Transhumanism and immortality are among the various issues raised by the developments in the science and technology fields. Various modern-day utopians such as political parties get their motivation from the hope for a better ideal perfect world. Jamie Bartlett a captures such radicals in the book. In the first chapter titled the “Transhumanist’s Wager,” Bartlett takes us through the campaign journey of a self-proclaimed transhumanist Zoltan, who is a candidate in the presidential elections under the transhumanists party. The author uses various strategies to appeal to the reader while communicating the effects of mortality, science, and technology on the issue of transhumanism.
Bartletthas an excellent balance of genuine open-mindedness and healthy skepticism. He’s the kind of writer that can sift through complexities to find value in supposedly absurd or dismissed ideas, be highly critical while avoiding cynicism, and also be skeptical of skeptics themselves. Despite mortality being impossible in the current world, the narrator does not take a different stand from Zoltan. Zoltan believes that immortality can is achievable through science and technology. He, however, does not count himself a transhuman. The transhumanists flourish for some time but then wither all of a sudden. In this chapter, Zoltan has a political movement which is not a political party. He, however, claims it is a party and mobilizes donations from his supporters. He aims to cause a stir in the political arena. He, however, does not stand a chance in the presidential race, a fact he knows but continues to lobby more people into transhumanism.
The “Transhumanist’s Wager” is mainly political based writing. Bartlett is selective in his audience. The idea of transhumanism is not appealing to the majority of the groups in the society. However, the text aims to communicate to the groups who are dissatisfied with the current state of the nation politically and on the issues of technology as well as mortality. Mostly, the youths fit in the described group. Youths want to continue enjoying the kind of life they lead forever. Also, many of the young generations have discontent with the overall political system where they are left out. Besides, the youths are more enthusiastic about science and technology than all the other population groups. Therefore, they form Bartlett’s audience in the “Transhumanist’s Wager.”
Bartlett’s writing is smooth and authoritative with a noticeably friendly tone. He doesn’t miss a beat. He keeps you constantly the reader interested, and even allows for the occasional humor among the audience. When subject matter gets complicated, the author thankfully doesn’t, breaking down and filtering the material so readers can digest it more easily.Bartlett alienates himself from the transhumans and tries to be objective on the subject of mortality. Through his separation, he appeals to the audience as an open-minded individual. The r, therefore, can believe his views about Zoltan’s movement since the narrator pretends not to be part of it. He is consequently successful in appealing to the reader.
Similarly, Bartlett questions the authenticity of the Transhumanist party. The narrator is keen on the progress of the campaigns and therefore notices Zoltan’s questionable behavior. Despite being the leader, Zoltan is afraid of getting a chip in his hand. Additionally, he doubts the political commitment of Zoltan. After finding out that Zoltan’s campaign was not for the presidential seat but fame, he leaves the course. The author is, therefore, appealing to the audience by showing that he is genuine in his intentions of helping Zoltan’s presidential campaign. He, however, presents the other characters as doubtful since they are not sure about their goals in the transhumanist movement.
The writer uses a present-day setting with actual dates and years keeping the reader alert. He is effective in achieving his educative intentions to the young generation who are tech enthusiasts and rejectionists when it comes to the naturalway of life. The author shows the reader the vagueness of many movements in the current world whose intentions are to stir things in society.Despite massive following on the social media arena, such movements are driven by selfish individuals who have no concern for the rest. He starts the conversation about the controversial topic of transhumanism through the political approach. He uses a skeptic approach and does not take a stand for or against the subject which makes it easy to talk about it. However, the author fails to think in the shoes of the young generation who are the audience. He does not show their perceptions about the topic.
In summary, the “Transhumanist’s Wager” is the campaign journey of Zoltan who believes that transhumanism is the only kind of leadership necessary for saving the human population. Bartlett starts the conversation about the topic of transhumanism through cynism and avoids taking any stand. He is, however, appealing to the reader through analyzing the situations open-mindedly and casting doubt on the credibility of the other characters in the reading. However, he fails to include the audience’s perception about the topic of transhumanism.
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