Paul Krugman's Dream Job: Nerdy Sci-Fi Hero

In this week's New York Times Book Review, Paul Krugman admits that he was inspired to become an economist by science-fiction Grand Master Isaac Asimov. He tells the Review: "I went into economics because I read Isaac Asimov's Foundation novels, in which social scientists save galactic civilization, and that's what I wanted to be."

I'm generally not a Krugman fan, but this speaks to my heart: At the risk of enraging the natives here in Heinlein territory, I'll admit that Asimov was my first literary hero. From age 8 through my junior year in high school, The Caves of Steel was my favorite novel, and I devoured just about every Asimov book I could get my hands on. And as someone who's suggested that watching Star Trek might play a role in one's political development, I'm in no position to judge Krugman's influences (he's admitted to being mildly embarrassed by his inspiration). 

Still, it's telling that Krugman seems to fancy himself a Hari Seldon type (or perhaps Gaal Dornick to Keynes's Seldon), a lone, scientific voice warning of impending calamity while the powers-that-be ignore him, or even attempt to shut him down. Like Seldon, Krugman tends to favor social tinkering on a massive scale, prizing the knowledge and authority of small teams of cloistered experts over the messy preferences of individuals. It's an anti-Hayek view of the world, in which the best outcomes occur when order is imposed by the few on the many.  

None of this fully explains Krugman's recent maximalist streak, in which he's argued that government is responsible for what's good about American health care and that we should greatfully credit Big Government for saving our economy from ruin (even while admitting that it's in pretty messy shape). But we can still speculate: Perhaps Krugman, not satisfied with simply being an economist, pundit, and professor, is attempting to be the world's first psychohistorian

(Update: Thanks to Matt Frost for links, background, and inspiration.) 

Brian Doherty noted the Krugman-Asimov connection back in 2007; he also wrote about 100 years of Robert Heinlein here. Katherine Mangu-Ward wrote about MULTIVAC, Isaac Asimov's fictional giant decision-making machine, here. Jacob Sullum explained why he no longer thinks Asimov would have made a great president here.    

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  • The Angry Optimist||

    In the not-too-distant future, someone is going to ask "why aren't there more libertarian women"?

    I will direct them here.

  • ||

    Fuck you, Krugman.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Krugman is an idiot.

    That's all that ever needs to be said about him.

  • kinnath||

    I think Mr Krugman missed the little point where a single mutation fucks up the entire plan for the galaxy.

  • ||

    I think Mr Krugman missed the little point where a single mutation fucks up the entire plan for the galaxy.

    You mean Sheldon wasn't the right person to be in charge? Nooooooo!

  • Mad Max||

    I was going to point out the flaw in Krugman's analogy, but three posters already beat me to it.

    This is Nerds R Us!

  • ||

    I dispute that the takeaway from the foundation series was Asimov, "favor[ed] social tinkering on a massive scale, prizing the knowledge and authority of small teams of cloistered experts over the messy preferences of individuals. It's an anti-Hayek view of the world, in which the best outcomes occur when order is imposed by the few on the many."

    The collapse of the empire was inevitable - the only role of the first foundation was to preserve knowledge so that it would survive the chaos. Indeed, even the second foundation only took a minimal role - apart from destroying the mule. Clearly massive statism was not asimov's ideal.

    Perhaps Krugman does not appreciate the subtlety that Asimov imbued his eliteists with - her certainly doesn't practice it himself.

  • ||

    I love Asimov. I like him much more than Heinlein (yes, I must turn in my libertarian propeller cap). But I sure don't want to live in a City or in the Galactic Empire. Being a Spacer is another story entirely.

    I saw this Krugman-loves-Asimov bit over at io9 and thought the same thing--he wants to be Seldon. Scary stuff.

  • Shannon Love||

    Asimov wasn't alone in imagining a future in which society could be scientifically centrally controlled. In Heinlein's 1942 Novel "Beyond This Horizon" the economy is centrally controlled using a mechanical computer called the "integrating accumulator". (It used three-dimensional cams as memory.) This type of thinking was very common in science fiction and society at large during the middle of the 20th century.

    The new found power to describe economies and societies with statistics intoxicated thinkers in the period from the roughly 1900-1960. It seemed that if they could must collect enough information and process it fast enough that we could describe and control society and the economy.

    Modern physics and mathematics has taught that this is impossible. The economy is to sensitive to minor variations for statistics to be a useful tool for describing it in real-time.

    The problem with Krugman et al is that they've never learned that lesson. They're still back there in 1950 imagining benevolent technocrats in great white buildings crunching data and scientifically directing the lives of the ant-like masses. He should catch up with the times and read some chaos theory.

  • Shannon Love||

    Sorry about the typos in my last post. I've really got to remember to preview.

  • kinnath||

    In the not-too-distant future, someone is going to ask "why aren't there more libertarian women"?

    Some of us keep these inclinations hidden. So we do manage to find suitable mates and reproduce -- thereby producing more libertarian/sci-fi nerd-types.

  • kinnath||

    So we not have correlation between:

    1) libertarians and beer snobs
    2) libertarians and home-brewers
    3) libertarians and sci-fi fiends

    Anything else I have forgotten.

  • ||

    I don't know if I'd call myself a fiend.

  • ||

    The only worthy Asimov stuff is the Robot stuff. Foundation was garbage (sorry ProL!), and even the Robot stuff is...lacking. Heinlein is the man, and Asimov wishes he could approach that shit.

  • kinnath||

    preview, preview, preview . . .

    So we now have correlations between:

  • kinnath||

    Old school: Clarke > Asimov > Heinlein

  • ||

    kinnath,

    There is also correlation to being INTJ's and gun queers

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Half of my children have been born of libertarian women. And 25 percent of the rest identify themselves as libertarian. So I'm doing much better than the population at large.

    And I'm a Bradbury man myself. (Ducks -- but proudly.)

  • ||

    I think I just puked a little in my mouth.

    The main reason I never liked Asimov, is BECAUSE the whole concept of "psychohistory" struck me as patently absurd at first glance.

    Also, that explains a fucking lot about Krugman's megalomania.

  • ||

    oh, and curiously to driving used cars bought with cash - i think that came up once.

  • Ed||

    Speaking of the collapse of empire, could someone please rip on the "apocalypse" piece running on Slate? It appears that self-inflicted wounds are not the real threat to the US, but Arabs with loose nukes are the real threat to western civilization...

  • Xeones||

    Some of us keep these inclinations hidden. So we do manage to find suitable mates and reproduce -- thereby producing more libertarian/sci-fi nerd-types.

    Others of us marry nerd-women, because nerd-women are hawt.

  • ||

    Citizen Nothing - me too. I'll stand proudly with you.

  • kinnath||

    There is also correlation to being INTJ's and gun queers

    A mix of INTJ and INTP.

    A gun in one hand and a home-brew in the other; it doen't get any better than this . . . .

  • ||

    The collapse of the empire was inevitable - the only role of the first foundation was to preserve knowledge so that it would survive the chaos.



    And to eventually restore a new Empire. That then it was retconned into being controlled by the Second Foundation behind the scenes. But then perhaps in the end the "real" answer became some sort of super-organism Galaxy to defend humanity against aliens from another Galaxy. (The robots having wiped out all other sentient lifeforms in the last retcon, I believe.)

  • kinnath||

    could someone please rip on the "apocalypse" piece running on Slate?

    I did the quiz and came up with 5 different answers than the "most common".

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    Wrong.

  • ||


    kinnath | August 10, 2009, 2:27pm | #

    So we notw have correlation between:

    1) libertarians and beer snobs
    2) libertarians and home-brewers
    3) libertarians and sci-fi fiends

    Anything else I have forgotten. ?




    Libertarians and gun hobbyists. (Just let them get started on a debate of the merits of their firearm of choice.)

  • kinnath||

    Others of us marry nerd-women,

    Mine is ISFJ; weirdly complementary to my INTP.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    nerd-women are hawt.

    This much is indisputable.

  • ||

    "Paul Krugman"

    He was great as Quincey, ME.

  • ||

    Mine was "politics," "culture," and "sex." Choose all three and nothing comes up.

  • robc||

    domo,

    INTJ's

    First against the wall.

    I think more INTPs the last time it came up (or at least I think so because I counted myself many times).

  • ||

    nerd-women are hawt.

    A brief visit to a library school invalidates this hypothesis very quickly.

  • squarooticus||

    Another vote for Heinlein here: Starship Troopers (the BOOK, people...) and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress are all that are needed to solidify his place above Asimov in the sci-fi pantheon.

  • kinnath||

    I think more INTPs the last time it came up

    I remember it being about 2/3rds INTP and 1/3 INTJ.

  • Xeones||

    A brief visit to a library school invalidates this hypothesis very quickly.

    You don't find intelligence sexy?

  • robc||

    INTP, sci-fi nerd, concealed carry permit owning gun nut, homebrewer, beer nerd (not a snob, subtle distiniction) - did I have any choice but to be a libertarian?

  • Spoonman||

    Half of my children have been born of libertarian women. And 25 percent of the rest identify themselves as libertarian. So I'm doing much better than the population at large.

    Dude, how many kids do you have?

  • ||

    What's with all of the introverts? I'm an ENTP, like Richard Feynman and General Zod before me.

    Asimov rules, biotches!

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    Wrong.


    O Rly? Your perverted love for Asimov disgusts me, ProL. You make me sick. Why must you love a statist Spacer-loving asshole like Asimov? Shit, you probably like Admiral Adama too.

  • Spoonman||

    Oh yeah, and am INTJ, own a rifle, am an engineer, sci-fi nerd.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    A brief visit to a library school invalidates this hypothesis very quickly.

    Sugarfree,

    I'm talking about personality hawtness. Superficial hawtness is still dependent on appearance.

    And does that Myers-Briggs test really work? The last time I took one (9th grade, IIRC), the results were...odd, to say the least.

  • ||

    You don't find intelligence sexy?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • robc||

    I remember it being about 2/3rds INTP and 1/3 INTJ.

    Considering their numbers in the overall population...

  • ||

    "What's with all of the introverts? I'm an ENTP,"

    I split the uprights accross the board, which labels me then as an XXXX. Not kidding.

  • roo||

    I prefer Dick and Clarke myself.

  • robc||

    And does that Myers-Briggs test really work?

    Better than astrology, dowsing, and technical analysis. But that isnt saying much.

  • ||

    perhaps you two are right. INTP's are the witless tools of their INTJ overlords - as are all the other types. We just give you special privileges because you are the closest possible to our perfection. My girl is ENFP - works beautifully. She is as intuitive about people and social situations as I am about the physical world, etc. We see the world differently, but use the same tool. Very easy to communicate, strangely.

  • robc||

    Niven, Vinge.

  • kinnath||

    INTP; Engineer; no guns -- but a coule of nice replica swords suitable for their intended purpose; hate beer, but hard-over for mead; home-brewer; home-vinter; read every sci-fi book in the high school library; hooked on Terry Pratchett; and so on . . .

  • Citizen Nothing||

    "Dude, how many kids do you have?"

    uh, well, ok: Four.

  • you set yourself up||

    roo | August 10, 2009, 2:44pm | #

    I prefer Dick and Clarke myself.

  • ||

    John Thacker,

    That would require Krugman to be a fan of Foundation's Edge. No one is a fan of that turd.

    Balos, I thought Seldon sorta predicted the Mule with the development of the Second Foundation. Also, you have to love Asimov's belief that trade > religion. In fact, Asimov is very friendly to commerce and traders in most of his books.

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    I find your credibility in matters of taste lacking. You know why.

  • ||

    My girl is ENFP - works beautifully.

    Did you construct her? How many parts did it take?

  • edna||

    shannon almost said it, so i'll take it the rest of the way. as barsoom crumbled with the photos of mariner, so did psychohistory with the elucidation of nonlinear dynamics.

    seldon has been crushed by lorenz and yorke. pity that krugman didn't get the memo.

  • ||

    Don't screw with me, ProL. I have about ten trillion times more taste than you--that's not an exaggeration--so you need to step off.

  • Xeones||

    There are a lot of memos that Krugman has apparently missed, edna.

  • ||

    Did you construct her? How many parts did it take?

    Only one part, know what I'm sayin'?

  • ||

    The Witches Daughters? or libertarian women?

    Have no truck with the daughters of Lilith.
    Pay no mind to the red-headed creatures.
    Man, be warned by their sharp, white teeth;
    Consider their skulls, and their other queer features.

    They're not of our tribe, with their flame-colored hair;
    They're no sib to us, with their pale, white skins;
    There's no soul behind those wild green eyes
    Man, when you meet one - walk widdershins!

    When they die, they pop, like burst soap bubble
    (Eight hundred years is their usual span.)
    Loving such beings leads only to trouble.
    By Heaven, be warned, you rash young man!

  • Xeones||

    Aww snap, domo.

  • Libertarian ♀||

    Others of us marry nerd-women, because nerd-women are hawt.

    The role-playing don't stop when we put the dice away...

  • kinnath||

    I split the uprights accross the board, which labels me then as an XXXX.

    I see this a the lede to a new spy novel . . . .

  • ||

    I don't get it.

  • ||

    Taste? Only in the sense that it rhymes with "'bates." You are my superior in that way.

  • ||

    "I see this a the lede to a new spy novel . . "

    How so?

  • ||

    There are plenty of attractive women who are smart, there are plenty of smart women who are nerds, there are dearth of attractive smart women who are nerds. I'm not saying they don't exist, but you'd be better off being attracted to attractive smart women who don't care that you are a nerd even if they aren't one themselves.

  • Spoonman||

    uh, well, ok: Four.

    Oh, 25 percent of your kids total, not 25 percent of your kids not with libertarian women.

  • ||

    Starship Troopers (the BOOK, people...)

    They made a book from that incredible movie? Fuckin gnarly!

  • Xeones||

    I'm not saying they don't exist

    Maybe i have been incredibly lucky in my life. Or maybe i am just awesome.

  • ||

    I note with pleasure that NutraSweet is talking about women as if he has ever touched one. Hey, how's that blow-up doll working out for you? That's the expensive one, right?

  • Xeones||

    She doesn't CARE that he's a nerd, Epi!

  • ||

    Ironically, I actually AM a hot red-headed nerd woman, but you all refuse to believe that I actually exist.

  • ||

    I will admit that I wasn't sure if your mom was a woman at first.

  • ||

    brotherben: sleep with one eye open.

  • ||

    Something tells me Krugman got sick of Foundation before reading the part about the Merchant Princes (specifically Hober Mallow), where the Foundation defeats the Republic of Korel in a war without even fighting, as the Korellians had become completely dependent on goods from the Foundation that they collapsed when trade was cut off.

    Indeed, most of the heroes/heroines in Foundation had nothing to do with the Foundation government.

  • ||

    Don't fucking pretend you've ever fucked anything other than a Joan Rivers impersonator, X. Because we all know better.

  • ||

    brotherben,

    It was novelized by Denise Richards, writing under the pen name Bobby Heinlein.

    My wife has some libertarian leanings (she thought politicians and government in general were full of shit before she met me; now she understands that other people thing that, too), but she lacks any real geekiness.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Sugarfree,

    How can you tell someone's smart if they're not a nerd?

  • ||

    Hazel: pics or it's a damn lie.

  • ||

    I don't have a mom, dude, so I'm not sure what you humped. You might want to rethink the whole experience.

  • William||

    Wow, a Satlinist-style attack on an enemy. Let's hear for libertarian re-education camps (private ones, of course).

  • ||

    I was pretty much ambivalent about Asimov.

    Until today.

    Bill the Galactic Hero is vastly superior to any of Asimov's poncey chin-scratchers.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Ironically, I actually AM a hot red-headed nerd woman, but you all refuse to believe that I actually exist.

    Too much for our poor minds to contemplate.

  • Xeones||

    Who is this other X you are referring to, Epi? I know it can't be me, because if it is, your statement is bullshit and it smells like bullshit.

  • ||

    Tupla,

    That's a good point. Asimov always called himself a liberal and, indeed, seemed pretty liberal, but it's easy to forget that back in the day, a lot of American liberals were in favor of a mostly free market.

    Episiarch,

    What do you think about the Spacer novels? The first couple especially.

  • ||

    brotherben: sleep with one eye open.

    Domo Arrigato, I've been married 23 years next month and sleeping with both eyes open for at least 15 of that. She's an evil life-sucking bitch. But I love her.

  • ||

    ProL, I'm still waiting for the pics of your daughters that you promised to publish. Paris Hilton-esque, you said, right?

  • ||

    How can you tell someone's smart if they're not a nerd?

    All smart people nerd about something, but not all smart people are SF/Fantasy/RP/VG nerds.

  • ||

    Weak, Episiarch. You always save your best stuff for He Who Lacks Sugar.

  • ||

    It's a love/hate/hate thing, PL.

  • ||

    They made a book from that incredible movie? Fuckin gnarly!

    grrrrrphlx!

    *swallows tongue*

  • ||

    brotherben - my advice is to get a new model. The younger ones are less trouble for a while, plus if she hasn't been married by 30, she'll pretty much do whatever you want to keep you.

  • ||

    OK, ProL, I was just being an asshole and I'm sorry. I was just trying to push your buttons.

    What do you think about the Spacer novels? The first couple especially.

    Are you talking about the Daneel Olivaw stuff? Yeah, I liked it. But overall, Asimov doesn't have--in my opinion--the libertarian impulse of someone like Heinlein.

  • ||

    The role-playing don't stop when we put the dice away...

    A friend observed that there are a disproportionate number of sci-fi/fantasy nerd couples at most, um, "play-parties".

  • ||

    I will say that all the various H&R ladies I've ever seen of pictures of have been quite attractive.

    Women who can stand assholes like us for any length of time are usually quite attractive.

  • ||

    SugarFree,

    You're kind of the Chief (with a pillow) to his McMurphy, huh?

  • ||

    domoarrigato, I'm just waiting for a cash for clunkers type program.

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    Oh, no doubt that Asimov loses on most fronts to Heinlein when it comes to being a libertarian. Though Heinlein seemed to get a little authoritarian during his crazier years.

  • That Guy||

    Spoonman,

    I think Citizen Nothing is inferring that the mother(s?) of his children is not a libertarian. Hilarious, btw.

  • ||

    Hazel: pics or it's a damn lie.

    Fine ....

    http://members.cox.net/hazelmeade/pictures/me.JPG

  • ||

    PL,

    My cursor hovers over the "unfriend" option on Facebook at least once a day.

  • ||

    Though Heinlein seemed to get a little authoritarian during his crazier years.

    What authoritarian about fucking your mom?

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    but not all smart people are SF/Fantasy/RP/VG nerds.

    My sci-fi cred is somewhat average (for instance, I've yet to read Asimov), but then again I'm not like a mentat or anything, either.

    I will say that all the various H&R ladies I've ever seen of pictures of have been quite attractive.

    Yes, true, but then, if you show people pictures of yourself on the internet, you should probably be somewhat attractive, at least. I don't know what the hell's the matter with Steve Smith...scaring children...

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Uh-oh...prepare to be objectified, Hazel Meade.

    "Hey, lady. You're an object!"

  • ||

    SugarFree,

    Ah, the 21st Century's equivalent to smothering the lobotomized with a pillow.

    Heinlein wrote some books--for example, Farnham's Freehold--where I got the distinct impression that he thought that libertarianism was all well and good for hoi polloi but not for certain aged science fiction writers.

  • ||

    I don't know what the hell's the matter with Steve Smith.

    You take that back.

    All of God's creatures are beautiful. Especially the noble gorilla. Even the shaved ones.

  • ||

    Every lady likes being objectified once in a while - it's just about doing it the right way.

  • Billy!||

    I couldn't even finish "Foundation", so boring and ridiculous I found it. Not as ridiculous as Heinlein's horrid "Sixth Column" though.

    Heinlein managed to compete with Piers Anthony in the dirty, dirty, sex department. No minor feat!

  • ||

    Farnham's Freehold is a great nervous laugh inducer. You alternate begging for it to be satire and fearing that it is. And the ending is cold-blooded and hilarious at the same time.

  • OO=============D||

    http://members.cox.net/hazelmeade/pictures/me.JPG

  • kinnath||

    Fine ....

    Most definitely.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Every lady likes being objectified once in a while - it's just about doing it the right way.

    Um, true. And fortunately, guys on the internet are always classy when it comes to talking to the ladies!

  • ||

    Well, my first/ex wife was an ENFP, if memory serves. I believe I clocked in as an INTJ. You do the math.

    I'm also a sci-fi nerd, CCW holder, (former) home-brewer, and all-around hairy-chested man of action.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Damn...I wish I could've posted that before penis guy.

  • ||

    SugarFree,

    And it'll put you off pork for a while, too.

  • ||

    ENTJ. Beer snob, sci-fi nerd/snob, wanted to be a weapons designer (small arms or NBC) as a child.

  • ||

    It is not only obvious that Asimov's ideas are not as good as Heinlein's (psychohistory is more damaging to the suspension of disbelief than John Carter's means of getting to Mars or anything in a Lensman book) but Asimov is a bad writer. There is no humanity or feeling in his books, making them very hard to read. Heinlein, on the other hand, is smooth sailing, and his books are actually about people and their relationships.

  • ||

    "Every lady likes being objectified once in a while - it's just about doing it the right way."

    Exectly. Call a girl a slut and she'll punch you in the throat.

    But if you say - You do slutty real nice...

  • hmm||

    The cult of Krugman is the new/flipside of the cult of Palin.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Compliments to Hazel Meade, though.

  • ||

    That would require Krugman to be a fan of Foundation's Edge. No one is a fan of that turd.



    What, not even Krugman? I wouldn't rule it out. Besides, Asimov still wrote it, even if it is full of retcons, so it's fair game if you actually want to discuss "what the Foundation series really means politicially."

    Also, my girlfriend is a hot intelligent nerd chick. She and I are both INTJs. My previous girlfriend was an ENFP; loved her, but she drove me crazy.

  • ||

    Thank Jeebus that someone objectified Hazel. I was wondering what was wrong with you pigs.

  • ||

    Well, my first/ex wife was an ENFP, if memory serves. I believe I clocked in as an INTJ. You do the math.



    Some of those M-B books claim that INTJs are especially attracted to ENFPs on an opposites attract theory. (But where NT and NF are attracted, and SP and SJ.)

    Asimov is a bad writer. There is no humanity or feeling in his books, making them very hard to read.



    Well, it does seem to pretty honestly be how Asimov himself worked. I remember reading that Asimov pretty honestly thought that he'd love to live in a City or City-covered world. He was surprised to learn how it freaked most people out as a vision of future.

  • ||

    Well, I, for one, like Asimov. I think he had some interesting ideas, and he did a good job of pursuing the implications of them. His later work wasn't as good as his earlier, but the same can be said for the Dean of Science Fiction.

    I do like Heinlein, incidentally.

  • ||

    It is not only obvious that Asimov's ideas are not as good as Heinlein's (psychohistory is more damaging to the suspension of disbelief than John Carter's means of getting to Mars or anything in a Lensman book) but Asimov is a bad writer. There is no humanity or feeling in his books, making them very hard to read. Heinlein, on the other hand, is smooth sailing, and his books are actually about people and their relationships.

    Must confess to rather disliking Heinlein. Stranger in a Strange Land would have to be one of the worst books I've ever read.

  • ||

    Your unholy worship of Asimov just makes it clear how much of a soulless lawyer you are, ProL.

  • ||

    Hazel, Hazel, Hazel,
    You should've never given in to the peer pressure of the mob.

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    You know what? I think I obey the Three Laws. Uh, oh.

  • MonkeeHeadinSouth||

    "Asimov is a bad writer. There is no humanity or feeling in his books"

    Never read any but I used to read loads of Aurthur C Clarke who people say the same thing about

    That criticism sort of misses the point

    like when you read "Rendevous with Rama"

    its like a description of exploring some strange new environment
    With good sci-fi of this sort you get drawn into an imaginary world

    The emotion/humanity/feeling is your own as you react reading about the exploration

    Its not about showing the emotions of other people but stimulating them in the reader, as the reader imagines a situation completely foreign to your own experience

  • ||

    A linky please for the free personality profile? Anyone? Thanks

  • ||

    What, the three laws of bloodsucking ambulance chasers?

  • ||

    Call a girl a slut and she'll punch you in the throat.

    I made that line work for me recently.

  • hmm||

    I got my interest in economics and business from Dr. Seuss.

  • ||

    Well, my first/ex wife was an ENFP, if memory serves. I believe I clocked in as an INTJ. You do the math.

    with a little luck, my future/second ex wife will be the same.

  • ||

    Robotics, silly. You really need to read more Asimov.

  • ||

    the three laws of bloodsucking ambulance chasers

    1) To crush (in a court of law or other suitable arbitration medium) your enemies (the plaintiffs or defendants.)

    2)To see (in person or or via a pre-determined video recording medium) them (see section one) driven (automobile, not public transport) before you (i.e. you)

    3)To hear (in person or via a pre-determined audio recording medium) the lamentations (monetary or in kind) of the women (spouses and other female relatives of "enemies" noted in section one)

  • ||

    I always thought ole Ed did a good job. the travel to Mars and back was never meant to be central to the stories.

  • ||

    Besides, I'm an in-house counsel. Or, in other words, I'm not that kind of lawyer.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    It would suck if that were the last time Hazel Meade ever posted here.

    I'm not that kind of lawyer.

    What, you don't talk like John Edwards, either?

  • ||

  • ||

    Make all the excuses that you can, lawyer.

  • Urkobold™||

    URKOBOLD'S THREE LAWS OF HOBOTICS:

    1. A HOBOT MAY NOT FAIL TO PLEASURE A HUMAN BEING OR, THROUGH INACTION, ALLOW A HUMAN BEING NOT TO COME.
    2. A HOBOT MUST OBEY ANY ORDERS GIVEN TO IT BY HUMAN BEINGS, EXCEPT WHERE SUCH ORDERS WOULD CONFLICT WITH THE FIRST LAW.
    3. A HOBOT MUST PROJECT ITS OWN EXISTENCE AS LONG AS SUCH PROJECTION DOES NOT CONFLICT WITH THE FIRST OR SECOND LAW.

  • ||

    "Must confess to rather disliking Heinlein. Stranger in a Strange Land would have to be one of the worst books I've ever read."

    apparently Mr. Cooper was capped shortly after the Tripods came and never developed a sense for good sci-fi...

  • ||

    who is this Lyn Collins cast as Dejah?

  • ||

    the three laws of bloodsucking ambulance chasers

    I'm going to guess, "Thou shalt not bill your internet time to the client" is not in there.

  • ||

    Niven, Vinge

    Niven, yes, but Vinge, no. I thought I would give Vinge another chance with Rainbow's End, but I am bored shitless about halfway in. Abandon book!

    I may have to turn in my nerd card. I just don't have the memory heap to remember all of the names and plots from books I read 20 years ago. Hell, I have trouble remembering what happened in books I read last year.

  • ||

    In-house counsel don't bill, man. I just read and post here between contract provisions, usually. It clears my mind. Empties it of all content, in fact.

  • ||

    ransom147,

    Silverfox in Wolverine, if you subjected yourself to that.

    And really, who cares who they cast. She's going to have clothes on. Or be standing behind things all the time.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Empties it of all content, in fact.

    Ouch.

  • ||

    I didn't mean it that way!

  • ||

    As it happens, Asimov's "psychohistory" idea was always the thing that bugged the hell out of me in some otherwise enjoyable novels.

    If Krugman wants to be Hari Seldon, that shows once again that he's entirely motivated by a lust for power.

    -jcr

  • ||

    "I just don't have the memory heap to remember all of the names and plots from books I read 20 years ago."


    agreed...

    niven - muddling through the dramatis personæ of a niven pournelle book is an exercise unto itself. that said i enjoyed hammerfall, but it seemed as if by the time the story got rolling it was over.

  • ||

    Heinlein's books were a lot of fun to read, but I've met way too many people who want to be Heinlein characters. They're quite tedious, especially when they blather on about how in an ideal world, everyone would tumble into bed with everyone else, and nobody would be upset. It's a load of infantile tripe from people who lack the character to be faithful to a spouse.

    -jcr

  • ||

    I just don't have the memory heap to remember all of the names and plots from books I read 20 years ago.

    I really need a military neurochem enhancement. Fuck, I'd take a new sleeve, but mine is just so good-looking, I wouldn't know what to do without it.

  • ||

    Niven's quality fell off in the later years, too, but his earlier stuff was very good.

  • ||

    SugarFree:

    thx, i skipped that one.

    as to clothing, i've wondered how they were going to handle that. not that it's relevant, but i think it's funny that a prudish society killed one of the main themes of The Puppetmasters when they filmed it...

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    A gun in one hand and a home-brew in the other; it doen't get any better than this . . . .



    You gotta be careful with that combination. Go too heavy on the home-brew and you might miss when the tax collectors come.

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    You'd keep it around and have sex with it, you narcissist.

  • JB||

    ENTP (sometimes an INTP if I take the test in an anti-people mood)

    Super sci-fier and beer snob.

    The role-playing don't stop when we put the dice away...

    woot!

  • ||

    Asimov wasn't alone in imagining a future in which society could be scientifically centrally controlled.

    Yeah, all the Marxists claimed that totalitarianism was the scientifically anointed way to make a perfect world. Once they murdered everyone who wouldn't get with the program, that is.

    -jcr

  • Sam Grove||

    and that we should greatfully credit Big Government

    greatfully ??!!??!!

    I insist that you fix that ASAP!

  • ||

    You'd keep it around and have sex with it, you narcissist.

    Must remember: never check the SF thread. It can only end badly. Like, would the "real" Epi be on top? Which one is the power bottom? These are exactly the kinds of questions I don't want to be asking, Sug.

  • ||

    Niven's quality fell off in the later years, too, but his earlier stuff was very good.

    I agree with that, but I really enjoyed the first of his new "Juggler" series, that focuses on the Puppeteers and their human slave. Reminds me of his old stuff. Known Space is just too good of a universe to put away. He should have known better.

    Hammerfall? There's Lucifer's Hammer and Footfall, silly goose. Footfall is one my all time favorites. You'll read the last third of the book in one night. Lucifer's Hammer seems a bit dated now with all the freaky-deeky black nationalist stuff that probably made sense in the 70's when he wrote it.

    Niven is definitely better with Pournelle later on. I like their collaborations much better than either of their solo work in the 80's.

  • ||

    Like, would the "real" Epi be on top? Which one is the power bottom?

    You have to ask? Epi always loses the coin toss on purpose. Easier than electing to receive every time.

  • ||

    A power bottom is a bottom that is capable of receiving an enormous amount of power.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    In many ways Niven is a mediocre writer. Especially which character development, lots of flat, uninteresting people in his books.

    But he is so damn good at creating "Wow!" moments, that I will forgive him all those faults.

    And his collaborations seem to result in books that keep the Niven "Wow!" but have actual people in them. Best of both worlds.

  • ||

    Actually Mac, you got it backwards. See a power bottom's actually generating all the power by doing most of the work.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    He's the one generating all the energy.

  • ||

    Was Foundation's Edge the one with the hermaphroditic charlatans and the hot Gaia women lusting after chunky Foundation anthropologists?

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Dammit, got it, and beat me with the accuracy.

  • ||

    Come to think of it, Krugman doesn't want to be Seldon; he wants to be the über-robot tyrant, R. Daneel Olivaw, manipulating people into obeying his grand vision for a fully-controlled society.

    FUCK HIM.

    -jcr

  • ||

    JW:

    thx for the correction. Lucifer's Hammer is the one I read. Footfall is the one I've been putting off.. If the last part moves that quickly I may pick it up sooner than later.

  • ||

    I must say, one pattern I've noticed in all male SF writers is that, as they get older, the standards of the sultry temptresses in their stories slacken a bit.

  • ||

    Crudman is a breathless little weasel.

  • ||

    Tulpa,

    That's a universal truth.

    I didn't like the Robot/Empire merger. Should've kept his universes separate.

  • ||

    I must say, one pattern I've noticed in all male SF writers is that, as they get older, the standards of the sultry temptresses in their stories slacken a bit.

    Speaking of which, I thought this was fairly interesting.

    Where I write.

  • ||

    Speaking of power bottoms, where has Naga gotten himself off to?

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Sugarfree,

    Good question. I'm thinking séance.

  • ||

    See also the more recent and totally excellent Michael Flynn novel "In the Country of the Blind" in which the history of the U.S. is manipulated by shadowy conspiracists armed with Babbage Engines in the 1800s and on forward through the 20th Century. He includes an excellent treatise on "Cliology" (his version of psychohistory) in the book.

    I've long sought, but haven't found, a similar piece of analysis of Asimov's psychohistory that appeared in his magazine at some point in the '80s. It included charts of economic boom/bust cycles plotted against political party in power that purported to show that economic cycles were independent of political fashion, or at least more complex than party politics would like them to be. It was an interesting article, but I don't know who wrote it and can't find a reference to it online.

  • ||

    Hazel, Hazel, Hazel,
    You should've never given in to the peer pressure of the mob.


    Meh. The mystery was growing tiresome, and my failure to make sausage jokes at the appropriate moment was becoming revealing.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Well here's a really fun thread that I totally missed. FWIW, I'm an INTP who's on the border of I/E and I grew up on Asimov and I've never read Heinlein. To be fair though, I've only read the various Robot books like the Positronic Man, Caliban & I, Robot, all of which I love to this day... I actually spent a lot more time reading Piers Anthony Xanth novels and dystopian future lit.

    I suppose I should get around to Heinlein though. I'm just not really a fiction reader anymore. I tend to get my fiction passively and read non-fiction almost exclusively. E.g., I read "Nudge" by two "libertarian paternalists"..... this weekend. Ugh. Review forthcoming.

  • Bingo||

    NERDDDSS!

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Paul Fucking Krugman shouldn't be allowed to even check out Asimov books from the public-financed library system.

  • Freedom Geek||

    Yeah I'm a libertarian, sci-fi fan (including assimov) and INTJ.

    I don't buy into the whole INTJs like ENFPs idea though, I prefer INTPs.

  • ||

    The test is wrong I tell ya. It tagged me INTJ.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    I've never known what any of my girlfriend's Myers-Briggs types were... Which I suppose is one of the main flaws in any attempt at using that to assess "compatibility". I think I'd like a girl generally similar to my own type with a bit more extrovert and less of a propensity to be an asshole though.

  • Freedom Geek||

    Crap, typo.
    *Asimov

  • ||

    I must say, one pattern I've noticed in all male SF writers is that, as they get older, the standards of the sultry temptresses in their stories slacken a bit.

    Then again, there's John Ringo.

  • MJ||

    "1. A HOBOT MAY NOT FAIL TO PLEASURE A HUMAN BEING OR, THROUGH INACTION, ALLOW A HUMAN BEING NOT TO COME.
    2. A HOBOT MUST OBEY ANY ORDERS GIVEN TO IT BY HUMAN BEINGS, EXCEPT WHERE SUCH ORDERS WOULD CONFLICT WITH THE FIRST LAW."

    I am not sure it's a good idea to require a hobot to rape every human it comes into contact with. That may be very annoying, and chafing.

  • Urkobold™||

    OH, DEAR, WE'VE ALREADY LOCKED THAT CODING INALTERABLY INTO PLACE. AT LEAST HUMANITY WILL BE HENCEFORTH FULLY AND PAINFULLY SATED.

  • The LibertariaDroid||

    Marvin, or Marvin the Paranoid Android as he is sometimes called in the [Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books], is a clinically depressed robot with a brain the size of a planet, and a depression complex to match. ...

    He was initially marketed by the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as "Your Plastic Pal Who's Fun To Be With", though that campaign seems to have been slightly less than honest, not to mention wholly unsuccessful, considering Marvin's personality.

  • ||

    See also the more recent and totally excellent Michael Flynn novel "In the Country of the Blind"

    I second the recommendation of 'In the Country of the blind'. It seems a lot more plausible than Psychohistory.

    And yes, I am also a big Sci-Fi geek who read every Science Fiction book in his high school library.

  • The Libertarian Geek||

    I'll take The Wee Free Men by the above author. I likes my sci-fi with some fantasy and a dollop of satire on the mashed potatoes.

  • alan||

    Hazel Meade | August 10, 2009, 3:10pm | #
    Hazel: pics or it's a damn lie.

    Fine ....

    http://members.cox.net/hazelmeade/pictures/me.JPG


    A few observations:

    1. Nice!
    2. You could be the clone of an exchange student from Venezuela I once knew. I wished my scanner wasn't broken so I could show you, and you would be all like, holy shit, that is my twin.
    2. Your head is very symmetrical for a white girl (though asymmetrical heads are not necessarily unattractive, i.e. the blonde from Scrubs).

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    I could never finish the Foundation series (sorry, but "Hari Seldon" and "Dagny Taggart" are two names that just make me stop reading; I'm not sure why), but isn't the idea that history ultimately proved impossible to control, even by a secret legion of supergeniuses? I could be wrong!

  • ||

    2. Your head is very symmetrical for a white girl (though asymmetrical heads are not necessarily unattractive, i.e. the blonde from Scrubs).

    Now see THIS is an example of why libertarian guys can't get dates.
    It's not because libertarian women don't exist.

  • ||

    2. Your head is very symmetrical for a white girl

    Now see THIS is an example of why libertarian guys can't get dates.



    Just sounds to me like a girl who doesn't know a compliment when she hears one.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Nice, Sugarfree, but I FTFY.


    Just sounds to me like a girl who doesn't know a compliment when she hears one from a guy with Asperger Syndrome.

  • MJ||

    "OH, DEAR, WE'VE ALREADY LOCKED THAT CODING INALTERABLY INTO PLACE."

    Alright then, but when the future human resistance sends a Schwarznegger model back in time to, er, "pleasure" you to death before you release this scourge upon humanity, don't say you weren't warned.

  • ||

  • alan||

    SugarFree,

    Women don't know how to take compliments that don't scream, 'I want to jump your bones.' That one came from territory with which they are unfamiliar. I went with Cong strategy, and not John Wayne tactics with that one.

    I have to be careful though. One thing I learned years ago, they hate a guy whose manipulations are more subtle than their own.

    Just sounds to me like a girl who doesn't know a compliment when she hears one from a guy with Asperger Syndrome.

    Oh, I will remember that.

  • ||

    Before anyone puts Asimov down as a writer SOLELY for his science fiction and whatever politics are perceived therein, please remember he published much more non-fiction and is quite unassailable for his genius in explaining the physical world - in all of its aspects. Perhaps Heinlein was a better writer of science fiction - who can really say - but did he also annotate Shakespeare, both Testaments of the Bible, write fabulous limericks, explain math, chemistry, physics, the human brain, theories of the universe AND do so for audiences of EVERY age range? I think not.

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