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I wish I was in Dixie by OttoVonSuds
I wish I was in Dixie
A little something for the old-timers in the AH community. It's a world themed around Confederate victory, complete with airships, surviving colonial empires and the other tropes people recognize from the 682 other maps featuring a world like this.

The title is of course a snarky reference to the 'nostalgia' displayed by more obsessive steampunk fans, British empire fanboys and of course lost cause fans that one of my friends came up with.

The divergences of this world began in the 1840s, with the visible changes beginning with King Wilhelm accepting the crown from the gutter, along with the Confederacy's leaving following the narrow 1856 election of Fremont to the presidency. With Republicanism discredited, by the Confederate secession, Napoleon III was able to stay in power after the end of the Franco-German war of 1864-65. Another side effect of discredited Republicanism was Britain's creating Kingdoms instead of Dominions. There was a Spanish succession crisis in the late 1880s, which nearly went to war when an overconfident Japan grabbed micronesia and the Philippines before Germany could. This was smoothed over by Britain letting Germany have Morocco, along with pressuring Japan to allow German temporary economic rights in the philippines. The changes that followed it, led to the late 19th century becoming a period where the imperial system rose to greater heights than OTL.

The closest this world came to a conflageration was the second Crimean War of 1901-1903, which saw a triple alliance of Britain, Japan and Germany against France and Russia. The war was unpleasant enough, but not a civilization-cracker like either of our world wars. The war ended with an Anglo-German victory which saw the Belgian partition, Germany's annexing the baltic dutchy, Manchuria *and* Korea ending up in the Japanese sphere of influence. France lost the perpetually troublesome Indochina to Germany along with ceding border areas in Africa to Britain.

After the war, a Russia faced with an even worse humiliation than OTL's 1904-5 Russo-Japanese war collapsed into civil war following a bad harvest in 1912. This resulted in a messy civil war, with massive overseas intervention. Japan took this as an opportunity to grab the Siberian Far East along with officially annexing it's gains in Korea and Manchuria along with setting up protectorates in Mongolia and Tuba. Germany  relieved Russia of the burden of Poland, while setting up hohozellern princes to rule over the kingdoms spawned in the wake of Russia's implosion. Once he ran out of Hohozellerns to ship to rule over impoverished kingdoms, Kaiser Friedrich sent members of Prussian Junker families looking for a chance to achieve promotion into the higher ranks of the aristocracy.This led to mixed results over the next century or so: King Johann of Finland is popular and beloved, while King Wilhelm V of Turkestan is to put it mildly rather unpopular among the 40% of Turkestan's population that is muslim.

The twin factors of Europe's near dive into the civilizational abyss during the Second Crimean War and decades of anglo-german intellectual exchange bore fruit in the form of the Cameralist movement of the 1910s and 1920s. This movement, which stressed hierarchy, ruthlessness for it's own sake and the will to power being all was able to influence the parties. Of course, in both Britain and Germany a certain amount of  smug cultural elitism for Britain and volkish mysticism in Germany's case were needed to really make it sell. This wasn't a totalitarian political shift, it was merely altering the terms of the politicial dialogue by introducing a new aryanist and racist focus. Elections and party systems largely remained as before, with the notable exception of the exclusion of Labor in britain and the Socialists in Germany from mainstream  political discourse -- no formal proscriptions or even media censorship, but lots of guys with baseball bats to visit party HQs. Even now, decades later much of this policy mix holds, even if certain aspects like the biological racism have been dropped in favor of linguistic discriminaiton and anti-semitism is downplayed.

France made a third attempt at a war of revenge in 1930. Like the other two wars with Germany, France lost. This time, the humiliation was total as France was stripped of every single colony by Germany and Britain along with getting to see all of it's national treasures being taken to German or British museums. Yes, even down to the eiffel tower which now sits in a park in Berlin.

Once again, change appears to be in the air. The long afternoon of the age of empires appears to be slowly drawing to it's close. Britain has granted a few areas in India dominion status in recent years, along with extending full Kingdom status to Ceylon, the West Indies, Malaya and a quite industrialized Bengal. In fact, both Germany and Britain have cooperatively set up experimental 'mandates' consisting of East Africa and both halves of Angola. This has worked out well enough for Britain to work with the Italians on a similar arrangement for Somalia.
 
Besides the question of how much of the world is British pink or German grey, there are certain environmental troubles that concern the great powers. No resources have run out yet, but prices are rising to worrisome levels. Also, the weather has started to get "funny" the last couple of decades. No hurricanes in the Mediterranean yet, but tropical storm Ivo formed there last year. right now, the big powers are all trying technical fixes like massive usage of nuclear power, carpeting Australia and Italian libya with solar panels, etc.

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The Triumvirate are the three most powerful nations in the world: Britain, Germany and Japan. All three are very capitalistic, corporate-dominated constitutional monarchies. While individual nations like the United States may have more wealth or a higher standard of living, they clearly don't outmatch the three empires combined.

The first portion of the Triumvirate which dominates global politics, is a still globe-spanning British Empire. While what would be the white dominions have been spun off as "Kingdoms" and say South India has dominion status, the mentioned areas all remain within the British economic sphere and contribute to the empire's wealth. London remains the biggest center of world finance, and also enjoys a status as the center of world culture. British culture of course is more aristocratic and elitist in a world where the old aristocracy didn't lose their sons in two major wars and their wealth by inheritance taxes.

The Kingdoms within the empire have gone from being colonies to becoming equal partners. This began with the white dominions in the late 19th century with Canada, South Africa and Australia. South Africa is larger than OTL, due to butterflies involving certain gold discoveries happening earlier. As a result, the boers were swamped by English settlers. That said, there aren't really any black voters but at least there's less petty humiliations than under apartheid. Since the 1990s, there even a couple of nonwhite Kingdoms: Ceylon, Malaya, The West Indies and a Very Capitalist Bengal have all been granted Kingdom status as a sort of an experiment. Both Ireland and Scotland have this status too -- in fact, it was the successful precedent of both becoming Kingdoms that led to the experiments with granting nonwhite regions Kingdom status.

Below the kingdoms are semi-autonomous "Dominions" and other protected states like Oman. Egypt, South India, Rajahstan, Marathastan, Bhutan, Sikkim and Nepal. The difference, is that these areas still tend to be run for the benefit of the empire and kingdoms and as a result are exploited. Just like in the colonies, the bulk of the local population works in local branches of British factories or on industrial farms and if they're both compliant and lucky get paid at all. The difference between these and colonies is the policemen who brutally put down labor unrest are locals and not redcoat MPs.

The colonies remain run for the benefit of the metropole. Decades of alliance with a prussia-led Germany have altered British colonial policies in certain ways. Paying workers is optional and massacre is a standard policy option for unrest, but at least there is the germanic legalism. The law may be tough, but it is fair in theory. Oddly enough, legal fairness doesn't mollify the anger of those who are outraged at the fact their village got burned to the ground because of protestors or that they're working in Apple factories without hope of ever seeing pay.

Portugal remains Britain's Little Buddy, but still resents having it's colonies stripped from it back in 1910.

Argentina has 92 million people and an averaged out standard of living like Italy's. it is even more Italian-influenced than our Argentina because of an even longer period of open immigration. The wealth and population are still centered around Buenos Aires but at least the gap is merely say France vs Sicily in terms of average income. As of late, Buenos Aires has become something of a fashion center -- it's not on par with Milan yet but it's getting there.

The Confederate States of America is one of Britain's older friends. It's a more elitist and less self-consciously "populist" nation than our south -- without overbearing yankee intellectuals to cause domestic problem it lacks much of OTL's anti-intellectualism. It's also a bit culturally different than our dixie due to extensive south european and latin american immigration during the 19th and 20th centuries aimed at "whitening" the population by reducing the portion of blacks. Without internal political disputes with yankees to contend with  combined with earlier urbanization, the Confederacy is a bit more socially liberal than our southern US in certain ways despite being rather racist. Gays can get married in several states and marihuana remains legal as a rule. Slavery died 1900-35 in bits and pieces, although about half of the country still has debt peonage as an increasingly uncommon option. Segregation is harsh, enforced both by law and by custom. However, a few states like Virginia are starting to put more money into black schools and townships. The Confederacy's cities of Havana and New Orleans are both known for sleazy nightlife.

Japan is Britain's partner and closest ally as well as being the second member of the Triumvirate. Japan is still developed, but it is rather less modern and westernized than our world's Japan. Think the Japan of geisha and bushido rather than that of pokemon and pocky. A less westernized Japan's people can't see why people in other countries find lolicon hentai or 12 year old "video" stars creepy. The fact that Japan wasn't cheated out of it's gains from Russia in the wake of Second Crimea combined with an earlier and more expensive experience with running an empire prevented Japan from going off the authoritarian deep end. Japan remained an elitist semi-democracy, and over time moved to full democracy first for Japanese and later on for both taiwanese and assimilated Chinese. They have made Japanese out of much of the Korean and Manchurian population. The catholic Philippines remain more culturally distinct from the rest of the empire in part due to relgious reasons. In recent years, the problems of increasing unrest combined with higher expenses for security have made Japan grant the Philippines autonomy plus certain, more radical types argue for moving the Philippines to be a protectorate like Mongolia and no longer a colony. With a more conservative regime than OTL, combined with removing the megadeaths of the world wars Japan makes ours look almost rural in comparision. This means that projects like arcologies and even building a floating tower in Tokyo bay have been tried to enhance the value and usage of real estate. There are of course occasional disasters leading to the deaths of hundreds or thousands, but in a world with attitudes towards risk more like the early 20th century this is not enough to discourage Japan.

Third but not least is the German Reich of more than 200 million strong, extending from Alsace to the Baltics. The population is mostly german but includes visible polish and baltic minorities, which retain their linguistic distinctiveness despite decades of pro-germanization campaigns. Nowadays, there is extensive immigration from former russia and other portions of Eastern Europe. The government is actually _less_ democratic and open in practice than it was in 1914 in OTL. Yes, it's more open for those with talent to rise but unlike in our world where Germany became a middle-class society after two world wars, it was more of a switch from aristocracy of blood to aristocracy of talent in practice. A Germany that was founded in the wake of accepting the "crown from the gutter" turned out to be a more liberal Germany on economic matters. This meant a more dynamic economy than our Wilhemine Germany, but also the lack of the prussian welfare state that people would recognize from our history. What social services that emerged both in Germany and other nations tended to resemble workhouse or charity operations. Also, the notion of treating labor unions as something governments can coopt or live with instead of something to be repressed hasn't really taken off as it did in our world. This is part of why worker's rights lag OTL and why disciplinary practices like flogging workers persisted longer, and in certain cases like prisons or for natives in colonies persist even to now. Government-provided or even just subsidized healthcare along with many other benefits remain unthinkable.

Germany's status as the dominant power ensures that students learn several years of german in schools from Amsterdam to Moscow to Sofia. On a global level, German remains the prestige language of certain hard sciences such as chemistry and physics.

The Austrian Empire's political system is petty and sclerotic but without major tests it's been able to muddle along. The government is less active for both good and ill, which translates into even less social services in germany but on the other hand, there's less policemen with assault rifles to break labor disputes. It's even become a semi-democracy, with the remaining limitations being to protect the government from secessionism. With the emigration of millions of people either to Germany, the new world or settler colonies this is less of a pressing issue. This has allowed a certain degree of reform and genuine federalization. With a freer intellectual environment combined with a less corporatized economy, Austria has become one of the most technologically dynamic parts of the world.

Scandanavia is an unusual place; It's not quite a single federal state, but it's also not quite three different states. This close confederation of kingdoms emerged over decades of ad-hoc cooperation. This isn't a radical development, but merely the intensification of certain OTL trends in favor of Scandanavian cooperation.

The rest of Germany's eastern european allies all have Hohozellern princes on their thrones and are at varying levels of social cohesion and development. Ukraine and White Russia are on par with Germany in developmen while Turkestan is merely as well off as OTL Kazachstan. In some areas such as Siberia, Turkestan and Transcaucasia there has been extensive German immigration. Usually, the immigration tends to be _to_ Germany and by now there are Ukrainian, White Russian and finnish quarters in many German cities.

Italy retains it's colonial empire and is one of Germany's closer allies. The government is run like a more competent version of Mussolini's italy, but with more style. Also, an obsession with renaissance culture as opposed to The Glory of Rome.

The dutch are independent and retain a little empire but are otherwise unremarkable.

China avoided slipping into the warlord period because the Qing fell apart a decade early and ended up being replaced by a new dynasty led by a military strongman. This led China to a golden age of prosperity, which fell apart in a long period of unrest from 1955-70. The reason for this was that an increasingly modern China's middle classes judged the corrupt new dynasty by the standards of the past and found it to be wanting. After all, Confucianism proved just as adept at creating a critique of modernity as Shia Islam in Iran was in OTL. China's economy is around 20 years behind OTL in terms of development due to the rather xenophobic nature of the current rulers of China.

The United States is a corrupt oligarchy, much like our world. It's a more urban, capitalist and (more openly) corporatized nation than ours -- the economy is no more dynamic or prosperous than ours, though. The biggest visible differences are that the United States isn't a superpower and that the inner city 'hoods are irish or sicilian and not black -- This world's *13th amendment excluded the descendents of slaves from citizenship and included a deportation clause -- The border patrol was created in the 1870s to prevent slaves from sneaking in. The fact that the progressive-minded types were able to have stronger influence than OTL during the golden age of racism helps explain how these trends were taken to the point of making US citizenship explicitly limited to europeans.

France is still under a Napoleon and sulks over the loss of it's empire. It's politics are lurid and involve occasional assasinations combined with constant rioting. A more repressive government isn't enough to stop the French from doing their national sport of protests and strikes.

Liberia is at a low-end latin american level due to extensive Confederate and Union investment, combined with a bigger (if still minor) back to Africa movement.

The Swiss wish they weren't on this planet.

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Having a larger capitalist world and anglo-german scientific cross-fertilization has more than made up for the lag caused by relative geopolitical quiet of this century. Military technology and aerospace are a bit behind and the internet is still largely text with small pictures but other technological areas such as medicine, biotechnology, materials science are all on par or ahead of OTL. Due to the ongoing energy and environmental crises, "alternate energy" is about a decade ahead of OTL.

Airships lasted longer as the main form of civilian air travel, but since the 60s and 70s have mostly been displaced by jets. No world wars on OTL's scale gave them more time to work out the bugs in the technology but people simply wanted speedy travel. They're still around for the aerial equivelant of luxury cruises, though. Absurd energy costs have given airships a new lease on life in recent years, though.

The once-stalled space program is starting to get new life. Peak oil hit a while back, and that combined with other resources running scarce means there is renewed interest in the prospects of asteroid mining and orbital solar power. Of course, since it means usage of unmanned mining robots, this means that the manned lunar landing that was planned for 2012 was scrapped and the resources put into the orbital solar program.

As a whole, the world is richer, more prosperous and more educated. It may be a prosperous world, but it's one clearly under the economic and cultural domination of a few big players --World capital has as its HQ's London, New York, Berlin and Tokyo in that order.  For culture it is London, Paris, Berlin, New York and Tokyo in that specific order. There is a major push for both assimilation and oppression(inhibiting nationalism, national languages, national feelings) in the imperial protectorates and colonies. Modern science shows that yes, the people in the colonies are fully human but in a world without world wars this doesn't translate into cultural tolerance. Instead, the feeling is that local cultures are "counter-adapted" to modernity and that Europe's civilizing mission is their only hope for prosperity.

Non-western languages, aren't doing as well as OTL. The educational systems in colonies tend to teach the languages of the colonizing great power and ignore local tongues. This has led to the extinction of several african languages with  other languages in africa and Asia doing less well. Many languages in africa and asia even have western loan words.

The fashion and architecture in this world would be quite 'retro' to a visitor from OTL. However, this isn't conservatism per se, it's just that the current style of the last two decades has been consciously inspired by late victorian/edwardian styles. There are differences -- the outfits tend to be sleek and tighter. Also, men's facial hair is neat with mutton-chops *not* being revived. Very neatly trimmed goatees are of course de rigeur for politicians.  The population of non-western regions with the exception of Japan all usually dress in a more westernized manner than OTL.

Eugenics is of course alive and well. However, the fact that the world's computer tech lags our world by a decade means that applications are more limited than one might expect at this point. Mostly, it's sterilizing people with "bad" genes".

Architecture is less modernist and avoided our world's "brutalist"/minimalist phases. Instead, the mid 20th century saw austere neo-classicism, which has been replaced by a neo-victorian revival that uses modern building materials.

Economic theory in this world has less socialist influence, and more classical liberal influence. On one hand, this means this world's under-deveoped nations avoid the pitfalls of radically socialist policies and are richer. However, this has it's downsides in the form of the boom and bust cycle, along with visibly greater levels of inequality being the norm in western nations; this is a world where the "great compression" of the 30s to the 70s simply never happened. An additional side effect of both stronger capitalist economic theory combined with a more globalized economy is there being longer work hours and less worker's rights in western nations. This is a world where the range tends to be 48 hour work weeks in Scandanavia to 72 hour work weeks in The United States. Pay and benefits are scaled down accordingly, unless you're in the higher echelons of the corporation.

There are powerful megacorporations which enjoy a greater degree of autonomy and economic dominance than any in our world. Anti-trust laws along with legislation prohibiting the formation of cartels and price-fixing tends to either be nonexistent or theoretical. This is part of what gives corporation greater control over their work force -- in some areas like Brazil or the United States or even in the colonies where crime and or visible signs of massive inequality are present, workers might live in special corporate-owned neighborhoods or apartment blocks. In some cases, worker's rights have actually gone in reverse since 1900 and 12-hour workdays are still common in the US and Japan.

The environment is even worse than in OTL thanks to capitalism remaining significantly stronger. There are brown clouds of Europe and North America to go with the one over East Asia.
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A) Statehood for Jefferson, 1938

This is a world where the people in far north California as well as southern Oregon who wanted their own state starting in the 1930s were a bit quicker to organize than in OTL.  While our world had a vigorous pro-Jefferson movement in 1941, the second world war and later pearl harbor changed people's concerns and led to the movement's decline, this world saw the movement managing to organize fast enough to squeak by before either happened.

An extra state for the US aside, the past several decades have mostly passed much as OTL -- the second world war happened on schedule, a cold war was won and there is even an ongoing war on terror. This world's differences are largely concentrated in the United States. Thanks to various policy changes, America uses 18% renewable energy and 16% nuclear energy along with using a fifth less energy per capita than OTL. America's old suburbs, cities and existing small towns are more settled than OTL, while there are fewer exurbs, edge cities or outer suburbs.

76 years after successfully voting for seperation from Oregon and California, Jefferson is doing well all things considered. The economy is chugging along better than most of the country thanks to the state government lucking out and having the right leadership in both the early 70s and mid 2000s -- Jefferson isn't 100% energy or resource independent by any means but it's doing ALOT better than even more 'green' bits of the United States in OTL. The fact that jefferson relies on wind, solar and hydro power from the mountains and has set up it's infrastructure to not be oil-dependent has insulated it from much of the effects of the last decade's energy shocks. Jefferson's politics are divided between Democrats and Greens. Yes, the 2000 election happened just as OTL but in this world with one state where they're influential enough to send an occaisonal representative to Congress the Green Party retains a bit more influence.

Due to Jefferson's successful example, 7 states(Alaska, California, Jefferson, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Colorado) all have legalized marijuana with the second state, Alaska doing so in 2010. Only Jefferson goes further and has legalized recreational use of certain psychadelics such as psilocybin mushrooms and LSD. President Obama has just signed into law a national Medical Marijuana law.

Another area that Jefferson has been something of an example on is alternative energy, if less influential than it has been for say drug policy -- The federal gas tax is 45 cents instead of 18, a small part of the federal highway budget is spent on mass transit, The US uses 18% renewable energy, fuel efficiency standards are 35 miles per gallon and there is both federal and state funding for alternative energy or conservatation(granted the amount tended to be a pittance before the Obama administration, but its' better than nothing). To be fair, this hasn't done all that much but it did lead to gas prices peaking at 3.50 back in 2008 intead of averaging over $4 so there's that. Neighborhoods built in the 70s and later tend to have sidewalks. Energy policy splits with republicans favoring nuclear and or domestic oil/coal with some token conservation, with democrats being more pro. An obvious side effect of Jefferson's energy influence is that an America which took less pain last decade is a bit more smug and imperial.

One side effect of Jefferson's increased environmental awareness is the fact that the US, since the early 1980s has actually enforced it's immigration laws along with making family reunification immigrants have to be immediate family -- no more cases of people bringing in half their village by it. As a result, America's population is 30 million lower than OTL -- it would be more like 45 million, but the gap has been filled by either native-born Americans or first/second generation immigrants who can afford more children than in OTL.

Outside of the US, Jefferson's example has been noticed a bit more. There are more countries producing more than 20% or 30% of their energy from renewables. This hasn't changed all that much except for  softening the impact of the 2000s energy crisis -- the US had a bad late 2000s but at least unemployment in this timeline is closer to the obviously gamed figures we see in OTL and there has been an admittedly limp recovery.

B) Statehood for Puerto Rico 2006

This is a recent one, but with Puerto Rico getting statehood just in time for the 2006 congressional elections. The exact POD is Bush probably having an ephipany over pretzels and thinking letting PR into the union would help the GOP gain the latin votes. It doesn't quite work that way, but Puerto Rico becomes America's 51st state a few weeks before the elections, leaving them barely enough to time to get ready.

Outside of 6 new permanent delegates to the house(granted, after the 2010 census it gets dropped to 4), a temporary boost in flag sales,  a few enthustiatic editorials in the wall street journal suggesting annexing Mexico to fix the illegal immigration problem, and some more pork the addition of Puerto Rico to the union doesn't change much over the next 8 years. The closest thing to a macro change is that the culture of the mid 2000s gets an extra year before it deflates much like OTL thanks to the temporary boost of patriotic enthusiasm. Obama still wins, the great recession, arab spring and the like all happen on schedule with the US's having a different flag being the main change.

Internationally, the addition of Puerto Rico as a state has... zero real effect since it was US territory beforehand. This didn't stop a few swedes from doing not all that well-thought out of protests under the "free Puerto Rico" banner which only made news in summer 2007 since there weren't enough shark attacks or celebrities having to go rehab to fill news cycles and they could run with it. This has only had the effect of creating yet another reason for 4chan's /pol/ to mock sweden("they didn't know the US owned Puerto Rico beforehand? Really").

One side effect of more attempts on the part of both parties to try appealing to the 'hispanic' vote is that demographic becoming more important for elections despite low turnout. The largest such unintended consequence was Kuchinich's laughably failed attempt to primary out Obama back in 2012 getting either five states or delegates of bigger states, all of which had notable hispanic populations -- this was something noticed by vice president Biden, which he cited to recently get Obama to quietly drop the subject of immigration 'reform'("What are you thinking? You want to let officer Concha or Zimmerman's cousins in to cause MORE riots, raise crime and make sure whichever sucker runs in 2016 lose to the GOP? Really, Barry I don't even know where you're going with this."). Obama isn't the only black american to notice this and things are getting a bit more tense -- this ranges from stiff primary competition, GOP candidate Rubio's coming within 15 electoral votes of victory in 2012, Victory riots both after the election and his inaugeration -- the fact that Obama pardoned the rioters once arrests started hasn't helped, the summer of riots back in 2012(Zimmerman, again) and the ongoing month-long riots in Los Angeles because the LAPD killed a random teenager back in may. At least outside of LA, the shootings or throwing of molotovs in cities with notable minorities of both blacks and hispanics in the same cities are still (relatively) infrequent.

Partly both because of it now being clearly possible, along to send a message to both the GOP/cuban-americans Obama decided to force the opening up of relations with Cuba in early 2013 instead of in the past week or so. Results have been largely mixed, if extremely minor on the US side(cheap cigars and rum, yes. The million or so cubans who've taken advantage of it being easier to get an exit visa, plus US policy to get in have been a bit of a disruption.). The Cuban government is trying a rapid move to capitalism, in particular of selling off state property to Americans. Cuban-Americans in Miami aren't happy that it's US millionaires buying everything up and that they're not getting their parents/grandparents sugar plantations back.

Puerto Rico is doing all right since they now get to benefit from pork, doubly so since they're a reliable Democratic state but not reliable enough to prevent the GOP from being hopeful and funelling money it's way. These days, the state economy is moving closer to convergence with the US as a whole even with the recession slowing things down -- it's now above both Missisipi *and* West Virginia on HDI charts. With the ongoing convergence, the outflow of people from Puerto Rico has actually stopped and started to reverse -- quite a few young mainland Puerto ricans decided to try their luck back on the island rather than in the recession-hit East Coast.

C) Abortion legalized five years later

The third one, which is again a modern one.

The POD is the supreme court's members in 1970  all deciding to agree to take an eight-year "wait and see" approach.(The "lets not touch this issue ever since it's radioactive" portion of the court was shot down but at least was able to get that) on the abortion issue.

Before the legalization of abortion things go much like in our 1970s, but with a bit more of a left turn in some ways. Less attention being put on the supreme court led Presidents Ford and Carter to *both* be able to get a justice in the court since it was a less pressing issue than OTL.

On the eve of legalization, the legal status for abortion was this: Eight states had abortion legal on demand(the additional states besides OTL's 1973 states were California, Oregon, Vermont and for before 24 weeks,  Massachusetts), 3 legal for rape(missouri and Iowa in addition to Alabama), 4 had it legal for 'danger to mother's health'(new hampshire, Maine, Minnesota and Illinois), 13 Legal in cases of danger to woman's health, rape or incest, or likely damaged fetus(distributed a bit differently than OTL 1972. California and Oregon went fully to demand) and 18 states had it still illegal for various reasons. On the federal level, the only action was to establish that medicaid, AmeriCare and medicare would cover abortion in areas where it was legal.

Non-abortion legislation from 1973-78 much like OTL. The largest changes in this era is the 1973 national health care act, which is comparable to OTL Obamacare if a bit better thought-out(Obamacare raised healthcare's share of the GDP by atound 4-6% depending on numbers. This one reduces the costs by 10% -- making end up being 12-13% by 2014) along with the 1977 removal of marijuana from the controlled substances act and turning most policy over to the states). In 1977, another set of changes is to fold medicaid, medicare and AmeriCare into one bureaucracy along with making plans more portable, letting people import medicine from Canada and letting people buy plans on a national level -- this doesn't remove the issues that AmeriCare has, but it allows the costs to drop down even further.

The 1976 election sees the Democrats winning with a west and south-focused ticket of  Jimmy Carter and Mo Udall   winning in 1976 with  an extremely close election that even takes a recount to settle. On the one hand, a more left-wing environment was more favorable for democrats but on the other hand this same factor meant that there was less appeal for the relatively conservative Carter.

The exact timing of legalization of abortion under the "Kleiman v. Oklahoma" ruling is January 1978, coincidently not too far off from the five-year anniversary of what would have been Roe V. Wade's ruling in OTL. Responses are immediate, with many conservatives rallying -- in a world where the timing of abortion legalization and the fight over whether or not Bob Jones Unviersity would have to integrate happen much closer to one another, getting catholics on board is easier than in OTL.

The Carter/Udall adminstration goes much like OTL's Carter administration, with the changes being ones of emphasis and not degree. The emphasis is a bit in a center and a left direction compared to OTL -- the Cuban embargo got ended in 1978.

On January 20, 1981 Ronald Reagan and his vice president, Jack Kemp are inaugerated. The Reagan-Kemp administration was much like OTL's Reagan administration with a few changes centered around the backlash's being less a free market one, and more explicitly socially conservative. One sort-of-notable change is that the OTL 1994 "republican revolution" happens 1980-1990 with the GOP's long march to capture both huses. Kemp wins in 1988 but loses to the ticket of, surprisingly still Bill Clinton with Douglas Wilder -- Gore wasn't in the senate after 1988 due to a personal finance scandal, combined with an ongoing divorce.

The 1990s go much like OTL, even down to the Clinton scandals. The most visible change is that abortion and related issues like birth control are even more of a touchy subject than in even OTL 1990s. The second most visible change is that a GOP that's more socially conservative and less 'free market' leads to different compromises -- no GATT, NAFTA having a 10% tariff for products from outside, Hollywood only getting a 15-year extension for copyright and less media consolidation than OTL. Another, if less visible change is that the rustbelt craters more and the sunbelt rises faster than OTL -- people's insurance being more portable makes people less locked into jobs. Another side effect of people being less locked into jobs is that there is more opportunity for workers to shift jobs if they get too unfavorable of terms so inequality rises a bit slower than OTL. A not very noticable side effect of Wilder's being veep instead of Gore, is that there is slightly less censorship in radio, TV and self-censorship in general.

The clinton Era ends, with the election of the Republicans with the Bush/Ashcroft ticket in a close, but not lawsuit-ridden election -- the lack of anything like OTL's "Bush v. Gore" means that politics are slightly less nasty, plus progressives are a bit less likely to support using extralegal tactics. The 2000s, and the early 2010s are an era of preachy, moralistic conservatism with the only upside being the existence of a semi-viable counter-culture unlike OTL's embarassments of emos, the Iraq war protestors and the proto-SJWs.

Despite the recession that resembled OTL, the GOP candidate Mark Allen decided to keep campaigning unlike McCain's wasting time trying to make the bailout be GOP-friendly. Allen wins in 2008, but loses in 2012 to the democratic ticket of Biden/Ford. Despite being the one conservative on the 2008 GOP primaries who wasn't either under indictment for accidently killing one of his hunting partners like Chiney or just guilty of producing cringeworthy songs like Ashcroft, Allen's term turns out to be in practice having to compromise with the left -- gay marriage really starts to get going, democrats use the majorities they have in congress to force him to pick center or center-left justices.

~~~

In terms of foreign policy, the United States is much like OTL. The cuban embargo got ended in 1978, reinstated in 1982 and ended yet again in 1994. The US is in the middle and late stages of a withdrawal from Iraq -- a more gradual withdrawal then the one Obama was trying hasn't yet produced anything like the collapse of order and warlordismm that we've seen in OTL.

Overall, economic policy is largely OTL except being slightly less rigged in favor of either big companies or government contractors than OTL. Think a US with a gini coefficient of .44 instead of OTL's .47. This shift, combined with a slightly less bureaucratic healthcare system means the overall US GDP is 10% higher than OTL. Alas, this remains rather unfairly distributed.

Civil liberties  and surveillance in the United States are back up to  pre-patriot act levels -- part of is it that a stronger GOP in the early 2000s meant that the patriot act was written more by the GOP, with less input from 'law and order' democrats. The other parts are 2012 revelations about NSA spying, by a disgruntled agent in his 40s who was tired of being passed over for promotion deciding to reveal it during the election campaign.

The Republican Party is much like OTL, except with the religious types being more influential than in OTL. Not radically so, but more like say the mid 2000s of OTL instead of OTL's ongoing slow disengagement. One side effect of a GOP more dominated by the fundies, is that it's slightly less of a vehicle for corporate shilling. Emphasis on slightly, but even things like not playing budget games with social security/healthcare and accepting moving the social security tax cap to 500,000 from 120,000 help get it more votes from the working class and even some nonwhites.

The democratic party is somewhere between the following 3 eras 1) it's clintonite centrism 2) John Kerryite GOP-lite 3) OTL present, with the emphasis being more on the first and second due to some hard choices made in the 80s, mid 1990s, the late 2000s and the 2012 elections -- some gen x and gen y SJWs are mad about there not being handy government databases or requirements for backdoors for them to get into for black mail. Gun control has been quietly dropped from the national platform along with a good portion of the state platforms. They're still pushing for gay marriage vigorously like OTL, and one of Biden's first achievements was rolling back the ban on partial birth abortion.

As a result of said hard choices, the US has a green party able to get 2-5% in presidential elections, consistently gets at least 5 reps(whether or not they're from vermont/maine or the pacific northwest varies) and from 2006-12 had a senator. Think the green party as the tumblr party, with all of the incoherency and venom it implies -- every so often there's a scandal with a green rep talking about the need for violence against white or cis people.

The Libertarian party is much like OTL, but with 1-3% of the vote in presidential elections and getting a representative in some western state every couple of elections.

With a slightly milder reaction against abortion, the federal government just prevented NGOs from performing abortions until 2001 rather than OTL's policy until 2009 of also not allowing NGOs which got federal money to even just promote abortion. The result of this is 50 million fewer people in the third world, mostly in Africa and India -- this has oddly had the side effect of butterflying OTL's ebola epidemic. On the other side of the ledger, marburg is currently spreading in 9 east and central african countries, with 30,000 dead. An ebola epidemic started in Chad back in may, with 1,000 dead.

D) Belgium partitioned in 2006

Alright, here's possibly the shortest of the lot: Belgium in this world doesn't just experience gridlock it splits up in 2006.

The exact POD is sometime in the 1980s or 1990s. Something minor -- one or more minor phamphlets in either Flemish or French. The exact cause is unimportant but the desire for secession on both sides starts off being a little bit higher than OTL, but by 2006 you have people on both sides being more willing to secede.

The crisis starts with 4 months of disputes between the parties, in the middle of the fifth month the riots and protests begin. By month 7, there was a molotov thrown. After that, nothing was the same. By the end of the 9th month there were two countries instead of one -- Flanders and a just-renamed Wallonia.

Flanders refused to join the European Union. This turned out to prove important surprisingly soon after secession. Flanders'  refusal to join the EU led to the withdrawal of Hungary in 2009 following objections to Fidesz' policies. Croatia and Serbia also withdrew their respective applications.

The precedent of Flanders' refusal to join combined with the withdrawn applications and Hungary's departure proved quite important on the world stage in 2010. This instability caused the stock market's crashing in early may of that year to turn into a recession, which got followup crashes later that year and in 2011 which mirrored 2007-8. Incidently, this recession both squished a budding fracking boom and didn't just prevent a housing recovery but led to a crash in commercial real estate.

Scotland voted for independence in 2012, in an election which was so close it led to months of recounts, lawsuits and much whining from one or the other side.

The resulting instability, combined with the ongoing recession led to more political instability in Europe -- the Golden Dawn took over greece, radical right parties ended up getting visible numbers in parliaments. In America, it led to a brief conservative renaissance exemplified by the election of the ticket of Rick Santorum, with political outsider Andrew Schlafly as veep -- Schlafly's lack of experience in actual politics was used as a selling point to tea party types.

Stocks fell back in December after announcements of successful secession referendums in both England and northern Italy and have not yet revived.

As of early 2015, things are heading into yet another period of instability kicked off by the overthrow of a pro-western Ukranian government in early 2014 -- some more worried types are wondering if the world is in the early days of a shift to a new era, like was seen with the assasination of an archduke in Sarajevo in summer 1914. The European Union and NATO's generally's weak responses impressed nobody, which is not helping people's confidence(or stock prices).


***

The European Union is looking creaky, unstable and about to fall apart. Seperatist protesters are rioting in the street, with the effect of peeling off a  few of the newer members like Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Iceland, Slovenia and now England. There is also increasing violence between the native-born and immigrant minorities, the specific issue is muslims.

Scotland, Flanders, Kosovo, Azawad, Catalonia, Padania, Euzcadia, England and a Darfur that took advantage of international mood favoring secession are all independent and recognized by the UN. Perhaps in retaliation for the US recognition of Kosovo, Russia and China recognize the Islamic Republic of the Levant, a warlord state consisting of most of Syria along with the sunni bits of Iraq. The Assads still rule Latakia and have managed to 1) get a treaty with Levant's government 2) recognition by 30 countries. Boko Haram rules a third of northern Nigeria.

France, England, Flanders, Denmark, Spain, Cyprus, Italy, Hungary, Greece, Romania, Euzcadia, Padania, Poland and the Czech republic are ruled by either anti-EU and/or anti-immigration parties. Despite fearmongering, only about a third of these parties are neofascist. Even then, only the Hungarian and Greek ruling parties have done things like rewritten the constitution or gerrymandering to help their parties.

The English Commonwealth under Lord Protector Farage is being rocked by government-sponsored anti-immigrant violence. Capital is fleeing the city of london to go to wall street, along with wealty britons being unhappy about the end of the UK.

The two remaining members of the United Kingdom of Wales and Northern Ireland are considering going with the flow and splitting up. Dublin's offering extensive autonomy to Ulster is encouraging this mindset. Betting people say the UK won't be long for this world.

The muslims in western-central europe's cities are responding to the rise of local populists by living down to the worst stereotypes of neocons and doing all-too predictable terrorism. As a result, even the SWEDES oh all people are increasingly with them.

The energy situation is much like OTL, if a bit worse. Gas in the US peaked at $5.50-$6 in 2012 and has gone down to 4.50. John Michael Greer is giving quite a few radio or podcast interviews these days.

Ebola has spread to 19 west and central African nations, with 50,000 dead. There is also an ongoing marburg epidemic in East Africa, with 5,000 dead. The "interesting" nature of the world economy has prevented real attention on either except for a few people on 4chan...
E)  AIDS delayed 5 years

A bit of a shorter one, where the main focus is on AIDS being delayed by 5 years. Think of this as sort of an opposite to my AIDS in 1971. There aren't any 'good' scenarios to have AIDS appearing in, but at least this  isn't any worse than OTL in most areas, economic policy aside.

Before HIV, the world followed roughly the same path as it did in the early 80s but without the backlash. The most visible changes of note are that the culture of that era ended up being slightly more outgoing than even our 1980s, and most importantly the first greenshoots of gay acceptance got a bit further. The religious right was weaker than say OTL 1986 when the backlash got going.

Come 1986, with the revelation of there being an AIDS epidemic there is a backlash -- this backlash was enough to keep the GOP in power until 2012, with the only gap being a one-term Hart/Clinton administration from 1997-2001 which due to scandals killed any hopes for reelection. The backlash affected both economic and social issues.  Due to the fact that various ideological trends were baked in, despite the sharp backlash there weren't that many policy turns -- the differences mostly come from the fact that the hardline parts of the GOP get more of what they want and it's republican pro-business types who get the perks and not democrats(subsidies for farms or oil companies yes. Extension of copyright no as examples)

* * *

The United States's economy is largely recognizable compared to OTL -- still with much the same economic policy due to similar partisan divides so it's currently in a recession. However, a conservative movement of more the 80s or 90s sort, which at least pretended to support small or medium-sized businesses too did slightly less stupid economics in some ways -- being more anti-regulation for small businesses than OTL helped, even if the "scrap all welfare besides the bits going to old people" was uh unhelpful -- the economy is a fourth smaller than OTL and inequality is as high as Brazil.

As mentioned above, the specifics are mostly as OTL besides the welfare reform. The notable change happens to be the raft of welfare reforms passed in the late 80s and early 90s that had the effect of 1) ending various federal programs besides social security/medicare for people born before 12/31/1965 2) forbidding states from using even  a dime of federal money to run any programs of their own.

In terms of various 'moral' issues like gay rights, marijuana, abortion or TV censorship/self-censorship by networks the US is mostly like OTL if slightly more relaxed in both legislation and personal attitudes -- 5 states have legal marijuana, President Biden early on in his second term tossed the partial-birth abortion ban and the FCC no longer increases ratings for gay-related content(popular culture is largely recognizable, even if they did manage to get various gay-related tropes out of the way 2-3 years early. ). Gay marriage just got legalized by the supreme, but before legalization had made it to 45 states due to prior rulings.

As for foreign policy, it's much the same as OTL even down to various mistakes. Baghdad has just been overrun by the Islamic State and the footage of American soldiers being beheaded with their dependents at where the US bases used to be has not done anything positive to President Biden's poll numbers.

* * *

By now, gay rights in western nations tends to range from certain european countries where it's on par with OTL with several other nations lagging several years. The United States just had legal gay marriage set up by the supreme court, but before Oklahoma v. Kleiman's ruling was decided 45 states already had gay marriage. However, this was a messier process with more blood than OTL -- in some red states there was attempts to stone gay teenagers by armed mobs that ended messily. The Conservapedia compound ended up being bombarded by the national guard from the air after they decided to behead the hostages kidnapped from local gay bars.

The AIDS epidemic kicking off in the second half of Reagan's term when he's in a less cut-happy mood meant that funding stabilized at a useful, rather than turgid level so there's been some improvement there -- there's an AIDS cure that's only now moving into human tests, after a decade of tests on monkeys.

Faster advances in AIDS medicine, with the resulting new drugs(both officially released and illegal pirate clones made in africa) has had the effect of creating a larger surviving population of AIDS survivors even in Africa. This large group of people, while their living in better health, or simply living at all is good both for themselves or their relatives has had the side effect of essentially having a bunch of people to serve as petri dishes without real immune systems for any soil bacteria or virus to mutate and latch on. There have already been a couple hundred deaths from extremely new diseases that will in this timeline lead to the global population peaking in 2020-21 before 2-3 billion people turn up dead within a year.

One side effect of the more chaotic and messy struggle for gay rights in the US was that the energy that in OTL went towards "Social justice" got diffused in that movement instead. The practice of getting people fired for saying something that tumblr types disagree with has thankfully yet not caught on.
Collection of minor PODs #1
Alright, here's a collection of minor PODs. Think shorter writeups like my original version of the OJ simpson found guilty one as a template.  No real theme for this batch, but some future batches will be organized by themes.

I know it's a bit odd releasing this right after the batch of travel guides, but this is something entirely different.( Depending on how many worlds  I do with the travel guides, some of these ideas might have potential. At least as close parallels.
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1) Post-Industrial-1

The year is 27,512.  Industrial civilization, along with both the failed attempts to reindustrialize and the varous salvage civilizations that followed it ended in failure long ago for a mix of complex environmental, economic and simply resource-based reasons.

A second high civilization exploiting both ruins and much of the remaining resources led by the heirs of the west, in Latin America along with a China that had gone back to being ruled by Emperors during the long night failed again. A third such civilization, now using both ruins and esoteric technologies to use fusion power failed yet again, but unlike the previous two didn't involve largescale nuclear wars punctuating the crises. After that were 5,000 years of failed attempts to reindustrialize, followed by ten millenia of working from ruins of decreasing wealth before humanity settled into a stable state.

The human race has settled in, on this warm world back down to a largely pre-industrial lifestyle -- metal-poor, largely non-electrical and mostly agrarian or pastoral societies. Emphasis on 'largely', since the middle ages or China in the 1700s didn't have things like shortwave radios, slide rules, bamboo, wood-fired threshing machines and canvas airships, or ultra-light aircraft made by blacksmiths.  As a result, urban areas are more of a factor than they were before industrialization in say OTL's industrial revolution -- if you have wood-fired threshers and horse-drawn mowers, you need less people working the farms so more are freed up for non-farming occupations.

Oil, coal, (tundra) methane ice, uranium are now all nothing more than geological curiosities. What old time technologies that require large amounts of fossil fuel energy to use are also museum pieces for the most part.

Local adjustments to the changed climate aside Eurasia, The Americas and the new lands of Greenland and the antarctic returned to the status quo mentioned above. Governments in most areas would look familiar to someone from say 1700 due to being back to the same sort of conditions, but there are new innovations that evolved during the dark ages. This has translated either directly through cultural revivalists bringing back the old forms from long ago, implementing what they imagine are the old forms, or due to adaptation to local conditions unintentionally ended up back there. The most obvious examples of these are that Zang are bureaucratic, The Rahz of Yend rule over societies with complex caste systems, and the petty Meerates of the Ranjz in the island continent seperated from the mainland by the strait of Ob remain quarrelsome. The most visible change is that abrahamic spirituality hasn't done well in this world despite no shortage of disasters in past millenia, since these disasters clearly originated both from the earth's instability combined with human misbehavior. The biggest holdovers are part of the middle east and the island that was Scandanavia where people still pray to Allah, the saints and the jinn. The fact that local editions of the Koran contain not only none of the same words, but the local dialect of 'classical' arabic emerged in the dark ages of the late 9th millenium.

Despite it's inapplicability in current conditions, a surprisingly large chunk of higher science and technological knowledge survives in archives. This happens to be because of residual religious reasons from the distant descendents of various faiths that emerged during the first global dark age which tended to blame the collapse on human misbehaviour and wanted ways to make amends. Unfortunately, as time passes on this knowledge is likely to be mostly lost or corrupted into gibberish since it isn't really applicable in current conditions -- plans for orion-type drives aren't helpful or relevant if your technical capabilities would be recognizable to say 4000 BC sumer, 1500 AD Spain or 12,700 AD Tenghua. The surviving knowledge which actually is relevant in deindustrial conditions is in little danger of being lost.

Offworld involvement: Center is the only world with any real largescale presence on Post-Industrial-1 -- a few, low-tech ski resorts in antarctica's redwood-covered mountains, travelling spies and some people selling supposedly lost old time books are about it. There were a few World State spy enclaves, but those were shut down in the raids back in 2020. Recently, within the past 6 months there have been repeated sightings of possible crossworld craft from an unknown source. Refer to [redacted]
Other notes: Oddly, even more popular as an export for this world than old books for scholars are fantasy novels from Center's publishers.

2) Caliph

This is a world where the original empire of the Arabs was more pragmatic in it's religious policy and managed to eventually expand to cover the entire planet over the next several centuries while doing more gradual than OTL scientific and industrial revolution centuries before OTL's renaissance.

Currently, this world is slowly expanding into space -- a million people live on luna, the lagrange points or earth orbit while recently Mars' population has just doubled with another 5,000 people arriving there. It is also in the process of finally getting past a century and a half or so of energy and resource shortages -- industrialization centuries earlier than OTL, combined with a population that's around 10 billion people and with more of a 'first world' than OTL. Lukewarm fusion, orbital solar, sea thermal power, deep mantle mining and even a recently started asteroid mining settlement are all being used.

This is for obvious reasons an arab and islamic-flavored world. The OTL arab world with a few extensions like Iberia or parts of the Sahel is obviously arabic-speaking, it's former colonies-turned provinces in Abuland, southern africa and New Arabia are ethnically mixed, but arabic-speaking. Quite a big portion of Europe, central asia, Africa and northern India is quite culturally arabized, even if speakers of local languages remain at least a plurality. Despite globalization the local cultures in these areas manage to survive -- persians remain stereotypically arrogant, Eastern Franks like their wine, Hellenes *still* endlessly debate theology even if they're all sunni, etc.

Even with one empire ruling the entire world, politics remains quite complicated. There's the old arab core, the interior provinces(including the old settlement colonies) and varying degrees of further provinces, each with it's own relationship to Damascus -- Eastern Asia and southern India are the most dramatic cases of provinces being jealous of their privileges. Unpopular enough officials or governors can find themselves on the next jet back to the capital -- there are cynical jokes about there being a special Edo-Damascus flight just for high officials.

Islam, however due to both the pragmatism along with expansion to both east and west has absorbed some elements from buddhism, Zoarastarianism, hinduism and Christianity. There are no shortage of local syncretic religions combining both Islam and local religions -- these are for pragmatic reasons tolerated even if trying to convert muslims is... discouraged(more public shaming or mocking than state brutality thankfully. The abrahamic faiths and the islamic spinoffs don't face much of a glass ceiling except for the higher parts of the nobility. There is a bit of a  glass cieling for china's traditional religions, buddhism and hinduism -- oddly, due to it's martial nature earning it a degree of respect, Shinto is treated more like Christianity in this world.

Despite the earlier start, the overall technological level isn't far off from say OTL 2014. Yes, there are obvious improvements in quality, along with filling in blindspots that were missed in OTL due to the constant search for the next massive improvement but it's merely modern with touches of the slightly futuristic -- one single power ruling the world means there isn't the constant military pressure to justify massive state backing of R&D. There are laptops, tablets, smartphones, wearables, lifespans range from 80 to 95 depending on wealth, massive fusion or solar plants keep the power supply going  and few people besides a couple of IT guys to keep an eye on the systems work in call centers nowadays.

Even despite modernization, 40% of the world's population remains in one form of unfree status or another -- serfdom of both the factory or rural sorts, debt-bondage, Janissary status, slavery and state indentures. This number has gradually declined and regulations about treatment are in place. However, on the bright side of things only 9% are outright slaves -- centuries of mechanization combined with humanistic regulation have both reduced the desirability and neccesity of having slaves. 2/3 of the remaining slaves live in sub-saharan africa. A majority of the rest are the descendents of people shipped to North or South Abuland and New Arabia centuries ago.

Offworld involvement: Currently, Center is trying to divert scientists from doing research into some backwaters of physics. They've had to do five kidnappings so far. Thankfully, the current increased interest in space research as opposed to physics is diverting funds away from worrisome areas.
Other notes: This world's Haj to Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem has the highest numbers of any of the hundreds of worlds that Center has discovered so far. There are entire airlines just for Haj travel.
3) Qing-4 aka "Kung-Fu"

Yet another world centered on China. It's earned it's unofficial name from the unusual even for these worlds popularity of eastern martial arts -- the reasons are basically China's having a massive film industry, combined with a few US directors discovering it in the 50s and 60s. The divergence is one of those worlds where the hundred days reforms manage to get far enough for the Qing to muddle through the 20th century -- the fact they've made it to 1994.

It's a modern and largely recognizable world, even down to having a reasonably convergent history despite China's remaining imperial. There were two world wars, a cold war and just like Center or other such worlds with a modernizing China an ongoing process of adjustment of having the east starting to catch up to the west.

China isn't yet the largest economy on the planet, but analysts expect it to get there sometime between 2010 and 2020. Living standards are like say mid-1990s middle income nations of OTL like say Mexico so there's a gap between it and developed nations.  The culture is strongly traditional(alas, a surprising chunk of both the tradition and the conservatism is invented. At any rate, the effect produces a China that quite resembles that of many hong kong kung fu movies but modernized) and the governance downright reactionary -- they've had a couple of Franco and Salazar types running things, with the occasional grey eminance to spice things up.

Outside of China proper there is it's direct east-southeast asian sphere, and various friendly but too rightwing regimes for the US to stomach like South Africa, Rhodesia, a White Australia, a couple of right-wing juntas in Latin America and the oil shiekdoms.

The Japanese economy is chugging along, and it's geopolitical position is largely like OTL -- there are those on oddly both the far right and the anti-US left wanting it to align more with China.

The US's economy and international reach remain larger than China but there isn't the hyperpower moment of OTL's 1990s. Same goes for it's soft power -- the reach of Hollywood and US academia remains long. The US's parties tend to be more centrist and nothing like say the OTL religious right has popped up.

The Soviets remain a thing, but are quite creaky and there is a young, only middle-aged reformer type gaining more credibility by pointing out things like the endless war in afghanistan's lack of results and the economic boom in the USSR's former eastern european puppet states that dropped communism when the USSR upped and left them in the early 80s following unrest in poland that spiralled out to a near revolution at home. The future for the soviets remains uncertain and troubled.

Most of the rest of the planet is either 1) inwards-looking(USSR) 2) too economically marginal to matter much(most of the third world, increasingly the USSR) 3) too inchoherent foreign-policy wise(The EC, again). Europe from Portugal to Poland has formed an economic union like OTL, but the milder cold war removed half the incentive to make a common european foreign policy.

The reason for this world's name comes from the popularity of eastern Asia's martial arts, along with the related popular culture. There have even been attempts in both east and west to create new 'scientific' forms of martial arts techniques. There have been three calls to change this world's official designation to reflect the martial arts emphasis.

Besides martial arts, east asian popular culture is more widely spread. Unfortunately, quite a few westerners refer to Chinese manhua or Korean manhwa as just being anime or manga if they're informed enough to not just call it "japanimation". Flaky spirituality with buddhist or confucian flavor is also unfortunately more visible.

Technologically, the world is more like OTL's late 1990s than the early-mid 1990s in most areas thanks to China's being in the capitalist world. The internet's penetration is higher as a result, the Chinese are talking about landing someone on the moon in 1997 and the first, actually semi-profitable breeder reactors are being constructed outside of Chengdu. One area where it's more advanced is in both nuclear power and various 'alternative energy' schemes since a China that started slowly modernizing decades earlier led to rising demand and OPEC getting more bargaining power even without an energy crisis.

Offworld involvement: Tourism, mostly. Interdim inc. funds local operations by doing some technological trading; the design for the breeder reactors that China power is building came from Interdim's local front company as an example.
Other notes: The United States is oddly a more "european" nation in terms of level of urbanization thanks to a milder cold war leading to suburbanization being avoided(less need to redistribute the population).
4) Ex-dutch

The exact POD for this world hasn't yet been found by Center's historical researchers, but sometime during the war for independence the Dutch realized that if they wanted to survive, they needed to create a population base overseas. To this end, they used South Africa, New Netherlands and Australia to settle both willing colonists, along with large numbers of convicts -- this ended up being copied by Britain when they grabbed these areas after the American revolutionary and Napoleonic wars(New Netherlands got grabbed on schedule).

Higher populations in South Africa, along with a bit earlier settlement of Australia didn't stop the major pattern. Minor differences cropped up over time(Just think of minor events in one's own life that lead to larger shifts over time for a reason why) like Portugal'. The cold war wrapped up in the mid 1990s to early 2000s, with events like the sino-soviet split, the Manchurian SR's secession from the USR

The United States has 60 states, and is recognizable to a visitor from Center for the most part. Slightly increased dutch influence in the mid-atlantic has reduced the puritan streak enough to lead to gay marriage's legalization 6 years back in 2014 along with marijuana being legal to buy in half the country(western states outside of New Zion, along with the more relaxed red states of the coasts).

Despite having more settlement colonies, the Netherlands remains much like OTL. The only notable change is that there's more free trade deals with it's former colonies than OTL, even both of the ones that ended up being in the British commonwealth too.

Australia is a bilingual and theoretically(the fact that a good chunk of the Zuidlanders would get classify as 'coloreds' or Malay in OTL south Africa is quietly not mentioned) exlusively white nation with it's population divided between Zuidlaanders and Anglo-celts -- nonwhite immigration was and remains a nonstarter, the decision to relax the White Australia law enough to allow for southern Italians and white Brazilians in was touchy enough .

Like Australia, South Africa is prosperous and bilingual between english and the local dutch-derived language of Afrikaans -- this is a surprisingly culturally recognizable South Africa despite the different history. Essentially imagine South Africa's cape province, in particular pre-1994 cape province but on a grand scale. This has had impacts like the butterflying away of anything resembling apartheid. Unlike Australia, the population is rather less European and more clearly mixed than OTL -- increased dutch settlement, combined with a larger dutch population deciding to import more malays ended up translating into a nation that's colored-majority rather than black-majority(largescale african migration south got either absorbed or cut off at the pass by armed dutch/english/coloreds) -- the english population is also significantly larger than OTL due to the dutch example showing largescale european settlement being possible. It is also a larger nation, including OTL botswana, lesotho, swaziland, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

Malagasia is a former dutch colony, that can be summed up as "smaller, island south africa but without resources to make it more complicated", even down to apartheid having been ended relatively recently. Since it was never taken by Britain unlike Australia or South Africa, Dutch remains the sole official language.

Indonesia, Zanzibar, Grain Coast and Ceylon happen to have tiny dutch and mixed-race population remaining from colonial days but are less influenced by the colonial past than say South Africa or Australia.

There is one boer republic just to the north of South Africa filling in the gap between South Africa's northern border and Brazilian angola's east. The Africanist republic of Tongaland overthrew it's boers 20 years ago in a bloody revolution.  Loziland is pretty much mini-OTL South Africa.

Most of the rest of the planet's borders are similar to OTL, with differences tending to fall more in the "looks more like OTL's past in some ways" or "proposed borders of OTL" rather than anything unusual. For example, Czechoslovakia remains together but Belgium broke up a few decades back.

The hard left in this world is a bit different -- more Christian socialist types, old left types and less tumblr types. Butterflies lead to this world's replacement for Marx being less anti-religion -- not willing to endorse it, but to say it's not really a problem.

Offworld involvement: Not all that much. Outside of cultural tourism by South Africans from Center(buying DVDs of "Joe Barber takes Manhattan"/"Joe Barber VII: the community lookouts strike back" or CDs of Afrikaans rap, mostly) there isn't much done here besides keeping a few intelligence bases.
Other notes: Australia has quite a big canal system started by the dutch and finished by Britain to help with irrigation along with transportation to and from the outback.
Travel guides #1
Here's the first batch of travel guides for four worlds in a setting resembling, but obviously not Infinity Unlimited. This particular batch is all 'standard' alternate worlds, while other batches will feature colonized worlds or more unusual alternates. The world range from original to barely veiled, lawsuit-friendly covers of interesting worlds.
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Soviet Collapse in 1921 by OttoVonSuds
Soviet Collapse in 1921
Alright, here's one that used to be on here but was removed during The Purge.

Here's another map 'inspired' by a decade old AH.com scenario by the same author who did "Japan moves south in 1916". This time, I've kept the content with the changes being merely expansions of the content since it's a reupload.

 The POD he chose was that of Lenin's early death leading to the soviet union imploding in 1921 instead of 1991. Like in my other 'inspired' scenarios, I've done some tweaking but am largely extrapolating from what I see as reasonable divergences given the situation in the TL.. There are some divergences added in before the 1950s, but mainly to reduce convergence.

The original scenario left off roughly in the 1950s with a few important trends having either already happened or playing out: The emergence of a russo-chinese alliance, implied stronger movements for national liberation and Hawai'i was just put on the road towards independence. This followed  on from the USSR's early collapse, the Hohozellern restoration in Germany, the yugoslav partition, The pacific war, the spanish civil war and even an attempted coup in the United states to name a few of the many historical events that have happened in this world.

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Even though, there was no second world war or even a cold war, the last 70 years have still been quite interesting.

Russia and Germany's intense international competition of roughly 1940 to 1970 has slowly faded out due to the risks inherent in trying to seriously change the status quo combined with the fact that even with rather more mobilization of the economy and society than OTL's America, Germany simply didn't have the strength necessary to compete on par with the Russo-chinese alliance. Since both countries were at least partial democracies, albeit ones of rather divergent ideological leanings, it never got as bitter as OTL's cold war and nowadays is tepid competition.

The struggle for national liberation which really took off in the 1950s has had some mixed results. On the one hand, there are some areas such as Quebec, Hawai'i, Scotland and Puerto Rico's all being sovereign states unlike OTL. This has had effects in Africa with certain borders differing. On the other hand, without a second world war or soviet union to prompt rapid decolonization Britain and France retain more ties with much of their empires.

Sadly, Britain and France have still both declined like OTL, even if the timing was different and a few small bits and pieces here and there remained within the empire or empire-aligned. The altered timin had beneficial side effects on Nigeria and Sudan since both ended up being on their own and not tied to muslim regions in the north..

Unexpectedly, Russian appeals to national liberation have had the side effect of spawning a coalition of leftist states in the third world. Founded in the late 1960s, the Alliance of the south is an organization of various non-aligned states aimed at economic and political independence from the colonial powers of the west. Yes, these states are all leftist but they tend to be flavors even more unusual than many that existed in OTL due to the USSR's implosion before it could make it's model the dominant one. As a result, politics range from democratic India to states somewhere in between like Vietnam or unfortunately even socialist states which are more into the mindset of "Problems can be solved by shooting people" like Haiti(at least Haiti is merely only cuba bad instead of OTL's chaos). There are even halting attempts at some form of economic integration.

While the alliance has had it's ups and downs, the traditional Russo-Chinese alliance has endured over the years. Currently, it is on one of it's down phases due to the fact that China is increasingly using it's economic and political muscle on it's own. Despite the commentary by pundit types about the Inevitable Implosion of The Alliance, Peking and Moscow still cooperate extensively..

Themes of recent years include the rise of the global south, China's modernization and America's slow re-entry into world politics...

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The United States of America has traditionally followed an isolationistic path, but starting in the 1980s has begun to be more involved in world affairs. Unlike OTL where it's a hyperpower, America is considered to have the largest economy of the great powers. Economically, it is rather to the left of OTL in some respects, but this is more old left than OTL's 'new left' or progressivism. For example, there is universal healthcare and the financial sector is tightly regulated but alot of OTL's post-1950 regulations on various businesses don't exist. The higher taxes are more than counterbalanced by a weaker regulatory state, less corrupt government. No baby boom combined with a sharp turn to the left leading to the collapse of segregation has produced a rather different demographic environment and led to immigration being liberalized in the 1950s in response to labor shortages. For example, America still has 313 million people but nowadays the US is running around a third latin these days and has a spicier cuisine, spanish-only enclaves and several bilingual states -- there are a few states in the carib and Central America which have viable statehood movements.

The Republic of China is a corrupt "authoritarian democracy" under the rule of the of the "People's Conservative Party", a merger of two parties which coexisted in early republic politics and since the late 1960s have dominated china as a single unit. At least it's more PRI Mexico or 1950-90 LDP Japan or OTL Singapore than OTL's PRC in terms of level of corruption or repression. China is corrupt, capitalist and unlike OTL has more people calling for socialism. One noticable change is the lack of any campaigns to attack traditional culture. Economically, China's economy is about 50% larger than OTL's -- average incomes are around $9,000. This wealth has trasnlated into China enjoying more soft power than OTL -- there are chinese fast food chains all over the west, buddhism is the religion of those who would have gone for 'new age' spiritualism in OTL and Manhua have revolutionized comics.

Since gaining independence in the late 1970s, Korea has reluctantly returned to it's role as China's little buddy. A gradual transferrance to self-rule(first local autonomy, then in the 60s de facto dominion status and finally independence in 1978) have been counterbalanced by the lack of cold war necessity for trade combined with leftist economic policies. This means that Korea overall is doing no better than OTL's south korea economically, unfortunately.

The third major great power is the Russian Federation, a state stretching from the elbe to Vlavivostok. Compared to OTL, Russia has been quite lucky since it avoided the stalinist era and went through first a period of a corrupt semi-democracy that has by the 1950s evolved into a genuine democracy. It's politics tend towards various flavors of leftism and nationalism. This is reflected in it's demographics with such things as the Russian Federation having around 350 million people as opposed to OTL's CIS consisting of around 276 million. Russian incomes are roughly on par with Italy or Spain and there are occasional sketchy areas like the Mongolian A.R. or the caucus A.R.s. There are those russians who aren't overly pleased that China is now increasingly the lead partner in the alliance but so far, most are still willing to go along with the current system because it's what work and a few generations of russians have grown up allied with China.

Besides Russia itself, there are the other members of the Eurasian coalition. First, we have Russia's collection of allies in the balkans, all of which are functional democracies. Turkey is roughly as OTL except more secular. Iran is a nominally leftist, populist republic that is far more secular than OTL -- the government is roughly as authoritarian as 1970s yugoslavia. Turkestan has evolved from being a corrupt dictator's fiefdom to now a bureaucratic dictatorship slowly turning into an oligarcy cum sham democracy(The fact that the ruling Nationalists consistently win 90% of the polls shows they're not very good at it, though). Afghanistan is a corrupt left-wing dictatorship that's as bad as OTL yemen and has terrorism problems.

The first of the two potential contenders for the great power position is the Empire of Japan. Yes, Japan has lost Korea but it's economy continues to do well and it's avoided the megadeaths of OTL's second world war. Japan is in part responsible for the space race getting a second recent burst of attention in the 2000s due to their landing a man on the moon. Japanese popular culture is if anything even more strange and decadent than OTL, without the US occupation to affect mores. OTOH, Japanese culture is a bit less visible on the scene due to China's earlier modernization but it's still vislbe..

Germany stands as the second potential competitor. Since the Kaiser's restoration during the unstable 1930s, Germany has been a quite rightist democracy with politics ranging from near fascistic by OTL standards on the right to the center being to the right of anything in OTL's western europe. Over half of a century of pro-natalist policies and 35 years of immigration policies designed to let in sufficiently pale people willing to learn german along with no second world war mean there are 160 million germans. Germany is most notable for it's high technology, especially in the field of rocketry. After all, it was a very blonde and blue-eyed German who walked on mars in 2002.

There are of course, Germany's allies in central europe to be considered -- Bosnia, Croatia, Czechslovakia, Denmark, Hungary and The Netherlands. All of which are in a free trade area and customs union with Germany. Italy is the most important of these nations and even maintains a shrunken colonial empire as of 2012 along with an atomic arsenal of five aging german nuclear weapons which date to the 1960s. Besides those states, some right-leaning states in the global south like a richer mexico, A now thankfully liberalized brazil or a Syria that's *still* under the Assads look to Germany.

The Alliance of the south isn't a great power but still merits mention with the first tier nations and their 'allies'. Governments in this alliance are as a rule leftist and nationalist, which is interpreted quite broadly; for example there is India which is a lefty democracy, Vietnam which lacks american corpses in it's soil but otherwise resembles OTL and Haiti which is like a mini version of OTL's Cuba. Economically, these nations tend to do a ltitle better than their counterparts in OTL thanks to the lack of the soviet example, but their leftism means any gains are relatively minimal(5% in India to the 'miracle' of Haiti which goes from african standards of living in OTL to cuban standards of living).

Britain and France are the 'has been' states of this world. Yes, both retain bits and pieces of their empires along with having economic unions to try working with their post-imperial states to mixed results but both are clearly in decline. There are good outcomes like the dominion of south india which is at middle-income levels, then there are the bad like Cambodia, which has been a guerilla plagued troublespot for 50 years for France. For them, the century has not been a good one.

Hawai'i is significantly wealthier than OTL thanks to it's convenient location to be a tax shelter, combined with no longer having to put up with the Jones Act increasing shipping costs to and from Hawai'i. Think upper first world levels

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Technologically, this world is around 5 years ahead of OTL overall with synthetics, biotech and materials enjoying higher leads than that.. Thanks to extensive competition between the powers, combined with no post-WWII spoils to give the US and russia and unstoppable lead aerospace first lagged OTL into the 1970s, but then has gone ahead in two major bursts of action. Phase one in the 1970s saw a man landing on the moon, more orbital construction than OTL while phase two in the 2000s saw the first man on mars, orbital hotels, a so far unprofitable orbital factory from Mitsubishi and solar power sattelites *finally* breaking even, yet still not being profitable. Oddly enough, due to nuclear power's being developed in peaceful circumstances it's more advanced and widespread than OTL with impacts on energy demand that are giving this world a generation more before even OTL's 2000s semi-wakeup call on energy. Computer networking is merely on par with OTL, but the Intergrid has more russophone, germanophone, japanese-speaking and sinophone presence and less of an anglophone monopoly.

Politically, the lack of either a second world war or a long-lived soviet union has dome some rather strange things to the world's political environment. First and foremost are the numerous side effects of the USSR's early demise such as a more active hard left and anarchist movement in the industrialized nations and a very splintered world socialist movement. Also, rightist populism in either italian or portuguese fascism or other forms like integralism is respectable due to the lack of a second world war.

Economic policy, as a result of the lack of a long-lasting USSR and more multipolar world is rather more splintered and heterodox than OTL. There is never OTL's cold-war era dichotomy of soviet central planning vs The Free Market with welfare for bankers, or OTL's washington consensus.

A stronger and more active hard left in industrialized nations, means that copyright terms are generally shorter, ranging from 40 to 70 years depending on the nation. This has generally had positive ramification on the culture even if there have been a few... drastic embarassments like Marvel's Batman(SWEAR TO ME PETER PARKER! SWEAR TO ME, DAMN IT!). DC's Spiderman at least is a massive improvement over Marvel's version though, since their version of Peter Parker had the decency to get killed off fast and replaced with someone who wasn't a total loser.

With a different intellectual environment, postmodernism remained fringe. When this world's variant of the internet came along, as a result we are spared tens of thousands of terrible self-insert fanfics. Unfortunately, most authors just replace them with either hijacked background characters or mary sue OCs so this isn't much of a gain.
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In most of the connected multiverse, Octover 29 1962 is not a particularly important date. On a small band of 61 worlds, it stands out as quite possibly one of the most important ones of  history, since on that day in 61 different worlds a strange anomaly appeared on the horizon on 12:00 AM GMT. The difference between these worlds, as discovered through intra-universal communications is which second of that minute the mirror cube appeared in Earth's sky from 11:59:59 to 12:00:60.

Following phone calls or other notifications, the leaders of nations on 61 earths turn their eyes skyward to the mirrorcube. This is just in time to see the shock as reflections of radios and satellite signals from other, seemingly mirror versions of earth arrive once the orbital.

Even now, this cube remains in the orbit of these 61 worlds, doing nothing besides serving as a conduit for transworld communications.

* * *

The histories of these 61 worlds vary in many particulars, but there are commonalities despite these differences. Given their origin one might compare these differences to a pallet-swap or a sprite recolor. In the multiversal scheme of things, the differences are outweighed by the similarities. Even though the butterfly effect is in operation, these 61 worlds show various broader trends and averages. Besides just serving as an example for various social experiments, you have crossworld communications providing people with advice that they may or may not decide to take("y'know, you might want to pass a civil rights act" or "Leave the rhodies alone. They're bad but look good compared to ZANU or ZAPU" "don't get involved in land wars in east asia"). Some changes are constant to all or almost all worlds while others are on mere majorities or 2/3s of worlds.

One of the most notable commonality of all of these worlds is the post-1962 detente -- part of it is the cuban missile crisis that had just ended with the other part being the mirrorcube's existence as an out of context problem that put the issues of East and West in  context. The detente at bare minimum started off 10-15 years long, and in a few actually led to the full normalization of relations between East and West with the cold war ending in the mid 1970s. At minimum this period led in most worlds to the Red Chinese being allowed into the UN, the Cuban Embargo being ended(Florida wasn't a swing state then and the missiles *were* just removed) among a few other things.

The other characteristic both of the early years, and to an attenuated degree even the present is a significant interest in space. Yes, it's taken hits from seeing the maintenence bills for Moonbase Alpha and Lunagrad along with cost projections for either asteroid mining or mars missions, but quite a few worlds have gone beyond the minimum of orbital hotels and 2-3 powers with lunar bases to mars expeditions. There are even a couple martian colonies now across the 61 worlds -- this ranges from a ramshackle base of 700 people for one mars to a functioning small city of 5,000 on another, more advanced world. Asteroid mining, due to it's risk is only done by three of the 61 worlds but is proving to be a literal goldmine.

After the first decade or so, the world's politics settled into business as usual in most of the worlds for good or for ill. On the positive side of things, this included increasing economic integration of the more functional bits of the third world into the world economy. On the downside, this included things like the energy crisis that hit 2/3 of the worlds anytime from 1967 to 1985.

The next major set of unexpected changes that hit were the decline of communism throughout these worlds -- in the years from the mid 80s to the late 2000s, 70% of all Soviet Unions either experienced partial or full collapse of one sort or another(This can mean your russias or a greater or lesser flavor or gorby-style liberalized USSRs or other, different states). In fact, by the present year of 2015, 96% of all Warsaw Pacts had either melted down fully or partially.

Meanwhile, as the communist blocs were all either ossifying then imploding or doing desperate reforms the west enjoyed tech booms of varying strength -- OTL's tech boom would have been middle of he road, with one lucky world managing to time it so that it also got to experience concurring booms in the space and biotech sector.

Recent years appear to be seeing the start of a new era of instability both international and domestic. America is either declining or deciding to slowly withdraw from world governance as great powers either rise to handle their regional issues or in worse cases become either competition or reviving old competitions. Meanwhile, economies are dealing with increasing automation, adjusting to higher energy prices, the effects of the internet and other technological shocks.

On the other side of things, there have been some unusual disasters in about 2/3 of these worlds. These range from the mundane issues of governance failure within a big power like the economic system simply 'bricking' and being locked into a depression-followed by stagflation-type pattern that takes a decade or two to fix at all(OTL since 2008) -- this has happend to about a third of the United States sometime between 1984 and the present. Other relatively mundane problems include the second energy crises that 40% of worlds have experienced sometime between 1995 to now thanks to energy(and often other resource ) producers noticing rising demand. Then there are the more unusual disasters such as in one world an extremely anti-piracy software company releasing a virus designed to enforce DRM that ended up bricking enough systems to lead to a billion people dead by the time everything settled down(copyright is gone) or Mexican collapse dragging in the US in another, different world. On the upside, no world has had any nuclear wars or outright collapses of civilization -- people credit both luck and the ability to look. After all, without the ability to hear about other worlds' economic policies would all 61 of the known versions of the United States have experienced economic crashes instead of merely a third?

* * *
Researching the mirrorcube is the most obvious focus of these worlds. Despite the collective application of some of the brightest minds on all 61 worlds extremely little is known about it in practice since investigation appears impossible -- the entirety of knowledge that's agreed upon by all 61 worlds is the following: it emits low-energy neutrinos at a rate of one per second, it emits tachyons at the same rate, it orbits in geostationary, it acts as a transmitter for radio/satellite/television communications between the worlds, it's 144 meters in diameter and it's impossible to physically interact with it(probes have touched it to grab nothing but space, firing lasers to try producing a spectrum gets nothingm etc). The little information they've gotten, combined with the results of the experiments has produced entire schools of science and led to 120 scientists having severe enough breakdowns to being institutionalized.

Sicence itself has benefitted surprisingly little in spinoffs. Perhaps it'd be immediately useful if we were in the part of the galaxy where faster than light travel was even possible, but as things go the level of undersranding of the best and brightest is is like showing a post-singularity faster than light drive to a monkey. Not even a gorilla or chimp, but a baboon. On the other hand, the larger budgets given to scientists both in physics or in other areas have produced more results. Materials science, synthetics, computing, telecommunications, biotech, medicine and lastly to a lesser degree aerospace are the main beneficiaries of this windfall. Besides the windfall, science has gained a boost from interworld collaboration and information exchange. The least advanced world is 7 years ahead technologically on average, while the most is a full 20. The average is 13-14 years ahead with worlds sometimes lagging in areas or excelling in other, different areas.

Besides the theory, applied science is doing well. Companies collaborating with their counterparts in other worlds has led to larger R&D plans, since they're able to spread the costs over multiple worlds by passing data through. The fact they're able to test what works and what doesn't also helps.

Obviously, science fiction is both more popular and respectable than in OTL. Besides having a larger audience, the talent pool is larger as people who in one world or another heard of their counterparts or made money off of local royalties of their altergangers decide to get involved. There being much more money in it leads to all sorts of positive dividends; less rehashing of 30s-50s tropes, more fresh blood, more media adaptations, longer-lasting TV shows(Star Trek in all worlds lasts at least to 1970, with 95% of worlds having either a Star Trek: Phase II spinoff or a final sendoff with a big-budget movie or both), more series and a less ghettoized genre. These days, some of the more wealthy authors, or those with loyal fanbases who can donate for the connection fees(H. Turtledove, S. Stirling, J. Ringo, J. Pournelle) actually compare notes with their altergangers via crossworld e-mail and thus manage to do a crossworld "division of labor"(OK, Stirling-1 you write those novels with the world losing all technology and magic returning, I've got ideas for the third Draka trilogy, Stirling-3's doing his "Mirrorcube appears in 1940" book, Stirling 4's working on an outline of the 4th ISOT trilogy, Stirling 5's working on that third book in the Red Death trilogy, Stirling-6 is collaborating with Tom kratman on the third world war book, Stirling-6 is working with Charlie Stross on a one a one-off novel about Israel ISOT to 1944....", concluding with "Let's check back with each other in 3 months, k?". AS a result of the collaborative efforts, the lucky authors who are able to get more than one book done at once all get far more released. You also have a trend of famous authors managing to live at worse 6 months longer than OTL with many lasting several years more due to swapping notes on their health. There have also been hissyfits between altergangers, alas(Neofascist!Charlie Stross and social democratic!Charlie Stross predictably didn't get along well).

Alternate history is as to be expected quite a big genre in this world with lots of living reasons to be interested in it. The quality ranges from works as good as any seen in our world's SHWI multipart timelines to schlock like Nixon!(An ABC series taking place in an alternate 1990s where an aging Richard Nixon runs America as a bad 1984 clone). With more datapoints to work with alternate historians are more confident both with post-1962 PODs, and thanks to having a much larger pool of discussion pre-1962 PODs. The collective alternate history community of at last count 33 timelines has funded the creation of archives for the various discussion lists/fora/bulletin boards to be spread around the multiverse. There are less successful efforts by these same people to try convincing authors to release their works to the public domain. At least they've had a limited degree of luck as opposed to none.

Popular culture is one of the most altered by this change and has experienced a renaissance. More cynically, part of this efflorescence may be explained by the trend for copyright terms to lenghten being reduced(at minimum, you have world #00 where the situation is OTL pre-bono copyright extension act and you have to pay for each DMCA takedown. At most, you have a world that due to an incident involving botnets created to enforce their game's DRM that led to the deaths of a billion people before everything settling down with most nations outright scrapping IP law.
The Anomaly
Here's the first entry in "The Anomaly" series, a recurring set of entries showing either aspects of a set of worlds in the multiverse.

This is inspired in part both by Bruce's adaptation of an unnamed twilight zone episode, along with RVBomally's recurring fleshing out of his recent space opera setting.
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Semper Fi is uploaded, after one year to actually FINISH the bloody map and close to three to get the writeup done and coherent.

Next up is If Drouet's Cart had stuck 2014 followed by, "Al Gore wins: 2014" and "After the midlands". 

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:iconbeedok:
beedok Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2014
Thanks for the faves. :D
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:iconottovonsuds:
OttoVonSuds Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2014
Not much to say tbh.

They're the kind of sunni fanatic uprising from the desert you get every few generations. Maybe they'll make a lasting state and make diplomacy in the region more complicated. Maybe they won'r.
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:iconkyuzoaoi:
kyuzoaoi Featured By Owner Edited Nov 29, 2014  Student Artist
What is your estimate on ISIS?
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:iconslaytaninc:
Slaytaninc Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014
New idea:

Nixon (R) 1969-1977 (The GOP's "Reagan"

Ford (R) 1977-1981 (Reagan as VP)
Carter (D) 1981
-1989 (or another Democrat) (The Democrat's "Reagan")
Bush (R) 1989-1993
Random Democrat (D ofc) 1993-2001
McCain (R) 2001-2009
Another Random Democrat (D) 2009-

Another one that won't be official ofc.
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:iconkyuzoaoi:
kyuzoaoi Featured By Owner Edited Aug 2, 2014  Student Artist
They are sometimes almost overbearing.
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:iconottovonsuds:
OttoVonSuds Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014
They need Wotan.
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:iconkyuzoaoi:
kyuzoaoi Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Student Artist
You opinion on this deviantart page:

exaltgod.deviantart.com
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:iconottovonsuds:
OttoVonSuds Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2014
Ah, well without watergate you wouldn't get Carter in 1976, though. You'd likely get ither Ford or REagan in that year.
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:iconslaytaninc:
Slaytaninc Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014
No Watergate, or at least never getting caught.
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