitates reality. Sometimes reality imitates art. And sometimes you can't tell what came first. This month, Square Enix, the video game company famous for producing games like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, hosted a conference on the future of human augmentation. To my knowledge, it's the first example of a video game maker setting out to organize a bioethics conference around the subject of a game.

Popular Science continues: Only in a video game could Zoltan Istvan, a transhumanist presidential candidate, go on stage to advocate human photosynthesis. "I have friends who want to use the new genome editing CRISPR technology to grow a third eye in the back of their head," said Istvan. "They're also trying to splice plant DNA into their arms so that they could go out into the sun and photosynthesize."

I had the pleasure of being on an all women panel at the event. Our panel discussion was titled The Future of the Far, Far Next. Here's the video:

When I was finally back in San Francisco (where I live) from all my traveling, I had a chance to email interview my friend Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential candidate. Months before I'd also met with Gary Johnson, under the possibility of being chosen to be his Vice President. Johnson eventually chose the charismatic and much more experienced Governor Bill Weld. They've been doing an amazing campaign so far--so much so that Johnson and Weld now stand a decent chance of making it into the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates. Johnson and Weld are both former governors, and they'd both add an important and essential viewpoint to the debates.

I believe it's critical they're involved in the debates, not just for their own campaign which I support, but for America. It's downright un-American to only involve two parties. Johnson and Weld are polling nationally in the low double digits, which means they could end up with 10-15 million votes. They simply must be let into the debates.

You can find my exclusive interview with Gary Johnson on Futurism here.

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Zoltan Istvan and Gary Johnson

After publishing my interview, I was honored to have Nick Gillespie, editor in chief of Reason do a commentary essay on the story. I've followed Mr. Gillespie's writings for a long time. You can find his Reason story here.

In closing of this campaign dispatch, last week, a 3-minute comedy video centered on my Vice Motherboard article Technology Will Replace the Need for Big Government came out. It was made by We The Internet, and it's quite amusing.