There’s alternate music, an alternate Right, also potentially – alternate worlds. Any connection? One thing I point out in INVESTIGATING THE ALT RIGHT – a whole industry of ‘alternate history’ has opened up in academia, taking in many serious historians. They wonder, ‘if Germany had won the war, what then is postwar “history”? (And then one can ask – would it give rise to ideas, such as Richard Spencer’s?)
…I am very interested in ‘many worlds theory’ and ‘multiverse theory,’ but unfortunately, I have tended to think these would not be popular topics and so have not paid as much attention to the major names in Philosophy as I might. Sometimes the physicists offer us philosophical themes of causation between multiverses, but I cannot say what the major articles here. If anyone has some good leads, let me know. We do get some more humdrum theorizing from Scientific America (concerning causation from a parallel universe): https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/multiverse-the-case-for-parallel-universe/ Likely, Vonnegut would also be a good source, but there are more academic sources out there – somewhere!
It is possible to maintain, for certain critical junctures, both possible events ‘happen.’ However, physicists are notorious for failing to explain their ideas of ‘happen.’ What does ‘happen’ mean? Does it mean, there is a self that experiences, D-day succeeded, and a near identical self, that experiences that it failed? Or does it mean, D-day succeeded and this is experienced, but also it failed though this is not (directly) experienced? What could ‘happen but not directly experienced’ mean in a case like this?
Also one can hold, alternate ending in critical junctures, have effects on the chains leading from the near-to-hand ending. I do not know what the evidence could be, as for example, ‘an inch is as good as a mile,’ i.e. one does not feel sore from almost getting hit by a car. Or at least – not usually. Maybe we ought to ask Richard Spencer about these kind of things? I guess he would be the sort of person who would know….
We imagine our bodies, practically speaking, are in only three dimensions of space, and that we all live in one space. Then minds are affected by changes to the sense organs in this one space. Leibniz of course offers a totally different model, which fits the available evidence, just as well. To decide for the ‘three dimensions, one space model,’ is not supported by the evidence. There is then a question of how ‘happens’ and ‘experience’ relate, since different individuals might experience different things, though both are effected by an event to have particular experiences. If you (or ‘you’) experience, hitting someone with a car and also just missing them, and another experiences that you just missed them but also strange pains, then we might say, two alternate events ‘happened’ but as giving rise to experiences not seeming to fit the model, of three dimensions and one space. There is an alternative present, where you experience collision but the other does not directly experience this.
So, things are potentially especially complex, as not only is there a possibility of alternate ‘happenings,’ but also even our own happenings, we do not really understand. We have a model of bodies in one space, but also we could say, there is simply an ‘experience machine’ present for all, etc., with rules of commonly inhabiting one space, a mere Newtonian approximation.
The upshot seems to be, if someone experienced Germany winning the war, that does not imply it is a ‘hallucination’ if not all alternate selves did….
Then, too, as I suggest, we have a more mysterious case, of an alternate happening, that is just not directly experienced at all, a kind of black whole in human reality. A tree falls in a forest, but no one is around. Later, a lumber jack comes across the fallen tree. There is no direct experience of the falling, but still an indirect one….
It is difficult that global society, has not reconciled itself to the possibility of Axis victory. What happens in such a victory? …Would the Russians all be hiding out in Siberia? One imagines, things might go particularly poorly for Russia. Then, too, look where Russia is heading, with the land so often poisoned, fertility dropping, etc. Will Russia one day look back, and say, it is just as if Germany had won the war, only, we never experienced this?
Is it going to be ‘alt right’ for them? 😊 Who can say. I doubt things will be too pleasant, but then I am sure, the Russians (collectively) are prepared for a bad time after Khrushchev, etc.
As to our own situation – obviously, there is very little evidence, recent ‘happenings’ of, e.g., a Clinton Presidency, have much reality to them. Why believe, the effects on parallel universes, will be notable for those universes? And as to our experiences – who knows what is ‘happening’? Indeed, what lies behind experience? Tradition counsels, took look back to causes in the three dimension of a common space. Yet tradition is another thing than evidence. It is very hard to know (in a philosophical sense of the term) where experiences are heading. This may be a source of hope, but also – regardless of how absurd Clinton was – of fear.
Then too – new directions! – with death, I see no evidence, it brings an off button for ‘the machine.’
At least not for everyone. But of course, these are matters, we cannot bring into our ethical calculations. They seem to play very little role, e.g., in the outward discourse of the Roman Catholic Church, which tends to imagine, all people are equal in experiencing after death. Yet – I remain, as ever, rather sceptical of this outward discourse, significant though it has been.
…Philosophy is a strange pursuit, yet it seems in the end to lead to these questions, of whether one can believe, anything one is told. Perhaps philosophy is not the best pursuit, after all?