Here’s A New Book All Science Enthusiasts Should Read

By Maitreya One | 25 June 2024
Church and State

Transhuman Citizen by Ben Murnane.

After reading Ben Murnane’s new biographical book Transhuman Citizen: Zoltan Istvan’s Hunt for Immortality, I’m reminded of my own place in the transhumanism movement as a black hiphop artist and popularizer of radical science. I first got to know Zoltan in 2015 when I went to Alabama on a Greyhound Bus to meet him on his US Presidential campaign tour. I remember shaking his hand and then boarding a 38-foot vehicle called the Immortality Bus that looked like a giant casket on wheels. It was Zoltan’ campaign bus, and frankly, I didn’t know what to expect at the start of my journey with him.

At the time, my father was sick from Parkinson’s disease, and I was desperately angry and afraid at the same time. I wanted to do something about those feelings. Campaigning for transhumanism—a movement trying to overcome death with science—seemed like the right thing to do. In this way, the book Transhuman Citizen reminds me of what commitment is all about: having the passion to move forward toward the goal of radical life extension.

When Zoltan built his coffin bus and campaigned for US Presidency in 2016 on the theme of extreme longevity—all of which was made into a feature documentary now on Amazon Prime called Immortality or Bust—it was a very bold stunt. We need more bold movers in transhumanism advocacy. I hope people read this book and get inspired to let their creative juices flow. Maybe then real change can happen. Often times, transhumanists get bogged down with great ideas but do nothing in the real world about it.

Writer Ben Murnane makes it clear in the book what Zoltan is trying to do: His singular goal was to quickly grow a movement to overcome death with science. When I think about our visit to the Alabama Freedom Riders Greyhound station (now a civil rights museum) and the days that followed on the road with Zoltan, I’m reminded of what Martin Luther King was doing trying to bring black and white people together to fight racial injustice. Today we have similar conflicts that we had during the civil rights movement, except instead of being about race, they are about cyborgism versus luddism. They are about religion and afterlives versus secularism and trying to overcome death with science. Divisions in society are still everywhere, and they seem to be getting worse as of late.

I think if Martin Luther King was a transhumanist he would want to unite all humanity in the fight against aging and death. I believe uniting humanity in the quest for extreme life extension is one way to make Dr. King’s dream a reality. That’s exactly what myself and transhumanists are trying to do, and Zoltan’s biography is evidence of this. The power of this book shows transhumanism is a growing and thriving movement. It’s proof we are heading in the right direction.

I had a most enjoyable few days reading Transhuman Citizen. This 239-page book is very different than the other book about Zoltan’s work: At Any Cost: A Guide to The Transhumanist Wager and Ideas of Zoltan Istvan by Chris T. Armstrong. While At Any Cost analyzes Zoltan’s cult-classic novel The Transhumanist Wager, this book examines Zoltan’s life.

Reading Transhuman Citizen is necessary because you are reading the life and times of one of the world’s most well known transhumanists—one who has helped transhumanism become far more visible to the public. As a longtime journalist, Zoltan knows how the media works, and that’s much of the reason why he’s been so helpful in growing the transhuman movement. His tricks of using new media and getting his ideas to go viral are some of the most interesting parts of the book.

Another reason I’m glad to have read Transhuman Citizen is because it shows Zoltan’s great determination in the struggle against death and disease. Zoltan knows time is not on our side—that the spectre of death is always stalking each of us, whether it be aging, cancer, heart disease, violence, or the millions of ways we all die. Zoltan, myself, and science are truly in a race against time. In fact, the author Fanconi anaemia, and he often discusses this in the book in relation to Zoltan’s life extension efforts. In this way, Murnane is a fan of life extension, but I was surprised to see him bash Zoltan a few times on other issues in an objective journalist way.

What I also enjoyed about the book is how Murnane connects Zoltan’s passion for life extension with Zoltan’s childhood and youth. Zoltan has done a lot in a short amount of time: He has sailed the world on a boat he bought, having worked hard to afford it from a young age. On his sea journey he had hundreds of books, and during those years he met tribes in the South Pacific that hadn’t seen white Westerners at all. The book continues detailing how Zoltan came back from these adventures and graduated in Philosophy from Columbia University. Zoltan’s wife, mother, sister, and others give interviews in the book, adding to the profile’s overall depth.

Much of the biography discusses Zoltan’s runs for the US Presidency and California governorship. Some of the transhuman elders were against his political runs, especially as the candidate for the Transhumanist Party in 2016. It’s a good thing this is talked about in the book openly. This will guide the next generation of transhumanists on how to diplomatically tackle relationships with the old guard in the movement. The book leaves the reader with a sense that we can all learn from Zoltan’s experience and no amount of activism is in vain.

Clearly, for science, technology, and longevity enthusiasts, this book is an important read. Zoltan is essential to transhumanism’s modern history. Murnane’s in-depth biographical book on Zoltan’s life will capture people’s imagination and inspire the next generation of transhumanists for many years to come.

Maitreya One is a hiphop artist and popularizer of transhumanism, whose work has been featured in various mainstream publications.

Dr. Ben Murnane’s biography launch of “Transhuman Citizen: Zoltan Istvan’s Hunt for Immortality”

Zoltan Istvan – Transhumanism & Beyond

Transhumanist Maitreya One’s interview w/ Zoltan Istvan – “Racism should be termed a mental disease”

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2 COMMENTS

  1. My Partner, who is 66 years old, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease last year. We noticed that he was experiencing hallucinations, slow movement, disturbed sleep, and twitchy hands and legs when at rest. He had to stop taking pramipexole (Sifrol), carbidopa/levodopa, and 2 mg of biperiden because of side effects. Our family doctor recommended a PD-5 treatment from natural herbs centre. com, which my husband has been undergoing for several months now. Exercise has been very beneficial. He has shown great improvement with the treatment thus far. He is more active now, does more, and feels less apathetic. He has more energy and can do more activities in a day than he did before. As far as tremors I observe a progress, he improved drastically. I thought I would share my husband's story in case it could be helpful, but ultimately you have to figure out what works best for you. Salutations and well wishes

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