Not your usual "What's your favorite X" questions...

  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Apr 06, 2009 1:48 PM GMT
    So, rather than another political discussion or religion or what have you, I thought I'd ask one of my favorite questions for the dates I never have.

    There is no right answer, the only wrong answer is being a dick about the question. But I think it gives an interesting insight into how people think about the world and history, especially because it's not a question most people have a canned answer for.

    So here we go...

    You have a time machine.

    It can take you to three points in time.

    You can completely ignore all time paradox problems.

    You can breathe easy for worry about unexpected consequences.

    You can change THREE things in history.

    One in Ancient (Pre-rennaisance), one in Modern (Post-Rennaisance), and one specifically in American (or your country if you're not from here) history.

    Notice I said "things" not "events." So they can be as broad or specific as you like. From preventing (or causing) an assassination or what sport you played as a kid to changing an entire movement/political shift.

    What do you go back and change?

    Note: ignoring the question and saying, "I wouldn't change anything for fear of unexpected changes" defeats the purpose of the question and makes you a boring stick in the mud.
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    Apr 06, 2009 3:11 PM GMT
    Ancient: The Ark - I would've advised Noah to make it smaller. Back to the old joke about swatting those two flies...

    Modern: Adolf Hitler - would totally have killed his ass!

    American: George Bush? Never heard of him...
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    Apr 06, 2009 3:17 PM GMT
    Renaissance period: I'd like to have been around then - and maybe written a 16th century madrigal - love lyrics with homophonic passages.

    Post renaissance period: I'd like to have studied the rococco style of architecture and art - Sevres porcelain - Chippendale furniture - just prior to the rococo style giving way to neoclassicism.

    American history: I'd like to have taken part in economic trends in the late 1920's that would prevent the 1929 crash.
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Apr 06, 2009 3:50 PM GMT
    Interesting, a general history and a personal history response.

    Cool.
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    Apr 06, 2009 3:55 PM GMT
    How about this?

    Ancient:
    Stop the creation of the Bible - and the notion of a single (we're right you are wrong) religion - the source of most if not all early wars - and still plaguing us to this day.

    Not -so ancient:
    I'll have to agree w one of the writers above me - assassinate Adolph Hitler - he was pure evil.

    America:
    The person or persons (incl. Nixon) who did not see the first oil embargo ('73) as a warning sign for the US to strive for energy independence.
  • Rookz

    Posts: 947

    Apr 06, 2009 4:06 PM GMT
    Ancient: Egypt to see how beautiful Cleopatra is said to be, maybe she born with it? Maybe it’s Maybelline!

    Modern: Gone back to the Philippines and encouraged economy growth, prevent brain-drain, and made sure America supported the Philippines as opposed to supporting Japan. Stupid manga and anime.

    America: For the Pilipino men, who participated and fought in the World War II with America, they would earn their American Citizenship; earn their money they deserve instead of waiting and dying for the government to recognize their heroic acts.
  • Rookz

    Posts: 947

    Apr 06, 2009 4:08 PM GMT
    By the way, thank you for bringing up a fantasy / intellectual conversation piece.icon_biggrin.gif
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    Apr 06, 2009 4:20 PM GMT
    Today I would
    1. Live in Ancient Greece and study under Sophocles. He was the first playwright to begin to move away from the Greek Chorus and into dramas. It would be great to learn from him.

    2. the 1770's when they were writing the Constitution. I'd help them tweek the equal rights for all section

    3. 1931 pre hollywood code. They were more "gay friendly". Be a spokesperson to try and keep the gays out of the closet from that time forward.
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Apr 06, 2009 5:31 PM GMT
    withHonor saidBy the way, thank you for bringing up a fantasy / intellectual conversation piece.icon_biggrin.gif


    Figured it might be a departure from our usual topics.
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    Apr 06, 2009 5:38 PM GMT
    Ancient: not sure I would have changed anything, but I would have wanted to live in the court of Heian Period Japan just to see what it was like.

    Modern: Would have insisted that the the US Constitution be written with a ban on slavery.

    American: Would have fought like hell to keep JFK out of Dallas in November 1963.
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    Apr 06, 2009 5:44 PM GMT
    Great topic.

    Ancient: Giving the Roman cavalry the stirrup, giving them an advantage over the Goths, Vandals, and Huns and hopefully preventing the fall of civilization.

    Modern: Making Gavril Princip miss when he shot at Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

    American: Declining to collude in the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani and the annexation of Hawaii.

    That was lots more fun than guy-above-you threads.
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    Apr 06, 2009 5:50 PM GMT
    I only actually need the first

    Ancient: See that Christianity never makes it off the ground


    Everything else I thought about preventing to make the world a better actually results in some part from religious conflict
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    Apr 06, 2009 5:55 PM GMT
    AMT87 said Ancient: See that Christianity never makes it off the ground .Everything else I thought about preventing to make the world a better actually results in some part from religious conflict

    To do that you'd also need to wipe out Mohammed before he could unleash Islam on the world.
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    Apr 06, 2009 6:24 PM GMT
    1) Insure becomes Sufism and it's gentler elements dominate and push out the more aggressive and dogmatic interpretations of Islam. Oh, and study with Hafiz.

    2) Christian fundamentalists never grow to control or influence any aspect of government or society in general.

    3) I invent safe reliable cold fission ending the energy crisis and becoming a multitrillionaire in the process. (I need the funds to develop my network of global defense systems to annihilate Sedatives invasion fleet when it arrives.)
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    Apr 06, 2009 6:24 PM GMT
    Ancient - Waaayyy ancient - The big bang. That would be an awesome sight.

    Modern - The forging of the Constitution. I want to be the one in the back row waving the rainbow flag screaming "Girl, don't forget bout us! Oh, and I luuuvvv ur wig."

    American - Undo the assassination of Lincoln.
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    Apr 06, 2009 6:57 PM GMT
    Ancient: I'd like to visit ancient China. Would be cool

    Modern: Come up with a more environmentally friendly technology at the start of the Industrial Revolution so we wouldn't be in the mess we are now

    American: I'd go to the Roaring 20s, take my money out of the stock market 6 months before the crash, invest it in gold, and rest easy forever.
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Apr 06, 2009 7:45 PM GMT
    jp930 saidAncient - Waaayyy ancient - The big bang. That would be an awesome sight.

    Modern - The forging of the Constitution. I want to be the one in the back row waving the rainbow flag screaming "Girl, don't forget bout us! Oh, and I luuuvvv ur wig."

    American - Undo the assassination of Lincoln.


    Those wigs were almost always infested with lice...
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    Apr 06, 2009 8:15 PM GMT
    Oh I like this, we are talking European Renaissance here? 14th - 17th Century?

    Pre-Renaissance, I'd go and witness the building of Stonehenge, find out the how and the why.

    Post-Renaissance, would go to 1985, to see Queen headline at Rock in Rio.

    As I'm not American, I would use my third trip to head into the Renaissance itself, would go and see a Shakespeare play at the globe in London, find out what happen to Love's Labour's Won.

  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Apr 06, 2009 8:45 PM GMT
    Ancient: Make Christianity a religion that tolerates differences and doesn't impose it's beliefs on others.

    Modern: Make the Industrial Revolution ecologically sensitive

    America: Change the GI Bill so that after WWII soldiers returning from home could use government money to repair and rebuild the neighborhoods they used to live in.
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    Apr 06, 2009 10:35 PM GMT
    Ancient: make Homo sapiens a species that can't conceive of slavery

    Modern: the space race never stopped

    America: during the War of 1812, the USA annexed all of Canada icon_twisted.gif
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Apr 07, 2009 12:24 PM GMT
    dashdashdash saidOh I like this, we are talking European Renaissance here? 14th - 17th Century?

    Pre-Renaissance, I'd go and witness the building of Stonehenge, find out the how and the why.

    Post-Renaissance, would go to 1985, to see Queen headline at Rock in Rio.

    As I'm not American, I would use my third trip to head into the Renaissance itself, would go and see a Shakespeare play at the globe in London, find out what happen to Love's Labour's Won.



    Yep, I figured the European Rennaisance made as good a line as any between "ancient" and "modern" since it's a pretty arbitrary line.
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    Apr 07, 2009 12:45 PM GMT
    I wouldn't change anything. One slight change could cause the end of everything.
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    Apr 07, 2009 1:16 PM GMT
    Only 3 is so tough, because I'd want to do all of the above, and much more. But to add some others for the sake of novelty:

    1. Persuade the Alexandrians in Egypt that their great library was in danger of catching fire, thereby preventing its collection of ancient knowledge & history from being destroyed.

    2. Hang around with Mozart, ask him for music lessons, and bring along a modern doctor with me, so he doesn't die so young.

    3. Ask John Wilkes Booth for his autograph, just before he enters President Lincoln's box at Ford's Theatre. Then yell loudly: "Hey, big fella, is that your GUN in there or are ya just glad ta see me?"
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    Apr 07, 2009 1:21 PM GMT
    Ancient: Erase every single thing that outcasts, reviles, or encourages violence against any section of humanity in ALL the world religions' scriptures

    Modern: Saved several species that went extinct during the exploration era - dodos, giant forest geckos, quaggas, moas, thylacines, sea cows, persian tigers, passenger pigeons, baiji white dolphins, black rhinos, great auks, so many... icon_sad.gif

    Country: Halt the rapid 'americanization' of our country and return it to its earlier unique hispanic-asian culture.
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    Apr 07, 2009 1:41 PM GMT
    jprichva saidAw, trust Eric to be all high-minded. Sigh.


    Addendum: Gather all cookie recipes in the world while doing above three