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New Era, New Foundation: Asimovs Foundation Trilogy, The Movie

Psychohistory, Mathematics, and the cataclysmic end of history. Sounds like a recipe where Hollywood 3D cgi special effect farms are blended with auction battles and IP lawyers over ownership rights of one of the longest running typewriter-based imaginings of near-to-all-time:

Fans of Isaac Asimov still haunted by the film adaptation of his “I, Robot” will get the chance to wipe it from their memory banks: a movie version of Asimov’s “Foundation” novels is in the works, Variety reported. On Thursday Columbia Pictures won a three-way auction for film rights to Asimov’s science fiction epic, whose first volume concerns a mathematician put on trial after predicting the collapse of his civilization. Columbia, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, beat Warner Brothers and 20th Century Fox for the rights. The studio plans to develop the film for Roland Emmerich, the director of the cataclysmic sci-fi movies “Independence Day” and “The Day After Tomorrow.” Financial terms were not disclosed, and a release date for the film was not announced. [link]


Using the law of mass action, it can predict the future, but only on a large scale; it is error-prone on a small scale. It works on the principle that the behaviour of a mass of people is predictable if the quantity of this mass is very large (equal to the population of the galaxy which has a population of around a quadrillion). The larger the mass, the more predictable is the future. Using these techniques, Seldon the mathematician foresees the fall of the Galactic Empire, which encompasses the entire Milky Way, and a dark age lasting thirty thousand years before a second great empire arises. To shorten the period of barbarism, he creates two Foundations, small, secluded havens of all human knowledge, on opposite ends of the galaxy. The focus of the trilogy is on the Foundation of the planet Terminus. The people living there are working on an all-encompassing Encyclopedia, and are unaware of Seldon’s real intentions (for if they were, the variables would become too uncontrolled). The Encyclopedia serves to preserve knowledge of the physical sciences after the collapse. [link]

As opposed to reality, in which the galactic encyclopedia is composed mostly of celebrity updates and randomly inane flamewars.

January 20, 2009
Tax: » PsychoHistory
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