The relaunch of the World Transhumanist Association (WTA) stumbles on. They are becoming Humanity Plus, though the new website is still "coming soon." Already here, however, is H+ Magazine, which is "published by Humanity+" [sic] although "not all the views and ideas expressed in this publication are the views of that organization."
The editor (and main contributor) is RU Sirius, who describes H+ as a "webzine." It's an 18" by 11" pdf, which makes it hard to read on-screen and a real pain to print out. The content is mostly interviews short and long (Aubrey de Grey, the prince of immortality, imagine that) seasoned with a smattering of science and two ads, total, for the Life Extension Foundation and Alcor the world leader in cryonics.
H+ is full of happy talk. David Ewing Duncan says he agrees with Gregory Stock. Duncan thinks that "this stuff is inevitable. We have the technology now to alter the germ line. ... It's more a matter of figuring out how to do it safely and manage it. ... It's not even a question of if anymore; it's a question of when and how."
The most interesting section, however, may be the editor's introduction:
"I tell people I'm working on a transhumanist webzine. ... It's a sort of test. Will anybody ever have a clue as to what I'm talking about? So far, the answer is no."
Oh dear. Hence, of course, the latest reboot. Extropy didn't catch on, so they tried the WTA, and now Humanity Plus (or +), not to mention the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies and its Journal of Evolution and Technology. These are closely overlapping groups of enthusiasts, many of whom got their start while we were all going to get super-rich through the stock market and become Masters of the Universe through our wondrous ability to control immensely complex systems, both economically and biologically.
Could it be that under present social, economic and political conditions, nationally and internationally, 2008 is not a propitious time to rebrand fantasies from the 1990s?
Previously on Biopolitical Times: