Saturday, 30 May 2015

Psychotechnic Foundation

In the previous post, I mentioned Isaac Asimov's Foundation and Poul Anderson's Psychotechnic History. Over the page in Anderson's "Genius," which I am rereading, there is a reference to a "...Psychotechnic Foundation..." (Call Me Joe, p. 199). As Anderson remarked in Going For Infinity, sf writers used to refer to, and reply to, each other's ideas - a tradition that goes back to Greek drama.

In "Genius," we are also told that the Solarian Empire colonizes planets by exterminating aborigines. Even if we agreed with the marshal's idea of governing society by suppressing most of its members, we would have to disagree with this.They not only exterminate but even eradicate all traces. This recalls a novel although I remember neither title nor author.

Three established sf authors, Gregory Benford, Greg Bear and David Brin, wrote a Second Foundation Trilogy. Asimov had introduced:

(i) a humans only galaxy;
(ii) robots programmed to protect human beings and also used to colonize extrasolar planets.

Logical conclusion: robots exterminated aborigines and protected human beings from knowledge of their genocide. Maybe a blog reader knows which of the three authors deduced this logical conclusion from Asimov's premises?

Crude though it is, "Genius" presents interesting ideas and arguments. I will return to it probably this evening.

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