Tuesday, August 30, 2005

the foundation series

today in two separate places i saw people reading asimov's foundation series. i hated the first trilogy in this series, which is all i read. the writing seemed so trite. but maybe it wasn't about the writing, but the idea. anyway i thought the idea was stupid too. here's my admittedly biased take on the idea: in the future, there's a society with some sort of scientist/mathematician who has worked out how to predict the happenings of the universe, far in advance of them happening. i forget the name of this group, but it's a stupid name. they move away from their home world to some other planet and establish a civilization. the books are about different generations of these people, and in each book a character goes to this high-tech oracle, created by the original scientist/mathematician, and this oracle tells them everything that happened before, and gives them a hint of what's going to happen next.

in my mind this is stupid. are people comforted by this idea that the universe might be understandable enough that it can be predicted ahead of time? i personally find this very depressing. in that scenario, i'm just a cog in a wheel acting out some scenario which might be important, but must go in such-and-such way because the future, predicted, is predicated on the outcome being such-and-such.

not to mention that the characters are boring, the writing is simple, and the dialog is sooo stilted.

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