History Headscratchers / Foundation

11th Feb '16 10:46:17 AM OddHack
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** Even if you accept that psychohistory could (at least for story purposes) predict what crisis would arise and how it would be resolved, the idea that it could be timed well enough to correspond to Seldon's pre-scheduled appearances seems too precise. Anacreon's attack was timed to coincide with the prince's coming of age -- how could that be aligned (within a few days) to Seldon's appearance on a anniversary of the Foundation? Even if the Second Foundation was manipulating things behind the scenes, it seems hard to believe.
12th Dec '15 7:55:27 AM Thibaud
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*** All right, you are correct, but still : the European Middle Ages continued using the Ancients' proto-scientific method and perfected it into the modern scientific method (e.g. : creating the Universities : la Sorbonne, Bologne, Trantor). The original argument is still invalid :) To clarify, my argument was not "the European Middle Ages were the best or even the first good, pro-science civilization ever". I was answering the argument : "The European Middle Ages was a bad, anti-science civilization". I think it is pretty easy to demonstrate the European Middle Ages was not an anti-science civilization. It does not mean that other civilization weren't ALSO pro-science and, in that, in fact, the also pro-science European Middle Ages benefited from them.
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*** All right, you are correct, but still : the European Middle Ages continued using the Ancients' proto-scientific method and perfected it into the modern scientific method (e.g. : creating the Universities : la Sorbonne, Bologne, Trantor). The original argument is still invalid :) :) To clarify, my argument was not "the European Middle Ages were the best or even the first good, pro-science civilization ever". I was answering the argument : "The European Middle Ages was a bad, anti-science civilization". I think it is pretty easy to demonstrate the European Middle Ages was not an anti-science civilization. It does not mean that other civilization weren't ALSO pro-science and, in that, in fact, the also pro-science European Middle Ages benefited from them.
12th Dec '15 7:54:40 AM Thibaud
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To clarify, my argument was not "the European Middle Ages were the best or even the first good, pro-science civilization ever". I was answering the argument : "The European Middle Ages was a bad, anti-science civilization". I think it is pretty easy to demonstrate the European Middle Ages was not an anti-science civilization. It does not mean that other civilization weren't ALSO pro-science and, in that, in fact, the also pro-science European Middle Ages benefited from them.
12th Dec '15 7:50:28 AM Thibaud
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*** All right, you are correct, but still : the European Middle Ages continued using the Ancients' proto-scientific method and perfected it into the modern scientific method (e.g. : creating the Universities : la Sorbonne, Bologne, Trantor). The original argument is still invalid :)
4th Jul '15 12:05:20 PM psionycx
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*** False. The scientific method had been practiced by civilizations long before the Middle Ages. The Ancient Greeks, Indians and Chinese all had variants, and much of Medieval European advancement came courtesy of ancient records of these. There is a reason we are writing using the Latin alphabet and doing math using the Hindu-Arabic numerical system.
14th Apr '15 2:45:48 PM Thibaud
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*** The European Middle Ages invented the scientific method. Your argument is invalid.
19th Jan '15 7:28:49 PM psionycx
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** Actually, there is solid historical basis for this. It is fairly well-known that social conditions have to exist to allow for certain types of individuals to arise to prominence. For example, Gaius Julius Caesar was ''not'' the first person to try to overhaul the Roman Republic. He was merely the first to succeed to significant extent because generations of social problems had reached a critical boiling point. Likewise, being a scientific genius during the early Middle Ages in Europe wouldn't have scored you the same kudos it would have either during the previous Roman Empire or the later nation-states.

*** Considering that Asimov's Robots Trilogy are connected in the same universe as the Foundation, they ''did'' in pre-Empire times as the Spacers. Humanity has seen how a long life-span can move entire worlds to inertia and lack of scientific cooperation. As scientists start to live longer, they can decide to spend their long lives in a specific matter, and avoid needing constant successors so a new thing can be discovered / invented. It could be also [[spoiler: R. Daneel Olivaw saw to that not to happen.]] ** Also, there is FTL travel in the Foundation-verse, so it didn't take billions of years for humanity to colonize the Milky Way at all.
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*** Considering that Asimov's Robots Trilogy are connected in the same universe as the Foundation, they ''did'' in pre-Empire times as the Spacers. Humanity has seen how a long life-span can move entire worlds to inertia stagnation and lack of scientific cooperation. As scientists start to live longer, they can decide to spend their long lives in a specific matter, and avoid needing constant successors so a new thing can be discovered / invented.discovered[=/=]invented. It could be also [[spoiler: R. Daneel Olivaw saw to that not to happen.]] ** Also, there is FTL travel in the Foundation-verse, so it didn't take billions of years for humanity to colonize the Milky Way at all.all. ** Who says they haven't evolved? Granted, 20,000 or so years is not enough time for a massive evolutionary change to occur naturally. But, for example, Daneel managed to introduce telepathy into the ''entire'' Gaian population, rather than just a genetically-gifted minority! The Solarians re-engineered themselves into hermaphroditic psychokinetics who reproduce via parthenogenesis!
20th Aug '14 6:09:58 AM apenpaap
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** Psychohistory only works most of the time. It's possible for things to go differently (The Mule and Seldon himself are examples of this). That's one of the reasons the Second Foundation exists: to get things back on track if things do go wrong.
7th Dec '12 4:51:32 PM Solarn
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*** For the problem you have with the Seldon Crises, you slightly misunderstand the point Asimov was making. It also helps to know that when he wrote the original trilogy, he was operating by different rules than in his prequels, including that psychohistory worked on individuals to a limited extent. Seldon's plan was never meant to simply predict events, but assured that they would happen the way they did. Each crisis was supposed not only to restrict the Foundation's choices to one if they wanted to survive, but also to breed the next one and the social forces that would compel people to make the right choice then. The fact that we are presented with the events as the results of actions by individuals is a storytelling convenience and nothing more. Seldon didn't predict that Salvor Hardin or Hober Mallow would be the ones to do what they did, just that in those times, the Terminus-controlled religion and ambitious merchants would be the driving force behind the solutions to their respective crises. In fact, The Traders and later The General show that sometimes there wasn't even an individual face to the solution. Linmar Ponyets is ultimately just a cog in the machine that subjugates independent worlds by the force of religion, and the protagonists of The General fail to stop Bel Riose completely, whose threat is eventually ended when his Emperor decides he's gotten too powerful to control for much longer and has him executed.

*** Considering that Asimov's Robots Trilogy are connected in the same universe as the Foundation, they ''did'' in pre-Empire times as the Spacers. Humanity has seen how a long life-span can move entire worlds to inertia and lack of scientific cooperation. As scientists start to live longer, they can decide to spend their long lives in a specific matter, and avoid needing constant successors so a new thing can be discovered / invented. It could be also [[spoiler: R. Daneel Olivaw saw to that not to happen.]]
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*** Considering that Asimov's Robots Trilogy are connected in the same universe as the Foundation, they ''did'' in pre-Empire times as the Spacers. Humanity has seen how a long life-span can move entire worlds to inertia and lack of scientific cooperation. As scientists start to live longer, they can decide to spend their long lives in a specific matter, and avoid needing constant successors so a new thing can be discovered / invented. It could be also [[spoiler: R. Daneel Olivaw saw to that not to happen.]]]] ** Also, there is FTL travel in the Foundation-verse, so it didn't take billions of years for humanity to colonize the Milky Way at all.
19th Aug '12 4:35:24 AM Klown
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*** Considering that Asimov's Robots Trilogy are connected in the same universe as the Foundation, they ''did'' in pre-Empire times as the Spacers. Humanity has seen how a long life-span can move entire worlds to inertia and lack of scientific cooperation. As scientists start to live longer, they can decide to spend their long lives in a specific matter, and avoid needing constant successors so a new thing can be discovered / invented. It could be also [[spoilers: R. Daneel Olivaw saw to that not to happen.]]
to:
*** Considering that Asimov's Robots Trilogy are connected in the same universe as the Foundation, they ''did'' in pre-Empire times as the Spacers. Humanity has seen how a long life-span can move entire worlds to inertia and lack of scientific cooperation. As scientists start to live longer, they can decide to spend their long lives in a specific matter, and avoid needing constant successors so a new thing can be discovered / invented. It could be also [[spoilers: [[spoiler: R. Daneel Olivaw saw to that not to happen.]]
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