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Tue Dec 11, 2012, 08:36 AM

Paul Krugman: Asimov's Foundation novels grounded my economics

Warning: Krugman's essay is full of spoilers, so don't read it unless you've read Asimov's Foundation trilogy.

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Reply Paul Krugman: Asimov's Foundation novels grounded my economics (Original post)
caraher Dec 2012 OP
SheilaT Dec 2012 #1
caraher Dec 2012 #3
SheilaT Dec 2012 #4
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #2

Response to caraher (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:33 PM

1. Hmm. I'm a huge fan of science fiction,

an like a lot of what Asimov wrote, but I could never get into his Foundation series.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:00 PM

3. I was just talking about this to an SF fan at work today

He also had trouble warming to the Foundation books upon re-reading them many decades later. In his view, part of it is that Asimov is really at his best in short stories. It's been a few decades since I've read the Foundation series myself, and I suspect the books glow brighter in my memory than they would upon re-reading.

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Response to caraher (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:56 AM

4. There are any number of novels from the

"Golden Age" that are crying to be adapted to movies. Asimov's The End of Eternity is one of those. It's an amazing story, and I cannot believe it hasn't been adapted.

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Response to caraher (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:48 PM

2. Krugman is from Trantor; Gingrich ainít



http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/013354.html

Far be it from me to discourage mainstream political commentary thatís framed in terms of science fiction, but Ray Smockís Newt Gingrich the Galactic Historian gets it wrong:

If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, Newt Gingrich is from the planet Trantor, a fictional world created by Isaac Asimov in his classic Foundation series about galactic empire.


Wrong. The Honorable Newt is not from Trantor. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman is from Trantor. This is known. Heís said on multiple occasions that he went into economics because the field of psychohistory doesnít exist. What Krugman took from the Foundation Trilogy was the idea that you could learn everything about history and put it together in order to understand not only what has happened, but why things happen the way they do. Remind you of Gingrich? Me neither.*

Newtís master plan for America does not come from a Republican Party playbook. It comes from the science fiction that he read in high school. He is playing out, on a national and global scale, dreams he had as a teenager with his nose buried in pulp fiction.


Do not blame that on science fiction. 93% of the people in my social circle read the Foundation Trilogy and assorted pulp SF in their youth, and none of them turned into Newt Gingrich.

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