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Zoltan Istvan is a former journalist, political candidate, entrepreneur, bestselling author, and founder of the US Transhumanist Party. He has been on this podcast twice before when we discussed Istvan’s presidential campaign and his bestselling novel The Transhumanist Wager.
During this 1-hour conversation with Zoltan Istvan, we cover a variety of interesting topics such as the challenge of doing graduate school at Oxford, Quantum Archaeology; Trump, transhumanism, politics, and conflict; the Immortality or Bust documentary; microchipping refugees and selling off public lands; the ethics of doing damage now in the hope of fixing it later; technosolutionism and why Technology is Not Enough; longevity, entrepreneurship, and healthcare; the distinction between a body with a brain vs a brain with a body; the timeline to AGI, mind-uploading and indefinite life extension.
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With his popular 2016 US Presidential run as a science candidate, bestselling book The Transhumanist Wager, and speeches at institutions like the World Bank and World Economic Forum, Zoltan Istvan has spearheaded the effort to transform transhumanism into a thriving worldwide phenomenon. He is often cited as the global leader of the radical science movement. A humanitarian activist and former journalist for National Geographic, Zoltan has been compared in major media to a young Al Gore and described as a modern-day Ayn Rand.
Born in California, Zoltan is an Ivy-league educated man yearning to use science, technology, and reason to dramatically remake humanity. Over the last few years, Zoltan has consulted for the US Navy and the Government of Dubai as a futurist, interviewed to be Libertarian Gary Johnson’s Vice President, appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience (and dozens of other shows), and given many speeches, including at Microsoft, the Global Leaders Forum, Congreso Futuro, and the Financial Times Camp Alphaville (opening Keynote). Zoltan was the only presidential candidate to be interviewed by the underground mega-group Anonymous. His award-winning 2013 novel The Transhumanist Wager was a #1 bestseller in Philosophy and also a top 5 Amazon book. It’s been compared in reviews to Ayn Rand’s work over 1000 times. It’s being taught in various colleges and high schools around the world as a warning and inspiration about the future. Coming out in 2019 is a feature documentary four years in the making called Immortality or Bust, which covers his historic bus tour across America on the Immortality Bus. Zoltan is the founder of the Transhumanist Party, the author of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, and a frequently interviewed expert on AI and genetic editing. Before becoming a futurist, he was a journalist for the National Geographic Channel (often an on-camera reporter) and The New York Times Syndicate. Zoltan has traveled to over 100 countries and has a degree in Philosophy and Religion from Columbia University. He frequently writes articles for The New York Times, Newsweek, Vice, Wired, HuffPost, TechCrunch, and other major media. He was an endorsed libertarian candidate for California Governor in 2018 before being knocked out of the race in the June 5, 2018, statewide primaries.
Zoltan is a successful entrepreneur, with The New Yorker and The Atlantic citing he made his wealth in real estate. Zoltan is married to a medical doctor, and they have two daughters. Zoltan’s feature warzone documentary, Pawns of Paradise, on the Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan, won two documentary awards and played in film festivals around the world. Zoltan was a Communications Director at WildAid, a major nonprofit wildlife organization that aims to stop wildlife poaching and protect endangered species. As an athlete, Zoltan was a national champion water polo player and is credited with inventing the extreme sport of Volcano Boarding, which debuted on the National Geographic Channel in 2002 and is practiced around the world today. Zoltan plays the guitar and piano and owns vineyard properties in Mendoza, Argentina, and Napa Valley, California.