June 8, 2004

WTA Candidacy Statement

I'm running for a seat on the WTA's Board of Directors. Vote for me and I'll set you free :-)

Here's my candidacy statement:

I'm single, 34, and the father of two boys. I have a BA (Hons) in history from the University of Western Ontario, specializing in the history of political thought, religion and science, and minoring in political science and philosophy. I'm also an accomplished electronic music composer with formal training in recorded audio production and digital audio editing. My current paying job is as the operations manager and office administrator for an information technology and communication design firm in downtown Toronto.

Over the past several years I have made a number of significant contributions to the WTA and to the transhumanist movement in general.

In 2002 I co-founded the Toronto Transhumanist Association. I am currently the President of the TTA, an organization that has turned out to be one of the WTA's most influential, dynamic and socially active chapters.

I am also the Deputy-Editor of Betterhumans, the popular Webzine and editorial production company that openly and progressively deals with issues surrounding human enhancement. My bi-weekly opinion column, Transitory Human, appears on Betterhumans in which I comment on the latest in transhumanist thought and culture, science, technology, philosophy and bioethics.

My articles have been published around the world and translated into several languages. My works have appeared in Transhumanity, The Humanist and even university texts. I am also a regular contributor to two popular transhumanist blogs, Sentient Developments, my personal blog, and Cyborg Democracy, a collaborative blog for leading transhumanist thinkers.

In addition, I am on the Institute for Accelerating Change's Civic, Humanist, and Transhumanist Advisory Board.

I have been a member of the WTA in good standing since 2002. In addition to my work with the TTA, I have contributed to the WTA through my work as a contributing editor for Transhumanity, I helped with the recent WTA FAQ update, and most significantly, I am contributing as Chair of the Organizing Committee for TransVision 2004, the annual WTA conference to be held in Toronto later this summer.

Values and Goals

My primary motivation and concern as a transhumanist involves the promotion and protection of what I consider to be the tripod of human enhancement, namely our procreative, morphological and cognitive liberties. As a transhumanist social activist, I am particularly driven to ensure that these freedoms are respected and upheld. To that end, I have published various opinion editorials and press releases here in Canada commenting on what I see as overly restrictive laws against such things as stem cell research, therapeutic cloning and gender selection. My efforts tend toward real-world concerns that are of direct consequence to humanist and transhumanist values, as well as the non-anthropocentric personhood ethic.

My interest in transhumanism also stems from my convictions as a secular humanist. I am becoming increasingly concerned by the faux bioethics frequently espoused and popularized by the various bio-Luddites and the religious right. Consequently, I have made an extra effort to reach out and offer people alternative and accessible perspectives on science, technology, bioethics and issues of human enhancement.

At the same time I have raised my voice when it has come time for me to be critical of the transhumanist movement itself. In the past I've gone toe-to-toe with a number of transhumanists, questioning what I see as inconsistent, poorly thought out or dangerous perspectives, including such things as overly enthusiastic techno-optimism, utopianism, and varying forms of determinism.

If I am to make any contribution to the WTA, it will be to keep it tempered, focused, stable and rooted firmly in reality. Further, as a member of the WTA Board, it would be my intention to see a concerted effort put into the recent initiatives put forth at the recent WTA Board meeting. It's time to see the WTA evolve to the next level.

Outside of transhumanism my interests include spending time with my kids, Hatha yoga, Vipassana meditation, jogging, secular Buddhism, vegetarianism, music history and criticism, science fictions films, and drinking fine beers.

1 comment:

citizencyborg said...

Run George Run