Posts Tagged ‘Foundation Trilogy’

Goo and dribble

June 12, 2018

Some folks thought I was wasting my time reading science fiction. They never thought we’d be living it.

Kevin Drum is on the nosey here. The grip-and-grin is a time-honored tradition in marketing, and that’s all that came out of the much-ballyhooed Dotard-Lil’ Kim “summit.”

Drum’s dismissal of the official statement’s four bullet points reminds me of a scene early in “Foundation,” by Isaac Asimov. Faced with an external threat from a rogue kinglet, the Foundation’s Encyclopedists and Salvor Hardin, mayor of Terminus City, were very much at odds over how to handle the situation.

The academics were content to rely upon their memories of a robust Empire. Hardin was not so sanguine. And when Lord Dorwin, Chancellor of the Empire, paid a diplomatic call upon Terminus to reassure everyone, the mayor took the liberty of having his every word recorded and subjected to symbolic analysis.

After the analyst filtered out what Hardin described as “meaningless statements, vague gibberish, useless qualifications — in short, all the goo and dribble — he found he had nothing left. Everything canceled out.”

“Lord Dorwin, gentlemen, in five days of discussion didn’t say one damned thing, and said it so you never noticed.”