But as an avid fan of Asimov, I found this post fascinating:
While an extreme case, Iraq is a paradigmatic story of our time. The Decline of the State. People’s allegiances shift from the state to larger entities, such as transnational ideologies or religions – or smaller entities, like clans or regions. Or to other allegiances, such as to ethnic groups.
The author cites the first chapter of Foundation:
You might ask “Is it not obvious that the State is as strong as it ever was?” The appearance of strength is all about you. It would seem to last forever. So the rotten tree-trunk, until the very moment when the storm-blast breaks it in two, has all the appearance of might it ever had. Listen and you will hear it creaking.
Had I not already mentioned this the other day to a friend–that sometimes we seem to be living snippets of the Foundation novels–then this piece may not have seemed so poignant as it does to me at this moment. I was referring, however, to the midwest flooding as perhaps a sign that Asimov’s Caves of Steel might not be such a bad idea, and using flavored cultivated yeast being used to feed the masses (we’re practically doing it with soy anyway).
Science fiction writers have been known to lay out pieces of the future (e.g. Arthur C. Clarke’s geosynchronous satellites). I wonder what Asimov got right. . .