Sunday, April 1, 2007

Forward the Foundation

By Isaac Asimov

After reading this story I am left with no choice but to use the word ‘maestro’ for him and his ‘masterpiece’. I am not the type of person who easily appreciates any novel or work. This is indeed a “master’s” work.I thought of the concept regarding equations defining human psyche a few months back. It was a mere fantasy at that time. Then I read ‘The Second Foundation.’ So this concept was not only thought about, but even presented very well 50 years back. From his Second Foundation onwards I was very curious that who was Hari Seldon and how he executed these Foundation’s foundation work. Throughout this novel I got the answer to my curiosity.The Summery of the NovelThis is the story of Hari Saldon and his theory of ‘Psychohistory’. This is the story of his friends, his associates – Eto Demezerel, Don Vanibilis, Raych, Cleon, Wanda, ……..He was Heliconican ( a small planet in the empire) by birth and came down to ‘Trantor’ – first among the worlds. He came with a mathematical theory of predicting future by the mathematics of human psyche. This was known as ‘psychohistory’. His theory got him in association with Emperor Cleon and First Minister Eto Demezerel. He worked with their help. There was his friend Eto - the robot, his wife Don Venabilis - the robot and Yugo – the human.He was obscure, mysterious and interesting. Only because of psychohistory. He had friends and so the enemies. He got rid of his enemies one by one and also lost his friends one by one. Enemies Jorunam – a charismatic opportunist, a librarian. Friend Eto – resigned, Don – died, Yugo – died, Raych – killed. He lost himself. When he came to Trantor he was 32 – and was unknown. When he died he was still on Trantor and 81 but well known- but differently by different people. Intelligentsia knew his intelligence. Scoundrels knew his story of survival and were jealous of it. Masses knew him for his predictions and called him ‘Raven Seldon’ – for the bird of ill omen. Very few knew him as his actual self of a mathematician- the psycho historian.But he was Hari Seldon and he knew everybody and everyone not one by one but jointly as a collection of 25 million worlds – as billions, trillions of population – as citizens of troubled times- as victims of a falling empire. He also knew that he is and only he is the one who can compress this bad time of 30,000 years to 1,000 years for he was the father of psychohistory. For this he founded the two foundations. The First one that was based on physical powers and was inclined to form nucleus of future good times i.e. the empire. The second one of mentalists who were the guardians of his new empire. They were hidden, they were strong. They were unknown. For they were mentalists they needn’t require to surface to guard because they could read minds and manipulate. And they manipulated the future. The future of galaxy. And this is how he founded the foundations from bad times to good times.

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