Paul Krugman Interview

Believe it or not, Nobel laureate Paul Krugman’s love of science fiction is the principal focus of an interview conducted by Amy Sutherland for the Boston Globe.

KRUGMAN: I just finished Ken MacLeod’s “The Restoration Game,” which was great fun. And I am rereading Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation Trilogy” because I am supposed to write an introduction to a new edition. That is pleasure and work together.

BOOKS: That trilogy was formative for you wasn’t it?

KRUGMAN: I first read them when I was a teenager. I was really inspired by the psychohistorians, who used statistics and social sciences to predict the future. I knew it was fiction, but what really struck me is the notion that the science of what people do could be important. I wanted to be one of those guys.

He also praises Frank Herbert and Iain Banks. And Charles Stross: will this inspire another t-shirt?

[Via Michael Walsh and the peripatetic Andrew Porter.]

10 thoughts on “Paul Krugman Interview

  1. I’m surprised there isn’t an “All I learned about life, I learned from Isaac Asimov” or “All I learned about life, I learned from Robert Heinlein” t-shirt.

  2. Really, there ought to be. And we know Heinlein’s curriculum is in Lazarus Long’s list of everything a person should be able to do.

    Asimov’s lessons begin with “Violence is the last resort of the incompetent.” What else did we learn from him?

  3. On what subject have we not learned something from Isaac Asimov? He was a living encyclopedia, probably knowing more than everyone who ever edited Wikipedia combined.

  4. Asimov did *not* know how to pronounce the word “robot,” for one thing. He always said “rawbut” or “ribbet” or something.

  5. “The earliest citation of the 5-2-1 rule I’ve ever seen is this one, calling it Passovoy’s Rule.”

    We were using it at SunCon in 1977 and IguanaCon in 1978; it was in use at MidAmericon in ’76, as I recall.

  6. Okay, it goes back even further than I remembered seeing it. It’s a good rule, and should be followed in all facets of life, not just at conventions.

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