Friday, December 9, 2011

Hari Seldon's Latest Disciple

"While Toynbee was impressing me with the history of civilizations, Isaac Asimov was shaping my view of the future in equally profound ways...For a high school student who loved history, Asimov's most exhilarating invention was the 'psychohistorian' Hari Seldon. The term does not refer to Freudian analysis but to a kind of probabilistic forecasting of the future of whole civilizations. The premise was that, while you cannot predict individual behavior, you can develop a pretty accurate sense of mass behavior. Pollsters and advertisers now make a good living off the same theory."

- Newt Gingrich

From "Newt Gingrich, Galactic Historian" at George Mason University's Heritage News Network. "If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, Newt Gingrich is from the planet Trantor..." Gingrich is not the first person to be inspired by Hari Seldon to do things in the real world; Al Qaeda and Shoko Asahara (sarin-in-the-subway guy) both thought his ideas should be reified as well.

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