People like me, that have a life desire of pursuing the near infinite answers of the universe, often sit bored on the couch or in front of the computer on Google and think like a philosopher, wondering about the alternative, parallel side of father time, where events in history took a different path. Bizarre scenarios such as one where the United States doesn’t even exist or where humans have built spacecraft in the 1800s and colonized on Mars.
So in the midst of time it is always nice to think…
This is the type of question that the world begs to know the answer to but, sadly,will probably never find the answer to, unless we can find a Doc Brown who can supe up an old station wagon with a Flux capacitor. Which, to tell you the truth, is not worth the effort. If time travel were possible, wouldn’t it have already been invented, in the future? We should have people from the future in our time right now, telling us of events to come, helping us avoid tragedies. And if they are here, they sure haven’t helped the world much seeing that all of the what ifs we bring up haven’t been reversed,for better or worse. It’s kind of like asking Santa for that toy you’ve always wanted but never getting it at Christmas, even if he does promise you. And let’s be honest, there is no man in a red suit traveling to millions of houses in 140 countries dropping into random peoples houses in the middle of the night to deliver rather expensive presents that are seen on the shelves of Wal-Mart and other stores year round. Even Superman couldn’t do that. Shoot, I just ruined Christmas for a bunch of kids…oh,well…they need to be taught young.
Okay, enough of my ranting. Here are some frequently asked about what if scenarios and my best answers as to what would happen, leading to the present day:
If the attacks on the twin towers on 9/11/2001 had been avoided…
Pro: About three thousand lives would have been spared and the kids today would still have living family members and friends.
Pro: George W. Bush’s presidency wouldn’t have been remembered as so much of a joke but the man could have been respected and even gotten to speak at the 2012 Republican convention (where he was heavily shied away).
Con: America wouldn’t have beefed up security at airports and elsewhere and wouldn’t have been more prepared and aware against future attacks.
Con: Bin Laden would still be out there, America unaware of his devious plans, probably cooking up something even more destructive seeing that his “master plan” had been defeated.
Con: America would sink into total destruction and nuclear fallout, with severely mutated humans and animals (according to an episode of Family Guy).
If John F. Kennedy had not been assassinated or Lee Harvey
Oswald was caught in the act…
Pro: JFK would definitely have been reelected to another term, but…
Con: The Civil Rights Act wouldn’t have been put into action by Lyndon B. Johnson, making it quite tougher for blacks to win the racial movement (and JFK was not for equal rights).
Pro: The Vietnam War might have ended sooner.
If Abraham Lincoln had cancelled his trip to the Ford theater on that fatal night and was still alive…
Pro: Lincoln would have gone on to teaching as a professor at a college after his presidency.
Pro: He would have likely lived into his 80s.
Pro: As a mentor, Lincoln would have stayed in the White House with his son Robert.
Con: He would have wanted to ship the slaves back to Africa or to a small remote island, taking an emotional stand for the blacks being his strategy to win the people’s approval all along and to keep the Civil War under control.
If the Titanic had cleared the iceberg and not sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic…
Pro: The passengers, especially the steerage, would have gone onto America to live their hopes and dreams and find good paying jobs
Pro: Many of the well accomplished would have continued in their fields and gotten more fame, such as John Jacob Astor IV. Some of these people could have had fledgling businesses over in America, that might have continued on today
Pro: Perhaps the ship could have been sailed again and could have survived to this day and be put into a museum, fully intact
Pro: I wouldn’t have sat through a pointless 3D version of the film.
Con: Obviously, there wouldn’t have been a movie about the disaster, and we might not have heard of Leonardo DiCaprio for that matter.
If the Challenger space shuttle had not broken apart, and had successfully gone into space…
Pro: The teacher/astronaut Christa McAuliffe would have been celebrated for being the first teacher in space, not mourned for the loss of her.
Pro: NASA would have taken the developmental successes of Challenger and have applied them to future space shuttles
Pro: There wouldn’t have been a 32 month hiatus between missions, maybe allowing for another mission (possibly to the moon again?).
Con: Since there would have been no disaster, NASA wouldn’t have known how to react against possible future failures and wouldn’t have known what works and what doesn’t.
If the Internet existed a long, long time ago (Jesus’ time perhaps?)…
Pro: What we think we know now we would know for certain (If Ben Frankin really did fly a kite in a thunderstorm or if it was Christopher Columbus who first discovered the land that was to be called America.)
Pro: Things could have been done a lot quicker and efficiently, such as searching on Google for how to treat infections (not bleeding them out)
Con: People’s privacy and freedom would have been severely limited, especially back in the days of powerful empires. No one could have hid and the most powerful figures could have controlled and influenced people over the Internet in ways unimaginable for those days.
If dinosaurs had not gone extinct (damn you, meteorites or whatever did it)…
Pro: We could do more research on the dinosaurs and find ways to breed different types, leading to scientific advancements but…
Con: We surely wouldn’t be living like we are now because dinosaurs would have us literally backed up into a corner and…
Con: Other mammals (such as us) couldn’t have evolved and wouldn’t even exist
If Steve Bartman had kept his hands to himself in 2003…
Pro: The Cubs would have been 4 outs away from the Promise Land.
Con: They would have made it to the World Series against the New York Yankees, but the curse would still have rung true with the Cubs being overwhelming over matched. Yankees win series 4-1 and Bartman is still unknown.
These are basically edumucated guesses, and rather pointless, but it is fun to paint a picture of an alternate history where everything is turned upside down. And until some crazy scientist comes up with a way to travel back in time we will never know for certain whether Galileo was smoking weed while gazing at the stars or if curiosity did kill the cat.