Sam Ghandchiسام قندچي Kurzweilian Futurism
Sam Ghandchi
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آینده نگری کرزوایلی
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P.S. 06/06/21: Market Economy, Democracy and Social Justice

P.S. 05/30/21: Kurzweil: Intelligent Tools, Singularity and Obstacle

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kurzweilian-futurism

 

Modern Futurism has three components, namely analytic, visionary and participatory futurism and it dates back to the end of World War II in Europe when Ossip K. Flechtheim and Bertrand de Jouvenel were prominent founders who came to the conclusion that humanity cannot achieve the ideals of Modern Society through Capitalism or Socialism within the Industrial Society, and saw the need for a world beyond industrial society of the last 300 years in the future, to achieve those ideals, and this is why they called themselves Futurists, the same word that was used in 19th Century for science fiction writers such as Jules Verne or H.G. Wells! In the United States, Buckminster Fuller was the most prominent futurist; he was an American architect and his book entitled 'Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth' is still read as a source on Futurism to this day; he worked a lot through United Nations for a lasting peace. Unfortunately his legacy continued through his well-known student Marilyn Ferguson, who instead of going forward to a post-industrial vision, ended up in a pre-industrial outlook in her book entitled 'The Aquarian Conspiracy: Personal and Social Transformation in Our Time' which became a theoretical source for the New Age movement of 1980s. There were many other American futurists including Barbara Marx Hubbard who basically tried to modify Marxism to make her own version of Futurism. World Future Society (WFS), the first major international futurist association was created 54 years ago by the late Edward Cornish in 1966, which basically focused on Analytic Futurism and stayed away from politics which could have been a realm for participatory futurism! The one who made a real breakthrough in understanding the foundation of both capitalism and socialism to be the Industrial Society itself, and showed us the dimensions of post-industrial society, was Daniel Bell in his magnum opus The Coming of Post-Industrial Society: A Venture in Social Forecasting, which is still after 50 years, the main source of understanding the rise of Information Society. Daniel Bell started as a socialist activist and later became a sociology professor at Harvard and actually was a Popperian thinker although seldom discussed by his reviewers! Two popular futurist writers in the last half of 20th Century, namely Alvin Toffler in his The Third Wave, and John Naisbitt in his Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives, have explicitly stated their indebtedness to Daniel Bell for the foundation of their outlook on futurism. Although Toffler in politics (part of the realm of participatory futurism), basically supported Newt Gingrich, but both Toffler and Naisbitt always focused on analytic futurism and distanced themselves from politics, and as far as their vision, i.e. visionary futurism, they did not go beyond Daniel Bell. In fact, Daniel Bell in his last years was working on a theory of value for post-industrial society and proposed codified knowledge as its basis, and actually he was very much interested in how Silicon Valley companies created value and as noted before, he was in contact with this author about a paper in 1989 where I proposed 'A Theory of Uniqueness Value,' which was a follow-up to a paper I had published in 1985 in AAAI Journal entitled 'Intelligent Tools: The Cornerstone of a New Covilization,' and as explained recently in an article entitled 'Supplement to Theory of Uniqueness Value after 31 Years: Pricing of Postindustrial Products,' it dealt with pricing of products made in the post-industrial sector of economy. In the second half of 20th Century, we saw the rise of a prominent visionary futurist by the name of Ray Kurzweil who was an inventor and a scientist; he offered a new vision for futurism, namely Technological Singularity! Kurzweilian Futurism is best presented in Ray Kurzweil's last book entitled 'Singularity is Near.' I highly recommend reading this book to anyone interested in Futurism. I read it cover to cover when it was first published 15 years ago in 2005 and is one of a handful of books that I still have a print copy on my desk as the best reference for 'Kurzweilian Futurism,' the Futurism of our times! My own 2016 book entitled 'Futurist: Humanity's Nowruz in 21st Century, New Variant to Meet Human Needs,' was also written in light of Kurzweilian Futurism.

 

Hoping for a democratic and secular futurist republic in Iran,

 

Sam Ghandchi
IRANSCOPE

http://www.ghandchi.com/index2.html 
December 21, 2020

 


 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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