Foundation Time Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph)
"And don't forget this. Even though [Seldon] could foresee the problem then, we can see it equally well now. Therefore, if he could foresee the solution then, we should be able to see it now." (II.5.68)
As we said in the "Fate and Free Will" section, Seldon's plan isn't a crystal ball scenario. It's about paying attention to the past and present and gathering what data you can to plan the best future. Anyone can do it, so long as you keep your eyes open and no. 2 pencils sharpened.
And for the third time: "Don't you see? It's Galaxy-wide. It's a worship of the past. It's a deterioration—a stagnation!" (II.5.76)
History is great. (We're big fans here at Shmoop.) But, worshipping the past as the best and only source of knowledge and truth, well that's just stupid. Such thoughts lead to stagnation, which in turn leads to death. And death does not bode well for any future.
"For the first time in over seventy years, we are facing a major domestic political crisis. I should think the synchronization of the two crises, inner and outer, puts it beyond all doubt." (V.2.12)
The pattern of the past dictates our view of the future. If someone sees a pattern in the past, they'll look for that pattern in the present to consider possible future actions. Pattern recognition: it's how human beings do what they do. Luckily, we're also smart enough to know when our brains are just playing tricks on us. We hope.