#15: Is Immortality Possible and Ethical? Spearheading the Transhumanist Movement w/ Zoltan Istvan, 2016 US Presidential Candidate and Owner of ZI Ventures

Hello! I’m Julian and I’m a Gen Z entrepreneur, software engineer, and podcaster. I am the fusion of an ambitious entrepreneur, a tech whiz, a futurist, a productivity aficionado, and a self-improvement junkie.
I am currently the Co-Founder & CEO at Mindflow (https://apple.co/3QFdPlE). Previously, I was the co-founder & CTO at Vize and worked as a Software Engineer at Meta, LinkedIn, and Goldman Sachs.

“We are curious to find out how far the body can go.

– Zoltan Istvan

If you could live forever, would you? Combining the forces of science and technology, a leader for the movement towards immortality has emerged. Zoltan was reporting frontline for National Geographic in war zones, even enduring a near-death experience with a landmine in Vietnam. This enlightened him to the value behind surpassing the limitations of terminal flesh and improving the human being and therefore the human experience.

Zoltan Istvan is the American-Hungarian Owner and President of ZI Ventures, a former 2020 US Presidential Candidate for the Republican party, founder of the Transhumanist Party, and a Bestselling Author and Futurist. He currently serves as a media figure working towards publicizing transhumanism and accumulating funding for further research.

Transhumanism is a social and psychological movement in which the proponents advocate and predict the enhancement of the human condition. Transhumanists are developing technologies that can greatly enhance longevity, mood, and cognitive abilities.

Once we tie that into our brain, we’ll be able to relate it directly into our consciousness. And that could be a very different experience of what it means to be a human being.”

– Zoltan Istvan

💬 Discussed in this episode…

● [00:06] Overview and background
● [03:43] What transhumanism is, why it is important, and why Zoltan is interested in it
● [06:45] What it would be like to access more than one percent of the universe
● [08:21] The problems transhumanism is aiming to solve
● [10:41] Overcoming the problem of economic disparity due to the cost of these technologies
● [14:13] Why immortality will not decrease the preciousness of life
● [16:26] How to change the culture of a country and the world when most politicians believe in an afterlife
● [18:25] Where Zoltan’s contrarian thinking comes from and his experience with psychedelics
● [20:51] How Zoltan deals with the psychological toll of criticism
● [22:32] How these transhumanism philosophies and ideas influenced him as an entrepreneur
● [25:44] The one concept Zoltan would teach all entrepreneurs
● [27:16] Does Zoltan believe we’re living in a simulation?
● [27:41] How Zoltan will invent the future

What is the PROBLEM that transhumanism is solving??

About 150,000 people are dying per day. Transhumanists are in a race to overcome death.

Moreover, inequality is worsening in the social sphere. With proper structure and basic income, our health care systems could support this movement of strengthening our mortal bodies.

With a trillion dollars, death could be conquered in 10 to 20 years. Unfortunately, the National Institute of Health (NIH) is not funding research because aging is not viewed as a terminal disease.

We currently only access less than one percent of the light and sounds that can be heard in the universe. Our perceptions of the vastness around us are extremely limited.

One day we are going to surpass our biology and become cyborgs and probably just pure data at some point in the next hundred or 200 or 300 years.”

– Zoltan Istvan

🛠️ What is transhumanism’s SOLUTION??

Augmenting our current human capabilities through technology.

Transhumanism is both the application of radical technology to human beings and a social movement of surmounting beyond our physical restraints (think travelling space and merging with machines).

Aging is a disease with a feasible cure. For example, transhumanism has developed prosthetics that tie to your neural system for soldiers’ crippling wounds. These robotic limbs are currently allowing wounded veterans, the handicapped, and disabled people to regain their strength. From brain implants to driverless cars and jet packs, technology bolsters us to be more than human.

We have not yet tapped into 99 percent of the universe. Imagine having a hundred senses; it would revolutionize our human experience. The pursuit of indefinite lifespans is spurred on by the complexity of life and the desire to discover the vastness of our universe and exponentially improve our intellect.

Machines will retain a sense of their humanity, mitigating the risk of conflict between humans and cyborgs.

While establishing a universal basic income, accessibility to augmented healthcare will not be an issue. A positive cycle of investing into society will be reinforced.

As a result, transhumanism___

Transhumanism’s mission is to “encourage the use of biotransformative technologies in order to “enhance” the human organism.”

🌎 What is transhumanism’s VISION?

Exploring the infinite possibilities of enhancing the human experience.

Consider a third arm or an IQ five times as large. If you could throw a football half a mile with perfect precision, why wouldn’t you?

Existing innovations today will later apply to those beyond wounded veterans, the handicapped, and disabled people. Transhumanist technology will empower people to live more fully.

If we can cure death by the year 2030 versus the year 2050, we will be able to save one billion lives.

“Within five to 10 years, there’s a good chance that some robotic limbs will be more functional in some ways than the human arm is.”

– Zoltan Istvan

💣 2 Value Bombs

  1. One of the most beautiful things you can discover is what you’re capable of creating, giving, becoming, and achieving in this life. Be a curiosity addict and always inquire how you could better the world. Elon Musk’s philosophy with Tesla is that if he can accelerate the existence of electric cars by ten years, he is saving the planet through eliminating exhaust emissions. It’s about getting there as soon as possible because of the long-term magnitude of the potential impact.
  2. Peter Diamandis says “The day before something is a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea.” The core of being an entrepreneur is challenging the status quo and always, no matter how good things are or how bad they are, seeing things for what they could be and not for what they currently are. When you lead into unknown territory, entrepreneurs are brave when most people are afraid..

People & Resources Mentioned 

The Transhumanist Wager book by Zoltan Istvan
● Mark Zuckerberg
● Jeff Bezos
● Peter Diamandis
● Elon Musk’s philosophy with Tesla
Immortality or Bust documentary

Zoltan Istvan’s LinkedIn
Zoltan Istvan’s Website
Zoltan Istvan’s Instagram
ZI Ventures’ Website

Want to keep the conversation going?

Join the Slack Community for this podcast to engage in discussions related to the topics discussed in this episode. You’ll also be able to meet, engage, and potentially collaborate with the like-minded people that listen to this podcast. In this community, we’ll share content, advice, and anything else that will help us become better entrepreneurs and humans.

Follow us on our social platforms
Connect with Julian Alvarez

Sign up for our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates on new episodes. I’ll also share notes, insights, wisdom, tools, and resources that are designed to help you become a better entrepreneur and live a healthier, fulfilling, and more productive life.

Success! You're on the list.

Leave a Reply

More from this show

Inventing The Future


Subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates on new episodes along with notes, wisdom, tools, and other resources, that are designed to help you live a healthier, fulfilling, successful, and more productive life.

Episode 15