Foundation (2021) Review

[Tiempo de lectura 5 m]
Foundation saga

Foundation saga.

I write this review as a hardcore Isaac Asimov reader; as a teenager I read all the books I could by him, I searched them everywhere, in all the libraries, in all the supermarkets. I still have all my copies. I consider Asimov, with Sagan and Cousteau, three of my best teachers ever.

So, what can we say about Apple TV Foundation?

That is garbage.

Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov watching those idiots with contempt.

The Woke is Strong in you.

Mary Sue Skywalker Palpatine.

Mary Sue Skywalker Palpatine.

They ride the woke wave, gender-swapping Salvor Hardin, Gaal Dornick, and even Eto Demerzel.

You could let Dornick pass as a female, it could even add to the story, but Hardin? But Demerzel?
Daneel carried Foundation on his shoulders, why touch him without adding? Just for the fun of the insult to the fans? To subvert our expectations?

Dornick, of course, is a better mathematician than Harry (she keeps calling him that!). She’s quicker, she knows all the jobs in the colony, she’s a natural-born leader, she’s black, she’s female, she’s The One™! Not Seldon, not Daneel, no! Gender-swapped Mary Sue Dornick!

It’s soap opera.

Asimov would never.

With Dornick now a black minority female, they can pursue a love interest with Raych. If you’ve read Asimov’s science-fiction, you know exactly how he felt about love and personal relations, against his cerebral stories. This is merely to appraise to as broad a market as they can.

It’s filled with bad science.

Asimov was a scientist who praised himself in writing scientifically sound stories; he was utterly pedantic and insufferable about his knowledge. This is just your regular Marvel space magic. He kept himself away from nonsensical jargon and used plot devices as sparsely as posible (the “jump” was just part of the background, of the obvious and necessary future technology, no need to explain it, better actually think and invest time developing the Robotic Laws from which most stories derive).

Now instead, we have a space elevator that falls in five minutes and causes some minor damage; they need to go and read Red Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson to get an accurate description of a space elevator falling. It won’t fall in five minutes. The lower part won’t notice until hours later. The damage would be geological. Even the space elevator of Nueva Valparaiso in Revelation Space (in Chasm City, actually) by Alastair Reynolds, an action packed saga, manages to fall in a plausible manner.
Now we have idiocy like “the grav generators output a waveform that corrupts the jumpdrive’s ability to plot fourth-dimensional points at transdimensional speeds”. Now we have stupidity like “the most advanced math, is like a sixth sense.”. And the idiots pat themselves in their collective backs for being so ingenious. Do you see Asimov ever writing such laughable ridiculousness?

Illiterate Geoge Lucas and his Cliff’s Notes.

This is because writers, directors, producers and studios are illiterates. Because they haven’t read anything in their lives, they understand nothing, and think that just throwing sciency-sounding words is enough, just like modern Star Trek. In fact, they are not only scientifically illiterate, but broadly.

It doesn’t follow the spirit of Asimov’s writings.

Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov, the God himself.

Much can be said about the difficulties and imposibilites of adapting written word to the screens, but it can and has been done. Childhood’s End, the miniseries, is a joy to watch, precisely because in spite of the liberties taken, they captured and respected Clarke’s writings spirit, so fans of Clarke can watch it and be satisfied that it was worth it and not be terribly offended by it. Foundation is diametrically opposite to Asimov’s writings spirit. It’s not cerebral, it’s emotive; it’s not story-driven, it’s character driven; it’s not about thinking, it’s about the action and epicness. Truly, it’s so far away removed from Asimov that it easily passes for Generic Science Fiction or Superhero Movie number 765.


Zero stars. Zero.


Of course I knew it would be terrible beforehand, how could it not? In the last 20 years we’ve been regaled with endless adaptations, remakes, prequels, sequels, reimaginings, each worse than the previous, that there wasn’t any possibility. It was a mathematical certainty that they would fucking botch it with their idiocy and illiterateness!

And it was completely unnecessary, because contrary to say Star Wars and Star Trek, Foundation never needed such epicness, such grand special effects, it wasn’t about that at all! So it needed only a fraction of the fortune they spent; they chose to do a Marvel and failed because Foundation, as Star Trek, is no superhero lightly written, story for kids.

I’m sad, obviously, and angered against the modern cinema fashion that has managed tu ruin everything.

It’s so bad I could only watch two episodes. Terrible, isn’t it? That a life-long fan of the Foundation saga, the Robot stories and novels, and everything in between from Isaac Asimov (and everything else from the Golden Age of Science Fiction), couldn’t get past the first two chapters of the long-awaited, ever-dreaded adaptation to the screens. I certainly expected it: I can’t watch modern Star Wars nor Star Trek either; they’re meaningless crap, mediocrity for the lowest common denominator.

Not Hari Seldon

“Let the past die. Kill it if you have to.” -Kylo Ren.


Star Trek: The Next Generation, is a much better Foundation than this sorry attempt could ever dream of being.

They won’t get a single penny from me.

Foundation saga.

My Foundation and Robot books; They can’t take the sky from me.


“Now everyone, I’m going to leave you on a less depressing note, I’ll let these guys and gals do their thing:”
-Mr. Plinkett.

Why the West Rules—for Now – Ian Morris

[Tiempo de lectura 2 m]

Why the West Rules—for Now - Ian Morris.

This is more a compendium than a book.

It takes us on a wide adventure across Earth and time in the last 20 thousand years since the last ice age, following mankind through its civilizations, its empires, the rise and fall of the currents of history meandering the way dictated by geography and climate, sociology and biology.

This not only tells us why the west rules, for now, but gives a most impressive and comprehensive history lesson; it’s been a while since I felt achieving something when finishing a book; <a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/425618-understanding-is-a-kind-of-ecstasy”>Understanding is a kind of ecstasy</a>, no doubt.

The human revolutions, the technology and thought that each era needs to surpass the empire’s fall and transform the meaning of geography, the challenges civilizations face, the driving forces of mankind (greed and lazyness!), all that mixed with an entertaining narrative of mankind’s passage through this planet.

The author, a superstar in his domains, has done a massive amount of research, invented qualitative methods for measuring men and gave a presentable face to his findings; the development index he came up with is fascinating.

Halfway through the book I began wondering if he would make the final jump and talk —in the final chapter(s), of course— of the <a href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity”>Singularity</a>. I expected him to do so, as technology is the means with which civilizations level-up, and it appears to be in our immediate future; He did so.

A grand book that should be required reading in the schools of the world.

*****

Here’s the professor, archaeologist, historian and academic himself giving a conference about this on the Oriental Institute, think of it as the tl;dr:

This image pretty much sums up the importance of geography in human affairs:

The importance of geography in the currents of history.

The importance of geography in the currents of history.

The Conspiracy Against the Human Race – Thomas Ligotti

[Tiempo de lectura < 1 m]
The Conspiracy Against the Human Race - Thomas Ligotti.

The Conspiracy Against the Human Race – Thomas Ligotti.

I’m not sure… I mean, being alive is all well and nice!
/s

Ligotti is a connoisseur of the horror genre(s), and just for that this is a worthy read. On his other subject, his main thesis, he doesn’t tell us anything new —for those of us with a basic grasp of things— to know: Life is pointless, the universe cares not for it, and consciousness has ruined the simple life for us forever while at the same time allowing us to be aware of it.

A quick and entertaining, if a bit too conscious of itself (see what I did there), read.

Also, Rustin Cohle from one of the greatest series of all time, True Detective (just season one, the other two aren’t in the same league), read the book too 😉

***

Afganistán para influencers

[Tiempo de lectura 2 m]

Pin bandera Afgana y Americana.

  • Guerra con URSS en los 70s por miedo a que cambien de lado en la Guerra Fría y se unan a los yanquis; Afganistán hacía frontera con la URSS, y hace con China.
  • Yanquis patrocinan con armamento y entrenamiento a los Muyahidín (combatientes islámicos fundamentalistas multinacionales; guerrilleros) para controlar Afganistán.
  • Al-Qaeda se funda durante esa guerra, organización militante islamita sunita multinacional.
  • URSS termina su guerra en los 80s.
  • Los descendientes de los Muyahidín controlan Afganistán, los Talibanes.
  • Al-Qaeda causa 9/11.
  • USA hace guerra contra Afganistán e Irak con ese pretexto, establece gobiernos títeres.
  • 20 años después, Talibanes recuperan el control de Afganistán del falso gobierno impuesto por América tras su humillante salida, que recuerda cuando les pasó lo mismo en Saigón (Ho Chi Minh).

Afganistán fue el Vietnam de la URSS, y ahora es el Vietnam II de los gringos. Solo no olvidar que tendrá muchas más y más importantes repercusiones geopolíticas, ya que Afganistán, “la tumba de los imperios”, es geográfica e históricamente muy importante, no así Vietnam (pero eso requiere un poquito más de historia, y a los influencers solo les importa lo que pasó hace 5 minutos, si es que les importa algo más que mirar sus propios videos).

Todos los gobiernos de la zona van a dialogar con los Talibanes del nuevo Afganistán, quienes crearán un gobierno multi-étnico.

Falta que los gringos se salgan de Irak…

Addendum: Para los gringos es muchísimo más barato (¡y le conviene más a su economía!) volver a comprar todo su equipo militar, que transportarlo de regreso desde donde sea, es por esto que los Talibanes están heredando cualquier cantidad de equipamiento de guerra.

Evacuación de embajadores americanos de Saigón y Kabul.

Evacuación de embajadores americanos de Saigón y Kabul.

Por cierto, así la producción de opio / heroína, que prácticamente cesó cuando los talibanes la prohibieron en 2001, justo antes del inicio de la invasión gringa. Desde entonces ha aumentado año con año bajo control americano hasta llegar al 90% de la producción mundial. Esto sucede mientras el máximo ejército del mundo intenta detenerlos. Ajá.

Producción de opio afgano.

Producción de opio afgano.

Mexico-Tenochtitlan, 500 años

[Tiempo de lectura 2 m]
Mexico-Tenochtitlan a la llegada de los españoles.

Ayer, 12 de agosto de 2021, pero hace 500 años, el último Huey Tlatoani Mexica, Cuauhtémoc, daba su último mensaje antes de la caída de Mexico-Tenochtitlan:

Nuestro Sol se ocultó
Nuestro Sol desapareció su rostro
Y en completa oscuridad nos ha dejado
Pero sabemos que otra vez volverá
Que otra vez saldrá
Y nuevamente nos alumbrará.

Pero mientras allá esté y en la mansión del silencio permanezca
Muy prontamente reunámonos y estrechémonos
Y en el centro de nuestro ser ocultemos
Todo lo que nuestro corazón ama
Y que sabemos es gran tesoro.

Destruyamos nuestros recintos al principio creador
Nuestras escuelas, nuestros campos de pelota
Nuestros recintos para la juventud, nuestras casas para el canto y el juego.

Que nuestros caminos queden abandonados
Y nuestros hogares nos resguarden
Hasta cuando salga nuestro nuevo sol.

Los papacitos y las mamacitas
Que nunca olviden guiar a sus jóvenes
Y hacer saber a sus hijos mientras vivan
Cuán buena ha sido
Hasta ahora nuestra amada tierra Anáhuac.

Al amparo y protección de nuestro destino
Y por nuestro gran respeto y buen comportamiento,
Confirmados por nuestros antepasados
Y que nuestros papacitos muy animosamente
Sembraron en nuestro ser.

Ahora nosotros les encargaremos a nuestros hijos
Que no olviden informar a sus hijos
Cuán buena será, como se levantará
Y alcanzará fuerza
Y cuán bien realizará su gran destino
Esta nuestra amada madre tierra Anáhuac.

Mexico-Tenochtitlan.
Mexico-Tenochtitlan.

Hoy, 13 de agosto de 2021, pero hace 500 años, caía Mexico-Tenochtitlan.

Y yo lo conmemoré de la única manera en que se conmemora esto: visitando una ruina prehispánica.