2018-05-02 02:45:37 UTC
Back as far as Homo Sol in 1940 Asimov was writing about the idea of
psychology as a "hard science", using mathematics to predict human
actions and to manipulate them en mass. This was more or less a dry run
for the Foundation series. in which mathematical sociologists become a
secret society ruling the galaxy.
He also included the same mathematical psychology hoodoo in the Caves of
Steel. One notes that incorporating the Caves of Steel into the
Foundation setting as Asimov did toward the end of his career means that
the mathematical psychology that Baley's Earth was doing is something
that later minds declared to be impossible. Of course maybe Baley was
wrong about it having any validity.
In 1955 he wrote Franchise, a satirical story in which there is only a
single representative "voter" who is polled on current events by a
computer which then appoints the politicians based on projections based
on that questionaire. They call it "cybernetic democracy". Wikipedia
suggests the story was inspired by Univac's successful prediction of the
The last couple of stories in Asimov's "I, Robot" were about artificial
intelligences taking over executive authority, despite the crippling
handicaps that the three laws would would inflict on an administrator.
And ultimately he put R. Daneel in charge as the secret ruler of the
galaxy and the true inventor of psychohistory.