Futurism: Nova Bookstore and Mundus Novus
آینده نگری: کتابفروشی نُوا و موندوس نووس
P.S. 09/06/21: Today I remembered that after closing Nova Bookstore, I received a note from the late Daniel Bell about the kind of intellectual work discussed in this writing and I have linked it here, and in the letter Daniel Bell, mentions the activity of the 4 years of Nova Bookstore, Mundus Novus publication, and also my booklet 'Progressiveness in the Present Epoch' which at that time only the first part of it had been published and that was only in Persian but I had told him about its content. It was interesting that Daniel Bell in that letter mentions an era in the United States when these kinds of intellectual traditions and activities existed and regretted that now most research and published works including his own, are as he called it so-called "professionalized" and he further refers to them including his own works as 'impenetrable!' Actually Daniel Bell himself, more than 20 years before this conversation in the 1960's, was the main contributor of a publication called 'Daedelus' which was a good example of such intellectual work in the United States which he has left for us. After closing Nova Bookstore, we continued to be in contact when I worked in computer and networking companies, and he always loved to know about the latest technologies and as I have mentioned in my paper entitled 'A Theory of Uniqueness Value,' he worked on 'knowledge Theory of Value' till the end of his life but unfortunately never published it although he had mentioned the work to me in a note he had sent me in 1989!
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As noted in my 'biography', publishing a paper entitled 'Intelligent Tools: The Cornerstone of a New Civilization' in AI Magazine (the Journal of American Society of Artificial Intelligence, AAAI) in Fall of 1985, was a turning point in my perspective on Futurism and that is when I decided to open a futuristic bookstore in Sunnyvale of California to get to know like-minded people. My bookstore was called 'Nova Bookstore' with a publication called Mundus Novus which in Latin means 'New World' and published two issues of 'Mundus Novus' during those four years when Nova Bookstore was open from 1985 to 1989. Although Nova Bookstore and Mundus Novus promoted science-oriented futuristic thinking, but during those years, the New Age Movement was a very strong intellectual current especially in Northern California! I had written a critic of New Age Movement in the last section of Part One of my paper entitled 'Progressiveness in Present Epoch' which was published a year before starting Nova Bookstore. i.e. in 1984 (please note that only the Part two of that paper is available in English)! I can say that my 1985 paper Intelligent Tools, has been the best description of my thoughts on Futurism until I wrote my new book entitled 'New Variant to Meet Human Needs' in 2016, and the latter actually has been influenced by Kurzweilian Futurism! In fact, my Intelligent Tools paper was focused on narrowAI, whereas Ray Kurzweil's perspective was strongAI, and in my book about New Variant, I am highly indebted to Ray for his epoch-making work on Singularity and especially for his personal comments about the topics discussed in my book.
Hoping for a democratic and secular futurist republic in Iran,
August 29, 2021
For a Secular Democratic & Futurist Republican Party in Iran