Isaac Asimov

Ended: May 25, 2020

PSYCHOHISTORY— … Gaal Dornick, using nonmathematical concepts, has defined psychohistory to be that branch of mathematics which deals with the reactions of human conglomerates to fixed social and economic stimuli.… … Implicit in all these definitions is the assumption that the human conglomerate being dealt with is sufficiently large for valid statistical treatment. The necessary size of such a conglomerate may be determined by Seldon’s First Theorem which … A further necessary assumption is that the human conglomerate be itself unaware of psychohistoric analysis in order that its reactions be truly random.… The basis of all valid psychohistory lies in the development of the Seldon functions which exhibit properties congruent to those of such social and economic forces as
The fall of Empire, gentlemen, is a massive thing, however, and not easily fought. It is dictated by a rising bureaucracy, a receding initiative, a freezing of caste, a damming of curiosity—a hundred other factors.
And the ship died! For it is the chief characteristic of the religion of science that it works, and that such curses as that of Aporat’s are really deadly.