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Isaac Asimov

Like Arthur C. Clarke, Mr. Asimov devoted his life to popularizing the science fiction genre, and his first Foundation trilogy rank among the best reads of my early life. Hari Seldon's psychohistory, the attempt to predict the future by considering the statistical probablilities of all possible events, stuck with me as a fascinating thought experiment throughout my college years. Perhaps as a result, studying history for "presentist" purposes, or using the past solely to understand the present, rather than for its own sake, has never seemed to me to be the grievous historical sin it is in some circles.

Asimov is admirable not only for his ideas but for his idealism. Throughout his writings (of which, the truth be told, I am only very familiar with Robots and Foundation), there can be evinced a great optimism for the continued improvement of Mankind. Amid the world-weary "I got mine" cynicism of the early twenty-first century, when our politicians continually sidestep long-term projects for short-term votes and devalue the unlimited potential of committed common endeavor, Asimov's writings are an affirming flame for those of us eager to tackle the next frontier.

Onward to the future, Asimovian.

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