THE slightly ALTERNATIVE UNIVERSE THREAD



  • Describe a universe that is almost, but not entirely, like our own.


    The electoral college is abolished when it's no longer required by available technology. Al Gore is the 43rd president of the United States. Does Obama get elected? Do we enter into lots of wars? Is ISIS a thing?


    In Abrahamic faiths, god is omnipotent but not omniscient. He gets all his information from word of mouth, newspapers, and later, cable TV shows.


    Sci fi movies have a realistic sense of how far AI technology will progress by the 21st century. HAL is as smart as an Amazon Echo.



  • Martin Luther King Jr. is never assassinated, and continues to influence society well into the 1980s and 90s, and passes away at age 85. Would he have a more positive impact on society than Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton?



  • Early in the research of electricity properties, it was decided that amber charges positively and glass charges negatively. Later on, electrons and protons are discovered. Electrons bear positive charge, protons have negative. Electricity is movement of electrons, and the direction is from + to -, just like electrons. In college, I don't have to learn about movement of electrical holes in semiconductors.



  • E.T video game becomes great success. The video game market booms, and American companies create better and better game systems. Nintendo never enters American market. Sony PlayStation has to compete against Atari, Amiga, Commodore, and a Microsoft's console from early 90s. Because of much more fragmented market, a standard API has been developed by joint consortium and every game runs on every console, with slight differences in power meaning minor improvements like bonus areas, more special effects, better music. This continues well into 2010s. Also, because this standard API extends over PCs too, all games run on Windows and Linux just the same (not Macs, because they're on PPC, so they developed alternative API and no one bothers to port games over). Console wars don't happen, but PC is still Master Race (more power than any console, and MODDING!)



  • @gąska said in THE slightly ALTERNATIVE UNIVERSE THREAD:

    In college, I don't have to learn about movement of electrical holes in semiconductors.

    Sorry, but holes are still the absence of electrons, whichever charge the electron has. Even in a universe made of positrons, anti-protons and anti-neutrons, there would be (anti-)holes. undefined



  • @hardwaregeek movement of holes is just movement of electrons seen in negative. If electrons were positive (and thus - going along electrical current, not against it), holes wouldn't be so prominent.



  • @gąska Not so. Although hole current is caused by electrons moving the opposite direction, they behave as if they were actual positive charges moving. This can be shown using the Hall effect in p-type and n-type semiconductors.

    TL;DR: (This explanation is long, but shorter than the linked PDF). A charged particle moving in a magnetic field will be deflected by the field. Assume current is flowing in +x direction (electrons moving toward -x) and magnetic field is in +z direction. Charged particle will be deflected toward +y, regardless of its charge. That is, a positive charge moving in the +x direction is deflected in a counter-clockwise arc as viewed from the +z axis, and an electron moving in the opposite direction would be deflected in a clockwise arc; either way, it is deflected in the +y direction.

    If the charged particle is moving in a solid of finite size, this will result in a measurable voltage between the sides of the solid perpendicular to the current flow and magnetic field. If the current is due to a flow of negative charges, the +y side of the material will have an excess of negative charge relative to the -y side. If the current is due to a flow of positive charges, the +y side of the material will have excess positive charge. As you might expect in most materials, where the current is unquestionably due to electrons (negative charges in our universe), the +y side has a negative charge. But in a p-type semiconductor, the +y side has a positive charge, showing that the holes behave as if they were real positive charges, not just the absence of electrons.




  • Notification Spam Recipient

    Inspired a bit by @Gąska's:
    Nintendo is no longer uptight about their video games. Rather than ignoring Project M, they allow the PMDT to put it on the Wii Shop for free, and start allowing modding other games of theirs with officially supported APIs. The Wii U has a program which teaches kids to code by making Smash Bros. or Mario Maker mods, and a central mod repository separate from the eShop. The Switch lets you write your mod directly on it without needing a computer. Microsoft and Sony get left in the dust as typically heavily modded games' studios like Bethesda start primarily targeting Nintendo, and then other big names start following in their wake to get more users. By this time, Microsoft has finished Windows Core, and Xbox games now run on Windows, giving them the boost they need, but Sony's gaming division does not recover and becomes the joke of the market forever.



  • @gąska said in THE slightly ALTERNATIVE UNIVERSE THREAD:

    Sony PlayStation has to compete against Atari, Amiga, Commodore, and a Microsoft's console

    Alternative universe: I actually went to work for Atari when I graduated from uni (instead of being stupid and not realizing I had to actually fill out and return the paperwork in order for them to make me an offer; INB4 "not submitting the application was clairvoyant, not stupid").



  • Racists with a time machine go back to the 1860's and give AK-47's to the Confederate States, who go on to win the war.



  • The new world isn't discovered until 2100. Hitler conquered all Europe. The world is divided in two states, the unified Europe and the soviet union. A deal is made and they coexist peacefully. The soviet economy survive longer because they have all that middle east oil. Unicode is never invented.



  • @hardwaregeek alternative universe: instead of pursuing American Dream, I'm graduating my university this summer, while simultaneously climbing higher and higher in corporate hierarchy. By now, I could have been a lead architect for a project, making all the high-level decisions regarding overall architecture and how external interfaces work.

    Alternative alternative universe: instead of pursuing American Dream, I called the number on that namecard I've got from a random dude on the bus and became one of the first professional Rust developers in Europe. I would've been celebrating my first year last fall.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @ben_lubar said in THE slightly ALTERNATIVE UNIVERSE THREAD:

    Sci fi movies have a realistic sense of how far AI technology will progress by the 21st century. HAL is as smart as an Amazon Echo.

    "HAL, open the pod bay doors."
    "I'm sorry, Dave, but this craft is not equipped with bomb bays."



  • @gąska said in THE slightly ALTERNATIVE UNIVERSE THREAD:

    Alternative alternative universe: instead of pursuing American Dream, I called the number on that namecard I've got from a random dude on the bus and became one of the first professional Rust developers in Europe. I would've been celebrating my first year last fall.

    I was reading a bit quickly, and genuinely read that last sentence as “I would've been celebrating my first fail last year.”



  • @masonwheeler said in THE slightly ALTERNATIVE UNIVERSE THREAD:

    @ben_lubar said in THE slightly ALTERNATIVE UNIVERSE THREAD:

    Sci fi movies have a realistic sense of how far AI technology will progress by the 21st century. HAL is as smart as an Amazon Echo.

    "HAL, open the pod bay doors."
    "I'm sorry, Dave, but this craft is not equipped with bomb bays."

    If HAL9000 was Amazon.com's Alexa – 01:19
    — Peter Pihl



  • @sockpuppet7 said in THE slightly ALTERNATIVE UNIVERSE THREAD:

    Unicode is never invented

    Hmm, I don't like the whole "totalitarian governments who murder their people" thing, but I do like the simplicity of not having to deal with hundreds of different alphabets.

    I'd give that universe 3 stars out of 5.



  • Gopher becomes the dominant protocol instead of HTTP. The "Archie" and "Veronica" search engines become as popular as Google. Archie Comics Publishing Inc. successfully sues the companies of all implementations of that search engine, and thus become as powerful as Google. Your next Android phone is called "Jughead".


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @mott555 said in THE slightly ALTERNATIVE UNIVERSE THREAD:

    Racists with a time machine go back to the 1860's and give AK-47's to the Confederate States, who go on to win the war.


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