The other day, i finished the first book in Isaac Asimov’s award winning series entitled “Foundation.” Thank God for the discount section in the bookstore, because without it i would never have found or read this book. For those of you who don’t know who this Asimov guy is (i didn’t really know until about a week ago) he’s the incredible author of books like “I, Robot” (yuo, thats the book that turned into Will Smith beating up robots) and wrote well over 400 novels/short stories in his lifetime. But not only was Mr. Isaac an author, he was also a scientist and a “self-proclaimed” genius with an IQ of 170.
And he’s also the owner of these incredible sideburns!
Now that you know the sideburns that were behind some of the greatest science fiction novels ever written, let me give you a background of his “Foundation” series. The novel is set in the future in a time where space travel has become ordinary, and people have begun to inhabit many worlds other than Earth. One of these such worlds is the epicenter of the Galaxy and serves as the administrative building for the rest of the worlds. On this world, there is a guy named Hari Seldon who has invented a theory called “psychohistory” with which he is able to mathematically calculate the probability of certain events of the future. Now, as Hari Seldon begins to put this theory into practice, he sees that the future of the Galaxy doen’t look too great, so he constructs a plan to save humanity and knowledge from the brutality and menace that is the future of the Galaxy! In order to do this, Hari Seldon develops a plan to inhabit an unpopulated world and call it “The Foundation.” The main purpose of this Foundation will be to attempt to preserve all of the knowledge that man-kind has unearthed so that future generations who have survived the rough centuries of brutality will be able to discover all knowledge that their ancestors had discovered.
Don’t worry, that description had no spoiler alerts.
Now you might ask, what does this have to do with education?
This book has some incredible insights into what “knowledge” really is, and of the power that it can hold when all else is lost to brutality. Obviously, as teachers, our purpose will be to attempt to communicate some type of knowledge to our future students, and to give them a purpose and a drive to use that knowledge for their own personal benefit, and the benefit of society.
This book does not provide any end all solutions about what humankinds purpose is, but it does offer any reader insights into human kinds great journey for, and preservation of, knowledge and education.
Oh, Isaac Asimov also started a series called “Visions of the Future,” in which he answered man-kinds greatest questions while wearing Bolo Ties and checkered suits.