Wednesday, February 24, 2021
The Foundation series is a science fiction book series written by American author Isaac Asimov. First published as a series of short stories in 1942–50, and subsequently in three collections in 1951–53, for thirty years the series was a trilogy: Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation. It won the one-time Hugo Award for "Best All-Time Series" in 1966. Asimov began adding new volumes in 1981, with two sequels: Foundation's Edge and Foundation and Earth, and two prequels: Prelude to Foundation and Forward the Foundation. The additions made reference to events in Asimov's Robot and Empire series, indicating that they were also set in the same fictional universe.The premise of the stories is that, in the waning days of a future Galactic Empire, the mathematician Hari Seldon spends his life developing a theory of psychohistory, a new and effective mathematical sociology. Using statistical laws of mass action, it can predict the future of large populations. Seldon foresees the imminent fall of the Empire, which encompasses the entire Milky Way, and a dark age lasting 30,000 years before a second empire arises. Although the inertia of the Empire's fall is too great to stop, Seldon devises a plan by which "the onrushing mass of events must be deflected just a little" to eventually limit this interregnum to just one thousand years. To implement his plan, Seldon creates the Foundations—two groups of scientists and engineers settled at opposite ends of the galaxy—to preserve the spirit of science and civilization, and thus become the cornerstones of the new galactic empire.One key feature of Seldon's theory, which has proved influential in real-world social science, is the uncertainty principle: if a population gains knowledge of its predicted behavior, its self-aware collective actions become unpredictable.Source:
Here is Graham's email to me:
Hi Mr O,
Noticed you mentioned the Foundation series this morning......
Foundation is an upcoming American science fiction television series based on the book series of the same name by Isaac Asimov and produced by David S. Goyer for Apple TV+. In January 2021, Goyer stated “...with Foundation we can tell the story, hopefully, over the course of eighty episodes; eighty hours, as opposed to trying to condense it all into two or three hours for a single film”. Foundation is set to premiere in 2021
On June 22, 2020, as part of its Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple released a teaser trailer for the series. Apple also announced that the series will premiere in Autumn 2021.
Thanks, Graham, I am looking forward to watching it. I remeber being right into Asimov sci fi in my uni days.
The following pics and text were sent to me by John P, thanks John . . .
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Good evening Otto,There is a film produced by and starring Clint Eastwood called “The Mule”. There is a song in the movie written by Toby Keith with a line that says, “Ask yourself how old you would be if you didn’t know the day you were born.” Pretty cool movie and song.Stay safe,Tim B
G’day Otto,Ref Bytes 8th February.I am not sure about the swear words and references to anatomies, but I have a friend who we call The Count (his real name is Stephen P##) and this is how his nickname came about.Stephen used to be a director of one of Australia’s largest suppliers of a particular product I sold in my business. He left them to work for a major competitor, which put him in ‘the bad books’.I arrived at the conference with Stephen a few months later and we eventually split up and started chatting to various groups of people we knew. Stephen’s original employers (my suppliers) called me over and said some very derogatory things about him... calling him by the C word.Later that morning, I found Stephen again and said, ‘I didn’t know that you had Royal blood.’‘I don’t,’ he said, surprised.‘Well, that’s not what your ex employers just said, coz they asked me if I was doing business with that Count P##!’That is a true story actually (I have used SP’s real name [which I changed - Otto] and I think he may be a Bytes subscriber). Now everyone calls him a silly old Count, and his wife The Countess!Steve m
Well Otto, yer done donnit agin. I’m from Alabama and I shore did love that there poem. Seriously, I did enjoy it, and it did in fact remind of Home. I still have a hundred acres in Alabama with a cabin on it and it seems like every time I go over there, there is one more trailer on a lot down the street. I don’t think the kids move away from their parents, they just buy a trailer and put it in the back yard.A guy from Georgia, true story here, hit the lottery and when they asked him what he was going to do with the money, he said, “buy a double wide and move to Alabama”, and I think that’s exactly what he did. God, I love the South and the people in it.Now Y’all stay safe Otto, yer hear, I’m fixin to git ready fer bed.Tim B
p.s. We lived with my grandparents in Flea Hop, Alabama, real community, when my Dad went to Korea in 1952. We had no indoor bathroom and used the outhouse behind the smoke house. It sure makes you appreciate the conveniences we have today, especially a warm bathroom on a cold winter morning. 😊
Monday, February 22, 2021
Thanks to John P for sending me the pics and text below of bygone American days . . .
Sunday, February 21, 2021
“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”
“While the evidence tells me that the death penalty does little to deter crime, I believe there are some crimes–mass murder, the rape and murder of a child so heinous that the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage by meting out the ultimate punishment.”(The Audacity of Hope 2006)
What an interesting Bytes today, Otto. Thank you. Very thought provoking. In this technological age where science is more proven than ever before and with the introduction of DNA, there is less chance of someone being executed wrongly because of an incorrect verdict .There are cases in Australia for instance, heinous murders where you would be hard pressed to find someone who disagrees that the foul, disgusting people who murdered Janine Balding, Ebony Simpson and Anita Cobby (for example) should not be put to death. Instead, as Peter Simpson famously said on the steps of the court after his daughter’s killer was sentenced – He got bed and breakfast, we got a life sentence.The true measure of fair sentencing is the public’s expectation, and it is there that the Justice System has it all wrong. Generally speaking, I believe that most of us don’t care about the rehabilitation of vile murderers, paedophiles, rapists and the like – lock them away, shove a cup of water and a tin of cold baked beans under their cell door twice a day and forget about them. The world is a much better place without them as they contribute nothing to society – would they if they were rehabilitated? Who cares?They had their chance and failed to take it – many of them, several times over. Don’t give them another chance, for they all know the difference between right and wrong.That is real justice - justice for their victims and their victims’ families, who do not get a second chance.The lawyer in you may well say that emotions should not interfere with sentencing, and again, that is where the Justice system has it wrong, in my opinion. Emotions mean everything, because they come from surviving family members whose lives have been shattered and can never be repaired. How about we think about rehabilitating them?The old argument that I am talking about ‘revenge’ could well come to the fore, but I would argue that am talking about fairness and reasonable expectation.Look forward to a debate with you and Thomas one day soon, over lunch.I will leave with the famous quote from Mr Bumble, no offence intended:"The law is a ass — a idiot. If that's the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is, that his eye may be opened by experience — by experience.”With best regards always,Steve m
Saturday, February 20, 2021
Capital punishment has been formally abolished in Australia. It was last used in 1967, when Ronakld Ryan was hanged in Victoria. Ryan was the last of 114 people executed in the 20th century and prior to his execution Queensland and New South Wales had already abolished the death penalty for murder. Brenda Hodge became the last person sentenced to death in August 1984. Her sentence was commuted to life imprisonment and she was paroled in 1995. It was removed as a punishment for murder in all states by 1984 when the state of Western Australia abolished the death penalty for all crimes, and the next year NSW removed death as a possible punishment for treason, piracy and arson of naval dockyards.Between Ryan's execution and 1984, occasional death sentences were passed in Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia, but were commuted to life imprisonment. In 2010 Federal legislation prohibited capital punishment in all Australian states and territories.
Derek Bentley was hanged at 9am on 28th January 1953. The hangman, Albert Pierrepoint, wrote about meeting Bentley on the morning of his death. He said:
“When you go to hang a boy of 19 years old, it does not matter that he is tall and broad-shouldered, for at nine o’clock on the morning he is to die, he still looks only a boy. And so did Derek Bentley, when the sickly green door of the condemned cell was abruptly whisked open for me on January 28, 1953. He sat at his prison table, watching the doorway.
When I walked in with my assistant and the group of silent prison officials crowding behind us, I believe that because we were all dressed so normally, in everyday lounge suits, young Derek Bentley thought then, at that moment, we had come with his reprieve.
His face glowed with an instant of eagerness. Then he saw the yellow leather strap in my right hand, and his eyes fixed upon it. The sight of this wiped all the hope from his expression. He stood up very slowly and clumsily. For all his youthfulness, he was the tallest person in that pale little room.
In some ways the wait in the Wandsworth death cell had been better for Bentley than for many murderers who went before him. Until the very last moment, a reprieve seemed possible.”
As Bentley was led towards the rope, he sobbed his last words, “I didn’t say it. I didn’t tell Chris to shoot the policeman.”