Isaac Asmiv: "The Future of Humanity" ( circa 1974 ) ... : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

# # # 19981226

But that Isaac Asimov were still with us, today! He'd have some wisdom and insight into the Y2K-scenario. I admired and miss this brilliant spot of humanity.

I found this insightful lecture on the 'Net today. It's a rather long read, but instructive: "The Future of Humanity: a Lecture by Isaac Asimov"

Topic: The Future of Humanity Place: Newark College of Engineering Date: November 8, 1974

Transcribed at URL < > )

Read and enjoy. Think "outside the box."

Regards, Bob Mangus # # #

-- Robert Mangus (, December 26, 1998


# # # 19981226@05:07

It's time to grab some shut-eye ... That's Asimov, of course! ;-)

Regards, Bob Mangus # # #

-- Robert Mangus (, December 26, 1998.

Not quite sure what your point was Bob, but thanks anyway.

-- Paul Davis (, December 26, 1998.

# # # 19981226


My point was: Isaac Asimov was truly one of the 20th century's greatest prolific thinkers and "explainers" { sic! } of about just about anything! ( How many books and short stories did he write. ) He had an ingenious way of explaining the complicated in terms common folks could understand. He also was not afraid to tinker "outside the box" on many issues over the years.

Where are these kind of folks today? We need "thinkers" of this genre for stimulating viable solutions to the gargantuan problems humanity will face in the immediate future.

This particular lecture captured--I thought--some salient insights into human nature and where it tends to take us as a specie.

Regards, Bob Mangus # # #

-- Robert Mangus (, December 26, 1998.


Great post!

VERY timely!

Asimov does nothing but increase the credibility of Infomagic's scenarios;

[your point is obvious - and well taken!]


Perry Arnett

-- Perry Arnett (, December 26, 1998.

# # # 19981226

Paul and Perry:

When you're feeling like you're out in some Y2K cognitive wilderness-- howls of DGI's, DWGI's, and NGGI's--intellectual reinforcement is always nice to find; even nicer when it's serrendipitous.

There just aren't many thinkers around of that caliber; "systems" beats it out of humanity. The ( free thinking ) intellectual vacuum is suffocating. The main reason I toiled in the IT field for over 33 years was the intellectual stimulation and problem solving opportunities it provided. The last 20 years in my consulting capacity were even more intellectually rewarding without the usual constraint or regard for corporate/government "chains" of politics to cloud. I always "pushed the envelop" to solve business/engineering problems with as little influence by counterproductive neanderthals getting in the way. ( Lots of friction; the pay-off was sweeter, however!! )

Glad you enjoyed the read! After 25 years, a "master's" words are brilliantly relevant! Touchi, Isaac!! The Man!! ...

Regards, Bob Mangus # # #

-- Robert Mangus (, December 26, 1998.


I read something once that Asimov wrote in the 1960's about population growth and resources. He said that assuming space travel became practical and assuming that matter could be converted into energy anytime energy was need, population growth at the 1960's rate would mean that humanity would consume the entire known universe in 8000 years!

We've sensed the limits of technology ever since Thomas Robert Malthus wrote his book in 1798(?), and since Mary W. Shelley's "Frankenstein" in 1818.

-- Kevin (, December 26, 1998.

And I almost forgot--Asimov wrote one of the best non-Y2K novels ever written that has everything in the world to with Y2K: "Nightfall".

-- Kevin (, December 26, 1998.

# # # 19981226


Thanks for the "reminder!" I, too, forgot that I have "Nightfall"-- just dug it out of my "book stacks." ( I am no librarian. ;-) )

I'll have to dig it out and re-read it; it's been at least 25 years or so since my first/only reading. Something to do before New Year's.

Thank you, again, for the prompting!

BTW: There's an awful lot of "stuff" on the 'Net re Asimov. Good to see his "spirit" still thrives. Lots of hours to surf and ponder.

Regards, Bob Mangus # # #

-- Robert Mangus (, December 26, 1998.

Interesting Y2K relevance. These lecture quotes especially caught my eye:

...I discovered, to my amazement, that all through history there had been resistance...and bitter, exaggerated, last-stitch every significant technological change that had taken place on earth. Usually the resistance came from those groups who stood to lose influence, status, a result of the change. Although they never advanced this as their reason for resisting it. It was always the good of humanity that rested upon their hearts...

... what we need are people of all kinds running the world! Some of whom are smart in one way, and some of whom are smart in the other way, and with everyone's smartness in different directions, so that they can sort of cancel out; so that everybody's stupidity can be caught by someone else's smartness in the same direction...

...The greatest...the greatest gift that mankind has is it's vast gene pool. All the different genes it has. All the different characteristics; the smart and the stupid, the strong and the weak. Because it's the variety that makes it possible for us to meet different emergencies, and what is weak under one set of conditions might be strong under another, what is stupid at one time is smart at another, and so on. We can't throw out anything for fear that that's exactly what we'll need someday...

...The trouble is we've now reached the point where risk is risking everything! And you can't afford to risk everything. Until now in world's history, whenever we've had a dark age, its been temporary and local. And other parts of the world have been doing fine. And eventually, they help you get out of the dark age. We are now facing a possible dark age which is going to be world-wide and permanent!...

Thanks Bob, Diane

-- Diane J. Squire (, December 27, 1998.

Bi-Centennial Man by Isaac RULES!

-- Randy (, December 28, 1998.

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