Isaac Asimov, Game of Thrones: How to Write Sociological Stories

Published by Jan Heaney on

Isaac Asimov, Game of Thrones: How to Write Sociological Stories


These are the Foundation novels by Isaac Asimov. They’re some of the finest pieces of science fiction ever written and even won the Hugo Award in 1966 for all-time best series, despite everyone thinking the one-off award had been made solely to recognize the Lord of the Rings. Attempts to adapt the series go all the way back to 1998 when New Line Cinema had a project in development but scrapped it because the studio had signed on to develop The Lord of the Rings. Another film adaptation was attempted by Columbia in 2009 but also failed to get off the ground, as did a TV series from HBO in 2014. Currently, Apple is working on a 10 episode season, but after such a long history in development hell, I’m skeptical that it’ll actually get released. The Foundation is a uniquely difficult series to adapt, largely because it is a sociological story. In an article for Scientific American, Zeynep Tufekci argued that the reason Game of Thrones declined in quality in its recent seasons was because it changed its focus from sociological storytelling to psychological storytelling. The difference being that psychological stories are focused on individuals, while sociological stories are about institutions. Psychological stories hook the audience in with a compelling character and their struggles. Sociological stories usually have a wider cast of characters that can come in and out of the narrative. They show how the incentives of a particular political system will determine the decisions that the characters are making and as a result allow the reader to understand the decisions that every character is making, even the ones they disagree with. Of course, we can understand the motivations of characters and psychological stories, too, but the distinction here is how we understand them. If a character acts out because of a bad father: psychological. If the character does something immoral because their job incentivizes it: sociological. The 2015 film The Big Short is a great example of this and granted, it’s a true story, so that helps. In one of the movie’s plot lines, the protagonists interview basically every kind of employee involved in the corrupt financial system. Mortgage brokers, regulators and rating agencies and each person tells them essentially the same thing: I’m not a bad person. I’m just incentivized to do what I’m doing. “If we don’t work with them, they will go to our competitors. Not our fault. Simply the way the world works.” And that’s really the essence of what a sociological story is. I should also clarify that I’m not saying that one type of story is good and the other is bad, nor are the terms mutually exclusive. In its heyday, Game of Thrones was strong at both types of storytelling. We care deeply about Aria as an individual, for example, and we got to see how the absence of consequences changes men in the battlefield. We cared about Tyrion and we saw how the politics of King’s Landing changed people or broke them. The Foundation, on the other hand, is peak sociological storytelling. The premise of the story is that there’s a guy named Harry Seldon who comes up with a new science called psychohistory. It’s a science that can predict how groups of people will act, rather than what individuals will do. Individuals are random and unpredictable but people become more predictable as the group gets bigger. So it’s easier to figure out what an empire will do than it is a single person. Using the science, Seldon realizes that the empire he lives in is going to fall and that there’s no way to stop it. So instead of trying to prevent the fall, he’s going to shorten the amount of time between the fall and the rise of the next empire from 30,000 years to just a thousand years. The plan is to send a group of scientists out to the edge of the galaxy so that they’re as isolated as possible, making it easier to predict what kind of crises they’ll face over the centuries. From there they will hopefully safeguard civilization and then revitalize it by establishing a second “Galactic Empire!” And right there in the premise, you can see why this is a sociological story. Psychohistory is based on the idea that institutions behave more or less predictably, regardless of the individuals that actually populate it. If you know what the incentive structure is in an institution, you can predict how it will behave. Okay, so I’m going to do a brief rundown of the series before getting into any spoilery analysis. The first three books are technically called The Foundation Trilogy. They include five short stories and four novellas, which were mostly originally published in Astounding Science-Fiction magazine but then collected into the novels we know them as today in 1951, ’52 and ’53. But they are very much nine distinct stories. So really this should be called The Foundation Trilogy Trilogy. In her article, Tufekci talked about how the willingness of Game of Thrones to write out main characters is a clue that it is a sociological story. The reason for this is because the audience is invested in the political development of a setting more than they are any particular character. We wanted to see who would win the game of thrones and here we want to see what the galaxy will look like politically after the thousand years of quote unquote “darkness.” But instead of the big dramatic character deaths that populate Game of Thrones, the simple march of time brings character in and out of this narrative. None of the characters in the original trilogy appear in more than two of those nine stories which makes this a difficult adaptation if you’re coming at it from a psychological perspective. The audience won’t be able to get too attached to any one protagonist. The characters also do not have deep internal lives. We only see how they act in the context of the plot without getting into their personal relationships. They speak in a very wooden manner as honestly all of the characters in Asimov books do. He’s famous for his ideas, not for his prose. But as Tufekci writes, the “hallmark of sociological storytelling is that it can encourage us to put ourselves in the place of any character and imagine ourselves making similar choices. All of the characters in these stories, both good and bad, are the products of their environments and they make equally self-interested decisions. We don’t need to be emotionally attached to them for sociological storytelling to be effective. We merely need to understand them. For 30 years that’s all there was to the story, leaving things sort of unresolved. We were promised a story that lasts a thousand years, but the original trilogy only got us a third of the way there. But then in the 80s, his publisher wrote him a larger than normal check and insisted that he continued the series. So we got a pair of sequels: Foundation’s Edge and Foundation And Earth. Back when I gave the premise for the story, if you were thinking hey, why is reestablishing an empire inherently a good thing? Well, you’re in luck because Asimov basically agreed with you and puts the idea of empire on trial in the sequels. But most of that happens in Foundation’s Edge, while Foundation And Earth is about a guy wandering around wondering if he made the right decision in the last book. It’s the first book in the series that’s more of a travelogue than a political game but it is very meandering compared to the other books. Since he was writing these in the 80s these are also the first books in the series where the characters are actually allowed to have sex lives, though when you combine that with Asimov’s robotic dialogue, it’s not exactly stimulating Her breasts were a smaller version of the woman herself — massive, firm, and overpoweringly impressive. “well?” she said. Trvize said, in all honesty, “Magnificent!”
“And what will you do about it?” “What does morality dictate on Comporellon, Madam, Lizalore?” “What is that to a man of Terminus? What does your morality dictate? –And begin. My chest is cold and wishes warmth” Trvize stood up and began to disrobe… After Foundation And Earth, Asimov had no idea how to continue the story so he started writing prequel novels about Harry Seldon. Because of that you do sort of feel like the series loses some momentum since the actual conclusion is in book 5, even though the prequels are both a lot of fun. They make the prospect of a TV series pretty exciting though since you could adapt them as flashbacks while telling the rest of the story. So, that’s the series in brief. But what are these books really about and spoiler warning for these stories in books 1 and 2. At the age of 21, Asimov was on his way to his weekly meeting with John W. Campbell, the editor of Astounding Science-Fiction. He had to pitch a story but he didn’t have any ideas. Luckily, he happened to be reading Edward Gibbons’ The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and thought “Hey! Why not just do this, but in space?” In that original pitch for the series still contains its essence that the story isn’t just about institutions, but about the decline and fall of institutions and subsequently how they form and change with time. In each story, The Foundation will face an existential crisis, usually some outside force that seeks to conquer the planet. They’re called Seldon Crises since Seldon predicted that the crises would happen. We’re told that the good guys can’t win in a fight so they have to rely on something else. Whether it’s diplomacy, economics, religion or some other broader sociological trend in order to ensure their survival. As one character puts it, “Seldon crises are not solved by individuals but by historic forces. Harry Seldon…did not count on brilliant heroics, but on the broad sweeps of economics and sociology. So the solutions to the various crises must be achieved by the forces that become available to us at the time.” Stories usually tell us that a rugged individual can save the planet, The Foundation tells us the opposite. It’s one of the reasons these books are hard for Hollywood to adapt. They endlessly tease big space battles that don’t happen or aren’t important. There is no fist fight to save the universe. There’s a guy explaining why his trade policy will end a war with less bloodshed, not exactly blockbuster material! But this comes back to what we’re talking about with sociological stories, that it’s all about incentives. Asimov’s basic hypothesis about human beings is that were more or less driven by the same motivations and that we’re just doing whatever benefits us based on the setting we happen to be born in. We’re using the forces that become available to us at the time not something unique to the individual. The first few stories in the series show The Foundation using the strategy but they sort of try to have their cake and eat it too. They’re very good at showing how the norms of an institution shape the people within it and also how those norms can paralyze an Institution because it means that no one is able to conceive of a solution for a problem that’s outside of the system. For instance, in the story called The Encyclopedists– The Foundation is run by a group of scientists who are hoarding nuclear technology. The surrounding kingdoms no longer have that tech and each want to conquer The Foundation. Never would these scientists think to simply give their rivals that technology, that’s simply unheard of for that institution. It takes someone outside of that incentive structure to come and change it. So the story is really good at showing how the characters are formed by their setting but the solution does come from one person, even while the text is trying to tell us that one person counts for less than the masses in determining the course of history. The heroes of the early stories do use broader sociological trends to their advantage but the fact that they are individuals doing this is a bit of a contradiction. But a better demonstration of Asimov’s original ideas is in the story originally titled Dead Hand which is the first half of the second novel, Foundation And Empire. The story is about the last remnants of the empire threatening to conquer The Foundation. the protagonists of the story accomplish nothing, the conflict just sort of resolves itself and at the end, one character explains that no matter who is in charge of each faction The Foundation would have won. Basically since most emperor’s were formerly generals who overthrew the previous emperor, it’s impossible for the empire to conquer any meaningful piece of new territory since whoever is in charge of doing so, is much more incentivized to turn around and conquer the capital. In this story, the individual really is at the mercy of broader historical trends that are difficult to reverse and that’s what makes Asimov’s series so vital to science fiction and what makes it so relevant today. When Asimov started writing the series, he did so in the shadow of World War II. Afterwards, he said that “…this was also a time when I’d been living through the Hitler era in the 1930s, where no matter what anyone did, Hitler kept winning victories and the only way that I could possibly find life bearable at the time was to convince myself that no matter what he did he was doomed to defeat in the end.” It’s an optimistic belief, but he was also very much aware of how sometimes the broader historical trends aren’t in our favor, sometimes things fall apart. Many of the issues we’re facing today exist because of a broken system of incentives, not the least of which is climate change. Which is why we have to focus on changing the systems that cause that problem more than on individual behavior even though that’s part of the solution, too. Incredible stories have been told using psychological storytelling but they also comfort us with the fantasy of being able to produce complicated issues to the individual. Great sociological stories, like The Foundation, train us to think of social issues with more nuance instead of finding individuals to blame. It’s a more difficult story to tell which is why Apple, I’ve got my fingers crossed. I’d love nothing more than to see Isaac Asimov’s Foundation on film. Oh, and by the way, Harry Seldon is Asimov’s literary
alter-ego, like he’s the character that resembles Asimov the most. So do us a favor and give the character Asimov’s wicked mutton chops Now if you haven’t read The Foundation novels, then you can find all seven of them on Audible, the sponsor of this video. But I actually want to recommend another book to you that’s relevant to all of this. It’s called the Tyranny of Metrics and it’s a look at how institutions choose to measure will influence how people in that institution behave. It’s a great real-life breakdown of exactly what The Foundation is all about and it’s filled with tons of hilarious anecdotes and is really just a solid read all the way through. So I really recommend checking it out. In addition to those books, Audible has the world’s largest selection of audio books and audio entertainment. You can start listening with a 30-day Audible trial where you’ll get one audiobook and two audible originals for free! Just go to audible.com/justwrite or text:
justwrite to 500 500. That’s audible.com/justwrite. Thanks for watching everyone and a big THANK YOU to my patrons for supporting me on Patreon! I’m going to be updating some of the tiers on Patreon shortly, so keep a lookout for that. Keep writing everyone!


100 Comments

Alex Phaneuf · October 11, 2019 at 8:43 pm

I have read all Asimov books, many of them twice

sairenx · October 11, 2019 at 8:51 pm

Sociological stories = Plot-driven.
Psychological stories = Character-driven.

Max Berezin · October 11, 2019 at 8:54 pm

Human-Centered Capitalism #Yang2020

Simon Jorge · October 11, 2019 at 8:57 pm

Honestly, Asimov is by far my favorite author, but i don't want to see the Foundations nor the robot cycles adapted in movies or series as much as I should. I fear that what makes Asimov's novels unique is gonna be left aside. Anyone remembers ''I, robot'', or ''Bicentennial man''? Those movies were horrible (except for Robin Williams, he' amazing in everything). They were literally Hollywood taking a big s**t on Asimov's grave. Maybe the Foundation universe is better left in the literature world? I don't know. LOTR proved to be a great adaptation, but there again, foundation is much more complicated to adapt that LOTR (not the Legendarium, just LOTR). I mean, you can't take off as much material in Foundation as they did in LOTR without destroying the narrative. Just wanted to share.

Keep up the good work, love your videos!

Kinav · October 11, 2019 at 9:06 pm

G A L A C T I C
E M P I R E

Paul Dohnal · October 11, 2019 at 9:10 pm

Very great movie! I never quite could put my finger on, why I loved the story so much and could therefore never tell anyone else. But this, it resolves everything!

Patrick Cocobassey · October 11, 2019 at 9:16 pm

The prose is so bad 😂😂. I can imagine a show with such wooden dialogue

Francesc del Arca · October 11, 2019 at 9:20 pm

your videos rule man. and asimov too. and god look it and saw it perfect. foundation: new GoT.

LE0NSKA · October 11, 2019 at 9:21 pm

2:58 dat edit almost gave me chills

Dorian sapiens · October 11, 2019 at 9:43 pm

I appreciated the explanation of the difference between psychological and sociological storytelling. I'd heard the terms used before but never quite got a clear picture of what they meant. Now I get it.

ibizan · October 11, 2019 at 9:43 pm

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world

stefan collier · October 11, 2019 at 9:52 pm

Lately when you upload a video I see the thumbnail and title and I'm not that excited, but then I watch it and it grabs me. Thanks for all your hard work. We can see the passion!!!

psycho deviant · October 11, 2019 at 9:56 pm

I saw "Isaac Asimov" in the title of a Just Write video and I couldn't click fast enough.

Erin Meow · October 11, 2019 at 10:04 pm

Nice thank you for reminding me to revisit these books it's been a couple of decades!

Franco Denápole · October 11, 2019 at 10:06 pm

It's interesting how some movies combine sociological and psychological storytelling, exploring what are the connections between social structures and the psychological development of a person. I mean narratives like Taxi Driver. I'm thinking of making an essay on that.

Great video!

Al M · October 11, 2019 at 10:21 pm

And Shakespeare would sound bad if you read him that way.

David Liddelow · October 11, 2019 at 10:26 pm

You can't find all 7 Foundation novels on Audible, only the first 3 have been adapted. Also watching this made me realize they've taken down the 3 Scott Brick ones which I'm kind of mad about.

Al M · October 11, 2019 at 10:35 pm

Lord of the Rings worked because faithful adaptations of it could find their contemporary audience.

Foundation book one possibly does not have a single line of dialogue spoken by a woman. Your choices are to make the film version with no women starring, add scenes that give women something to do, give a large percentage of the characters sex changes, or not to do this story on film.

MalloonTarka · October 11, 2019 at 10:38 pm

I've read these books so many times. I love them.

Al M · October 11, 2019 at 10:42 pm

"Nucular?" Well, okay. It is Just Write, not Just Talk. 😇

declup · October 11, 2019 at 10:51 pm

"He's famous for his ideas, not for his prose" could also be said of Greg Egan, who may be the current era's premier writer, not of science fiction, but of math fiction.

declup · October 11, 2019 at 10:57 pm

"[Asimov] is famous for his ideas, not for his prose." — Are there any recommendations of science fiction notable for both ideas and a sparkling writing style?

Jay Kaufman · October 11, 2019 at 11:03 pm

Wonderful job. But I disagree on one thing: Isaac Asimov's weakness as a writer wasn't his *prose*. Asimov's prose was unsurpassed. No one wrote with greater clarity, no one wrote prose that was as limpid and did what is so difficult: making something simple.
Dialog and characterization, those were Isaac Asimov's weakness. I'm sure that's what you meant all along. Loved the love scene.

jmalmsten · October 11, 2019 at 11:13 pm

Someone's doing a tv series out of The Foundation? Awesome!

That someone is.. Apple? … Oh…

Darnit…

TroubleShot · October 11, 2019 at 11:14 pm

Jesus Christ the sooner the "NEXT" GOT comes along the happier I'll be. Not because it'll be exciting to have something new but because all of the YouTube Essay Junkies can shut the fuck up about shitting on it. Make a video praising Dark Crystal. It deserves it even if the algorithm doesn't demand it.

Ben L · October 11, 2019 at 11:24 pm

After hearing that sex scene, I can understand why people would want to keep this filth away from children. I mean, if kids read that, they'd probably decide to never have sex, and then we'd go extinct.

Alpha K_OT · October 11, 2019 at 11:54 pm

Exceptional content sir. As always .

Mary Hill · October 11, 2019 at 11:56 pm

These books shaped my adolescence.

sealedinterface · October 12, 2019 at 12:01 am

I read these books as a kid and now that I think about it, they went a long way into how I see the world. I don't believe in individuals having much ability to create change, only in systematic shifts.

Richard Preston · October 12, 2019 at 12:30 am

The point about climate change is so apt. Many of the enormous problems we are now facing can really only be solved at the institutional/societal level. You're unlikely to change individuals' behavior by simply telling them, "You should behave differently." You have to design the system so that the incentives push people in the right direction.

Kevin Street · October 12, 2019 at 12:33 am

This is a wonderful video! Asimov is my favorite writer, and your analysis of the Foundation series (and why it's so hard to adapt to other media) is spot on. To do it right you'd need to make something more like an anthology series, where different characters are constantly coming and going and (like you said) the only things that are really developed are the institutions and world around them. I love your idea of doing the prequel novels as flashbacks during the series, to give it a main character and a single continuing storyline. That could really work! And of course Seldon would have to rock some muttonchops. I mean of course , you are so right about that.

Btw, the magazine that Asimov first published the Foundation stories in, Astounding Science Fiction, still exists! It's been continuously published all this time. Here's the website: https://www.analogsf.com/

And here's the website for the science fiction magazine named after Asimov himself where the later novels were serialized. It has been continuously published since 1977: https://www.asimovs.com/

I love the magazines. They're the best place to see the next generation of science fiction writers develop their skills.

Osiris Malkovich · October 12, 2019 at 1:33 am

A well made adaptation of Foundation could be just the thing we need right now, sociologically speaking.

Shavon Nand · October 12, 2019 at 1:52 am

So The Legend of Korra is Sociological, whereas Avatar the Last Airbender is psychological?

AJ Dragon · October 12, 2019 at 2:21 am

Very interesting; thanks for sharing! Watching this makes me think of Chernobyl (the 2019 HBO series) and how it tackles the disaster as a byproduct of both individual choices and societal pressures. Not sure if you've seen Chernobyl, but I'd love your thoughts on it if you had.

TheHoratiosvetlana · October 12, 2019 at 2:28 am

Game of Thrones is a very small portion of this video. Don't click bait me man.

Prabhdeep Singh · October 12, 2019 at 2:46 am

Those book covers contain way more imagery and thoughts than the recent start trek movies combined. I was mesmerized and transported to another world just by looking at them.

DanK Reed · October 12, 2019 at 3:16 am

this is good

Sean · October 12, 2019 at 3:56 am

What is they just made a Bailey series? That would be psychological, I think. But if they do go with the Foundation, it'll be sociological, if they do it well.

CautiousKieran · October 12, 2019 at 4:02 am

Its criminal the these have never been well adapted.

Eric Ruskoski · October 12, 2019 at 4:03 am

Find Jesus

Zachary Ayotte · October 12, 2019 at 4:24 am

2 minutes in and this is already essential knowledge

Mark Ray · October 12, 2019 at 4:37 am

Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagnificent!

Mark Parkinson · October 12, 2019 at 5:09 am

1:51 Hey, it’s Uncle Six from Wu Assassins! And Mr. Chau from The Big Short too.

Reborn In Rationality · October 12, 2019 at 5:37 am

Really? you talk of the importance of sociological storytelling, trying to say something important, then use a stilled 'sex scene' as your biggest quote from the books, using that as some kind of justification to deride his 'prose'?.. Who cares? He was probably forced to put it in by his publisher and was more than probably bored by the whole issue because he was too busy coming up with a legendary piece of science fiction, or JUST MAYBE the scenes awkwardness is a reflection of how awkward he was at having to put it in. He was by all accounts a 'gentleman' and his outstanding creativity didn't freely flow from the gutter… We don't read this masterpiece for titillation and if that's really what people are more interested in then it's the wrong books and author for them. Go read shades of grey.

crazyangst12 · October 12, 2019 at 6:13 am

This sounds insane. Even with modern technology I still can’t picture these
Book series into live action. It sounds so grandiose and complicated. That’s the very fascinating thing about sci-fi from the early 1900’s, they are so extreme and detailed that to see all that in live action, there will be fatal mistakes no matter what. Though I hope writers can do better than how he thinks human arousal is

Peter · October 12, 2019 at 6:31 am

10:50 Nucular ?

Damazy Włodarczyk · October 12, 2019 at 6:46 am

Have you written any screenplay? How about we write how we feel? You don't know shit.

Greg Camp · October 12, 2019 at 6:59 am

The television show, Game of Thrones, went bad when it no longer could be the Cliff Notes version of the books.

demondojr · October 12, 2019 at 7:06 am

You call yourself a writing channel yet use the word "incentivize"?

Pan And Scan Buddy · October 12, 2019 at 7:42 am

I love the art, amazing.

au jack · October 12, 2019 at 8:08 am

Good luck trying to visualise it that can be acceptable by general population,

Owen Bunny · October 12, 2019 at 8:13 am

i bet sociallozical story telling will be hard for young readers to "understand the character"

Nicholas Maude · October 12, 2019 at 8:25 am

Asimov well known for wooden character dialague? That sounds awfully familiar, maybe George Lucas was an Asimov fan;).

Nicholas Maude · October 12, 2019 at 8:30 am

You know who I think would be up to making a successful TV adaption of the trilogy? Lisa Joy and Christopher Nolan.

Brandon Ninja · October 12, 2019 at 8:52 am

No the writing was just bad.

Game Analysis · October 12, 2019 at 9:03 am

Sounds like a nonsense concept, ‘sociological’ in this sense just refers to stories which explore institutions but you can’t say character ‘psychology’s aren’t at the forefront, Game of Thrones was always about characters above anything else, theories like these muddy the waters as to what’s going on, Game of Thrones lost focus in many ways and rushed its ending

Edit: I haven’t read the books but from what you’ve said, perhaps the reason they’re difficult to adapt is because they’re more fascinating thought experiments than good stories. The majority of people won’t care if they can’t connect with characters. Maybe, unlike Lord of the Rings, the series is too emotionally dull to adapt without considerable changes

Andrés López · October 12, 2019 at 9:08 am

Great video! Very interesting perspective on the saga.

Olyphantastic · October 12, 2019 at 9:11 am

Is it just me or isn't the best example of a sociological tv-series The Wire? Great tv-show. You could also probably throw in a show like OZ too, but I didn't see it, but I can imagine that more being about the prison system more than the individuals.

desoz topdesoz · October 12, 2019 at 10:20 am

clmate change? you are an idiot.

Our Fantasy Life · October 12, 2019 at 10:25 am

Any Star Wars fan owes it to themselves to read both Dune and the Foundation novels.

Hanniffy Dinn · October 12, 2019 at 10:36 am

TL;DR. Learn the lessons of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. The foundation novels are just a messy long winded version of that. 🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤡🤡🤡🤡🌍🌍🌍🌍🌍

Davide Manca · October 12, 2019 at 10:42 am

I don't think the fact that individuals' choices solve a Seldon crisis is a contradiction: the point that Asimov is making is that such individuals that do solve the crisis are themselves the result of their environment and of the sociopolitical situation. Marlow as a person is still not important, even if he does solve the crisis by himself, because statistically in that given situation you could reliably predict that at least one "Marlow-like" individual would come up and solve the crisis in a situation like that.

Billy Hatzi · October 12, 2019 at 10:45 am

"You were bound to fail," said Susan Calvin. "I was bound to try," said Simon Ninheimer. Calvin turned and left. She did her best to feel no pang of sympathy for the broken man.

She did not entirely succeed.

Алёна Наумова · October 12, 2019 at 10:50 am

Тот неловкий момент, когда читаешь Азимова с начальной школы, но только сейчас понимаешь, что Айзек это Исаак

TheNivram008 · October 12, 2019 at 10:59 am

Man caused climate change is a myth . Heating oceans with hot air is improbable. "on a volume/volume basis, the ratio of heat capacities is about 3300 to 1. This means that to heat 1 litre of water by 1˚C it would take 3300 litres of air that was 2˚C hotter, or 1 litre of air that was about 3300˚C hotter!"

https://principia-scientific.org/chemistry-expert-carbon-dioxide-cant-cause-global-warming/

teriization · October 12, 2019 at 11:15 am

Why I keep hearing Asimov as "Assmouth"?

Marius · October 12, 2019 at 11:37 am

Isn't this where basically Darth Jar-Jar is? The Mole? The genius who plays the fool?

Marius · October 12, 2019 at 11:48 am

Should I read this??

Michael Tkaczevski · October 12, 2019 at 12:01 pm

Game of Thrones did a good job of showing how large audiences can be compelled by sociological storytelling. I wonder if it will set people up better for fathoming climate change and its ensuing political crises.

ffsneednamealltaken · October 12, 2019 at 12:12 pm

Hey I’m interested in reading the foundation books. Will watching this vid spoil any plot details?

VastlySuperiorSpiderMan · October 12, 2019 at 12:22 pm

Foundation is an amazing series that explores deep sociological themes about how societies rise and fall, how individuals can be powerless in the face of powerful forces, and how technology can warp our worldviews.

…But there’s also a psychic clown man who talks about how he can’t have sex, so…

CoverEye · October 12, 2019 at 12:40 pm

I feel like this video should be an hour long at least. Like you just got a lick of a lollipop.

Nandan Tendulkar · October 12, 2019 at 12:54 pm

Please make a video about Joker (2019)

gamefan987 · October 12, 2019 at 12:59 pm

This looks like EFAP material. I can't wait.

7gromojar · October 12, 2019 at 1:10 pm

Good that I read the first book last week, because you spoiled some parts of it.

Hari Seldon · October 12, 2019 at 1:13 pm

I am Hari Seldon. If you are reading this, then you are facing the sixth crisis. According to our calculations, in this era, industrial and technological progress led to terraforming effects that endanger the survival of mankind on earth in the next 200 years. Knowing this, we developed a colony called the Foundation. I hope you find consolation in the high probability that society will not go extinct in the universe.

This will be my last message.

MajorCoolD · October 12, 2019 at 1:14 pm

Or we can simply aknowledge that the Showrunners themselves in Game of Thrones grew tired of their own creation and were more interessted in a new juicy deal with Disney rather than a worthy conclusion for GoT, the project that made them sucessfull and famous to begin with.

Siddharth Chauhan · October 12, 2019 at 1:21 pm

Maybe the shift in focus is to blame. But ultimately I believe it was the god-awful writing that sunk the damn ship.

Keyser94 · October 12, 2019 at 1:32 pm

Or you are doomed. How long you think that the U. S. empire would last? It already in decline, not matter how some people are desperate to believe otherwise.

Ian OD · October 12, 2019 at 1:37 pm

So in conclusion… Asimov has fanfiction levels of writing.

Full Blooded American Mutt · October 12, 2019 at 1:41 pm

It's like Hollywood, the NBA, Blizzard, and many others companies who decide to immoraly disregard American Values to bow down to the ChiComs for the almighty dollar.

Merritt Animation · October 12, 2019 at 1:53 pm

Oddly enough I’ve never had a problem with the dialogue. I can’t explain why though. Maybe I’m secretly a robot or something.

Tom Tom · October 12, 2019 at 1:58 pm

The first sane voice I have heard on Climete Change.

Silver Dragon · October 12, 2019 at 2:32 pm

How did LotR lose to this? lol

Chris Sham · October 12, 2019 at 2:40 pm

Foundation is a large part of the reason I ended up with a politics degree. Wanting to understand, in the real world, how countries move and what difference individuals can make to this. (Foundation, and also Pinky & The Brain.)

Matthew Stinar · October 12, 2019 at 2:54 pm

So Hollywood is a broken system with incentives that make it impossible to make a Foundation movie. Hollywood forces people to create movies targeted at our animal instincts and it's going to require someone outside of Hollywood and those incentives to create a Foundation movie.

dataportdoll · October 12, 2019 at 2:55 pm

Bliss has a ghetto booty…and I know that because Isaac wouldnt shutup about it.

David Guffey · October 12, 2019 at 3:14 pm

People didn't like season 8 of Game of Thrones because it was bad, not because of shift from sociological to sociological storytelling. The most common critique fell along psychological lines. Critics complained that they were acting out of character. There wasn't enough psychological explanation for why they were doing 180 degree changes on their story arcs.

666thebeast · October 12, 2019 at 3:16 pm

Do you think that the interest in the setting/politics could be sparked with greater characterization of the society? Treating the machinations of its groups like a contest of wills inside a character own mind?

silvermanemilard · October 12, 2019 at 3:29 pm

The Zeroth Law!

Imperial Advisor Arem Heshvaun · October 12, 2019 at 3:51 pm

Thank you for this. I never got to read the prequels but mostly loved the originals.

Alessandro Ducroz · October 12, 2019 at 3:52 pm

From the very first minute of Season 7 I knew that something was rotten in the seven kingdoms of Westeros. Nobody gave a flying fuck that, well, the center of the Faith had just been blown up along with an entire district of the capital. Nobody cared that the new queen WAS Cersei, apart from the fact that she was a Lannister baddie yadayada. There were no political consequences of relevance, nothing of matter followed this supposedly historical event.
Now I know how to explain this in better words, so thank you!

Zoran Bulić · October 12, 2019 at 3:53 pm

I am not sure that you understand the ending of Game of Thrones. Daenerys was irrelevant at the end. At the end it was just continuation of business as usual. That is in line with sociological story.

Toby Schmoll · October 12, 2019 at 5:11 pm

As a long time Asimov fan, I can tell you that the chances of the Foundation series making to screen as is is nil. Asimov books seldom see the big screen. When they do the get massively butchered simply put because Hollywood doesn't think the average joe can handle several hours let alone several shows worth of sedate storytelling. Can it be done? Yes. Will it be done? Unlikely.

Lt. Dax · October 12, 2019 at 5:14 pm

I don't think Asimov's stories contradict themselves. During every large social change there is always a figure people rally around, because they either take advantage of the social forces available to them at that time or are essentially selected by their group to lead because they're charismatic. There has to be someone for everyone to rally around because a person who embodies the ideas is easier for people to understand than the social forces mobilizing them. That person can be anyone who is in the right place at the right time with the right message, for better or worse.

cragnog · October 12, 2019 at 5:26 pm

This video is very anti-capitalist when you think about it – 12:50

Jeeves Anthrozaur · October 12, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Talk dirty to me, Asimov

Christian Round · October 12, 2019 at 6:35 pm

They were mainly just exercises in political science "storytelling". Foundation only started to get some narrative heft when The Mule is introduced and messes up Seldon's plan.

Tobo McLukewarm · October 12, 2019 at 6:41 pm

The Wire is the best sociological tv show (and the best tv show at that)
The Sopranos is the best psychological tv show (possibly breaking bad too)

Philip Kuropyatnikov · October 12, 2019 at 6:56 pm

omg i have the same collection of foundation novels, love them! read them in russian back in teen ages, now re-reading in english) it's always a pleasure to see videos about Isaac Asimov, I think he's extremely underrated among young and semi-young people. THANK YOU!

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