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Moon landing 51st anniversary   The Newsy You: News of Today

Started Jul-21 by $1,661.87 in cats (ROCKETMAN_S); 504 views.

51 years ago on July 20, 1969, for the first time in recorded history, someone set foot on the moon.

With the LRO now mapping the entire surface of the moon in exquisite detail that even has picked up not just the abandoned descent stages still sitting on the lunar surface but also the trails of footprints left by astronauts and the tire tracks left by the rovers, even the faded remnants of flags blown over by rocket exhaust upon departure from the moon, various experiments, etc. we now are pretty sure that either 1) there have been no extraterrestrial visitors to the moon in at least 250,000 years that it takes for the slow impact of micrometeorites and weathering from thermal cycling to erase the evidence, or 2) they were far more careful to leave no trace than we have been.

But what if Armstrong and Aldrin had crashed or met with some other catastrophe and the moon had become their final resting place? For a weird look into this alternate timeline of history, check out this "deep fake" video that has then-President Richard M. Nixon delivering the tragic speech his speechwriters prepared in case of the worst case scenario, that was never given in our historical timeline.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWLadJFI8Pk

In July 1969, much of the world celebrated the “giant leap for mankind” that the successful moon landing constituted. In 2020, nothing is quite so straightforward. In Event of Moon Disaster illustrates the possibilities of deepfake technologies by reimagining this seminal event. What if the Apollo 11 mission had gone wrong and the astronauts had not been able to return home? A contingency speech for this possibility was prepared, but never delivered by President Nixon – until now. The immersive project invites you into this alternative history and asks us all to consider how new technologies can bend, redirect and obfuscate the truth around us.

Showtalk
Staff

From: Showtalk

Jul-21

I never heard of an alternative story.

Some theories of interdimensionality suggest that every single decision we make spawns off an alternative universe where history took a different fork of the crossroads. There's theoretically an alternative universe where at age 9 we sat up later than we should have, and failed a major test at school that permanently changed our trajectory later in life, so maybe we graduated a year later and missed an opportunity, or went to the restroom 2 minutes earlier or later at the prom and thus failed to meet the life partner by which one started a family so thus they never existed in the alternate universe. Or maybe one where one was running late and chose to try and dash across the street and was struck and killed as a teenager rather than wait for the light in the present timeline.

They knew there was a risk that they might not return safely, despite every precaution to ensure mission success. To cover that possibility, they had pre-written a speech and put protocols in place to deal with it should the worst case have come to pass.

Obviously, they safely landed and returned, and we didn't lose American astronauts actually in flight until the morning of January 28, 1986 when the Challenger blew up.

So the "speech that was never given" simply languished in the archives. But if the worst had happened and Nixon had to announce that the moon had become their final resting place, the speech was eloquently written and polished and ready to deliver should the need arise.

So it was like an insurance policy - pay the premiums, make sure it's in force, and hope to hell you don't have to actually file a claim.

The actual prepared speech prepared for Nixon in case he had to deliver it:

https://www.archives.gov/files/presidential-libraries/events/centennials/nixon/images/exhibit/rn100-6-1-2.pdf

Also another article about the deepfake video:
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-nixon-deepfake-a-moon-disaster-speech-and-an-information-ecosystem-at-risk1/

From the people who created the video:
http://news.mit.edu/2020/mit-tackles-misinformation-in-event-of-moon-disaster-0720

Showtalk
Staff

From: Showtalk

Jul-21

It’s very interesting.

MerlinsDad

From: MerlinsDad

Jul-22

I remember watching that event and how thrilled we were with the successful mission.  \

Speaking of alternate history/scifi, are you a fan of Eric Flint?

as an aside: I've never read anything by him and have no expectation of doing so, but he was moderately popular at the library.  Many of his fans (at least as I seemed to notice) were men past 55, maybe past 60)

MerlinsDad said:

Speaking of alternate history/scifi, are you a fan of Eric Flint?

I have heard the name but have no clue who he is or was, whether he was a famous explorer, the author of some landmark tome that was mentioned in passing during my sleep deprived mental fog of some long ago English lit or history class, or some forgotten war hero, a notorious 19th century snake oil salesman, a circus ringmaster, or one of the many inventors whose work was stolen by Thomas Edison.

MerlinsDad

From: MerlinsDad

Jul-23

rocketman says: "I have heard the name but have no clue who he is or was, whether he was a famous explorer, the author of some landmark tome that was mentioned in passing during my sleep deprived mental fog of some long ago English lit or history class, or some forgotten war hero, a notorious 19th century snake oil salesman, a circus ringmaster, or one of the many inventors whose work was stolen by Thomas Edison."

given his penchant for writing alternate histories, it could be any of the above.

Since you like alternate histories, I thought you might have read one of his books

Eric Flint is a modern master of alternate history fiction, with over three million books in print. He's the author/creator of the multiple New York Times best-selling Ring of Fire series starting with first novel 1632. With David Drake he has written six popular novels in the "Belisarius" alternate Roman history series, and with David Weber collaborated on 1633 and 1634: The Baltic War and latest Honorverse series entry Cauldron of Ghosts. Flint's latest Ring of Fire novel is 1636: The Ottoman Onslaught. Flint was for many years a labor union activist. He lives near Chicago, Illinois  https://www.fantasticfiction.com/f/eric-flint/

I'll have to check that out in some lifetime where I have enough time - lol.

There have been many crossroads throughout our history where a butterfly flapping its wings at a different time or place likely would have tipped the scales to a vastly different outcome of various events.

One person who has written really page-turner alternative timeline stories is notorious for a whole other career, especially in the 1990s.

The novels "1945" and "Gettysburg" are two that especially come to mind. When I first saw those, I wondered "is that THE Newt Gingrich?"

https://www.amazon.com/Gettysburg-Novel-Civil-Newt-Gingrich/dp/031230935X

... Chapter 17 is a gripping account that rivals the beach assault in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. ...

... Newt Gingrich is a former professor of history and he knows our heritage well. He often uses historical events in his discussions of current political problems and did this successfully when he was Speaker of the House in the mid-late 1990's. It's clear that his love of history is something he effectively utilizes to tell his story- whether that is about current politics- or a battle fought long ago.

... In "Gettysburg", Gingrich hits on a subject that has fascinated history buffs for decades in exploring major battles which were turning points in our culture. It's clear that sometimes seemingly insignificant events have had important impacts on the outcome of major conflicts and allowed one side to prevail under what appeared to be improbable circumstances. In this historical mystery, Gingrich explores the Battle of Gettysburg- which but for a lack of timely information from Lee's cavalry commander Jeb Stuart could have resulted in a major victory for the South and a change in the balance of power in the United States.  ...

https://www.amazon.com/1945-Newt-Gingrich/dp/0671877399

MerlinsDad

From: MerlinsDad

Jul-23

Gene Pisquale is himself a writer of historical novels.  I liked his review of Gettysburg; it's well done.  Thanks for posting.  I am familiar with these novels, although I've read neither of them.  I'm not a fan of alternate history. although I can see how it could be intriguing if one slightly shifts the butterfly's flight trajectory.  Someone should do one on the Dewey/Truman election of 1948.  If Dewey had won, would we have had 8 years of Dewey and no Eisenhower in '52? 

I didn't think about it until now but yeah, Dewey vs Truman was one that caught at least one newspaper by surprise.

I've got to look up the actual margin of victory, to see which state(s) could have swung it with a few dozen votes.

And if we hadn't had Eisenhower, would we have had JFK and his moon speech? Would Dewey have reacted the same way to Sputnik as Eisenhower did? How would the space race have played out? Would we even have made it to the moon?

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