Instead of Foundation
Apparently, Paul Krugman wanted to be Hari Seldon:
Asked to name his great inspiration, he says: Isaac Asimov's Foundation series--a tale of super social scientists who can accurately pinpoint laws of mass social behavior that allow them to predict, and manipulate, all of human civilization and future history. "That's always what I wanted to be," saith the economist turned pundit. Good luck with that project, Dr. Krugman.If only he'd read The End of Eternity (also by Asimov) instead. In The End of Eternity, all of history is planned by the Eternals, planners who really are all-wise because they have time travel and can see what the effects of their actions will be, … and they still manage to make a mess of things:
“Any system like Eternity which allows men to choose their own future will end by choosing safety and mediocrity, and in such a Reality the stars are out of reach.”
Another attempt at being Hari Seldon?
Some of the commenters to the Reason article mention that Al-Qaeda is Arabic for Foundation. That shouldn't surprise us. The career of Mohammed is easier to understand if you think of him as a Hari Seldon of the seventh century—trying to create a system that will lead to a Second Empire ….