FM-2030

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FM-2030
FM2030.jpg
BornFereidoun M. Esfandiary
(1930-10-15)October 15, 1930
Brussels, Belgium
DiedJuly 8, 2000(2000-07-08) (aged 69)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Resting placeCryopreserved at Alcor Life Extension Foundation
OccupationWriter, philosopher, teacher, consultant
NationalityIranian-American
EducationUniversity of California, Los Angeles
GenreScience fiction, futurology
Literary movementTranshumanism
Notable worksAre You a Transhuman?

FM-2030 (originally born as Fereidoun M. Esfandiary (Persian: فریدون اسفندیاری‎); October 15, 1930 – July 8, 2000) was a Belgian-born Iranian-American author, teacher, transhumanist philosopher, futurist, consultant and athlete.[1]

He became notable as a transhumanist with the book Are You a Transhuman?: Monitoring and Stimulating Your Personal Rate of Growth in a Rapidly Changing World, published in 1989. In addition, he wrote a number of works of fiction under his original name F.M. Esfandiary.

Early life and education[edit]

The son of an Iranian diplomat, he travelled widely as a child, living in 17 countries by age 11; then, as a young man, he represented Iran as a basketball player at the 1948 Olympic Games in London.[2] He then started his college education at the University of California, Berkeley, but later transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles, where he graduated in 1952.[3] Afterwards, he served on the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine from 1952 to 1954.[4]

Name change[edit]

In the mid-1970s F.M. Esfandiary legally[2] changed his name to FM-2030 for two main reasons. Firstly, to reflect the hope and belief that he would live to celebrate his 100th birthday in 2030; secondly, and more importantly, to break free of the widespread practice of naming conventions that he saw as rooted in a collectivist mentality, and existing only as a relic of humankind's tribalistic past. He viewed traditional names as almost always stamping a label of collective identity – varying from gender to nationality – on the individual, thereby existing as prima facie elements of thought processes in the human cultural fabric, that tended to degenerate into stereotyping, factionalism, and discrimination. In his own words, "Conventional names define a person's past: ancestry, ethnicity, nationality, religion. I am not who I was ten years ago and certainly not who I will be in twenty years. [...] The name 2030 reflects my conviction that the years around 2030 will be a magical time. In 2030 we will be ageless and everyone will have an excellent chance to live forever. 2030 is a dream and a goal."[5]

Personal life[edit]

He was a lifelong vegetarian and said he would not eat anything that had a mother.[6] FM-2030 once said, "I am a 21st century person who was accidentally launched in the 20th. I have a deep nostalgia for the future."[7] He taught at The New School, University of California, Los Angeles, and Florida International University.[1] He worked as a corporate consultant for Lockheed and J. C. Penney.[1] He was also an atheist.[8] FM-2030 was, in his own words, a follower of "upwing" politics, in which he meant that he endorsed universal progress.[9][10]

Death[edit]

On July 8, 2000, FM-2030 died from pancreatic cancer and was placed in cryonic suspension at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona, where his body remains today. He did not yet have remote standby arrangements, so no Alcor team member was present at his death, but FM-2030 was the first person to be vitrified, rather than simply frozen as previous cryonics patients had been.[6] FM-2030 was survived by four sisters and one brother.[2]

Published works[edit]

Fiction
  • The Day of Sacrifice (1959) available as an eBook
  • The Beggar (1965)
  • Identity Card (1966) (ISBN 0-460-03843-5) available as an eBook
Non-fiction
  • Optimism one; the emerging radicalism (1970) (ISBN 0-393-08611-9)
  • UpWingers: A Futurist Manifesto (1973) (ISBN 0-381-98243-2) (pbk.) Available as an eBook ISBN FW00007527, Publisher: e-reads, Pub. Date: Jan 1973, File Size: 153K
  • Telespheres (1977) (ISBN 0-445-04115-3)
  • Are You a Transhuman?: Monitoring and Stimulating Your Personal Rate of Growth in a Rapidly Changing World (1989) (ISBN 0-446-38806-8).

Cultural References[edit]

  • In Dan Brown’s novel Inferno, fictional transhumanists who admired FM-2030 have paid tribute by adopting his naming convention and taking names such as FS2080.[11]
  • Several musical artists, such as the Reptaliens,[12] Dataport, Ghosthack, Vorja, Gavin Osborn[13] and Philip Sumner have created songs and albums named after FM-2030.
  • A film titled 2030 is due to be released in 2020[14] which explores the possibility of FM-2030s future revival.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]