2149: "Alternate Histories"

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2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby kelvinc » Mon May 13, 2019 3:42 pm UTC

Image
Title text: "So their universe wouldn't have the iconic photo of a screaming Truman being hoisted aloft by the newspaper-printing machinery..."

Anyone figured out how to Google for MITHC in-universe alternate history (where the Allies won), that doesn't give results about how MITHC is itself alternate history?! :x

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby AveSharia » Mon May 13, 2019 3:54 pm UTC

This reminds me of my "What if it took a 60% majority to elect the president?" alternate history. I started from the last president to get 60% of the popular vote (Nixon 1972), who resigned leaving Ford in office until he died in 2006.

Ford's VP was Nelson Rockefeller, but in the 1976 election Ford replaced Rockefeller with Bob Dole, who presumably would have served as VP until Ford's death in 2006. President Dole would be in the 13th year of his presidency.

Obviously, 30+ years of Gerald Ford could have resulted in some other challenger getting 60% of the popular vote. But I mean, that's just pure speculation.

I can't find the analysis at the moment, but I remember trying to figure out who Dole's VP would be, using the ordinary line of succession. It was stunning how many times Newt Gingrich came close, but narrowly missed, becoming President.
Last edited by AveSharia on Mon May 13, 2019 3:55 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby IKnowNothing » Mon May 13, 2019 3:55 pm UTC

Is this story line the alternate "What if the allies had won" or "What if the allies had lost?"

500 levels might imply "What if the allies had won." Lost -> odd, Won -> even.

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby cellocgw » Mon May 13, 2019 4:02 pm UTC

The joke's on all of us: after two levels of AlternateHistory, it's just Turtles all the rest of the way.
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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby DavidSh » Mon May 13, 2019 4:20 pm UTC

kelvinc: You could try googling for "The Grasshopper Lies Heavy", Some of those results are about the alt-alt-history. I don't know anything that generalizes to other cases.


And as to which side is the winner on the 500th level in, I presume that the identies of the sides have been totally scrambled by about 100 levels in, and that the question of "which side won" has morphed into something else by 300 levels. As a guess.

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby leeharveyosmond » Mon May 13, 2019 4:47 pm UTC

1000 levels in: “Ringo was a really great drummer”

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby ijuin » Mon May 13, 2019 4:50 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:The joke's on all of us: after two levels of AlternateHistory, it's just Turtles all the rest of the way.

You mean, it’s Turtledoves all the way down. :wink:

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby leeharveyosmond » Mon May 13, 2019 4:54 pm UTC

AveSharia wrote:I can't find the analysis at the moment, but I remember trying to figure out who Dole's VP would be, using the ordinary line of succession. It was stunning how many times Newt Gingrich came close, but narrowly missed, becoming President.

As I recall there were several other Republicans in the running to become VP to Ford besides Bob Dole, and who might have become VP to Dole. One of them was a Hollywood hack who’d been elected Governor of California. I wonder what ever happened to him?

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby Sableagle » Mon May 13, 2019 5:10 pm UTC

Even 20 levels in, you're probably already looking at: "What if the Austro-Hungarian Empire had recognised the right to self-determination for ethnic groups within its territory in 1883 and begun a slow, careful process of devolution to local governments that would slowly become governments of geographically sensible independent republics with proportional representation, so by 1912 Serbia was already mostly independent and their future was looking rosy?"

What would that mean for Indian independence, 40 years later?
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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby svenman » Mon May 13, 2019 6:14 pm UTC

Um. Actually, in the timeline that we inhabit, Serbia was independent. How else could Austria-Hungary have declared war on it?
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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby ijuin » Mon May 13, 2019 6:15 pm UTC

leeharveyosmond wrote:As I recall there were several other Republicans in the running to become VP to Ford besides Bob Dole, and who might have become VP to Dole. One of them was a Hollywood hack who’d been elected Governor of California. I wonder what ever happened to him?

Which one? We’ve had two Hollywood hacks who have been elected governor of California.

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby Plasma_Wolf » Mon May 13, 2019 6:49 pm UTC

Take X and let X be a certain level.

What is the smallest X for which the alternate history described is the exact history as we know it in real life?

Of course, in this X I will have asked this question, and the answer will be a different number X', so X' =/= X, therefore X can't actually be the smallest X for which the condition in my question is met.

The search continues.

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby jonbly » Mon May 13, 2019 7:33 pm UTC

Dang, now I need a bobble-top-hat.

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby da Doctah » Mon May 13, 2019 7:41 pm UTC

leeharveyosmond wrote:1000 levels in: “Ringo was a really great drummer”

...and Yoko put the band back together?

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon May 13, 2019 7:47 pm UTC

Plasma_Wolf wrote:Take X and let X be a certain level.

What is the smallest X for which the alternate history described is the exact history as we know it in real life?

Of course, in this X I will have asked this question, and the answer will be a different number X', so X' =/= X, therefore X can't actually be the smallest X for which the condition in my question is met.

The search continues.


Will X' and X be different?

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby SuicideJunkie » Mon May 13, 2019 8:07 pm UTC

The story of what would happen if life had arisen on Earth instead of The Moon.

The incredible power of each earthling is pretty handwavy, but its needed to compensate for the higher gravity and make a decent story.
The fandom really were put off when it was explained as them containing mitochondria, but most people just pretend that explanation doesn't exist.

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby MarkGyver » Mon May 13, 2019 8:39 pm UTC

Plasma_Wolf wrote:What is the smallest X for which the alternate history described is the exact history as we know it in real life?

X = 0 seems to work.

If you mean positive integers, then X exists only if the recursive alternate histories are cyclical. Note that X is relative, so what someone X levels deep calls X is what you'd call 2•X. Also, the you that's X levels deep (presumably) thinks they're 0 levels deep, just like you (presumably) do.
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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby GlassHouses » Mon May 13, 2019 11:14 pm UTC

ijuin wrote:
leeharveyosmond wrote:As I recall there were several other Republicans in the running to become VP to Ford besides Bob Dole, and who might have become VP to Dole. One of them was a Hollywood hack who’d been elected Governor of California. I wonder what ever happened to him?

Which one? We’ve had two Hollywood hacks who have been elected governor of California.

In defense of Schwarzenegger, while he's not a great actor, he had a good run of movies that were genuinely fun to watch. Reagan, on the other hand, was he ever more than a John Wayne wannabe?

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby Flumble » Tue May 14, 2019 12:00 am UTC

SuicideJunkie wrote:The story of what would happen if life had arisen on Earth instead of The Moon.

The incredible power of each earthling is pretty handwavy, but its needed to compensate for the higher gravity and make a decent story.
The fandom really were put off when it was explained as them containing mitochondria, but most people just pretend that explanation doesn't exist.

The worst offence in my opinion is their hacky "reset" every time they get bored with the current species. I liked the trilobites, everyone likes trilobites, and they were basically indestructible, but nooooooo, they had to go and kill them off for no good reason. I liked how they ended Triassic with a huge explosion, but again, it was to further the plot at the expense of many main characters we liked and who didn't deserve it.

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby Old Bruce » Tue May 14, 2019 12:24 am UTC

GlassHouses wrote:
ijuin wrote:
leeharveyosmond wrote:As I recall there were several other Republicans in the running to become VP to Ford besides Bob Dole, and who might have become VP to Dole. One of them was a Hollywood hack who’d been elected Governor of California. I wonder what ever happened to him?

Which one? We’ve had two Hollywood hacks who have been elected governor of California.

In defense of Schwarzenegger, while he's not a great actor, he had a good run of movies that were genuinely fun to watch. Reagan, on the other hand, was he ever more than a John Wayne wannabe?

There is a story of an old Hollywood producer being informed that Reagan was president and he responded "No, No, NO! Jimmy Stewart as president, Reagan as best friend."

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby lllllllllwith10ls » Tue May 14, 2019 1:36 am UTC

"What happns when we go a couple levels out?"

"What do you man by that?"

"If we're an alternate history of another civilization where the allies lost WWII, then that civilization is -1 layers in."

"Um"

"Maybe we can generalize this to all real numbers"

"How would that even wor-"

"WE CAN USE COMPLEX NUMBERS!"
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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby SuicideJunkie » Tue May 14, 2019 4:47 am UTC

Flumble wrote:The worst offence in my opinion is their hacky "reset" every time they get bored with the current species. I liked the trilobites, everyone likes trilobites, and they were basically indestructible, but nooooooo, they had to go and kill them off for no good reason. I liked how they ended Triassic with a huge explosion, but again, it was to further the plot at the expense of many main characters we liked and who didn't deserve it.

They almost pulled another one this season but the writers changed tack last minute. Too derivative to reset with huge explosions again I suppose.

I think they're just trying to get our hopes up with the space arc before resetting to use cheaper actors again.

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby Plasma_Wolf » Tue May 14, 2019 7:26 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
Will X' and X be different?

I made the assumption of a different X' to extend the joke :)

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby Ranbot » Tue May 14, 2019 3:48 pm UTC

This reminds me of an idea for a TV series I had during the 2016 US election race... Because the race was so close and the candidates were so different I think it would be interesting if a fictional TV series imagined an alternative nearly-current history where fictional candidates (inspired by Hillary and Trump, but not actually them) each win the Presidency and follow both White House administrations with parallel timelines. Kind of like The West Wing x 2. The same or similar world events could happen to both administrations to imagine how they respond. There could be characters that cross-over timelines, to imagine how individuals would react to similar situations with different pressures on them.

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby PhilHibbs » Tue May 14, 2019 5:47 pm UTC

Eventually you will reach a subfiction where all the people die in a nuclear holocaust. Of course each subfiction will probably have several subfictions, like we have The Man In The High Castle, Fatherland, Six String Samurai, etc.

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby serutan » Wed May 15, 2019 3:13 am UTC

da Doctah wrote:
leeharveyosmond wrote:1000 levels in: “Ringo was a really great drummer”

...and Yoko put the band back together?


That would be at least level {Avagadro's Number}.

ijuin wrote:You mean, it’s Turtledoves all the way down. :wink:


To sum up, any level above 2 is simply a re-enactment of things from our timeline with the names changed?

ijuin wrote:Which one? We’ve had two Hollywood hacks who have been elected governor of California.


One of whom would have to wait for a timeline where the Constitution did not call for a native born President.

Now if you really wanted to go all out on this, may I suggest Larry Niven's All the Myriad Ways.
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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby duefiori » Wed May 15, 2019 5:09 am UTC

This reminds me of counter-factual game on The Big Bang Theory. The one about tuned bayonets, yes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lpY0Kt4bn8

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby somitomi » Wed May 15, 2019 8:39 am UTC

Sableagle wrote:Even 20 levels in, you're probably already looking at: "What if the Austro-Hungarian Empire had recognised the right to self-determination for ethnic groups within its territory in 1883 and begun a slow, careful process of devolution to local governments that would slowly become governments of geographically sensible independent republics with proportional representation, so by 1912 Serbia was already mostly independent and their future was looking rosy?"

Don't know about India, but I have strong feeling Hungary would be a lot better off.
PhilHibbs wrote:Eventually you will reach a subfiction where all the people die in a nuclear holocaust. Of course each subfiction will probably have several subfictions, like we have The Man In The High Castle, Fatherland, Six String Samurai, etc.

Cool, then we might be able to write a recursive alt-history generator without worrying about a stack overflow.
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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby gmalivuk » Wed May 15, 2019 8:34 pm UTC

Fuhrerreich is a mod for Hearts of Iron 4 at the second level of WW1 alternate history.
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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby lllllllllwith10ls » Wed May 15, 2019 10:29 pm UTC

We could also do subfictions of other fictions, not just alternate histories. IT NEVER ENDS MUAHAHAHAHA!!!
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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby dzamie » Wed May 15, 2019 10:41 pm UTC

PhilHibbs wrote:Eventually you will reach a subfiction where all the people die in a nuclear holocaust. Of course each subfiction will probably have several subfictions, like we have The Man In The High Castle, Fatherland, Six String Samurai, etc.

Well yes, of course an ever-deepening search, be it width- or depth-first, will hit some dead ends. You leave those as "fiction" leaf nodes and continue on.
Hell, there's a really easy 2-jump nuclear holocaust ending: everything continues the same as our timeline, except Stanislav Petrov reports the incident as a true positive and everyone starts throwing nukes everywhere.

duefiori wrote:counter-factual game on The Big Bang Theory

That looks... surprisingly fun. Below is spoilered because I got way too much into trying to justify tuned bayonets.
Spoiler:
And while I can't quite believably figure out "tuned bayonets," the "obvious" answer of "a harpsichord," I realize, must be incorrect because harpsichords would have been outlawed or heavily restricted - at least to the point where you wouldn't be allowed to play one in public without significant government oversight - due to a rash of incidents in which a terrorist disguises a piano as a harpsichord, clavichord, or similar keyed instrument and inflicts multiple casualties.
That is, of course, assuming that "piano is a weapon" still refers to something very similar to what we think of as a piano, rather than something mechanically unrelated but sharing the name. In that case, "piano" as a weapon would refer to either a silenced gun (taking its Italian root of "soft" directly) or it's still a shortening of "pianoforte," referring to a weapon which could be used loudly or softly - possibly a bayonetted rifle. Here, however, the French town of Baionne would rise to fame not as a manufacturer of small bladed weapons but later as a prominent manufacturer of organs, harpsichords, and similar instruments (this leap I unfortunately can't defend). "Baionnette/bayonet" would then refer to one of their smaller instruments, rather than a full church organ. Hence, a "tuned bayonet" would refer to what we consider a baby grand that's in proper tune.
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Code: Select all

:Clrhome
:while 1
:Output(randInt(1,8),randInt(1,16),randInt(0,9))
:Output(randInt(1,8),randInt(1,16)," ")
:Output(randInt(1,8),randInt(1,16)," ")
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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby orthogon » Thu May 16, 2019 3:55 pm UTC

I like that what we (Brits) would, in careful language, call the "alternative histories" are in fact also alternate histories in this case, since the result of WWII alternates between the Allies winning and losing. It's almost too good to be accidental...
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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby SuicideJunkie » Thu May 16, 2019 7:56 pm UTC

lllllllllwith10ls wrote:"What happns when we go a couple levels out?"

"What do you man by that?"

"If we're an alternate history of another civilization where the allies lost WWII, then that civilization is -1 layers in."

"Um"

"Maybe we can generalize this to all real numbers"

"How would that even wor-"

"WE CAN USE COMPLEX NUMBERS!"
I'm thinking you could encode which alternate history you're talking about into the fractional parts so you can uniquely identify every reality branching inwards.
1.1 is the first alternate history of our reality.
2.051 is the 5th alternate history of the 10th alternate history of our reality.
etc.
-3.122 is the second reality that wrote about the second reality that wrote about the first reality to write about this history we're living in now.

Complex numbers would be needed to describe cousin histories outside of your own write-cone.

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby gmalivuk » Thu May 16, 2019 8:37 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
I like that what we (Brits) would, in careful language, call the "alternative histories" are in fact also alternate histories in this case, since the result of WWII alternates between the Allies winning and losing. It's almost too good to be accidental...

Do Brits not use "alternate" as an adjective?
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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu May 16, 2019 9:07 pm UTC

From orthogon's post I infer that they use "alternate" as an adjective meaning "switching back and forth", but not for meaning "a different option", for which they would use "alternative".

So in a pattern of blue and black stripes, the blue and black are alternate colors, because they alternate. But a pattern of white and gold stripes isn't an alternate pattern to that blue and black pattern (unless there is a still further pattern of blue-and-black, then white-and-gold, then blue-and-black again, etc), it's an alternative pattern.
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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby GlassHouses » Thu May 16, 2019 9:45 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:So in a pattern of blue and black stripes, the blue and black are alternate colors, because they alternate.

Wouldn't those be alternating?

/English language breaking my brain

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby orthogon » Thu May 16, 2019 10:43 pm UTC

GlassHouses wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:So in a pattern of blue and black stripes, the blue and black are alternate colors, because they alternate.

Wouldn't those be alternating?

/English language breaking my brain

Yes: something didn't sound quite right about Pfhorrest's example, although the explanation was spot-on. Thank you for pointing it out! I think the colours are alternating, whereas alternate has to qualify the stripes, in a sentence like "alternate stripes are black").

ETA: I think "alternate" is acting as a kind of determiner. It specifies which stripes you're referring to.
Last edited by orthogon on Thu May 16, 2019 10:50 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu May 16, 2019 10:44 pm UTC

That's how I would say it in my American English dialect, but I gather from orthogon's post that in England they do it the other way.

EDIT: Ninja'd.
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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby svenman » Fri May 17, 2019 5:58 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:So in a pattern of blue and black stripes, the blue and black are alternate colors, because they alternate. But a pattern of white and gold stripes isn't an alternate pattern to that blue and black pattern (unless there is a still further pattern of blue-and-black, then white-and-gold, then blue-and-black again, etc), it's an alternative pattern.

But what if, when you look at a picture of the pattern, your brain switches back and forth between interpreting it as either white and gold or blue and black?
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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri May 17, 2019 6:56 am UTC

Then those are alternate interpretations.
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