“Foundation” reading notes

Asimov’s Foundation was (and possibly still is) on sale for the Kindle.

I wanted to share some thoughts as I go. About writing, about philosophy, about politics. Things that strike me as timeless and telling. Or just as hmm-moments of interest.

Dr. Hari Seldon is a psychohistorian which is a fancy way of saying statistical medium. He has predicted the downfall of the Galactic Empire, and needless to say the Emperor isn’t pleased. He’s taken into custody for a sham trial which is abruptly interrupted when he’s taken to speak directly with Emperor.

The Emperor asks (paraphrased): Why should I not just kill you and enjoy the rest of my reign if the downfall won’t happen for another 300 years?

The answer rocked my head back because, hello climate change and current affairs!

“Frustration of my plans to lighten the disaster will convince people that the future holds no promise to them. Already they recall the lives of their grandfathers with envy. They will see that political revolutions and trade stagnation will increase. The feeling will pervade the Galaxy that only what a man can grasp for himself at that moment will be of any account. Ambitious men will not wait and unscrupulous men will not hang back. By their every action they will hasten the decay of the worlds.”

Now, you can read that and despair — or you can read that and want to tip the scale the other way. The key is that first sentence. How are we personally showing those around us and in our circle of influence that the future *does* hold promise?

Is it what you are creating? Is it the memories you are making with loved ones? Is it your own refusal to end the day on a negative social media note? Is it how you encourage someone in your life to try out for that play or submit that story or go for that interview?

That might be your form of resistance.


2 thoughts on ““Foundation” reading notes

  1. Finally we reach one that I *have* read! Although, it was very long ago when I read it. I recall, sadly, that I had heard for so long how amazing the foundation series was, and when I read it I thought, “Hmmmph. That wasn’t so great.” I recall being underwhelmed. Of course, back then I was probably wishing for more pitched space battles and such. Just a kid.

    I wonder, do kids these days read things like Foundation? Or… do they read stories at all? Or is it all just youtube, snapchat, etc. And video games?

    Well, that turned dark.

    1. haha, I had to laugh at that last. You have kids-these-days!
      Yeah, it has myriad flaws, and not all of them are related to the white/male gaze, either. Although that one is profoundly glaring. I see how it was ambitious for it’s time and all that, but if someone wrote it today, it would be a series of thick epics based on each “part” as they move forward in time. That’s my opinion, anyway. I’d like to do more thought posts about it as I go, if I can find things that add to the discussion. I think there’s probably a lot already out there by people much wiser and more educated than I am.

Leave a Reply