Paul Krugman: Asimov’s Foundation novels grounded my economics | Books | The Guardian

Detail from one of Alex Wells’s illustrations to the Folio Society edition of The Foundation novels. Illustration: Alex Wells

Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy was a revelation to me as a young man, and I read it often, especially during moments of stress and anxiety because its scope was a huge, galactic empire over millennia. It was the heaviest influence an online game I designed and I refer to it often in my memoir NIGHT PEOPLE, Book 1 of Things We Lost in the Night. I thought about writing my own post about it but when I ran across Paul Krugman’s article, I decided he’d hit the nail with a much bigger hammer. – Larry J. Dunlap


There are certain novels that can shape a teenage boy’s life. For some, it’s Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged; for others it’s Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. As a widely quoted internet meme says, the unrealistic fantasy world portrayed in one of those books can warp a young man’s character forever; the other book is about orcs. But for me, of course, it was neither. My Book – the one that has stayed with me for four-and-a-half decades – is Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy, written when Asimov was barely out of his teens himself. I didn’t grow up wanting to be a square-jawed individualist or join a heroic quest; I grew up wanting to be Hari Seldon, using my understanding of the mathematics of human behavior to save civilization. The fantastical tale offers a still-inspiring dream of a social science that could save civilization. –Read more from The Guardian …

 

  • Paul Krugman won the Nobel memorial prize in economic sciences in 2008 and is a columnist for the New York Times

Source: Paul Krugman: Asimov’s Foundation novels grounded my economics | Books | The Guardian

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