While reading this post, keep in mind that I don’t live in a swing state. Also, I voted for candidates listed on the ballot for other offices after researching their positions on various issues. I voted for state and local candidates who I thought would expand access to healthcare and support medical research. Decisions made at the state and local level are just as important as choosing a president and possibly even more important. Even if I voted for Barack Obama or Dr. Jill Stein for president, FiveThirtyEight still has Kansas listed at a 100% probability of a Romney win.
Projections like this show that the Electoral College is incredibly obsolete. That outdated institution further demoralizes voters and undermines the already tenuous belief that a citizen’s individual vote matters in a national election. My unorthodox vote is also a small protest against the two major political parties in the USA that get billions of dollars of free advertising thanks to their insider connections with media conglomerates. Therefore I am pleased to announce that I voted for Ray Kurzweil as a write-in vote on my advance ballot. Kurzweil represents the best aspects of America: entrepreneurship, invention, scientific research, helping others, and sharing knowledge. Kurzweil makes predictions and then assesses the accuracy of those predictions. He has an accuracy rate which far surpasses other predictors. He incorporates new scientific evidence to change his worldview, as he did between his books The 10% Solution for a Healthy Life and Transcend.
Other presidential candidates share a mission to improve healthcare and I commend them for that. Their proposals still do not go far enough (though to be fair to them, this lack of radical change is often the fault of their political opponents). One of Kurzweil’s messages is simple, yet few people contemplate it. This basic message is: death is bad. Death kills more people than any other cause. Politicians can waste money on wars in the Middle East and on the War on Drugs, but for some reason they haven’t declared war on death. Many politicians and their followers seem to have a nonchalant attitude towards aging and death even though death makes their lives pointless and worthless in the end.
On the secular left, death undermines the rationale for helping others. Whether someone helps the poor or exploits disadvantaged people for greedy and hedonistic purposes, that individual still ends up dead anyway. On the religious right, death undermines all the hard work people accomplish in business and do for their families. Many people work hard to provide for their families, but even Jesus said in the Bible that people should leave their families and follow God instead.
Existing politicians are also locked into the obsolete frames of law, economics, and history. They need to adopt the greater precision and predictive power of math, physics, and biology. Econophysicists show that the economy is a complex interdependent system built on boom-bust cycles. No one person or even one political party can guarantee economic success. Kurzweil is not a mathematician, but his MIT degree and experience in engineering means that he probably understands math and its application to reality better than any politician.
Ray Kurzweil also contemplates and discusses the importance of information technology in today’s world. Decades before Marc Andreessen wrote about how software is eating the world, Kurzweil was predicting the rise of the web and the increasing involvement of artificial intelligence in everyday life. He also goes beyond simply predicting the future and decides to create it through inventions that improve accessibility for disabled people. He makes decisions based on scientific and engineering data rather than relying on obsolete religious documents. Kurzweil’s increasing involvement in biotechnology through serving on the board of United Therapeutics and writing his new book How to Create a Mind shows that biotechnology can be as important and revolutionary in the years to come as information technology has been over the past several decades.
Here are some recent presentations and interviews featuring Ray Kurzweil: