2149: "Alternate Histories"

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby orthogon » Fri May 17, 2019 1:15 pm UTC

Update: the Wikipedia page on English Determiners lists every other, which is more or less a synonym for alternate in the British usage. So it seems my guess last night had some merit.

Interestingly though, every other treats the items individually (like every, requiring a singular noun), whereas alternate treats them as a group (like all, requiring a plural):

Alternate stripes are black <-> All stripes are black.
Every other stripe is black <-> Every stripe is black.

(Let's not worry about how they can be stripes if they're all black!)
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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri May 17, 2019 4:59 pm UTC

They could be stripes against some solid background, e.g. in martial arts you will often have a solid-color belt with some number of stripes of a different color on it. A red belt with four black stripes has a red chunk at the end, a black stripe, some more red, a black stripe, some more red, a black stripe, some more red, a black stripe, and then red for the rest of the belt. The three red spaces between the four black stripes don't count as stripes.

Also, is there a determinant that means the other set of alternate/every-other items? Like, I stay with my girlfriend every other weekend, but then she stays with me every.... other... other weekend. One weekend down there, one weekend up here, back and forth. But I haven't found a non-awkward way of saying that, without that "other other".
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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby Archgeek » Fri May 17, 2019 5:57 pm UTC

svenman wrote:
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?

I'd call that oscillating interpretations.

Pfhorrest wrote:Also, is there a determinant that means the other set of alternate/every-other items? Like, I stay with my girlfriend every other weekend, but then she stays with me every.... other... other weekend. One weekend down there, one weekend up here, back and forth. But I haven't found a non-awkward way of saying that, without that "other other".

Hmm... "My girlfriend and I stay at each-other's places on alternating weekends"?
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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby lllllllllwith10ls » Fri May 17, 2019 8:49 pm UTC

Can we talk about the comic here?
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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby dzamie » Fri May 17, 2019 9:09 pm UTC

lllllllllwith10ls wrote:Can we talk about the comic here?

So, in my alternate history where Germany won WWII, people use the words "alternate" and "alternative" in easy-to-understand, consistent, and logical fashions. Though, never all three fashions at once.

Code: Select all

:while 1
:Output(randInt(1,8),randInt(1,16)," ")
:Output(randInt(1,8),randInt(1,16)," ")

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby pelrigg » Tue May 21, 2019 11:48 pm UTC

And what if1 we went back to the previous century and "The Indians Won"?
Back in 1970 Martin Cruz Smith2 wrote a book about what would happen if Crazy Horse had lived and that American Indians winning and controlling the western U.S. from the Mississippi to the border of California {I don't remember how far north or south the Indian Nation was, I read it shortly after it came out.} Since its set in current day (1960-70's), he gives a history of the new North American continent; sadly I don't remember what he said about WWI or WWII, but I'm receiving vague impressions from the past that the Allies won.

So maybe that's where the top hats with pom-poms come from, the Indians winning.

1Hmmmm, that sounds like a wonderful name for a column (or maybe a even a book......)
2He also wrote "Gorky Park"3
3Something I did not know until I was trying to refresh my memory on this book.

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Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed May 22, 2019 4:56 am UTC

In my Chronicles of Quelouva, the stories set on Earth are set in an alternate history that's sort of a mashup of different common alternate history ideas that nevertheless wind up tracing out a history that resembles the broad strokes of ours on the whole instead of butterfly-effecting into something completely different thousands of years ago. Huge spoiler explanation for why:
that "alternate" history in the Chronicles was the original history, and our history is the result of forces outside of reality retconning certain fantastical elements out of that history and patching the remains of it together to roughly match the plot of the original sans those elements).

The earliest point of divergence is some stuff that happens in what we call Oceania a dozen millennia ago that indirectly causes them to track a technological development comparable to that of Europe, with a more-advanced Australian Aboriginal culture bridging elements of Dharmic religions and Polynesian culture in a way comparable to the mix of Greco-Roman culture, Abrahamic religion, and Germanic culture that shaped Europe. But the resulting culture was more isolationist than expansionist and so had little impact on the world outside of Oceania.

The next and far more influential point of divergence is when Moses, who was a historical person in that timeline, remained a prince of Egype and then ascended to the throne of Pharaoh surreptitiously planning to implement henotheistic religious reforms adapting the Egyptian religion into a broader Abrahamic context, "gods" as angels emanating from the one God, etc, with Judea set aside as a place for the Hebrews to practice a stricter (more monotheistic) version of the religion and supplicate the one true God. As a side effect of those changes, ancient Egypt never fell, and in time grew westward to encompass all of north Africa.

Meanwhile Greek empires still gave way to the Roman empire across the sea, and in that timeline Jesus' religious movement (which never framed him as the son of God, merely as a prophet and reformer, and never saw him crucified because Judea wasn't Roman-occupied) still eventually caught on with Constantine and became the state religion of the Roman Empire, once again reinterpreting the old Roman religion into an Abrahamic context. With Egyptian and Roman empires sharing variants of the same religion, eventually a kind of pan-Abrahamic superstate or union of states (comparable to the medieval European concept of "Christendom", but closer-knit) called Mediterranea formed.

As a consequence of Mediterranea being there, Islam could not really take hold in north Africa, and instead spread more down the east coast into south Africa, which became its biggest stronghold. With it also spread other cultural differences that, together with Mediterranean influence in north Africa, made all of Africa more technologically advanced than in our timeline, such that when the Age of Exploration came about, it was mostly Africans settling what we call South America, but the weird Judeo-Egyptian north Africans in what we'd call Brazil and Muslim south Africans south of there. The Inca managed to hold the Andes against the colonists, however, and when Mediterranea fractured amidst wars with their eastern enemies, what we call South America was left a weird melting pot of indigenous peoples and those now-abandoned colonists.

Meanwhile back in the Old World, the Mongols had invaded Russia (a Mediterranean colony along with the rest of northern Europe), and an Indian empire that had been long rivals with Egypt took advantage of that to reconquer Persia (which Mediterranea had previously conquered from them). Rome abandoning their northern European colonies to focus on that instead of the Mongols (because Persia was the gateway to Judea) lead to a breakaway Germanic empire of all northern Europe holding off the Mongols on its own, leading Rome to turn to quelling that insurrection and abandoning Egypt to fend off India themselves, with the result being India conquering Persia, the Mongols conquering Russia, and Mediterranea fracturing into German, Roman, and Egyptian empires again. Further fallout from that and consequent wars between Romans and Germans, and Egyptians and south Africans, lead to the further fracturing off of European states similar to those we have today: one around the British Isles, one around Iberia, one around what we'd call France, one in the southeast centered around Greece, another in the northeast centered around Poland, and the core of the German and Roman empires remaining roughly in our Germany and Italy. Africa similarly fell apart into smaller states in time. But still, technically the Ancient Egyptian empire and the Roman Empire never actually fell, they just lost a lot of territory.

And as the African empires abandoned their New World colonies, the European colonies in what we'd call North America (but they call Columbia) took advantage of their weakened parent states to fight for their own independence, with the east coast of our United States divided into basically New England in the north and New Spain in the south. Both revolutions were aided by the equivalent of the French to spite their rivals in Britain and Iberia, and the breakaway colonies united into a single country with their equivalent of French as their lingua franca (while maintaining their native tongues at home), so as to defend themselves against the remaining territories of their former parent countries in what we'd call Canada and Mexico. There was eventually an equivalent of the American Civil War, but it was fought not over African-American slavery, Africa having been powerful enough itself that that was a non-option for Europeans, but instead over Native American slavery. In that war, the South won, and the United States and Confederate States became separate unions.

Both still had westward aspirations, but in this timeline, Tecumseh won his war (with French aid), and an alliance of Native American nations managed to halt the westward expansion of European colonists, at least through what we call the United States; Canada and Mexico continued their own westward expansion. In time, the United States and the Native American union negotiated a kind of supranational union comparable to the EU, in alliance against Canada; and the Confederate States were consequently pressured into the need to join with them as well to hold their own against Mexico and not be cut off from the west entirely, leading to their eventual abolition of Native American slavery as a condition of joining. Between the three, something like our United States once again existed, and together liberated the Oregon and California territories from Canadian and Mexican rule, and I mean actually liberated because this westward expansion was lead primarily by Native American powers helping indigenous peoples further west to overthrow their colonial masters.

In Europe meanwhile, France under Napoleon had conquered all of Europe, and that was the prompt for that timeline's equivalent of World War II, there having been no World War I exactly: the Germans (under Hitler) and Romans (under Mussolini) together conspired to overthrow French rule, reconquer their own historic territories, and then all bets are off and they can go back to being bitter rivals again. And they halfway won: they did overthrow French rule, but their former colonies elsewhere in Europe allied together to defend their own mutual independence, leading to Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy merely being contained, but not dissolved, while Britain and Iberia reclaimed their independence from France and did not submit to their old imperial masters, but were themselves still of a largely fascist bent (Iberia being not so different from our own history). Also during that war, the Mongol and Indian empires finally fractured, and their breakaway western portions Russia and Persia were the first to develop and use nuclear weapons, again Japan and their allies in the Philippines respectively, in defense of their still-culturally-allied northern and southern Asian brethren whom the former powers were invading.

In the aftermath of that war, an analogue of our Cold War still happened, with an internationalist form of communism spreading throughout Asia, Africa, and what we'd call South America, with the exceptions of China and the Incas who adopted a nationalist form of it instead; and with fascism still so prevalent in Europe, and growing in what we'd call north America, and starting to take root in what we'd call Oceania instead, the Cold War wasn't so much capitalism vs communism as fascism vs communism. ("But I repeat myself", I joke, but half seriously). Most of the communist parts of the world lagged behind or decayed into what we'd consider third-world status, and that Cold War ended around the same time as our did, but with the victorious hyperpowers of Europe/America/Oceania far more fascist than even in our timeline. The nominal end of the Cold War seamlessly transitioned into what would later be called the SIlent War -- contemporary with our time -- during which there was nominally no war, but the victorious fascists belatedly (by our history) began colonizing and plundering Africa, Asia, and what we'd call South America, meanwhile sewing the seeds of their own destruction as they began devolving internally into totalitarian prison-states where everyone was either some degree of prisoner/parolee under the thumb of the state just like the "communism" they had fought last century, or else a terrified "free patriot" desperately trying to show how they don't deserve to end up like that themselves.

There's a later war that sees their downfall in the face of a couple of global catastrophes, and the gradual ascension of a kind of libertarian-socialist Internation rising out of their liberated "third world" colonies, but that's then alternate future-history, not just alternate history. (That's also where the contemporary action of the story really begins, the rest of this all just being backstory).
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