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Old 09-15-2019, 01:54 AM
ASL v2.0's Avatar
ASL v2.0 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Various
Posts: 625
This is a serious reply. I am not being flippant.

I reject the very notion of alternate history. Because you can’t just start at an event and say "what if they’d gone the other way?" Questions of free will aside, there is a causal chain that leads to decisions. Same goes with the mechanics of inanimate objects. You can’t, for example, simply ask "what if a kilometer-wide meteor had struck North America in 1776 and incinerated the continental congress?" because to have such an event occur would require a change to physical laws and/or a change to the formation of the solar system/galaxy/universe. That rock did not appear out of nowhere. It came from somewhere. So what changed prior to the impact to send it on a collision course? Did the moon have to be in a different place/phase? If so, then that holds true all the way back to the formation of the moon, the solar system, the galaxy, etc, etc. So, in this hypothetical world with the moon in a different phase, did William the Conquerer land in England on the same time of day, or did the shift in tides with the shift in lunar phases affect his landing? Did it effect the order of battle at Hastings, with William arriving a few hours ahead of or behind his real-world time? Did that mean an arrow didn’t happen to find Harold's eye because the winds were different? For that matter, was William even born? Was any historical figure we know of ever been born? Because sperm doesn’t fertilize eggs according to our fantasies. Just because we’d like to imagine an alternate history with all the same personalities doesn’t mean it’s the least bit likely.

Even if I grant for the sake of argument that the universe-altering event happens in or around 1707, all bets are off in terms of who gets born and who doesn’t. So maybe Queen Anne has a surviving male heir and the Hanovers never come to power. See where this is going? How do you even guess how history plays out after 1707 if you can’t even count on the Hanovers to take over the throne?

Alternate history is the ultimate non sequitur because we don’t even know where to start. Nothing follows from nothing.

Last edited by ASL v2.0; 09-15-2019 at 01:58 AM. Reason: sp