Rebirth of Reason

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Monday, August 29, 2005 - 5:10amSanction this postReply

I read the Foundation trilogy as a teenager. I think I was very much intrigued by the "science" behind Asimov's idea. Asimov is a great science communicator and broke off writing fiction for a while to write non-fiction science books.

Later I discovered as an adult, that he went on to continue the foundation series - it goes on for about another two books and then ends in two prequels.

I think what I always got most out of his books was his absolute love of science. Apparently he originally started a career in Biochemistry and then gave it up to pursue his fiction writing.

(Edited by Marcus Bachler on 8/29, 5:15am)

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005 - 8:33pmSanction this postReply
"Isaac Asimov can be difficult for Objectivist.  He was a genius, but, like Albert Einstein, he was not a deep thinker about the issues that we value as fundamental.  He never questioned the most common ideas on morality, ethics, government and economics that defined American culture in the mid-20th century."

Yeah, but when your 13, do you care?

It was pure fun for me and I thank him! Asimov's work along with O'Brian's Jack Aubrey (Master and Commander) series were the foundation of my imagination during my teen years.

Critics should tread lightly.


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Tuesday, August 30, 2005 - 9:42pmSanction this postReply
I have to give credit to Asimov for bringing me around to atheism. It was his story NIGHTFALL that really did it, few years before I discovered Rand. I had already been flirting with the idea, and when I read the story, it moved me closer to Rand. The thing about Asimov, though, is that he doesn't hit you over the head or present all the evidence up front, the story left me with a dilemma to work out myself. But it raised the questions that shook my faith, and for that I salute him.

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Saturday, September 3, 2005 - 3:43pmSanction this postReply
Yeah, Foundation.
I read the trilogy at the start of this year but got so bored toward the end of the second book that I only skimmed the rest. Young Asimov should have left it after the first. One is more than enough books for a Foundation trilogy. :)
Hober Mallow was the first of the merchant princes.  Accused of profiting for its own sake as a manufacturer of useless baubles, he replies: "You think my convictions are for sale?"  Why not? Isn't that your business, buying and selling? "Only at a profit." 
That strikes a cord with what I've lately read in Zen & Motorcycle Maintenance about "revaluing". The point is that life is about falling over 9 times, picking yourself up 10 times. Zen used the old example of a monkey trap. Monkey reaches into coconut and cannot get his fist of rice out again, yet is unwilling to revalue his reward in light of the fact that it makes him the victim of a trap. Abandon the rice, relax your hand again and Curious George can be free. But he wont. We can be as blind as this monkey if we don't make our life values substitutable, ie "for sale" in this way.

We don't get a whole lot of that in Rand fic, although this learning process is fundamentally- metaphysically- significant. Zen's mood is of tripping over, Fountainhead's is about having already risen. Rand's guys already have their values, they've only to gain or keep them. They are intransigent minds. I find this misleading- there is nothing in the cannon to match the above quote which would fit in so very well in both style and substance.

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