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Asimov Foundations Review

Elliot Temple:
i read asimov first foundations book today
it's very parochial. more adventure story, not sci fi. not intelligent or about ideas.
the writing is bad in some ways, kinda confusing.
however he crams a lot of plot into a relatively short book and makes it pretty exciting/dramatic
i guess that makes sense that famous "sci fi" wouldn't be about science, would just be a regular parochial story. if it had ideas it'd be less popular.
a lot of the content is taken from history. there's a giant space empire that declines for vague reasons. he got the idea from rome.
it has one fancy idea which is very bad and is unoriginal. it's that smart people can predict the future non-specifically by looking at history, statistics, patterns, mass psychology, etc
it has some other unoriginal ideas that are not about futuristic science either. like that religious people are blind fools and religion is a tool of social control. it has more or less nothing about future science.
Justin Mallone:
Elliot Temple:
it has present day morality. but like worse than Trump. it's full of authority, power, biggggggg government (a whole planet with 40 billion central government administrators ruling the galatic empire thingie), war, petty politics, betrayal, etc
Justin Mallone:
Lots of popular sci fi stuff is either current stuff slightly fictionalized or historical allusions
Star Trek notorious for that lol
Elliot Temple:
the best part is it's fast paced.
it covers several sets of major events, decades apart, and is only like 250 pages or something
Justin Mallone:
40 billion administrators lol
Lib dream
Elliot Temple:
the "intellectual" dude with the grand plan and prophesies is so arrogant and condescending and shit. and basically his plan relies on the people carrying it out over 1000 years being dumb b/c he can't predict ppl if they are too smart and creative.
and he intentinoally gives them limited info
he realizes the empire will decline and has a plan to make the dark ages before a new empire be 1000 years instead of 30000 years. this is revealed very early
he says the dark ages are unavoidable
Justin Mallone:
Sounds like he should learn about win win solutions
Elliot Temple:
so you end up with this story set in space with so many planets, galaxies, etc ... so far future they forgot what our home solar system is ... and the declining planets start using oil and coal power b/c they can't figure out nuclear reactors anymore
Justin Mallone:
They lost earth?
Elliot Temple:
they still know where it is and could visit. not sure if ppl live there or not.
it was mentioned as one of the theories about our original home planet
Justin Mallone:
Elliot Temple:
but they aren't sure if we came from that solar system or several others
Justin Mallone:
Elliot Temple:
some idiot is mentioned briefly. he says he studied various scholarly arguments in favor of different home solar systems and weighed the argument quality.
and a main character thinks he's dumb for not visiting the planets and looking for evidence
and teh guy is like that'd be dumb the ppl in the past probably searched the planets better than i would anyway
u can tell the author thinks the book-researcher who won't do archaeology is dumb
Justin Mallone:
If there's some ambiguity in the field it sounds like doing some digging could maybe help!
It's like peoples credulity about secondary sources
I could see interplanetary archaeology being more of an issue than reading Popper for economic reasons tho heh
Justin Mallone:
Elliot Temple:
i'm confident Asimov has zero clue about economics. there are also minor hints he kinda hates trade and sees it as like having some benefits but being an unfortunate thing to put up with temporarily. also wikipedia said he writes in this like school of thot named after a communist so...
it’s hard to find good books
also reviews aren’t a big help
it took me ~2.5 hours to read the book
how much time would it have taken to get an accurate understanding from secondary sources? i think just reading it was better
Justin Mallone:
lol yeah
I was talking with someone the other day actually about how plot synopsis can get basic details wrong
Just like ordering of events
And that kind of stuff
Elliot Temple:
can’t be that big a surprise. ppl also get basic ordering of events from their lives wrong. from earlier today.

Elliot Temple on February 9, 2017


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