Sam Ghandchiسام قندچي Why I am not a Future-ist
Sam Ghandchi
چرا آینده گرا نیستم

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About three years ago, I discussed the erroneous understanding of Modern Futurism as some kind of "Future'ism" (1). In other words, the term "futurist" should not be understood as "future-ist." In Persian language, the accepted term is "ayandehnegar" which means forward-looking, and definitely does not convey a sense of one having a certain future in mind-- striving to reach! The issue is not just a difference of language and is a conceptual difference of Modern Futurism and Utopianism, and not only this issue exists in many schools of visionary futurism but is also present in analytic and participatory futurism (2). The distinction can be observed in the discourse of futurist outlook in various realms of knowledge.

During the last 40 years, I have delved into various aspects of this important difference which actually separates Modern Futurism from many past Utopian ideologies including Marxism (3). As futurists, we can even view distant futures such as the option of "New Variant to Meet Human Needs" (4) while using a "futurist" or a "future-ist" perspective and the result will be different.  The book entitled "Futurist Iran"(5) actually uses a modern futurist outlook rather than a Utopian viewpoint, when examining Iran's Revolution of 1979.  I hope to find a publisher who would be interested to make the new edition of the book available in print. 

What made the importance of the difference of Future-ism and futurism more clear to me was thinking about "wheat and chessboard problem" and Ray Kurzweil's "second half of the chessboard" story that relates to his law of accelerating returns, of which Moore’s law is one of many examples (6).  I have noticed when people set a future goal for themselves, the path seems like "first half of the chessboard" whereas when they embark on it, the journey becomes like what Kurzweil calls "second half of the chess board."

Therefore, if people stick with their original goal and strive to get there, their goal seems to get farther away, because as time passes, their journey will become more of what Kurzweil calls "second half of the chessboard," and thus, using "first half of the chessboard" view of reality makes the journey impossible, and the travelers may end up like the religious, totalitarian or ideological regimes which negate the future, as it unfolds, and are stuck in a "future" imagined long time ago, thus destroying those wanting to look at future in the eye, in every passing moment.


Hoping for a democratic and secular futurist republic in Iran,


Sam Ghandchi
May 5, 2017


1. Futurist Outlook and not Future'ism
آینده نگری و نه آینده گرایی


2. Modern Futurism
آینده نگری مدرن

3. Marxist Thought & Monism

اندیشه مارکسیستی و مونیسم -یکتا گرائی

4. New Variant to Meet Human Needs-An Electronic Book
واریانت جدید برای تأمین نیازهای بشر- کتاب الکترونیک

5. FUTURIST IRAN: Futurism vs Terrorism-Third Edition
ایران آینده نگر: آینده نگری در برابر تروریسم

6. Wheat and chessboard problem


Second half of the chessboard
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