News Foundation Adaptation Series Officially Ordered by Apple

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by JD, Aug 23, 2018.

  1. yotsuya

    yotsuya Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Golan didn't choose the hive mind over the Seldon plan. He chose the hive mind because in the short term (the 2nd 500 years of Seldon's plan) it would maintain the status quo.

    Also, Pshychoshistory doesn't say no one individual can affect the future, it is that it can't predict the actions of individuals. That is why the Second Foundation exists, to correct for individuals and to always keep an eye out for a better solution. That is one reason why they orchestrated the crisis so that they were left with only a single path forward. And if you pay attention to the stories, very often an individual made the crucial decision that solved the crisis.
     
  2. wayoung

    wayoung Commodore Commodore

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    The "decisions" by individuals are not dependent on the individuals, they are solutions Seldon calls "obvious" in the vault recordings and would have been made by whomever was in those positions due to the mass of humanity driving the future forward along the lines predicted by psychohistory. It's a direct refutation of The Great Man Theory. Hardin may have been the person who happened to make the decisions in the first two crises, but the decisions themselves were inevitable due to the progress of society - he just happened to be the person in the right place at the right time to get the credit for them.

    The only time an Individual actually effects the plan is The Mule, because psychohistory couldn't predict an individual mutant coming along and upsetting the plan - which was the first sign that psychohistory wasn't going to work.

    As for Golan, it's been awhile but I distinctly remember him specifically saying the reason he chose the hive mind was because his having the choice in the first place meant psychohistory was flawed, but I don't have access to a book to look it up. I could be misremembering.

    Edit to add: I did just go through the original trilogy in the last 3 or 4 weeks so it is fresh in my mind but the sequel & prequel novels I haven't read in forever, so freely admit I may be misremembering their content.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2021
  3. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

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    The Great Man Theory, which I think Thomas Carlyle first proposed in 1840, claims that historical events are the result of the actions of certain great individuals, who step up to the plate at times of crisis as it were.

    In the epilogue to War and Peace (1869), Leo Tolstoy argues the theory is incorrect because such actions rarely result in great historical events. Tolstoy argues instead that great historical events result from many smaller events that are driven by the multitudes of individuals involved (in an Asimovian manner, he compares this to calculus and summing infinitesimals). Tolstoy also argues that these smaller events derive from an inverse relationship between group necessity and individual volition. Necessity derives from outside forces and is subject to historical analysis. The actions of individuals is inherently unpredictable because it depends on conscious decisions - usually attributed to free-will, but determinism also works if the actions cannot be predicted from the starting conditions.

    It seems to me that Asimov, like Tolstoy, is suggesting that the supposedly great men that resolve the Seldon crises are pump-primed to act, being driven inexorably in one direction by outside historical forces. If they have an ambiguous choice, they could derail the plan so things have been set in motion to prevent this from happening. The Mule operates by mentally forcing individuals to behave in a manner that he dictates and so they are not driven by the necessity to respond to outside events. One mind drives everything and so in a way also coerces humanity into hive-like behaviour - albeit dictated by an individual and not a gestalt.

    I like the idea that history is in tension between group necessity and individual volition. However, historiography developed much further after Carlyle and Tolstoy's time - Whig history, French Annales school, Marxist historiography,... - it has never reached a definitive conclusion and likely never will. Though psychohistory itself might never be realisable, perhaps there are mathematical laws of mass human behaviour that we could yet uncover and use as tools to help overcome - or at least smooth out - our own historical crises.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2021
  4. CaptainWacky

    CaptainWacky More than meets the eye Premium Member

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    I found the first half of episode 3, with the Emprerors, pretty good. I found the second half, with the colonists, pretty damn dull. I really missed Hari and Gaal. I hope Seldon isn't done already, because Jared Harris was one of the biggest selling points of the show for me.

    I'm expecting he'll show up as a hologram recording at least.
     
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  5. wayoung

    wayoung Commodore Commodore

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    David Goyer gave an interview where he was asked about The Mule name drop in the first episode.

    He continues, “It’s funny, in previous attempts to adapt Foundation, everyone said, ‘This is for the diehard fans, so you’re going to use The Mule.’ But the first thing I said to Apple was, ‘We need to earn The Mule.’ So in the same way that Asimov did, the Mule’s not showing up in the first season. We’ll get there, hopefully, but when the Mule shows up, we will have earned the Mule.”

    https://www.denofgeek.com/tv/foundation-where-is-the-mule/
     
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  6. wayoung

    wayoung Commodore Commodore

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    This episode didn't work as well for me as the first two.

    I really enjoyed the bit with the Emperors. They've done a fantastic job humanizing them here. Showing the Emperor is more than a power mad tyrant. Why he has been allowed to stay in power for so long despite frequently resorting to violence - he actually seems to have some empathy and cares for the empire, to the point they willingly suicide themselves for the betterment of the Empire.

    Although I can't help but feel this is just Goyer recycling his Superman ideas, with the genetic cloning causing the stagnation and ruination of the Empire.

    The colony stuff was pretty boring by comparison. I don't get the Foundation going backwards technology wise - debating clocks and saying sundials are better because they are simpler. That's the opposite of how the Foundation rises to power - their technological advancement is the key to their power.

    I hope the religious fervour line is foreshadowing.

    Introducing the traders pretty early here. But if they're compressing the timeline I guess they have too:shrug:

    The whole psychic link between Hardin and The Vault is a weird choice, unless they are going to turn her into The Mule, which with her parents seemingly implying she's a mutant...:shrug:

    I guess they eliminated the whole democratic government vs Encyclopaedia Board angle for simplicity, although since a major factor in the books is the repeated conflict between forms of government resulting in strengthening and expanding the Foundation with each crises that's another strange choice, and the biggest change so far IMO, cutting into the essence of the trilogies crises'.

    Anyway, like I said, the first half was great but repetitive from Goyer's past work. The second half much less interesting. This episode definitely had more of Goyers stamp on it, with all the advantages and disadvantages that entails.
     
  7. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They still think they are just writing a book to help the Galaxy rebuild itself after The Fall, so they are debating things to focus the book on when the tech level will be reduced by said fall.
     
  8. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    A sun dial doesn't work at night.

    Okies.

    A moon dial is best during a full moon.
     
  9. wayoung

    wayoung Commodore Commodore

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    Which would make it a survival guide, not an encyclopaedia of all human knowledge whose real purpose is to make sure the Foundation is the technological powerhouse in the galaxy as the Empire falls. Which doesn't make it any less of a major change. Again, it's an adaptation, so changes are inevitable, I just felt the changes in this episode were... strange, vs the changes in the first two episodes that made sense to me.
     
  10. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    What is this show? I ask because I honestly don't know. Last week we got two episodes to introduce the show and it felt like that was going to be the premise of the season. We got a cliffhanger, introduction of the empire and the cleons, and it sent Gaal and Hari and the followers on their way.

    This week we jumped into the future and the cliffhanger from last week will remain a mystery for god knows how long. It either felt like watching a second first episode or a season 2 episode that felt out of place. Maybe this narrative works in the novels and it's easier to follow along when you're reading, but as a TV series, the jumping around is making it hard to follow. I guess we're not going to see Gaal again, so other than the Brothers, it felt like the first two episodes was more of a prologue to what is to come.
     
  11. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Pretty much - the meat of the story is yet to come and Hari Seldon was just a small appetizer and only reappears from time to time as a recording.

    The story is about mankind's ultimate development, there is much subterfuge going on in order not to derail the plan established by forces in the background. So far i really like it but the show is still setting up some pieces though it is starting to pick up the pace with the events on Terminus as of last episode.
     
  12. thribs

    thribs Vice Admiral Admiral

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    He probably told him to kill him. Part of his “special formula”.
    Seems rather cruel to eject that girl. I hope someone rescues her one day
     
  13. Skipper

    Skipper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm watching the third episode right now, and the actors playing the emperors are great.
     
  14. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

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    The Encyclopaedia is a huge red herring to keep the nerds busy while the adults get on with things.
    Gaal only features at the very start of the first book of the trilogy. My interpretation is that
    Hari knew he was dying and transferred his consciousness into the device that Raych removed from behind Hari's ear after he'd dispatched Hari. Hari will live on as an alpha-level simulation in the Vault device on Terminus. Gaal has been dispatched at a predetermined location so she can set up the missing part of the equation that Hari has worked out - the Second Foundation. Salvor is Gaal and Raych's daughter, likely brought to term from an embryo extracted from Gaal and brought to term in a surrogate mother. That's why she was tested to see if she could work Seldon's device.
     
  15. wayoung

    wayoung Commodore Commodore

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    The encyclopedia itself is a fraud but the gathering of human knowledge and the galaxies top scientists and researchers is an integral part of the plan. It is this technology and expertise that allows Terminus to be the only planet that doesn't backslide scientifically, the only planet that doesn't lose access to Atomic power, that allows the foundation to negotiate the peace with Anacreon, that allows the foundation to develop the theocracy that takes over the rim kingdoms, that allows the foundation to continue to advance scientific discovery while the rest of the Galaxy falls into darkness, which allows the traders to sell advanced technological goods to other planets and then wage economic warfare on them, furthering the Foundations reach and power.

    The Encyclopedia Galactica isn't real. The knowledge and technology saved in those first few decades is very real, and key to the plan.
     
  16. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

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    Do we know the Second Foundation isn't also preserving knowledge?
    The robots likely preserve it all anyway. I doubt only one survived. I'm guessing they help Gaal set up the Second Foundation.
     
  17. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    As far as i remember the Second Foundation was the second ( d'oh ) part of Seldon's plan to finish the equation and react to anything that he didn't foresee or the equation didn't cover, such as the appearance of The Mule. So it didn't preserve knowledge, that was the job of the first Foundation or rather Seldon calculated that dropping all those engineers and scientists on a barren rock with lttle natural resources would force them to start developing new technologies and improve the knowledge base of mankind to cope with the lack of ressources, which was the reason the Empire failed because it stagnated in its development.
     
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  18. wayoung

    wayoung Commodore Commodore

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    First Foundation specialized in physical sciences, 2nd Foundation on social sciences, focusing on psychohistory and the development of mental powers.
     
  19. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

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    Presumably the Second Foundation would have to have preserved at least some physical knowledge whilst also developing their mental skills or they wouldn't have been able to project those skills when and where necessary. I doubt they cared much about clepsydras or heliochronometers though.
     
  20. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's how the Foundation rises to galactic power once the traders take over. This is still the early days when the Encyclopedists have control.

    I think it's too early to say it's been eliminated - right now we're basically in the middle of "The Encyclopedists", so that could still come into play.