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Sublime reason: when Isaac Asimov met Jay Forrester

Malczynski, L. A. and Lane, D. C. (2022) Sublime reason: when Isaac Asimov met Jay Forrester. System Dynamics Review. ISSN 1099-1727

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/sdr.1720

Abstract/Summary

This article describes an encounter between servomechanism innovator, digital computing pioneer and creator of system dynamics, Jay Forrester, and Isaac Asimov, renowned author of science fiction (including “The Foundation Trilogy” and its fictional discipline of psychohistory) and works of popular science. Their lengthy exchange took place at a workshop in 1975 and four descriptions of it are extant. What emerges in passing is a possible link between Asimov's thinking and Forrester's work on “World Dynamics”. Most notable, however, is that the encounter saw the two exchanging ideas on how to think about the future, how to bring about a desirable future, and quite what that desirable future should look like. The two had fundamental differences on key points. The paper explores the unusual interaction, drawing out the points of disagreement and agreement in the views of the two and how they applied these to thinking about the future.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:No
Divisions:Henley Business School > Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting
ID Code:106702
Publisher:Wiley

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