From the Foundation

Second Foundation (Foundation, #3)Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I decided to read the original three foundation books by isaac asimov just because I read a comment on a blog. The blog post had something about big data analytics, which I gather is some new fangled statistics thing. Anyway a commenter said big data was like Harry Sheldon's law of mob psychology.

This will make the third time I've read these three books. The first time was maybe 35 years ago and the second 15 years back. I remembered only the sketchiest outline of the store, but I more or less had some of the big points.

I think it holds up pretty well as a sci fic classic, and I thought the episodic structure was very engaging. Even if it started out that way because the first book was really just a collection of previously published short stories.

I like a good sci fic tale, but the problem is when I look at most books, it seems that “speculative fiction” usually means “UN-imaginative Fiction”. But this still strikes me as pretty clever, although the '50s era unadulterated adoration of Nuclear Power and Nuclear Weapons with no downside is a pretty obvious change in cultural values.

The was one scene that I remembered as interesting from a previous reading where they investigating a distant planet that was structured differently.

“I merely point out the significance of all this, Apparently Tazenda is and efficient administrator – efficient in a sense far different from the efficiency of the old Empire or of the first foundation or even of our own Union. All these have brought mechanical efficiency to their subjects at the cost of more intangible values. Tanzenda brings happiness and sufficiency. Don't you see that the whole orientation of their domination is different? It is not physical, but psychological.”

Of course from a real life human perspective, most people would overlook psychological health for material gain. But kind of a neat idea that I wish he would have turned into a speculative fiction novel.

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