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Foundation (Foundation, #1)
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2012 Reads > FOUND: Those who think they can run it better (some spoilers read at your own risk)

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message 1: by Jim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jim | 43 comments I've been done with the book for a while now, and it struck me as rather interesting that in of the parts we see somebody who think they can run the Foundation better than whoever is in charge. Sometime they're right and at least once they're wrong.

Fist you have Salvor Hardin who realized the board that was in control was relying too much on the Empire, or at least the name of the Empire, to do anything to help them while realized just how in the deep end they really are is any of the adjoining kingdom decided they wanted they're worthless little world.

Then on in part 3 Hardin found himself on the opposite side when the Actionist group popped up. These gentlemen wanting to attack the four kingdoms instead of appeasing them the way Hardin had been for the past 30(?) years.

And lastly we have Hober Mallow, the man who according to the Encyclopedia Galactica goes on to become known as the Merchant Prince, realized the "forced religion" the Foundation had been relying on is starting to back fire and knew they needed to move away from it. Which of course meant he had to be the one in charge. Granted ion this situation there was somebody else he thought was trying to manipulate the system for his own benefit. So basically he save the Foundation twice.

Given the time frame between stories I can see how Mr. Asimov would feel that this would help the readers see the evolution of the Foundation over time. And I haven't read any of the other novels so I don't know if he ever went back to this particular well. It was just an interesting point that got my attention.


Ayesha (craniumrinse) That's an interesting thought, especially given that on top of it all, Seldon was convinced that his plan for the Empire was better than anyone else's. Later, both Hardin and Mallow used the phrase "Seldon crisis" as a way to justify their coups.


Daran | 599 comments I think "Seldon Crisis" is synonymous with Act of God in the Foundation series. Because Hari Seldon is capable of, broadly, determining what will happen over a long span of years, he is essentially omniscient. So, when various people invoke Seldon's name is a justification for their actions, it's the same as when people use the name of God in the same way.


message 4: by Gareth (new) - added it

Gareth Campbell | 8 comments Psychohistory says it can not devine single actions but can tell how an entire group will react...but then the 'solution' to each crises seems to have been figured out and executed by one person, or nearly one. The reasoning was that the 'only choice left' would be clear and be taken and Seldon would say well done on solving it how I thought you would...

This does not seem to be consistant. That is all.


Daran | 599 comments Large social movements are almost always precipitated by the actions of one individual. Predicting who that individual will be is impossible.

Think about Martin Luther. We are taught that his 95 Thesis started the Protestant Reformation. In reality, many throughout Europe were thinking and saying the same things. Martin Luther just ended up being the person the Church picked to make an example of.

Salvor Hardin and Hober Mallow were the product of their age, and just happened to be the people in the right positions at the time to effect a needed societal change.

In the words of the immortal Merlin; "I didn't know whom to expect for tea, but I predicted the exact place."


message 6: by Anne (new)

Anne | 336 comments Rosa Parks - right cause, right time, right place.


Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 888 comments Daran wrote: "Large social movements are almost always precipitated by the actions of one individual. Predicting who that individual will be is impossible."

Not really. Large social movements have usually been building for years or decades before their seminal moment. Popular conceptions of earlier eras often centre around a couple of prominent figures because almost all historiography until about two centuries ago was approached as heroic narrative, and that influence persists even in more modern popular accounts. (e.g., almost any biopic)

It makes a better story to have a "good guy" and "bad guys", because the actual situation is usually complicated, long-simmering and full of shades of grey.


Daran | 599 comments Joe wrote:"Not really. Large social movements have usually been building for years or decades before their seminal moment. Popular conceptions of earlier eras often centre around a couple of prominent figures because almost all historiography until about two centuries ago was approached as heroic narrative, and that influence persists even in more modern popular accounts. (e.g., almost any biopic)"

I think if you read the analogy I made, and Anne's, that's essentially the point I was making. Martin Luther and Rosa Parks may have been the individuals at the right time and place, but they hardly appeared from a vacuum. I would argue that without a figure to rally behind these movements would either have broken up, or become much less effective.


message 9: by Gareth (new) - added it

Gareth Campbell | 8 comments So the group dictates the leader, who then dictates the group...


message 10: by Susan (new)

Susan (susieblu) | 34 comments Daran wrote: "Joe wrote:"Not really. Large social movements have usually been building for years or decades before their seminal moment. Popular conceptions of earlier eras often centre around a couple of promin..."

That dives into social movement theory. A key factor in any social movement is triggering events. Any event that can galvanize the target audience to take action for whatever cause. It is important to note within a social movement versus a protest is sustainablity of the movement. Like it has been said before it can take a lot of other social, poliitical, and economic events to take place before a actually social movement happens.

The Rosa Parks example is prefect because several pre conditions were met before her famous bus ride that was able to make it famous.


Daran | 599 comments Gareth wrote: "So the group dictates the leader, who then dictates the group..."

History, myth, religion, economics, geography, the weather or just random chance.


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