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Thread: Change one thing in History

  1. #1 Change one thing in History 
    Forum Sophomore Estheria Quintessimo's Avatar
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    If you are allowed to change one thing in history... what would you change and what do you think would be the result?


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    May I say Issac Newton. I would change his way of thinking causing no calculus and no magic involved in his theories, so there wouldn't ever even be a need for calculus. Then I will be able to understand what 90% of the people on this forum are saying and could agree with them. If there were two things I would get the analog computer to develop before the digital one so I could understand the current technology. How bout you?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Hill Billy Holmes View Post
    I would get the analog computer to develop before the digital one so I could understand the current technology.
    Umm... the analog computer was developed before the digital one.

    -- I would go back and change Hill Billy Holmes answer to something less self-absorbed.
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    The electrically adding of three resistances does not make a pc.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hill Billy Holmes View Post
    May I say Issac Newton. I would change his way of thinking causing no calculus and no magic involved in his theories, so there wouldn't ever even be a need for calculus.
    What nonsense.

    If there were two things I would get the analog computer to develop before the digital one
    As NF pointed out the analogue computer was developed first.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Estheria Quintessimo View Post
    If you are allowed to change one thing in history... what would you change and what do you think would be the result?

    The further development of the steam engine of Heron, made in the 1st century CE. He saw it as a toy without practical applications.
    If some rich Greeks invested in the development of this primitive steam engine, then the Industrial Revolution might have happened 2000 years earlier.

    This is a replica of the steam engine (from the Smith College Museum of Ancient Inventions):

    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    That one night when I got really drunk and...
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  9. #8  
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    If I could "undo" one thing in history, Hitler wouldn't have risen to power and the Holocaust wouldn't have occurred. This is over simplistic, as who's to say another diabolical psychopath wouldn't have risen to power. But, knowing what we know, that would make the top of my list.
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  10. #9  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    Already covered by Stephen Fry. Read this: Making History (novel) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    Already covered by Stephen Fry. Read this: Making History (novel) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Hey now that looks worth reading, cheers.
    Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it. - confucius
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  12. #11  
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    Yeah, it's a good book, definitely worth a read!
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  13. #12  
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    Nothing, because then I might not exist!
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  14. #13  
    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    Nothing, because then I might not exist!

    How so?
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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  15. #14  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    I'd agree with Mat for changing anything could lead to your own demise.
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    Nothing, because then I might not exist!
    How so?
    One small difference in history and I likely would have been beaten out by a different sperm!
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  17. #16  
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    In may of 1874 Dan Taylor did not swat the fly, but grabbed it and tossed it outside. That fly bred and had millions of descendent's, which wander to our picnics.
    so go back and get Dan to swat that damned fly
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    Nothing, because then I might not exist!
    How so?
    One small difference in history and I likely would have been beaten out by a different sperm!

    Yes, but if that would be the outcome, then how can you travel to the past to change something in history, if the outcome implies that you might not exist?
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    If I could "undo" one thing in history, Hitler wouldn't have risen to power and the Holocaust wouldn't have occurred. This is over simplistic, as who's to say another diabolical psychopath wouldn't have risen to power. But, knowing what we know, that would make the top of my list.
    A story recently in the media was of a British soldier in WW1 - Private Tandey, who claimed that he came face to face with Hitler but refused to shoot an injured man. Perhaps he also realised he was not a true combatant, being more of a postman.
    I wonder who could have taken his place. Himmler?
    When Chamberlain questioned Hitler over the painting of the British soldiers, the dictator pointed at the picture and explained: ‘that man came so near to killing me that I thought I should never see Germany again, providence saved me from such devilishly accurate fire as those English boys were aiming at us. ’Hitler then asked Chamberlain to pass on his thanks to Private Tandey.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    Nothing, because then I might not exist!
    How so?
    One small difference in history and I likely would have been beaten out by a different sperm!

    Yes, but if that would be the outcome, then how can you travel to the past to change something in history, if the outcome implies that you might not exist?
    Interesting, but I was just thinking if something in general changed in history, I wasn't aware I was supposed to be the one actually going back and doing it!
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  21. #20  
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    I shall change the meaning of history,so there will be no this "history" anymore.
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  22. #21  
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    Tough question. Perhaps I'd have Christopher Columbus' expedition run into a hurricane and be wiped out, with no hint of its fate returning to Europe. Further transatlantic exploration would have been discouraged, and perhaps the European plundering of the Western hemisphere might never have happened, along with the genocide of the native American populations, and enslavement of black Africans to work their land.

    Oh, and with no European colonial empires, the nationalistic competition that led to Hitler's regime might never have happened...
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    As has been well pointed out. Changing the past could lead to changes of dire consequence. I would express a hesitation at visiting the past for fear of interfering with the timeline that became this.. As interesting as it could be physics prohibits it.
    Humanity can not be trusted to not wreck what has been... 'Think of it this way,. Make a pledge to educate any and all so as to insure a better future is available. That I trust is the change we should want to make., and can.
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    I don't really understand the qualms about changing history and therefor the future... We do it everyday.

    Go back and change it, if you have the means... No one will know the difference between the two versions.
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  25. #24  
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    I'd prevent the destruction of the Library of Alexandria.
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  26. #25  
    Forum Professor astromark's Avatar
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    'Neverfly' Just as in Stephen Fry's novel. If you change the time line as it has happened you could mess with the present. That one thing Leeds to another and that a seemingly small detail might rule you never born. With some confidence I can be sure this is never more than fictions, as we can not and never could change what has already happened.. No one will know.. Fortunately the laws of realities will never allow it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    'Neverfly' Just as in Stephen Fry's novel. If you change the time line as it has happened you could mess with the present. That one thing Leeds to another and that a seemingly small detail might rule you never born. With some confidence I can be sure this is never more than fictions, as we can not and never could change what has already happened.. No one will know.. Fortunately the laws of realities will never allow it.
    My point is: So what?
    If I choose to never procreate (again); Some future person will never exist. As I said, we "change the future" every time we make any choice.
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  28. #27  
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    Oh.. shesh ! This is far to 'complic amated-ed' for you's to perceive with appropriate gravity. Yes we change the future simply by being here. The future is ours to change.. I was simply ( now with some regret ) telling you what you must already know. That if you change what has happened you might just change a string of events that would or could include your conception. I would be very annoyed to be suddenly just not born.. who could you argue with.. Oh ya, everyone else it would seem. Now where's the Doctor Who spoilers.. Hush, and do not change anything please. You are not licensed.
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    Oh... I think many wouldn't be bothered by the thought of me not having been conceived.
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    Assuming travelling into the past were real, you would not change the timeline that you left, but would rather create a new branching timeline that would forever be disconnected from your original one. So, Doctor Who would never save anyone by traveling into the past, he'd just jump timelines to make the one he was living more to his liking, same as you would by doing such a thing. Abandoning everyone you left behind to a crummy timeline. We shouldn't think about things like this though, if we want to continue pretending that Doctor Who is a hero and a fun show to watch.
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  31. #30  
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    Losing people I loved too soon.

    My mothers WWII experiences.

    The Holocaust.

    9/11

    every war that happened

    my bra size...
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    Theoretical time travel, interesting. Changing history. Of course there are some sections of history that have been omitted.

    For instance. It was the year 1984 when Halley's comet had split up collided with the earth sending it ito orbiting segments.
    When a normal alien saucer, that was studing the splitup of the comet, came by and fixed the planet and set the time back to 1982 before the event.

    I would like to go back in time to 1984 to see if someone could make a video.
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  33. #32  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    I would go back to August 1, 1981 and prevent MTV from ruining music.
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    Yep, that too.
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  35. #34  
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    It's nice when you have off for a few days from work...you ponder things that you don't have the time to, when you're working. I was thinking earlier about 'what if' there was no technology. We all wouldn't be communicating right now, but I can't help but wonder if life would just be...simpler. In a positive way. Yes, I do enjoy my 'gadgets,' but...I also see how technology has caused people to not communicate as they once did. How people communicate through face book, not face to face. How people sitting across from one another in a restaurant, are texting others, instead of enjoying the company before them. Just wondering what life might have been like, if we stayed a bit less reliant on technology advancements. Just my ramblings for the day.
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  36. #35  
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    In other words like when some of us were younger....
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    Right now I was thinking if I could only go back into history.
    Back all the way back into biblical times.

    I would try and explain to Adam that extended periods of lonelyness can sometimes cause one to hear "Those Voices".

    And I might suggest for him to take up a hobby, or perhaps a pet monkey.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Pixel View Post
    And I might suggest for him to take up a hobby, or perhaps a pet monkey.
    He did. He named it "Eve."


    Oh! Burn!
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  39. #38  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    In other words like when some of us were younger....
    *cough* Speak for yourself, buster! *chuckle*
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  40. #39  
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    I would have Germany win the First World War. The resulting German Empire would have been a lot more efficient than the British Empire and the class-system would have been destroyed, both in the UK and her colonies.

    Emancipation of the worker and social mobility, where the merits of the worker and not their family name were the predeterminent of success.

    In 1914 Germany was no more in favour of racial purity than any other nation, so we'd avoid the holocaust of 1939-1945. This would mean no Jewish state and no Arab-Israeli conflicts which have fuelled terrorism and misery around the world.
    Last edited by Citadel; December 31st, 2013 at 07:12 PM.
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    .. doesn't it make greater substantial sense to question what one might change about the future?
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    i don't think that anyone can change anything past in history ....everything built on everything and all things are related with everything ..accumulation has an important role..human history, science etc ...all thing has a place... present is related with past and the future is related with the present and the past.. the past causes the present .. the present causes the future we can learn from the past mistakes in sciences or any other things also ..even a defeat have a value.
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  43. #42  
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    Hmmmmmm change one thing?

    Slavery.
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  44. #43  
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    I would definitely go back and make sure I filled up my car sooner.
    I was not particularly comfortable with how low the fuel level got.
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    I think starting a journal for a New Years resolution a bit earlier?

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  46. #45  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Estheria Quintessimo View Post
    If you are allowed to change one thing in history... what would you change and what do you think would be the result?
    Have the Roman Empire after Tutenbourg re-invade and conquer subdue the Germanic Tribes East the Rhine.
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    Hmmmmmm change one thing?

    Slavery.
    Well, slavery was pretty common throughout history. But I think modern history of the Americas - and a lot of other places - would have been changed for the better if the process for extracting refined sugar from sugar beet had been discovered just a few decades earlier.

    No high price for sugar in Europe because it could be grown anywhere locally. No need and no economic motive for massive sugar plantations with so much slave labour in the tropics. (There'd still be cotton and other low latitude crops, but not such a huge demand/ profit in the slave trade.)
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    This question requires two assumptions. Allow me to state them.

    1. The change will not destroy my own existence, or similar disastrous paradox outcome.
    2. I actually have the power to implement the change desired.

    Now, assuming those two points, what change would I make?
    Simple. I would go back to ancient Greece, and to the philosopher Aristotle. The reason I choose him is that he was the most revered mind through the 2,000 years that followed, and a change in Aristotle's teachings would change everything that followed dramatically.

    The change would be to remove his teachings about logic, and replace them with teachings of the scientific method, based on empiricism. We would then have an extra 2,000 years of scientific progress, and humanity would already be out exploring the galaxy, and we would all live for ever, due to incredibly advanced medical science.
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  49. #48  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Estheria Quintessimo View Post
    If you are allowed to change one thing in history... what would you change and what do you think would be the result?
    Eliminate the Visigoths around the 6th century AD. Alternatively just replace Justinian I with someone less warlike. The Roman Empire would have lasted considerably longer, and society would have made a softer landing after its (slower) collapse. Much of the Dark Ages could then be avoided.
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    I would figure out the point where the scientific inquiries of the early Greeks and Romans got stopped and lost for over a thousand years, resulting in the dark ages. (Maybe just go back and teach Socrates how to make a musket?) That way, the scientific method would have been developed probably around 200 AD, and think where we'd be now!
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    Quote Originally Posted by TridentBlue View Post
    I would figure out the point where the scientific inquiries of the early Greeks and Romans got stopped and lost for over a thousand years
    I'd say that point coincided with the collapse of the Roman Empire.
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  52. #51  
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    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post

    I'd say that point coincided with the collapse of the Roman Empire.
    Not correct. The ancient Greeks were never scientists in the sense that they followed the scientific method. A few of their 'wise' men carried out some empirical studies, but these were never truly valued. The prevailing idea was that human thought trumped mere empirical study every time. It was this teaching that held humanity back for 2,000 years. Progress in the sciences did not really begin until new thinkers like Copernicus, Newton, Hooke, Galileo etc rejected the old teachings, and began to use actual observations and experiments as the basis for their conclusions.
    And logic
    Of course, it did not help that the Christian church considered the bible to hold all wisdom, and persecuted those who attempted to gain knowledge in non biblical ways.
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  53. #52  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    remove (Aristotle's) teachings about logic, and replace them with teachings of the scientific method, based on empiricism
    We're like minded then, 'cause I've sometimes wished to stride into Plato's school with a (banned) carpenter's square in hand, and beat his brains out.
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