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Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Monday, July 05, 2004

oursin 2004-06-23 01:50
I meant to post this the other day in response to something in your lj but forgot: you may or may not know that postmortem examinations of London taxi drivers revealed unusual developments of various parts of the brain apparently attributable to their having to 'do the knowledge' - i.e. learn by heart the complex geography of Inner London, plus the various traffic restrictions, quickest routes between points etc - in order to get their black cab licence.

dsgood 2004-07-05 18:57
I hadn't known that. Belated thanks!
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oursin 2004-06-23 05:52
in 1837, Pope William IV of the Holy British Empire dies, and is succeeded by his daughter, Pope Victoria I.

I'd like to know, in this alternative universe, how QV gets to be the daughter of WIV The Sailor King. This is more intriguing to me than the concept of her being Pope of a HBE. In my timeline she was his niece, the only surviving grandchild of Mad King George. And christened Victoria because she was born on the day of, or shortly after, one of Wellington's victories in the Peninsular Campaign.

Also the backstory on how the Hanoverian dynasty, specifically invited in as sound Prots to replace the Catholic Stuarts, are rulers of a Catholic Empire.

There are some alternative histories where I don't think you can just paste in the names familiar to everyone in this timeline to a vastly changed scenario and seem at all plausible. There's a series by Susan Schwartz which posits that Antony and Cleopatra won the Battle of Actium and presided over an Egypto-Roman Empire, but a century or two down the line - the present time of the books - we still, for some reason, have Byzantium as it is known in our timeline, which strikes me as implausible given this donnee.

Maybe I am taking this way too seriously.

dsgood 2004-07-05 19:05
The site has a section where the events in each timeline are strung together, but that probably wouldn't contain enough to satisfy you.

"It's 1973. The dinosaurs never died out. Africa never existed.
Richard Nixon is President of the United States." I also find that kind of similarity to our timeline annoying.
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Tuesday June 22, 2004. DreamHaven Books had Mary Gentle's Ash: A Secret History among the used books -- four thick volumes. I decided I needed it, so I could work out what the author had done and how she'd done it.

Since we're both on rec.arts.sf.composition, I could ask her directly. But that wouldn't give me the same information I expect to get from analyzing it.

mayakda 2004-06-23 06:29
Will you post your thoughst on Ash? I'll be interested to hear what you think of it, specially the resolution. Amazing book.

dsgood 2004-07-05 19:10
I skipped ahead to the resolution, and now have to go back and read the middle.

My reaction: She's doing more successfully something that C.J. Cherryh has been trying to do for most of her career.
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