Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

We are living in the alternate history ...

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • We are living in the alternate history ...

    What if:

    Our current reality is the alternate history?

    The year is 2007, you are working on your PHD in the fledgling science of "Psychohistory", which uses history, sociology ,mathematics and the laws of statistics to predict the actions of large large groups of people and to predict the general flow of future events. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychohistory_(fictional) )

    Your thesis is that the actions of one individual, or a small group, which normal Psychohistory theories state cannot be predicted can still effect the actions of large groups in predictable ways.

    Your theories have drawn the attention of a shadowy government group who are using a time travel device in an attempt to improve the current timeline. Technology limitations and Psychohistory statistics mean that the most logical place to push on the timeline is WWII.

    Some guidlines:

    a. Only small groups of people and equipment can be sent back. Say up to a Company of tanks or something of similar size;
    b. The unit can and must be brought back at certain 'quantum time' intervals (6 months? You pick). Your psychohistorical analysis shows that if the presence of the unit and its' actions should become known in the past, the results of their actions become unpredictable.
    c. Psychohistory shows that killing Hitler, or another major world leader, will not derail the current timeline. There is too much 'historical inertia' involved.

    One planned operation:

    Inject into the battle of Midway a low flying UAV. Sunlight glinting off the wing draws LCdr McClusky's eyes toward the Japanese destroyer returning to the fleet. Historically McClusky did not see the ship, his dive bombers from Enterpise searched fruitlessly for the Japanese carriers and ended up landing on Midway on gas fumes. Midway was an even exchange battle, 2 carriers each and the Pacific war dragged on into 1946. In the new history (our history) he leads his group in the direction the ship is steaming, finds the Japanese fleet, and the rest, as they say, is history ....

    Any other thoughts?
    Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics.

  • #2
    I recall a short story, about a pair of Germans who take their time machine back to influence Robert E Lee. General Lee imeadiatly identifies them as 1. travelers from the future who hope to influence him. 2. Only the 300th such visit of travelers from the future Lee has experinced. 3. A plague upon him as all their advice he has followed has had unexpected and bad results. Lee calls for the guard to escourt the pair away and returns to preparing his letter of surrender.

    Most of the other storys I've read on this theme revolve around the change initiating a cascade of other changes that make the future unrecongnizable when the time travelers return.

    Comment


    • #3
      Sure, there is very little new in SF ideas. This post is mostly an excuse to discuss episodes in the war that could have gone the other way but for the actions of a small group or even one person.

      Psychohistory, from the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, allows the mythical interfering group to predict they will get our world as a result of their meddling.
      Last edited by Roadkiller; 17 Sep 07, 20:13.
      Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Roadkiller View Post
        Sure, there is very little new in SF ideas. This post is mostly an excuse to discuss episodes in the war that could have gone the other way but for the actions of a small group or even one person.

        Psychohistory, from the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, allows the mytical interfering group to predict they will get our world.
        Hmm I was wondering if you were an Azimov fan.
        Life is change. Built models for decades.
        Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
        I didn't for a long time either.

        Comment


        • #5
          I read a lot of his stuff when I was a teen-ager (far distant past )

          I never understood why other authors never pilfered the Psychohistory idea, it always struck me that there was more that could be said from that premise.
          Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Roadkiller View Post
            I never understood why other authors never pilfered the Psychohistory idea, it always struck me that there was more that could be said from that premise.
            Indirectly some did. I'd have to dig to cite titles & auhors from several decades ago. Obvious pilfering may be rare in part because of Azimovs writing style. He was so skilled at stimulating the readers imagination with a few sentences that less talented copyists simply could not translate the ideas. More talented writers perfered to rework the concepts in their own terms.

            Comment


            • #7
              for every one universe their is a infite amount of alternete universis
              "The people never have the power, only the illusion of it. And here is the real secret: they don't want it. The responsibility is too great to bear. It's why they are so quick to fall in line as soon as someone else takes charge."
              "

              Comment


              • #8
                We had a discussion in High School many decades ago where I postulated that we are all living a dream within a dream and that we are all in it. The debate got very heated as neither side could prove it either was or wasn't true.

                Regards
                "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

                "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

                Comment


                • #9
                  Changing WWII battle events (with a few rare exceptions) does nothing but move the timeline of it's end forward or backwards. Removing key figures at certain points (Hitler before the war, Zhukov in 1941, Goering in 1940 - maybe earlier, Stalin pre-1942, Eisenhower before SHAEF, Montgomery before Rommel rolls into Egypt, Churchill just after France is overrun - just to name a few) would be the only way to disrupt the timeline sufficently to change the outcome.

                  Affecting any one individual battle would be negligble in affecting the overall war. It would take a major military or political figure's removal (or addition) to affect anything specifically due to the 'historical inertia' such figures have already imparted into the system. If an 800lb 'historical' gorilla got things rolling, the 'historical' fly (or swarm of them) is not going to significantly change things. Tweak, yes, have an effect, possibly, change things beyond what we would recognize today (ie. change history), no.
                  If voting could really change things, it would be illegal.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Roadkiller View Post
                    One planned operation:

                    Inject into the battle of Midway a low flying UAV. Sunlight glinting off the wing draws LCdr McClusky's eyes toward the Japanese destroyer returning to the fleet. Historically McClusky did not see the ship, his dive bombers from Enterpise searched fruitlessly for the Japanese carriers and ended up landing on Midway on gas fumes. Midway was an even exchange battle, 2 carriers each and the Pacific war dragged on into 1946. In the new history (our history) he leads his group in the direction the ship is steaming, finds the Japanese fleet, and the rest, as they say, is history ....

                    Any other thoughts?
                    What if the sea plane had taken off at its scheduled time, instead of being delayed? It would have seen the US carriers before the US was able to locate the Japanese fleet. Maybe that's the altered reality.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Andy H View Post
                      We had a discussion in High School many decades ago where I postulated that we are all living a dream within a dream and that we are all in it. The debate got very heated as neither side could prove it either was or wasn't true.

                      Regards
                      Gary Renaud & similar authors charge folks a lot of money for their books & lectures teaching that same idea.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        AH always interesting to play around with. Humans and our concept of time, but yet we dream it could be changed or twisted. When I see thoughout our history all the things we've dreamt, and then thought impossible, yet so many of those things have come to pass. So are we living in an alternate timeline.......................................... .....................


                        or are we




                        Eternal War(gaming) Armoured Struggle Car Bob

                        History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis.
                        Lazarus Long

                        Draw the blinds on yesterday and it's all so much scarier....
                        David Bowie

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by chrisvalla View Post
                          ... It would take a major military or political figure's removal (or addition) to affect anything specifically due to the 'historical inertia' such figures have already imparted into the system. ....
                          Why did Churchill hate Hitler and the Nazis's from the very beginning? Perhaps he already knew what they would bring! A different Churchill is inserted into the timeline during his foray in South Africa (the 'real' one died there) and set about to change time, resulting in today's world.
                          Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Someone would have to exist in the dead-Churchill timeline to put him into the living-Churchill one thereby changing everything from that point on and possibly creating a paradox where the possibility never exists to send the live Churchill through to replace the dead one. You also have to assume a multi-verse exists that allows individuals to be removed from their 'current timeline' and placed in another to exact the outcome you desire (supposedly 'time' currents will keep the river flowing the direction it has chosen no matter how many rocks you through in it, fate if you will... not something I subscibe to... but who is to say whether fate or the multiverse is the default 'time-event' setting?).

                            Besides, if you're living in the 'divergent' timeline after the event that 'changes' occurs, you have no way of knowing you're the divergent one since to you, that IS your timeline. You can never live in the 'alternate' timeline without knowledge of the 'original'.
                            If voting could really change things, it would be illegal.

                            Comment

                            Latest Topics

                            Collapse

                            Working...
                            X