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Friday, September 20, 2013

The Way The Future Was

   This is a spin off from a serious discussion on the von Mises Institute which I am going to summarise later. As part of it I suggested a scenario whereby Einstein went into some more profitable business and atomic power was delayed by 5 years. Bob replied with my quote and I counter replied.
"but had it been even 5 years later think how different history would have been"

Not different in the slightest.

Well, ok, very different for some million Japanese who would not have been irradiated, but the firebombings did more damage and cost much less.

- Knowing they would have to invade Japan the allies accept peace without occupation

- Japanese fight to the last man
- No atom bomb by 1945 means Soviets are able to attack western Europe.
- No atom bomb by 1945 means Soviets do not need to keep troops in Eastern Europe to counterbalance Bomb threat (these 2 depend on which side you think was the initial threat in the cold war - I incline strongly to #2)
- During peacetime the money for the Manhattan project is not secretly available (& the US is a relatively open society and in peacetime could not have built it without massive popular debate) so the US Bomb is at least 10 years later and the Soviets get it first
- Nuclear hysteria is not a factor so cheap nuclear electricity brings worldwide prosperity
- Since nuclear is a completely unknown quantity greater hysteria develops and it never becomes common
- Because there is no anti hysteria the Orion atomic rocket is built reaching "Mars by 1965, Saturn by 1970"
Don't know which, or others, would have happened but it would have been different.
This really only takes changes up to early 1970s. Further changes and indeed further branchings from those would certainly have happened.
I think this shows that historical extrapolation must be an extremely chaotic system. butterfly's wings and all that producing unpredictable secondary, tertiary, quadriatic(?) results.
But fun, if you are into that sort of thing and strictly logical.          

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