Monday, February 26, 2007

Finished with my website!

Now that I am completed with my website today, finally (!), please feel free to take a look at it. Just go to; as well as everything else, check out the Parallel Universe page. This website explains, in historical, geographical, and other detail, a parallel universe (potentially non-fictional) where the British won rather than lost Buenos Aires, and thus most of southern South America, in 1807 under Gen. John Whitelocke. I have been thinking about this scenario now for almost 32 months (or 2 years and 8 months), ever since one day when I was daydreaming, I came across a scenario for a British (or by now ex-British) Southern Cone (mainly Argentina and Uruguay).

On the day that I was daydreaming about that scenario, in July 2004, a lot of things came on my mind, in an epiphany. I was thinking, among other things, that the way the British-settled New World countries are set up (namely, US and Canada, Australia and New Zealand), Canada is bigger than Australia in population and importance as well as land area, even though Canada is subservient to the US while Australia is the big guy in its coupling with NZ. Argentina has a slightly bigger population than Canada, and definitely dominates over Uruguay. Same thing with Jewish communities, in that the Canadian one is so much bigger than the Australian one, and Argentina (once upon a time in this universe and still the case in the other universe) has had a bigger Jewish population than Canada. Also the same thing with the degree of economic development - US/Canada more, Ausralia/NZ less, and Argentina/Uruguay (in the other universe) in the middle. As well, a British-descended Argentina/Uruguay is a prime destination for immigrants from South Africa, like with the whites, given that South Africa is just across the Atlantic from the Southern Cone and is closer to the Southern Cone than, say, England or North America. And I thought of something else at the same time - Argentina/Uruguay in the other world speaks Spanish as well as English, just like Canada with French and English, and white South Africa with Afrikaans and English. As you could see in the website, all of these things are proven to have been the case for the purposes of the alternate universe.

From then onwards, I have been absolutely intrigued by such a world, with a different southern South America. For the first several months, I was trapped in the idea that such a world, as well as other alternate/virtual/counterfactual histories, when talking in a non-fictional context, is only in the realm of the "could have been" or the stillborn or something along those lines. I imagined such worlds as being somehow on top of one another, or otherwise never happening. I felt bad about this, and perceiving in this world only the things that had actually happened. I wanted to impose the "imaginary" world of the British Southern Cone on this world somehow, like correcting whatever newspaper or magazine article I read about that part of the world, or telling everybody about that world (which is still what I'm aiming for with my website). There was a palpable sense of frustration within me that nobody perceived the root reason why Argentina, in this world, has gone down the doldrums in the past 60 years, and I've also been frustrated to see South Africa or California (annexed into the US) or Canada, but not Argentina, speak English as well as another European language.

In the spring of 2005, I got released from that trap, upon realizing that the world that I've been envisioning for South America is actually a parallel universe in the scientific sense, one of perhaps an infinite number. I first thought of, for example, an Argentina (this world's one) and an Argentina Prime (that world's one), and eventually it dawned on me that it's a tale of two universes. That idea was backed up when reading articles appearing in science journals or Scientific American magazine postulating the existence of parallel universes in outer space or even next to us. For me, this was a true breath of fresh air - I no longer had to think of worlds like the British Southern Cone one as places that could've happened but didn't. I discovered that, in short, what could've been here was in fact there, and what could've been there was in fact here. As well, I no longer had to say that I made up, or created, the alternate history of Argentina, but rather that I've thought of such a world. Being rooted in non-fiction anyway, I was very uncomfortable imagining such worlds as being in the realm of fiction or what could have happened, and much more comfortable thinking of such worlds as being located somewhere out there, just that we can't directly perceive it. From then on, I've always thought of alternate histories as being merely non-fictional parallel universes.

All of what I've said so far is especially applicable for situations that are utopian compared to our own world's history. With the case of the British Southern Cone, the big advantage of that world compared to this one is that Argentina and Uruguay, as well as to some extent their neighbours, are far better off economically, politically, and otherwise than in this world. I mean, the whole point of desperately wanting an outlet for perceiving that world (as outlined above) is to see those countries as economic stars, not basketcases like here. Of course, when an alternate history is dystopian (e.g. the Nazis winning World War II), this universe is better off than the alternate universe where the dystopian alternate histories are located. So, this universe is worse off on the whole than the utopian parallel universes out there, but better off than the dystopian parallel universes.

So there we have it, the background behind my thesis that alternate history = parallel universes outlined by some scientists (at least those with the same general physics as our own).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like your idea of a British Argentina. I think that if Argentina in this world were like this, it would not be suffering so much. Argentina had as much potential as Australia and Canada, but unfortunately it declined. Argentina would have been as great as the United States, where I am from. I found it interesting how you noted California is one of those areas where English is spoken along with another European language. Would that language be Spanish? Would Argentina be similar to California and vice-versa? Both were part of the Spanish Empire. California at one point had Spanish as a co-official language, but it was dropped. Now the Spanish language has experienced a resurgence due to immigration. Is California comparable to British Argentina, or in this world Canada? California and Canada have a similar population.