Envisioning Politics 2.0

Available for purchase and download (from 30th June 2015)

Envisioning Politics 2.0Table of contents

  1. Zoltan Istvan’s “Teleological Egocentric Functionalism”: a libertarian philosophical basis for “Transhumanist” politics – by Roland Benedikter, Katja Siepmann, and Annabella McIntosh
  2. Four political futures: which will you choose? – by David W Wood
  3. How do governments add value to society? – by Bruce Lloyd
  4. The benefits of digital democracy – by Walter L.S. Burrough and Kay Firth-Butterfield
  5. Cyborgization: a possible solution to errors in human decision making – by Dana Edwards and Alexander J Karran
  6. Of mind and money: post-scarcity economics and human nature – by Stuart Mason Dambrot
  7. Voluntary basic incomes in a reputation economy – by Michael Hrenka
  8. Specifications: an engineer’s approach to upgrading politics – by René Milan
  9. Extended longevity: an argument for increased social commitment – by MH Wake
  10. Longevity, artificial intelligence and existential risks: opportunities and dangers – by Didier Coeurnelle
  11. Prolegomena to any future transhumanist politics – by Steve Fuller

About this book

The single most important task of the next ten years is to find better ways of cooperating. In an age of unprecedented crowds – both online and offline – the global human community urgently needs social mechanisms that will encourage the wisdom of crowds rather than the folly of crowds.

Our existing methods of mutual coordination seem to produce more strife than harmony these days. We’re struggling to cope with ever larger tensions and disruptions on the shrinking world stage. The nation state, the multinational business firm, the free market, the non-governmental organisation, the various international bodies of global coordination set up after the Second World War – all find themselves deeply challenged by the myriad fast-evolving overlapping waves of stress of the early twenty-first century.

We’re facing tragedies of the commons writ larger than ever before. The actions that make good sense to smaller groups often add up, perversely, to disastrous outcomes for the larger community. But attempts to coordinate actions to avoid such tragedies are falling foul of numerous deep-seated conflicts of interest.

Politics 1.0 has taken us a long way. But the multidimensional, intersecting nature of present-day issues and opportunities requires a new calibre of politics. Anticpating that new calibre of politics is the central purpose of the think tank Transpolitica which has published this volume.

The essays in this book provide visions of what Politics 2.0 might look like. They express the thoughts, hopes, and fears from a diverse mix of futurists, political thinkers, academics, and think-tank members. They explore various ways in which new technology might enable improved politics (analogous to the way in which technology enabled the emergence of a collaborative “Web 2.0” with community intelligence, superseding the top-down “Web 1.0”):

  • Relevant expert knowledge being quickly brought to vexed questions of subsidies, regulations, standards, and so on – rather than politicians being out of their depths
  • Automated fact-checking taking place in real-time, rather than mistakes and errant claims being allowed to influence political discussion for too long
  • Humans improving their own cognitive skills, as part of a process we can call cyborgization
  • External artificial intelligence augmenting the decision-making capabilities of humans
  • The insights of the transhumanist movement, which boldly upholds the possibility of a profound social transformation alongside human physical and mental enhancements.

Cover design

The book cover is based on a design by Alberto Rizzoli.

Recent Posts

Q2 sprint: Political responses to technological unemployment

Technological Unemployment v2

Q1 recap

Before sharing some details about Transpolitica focus during Q2 2018, here’s a quick update on Transpolitica activities during Q1 2018.

Transpolitica has made good progress during Q1 with goals identified at the start of this period:

Priority project for Q2

As Q2 approaches, it’s now time to put into motion the first of a series of time-limited projects to dive more deeply into some of the specific key themes of a better politics.

Each such project will involve gathering, developing, reviewing, and then disseminating the best technoprogressive thinking on a given topic.

The first project in the series is “Political responses to technological unemployment”, carried out over three phases:

  1. Up to end of April 2018: mainly writing and collecting submissions – framing analyses, thought pieces, policy recommendations, etc
  2. Up to end of May 2018: more focus on group deliberation – where are the weak points and the strong points of our collective understanding, and how can we improve our understanding
  3. Up to end of June 2018: more focus on communicating our findings and recommendations, via publications, memes, slogans, videos, etc

Note that I am using the phrase “technological unemployment” to also include “technological under-employment” and “precarious employment”. (A better choice of words could be one outcome from the project.)

Starting points for this project (to avoid people re-inventing the wheel) include:

Depending on progress, possible outcomes of the project might include a PDF research pamphlet, a video, an improved set of pages on H+Pedia, a press release, a set of slides, and/or a public event (such as a meeting of London Futurists in June and the Humanity+ Beijing event in July).

Questions that need addressing

Key to the success of the project will be the identification of the areas most in need of better understanding. These are the “major uncertainties” where we should prioritise our focus.

For the moment, it seems to me that these areas include:

  1. Potential transition mechanisms from where society is today, to a new social contract in which a citizen’s income (to give one example) is in place
  2. Possible alternatives to a citizen’s income
  3. Strengths and weaknesses of various forecasts of scenarios for the development of technological unemployment
  4. The pros and cons of various ways of raising money to pay for a citizen’s income
  5. The possible role of decentralised technologies such as blockchain in the administration of a citizen’s income
  6. The possibility of an “Apollo scale” project to drive down the costs of all goods and services needed for a prosperous lifestyle
  7. International and trans-border considerations

If you think you know at least part of the answers to the above questions – or if you think there are more important questions to be addressing – please do become involved.

To become more involved in this project

The mailing group https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/transpolitica exists to to coordinate planning and execution of Transpolitica projects. To join the group, visit this page, and send a subscription request.

(There’s also a Transpolitica group on Facebook, but with a potential impending mass exodus from Facebook, it’s more important than before to use other means for project coordination.)

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