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Isaac Asimov, Mind of a Child

Throughout history man has always had a vivid imagination. In prehistoric times, old man used to write stories, tales and such upon their cave dwelling walls. These were performed through the use of symbols. These symbols, called hieroglyphics, portrayed the thoughts and creativity of their authors. Boszhardt once said while talking about the cave pictures in Wisconsin, “When I first visited the cave, I was skeptical about the possible art that Daniel had written to me about, But once my flashlight came upon some of the drawings, there was no question that this was authentic Native American art.

The birds, deer, and bow hunters are of styles that had to be prehistoric, and the charcoal had been absorbed into the rock. I was literally stunned–this was real, this was old, and there was a lot of it. ” In ancient Egypt, we also find such displays of messages and stories. Weave all heard of such writings in the pyramids and such. The most brilliant display of these messages lies in the Mexico Desert with its mile long pictures created by who are believed to be Aztecs. These messages from the very beginning offered new, unique views and ideas upon existing scenarios.

Ancient authors who had witnessed and read such symbols got their own ideas and developed their own style of writing and stories. This is has happened throughout history and is most prevalent in todayas society. In the early 1900as technology began to boom. Many tales of science fantasy were created. The imagination of many was stirred violently as America and the U. S. S. R. were neck and neck in the aSpace Racea. Magical tales of aliens and Martians were shaped by the twisted and horrifically minds of authors such as Isaac Asimov.

Many remember the comical almost, ridiculous movies of the early nineteen fifties. At that time though, many believed them to be real and were frightened beyond normal convention. Many authors in this era began to evolve, much how the earlier ancient writers evolved themselves. I will give you a brief biography of Isaac Asimov to allow you to understand his writing better and relinquish the ideas captured within his works. Throughout his amazing and fantastical life he has written almost five hundred astonishing works.

While not all were stories or novels per say, many were articles in magazines and essays written. Born into a humble family in Russia, he and his parents immigrated to the United States when he was only three years old. He was graduating from Columbia University in 1939 and taking a Ph. D. there in 1948. He then joined the faculty of Boston University, with which he remained associated thereafter. Asimov began contributing stories to science-fiction magazines in 1939 and in 1950 published his first book, Pebble in the Sky and his first science book, a biochemistry text written with two colleagues, in 1953.

He turned to writing full time in 1958. He authored some 500 books for young and adult readers, extending beyond science and science fiction to include mystery stories, humor, history, and several volumes on the Bible and Shakespeare. His trilogy of novels, known as The Foundation Trilogy (1951-53) , Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation (1951-53), which recounts the collapse and rebirth of a vast interstellar empire in the universe of the future, is his most famous work of science fiction.

In the short-story collection I, Robot (1950), he developed a set of ethics for robots and intelligent machines that greatly influenced other writers’ treatment of the subject. As you can imagine his many works have significantly affected the course of modern science fiction. In the following I will attempt to show you the many examples of his influence upon this vastly expanded genre of works. In his robot stories, Asimov coined two new words, both widely used today: robotics and positronic.

In his Foundation series he invented a new science: Psychohistory, which predicts future trends in history through mathematical analysis of recurring cycles in the historical process (Touponce 10). This science (which was the basis of his Foundation series) reminds author Jack Wolf of the current “think tanks” such as the Hudson Institute; however, as Asimov points out, his stories were written well before the development of “think tanks”, therefore he could have had no knowledge of them when he wrote the Foundation series (Ingersoll 73).

Asimov displayed a leonardesque ability for foresight in his novels. Touponce remarks that “Asimov takes pride in relating the fact that he described in detail the euphoria of a space walk decades before it happened… or that a student was inspired by his robot stories to found a company that now manufactures one third of all the industrial robots in use (Joseph F. Engelberger, president of Unimation)” (2). I feel, however, that Asimov’s greatest contribution to our society has been through his non-fiction.

Touponce states that “[Asimov] started out as a science fiction writer, and it is as such that he wants to continue to be identified” (4). I find this ironic since the bulk of Asimov’s work has been in nonfiction, and it is through this work that he has influenced the most people. Touponce calls Asimov’s nonfiction “science popularization” and links the origin of this style of writing to the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik I in 1957 which he claims revealed “a large gap between our country and theirs in terms of science education” (12).

I, Robot is a collection of short stories written by the science fiction author himself, Isaac Asimov. He set out the principles of robot behavior that we know as the Three Laws of Robotics. aA robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harma (choen, Lindsay. I,Robot) Contained in this whimsical collection are stories of robots gone mad, mind-reading robots, robots with a sense of humor, robot politicians, and robots that secretly run the world, all told with Asimov’s trademark dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction.

This collection has set the boundaries and set a certain criteria for other authors to follow and keep consistency in their stories involving robots and other forms of artificial intelligence. Throughout time many innovators come and go. For some of these great men we remember not only their accomplishments but them as a person. Many of our modern technologies were developed or founded by one man, but do we know their names? Isaac Asimov must be considered one of the few innovators whom have not only shaped a new idea into reality but have also kept their legacy along with it.

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