Asimov, Foundations of Influence and Technology

I have been reading the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov lately thanks to a suggestion from my boyfriend.  In the first few books it focuses on the First Foundation, a society of scientists on the most distant planet in the universe, brought together initially with the goal of working on an encyclopaedia of all the scientific information and history of the universe.  Spoilers ahead.

What we find out is that the encyclopaedia project is a sham to fool the former emperor into letting the society form on the planet.  Their real goal is to follow a plan set out to avoid thousands of years of destruction and desolation, and hurry the coming of the Second Empire.

In the following books we find the existence of a Second Foundation; they are a society of psychologists and follow the philosophy of psychohistory, the predicting of history based on the study of large populations.  The creator of the previously mentioned plan, Hari Seldon was a psychohistorian, and this was what his plan was based off of.  The Second Foundation also has developed their mental powers to be able to influence others, read their emotions, and within their own society essentially communicate through expressions and telepathically.  Unfortunately, they can only exert their influence over those that they can be in eye contact with.

In the later books, these two Foundations are at odds with one another; they are trying to destroy or take over and influence the other.

What this all leads to is that it reminds me of social media; the First Foundation is all about the technology, and the Second Foundation is about influence.  The First is like Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn and the Second is the person themselves and how they communicate their intentions and desire to others.  I think finding that balance between the two is what those who wish to use social media to its best potential need to do.  By using the technology to communicate our intentions and message, we can gain access to a greater audience, rather than just those within listening distance.


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