Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Foundation and Reality: Asimov’s Psychohistory and Its Real-World Parallels - Mark Cole

"The underlying logic of psychohistory resembles Boyle’s gas law: The molecules in a gas move in a purely random way, and yet, collectively, that random behavior become predictable. So if you get enough people together (and Asimov very carefully avoided any suggestion of just how many), you could reduce the apparently random actions of billions of human beings to a set of physical laws describing the behavior of civilizations. That number, the Seldon constant, was extremely high—high enough that it could only be found in the vastness of the Galactic Empire." 3.5 out of 5