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L_Monty
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Re: Who would you be?

You bring up an interesting question, Ernie, because where do you draw the line on the person's standing and his knowledge? If you went back in time to literally be Napoleon, you'd be trapped in his body, watching the same bad decisions unfold. Now, if you can go back in time with your own knowledge, does that mean that it's only your own? That would seem to be a different form of doom, because you'd be trapped in Napoleon's body and probably never commit as many inspired acts on the battlefield because you'd lack the instinct to do them. Hence, he'd never become Napoleon because he was just you, and frankly, sir, you're no Napoleon. It's enough to give you a headache.

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Ryan_G
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Re: Who would you be?

I thought about a couple of different people for various reasons: Robert Burns, Rodrigo Borgia (Alexander VI), Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, a fur trapper in what became MN,  and a few others.

 

I ended up picking Benjamin Franklin with a small caveat.  I wouild only want to go back while he was in France trying to persuade the French to join our cause before the American Revolution.

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DCGuy
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Re: Who would you be?

[ Edited ]

Very intriguing question.  With so many colorful personalities from the history of mankind, it would be hard to choose to be one person.  A few that immediately come to my mind.

1) St. Francis of Assisi (mystic and saint)

2) Neil Armstrong (first man on the moon)

3) Thomas Edison (inventor)

4) Prince Rudolph (Hapsburg royal heir who committed suicide and then allowed the Hapsburg succession to go to Francis Ferdinand whose later assassination resulted in World War I). 

 

Message Edited by DCGuy on 05-14-2009 08:58 PM
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L_Monty
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Re: Who would you be?


DCGuy wrote:
4) Prince Rudolph (Hapsburg royal heir who committed suicide and then allowed the Hapsburg succession to go to Francis Ferdinand whose later assassination resulted in World War I).

Now there's an interesting one. Why this guy? The later Habsburgs didn't quite light the world on fire. Is it a fondness-for-Austria thing? You'd like to be the guy to keep the empire together and help offset the post-war crises from disintegration and nationalism? I'm really curious.
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DCGuy
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Re: Who would you be?

[ Edited ]

L_Monty wrote:

DCGuy wrote:
4) Prince Rudolph (Hapsburg royal heir who committed suicide and then allowed the Hapsburg succession to go to Francis Ferdinand whose later assassination resulted in World War I).

Now there's an interesting one. Why this guy? The later Habsburgs didn't quite light the world on fire. Is it a fondness-for-Austria thing? You'd like to be the guy to keep the empire together and help offset the post-war crises from disintegration and nationalism? I'm really curious.

 

Very true.  The Austrian empire fell apart after World War I with the abdication of Emperor Karl after the death of Franz Joseph.  The death of crown prince Rudolph has been somewhat of a mystery (whether he actually commited suicide at Mayerling lodge or was murdered with his lover).  His death changed the order of the Hapsburg succession and allowed Francis Ferdinand to become the royal heir and whose later assassination resulted in World War I (and probably World War II as well).  I was not looking to be him in order to "save" the Austro-Hungarian empire.  I would have liked to be him in order to change his mindset and perhaps change the entire chain of events that occurred in 1914.  I am sure that eventually the "old order" would have been overthrown in Europe, but I was looking to change the historical sequence of events that started with the Bosnian crisis in the early 1900's.  I thnk Rudolph might have played a greater role in running the country from his aging long time ruling father.  And having a mother as attractive as Elizabeth would have been a bonus (she was murdered later).  My ultimate reason for considering to be him was to change the course of history with regards to World War I and World War II.
Message Edited by DCGuy on 05-20-2009 05:19 PM
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Steve869
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Re: Who would you be?

I would be the man in charge of guarding President Lincoln and I would have made sure he was perfectly safe while at Ford's Theatre, or I would be Hitler's father and pull out!!
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jplatzer
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Re: Who would you be?

For me, it would be Winston Churchill. The man lived a full life to say the least. From his early days serving in India, to his capture in South Africa, to his leadership during WWII. He was an important figure at a time of critical importance in world history. I think it would have been an interesting life to have led.
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L_Monty
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Re: Who would you be?


DCGuy wrote:
Very true.  The Austrian empire fell apart after World War I with the abdication of Emperor Karl after the death of Franz Joseph.  The death of crown prince Rudolph has been somewhat of a mystery (whether he actually commited suicide at Mayerling lodge or was murdered with his lover).  His death changed the order of the Hapsburg succession and allowed Francis Ferdinand to become the royal heir and whose later assassination resulted in World War I (and probably World War II as well).  I was not looking to be him in order to "save" the Austro-Hungarian empire.  I would have liked to be him in order to change his mindset and perhaps change the entire chain of events that occurred in 1914.  I am sure that eventually the "old order" would have been overthrown in Europe, but I was looking to change the historical sequence of events that started with the Bosnian crisis in the early 1900's.  I thnk Rudolph might have played a greater role in running the country from his aging long time ruling father.  And having a mother as attractive as Elizabeth would have been a bonus (she was murdered later).  My ultimate reason for considering to be him was to change the course of history with regards to World War I and World War II.

Thanks for all that. :smileyhappy: Obviously, I was curious where you were going with that, because in my experience, a lot of Habsburg experts really romanticize the dynasty (I guess that's sort of the nature of the historical beast, though: if you like a subject enough to spend decades of your life becoming a specialist in it, by rights you probably admire some of it and are a little protective), sometimes kind of out of whack with what was elementally positive about it. They're very glamorous, historically speaking, with the beauty of Viennese architecture and music, and of course the pomp about the family, and sometimes the love for them leads to a kind of wishing that they could be preserved, as-is, for all time, which is pretty out of what with the options facing them. But clearly that wasn't the picture you were drawing, and I like the high-mindedness of what you'd try to do.

Question, though: what do you think you'd have done with people like Schoenerer and Luger, who were fanning the anti-semitic flames that ultimately inspired Hitler? I mean, let's say that you make intelligent brokered agreements with nationalist movements that cede more Habsburg power in favor of local autonomy, thus holding off the really violent dislocation that it experienced. How do you undercut the populist anti-semitism? Doesn't that take a lot more deliberate erosions of your own (Habsburg) power?



Steve869 wrote:
or I would be Hitler's father and pull out

Ahahahaha.
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DCGuy
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Re: Who would you be?


Steve869 wrote:
I would be the man in charge of guarding President Lincoln and I would have made sure he was perfectly safe while at Ford's Theatre, or I would be Hitler's father and pull out!!

 

Your comment brings to mind an episode of the New Twilight Zone (the most recent rendition with Forrest Whitaker as the host) which had an episode where a woman is time transported to Germany when Adolf Hitler was a baby.  The woman is hired as a baby sitter for the Hitler family and realizes that she has a chance to change history by killing Adolf before he becomes an adult.  At the end of the story, she commits suicide carrying the baby and jumps off a bridge.  However, one of the other house attendants sees this and then grabs a baby from a woman living in the streets and substitutes the other baby as Adolf which the family then raises as their own.  So the murder of the real baby did not accomplish the desired effect.
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DCGuy
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Re: Who would you be?

[ Edited ]

L_Monty wrote:

DCGuy wrote:
Very true.  The Austrian empire fell apart after World War I with the abdication of Emperor Karl after the death of Franz Joseph.  The death of crown prince Rudolph has been somewhat of a mystery (whether he actually commited suicide at Mayerling lodge or was murdered with his lover).  His death changed the order of the Hapsburg succession and allowed Francis Ferdinand to become the royal heir and whose later assassination resulted in World War I (and probably World War II as well).  I was not looking to be him in order to "save" the Austro-Hungarian empire.  I would have liked to be him in order to change his mindset and perhaps change the entire chain of events that occurred in 1914.  I am sure that eventually the "old order" would have been overthrown in Europe, but I was looking to change the historical sequence of events that started with the Bosnian crisis in the early 1900's.  I thnk Rudolph might have played a greater role in running the country from his aging long time ruling father.  And having a mother as attractive as Elizabeth would have been a bonus (she was murdered later).  My ultimate reason for considering to be him was to change the course of history with regards to World War I and World War II.

Thanks for all that. :smileyhappy: Obviously, I was curious where you were going with that, because in my experience, a lot of Habsburg experts really romanticize the dynasty (I guess that's sort of the nature of the historical beast, though: if you like a subject enough to spend decades of your life becoming a specialist in it, by rights you probably admire some of it and are a little protective), sometimes kind of out of whack with what was elementally positive about it. They're very glamorous, historically speaking, with the beauty of Viennese architecture and music, and of course the pomp about the family, and sometimes the love for them leads to a kind of wishing that they could be preserved, as-is, for all time, which is pretty out of what with the options facing them. But clearly that wasn't the picture you were drawing, and I like the high-mindedness of what you'd try to do.

Question, though: what do you think you'd have done with people like Schoenerer and Luger, who were fanning the anti-semitic flames that ultimately inspired Hitler? I mean, let's say that you make intelligent brokered agreements with nationalist movements that cede more Habsburg power in favor of local autonomy, thus holding off the really violent dislocation that it experienced. How do you undercut the populist anti-semitism? Doesn't that take a lot more deliberate erosions of your own (Habsburg) power?



Steve869 wrote:
or I would be Hitler's father and pull out

Ahahahaha.

I am an admirer of the Vienna back in the 1800's and Johann Strauss is one of my favorite composers.  The one city that I would like to visit more than any other on this planet would be Vienna, Austria (alas, I have not yet done so).  The dynasty had to deal with many different ethnic and socioeconomic groups within their boundaries over the many years of their rule.  They were sort of stuck between a rock and hard place being situated between the Germanic people to the north and the Slavic peoples to the east and south.  Prince Rudolph was sort of born into a difficult family situation.  His royal marriage was probably arranged due to alliance reasons.  I am sure that he probably did not see eye to eye with his father's policies.  Could he have been able to assuage both the anti-semitic feelings of the northern peoples as well as the independence aspirations of the southern peoples?  Maybe or maybe not.  It is a very difficult position trying to compromise between so many different viewpoints and political groups trying to push their agenda while trying to maintain some control of your empire.  It would have been nice to change the Hapsburg monarchy into a similar model like what happened in England.  But, given the Empire's location and many different ethnic groups that were within the Empire, that would have been extremely difficult.  One way that I saw as a "way out" was to break up the Empire and allow some territories to go their own way.  But, this would be a very radical notion given that the order of thinking in the early 1900's was to expand your influence at the expense of your neighbors.  Of course, even doing so does not guarantee that a more harmonious result will occur after the breakup.  As you saw with the Bosnian situation in the 1990's, there has been a long simmering hatred between the peoples that occupy the former Hapsburg lands.  At least Austria today (or what was left of the empire) is a much more manageble country that a ruler could control and rule more peacefully.

 

My choice to be part of that time period would be to alter history (and not necessarily the eventual fate of the dynasty) and prevent the cataclysmic events between 1914 and 1945.  As Spock is quoted in the second Star Trek movie, "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of one" when he sacrificed himself for the survival of the crew of the starship at the end of the movie.

Message Edited by DCGuy on 05-27-2009 05:34 PM
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DCGuy
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Re: Who would you be?

[ Edited ]

L_Monty wrote:

Steve869 wrote:
or I would be Hitler's father and pull out

Ahahahaha.

Sort of like a form of "retroactive" abortion?  LOL

Message Edited by DCGuy on 05-27-2009 05:25 PM
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L_Monty
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Re: Who would you be?


DCGuy wrote:
Sort of like a form of "retroactive" abortion?  LOL

Well, technically it'd be retroactive from our point in the timeline, but you can't abort what's not conceived, so I think you'd just need a different term. Something that sounds more high-minded, too. I vote for Benevolent Onanism.

I think this is the nerdiest exchange in this forum now. Also probably the grossest. :smileytongue:
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DCGuy
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Re: Who would you be?


L_Monty wrote:

DCGuy wrote:
Sort of like a form of "retroactive" abortion?  LOL

Well, technically it'd be retroactive from our point in the timeline, but you can't abort what's not conceived, so I think you'd just need a different term. Something that sounds more high-minded, too. I vote for Benevolent Onanism.

I think this is the nerdiest exchange in this forum now. Also probably the grossest. :smileytongue:

 

Yes, you are correct.  I used the incorrect nomenclature.  I think I came across this term while reading the newspaper many years ago (it was referring to some kind of protests and was directed at a particular person from the past). But, it was used incorrectly for this example.

 

Grossest?  Not by a long shot.  History has a terrible diary of events that would be much more grosser.  I could start a discussion on Timur (AKA Tamerlane) who went around beheading thousands of conquered peoples in southern Asia.  :smileysurprised:

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DCGuy
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Re: Who would you be?


DCGuy wrote:

 

My choice to be part of that time period would be to alter history (and not necessarily the eventual fate of the dynasty) and prevent the cataclysmic events between 1914 and 1945.  As Spock is quoted in the second Star Trek movie, "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of one" when he sacrificed himself for the survival of the crew of the starship at the end of the movie.


Maybe the Star Trek analogy was a bit too nerdish.  How about an analogy with Sidney Carton instead (from a Tale of Two Cities)?  "Tis a far far better thing that I do.  Tis a far far better place that I go to".

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dulcinea3
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Re: Who would you be?


DCGuy wrote:

Steve869 wrote:
I would be the man in charge of guarding President Lincoln and I would have made sure he was perfectly safe while at Ford's Theatre, or I would be Hitler's father and pull out!!

 

Your comment brings to mind an episode of the New Twilight Zone (the most recent rendition with Forrest Whitaker as the host) which had an episode where a woman is time transported to Germany when Adolf Hitler was a baby.  The woman is hired as a baby sitter for the Hitler family and realizes that she has a chance to change history by killing Adolf before he becomes an adult.  At the end of the story, she commits suicide carrying the baby and jumps off a bridge.  However, one of the other house attendants sees this and then grabs a baby from a woman living in the streets and substitutes the other baby as Adolf which the family then raises as their own.  So the murder of the real baby did not accomplish the desired effect.

 

Kind of like Sayid shooting Ben Linus when Ben was still a boy, but it didn't work because when the Dharma Initiative was unable to save him, Kate and Sawyer brought him to the Others, who saved him.

 

Now who's the nerd? :smileytongue:

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DCGuy
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Re: Who would you be?

[ Edited ]

dulcinea3 wrote:

DCGuy wrote:

Steve869 wrote:
I would be the man in charge of guarding President Lincoln and I would have made sure he was perfectly safe while at Ford's Theatre, or I would be Hitler's father and pull out!!

 

Your comment brings to mind an episode of the New Twilight Zone (the most recent rendition with Forrest Whitaker as the host) which had an episode where a woman is time transported to Germany when Adolf Hitler was a baby.  The woman is hired as a baby sitter for the Hitler family and realizes that she has a chance to change history by killing Adolf before he becomes an adult.  At the end of the story, she commits suicide carrying the baby and jumps off a bridge.  However, one of the other house attendants sees this and then grabs a baby from a woman living in the streets and substitutes the other baby as Adolf which the family then raises as their own.  So the murder of the real baby did not accomplish the desired effect.

 

Kind of like Sayid shooting Ben Linus when Ben was still a boy, but it didn't work because when the Dharma Initiative was unable to save him, Kate and Sawyer brought him to the Others, who saved him.

 

Now who's the nerd? :smileytongue:


 

I think the Twilight Zone episode was meant to say that the anti-semitism and destructive influence of the father was over powering regardless of who the baby was.  So you create the monster (more of an environmental versus genetics issue that has long been debated) instead of the baby being a monster from the beginning (unlike Rosemary's Baby).  :smileytongue:

 

You actually watch that TV show?  I have only seen less an hour of one episode and was completely "lost" and just turned the channel after mumbling "what is this???".  :smileytongue:

 

 

Message Edited by DCGuy on 05-28-2009 08:11 PM
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Freddicumz
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Re: Who would you be?

thats a really good question. i'd like to be a lot of people but the one that i would die to be would have to be General Stonewall Jackson. I'd love to have the great skills he did on the battlefield!
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Fan4SFGiants
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Re: Who would you be?

I'd be Richard Feynman.He discovered that gas and wire make electricity.
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