the mostest me
The Republicans would have lost Illinois, anyway. With Obama, it would just become more of a landslide.
--The_Lex Tue Dec 12 12:07:09 2006
I had a name picked out for you as a girl - even if your parents didn't.

Temple Beth

--YELAS Tue Dec 12 13:14:16 2006
Normally when people wank on about what things might have been like if they were different, I tell them "and if my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle." Something tells me this wouldn't have shut you up.

I usually don't think about this stuff for long unless I can go somewhere interesting with it. Like, if I were born without albinism, I don't know whether I'd have probably played Little League instead of staying home on the computer all day. I do know that my mother would have called me "Cassandra" if I were born a girl, and I have a couple of uncles that make me thankful I wasn't. The semantic detail of whether to call this hypothetical self "me" is pointless, considering you could philosophically argue that the self doesn't end where your skin does, but extends to the entire universe. You can expand the definition until it doesn't mean anything anymore.

Being an atheist, and knowing the soul to be made up of information, the question you pose is similar to that of whether Hamlet is the same play if that one soliloquy weren't in it, or if someone else had wrote it, or if it was set in Germany instead of Denmark, or if Shakespeare had lived in Victorian times. It's more interesting to wonder what might have changed and what might have not, than to wonder about the trivia of its identity.
--Nick B Tue Dec 12 14:49:53 2006
"Normally when people wank on about what things might have been like if they were different, I tell them 'and if my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle.' Something tells me this wouldn't have shut you up. "

Actually, *my* Aunt, the one who just posted that "Temple Beth" idea, was fond of "'Balls,' said the queen, 'if I had them I'd be king.'"-- but that was more just a bit of cushion for saying "balls"

And I'm less playing the "if only things were different game" than asking questions about identity and sense of self... I certainly recognize that the ways my life could be more difficult far outweight the number of ways it could be better.

Of course, the problem with the "Hamlet-multiverse" question, and identifying the differences, is being clear about what the universe was, and if it differs from our own by anything more than "well, if this bloke Shakespeare hadn't done it, but this Victorian fellow Shimmyjavelin had been weirdly inspired"

But I've always found "alternate history" to be pretty cool, when done well, like some of the better parts of soc.history.what-if.
--Kirk Tue Dec 12 15:08:36 2006
--miller Tue Dec 12 16:49:33 2006
Get it? The alternative Shakespeare?

Maybe Shimmypole would have been less forced...
--Kirk Tue Dec 12 17:30:55 2006
All those universes currently only exist in my mind, and the mind of mathematicians, and maybe in an episode of Sliders.

Sliders was a show that could have been way cooler than it ended up being. In case you didn't catch it, it was all about parallel universes, like where the US lost the cold war, and where one of the main cast had a musical career that rivaled Elvis and faked his death.
--Nick B Wed Dec 13 16:10:22 2006
wow, I just reread the first paragraph of my first comment, and it looks way meaner than I intended it. 
--Nick B Wed Dec 13 16:11:22 2006

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