Forward the Foundation
Fear (Second Foundation Trilogy) by Gregory Benford
and Chaos (Second Foundation Trilogy) by Greg Bear
Triumph (Second Foundation Trilogy) by David Brin
Hari Seldons dead hand? Or is it Adam Smith's dead Hand?
purpose here? Provide some insight into what happened to Isaac Asimov's
PSYCHOHISTORY concept. As time progresses, more details will
be added. If you have some thoughts regarding the matter, please do
communicate these. Eventually, we'll discuss a serious theory based
on the principles hinted at by IA.
definitions (on the web and beyond):
The idea of a mathematical "Laws of Humanics" parallelling the Laws
of Robotics was first posited on Aurora by Giskard Reventlov and Han
Fastolfe, though both realised that it was well beyond existing knowledge.
It did not resurface until the Galactic Empire was in decline when,
at the Decennial Convention on Trantor, Hari Seldon presented a paper
of the theoretical potential of psychohistory as a mathematics of
social change, dealing with the reactions of very large human populations
to social and economic stimuli. This was siezed upon by various factions
as a means of furthering their own political ends, but it was Daneel
Olivaw, then acting the role of Eto Demerzel, Chief of Staff to Cleon
I, who encouraged Seldon to develop psychohistory as a means of securing
a more humane galaxy after the inevitable fall of the Empire,...
Psychohistory had two fundamental axioms; that the number of people
to whom it was being applied should be large enough for a statistical
treatment of them to be valid, and that humanity should not know the
results of the application of psychohistory before the results were
achieved. It was not until after Golan Trevize had intuitively decided
in favour of Galaxia, and met Daneel Olivaw, that he recognised the
hitherto unknown inherent weakness of psychohistory, that it only
held as long as there was only one intelligent species in the galaxy.
was also the name of a fictional science in Isaac Asimov's Foundation
Trilogy universe, which combined history, psychology and mathematical
statistics to create a (nearly) exact science of the behavior of very
large populations of people, such as the Galactic Empire. Asimov used
the analogy of a gas, where whilst the motion of a single molecule
is very difficult to predict, the mass behavior of the gas can be
predicted to a high level of accuracy.
the science of historical motivation, combines the insights of psychotherapy
with the research methodology of the social sciences to understand
the emotional origin of the social and political behavior of groups
and nations, past and present. The center of psychohistorical research
around the globe is The Institute for Psychohistory, which is headquartered
in New York City and has 18 branches in other countries. The Institute
is chartered by the State of New York as a not-for-profit educational
corporation, the Association for Psychohistory, Inc., and for the
past 28 years has published The Journal of Psychohistory, various
books by The Psychohistory Press, and has been affiliated with the
International Psychohistorical Association, which holds an annual
convention. Its director is Lloyd deMause, whose work (see below for
full texts) is used in most college courses in psychohistory.
from: Organization, Volume 6(4): 591-608, 1999.
Foundation: Asimovs Psychohistory and the Limits of Organization
Nelson Phillips and Stelios Zyglidopoulos
McGill University and Erasmus University
a paper on on
metanarratives and their applicability to organizational realities.
. . . Gaal Dornick, using non-mathematical concepts, has defined psychohistory
to be that branch of mathematics which deals with the reactions of
human conglomerates to fixed social and economic stimuli . . .
Implicit in all these definitions is the assumption that the human
conglomerate being dealt with is sufficiently large for valid statistical
necessary size of such a conglomerate may be determined by Sheldons
First Theorem . . . A further necessary assumption is that the human
conglomerate be itself unaware of psychohistoric analysis in order
that its reactions be truly random . . . The basis of all valid psychohistory
lies in the development of the Sheldon functions which exhibit properties
congruent to those of such social and economic forces . . . ENCYCLOPEDIA
GALACTICA. (Asimov, 1967: 16)
.... We didn't find discussion or extensive references
to one of the key (non Asimov) novels that uses Psychohistory
as its main tool ... This is of course In
the Country of the Blind by Michael Flynn.
Ward, in an amazon review, writes "In the Country of the
Blind is a tense, complex, exciting conspiracy thriller,
highly recommended to all fans of suspense fiction, secret history,
alternate history, and science fiction.
In the 19th
century, the British scientist Charles Babbage designed an "analytical
engine," a working computer that was never built--or so the
world believes. Sarah Beaumont, an ex-reporter and real estate
developer, is investigating a Victorian-era Denver property
when she finds an ancient analytical engine. Sarah investigates
her astonishing discovery and finds herself pursued by a secret
society that has used Babbage computers to develop a new science,
cliology, which allows its practitioners to predict history--and
to control history for its own purposes. And it will stop at
nothing to preserve its secret mastery of human destiny.
Flynn is one of best and most interesting of the modern hard-SF
writers, combining rigorous extrapolation with skilled prose
and strong characterization. In the Country of the Blind
is his first novel, but it was somewhat overlooked when it appeared
in 1990, perhaps because it debuted as a paperback original.
Now Tor has reissued the book in hardcover, the format it deserves.
This edition has been slightly revised, and it includes, as
an afterword, Flynn's essay "An Introduction to Cliology," which
plausibly explains the intriguing science the author has created
in this novel."
-- Looking for CLIOLOGY yields this fascinating find ...
authored by Michael Beck
"AI-based nanosurviellance, which became the basis of an exact
historical recordtaking, and later of simulation of conditions
for which there were not any direct records
is the study of history taken to the next level. With the coming
of nanotechnology, it became possible for the first time to
truly surveil an entire populace and to store all the data gathered
permanently. Public reaction and fears kept this from coming
to pass, until the nanoswarms came. Constant surveillance was
necessary to survive in the space colonies, where a tiny leak
or nanotech outbreak could spell disaster. Even after the crisis
passed, the fear remained and no one ever really disbanded the
constant surveillance, which humanity carried with it throughout
the First Federation Era and eventually to the stars.
coming of picotech AIs, it became possible to correlate all
that stored data and to analyze it for trends, and cliology
was born. Whereas history derives social trends and events from
primary source documents and such things as diaries, cliology
has a record of every single interaction that ever took place
and can therefore make incredible analyses of events. The records
do not always exist--many primitive worlds lost the technology,
some religions such as the Universal Church don't like it, and
you can't surveil the higher order AIs. All the same, cliology
has transformed how people view their pasts." http://www.orionsarm.com/eg/c/Cl-Cn.html
The cliology discussion
above of course is removed from both Asimov's and Flynn vision
of psychohistory, but it is an interesting approach. Certainly
it can stimulate some thinking.
do we see more discussion of psychohistory?
Another search yielded the following ... please note, the listing
doesn't imply endorsement or non-endorsement ... simply that
the site appeared in a metasearch tool.
Was Hari Seldon pulling our leg?
Psychohistory: Was Hari Seldon pulling our leg? Note: This essay
is based entirely on the first Foundation trilogy. The later
books modify our picture of both psychohistory and certain key
events in galactic history. But the original trilogy stood
- a game of life and death set in 1792.
History, science, litreature and psychology combined in a free
educational game. This is a major project for intelligent students
(15+), and discerning adults. It also combines unique mysteries,
lateral thinking, puzzles, role playing, literature an
Comprehensive collection of resources pertaining to Asimov.
quarterly publication which studies psychohistory.
Site Featured Review: Foundation's Fear
A review by Steven Silver of the author's novel that takes place
in Isaac Asimov's Foundation universe.
Howard Schwartz's Papers
Anti-Feminist Psychohistory Papers.
A review of the author's 1998 novel written in Isaac Asimov's
Information and Links
KeyWorlds.com's collection of Psychohistory sites and links.
Public Eye web page from Political Research Associates provides
in-depth information, analysis and news about Right Wing threats
to democracy and
Isaac Asimov Spotlight
Critical reviews of Asimov's leading Foundation and Robot novels,
including discussions of themes in his works.
Survival and Consciousness Evolution: Psychological Roots of
ABSTRACT: The two most powerful psychological forces in human
history have been without doubt violence and greed. However,
the current global situation has amplified the consequences
involved. More pe
waiting to happen
An analysis of political events and psychological climate
in the UK Government from April 1998 and forecast to September
2000, based on trauma or change in 6 policy areas.
Gibson Bibliography / Mediagraphy
Complete William Gibson bibliography; not just the books, but
his articles, short stories, audio books, and related media
FOUNDATIONS OF PSYCHOHISTORY
Psychohistory is the science of historical motivation -- no
more, no less. It is my hope that this book will provide the
theoretical foundations for the new science of psychohistory
- World History: A Psychohistory of the Modern World
Academic Year 2001/2002 World History: A Psychohistory of the
Modern World HIST 251 SP In this lecture-discussion course,
we will explore the
for the Study of Mind and Human Interaction
An interdisciplinary center that practices "preventive medicine"
in the widest sense, CSMHI studies large-group dynamics and
issues such as ethnic tension, war, peace, and diplomacy. Recent
and upcoming events, faculty, and history of group.
Galactica - Psychohistory - Contents
Tell me when this page is updated Psychohistory Definition Assumptions
Psychohistorical Theorems Characters | Galactography | Robotics
| Sociology | Space Travel | Timeline | Chimerical | Contents
Copyright ©1997-9 Mike Carlin Last Modified:
E. Stannard, Shrinking History
Bactra Review: Occasional and eclectic book reviews by Cosma
Shalizi 53 Shrinking History On Freud and the Failure of Psychohistory
by David E. Stannard Oxford University Press, 1980 A Strange
Illusion of the Recent Past Psychohistory --- the
Organizations on the Web A major list of
futuristic organizations in the areas of future studies, philosophy,
personal and social liberation, and advanced technology.
Gesellschaft für Psychohistorische Forschung
Unconscious: A Perspective from Sociohistorical Psychology
Social psychologist specializing in cultural psychology, cross-cultural
psychology, activity theory, Vygotsky, social science research
methodology, qualitative methodology, cross-cultural counseling,
psychobiology, psychological anthropology, social
In the same way that psychology was extended to cover groups,
producing the science of mob psychology, the idea of psychohistory
is to extend the idea even further to cover the sweeping changes
in group psychology over time to try and use the past and the
present to anticipate the general path of the future.
: how could it be done ?
The modern science of psychohistory began as a literary invention
of Isaac Asimov. He defined it as a branch of mathematics dealing
with the overall reactions of large groups to given stimuli
under given conditions : the prediction of social and political
Nine Section Three p 1
History - Unit 9 Section 3 Page 1/4 Topic: Psychohistory &
Biography One approach to biography is to understand the psychology
of the historical personage. This section will explore the idea
that both explicit psychohistorical biographies and so-called
regular biographies both attempt to understand the personality
of the figure being studied. The section below discusses the
field of psychohistory, by historian-psychoanalyst Peter Loewenberg.
The second section and third are explicit psychobiographies
by Freud and Erikson. The final section is a highlight on the
childhood of Lyndon Johnson by Robert Caro, that illustrates
most writers do attempt some form of psychological analysis.
the future? Think about the recent book by Fukuyam ...
Our Posthuman Future by Francis Fukuyama is the latest
by one of the more significant comtemporary thinkers.
COLIN McGINN in
a recent New York Times Review writes: "Today, however, we are
faced with a new phase in the powers of human technology; we are on
the verge of discovering and implementing an alternative to evolution
itself -- direct intervention in the genetic process. This is one
of the main subjects of Francis Fukuyama's ''Our Posthuman Future,''
a timely, thoughtful and well-argued contribution to an important
subject. Fukuyama,... discusses cloning, germ-line genetic engineering,
stem cell research, neuropharmacology, anti-aging medicine. His basic
concern is the potential for violations of human nature that spring
from the new biotechnology. Here science, politics and philosophy
intersect, as we try to negotiate the prospect of designer babies,
strapping nonagenarians, interspecies hybrids and the like."
states "Fukuyama contends that we need institutions with enforcement
powers "that will discriminate between those technological advances
that promote human flourishing, and those that pose a threat to human
dignity and well-being." Apart from cloning, regulation is required
for preimplantation diagnosis and screening, germ-line engineering,
the creation of human chimeras and the production of new psychotropic
is one peering at Future's Edge ... he may well be onto a great many
insights that could save us from some serious problems. What
do you think?
F. ... According to his own words, Francis Fukuyama is
Bernard Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy at the
Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins
His " The End of History and the Last Man ", was published
by Free Press in 1992 and has appeared in over twenty foreign editions
His most recent book, Our Posthuman Future: Consequences
of the Biotechnology Revolution, was published by Farrar, Straus,
and Giroux in April 2002. Fukuyama received his Ph.D.
from Harvard in Political Science, was a member of the Political
Science Department of the RAND Corporation, a member of the Policy
Planning Staff of the US Department of State, (ome of the most influential
organizations at state) a Deputy Director for European political-military
affairs, and a member of the US delegation to the Egyptian-Israeli
talks on Palestinian autonomy. He currently serves as a
member of the Presidents Council on Bioethics.
Other areas to
of Forecasting - A Handbook for Researchers and Practitioners (International
Series in Operations Research and Management Science, Volume 30)
-- by J. Scott Armstrong (Editor); Hardcove
Psychohistory implies understanding personality and motivation, dominance,
self-esteem and other personal psychologies. The master of the philosophy/psychology
of motivation is Abraham Maslow.
It would greatly benefit you to explore is pyramid / hierachy
of needs leeding to self-actualization.