I recently watched an online video of Zoltan Istvan, the Transhuminist Party Presidential Candidate. Yes, for those of you who were not aware of it, there is a Transhumanist Party and they do have a Presidential Candidate. He even has a campaign bus called the Immortality Bus. Just to be clear, he is not the magical machine guy from the movie “Big”. That’s Zoltar, not Zoltan.
If you do not know what the Transhuminist Party stands for, let me break it down to an overly simplified description. Transhuminist believe that through technology, life can be extended almost indefinitely, or at the very least it can be peacefully ended under full technological control in a peaceful, if not blissful manner, many years later than originally scheduled by God or nature. They believe in a kind of humanoid robotic highbred being whose quality of life can only be improved each time an iPhone or Microsoft product is upgraded to the next generation. One of his campaign slogans is “Immortality is within our reach.”
If this all sounds a little crazy to you, you may be relieved to know that Zoltan does not live in the absurd reality where he envisions himself or his party winning the upcoming election and moving into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He just wants to get the message out, mainly to religious folks who believe in an afterlife, that Transhumanist believe Technology is God and you should believe it too. At the very least, they believe technology should work hand in hand with God, perhaps sharing a space in the iCloud.
I'm a pretty conventional kind of guy, so all this eternal-techno-life stuff seemed to be on the outer limits of reality, or okay, just a bit nuts, to me. When I was a kid, I watched a sci-fi movie with somebody’s brain living forever in a robotic machine. Long after the human body was shot, the mind lived on and on. It was ever evolving, but in the wrong direction. I don’t remember it ending well for him, but that was a movie and this is reality 2016. Technology and politics have both come a long way since then, but not necessarily in the same direction. As I watched the video I was thinking the whole thing sounded more or less whack-a-doodle.
I can be a multi-tasking, attention deficit disorder kind of guy at times. So while watching the video, I was also watching the news and was flipping back and forth between two stations covering our presidential race. It was a bit of a challenge trying to find out which network or which candidate was the least absurd.
So like I said, I was watching the Transhumanist guy, who I presume doesn’t have any implants or upgrades yet, when I hit pause on the laptop and turned the volume up on the TV just in time to hear one of the mainstream candidates barking like a dog. I know you all heard about it and I don't care whether you support the barking dog candidate or not, barking like a dog just doesn't seem right when you're running for President of the United States of America.
I changed the station just in time to hear a different candidate yelling, "Liar! You're a liar! That’s sooo not true! Liar!" His face was red and puffy and his hair looked… well, different than everyone else’s hair. It was like I was watching a bad sitcom.
Before changing the station, I looked at my laptop with the paused video screen featuring the Live Forever guy. I decided to stick with the TV news for a few more minutes and flipped the channel once again. This time it was the Free Stuff guy. Free college. Free doctors. Free trips to the zoo. Free everything for almost everyone. Payment plan to be worked out later. To be clear, he has free stuff for everyone except for the Wall Street guy. The Wall Street guy gets nothing and I’m pretty sure he’s going to hell, at least according to the Free Stuff guy. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. I wondered if the Wall Street guy was a Transhuminist. I shook my head at the absurdity of it all and glanced down at the video for a moment before rolling the dice with the TV one more time.
When the other station came back on there was the soft-spoken guy who seems to have his eyes closed every time I see him. I swear he reminds me of a mole. A very warm and loveable mole, but still a mole. He was talking about the candidate whose team announced the mole had quit the campaign just before the Iowa caucus. You know the guy. He's the one that looks like a weasel. The mole wasn't happy. He closed his eyes and shook his head back and forth as he said, “Tsk, tsk, tsk. I don’t like the weasel.”
Right after the mole finished talking, the weasel came on to proclaim something about God being on his side. He also said the funny hair guy who had called him a liar was a liar, too. In fact he said a bunch of candidates were liars. Then he said he liked all the liars running against him, especially the mole. When the woman with the Cheshire cat smile strolled past in the background and started barking like a spastic little lap dog, I gave up on the TV and hit play on my computer and began listening once again to Zoltan The Immortal.
It struck me as a bit strange the guy trying to convince the world that he is not the anti-Christ, yet believes technology is our salvation, seemed pretty normal compared to the mainstream gang.
I'm not sure what it says about the election process or me, but I'm considering putting a Zoltan for President bumper sticker on my car.