Quite a few net diehards have been suffering from insomnia – trying to figure out, whether psychohistory can be applied, as a science, on bushmen in Africa Another crisis. At times it seems as problems, problems always face the poor defenceless humans. How nice it would be, just to push a bottom on a computer and be given the It was for this purpose Isaac Asimow invented the theory Often in the modern welfare state it seems as our lifes progresses like clockwork. That humans (under certain good circumstances) actually can control life and society.
Certainly we know the Sun rises every morning in the ast, and certainly the weather guy on TV can tell us what kind of weather to expect tomorrow. It seems as the world is under control Or at least predictable. But reality is different ! Here the “butterfly-effect” rules. Imagine if all citizens of a major metropolis opened all windows from their cozy apartments out into a cold winternight. So long weather forecast – immediately the temperature of the metropolis would rise (without the TV weather man being able to predict it from his satelite pictures ).
And try think about asteroids – even a small one could change the forecast rather significantly – not to speak about the idea of Nevertheless we believe in the human capacity to calculate, Science Fiction author Isaac Asimow has taken this human belief to its logical conclusion and introduced the concept psychohistory – how human behaviour can be calculated with the So the following is about psychohistory. Trying to neuroprograme the reader to believe in it.
And why not, smart guys believe they can balance a state budget a year in advance or predict the weather 7 days ahead – why not predict society and human behaviour 7 days And BTW. lease note that this is not a “political” article, no controversy intended. Psychohistory is supposed o be objective, if not (even) a science. So any political platform statement (of the usual selfcentered nonsensical nitwit politician kind) is certainly not intended and will be removed in the next version of this text. But when talking about the basic concepts of psychohistory its difficult not to give reference to current political events (and perhaps showing bias) – more gifted psychohistorians Isaac Asimow wrote some 470 books covering various aspects of science, Science Fiction, Shakespeare etc.
Best known is perhaps his Foundation series of 7 volumes. The epic starts starts in 12069 G. E. (Galactic Era). Humanity is spread all over the Galaxy, but controlled from planete Trantor (population 40 billion people and quite a few robots). Head of state is emperor Cleon the first. In reality primeminister Eto Demerzel (a robot) governs the Galaxy though. Apparently everything is fine – but collapse is near – as predicted by the brilliant psychohistorian Hari Seldon Seldon has a plan though.
He will use his knowledge of psychohistory to create a new empire dedicated to art,technology and science. Things threatened with extinction by the decline of the old empire (declining due to power struggles, nonsensical regal traditions One part of the new Foundation will be dedicated to science, the other to mental disciplines and mental control – working together they will be the cornerstones of the Hari Seldon dreamworld. The Shortly before his death Asimow admitted, that he got quite a bit of inspiration from looking at the fall of the Roman empire.
And why limit psychohistory to either a distant past or a science fiction future – why not use it now Certainly Asimow escaped being accused of political interest (or ambition) by calling it science fiction – but not much point in the secrecy and humbleness anymore – lets bring psychohistory back to presentday earth. Using it to see what is on the decline now, giving the chance for We have only some 2000 years of recorded history to guide us by and base our theory on.
Only obvious conclusions can be (easily) drawn – such as, that all empires born (sofar) That governments change from democracy, to aristocracy, to oligarchy, to tyranny and back to democracy again in an A modern (welfare) state is kept running using money. One way for the state to collect money is piracy (Saddam and alikes) another is to tax the citizens. The simplest tax is poll tax. Everybody (every citizen) must pay x money dollars ) to the state.
Rich, poor, dumb, clever, young or old .. t doesn’t matter, everybody must pay (the same) – those who doesn’t like it get their head chopped off. As this is not “fair” the modern welfare state introduces “fairness”. Unfortunately fairness brings other problems (such as to much complexity), which in the end also threathens Whatever is done, a “Seldon-crisis” is never far away. As stated above – psychohistory is about predicting those “Seldon-crisis” well ahead of presentday rulers and be prepared to move in and take over (Oh, please remember that the author is talking science fiction, not reality – you kind
French philosopher Rousseau knew, that the number of rulers is inversely proportional to the size of the population. As the population increases democracy gives way to aristocracy that gives way to ….. The days of true democracy – where members of parliament is decided by lottery (which secures all (sub)groups an equal and fair representation in the long run) – is over. The march towards collaps has started – birth, growth, bloom, maturity and death – the conditions of human life and society until the introduction of psychohistory.
With psychohistory all this oldfashioned folly will be a The individual and psychohistory. It is tempting to believe, that there is no real place for the small and insignificant individual in the This is both true and very wrong. Certainly psychohistory is concerned with whole societies and not individuals. Nevertheless the “butterfly” – effect reminds us, that even the most insignificant human might be the one, who by some insignificant action changes human history all together.
Psychohistory seeks to identify the places where only a minute push by a single person brings about big changes. Its then the intention of psychohistorians to control hese “spotlights” of history, thereby controlling history. To do so the “patterns” of simularity in macro – and micro cosmos must be known to the psychohistorians. Indeed the collection of these historical “pictures” or “patterns” is the current basis of a learning process which will eventually lead to psychohistory as a working tool.
Pattern : Lincolns secretary was called Kennedy and Kennedy had a secretary On the 4’th of july 1826 governor Clinton of New York couldn’t enjoy his meal – as two of the greatest people of the union (Thomas Jefferson and John Adams) had just died that very day.. Perhaps it was also depressing for him to know that he would never be president Clinton. Or perhaps he was lost in thoughts on the growth and enormity of New York city Now a staggering 32. 000 people . How would the future be – for him, for the New York City, for the Union. An agreement on a common currency had been reached.
Perhaps a sign of stability for the future. And yet many where worried about the future (as people always are). Indeed the good citizens of Rhode Island was very worried – so worried, that they needed a couple of referendums before they could vote yes to join the new rising union country members again – trading towns for, as the Some 200 years later the whole (union) script was reused – this time in Denmark, where peasants and common workers couldn’t see the wisdom of following industry into a Union. Much like their kindred spirits some 200 years ago in Rhode Island.
When workers ask for shorter hours, they do not ask for the ultimate fulfillment of such a demand : Unemployment. For psychohistory to see the differences between such closely connected patterns indeed much learning is needed. The work on psychohistory has hardly begun – but with some effort, soon the heuristics and statistical methods should be perfected enough to be introduzed, as a tool for a new empire dedicated to art, science and technology. One minor problem remains though. As Lenin and Robespierre could testify, often the implementation of paradise turns out as hell.
But this is not a problem for psychohistory. It knows the pitfalls ahead, so certainly it will know how to guide humanity in order to reach a system dedicated to the principles stated above. Certainly the dream of Asimow is round the corner. Using the principle of mental guiding (as crude power for reaching goals – tanks,torture or whips – has shown itself not to be useful in the long run), an increased knowledge of the human mind and using psychohistory itself the Seldon/Asimow dreamworld is very close by. Psychohistory as the great doctor of society.
Patterns Practival details left to the technicians. A perfect psychohistory will give empires of the future eternal life – as cryonics will give humans of the Actually only the construction of psychohistory is missing before the start of the Asimow age. And perhaps a sneaky feeling that it will never work. “Metamagical Themas – questing for the essence Any suggestions or comments are most welcome.