Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What If...?

Christopher Columbus had never reached adulthood. Either he died as a child or was never born at all. What would life be like right now?

The Germans would likely have much stronger influence than they do, because Spain and England might not have gotten such an early toehold on the new world. Society and technological advancements would almost certainly be behind, as the colonies overseas greatly aided economical development in their motherlands.

There are countless other historical figures (and even some people alive today) that would have a massive impact if they didn't do what they did. A few examples...

  • Thomas Edison
  • Bill Gates
  • Linus Torvalds
  • Adolf Hitler
  • Cleopatra
  • Napoleon
  • Mao Zedong
  • Julius Caesar
  • William Shakespeare
Now, it would be quite interesting to write a short paper describing what life would be like had any of these people not been around.What would be even more interesting (and exciting, for that matter) would be to write some sort of narrative or novel occurring in such a world.

This has gotten me wondering... how many people in history could have been snuffed before birth and not affect history enough to prevent my birth?

1 comments:

Gretchen

May 8, 2008 at 12:17 AM

There's an Orson Scott Card book that looks at a hypothesis kind of like yours...I can't remember the title, but I read it in the library so it should still be there.