Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: isaac asimov

The Secret of the Universe

“I believe that scientific knowledge has fractal properties; that no matter how much we learn, whatever is left, however small it may seem, is just as infinitely complex as the whole was to start with. That, I think, is the secret of the Universe.” From I. Asimov – A Memoir

I read that and I paused to take it in, then read it again. I’ve mentioned something similar before, that when we look out into space there seems to be more and more to see. The same happens when we look inside, breaking everything down into smaller and smaller parts.

Years ago, I was organizing weekly group activities for our homeschool group out here in the desert. We had cooking, art, and a book club. I led a drama club that ended in a performance for friends and family. I never thought I’d be using those skills again, but I loved it.

The craziest activity I led was a math group. I wouldn’t call it a class, more like an exploration of math ideas for younger kids. Yes, if you know me, you’re thinking, “Math, Michelle? You? Seriously?” Sounds crazy but it’s true.

I grew up believing I wasn’t much of a math person, but when I first started homeschooling, I heard a representative from RightStart Math speak at a conference and was floored. Hearing her explanation of basic math (seriously), it all suddenly made sense. I wasn’t bad at math. I hadn’t been taught well when I was first exploring and then made to feel like a failure over the years of schooling and gave up.

We used a simplified and voluntary version of their system with our sons. Today, they are both brilliant at math and are both in college as engineering majors. Either the system worked, or they inherited math genes from their dad. I say both.

That’s why I wanted to lead a math exploration group for the local homeschool kids. I wanted to present the fun and exciting aspects of math that are all around us, without getting them bogged down with numbers, formulas, and tests. It was a fun-filled couple of weeks for me!

The first hour I led was on fractals. I searched out examples, went down rabbit holes, followed mysterious trails all week. When it came time for the class, I simply gathered up what I had found and showed it to the kids. We watched a video, read some of a book, and made our own gigantic fractal with paper, pens, and a boat load of creativity.

The lesson was exactly what Asimov described. When we zoom in, we find more and more details. When we zoom out, we see the bigger and bigger picture. How far does it go? Is there an ultimate picture that only some supernatural being outside of our universe can see? That is the secret of the Universe. The science is never settled.

And it’s not simply science, but a metaphysical thing as well. The more we look into ourselves, the more we find. The more we look out, the more connected everything seems to be.

What part is it, that when we break everything down into pieces, is essentially me? And where is the line between us? What makes us different, yet the same?

A Few Asimov Quotes for Today

Just yesterday I mentioned that, while this book is immeasurably enjoyable, I didn’t think I. Asimov was very quotable. And then today I find three quotes in one hour’s reading. Such is life. Several passages over the last few days have made me smile, laugh out loud, or relate to him, but I hadn’t found anything that really stood out strong enough to invite more of my own thoughts.

Today they came flooding in and I had to whittle them down to the few most remarkable. It may be the book, or it may be my mood and focus that has changed, but I’ll take it either way.

I generally don’t partake in the “books are better than tv or movies” argument. I believe they all have their place, their own strong points and drawbacks. It’s all a matter of taste, need, and personality anyway. I love some books, and I love the movies or series based on them. Sometimes I love the movie and hate the book. Sometimes I’m in the mood to watch. Sometimes I want quiet to read. One thing I know is that I can’t read and knit at the same time, so I’m happy tv exists.

I thought this was funny though, and typical Asimov. Filling in for a speaker at a conference in 1972, he brought this up:

“In my talk, I took up the subject of tv cassettes and pointed out how bulky and inconvenient the equipment was but insisted (quite correctly) that it would be rapidly simplified. I then speculated how far it would be simplified – made small and portable, self-contained, with no energy source, and with controls that could start and stop it or move it back and forth with little more than a mental effort, and so on. And, behold, I pointed out, this was a book.” From I. Asimov – A Memoir

Cassettes! Remember those? You can’t take those in the car, plane, or train. Camping? Probably not. But a book? Yes! One book can be hours of entertainment. Bring a classic and you’ll be reading for weeks.

Today, we have our phones with internet access, so things are different. I can have just about any visual entertainment I want at the touch of a finger, as long as I have a little power to charge it and a wifi connection. AND I could also use my e-reader to have any book I like downloaded to read even if I don’t have a connection. Pretty darn nice.

I still prefer a physical book though and typically bring the one I’m reading, along with my journal, wherever I go. If I’ll be spending the night, I’ll bring a back up book just in case!

“I keep anticipating derailments with who knows what dreadful consequences. My fears also reflect a hyperactive imagination. Dreadful consequences are forever presenting themselves to my eyes in solid and realistic three-dimensional form, and there’s nothing I can do about it.” From I. Asimov – A Memoir

When I read this, I scribbled, “yeah, me too” in the margin. This has always happened to me, and sometimes the vision is so real, I physically react to it. Just recently, I was sitting at a train crossing in the middle of the desert, my youngest son at the wheel. We were commenting on the train and the delay. We were on the last leg of a very long journey and ready to be home.

As I lazily gazed in the direction the train was going, the whole scene played out in front of me. A horrific sound from behind me, I turn my head and see the freight cars buckling and tumbling towards us. My son frantically trying to put the truck in gear and back away from the burning wreckage as it tears through the cars ahead of us.

I jerked to attention, gasping out loud. My son turns to look at me, “You ok?” I’d turned white, my heart racing. An active imagination can be a real psycho to live with.

Here’s my question though. Why does an active imagination always lean toward fear and horror? Why can’t I actively imagine the train coming to a stop directly in front of us, and a handsome game show host stepping down to award us a million dollars?

“I have indeed lectured to all my nearest and dearest on the necessity of doing what you have agreed to do with good grace and a smile. The trouble is that I am one of that common breed of human being who finds it very easy to strew noble little homilies for and wide but considerably less easy to follow those homilies himself.” From I. Asimov – A Memoir

This is why I love reading him. He feels so human that I can’t help but connect with him. He’s brilliant, imaginative, and a great man, but he knows his flaws.

I’m guilty of this very thing. It’s advice we could all take to heart. If you don’t think you can do something someone wants you to do with grace, then simply say no to the request. And, for those asking, please take that no for an answer. If you don’t, and I end up acquiescing, you’ll probably get the attitude from me.

I recently had an episode like this over my husband’s company Christmas party. Come hell or high water, we must attend every year. His employer insists on it. To be totally honest though, HE has to go every year, but in my mind that means I have to go as well. And I have gone. I say that I want to go to support him. It would be mean to make him go alone. And besides, we usually have a good time.

But every year, when the invite comes out, I spend the next several weeks grumbling about it. It’s a pain to go. I have to spend money on clothes I don’t want, leave the desert, socialize with people I don’t know.

I know that Asimov understands this complaint perfectly.

This year my husband insisted, after a rather involved argument, that I not go with him. He’d rather go alone, get it over with, and return that same night than deal with me and my bad attitude. Yeah, that hurt, but I earned it. I stayed home and I think I learned something.

Next year, I’ll do my best to be nicer about going. There are reasons I do enjoy it. It’s a night out together, we usually have a great dinner, free booze, and we spend the night in a hotel. It’s almost always scheduled for the week of my birthday, so I like to pretend it’s a party just for me…even though if were my party it would be at a place that I can wear jeans and tennis shoes. Then again…maybe next year that’s exactly what I’ll wear!

I realized this morning that Asimov died in 1992 and this book was published in 1994. I’m curious to know how it ends and I’m sure to find out in the next few days as I’m about 120 pages away. I’ll also be looking up how he died, and who published this book after his death.

The Result of Various Changes

“Everything we do, obviously, is the result of various changes in the conditions about us over which we rarely have control.” From I. Asimov – A Memoir

Two things went through my head when I read this, “No…not obviously. I don’t think so, maybe not at all.” And then, “Well…sure, I suppose you’re right.” I can hear the rebuttals because I have them myself. I’ve taken great pride in the results of my excellent choices and their wonderful results. This is MY work. You cannot take that away from me.

But is it, really? Your choices? Sure, those are yours. But the circumstances that put you in the position to make those choices? Probably not.

I didn’t choose the family that raised me.

I didn’t choose who I went to school with, who I worked with, when I found the man that I decided to marry.

I didn’t choose the children that were born to me or their temperaments.

And it goes so much farther than that: where and when you were born, economics and politics that occurred when you were making choices, the weather! Everything everywhere around us buffets us around while we live, none of which we have any control over.

Like a game of poker, we all simply do the best we can with the cards we are dealt. I don’t think it’s a defeatist attitude. I think it’s realistic. If we acknowledge that we aren’t in control of the world around us, but only our own reactions to it, life can be a bit easier to take.

We cannot judge other people’s outcomes by our own. They are not us. And we can’t judge ourselves by what other people achieve for the same reason.

The reason I love reading Asimov, especially his non-fiction, is because he’s so smart and so curious. He questions everything, especially his own thinking. He is also blatant about his criticism but humble in that he knows his circumstances, his area of expertise, are unlike anyone else’s. He is honest.

Speaking of the results of various changes, here we are at the end of February. I didn’t achieve the goal I set for myself at the end of last month, but I did stay the course I was on at least. I kept up with writing and posting daily and that is something to be celebrated. Two whole months is a personal record and nothing to sniff at, especially since February was slightly busier than January.

March is looking like the it will speed up a bit more, so I think I’ll hold off on creating any new habits until April. “Hold the course!” looks like it will be enough of a challenge. Besides, you never know what will happen. I may find some surprises.

I. Asimov: New Read

I. Asimov: A Memoir was an impulse buy! I think I was searching Amazon for something else and saw the memoir recommended…wait…I remember! I had bought Will Smith’s autobiography the day before and when I opened my browser, Amazon was kind enough to recommend Asimov’s. Since I’m a huge fan of that man as well, and I’m totally in the mood for more memoir, I clicked BUY NOW and walked away.

I. Asimov

A couple days later, there it was in my mailbox. That’s the glory of buying one book at a time on Amazon, they usually fit in my mailbox and I don’t have to drive to the post office and pick it up. This time, I was allowed to experience that beautiful feeling when I open the box and there it is, in a bag, all scrunched up with my mail from the last few days!

As soon as I got back in the car, I threw all the junk mail and bills to the passenger seat and held my precious in my lap. It was heavy but small. I pulled open the bag just to get a moment with it before I drove off to the grocery store. It’s a fat one! I took a picture of it immediately and sent it a friend I knew would appreciate my joy.

I’m not sure how he does it, but he’s so proud of himself and you’d think he’d come off as an ass, but he doesn’t. After every chapter, I only wish I could have hung out and had a cup of coffee with the guy.

Here are a few quotes from my reading this morning. Yeah…I can’t put it down. Damn these responsibilities getting in the way of my reading!

“At last I met people who burned with the same fire I did; who loved science fiction as I did; who wanted to write science fiction as I did; who had the same kind of erratic brilliance as I did.
I did not have to recognize a soul mate consciously. I felt it at once without the necessity of intellectualizing it.”

This one reminded me of my dad describing how much he loved his theatre people in high school. Meeting people that share your passion for something, or (in my case) at least share your enthusiasm for life in general…there’s nothing like it. I think it’s what the Founding Father’s meant by “the pursuit of happiness,” but that could also mean all the books you ever want.

“Writing was exciting because I never planned ahead. I made up my stories as I went along and it was a great deal like reading a book I hadn’t written.

When asked for advice by beginners, I always stress that. Know your ending, I say, or the river of your story may finally sink into the desert sands and never reach the sea.”

This! I read this in A Roving Mind last year and it confirmed, once again, that I was doing nothing wrong. 99% of my posts, fiction and non-fiction are cleaned up first drafts. Even in high school and college, once I wrote it down, it was done, other than cleaning up errors and fixing a few things. That doesn’t mean they are all winners, perfect right out of the box. It just means that it’s exactly what I wanted to say.

I’ve always been overly honest. I’m not one to hide behind my words. I say what I mean, I mean what I say. And it all comes tumbling out of my head and onto the page, the same way I speak. It’s me. The more I do it, the better, more organized, it gets. So…you, my dear reader, get the brunt of it thanks to the glory of the internet.

“It always seems to me that it’s not hard to be nice to people in small ways, and surely that must make them more willing to be nice in small ways in return.”

How’s that for an idea to start your day with? If you’re wondering what you can do to make a difference in the world, try a small kindness. Give a couple bucks to that guy. Smile and say thank you, make eye contact with the cashier. Compliment your waiter on how well he’s doing, even if he’s not THAT great. Those small things ripple outward like waves that create bigger waves. Weave some bright threads into the tapestry of our lives. Be nice today. Make someone smile, laugh, or feel a little bit better about themselves.

I’ve read quite a few Asimov books in my life, but I’ve only posted about him a few times recently. Check out A Roving Mind and The Gods Themselves.

Isaac Asimov: Robots and Space Travel

I finished reading “The Roving Mind” by Isaac Asimov over the weekend. 348 pages in 13.92 hours. But who’s counting?!

isaac asimov

The man invented the word “robots,” but he’d never used a computer. He knows that the word is only attributed to him, but he knows he heard it somewhere before. He used a typewriter and when told a newfangled word processor would at least speed up his writing, he scoffed. He wrote a book a month and so many essays. “Prolific” doesn’t begin to describe him.

I enjoyed reading some of these essays more than others. My favorites being the last few that he wrote about himself. I was encouraged to hear that he often wrote “off the cuff” and only went back to clean up some mistakes and maybe rearrange a bit. That’s typically my style as well. I’m not saying I’m a genius, but what I write is usually what I’m thinking as I think it. It may not be brilliant but it’s honest, real.

There was one bit about space exploration that I found inspiring. Imagine space colonies, people living in space, children growing up on a space station. They’d be the people that went on the long journeys into space, the ones that got on that light speed vehicle and headed into the vast unknown. They would be used to that life and not as likely to be unnerved by the confinement.

Also, reading Isaac Asimov describe how big the universe really is, not to mention our own dang solar system. Amazing.

I’m not big sci-fi fan. Hell, I’m not even a big science fan. I’d rather delve into relational human issues, spirituality and imagination, than ponder the secrets only meticulous science can unravel. But space travel is fascinating to me. The prospect of it. What’s out there? Who’s out there? I’m not concerned with how we get there or if there will be metals to mine or an atmosphere on that distant planet. What I want to know is, how we will talk to them. Will we even be able recognize a sentient lifeform from an entirely different galaxy?

It’s probably why I love Star Trek so much. The exploration of space. “This is a science vessel!” How would we even begin to communicate and interact with a species that developed completely outside our own system? How will they be different? How will they be similar? It boggles my mind.

The only drawback to this book for me was that, because it was written in 1983, it felt a little dated. Many of the things we thought were going to destroy the world in the next decade never came to fruition. Don’t get me wrong, some of them still could, eventually. But, like a lot of predictions and panics, we’re assuming that technology will remain the same when we look forward to a grim future. These days, with the rapid development of technology, anything can happen.

When I look to the future, I wonder what crazy new thing will have been invented and embraced that will change how my grandchildren live. I’m curious and optimistic, unless I’ve just been to the grocery store, and they’ve put my spaghetti sauce on top of my loaf of bread…again. Then I’m afraid that I am convinced there is no hope for us a species.

Are you a sci-fi fan? Do you read Isaac Asimov fiction? What’s your favorite?

Go back and read my first post, “The Roving Mind: New Read” to see where I came from.

Media B.S. and Scientific…ahh, who am I kidding?!

Two quotes about media b.s. and scientific challenges from the essay “The Role of the Heretic” in the chapter “Other Aberrations” in The Roving Mind by Isaac Asimov.

“Supply the public with something amusing, that sounds scholarly, and that supports something it wants to believe, and surely you need nothing more.”

Sounds familiar. This is what we get from today’s “news,” social media, and politicians. When you ask anyone where they are getting their data, or what study or finding they are paraphrasing, you are accused of either not having an “open mind” or being “anti-science.”

“I hope scientific orthodoxies never remain unchallenged. Science is in far greater danger from an absence of challenge than from the coming of any number of even absurd challenges. Science, unchallenged, can become arthritic and senile, whereas the most absurd challenge may help to stir the blood and tone the muscles of the body of science.”

Unchallenged scientific orthodoxies are the same as religions. They both only wish to keep their power and control the masses so that things continue the way they want them to.

And…that’s all I’ve got today. Not very inspiring, I know.

The trouble this morning is that I promised myself I’d write SOMETHING every day and then post SOMETHING, even if it’s not worth posting. Do you think that’s too much? I’m talking about an hours’ worth of work each day. I really don’t think that is too much to ask of myself. But here we are…struggling to keep up.

And what about tomorrow? One day a week I leave the house at 7am to drive down the hill and visit friends. I don’t have time to write before I go. No big deal, right? I mean, it’s only one day and I have a legitimate reason. But I’ll have another this weekend when we leave on our mini vacation for our anniversary. That’s two days, maybe three.

My initial solution was to write two posts today and schedule one to come out tomorrow morning, but then I woke up angry and tired from a bad dream and just couldn’t get into writing anything at all. I decided what I really needed to get my brain off the dream and into work mode was some breakfast and coffee. Then I started texting a friend about that stupid dream. My mother-in-law called and asked me to pick something up at the store for her later. Then I thought, “Screw this. I’ll read some more and then write while my son needs the livingroom silent for his class.”

I showered, started the laundry, chatted with a friend, ate more tasty things (still thinking about a tasty lunch), sat down to my computer, and decided I needed to clean up some photo files first…

Yeah. You see where this is going.

But here I am now. FINALLY. At the laptop. Sitting in my bed instead of my office because it’s not comfy at all. My husband is working at his desk on the other side of the room. Luckily, he’s not on the phone right now.

My head hurts. I need more coffee. How long is that kid going to be in class?! The laundry will be done soon. It’s hot again today. I’m starting to think summer won’t end this year. First Covid bullshit and now infinite summer.

All of this angst is because I had a bad dream, a few of them in a row actually. I woke up tired and cranky. What I need is a nap and there is no room to hide in today.

But that’s ok because I DID write SOMETHING, and I am going to post it. For posterity, of course. And I believe I’m hilarious, especially when I’m being pissy. Win!

Go back to my first post, “The Roving Mind: New Read” to read more about this book.

Chaos & Peace: The Roving Mind #1

The first of a few posts on The Roving Mind. There’s a lot in this book. Its essays go just about everywhere and I’m enjoying every page. Well, maybe not EVERY page. There are some moments that I think, “You know, Asimov, for a smart guy but you’re kinda being an ass.” Everyone can get that way about things they believe they know a lot about, things they have been well trained in, etc. We think, “Dammit, I’ve spent a lot of time in this subject. I know things. People should listen to me!” I get that way myself. Often. But then I remember chaos.

You remember chaos theory? “Life, uh, finds a way.” You know, Jurassic Park?

chaos

I know what I’m thinking isn’t exactly chaos theory, but it gets me in the direction I want to go.

Even though we think we know what’s best, we can’t know what’s best for every individual. Even if we did know what was best for someone else, we have their best interests at heart and we have a outside vantage point that they would benefit from seeing, we can’t force people to adopt our way of thinking. We’d be violating their very essence. Everyone is entitled to live their lives however they see fit, even if we can see their choices are doing them a disservice. It’s their life.

When Asimov gets all snarky about people who choose to believe in creationism or a flat earth, I wonder. What does it really matter? Why not simply leave people to their beliefs?

I didn’t realize it, but the title is so appropriate for this blog and my style of learning. “The Roving Mind” sums up my whole lifestyle really. You can’t tell me that a lack of focus is a disability! It’s been serving me well for 48 years and I’ll happily (hopefully) be humming along for at least another 40 at this rate.

In his introduction, right there on page one, I read, “…there is that phrase about doing ‘whatever it is I would do if I weren’t being prodded.’ Actually, I haven’t figured out what that might be. … The only thing I really want to do is to sit at a typewriter (or word-processor) and unreel my thoughts.”

My thoughts exactly, Mr. Asimov.

I’m recently retired. Yes, retired. Even though I have not had a job outside my home for the last 18 years, I have indeed been working. I have had responsibilities that prod me daily into doing things I would not be doing if I were alone with a situation that kept me fed and housed without effort. I’ve been a housewife and a homeschool (rather unschool) mom.

That last sentence proves I’ve been reading and watching too much “British” lately.

Now that I’m not hourly prodded by one child or another, no housework NEEDS to be done each day, and all my husband needs is something to microwave for lunch, I have found myself with a lot of time on my hands. “Get a job!” is the suggestion I hear from friends most. There are other things I could do: sew, knit, gardening, visit friends, volunteer. The list goes on and on. But what I really want to do is read and write.

And that is what I’ve been doing. There are times when I begin to get antsy and look for things to fill more of my time, but then I sit back and think. I have an amazing opportunity here. I can spend my days completely as I see fit. It’s like Star Trek. With an infinite source of energy, the whole community can spend it’s days pursuing whatever they like. I choose to spend mine using my own Roving Mind.

Maybe things will change. Chaos does assert itself. I’m sure some responsibilities will present themselves in the future, but for now I’ll be enjoying the peace, reading, meditating, practicing yoga, making my favorite things to eat from scratch, hiking, watching the birds, and then writing about it. Who knows where I’ll end up.

I laughed outloud when I read that last bit back to myself. I know a lot of people that would go completely crazy with the amount of quiet reflection that goes on around here lately. And here I am sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee, watching a bird pick through my plants, for over thirty minutes and calling it “adventure.” In the past I would not been able to enjoy that moment. I’d have felt like I was wasting precious time. Only lately have I changed my thinking. Time is only wasted when you let is rush by unnoticed.

What would you do with your time if you could spend it however you like? Do you think it would evolve over time if you gave yourself permission to pursue your own roving mind?

It turns out that I’ve written about chaos a few times before! See? Things come back around. Check out Violence and Chaos of the Natural World is What Grendel Represents and Social Anxiety and Chaos Theory.

The Roving Mind: A New Read

I started reading “The Roving Mind” by Isaac Asimov this morning, my first tentative step into read more of his non-fiction work.

The Roving Mind

After much tweaking of my mourning routine, I have finally caught the reins and started a more consistent writing schedule…again. And now I get to post about my latest book right as I start to read it, instead of after I finish like I have had to do the past month.

I enjoy writing these New Read posts because my initial impressions about a book are usually pretty different than my thoughts at the end. There was a reason that I picked up the book in the first place, (and, yes, I’ve promised to get better at remembering that reason). There is also a reason I’m picking the book off the TBR shelf today, which may be different than my reason for buying it.

What are my initial impressions of Isaac Asimov’s “The Roving Mind?” I started reading the Foreword, the Introduction, and the tributes from other science and sci-fi writers and teared up. I didn’t realize how much loved he was as a writer and a friend; it sounds like he was fascinating person. Then again, how could he not be? He’s written so much about science, non-fiction and fiction. I know him for his fiction. I’ve read Foundation, The Gods Themselves, and The Fantastic Voyage. I plan on reading more! So far, The Fantastic Voyage has been my favorite, but I think it’s mostly because the movie from the 60’s was so fun (and scary) for me when I was a kid. My husband has read more of his non-fiction. I have some of them on my bookshelf behind me right now.

I don’t consider myself much of a scientific thinker. I lean more on emotion and feeling, more concerned with getting along and making connections with people than thinking along the lines of repeatable experiments and data tables. When a scientist says something is true, I tend to lean more on “Can I trust that person?” than “Is his data provable?” But Asimov…he makes science approachable for people like me and I’m excited to start reading more of his work.

My edition of “The Roving Mind” is a collection of essays originally published in 1983 but republished in 1997 after his death in 1992. I bought it from Amazon, probably because I had the thought to read some of his non-fiction after finishing Foundation. It’s been sitting on my TBR shelf since 2013. I don’t think anything has sat there that long, but it’s science, it’s hard, and I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. Three essays in and I’m wishing I had read it years ago. This is going to be fun!

Want to follow me through this book? Read more at the following links.

Chaos & Peace: The Roving Mind #1
Media B.S. and Scientific…ahh, who am I kidding?!
Isaac Asimov: Robots and Space Travel

“The Gods Themselves” by Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov book cover on a desert background.
“The Gods Themselves” by Isaac Asimov

I saw an Isaac Asimov book in that massive pile of books to be re-homed, and immediately picked it up. I have loved him ever since I read the Foundation books a few years ago. His sci-fi is unparalleled.

Do you like sci-fi books? If someone asked me, I’d say I’m not that much of a fan, but I do love the old classics. I love Star Trek. I’ve seen them all. I’ve read Dune and several Heinlein books. And the old movies? Love them!

But I’m not a sci-fi fanatic. I know people who are WAY more into it than I am. Maybe just an enthusiast?

Now I’m sitting here wondering if you could put people into personality classes by what book genres they love most. What kind of people like Fantasy? Romance? Historical Fiction? YA? Modern? Dystopian? It would be fun to work that out like a zodiac of sorts. Maybe I will! (adds idea to the list)

I especially love classic (AKA old) sci-fi because, even though the science is sometimes laughable (run this report up to the bridge!), the human struggle is still there, still relevant to our own time. Asimov has a great way of writing the science so well, that even I can follow along. Maybe someone who understood more science and math would think it was a deal breaker, but I can imagine what his worlds would look like, how things work.

And then there’s the underlying part of sci-fi, humanity. This book was written in 1972, so power supply is the focus. That’s what I love about sci-fi. You can see what people were worrying about when the book was written. If you know some history, sci-fi is even better to read. It’s fun to see what they predicted wrong, what became a non-issue and what we are still working on.

Here’s my favorite line from the first few pages.

“My facts are correct. And since they are, how can I be wrong?”

Craziest thing ever? Yesterday morning, while I was doing the dishes, I stopped and wrote this in my journal.

“We don’t all come to the same conclusions with the same information. There are infinite variables. It’s not math, it’s predicting the future. Even if we did come to same conclusion, it may not be at the same time. We need to give each other more space to grow.”

It’s an idea I was planning on spending some time on in the coming weeks. A few hours later, I need a break from the housework, so I randomly picked up a new novel out of my TBR pile to start reading. “Hmm…sci-fi sounds like fun right now.” Within a few pages, that idea boomerangs back to me from the universe.

And that’s what I love about the way I read. It’s like life. Follow your instincts, keep an open mind and an open heart, let go of attachment to outcomes, and see what happens. Not very science-minded, but it works for me.

Have you read any Asimov? Tell me what you think in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.

You can find “The Gods Themselves” by Isaac Asimov at Thirftbooks.com if you want to read with me!


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