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The Net Takeaway: Asimov's Foundation

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Asimov's Foundation · 03/05/2005 05:09 PM, Trivial

Every psychologist worth their salt has, at some point, read about Hari Seldon and his Foundation in Asimov’s Foundation trilogy (then expanded with lots of other books to make a link between every other Asimov book, and like King’s efforts, was not worth the effort… but I digress).

I listened to them again on CD recently (thanks, Wellesley Free Library!). They continue to be an impressive collection of vignettes which tie together many aspects of power and influence ala Cialdini, leadership and religion, the role of technology in influencing economy, legal/courtroom dramas and a bunch of other stuff on top of a great story that’s hard to put down. The fall and rise of a galactic empire may sound like reading Gibbon’s Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire (which, btw, is an impressive read, but not to everyone’s liking) with spaceships, but it really does take a unique slant on how people change the universe… but in groups, even if led by one or a few.

If you haven’t read any of these, you owe it to yourself to grab the original trilogy. You’ll thank me later. You’ll also thank me for saving you the money on Benford and Brin’s attempts to expand the books. Those are two great authors, but they are really no match for Asimov and their efforts fall flat.

Amazon has the Foundation Trilogy for as low as $0.90, so its an easy buy… but your local library has it as well.

A few other sites delving into this vast world:
Isaac Asimov’s Foundations Universe
Wikipedia’s entry about The Foundation.

A few things about Asimov: Friggin Genius. Wrote hundreds of books, from guides to Shakespeare and the Bible to numeric puzzles to guiding every aspect of modern SF to describing physics and science in a way that only Feynmann can match.

Read more about Asimov at Wikipedia.

And yes, he wrote the original wonderous stories which were part of the movie I, Robot. And yes, he would have requested that his name be removed from the credits for any part of the movie I, Robot. Rumours surfaced in June that Foundation may be heading towards a movie. Let’s hope its better than I, Robot or the Earthsea trilogy on SF channel.

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