The Transtopian Principles
Personal empowerment taken
to its logical conclusion; common sense codified.
infinite existence under the best possible conditions.
Primary means: reason, science, and technology.
Motivation: enlightened self-interest.
Transtopianism is a memetic
complex, a collection of mutually supporting (and
partially overlapping) concepts, lifestyles, worldviews,
and philosophies. Though none of its separate components,
grouped together in 12 Principles, are particularly
new or unique, the combination is. Transtopianism
is a typical example of the whole being greater than the
sum of its parts; its rational enlightenment "spontaneously"
emerges from a collection of useful but individually limited
memes, just like human consciousness "spontaneously" emerges
from a collection of sophisticated yet individually limited
Central to Transtopianism is the view that we should seek
to void all limits on our freedom, including those imposed
by the "laws" of nature -- a concept known as "arch-anarchy"
[T.O. Morrow, 1990].
This state of absolute personal freedom is to be achieved
by rational means like science and technology, not by
wishful thinking or superstition. Transtopianism may include
some "speculative", or even what one might call "religious"
or "spiritual" elements, but these are all placed within
a solid framework of common sense, where they belong.
Transtopianism is designed to be the ultimate rational
"rebellion" against anything and everything that stands
in the way of personal growth and empowerment. Unlike
most supposedly similarly-oriented philosophies (LaVeyan
Satanism & Objectivism, for example), it recognizes that in order to realize
this ideal we must leave the flesh and most of its evolved
habits behind. We must evolve beyond them by literally
becoming one with our technologies, guided by our rational
desire to become like our finest imaginary gods: eternal,
omniscient, omnipotent. That is the true significance
of gods; they are the embodiment of man's deepest aspirations
and desires, which, until recently, were doomed to remain
just that. Fortunately, the times they are a-changing...
These Principles represent an (ever evolving) ideal
towards which those seeking to pursue their enlightened
self-interest should strive; it can't realistically be
expected that any unaugmented mortal could actually live
up to them completely. We all have our inevitable
mental and physical weaknesses, and only (advanced) technology
can truly set us free. Transtopianism doesn't promise
instant "Absolute Perfection"; this is something which,
presumably, lies somewhere beyond the Spike in the realm
and Powers. It can, however, highlight certain
memetic and physical tools that can make the journey
towards the event horizon swifter, more exciting &
comfortable, and ultimate success more likely. Transtopianism
is equally about improving life in the here-and-now as
it is about harnessing the awesome power of the imminent
technological Singularity and ascending to a
state of "virtual" godhood.
Transtopianism is closely related to its parent philosophy
Transhumanism, but there
are also some notable differences. These are, among others:
a) A much stronger
focus on the Singularity, though not as narrow and absolute
as that of "pure" (Yudkowskian) Singularitarianism.
This sprawling memetic complex is
currently still in its early evolutionary phases, but
already it is a distinct Transhuman subspecies with, if
nothing else, a lot of potential.
b) The explicit inclusion of specific technologies
/ procedures, most notably cryonics, and
c) "politically charged" memes. Transtopianism
does neither pretend nor desire to be "politically neutral",
let alone "politically correct", even
though politics play just a relatively minor role in
the Principles as a whole.
d) A more individualistic, pragmatic, and "realistic"
approach to morality and ethics.
e) Auxiliary "lifestyle" elements, including,
but not limited to: childfreeness, nootropic, entheogenic, and hedonistic drug
music, (techno)gothic memes and paraphernalia, fiscal
and financial freedom, food
supplements, homeopathy, and other forms of "alternative"
medicine, advanced self-defense techniques, and cyberpunk-style
So, Transtopianism is basically a greatly expanded yet
at the same time more tightly focused and stricter codified,
darker, bolder, neocyberian, technogothic,
Singularitarian version of Transhumanism. A bit like early
Extropianism, before it was gradually transformed
into something blander and (supposedly) more "respectable".
Unlike Transhumanism, which is above all a descriptive
and open philosophy, Transtopianism aims to become
a real (underground) movement; a practical lifestyle
that leads directly towards an eternal, infinite virtual
paradise of pure power, knowledge, and bliss -- Transtopia.
Now, the latter is of course by no means guaranteed. The
years or decades ahead are not only the most promising,
but also the most dangerous in all of human history. Traditional
weapons of mass destruction will continue to be a serious
threat up to the very end, though their power will soon
pale next to the destructive potential of "Transhuman"
technologies like advanced genetic engineering, neural
interfaces and augmentations, nanotech, and AI; the harbingers
of the Singularity...or horsemen of the Technocalypse.
That's the way it is -- no guarantees, merely infinite
positive and negative potential. Technology can
be both a creator and a destroyer, and those who control
it hold the keys to both Heaven and Hell. Sugar-coating
reality only makes sense if you've already (subconsciously)
decided that you're not, and never will be, a "player".
It's the attitude of a passive victim, a wishful thinker.
We can be players, though. Not as lone, isolated
individuals, but as "united individualists" pursuing
a common goal: a good time here on Earth followed by an
eternity in Upload Heaven. United we stand, and all that.
We already have the vision, and together we might find
ways to turn our combined talents into hard cash, cash
into cutting-edge technology, and technology into godhood.
The Singularity...could be us, if we put some effort
were born to be princes of the universe.
No man could understand;
My power is in my own hand.
-- Queen; Princes of the Universe
Do you have an unusually strong taboo-smashing rational
instinct that allows you to see further than the
flock o' sheeple, and the intelligence, courage, and resolve
to use it to full effect? Are you ready to shed your limited,
fleshy mortal coil and become a true technogod? Are you
hardcore -- are you a Transtopian? Well,
if you agree with the Principles, the answer is "yes".
More or less by definition. Whether you like it or not.
But let's not dwell on introductions, Enlightenment awaits!
the large red links to view the complete &
unabridged version of each Principle, or scroll
down and (then) use the navigation links at the bottom
of the page if you want to proceed sequentially]
Reason (rational thinking) is good because it leads
to practical, useful results. If applied systematically,
it can significantly improve the quality of one's
life. Irrationality is (potentially) dangerous and
inefficient, and should therefore be avoided as much
Transtopianism is a continuously evolving philosophy,
a logical consequence of the search for perfection
which lies at its core. We need to avoid stale, impractical
dogmas, while at the same time preserving those values
that are clearly reasonable and helpful in improving
our condition, or at least aren't detrimental to this
Pleasure and happiness are the highest (known) good,
the most logical "meaning of life", and (therefore)
the interim Supergoal of Transtopianism. Positive
emotions and sensations are inherently valuable;
their profound, unconditional "goodness" becomes immediately
apparent to all who experience them, and in their
absence life is -by definition- at best bland and
meaningless, at worst unbearable to the point of suicide.
In order to be able to experience true eternal bliss
as gods in virtual Eden (which, thanks to exponential
scientific and technological progress, will soon be
a very real possibility -- see also "Transhumanism"
and "Singularitarianism") we must curb our more dangerous
and impractical hedonistic impulses, and focus on
becoming part of the financial and technological elite.
At the same time we should also try to seize the day
as often as possible, for there may be no tomorrow;
this balancing act is the essence of Intelligent Hedonism.
Cryonic suspension is an experimental procedure whereby
patients who no longer can be kept alive with today's
medical abilities are preserved at extremely low temperature
for treatment in the future. To have one's brain or
whole body frozen or otherwise preserved upon death
is the rational, civilized, and aesthetic thing to
Transhumanism (>H) is the belief that we
can, and should, try to overcome our biological
limitations by means of reason, science, and technology.
Transhumanists seek things like intelligence augmentation,
increased strength and beauty, extreme life extension,
sustainable mood enhancement, and the capability to
leave the planet and explore the universe. These goals
are to be achieved with the aid of contemporary and
future technologies such as genetic engineering, nanotechnology,
cryonics, AI, and mind uploading. In other words,
(hardcore) Transhumanists seek to become posthuman
(demi-)gods; "persons of unprecedented physical, intellectual,
and psychological capacity. Self-programming, self-constituting,
potentially immortal, unlimited individuals."
The technological Singularity is the postulated point
or short period in our future when our self-guided
evolutionary development accelerates enormously (powered
by nanotech, neuroscience, AI, and perhaps uploading)
so that nothing beyond that time can reliably be conceived.
It is the birth of superhuman intelligence and the
end of life as we know it, perhaps of life period.
Barring massive, global man-made or natural disasters,
the Singularity will probably take place sometime
during the first half of this century. Instead of
passively awaiting, unconditionally supporting, or
mindlessly opposing this event which, without a doubt,
is both the greatest threat and the greatest opportunity
mankind has ever faced, Transtopians want to harness
the Singularity's awesome power through the directed,
systematic, and careful application of "transhumanizing"
technologies -- they want to become the Singularity.
From a survivalist point of view, this is the most
Religion, in the traditional superstitious and dogmatic
sense, is at best harmless folly, but more often than
not it is a force that is diametrically opposed to
one's freedom, well-being, and even very surival.
Religion enslaves and atrophies the mind, stimulates
violently (self-)destructive behavior, and hampers
(life-saving) progress. It is fundamentally incompatible
with true rationalism and the scientific method, and
needs to be rejected utterly for both practical and
"moral" reasons. It's time to stop worshipping gods,
and aim at becoming gods.
Most "traditional" (Judeo-Christian etc.) morals and
ethics should be rejected as they, instead of being
useful tools for personal growth and empowerment,
only make life more difficult than it already is.
From a rational Egoist's perspective, that which serves
his enlightened self-interest (infinite existence
under the best possible conditions) is "good", that
which is neutral towards it is "acceptable", and that
which works against it is "bad". Potentially harmful
or even lethal "altruistic" impulses, guilt,
shame, and other such evolutionary garbage should
be suppressed or, better yet, eliminated altogether.
An eye for an eye (proportional
retribution) and the Golden Rule (anything
goes, as long as "innocents" aren't harmed against
their will) are fair and logical principles, and should
be the main pillars of (private, contract group) law.
& Financial Empowerment
To be prepared for a future that may be full of difficult
changes, and survive in an entropic world, one should
take personal responsibility for one's security. Self-defense
encourages one's sense of autonomy and personal power,
so it is wise to learn the proper use of devices and
techniques that can protect you from harm. Reject
fear, meekness, pacifism and all other self-castrating
mental patterns. Experiment with things like food
supplements, diets, and exercise techniques in order
to become stronger and healthier. Get as rich as possible,
for money is the key to health, happiness, and -ultimately-
Transtopians don't breed because, assuming that one
wants to be a good parent, children are a serious
drain in terms of time and resources, are likely to
increase stress, ruin relationships, and will severely
limit one's freedom. It is a very empowering
decision not to have children, especially for women,
who, due to tradition and biology, must sacrifice
(much) more. It means that one doesn't bow to nature's
and society's pressures to conform; by saying "no"
to procreation, you reject being just another link
in life's mindless chain of births and deaths, just
another runner in an endless relay race. In the spirit
of Egoism, you confirm that you are an end in itself,
not just a walking incubator or sperm donor. Other
elements of the procreational complex such as phenylethylamine-induced
highs (love), ritualized bonding (marriage), and copulation
(sex) also tend to -sometimes seriously- erode
one's mental stability, rational faculties, and autonomy,
and should consequently be avoided as well -- or at
least approached with due caution and skepticism.
Though Transtopians have no doubts about man's enormous
potential to overcome his biological and social
limits, they are generally less optimistic than "regular"
Transhumanists and Singularitarians about the future.
Annihilation is a very real possibility; in fact,
it is much more likely than a positive outcome. Nonetheless,
Transtopians are by no means technophobes or defeatists
because they recognize that the very technologies
that threaten our future can, when used properly,
improve life far beyond our wildest dreams and save
us from other (socio-political, economic, and natural)
disasters that loom ever larger on the horizon. Indeed,
without technology and progress we would remain at
the mercy of an uncaring, entropic universe, and would
soon fall prey to degeneration, misadventure, and
disease. Death is programmed into our very genes.
The status quo is literally a dead-end, and
therefore not an acceptable option.