“I am a 21st century person who was accidentally launched in the 20th. I have a deep nostalgia for the future.” FM-2030
Imagine this situation at an Hotel’s reception:
– Hello my name is FM-2030 and I have a reservation for tonight.
– Good morning and welcome, what is your name again?
-Ehm your legal name, the one in the documents
-Yes that is my legal name
Fereidoun M. Esfandiary changed his legal name because he thought that names can be connected with nationality, ethnicity and religion, thus restricting the individual freedom to live independently from its roots. It’s a tag that will always weighs on a person. FM are his initials but it can also stands for Future Man. 2030, instead, is the hundredth anniversary of his birth and he also thinks that, around that year, a singularity will occur.
The core of his ideology is that humans are vulnerable, mortal and finit beings and need to rise above nature and refuse to die. This can be achieved through a process of transition from animal human to post human. That’s why he can be defined a transhumanist, he adheres to that cultural orientation that advocates for the improvement of human’s body and mind trough technology.
“Human tragedy and suffering are cased by the fragility of our body”, he argues and death means lack of freedom, “If it is natural to die then the hell with nature. Why submit to its tyranny?” He was very optimistic about the fact that death will be something that belongs to the past. Non-biological humans or post-humans will be minds connected to something that could have the form of a robot, of an android, of a human with replaceable parts or just a software simulation. But the mind will be transferable and everyone could live forever. That’s why post-humans will have total different needs and aspirations than us.
He was concerned about the level of humanity of each individual, he thought that we should be more compassionate and globalized. As a diplomat’s son he traveled 17 countries by the age of 11, this situation enhanced the feeling of being a citizen of the world. He refused to answer questions about his iranian origins for the same reason.
He predicted a decentralization of power, a shift from big territories with a unique and strong leadership to a distributed governance. He defined himself as an “up-winger”, a position that surpasses the division into right-wingers and left-wingers and the correlated ideologies and rigid positions, being focused on lifting human condition.
As early as the 1970s FM was talking and writing about teleconferencing, telemedicine, and telebanking. He worked as a consultant for professionals and corporations like Lockheed and J.C. Penney. An individual who can predict future tendencies can have a great value to corporations in order to plan the direction of investments. He was also a professor lecturing in different universities such as The New School, University of California, Los Angeles, and Florida International University. He could pack and move in a few days, ready for a new adventure. He also didn’t fancy the possession of many objects, probably to be feel more free to move and explore.
From the material I have consulted he was a charismatic and enthusiastic man, sensible to the well being of his friends and colleagues. He had a remarkable energy and he directed it towards imagining and shaping the future. Compared to other transhumanist, he was not extremely sophisticated, hehad a very practical intelligence, I think he was a pure futurist, not a philosopher. This doesn’t mean that he didn’t speculate about humanity as philosophers do.
With these clear ideas in mind he spent his life facilitating this revolutionary stampede. He didn’t unfortunately live enough to see if he was right about 2030, succumbing to a pancreatic cancer in 2000, just in time to say hello to the dawn of the new century. However, there’s still a chance we will see him around again. He underwent a procedure called cryonics in the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Scottsdale, Arizona. His body was perfused with cryoprotective agents to protect against damage in the freezing process. After, the body was cooled to -196°C in a computer-controlled chamber before being placed in a long-term storage container filled with liquid nitrogen. Despite a certain delay of the beginning of the preservation protocol he has been treated with the new vitrification technique rather than the classic freezing. Vitrification essentially stops biology “in place” without any structural damage caused by the formation of ice crystals.
I am truly inspired by his optimism, his energy, his vision and the courage to live his life in a coherent manner. His actions were a pure distillate of his set of values and this is all that matters. A brave man, a man that pushed our whole species forward. For this I thank you FM, and deep inside I think we’ll meet one day.
“Dear one”, I’ll see you in another life…
Were you inspired by FM 2030’s life? Leave a comment below