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by Isaac Asimov
Foundation Part IV, Chapter 3 Summary
When Ponyets enters Gorov's room, Gorov is surprised to see the trader. We'll see whether or not it's a good or bad surprise. Ponyets says he's technically there as Gorov's "spiritual advisor," and Gorov approves of the strategy (so, a good surprise). Gorov tells Ponyets the Grand Master wants gold, which is their medium of exchange. (Basically, like asking someone to may you in dollar bills. Seems reasonable.) As a bonus, the Grand Master will keep Gorov alive so long as the promise of gold is in the air. Ponyets has two problems though: (1) Where is he going to find gold? (2) Once he gets out, Gorov is just going to return to Askone to try and sell those nucleics. So, if Gorov is just going to be caught again anyway, doesn't that defeat the purpose of giving the Grand Master his gold? Ponyets wants to know the whole exposition story. Askone helps keep the Foundation safe in the Periphery. But their religion views science and technology as a sin, since their ancestors fought the technology of the Empire when it was still strong. Since the Foundation tech comes with the stigma of religion, trading their tech is a no-go. They're like the Amish of the Periphery, but without the cool beards. The plan is to force the planet to adopt technology by getting a diplomat to accept Foundation tech and then change the law. Once they adopt technology, the Foundation will have a foothold in Askone's society—just like at Anacreon from the last story. Now, it's Ponyets problem. Good luck, mate.
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