Miscellaneous >1900 (Alternate) History Thread

What if video game never existed or would be far more of a niche hobby. Even if they existed they would still be similar to Pong technologically speaking.
Seems like a more broad question for the general forum. And it's hard to think of games not ever developing beyond simple ones if the rest of technology advances. But just going by the idea that it somehow never comes to be, for as broad as these ideas may be:
  • Atari would never exist (Duh), or if it does, primarily develops simple electronic games alongside more advanced mechanical ones.
  • Nintendo, Sega, Sony, and Microsoft remain mostly where they were before they got into games in our timeline (Toys, coin-operated machines, electronics, and computers respectively).
  • Arcade culture and iconography as we know it doesn't exist or is in a far different form, relying mostly on electro-mechanical devices (Basically a lot more pinball or machines that rely on some physicality).
  • Most game creatives would find different lots in life (Maybe Miyamoto becomes a manga artist as he dreamed before getting into games?)
 
Politics of the United States of America (Honolulu):
For 35 years following the 1930 exile of the Federal government to Hawaii, the country was governed by the "Forever Congress", consisting of the 23 senators and 157 representatives that fled the previous interim capital of Sacremento following the 2nd American Civil War and their Presidentially appointed replacements. After the 1965 "November 19th incident", all federal institutions other than the (by that point largely ceremonial) Executive Branch were indefinitely tsuspended and elections were held for the legislature and governership of Hawai'i, which waselevated to statehood (alongside Alaska, later seized by the United Commonwealth in 1943) following the government's evacuation from the continent. Alongside the Hawaiian island chain, the rump United States continues to claim sovereignty over its former territories on the continental United States, now controlled by the United Commonwealth (UC) and the United Kingdom (UK), and still exercises some level of control over Pacific territories including the largely autonomous East Samoa. However, its sovereignty is not recognized by any major governments outside of the Entente Association, their primary backers on the international stage. The only International Organization (IO) member to maintain any ties with the so-called "Honolulu Authorities" is the Republic of China, and this is only on the level of certain party organizations (such as the KMT) and regional authorities, as they regard the UC as the legitimate polity in and the Hawai'ian territories as an illegal colony.

Major Parties of Hawai'i (bolded parties have seats in the state legislature)
American Camp: Supports the reclamation of the Continental United States, including the maintainance of American identity and the primacy of English in government and education. Primarily supported by post-1930 Continential exiles and their descendents.
- Democratic Party of the United States (nom. National Conservative)
- Republican Party of the United States (nom. Liberal Conservative)
Japanese Camp: Supports, closer ties to, or outright annexation by, the Empire of Japan (the Commonwealth Association of Japan is supported only by small undeground organizations), as well as the maintainance and expansion of Japanese-language services in government and education, particularly the Japanese and Bilingual State School programs. Primarily supported by the "antiassimilationist" faction of Japanese Hawaiians.
- Liberal Party of Hawaii (Liberal Conservative)
- Constitutional Party of Hawaii (National Conservative)
- Conservative Party of Hawaii (National Conservative)
- Hawaii Center Party (Centrism, Agrarian)
Chinese Camp: Supports autonomy for Hawai'ian residents of Chinese descent and increased funding and support for the Chinese Independent School system; willing to cooperate with the Republican and Monarchist camps. Primarily supported by the "antiassimilationist" faction of Chinese Hawaiians.
- Hawaii Branch of the Kuomintang (Big Tent)
- Hawaii Branch of the Chee Kung Party (Big Tent)
Republican Camp: Supports the establishment of a plurinational liberal democratic republic, the recognition of Hawaiian Creole and ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, and a shifting of foreign policy towards the Non-Aligned Movement. Regards the 1894 Republic as illegitimate and aims to create a genuinly independent and pluralistic republic. Primarily supported by the pre-1930 creole population and their descendents, and some sections of the Native Hawaiian population.
- Progressive Party of Hawai'i (Progressivism, Big Tent)
- Hawai'ian Labor Party (Labourism, Social Democracy)
- Socialist Party of Hawai'i (Socialism, Social Democracy)
- United Progressive Party of Hawai'i (Social Liberal)
Monarchist Camp: Supports the reestablishment of the Kingdom of Hawai'i, the restoration of ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi as the primary language of Hawai'i, and the restoration of the status of Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) and their culture. Supported by the soverigntist and nativist factions within the Native Hawaiian movement.
- Hawaiian National Party (National Liberal, Big Tent)
- Ko Makou Hawai'i (Our Hawai'i) (National Populist)
 
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Wi Singapore isn’t expelled for the Malaysian federation !!! Does anyone have an idea of how things would go ???
 
Wi Singapore isn’t expelled for the Malaysian federation !!! Does anyone have an idea of how things would go ???
Singapore would be a much smaller local port city within Malaysia. It might still become one of the most populated cities in Malaysia but it would never become the economic meca it was in our timeline.
 
The problem with this Misc arrangement is that its impossible for future browsers to find specific topics in this massive 100s of pages long thread
 
It's no harder to search within this thread than to search the whole sub-forum, in fact it's easier (imo).
Disagree
You can only use key words for this thread and many of these key words are repeated ad nauseum
In the forum you can
A) search for a thread's name
B) search for one or a combination of tags
This narrows them down a lot
 
Why were radioisotope thermal generators using polonium-210 never more investigated? According to this page, a polonium-210/gadolinium alloy has a fairly high melting point (polonium itself melts at too low a temperature so would be useless) and produces 78 watts of heat per gram, which is 200 times as much as the plutonium-238 that NASA uses in RTGs. Although it only has a half-life of 138 days, that still gives a few weeks of high-powered operations before the Po-210 needs replacement. Although Po-210 is a very dangerous poison, it requires very low shielding (alpha particles are easily stopped) and is only really dangerous if consumed (or inhaled, as it's one of the main carcinogens in tobacco smoke).

From what I can tell, typical RTGs get about 5-8% efficiency in terms of converting heat to energy, so optimistically that's about 6 watts per gram of Po-210/Gd meaning a one kW engine would take 167 grams of Po-210/Gd, or twice that if we account for the half-life. A little more than that could easily power an entire rural village in a remote area and help reduce carbon emissions and dependence on imported fuels and parts (RTGs are very simple and durable in design). Polonium could be shipped in every few weeks, or the spare power from when the engine is initially used could charge batteries for backup. The heat given off by the substance could be used for heating buildings. This engine would mass around 3-4 tons.

However, using a Sterling engines can get up to 30% efficiency (although NASA's ASRG project only got 26%), so this starts looking even better at nearly 24 watts per gram, so about 42 grams to drive a one kW engine. Using the ASRG's power to weight ratio, I would estimate this engine to mass about 1.1 tons.

The obvious drawback is that Po-210 is extremely rare, but it's easily produced from bismuth-209 and is a byproduct of lead-bismuth coolants in nuclear reactors. It isn't highly produced because there are few demands for it. It seems like a nuclear economy could be producing a reasonable amount. If demand is high enough, then extraction from uranium ore (1 mg per 10 tons of ore) might be feasible too. 1 kg of Po-210 per year to power a village seems like an interesting proposal.

So, why was this never used? All I can really find was a "Project Poodle", which seems to have produced a useful thruster for space probes. But it seems like it would be a very useful power source for remote communities in addition to uses for any mission relatively close to Earth like powering a very large lunar rover or moon base. One source claims Ford studied making a nuclear car (Ford Seattle-ite XXI) using a Po-210 RTG with 100 grams of it, but it seems implausibly efficient for what Ford wanted. However, a polonium locomotive seems potentially useful, since 42 kg of polonium would mean a 1 MW locomotive and not too terrible a power to weight ratio--it could be useful for freight trains.

Thoughts?
 
The problem with this Misc arrangement is that its impossible for future browsers to find specific topics in this massive 100s of pages long thread
Disagree
You can only use key words for this thread and many of these key words are repeated ad nauseum
In the forum you can
A) search for a thread's name
B) search for one or a combination of tags
This narrows them down a lot
Even if the search being harder is true *for some people* (it's a matter of opinion), it's hard to deny the benefit of the forum as a whole not being filled with pointless threads with no thought behind them.
 
USIA build a molasses tank in Boston to store their molasses for distillation process. It was supposed to have a safety factor of 3, but when the process fell behind schedule, USIA treasurer ordered structural tests be skipped and the tank was underdesigned and doomed to fail. the tank had half the thickness it should have had and the riveting was done improperly. What if an anarchist threw a bomb in it after WW1 ended? This sounds implausible since "oh the tank is fine, someone else caused our perfectly fine tank to break" was USIA's defense, but in fact the company had been bombed before. If there was a bomb, it would leave evidence of a concussive force.

The evidence of USIA's molasses tank being weakened in completion even before the bombing and the threat of bombing would be better known to the USIA and the USIA may build its new and replacement molasses tanks in the future better than the bombed molasses tank.
 
In Civilization and Its Discontents, and in particular the section regarding "Prosthetic gods", was Freud influenced by Hinduism when writing it?
 
Biggest decline/fall of a civilization in the 20th century other than the Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Fall of the Soviet Union? Prefer not to use World War I or World War II examples since those might be a bit too obvious.
 
Biggest decline/fall of a civilization in the 20th century other than the Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Fall of the Soviet Union? Prefer not to use World War I or World War II examples since those might be a bit too obvious.
The Fall of the Qing Dynasty is an obvious guess to me, same for the monarchy in Iran
If it had happened just eleven years later I would count the Fall of the Brazilian Empire too
 
A. What would it look like (and would it be a good idea) if the US dealt with the issues of territories by reducing them?

1. Joining Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands (part of the same archipelago), and then annexing them to Hawaii. (Even joined together, the Marianas have less than half the population of Wyoming, so there's no way they would get statehood.)
2. Freeing American Samoa and having them join (currently) Independent Samoa. (Those born in AS aren't even citizens, they're nationals.)
3. Joining Puerto Rico and the USVI (think I've seen that as a proposal since the USVI has less than half the population of Wyoming, so there's no way they'd get statehood, though I can't find it anymore.) (As someone from PR, I believe in independence, but would be willing to accept statehood if the Wyoming Rule were to be implemented, and doubly so if the Senate were abolished.)
4. Retroceding D.C. to Maryland (except the areas immediately surrounding the United States Capitol, the White House and the Supreme Court building, a "National Capital Service Area" as proposed in a 2008 bill.) Wiki: District of Columbia retrocession

B. Just for a little fun, what if Virginia still held Bermuda, and South Carolina The Bahamas? What could life look like on the islands as part of US states?

C. What would life look like for the people of Maine IATL where they fully won the Aroostook War? How many people and what towns would be added to Maine? (Hard to tell what the new boundaries would add, so it's pretty much impossible to do population estimates. Would Maine gain a district? Perhaps two under the Wyoming Rule?) (What could it look like if Maine lost and was reduced in size? How many people/which towns would they lose? Would it be enough to lose a district?) (The difference in New Hampshire seems small enough to ignore, but does losing that little chunk of territory change anything for them? (Add in the Machias Seal Island for Maine for fun. Doesn’t add any permanent population other than 2 rotating lighthouse keepers and occasional students and researchers, but does extend Maine’s waters.)

D. Finally, there's the issue of Alaska and its boundary dispute. Due to the size, we could be talking about large territory transfers , yet minuscule population transfers. What would both extremes look like for Alaska/British Columbia in terms of population/towns, and perhaps access to water? (At least on the BC side, they’d gain Juneau, and Ketchikan, though there don’t seem to be any similar gains on the Alaskan side.)

(The main question is the first one, but if anyone can answer the other three, that would be great!)
1280px-Disputed_Border_in_the_East.jpg

1024px-Alaska_boundary_dispute.jpg
 
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