Meet The Only U.S. Presidential Candidate Promising Immortality


This is Episode 5 of Real Future, Fusion’s new documentary series about technology and society. Previous episodes available at

If you were going to invent a human being to run for president of the United States as the first-ever candidate from the Transhumanist Party, his name would probably be Zoltan.

He would be tall and broad, with blondish hair like a Ken doll. He would be well-read, but not so snooty and intellectual as to hurt his credibility as an everyman. And he’d probably live in an idyllic place in the proximity of Silicon Valley, where he could stew in the techno-utopianism of the region. You’d want a person, in short, who could be a vessel for messages about the future, an unassuming but comforting container for radical ideas about life, death, and what it is to be human.

Unbelievably, this man, Zoltan Istvan, actually exists. He’s an author and futurist who lives in Mill Valley, Calif, a wealthy suburb of San Francisco that still manages to exude leafy small-town charm. And yes, he is actually running for president this November. Zoltan believes that his ragtag party of technologists, body-hackers, and would-be philosophers should be given control of the United States of America.

In this episode of Real Future, I hit the campaign trail with Zoltan, and took a close look at his strange, fledgling candidacy.

Zoltan’s campaign has some of the trappings of a legitimate political campaign—door-to-door canvassing, bus tours, overblown rhetoric. But if it were a real campaign, it would be absurd. The number of real transhumanists, people who believe we should use technology to transcend current human abilities, is still tiny.

And for good reason: the Transhumanist philosophy is a strange grab bag of people who are —> Read More