To begin with, yes, Zoltan Istvan really is the real name of a real person. Not only is he a real person, but he really ran for President of the United States in 2016 for the “Transhumanist” party, and really traveled around America in a coffin-shaped bus to make a point about the human capacity, if we pursue it, to defeat the greatest enemy of mankind: Death itself. Zoltan garnered a few dozen votes, in the few states where he was able to get ballot access as a write-in candidate (our political system being strongly geared against independent political candidates unless they happen to already be massively famous and/or fabulously wealthy). Zoltan was briefly considered for a potential vice-presidential nod by the Libertarian campaign of Governor Gary Johnson, who ultimately threw in with Bill Weld to historically great effect, insofar as the success of the party goes. Zoltan is presently running in the 2018 race for Governor of California -- as a Libertarian -- and stands to substantially improve on his electoral performance in that effort.

Interestingly, political pursuits may be amongst the less interesting facets of his life To essentially quote myself from before, Zoltan's author bio preceding his piece in Pandeism: An Anthology reads:

Bestselling visionary author and 2016 candidate for President of the United States Zoltan Istvan, an American-Hungarian, began a solo, multi-year sailing journey around the world at the age of 21. His main cargo was 500 handpicked books, mostly classics. He’s explored over 100 countries—-many as a journalist for the National Geographic Channel-—writing, filming, and appearing in dozens of television stories, articles, and webcasts. His work has also been featured by The New York Times Syndicate, Outside, San Francisco Chronicle, BBC Radio, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, Animal Planet, and the Travel Channel. In addition to his award-winning coverage of the war in Kashmir, he gained worldwide attention for pioneering and popularizing the extreme sport of volcano boarding. He is a philosophy and religious studies graduate of Columbia University and resides in San Francisco with his daughter and physician wife. Zoltan published The Transhumanist Wager, a fictional thriller describing apatheist Jethro Knights and his unwavering quest for immortality via science and technology. The controversial novel was a number 1 bestseller in Philosophy and Sci-Fi Visionary on Amazon.
Most prominently, then, Zoltan is a grand champion (perhaps the grand champion) of Transhumanism. Zoltan's novel, The Transhumanist Wager teases out philosophical ideas regarding the concept (as does his article, “Transhumanism and Theistcideism” for Pandeism: An Anthology, along with many other articles for publications like Huffington Post). Theistcideism, in fact, is a novel approach, tracking a radical form of Pandeism, for it is the notion that all living things strive in their way towards achieving godhood, but once this peak is reached, there are no worlds left to conquer, and the only challenge remaining would be to destroy one's godself -- the theistic equivalent of suicide -- to start anew. It must be noted that Zoltan is not himself a Pandeist, nor any stripe of Theist, but leans much more heavily towards Atheism.

Istvan's libertarianism is of a quixotic breed as well. His primary thrust is that we must be as free as possible from any laws which would interfere with the inherent quest to achieve longevity (and ultimately immortality) through each individual's personal pursuit of all roads opened up scientific and technological advance. But he has written as well that libertarians must be pragmatic and politically realistic in setting their political goals if they ever wish to see an actual seat at the table of the political structure. And he has endorsed a Universal Basic Income, which some would decry as the least libertarian concept imaginable, but which he defends as bestowing a basic level of liberty on all people suitable for enabling the pursuit of greater liberty by all. Though naturally, he advocates selling off all government-held lands to finance such an effort (and pay off our existing debt). And on top of all of this, the man is blessed with reasonably rugged good looks (with an amiable veneer). It will be, quite honestly, fascinating to see what nests he stirs as both his political and his personal campaigns progress, quite likely with some at least entertaining results. Live long, Zoltan Istvan!!

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