Speed never hurt anybody--it's the sudden stop at the end. It's not how much change that signals danger, but how fast it's changing....
g. But as soon as he says something, passes on information in an altered form, or merely expresses an attitude--he becomes a reference point. He can be marked, measured and entered on a graph. His actions can be grouped with others and the action of the group measured. Man--and his society--then becomes a systems problem that can be fed into a computer. We've cut the Gordian knot of the three-L's and are on our way towards a solution."
* * * * *
"Stop!" Costa said, raising his hand. "I was with you as far as the 3L's. What are they? A private code?"
"Not a code--abbreviation. Linear Logic Language, the pitfall of all the old researchers. All of them, historians, sociologists, political analysts, anthropologists, were licked before they started. They had to know all about A and B before they could find C. Facts to them were always hooked up in a series. Whereas in truth they had to be analyzed as a complex circuit complete with elements like positive and negative feedback, and crossover sw
Yes, "societics" bears a striking resemblance to "psychohistory", but there the similarity between Harrison and Asimov ends. K-factor is a tightly written, plot driven, short story in which science plays a small role. The ending may surprise you.
If you know Kingsbury's Psychohistorical Crisis or Asimov's Foundation trilogy, here is a story with a similar subject, that is, government by computation. The author is able to compress an interesting spy story into a short SF novella. Recommended.