Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I can't believe it - a three-month absence from this blog! I've been busy, though - moving to Jacksonville, Florida, for a job, along with translating my British Argentina website into Spanish (both of which I'm in the middle of). Now that I'm finished for now with talking about the connection between alternate history and parallel universes, I will present a few brief alternate histories one post after another. Note that these all take place in potentially non-fictional parallel universes, which very much fit in with the latest parallel universe theories in astrophysics. So, without much further ado, here's the first one...

There is a parallel universe somewhere far away in the heavens (or through a decoherence barrier) where the prime minister of what was then Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka) was not assassinated in 1959 by a nationalist Sinhalese Buddhist monk. The prime minister's name was S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike; in this universe, his widow took over some months later and became the world's first female elected prime minister. But anyway, the main consequences of Bandaranaike not being assassinated in that universe were that Sri Lanka was able to achieve a Sinhalese-Tamil federation, thereby avoiding the civil war between the two groups that would plague the island country from 1983 onwards, and that because of the absence of the civil war, the economy grew even faster than it did in this world (and so became more of an Asian economic tiger). Besides being a more peaceful country than it is in our universe, Sri Lanka is wealthier per capita than the Philippines (though not as much as Thailand) - whereas here, that country is poorer than the Philippines (yet richer than Indonesia). Both in this and in that universe, Sri Lanka is more affluent than any other country in South Asia, and the degree of social development is far greater than elsewhere in South Asia (except Kerala state, which has also done well socially).

The reason why I'm saying that Bandanaraike's lack of assassination in that world has had such an effect is because prior to his being killed in 1959, he was willing to make a federation between the Sinhalese and the Tamils (as opposed to a unitary government which controls all the country in a way that states and provinces control themselves in federal countries like the US and Canada). He was compromising like that even as he advocated "Sinhala only" policies to the detriment of the Tamils. In that universe, he was merely wounded by the assassin because the bullet behaved in a different way, so that it landed in a way in which he would not die; this is part of chaos theory, in which an event could go either way.

In summary, in a scientific parallel universe where Bandanaraike was not killed in 1959, you have faster economic growth since 1977 (the year when privatization began), a Sinhalese-Tamil federation, of course no civil war, and greater affluence (though by no means even there a First World nation). Meaning also, no Indian army to intervene in the late 1980s, no political insurrections also in the late 1980s, etc. etc.

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