Amazing Asimov

Happy New Year, dear Reader!

my_robotForgive me for starting the year with an article on environmental problems, but it was Isaac Asimov’s birthday (at least the official one) on Saturday (I learned that here), and I found an excellent video of him talking wonderfully about global warming, united world action on such matters, and other issues back in 1988. It is below. I read a ton of Asimov back when I was a teenager. While not the greatest writing in a literary sense, it was full of wonderful ideas and compelling stories, and was quite inspiring for me at the time.

It is a pity that it was yesterday I switched on the little robot I use weekly to help me fight the good fight against dusty floors (see above right; the company that makes them is called iRobot, by the way – hardly any doubt that an Asimov reader was involved in that naming meeting) and not on his birthday. It would have nicely marked the occasion. Next time that cute little helper bumps my foot when I’m in the way I’m going to have to remind it about the first of the Three Laws of Robotics. (Does not having a positronic brain render it exempt?)

Ok. Here is Asimov (who died in 1992), way ahead of his time talking (in 1988) about the greenhouse effect and other key issues concerning the planet:



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9 Responses to Amazing Asimov

  1. Jude says:

    Asimov was my favorite science fiction author. I re-read a lot of his books when I was in my twenties and thought, “Ah, so this is why I’m a secular humanist.”

  2. Elliot says:

    I think the original Foundation Trilogy is the gold standard in Science Fiction writing. It is the source of one of my favorite quotes:

    “violence is the last resort of the incompetent”.

    Great stuff and still stands up today in my opinion.


  3. Clifford says:

    Really?! I’m going to be there?! Wow. It is the first I’ve heard…


  4. Clifford says:

    I double-checked just in case there was another me or in case I’d agreed to something I’d forgotten (it happens). Seems I’m in the clear:

    Thanks for the heads-up!


  5. Jude says:

    I double-checked too. We have a new math teacher at our school who is a doctoral candidate in physics. She never plans to complete her doctoral thesis, though (she hates to write). I showed her the list of speakers at the Aspen Physics Institute and she said, “The problem with those sorts of talks is that they dumb things down for the general public, so I find them frustrating and boring.” Poor girl. She lives 70 miles from Aspen and never plans to attend a talk because they’re too simplistic.

  6. Mary Cole says:

    This is a little off message, but you have a robot to sweep your floors?!!! This is the coolest thing I’ve heard in ages!

  7. Clifford says:

    You can see one (cutely) in action here:



  8. Pingback: Robot Realities at Asymptotia